Category Archives: Kids

Behind a Smile

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters…compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I pulled out some old pictures from my childhood the other day and a flood of memories hit me with each one. One photograph jumped out at me. It was the juxtaposition of emotions that this single picture produced that made my heart skip a beat and my throat tighten. To a bystander, it was just an old, color faded 8×10 school photo. The colors look as if they have been put through one of the new digital age photo filter mechanisms – the one that gives the picture an orange tint. For me, this picture represents the light, happy innocence of childhood before the darkness of oncoming turbulent adolescence.

This photo was taken my 4th grade year in elementary school. I was 9 years old and wearing the proof of my ‘Tomboy’ moniker. I remember my mother questioning my choice of clothing for the school picture that year, but I was adamant that this was the shirt I wanted to wear. Most of the other girls were in frilly dresses or nice button down blouses. Not so for me, I was proudly sporting my Cincinnati Reds T-shirt. My hero’s name, Johnny Bench, emblazoned across my chest with a picture of him catching a baseball on the side of his name. The previous summer my step-brother, Scotty, and I had orchestrated a backyard baseball game every single day of the vacation. We lived in a rural area and rarely had enough kids to fill two full teams, so we created ‘Ghost Men’ to play. I also had a shoebox full of baseball cards, always looking to trade for more‘Reds’ players. Once school started, baseball resumed on the playground, but only boys were allowed to play. Scotty took exception to that when he told them I was going to play on his team. I immediately proved myself valuable and became the only girl player. I was never picked last when teams were chosen either, because I played better than some of the boys. Those were fun times. (Later in the year, the adults would interfere and made us include other girls and then it became boys v. girls and that is when I quit playing. Most of those girls didn’t even know the difference between a mere ‘run’ and an actual ‘home-run’ and that irritated the tar out of me.)

When I attempt to look at that 4th grade photo using a stranger’s eyes, I can see that I could easily be mistaken for a little boy. My short burnt orange hair, green eyes, light skin with a spattering of freckles across my nose and cheeks blended with my clothing choice makes me look a little androgynous. My smile, though genuine, reveals the beginnings of the crooked teeth that would sully my life and contribute to the self image problems I still battle today. My teeth were the most crooked monstrosities ever possessed by an unassuming child. Each large, adult sized front tooth, besides protruding enough to be what was labeled at that time as being ‘bucked’ went outward in opposite directions of each other, as if trying to run away because they didn’t want to touch. The teeth next to them wanted to overlap them in confusion. And for some odd reason, I had too many, so they all crowded crookedly vying for space in my extra small child sized mouth. The effect of this dental horror show combined with my untamed natural curly red hair provided fodder for many jokes and name calling by both mean kids and adults alike.

As I became aware of the grimaces I would receive when I smiled, I began to try to cover my mouth with my hand. I am probably the only child ever who was okay with the orthodontia pain I would later have because I knew that it meant my teeth were being corrected. Trips to the orthodontist involved replacing or tightening the wires on my braces and I would not be able to eat for days afterwards because of the soreness that caused, which left only the bitter iron taste of blood in my mouth. I still remember one visit to the orthodontist where he had to prop one of his legs up on a chair in order to get enough leverage. He grunted and strained so hard he began to sweat. All that, just to get the wires on my braces to tighten around my severely crooked teeth. Ouch.

While the braces were working on my teeth, I worked on my hair. Learning how to style naturally curly hair is an acquired skill, as is learning how to manage it when the weather changes. Remembering the childish, cruel taunts of “I’d rather be dead than red on the head,” as a teenager I begged my mother to allow me to get my hair colored. When she finally agreed you can imagine my exasperation when the Stylist refused to do it, saying that my natural color was too beautiful to destroy. I had to go home to do a double take in the mirror. What was that stylist talking about? I still saw that rusty haired little Tom-boy with crooked teeth when I looked into the mirror. But after blinking a few times, I began to see the teenager looking back at me, the transformation of an ugly duckling to a swan, right before my eyes. It’s amazing how orthodontia, hair and make-up can make such a huge difference on how one is perceived by others. Materialistic as it may be, people treated me differently once they began to recognize me as ‘cute’ and this is when I made a silent vow to myself that I would never judge a person by their looks. I knew from personal experience that the cover of a person is not necessarily a true representation of what lies inside. And what is in a person’s heart is what matters most.

I do admit though, I enjoyed the fact that now, when I smiled at people, they smiled back.

My 4th Grade School Photo

My 4th Grade School Photo

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The Invisible Blanket

Everyone needs to have a dream.  A ‘hope‘ of some sort, that keeps them moving forward through the occasional drudgery of everyday life.  As children we might have dreamed of being a Super Hero with magic powers like flying, super strength and being invisible.  Have you ever wished you were invisible?  I think we all have at one point in our lives.  What would you do if you could be invisible?

As adults we might choose to hear private conversations that we weren’t invited to.  Or checking up on teenagers to make sure they are behaving as taught.  But as children, oh, the fun we could have teasing people, right?

When Chance was about 5 years old he loved his super heroes.  He would watch the Batman, Superman and Spiderman movies and cartoons repeatedly.  He played with his action figures, dressed up like them for Halloween and even had Spiderman pajamas with the spider web wings on the back.  (Note:  This was before they made one too many movies and ruined Spiderman for him.)

I still have vivid memories of him playing after bath time in the evenings.  He would run into the living room with his Spidey PJ’s on, do a roll in the middle of the floor, jump up and run to the wall pretending to climb it.  He would straighten his arm, turn his wrist up, point it at you and catch you in his make believe spider web.  The options were endless with his imagination.

One day he went searching for his big brother and found him visiting with my (surprisingly imaginative) husband in his home office.  Trent had been talking to Robert about special abilities before Chance walked in.  Robert glanced at Chance and said,

Well, for example, I have this invisible blanket.  If I were to throw it over top of Chance, you wouldn’t be able to see him.”

He gave Trent a secret look, hoping he would play along but not knowing if a 9 year old would catch on to the game.

Trent has always been quick witted and not only caught on, but played along with Robert.

No way!  I don’t believe you.  I’d have to see it to believe it,” Trent said, acting indignant.

Chance was bursting with excitement.  His grin stretched ear to ear revealing the gap in his front teeth, his blue eyes widened and he jumped up and down.

Yeah!  Throw it on me!  Throw it on me!

Chance still believed in magic, Santa Claus and the possibility of super powers.

Ok, but with special powers comes responsibility.  You can’t do anything that would hurt somebody while you have the invisible blanket on,”  Robert said, in his serious ‘you better behave‘ voice.

With that agreement in place, Robert pretended to throw the invisible blanket over Chance.

Does it work?  Can you see me?  Can you see me?”

Chance was jumping up and down as the excitement bubbled out of him.

Where’d Chance go?” Trent said, faking confusion.

He’s invisible now,” Robert said.

Chance immediately ran over to Trent and poked him in the side.  He laughed his ‘I’m a little devil’ laugh and poked him again.

Now, we can’t see you Chance, but we CAN HEAR you,” said Robert with a smile and a chuckle.

I’m going to get you now,” Trent growled as he jumped toward Chance.

The race was on.  Chance ran under his arms and took off down the hallway with Trent on his heels.  He ran into the kitchen, where I stood by the stove cooking supper, and pinched my leg.

Hey,” I start to scold Chance.

Chance has an invisible blanket on Mom,” explained Trent, grinning big, revealing his dimples and gleaming green eyes.

Well, where is he now?” I ask, looking around as if I couldn’t see him.

The boys played that game for years.  It went way beyond the time that Chance was too old to still believe he was invisible, because, as he said recently,

It was so much fun, I WANTED to believe it still worked.”

Such is life, if you think about it.  We may know a truth, like maybe our dream is to far-fetched to ever come true, but that doesn’t stop us from wanting to believe in it, and that maybe it COULD come true.

As adults we may lose the childlike awe at life, yet some of that childish wonder still remains in us all.  It just manifests itself as ‘Hope‘ in adults and the belief that

Dreams can come true‘,

that same belief that our patriotic forefathers held when they founded America.

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Papasan Play

When I was young and in college I always wanted a papasan chair.  I loved its casual, comfy look.  The wicker evokes a beach like atmosphere, while the big round cushion entices me to curl up in it to relish reading a good book.  I could never afford the chair while in college and later when I had the money, I didn’t have the space, considering its unusual shape.

It wasn’t until I was in my early 30’s and found myself moving to a new town that I had both the money and the space to purchase the papasan chair.  My husband had just died, leaving me with three young children to raise with the help of his life insurance.  The money from that afforded us a larger home where we could have more things to help us overcome the fact that we were without the large personality and magnetic presence of “Daddy!

I placed the papasan chair in the family room.  A rock fireplace grounded one corner, while the television on one wall and computer desk in another corner contributed to make this the most popular area of the house.  More than ample space in the room’s center beckoned the kids to spread out toys and play to their hearts’ content while I flitted about nearby like a fly on the wall.

The kids were between the ages of three to seven at that time.  The ages when their imaginations overflowed with possibilities, going into overdrive as their make-believe worlds came alive.  I can remember curling up in the papasan chair with a book and enjoying their playtime talk tinkling like music in the background.

One day while cleaning in another room, I could hear the children’s giggles, their voices brimming with energetic excitement.  It was contagious and captured my curiosity enough for me to stop working in order to investigate.  I entered the room to find the round frame of the papasan chair removed from its pedestal and placed in the center of the carpet.  All three children were inside the chair.  The oldest boy, Trent, grasped the wicker side controlling the rocking motion to make it mimic a ship riding large ocean waves.  The youngest boy, Chance, was on the other side with a paper pirate’s hat on his head, using one toy sword as a paddle and the other as a brandishing weapon held high in the air.  Tara, my girl and middle child, literally sat in the middle of the ‘boat’ as the Captain directing its occupants away from the sharks and alligators infesting the rough waters surrounding them.  I laughed at their creative imaginations in action.

The kids heard the noise and turned toward me with gleeful eyes, “Hey Mommy!  We’re in a ship!”  Tara greeted me in her light, high-pitched little girl’s voice.  Chance, who always had to have his say, attempted to imitate a pirate, “Ahoy Matey! Arrrgghhhh!”  Overcome with enthusiasm, they began rocking their ship side to side as well as front to back.  Trent’s big smile revealed his dimples as he proclaimed, “The waves are getting stronger!”

From that point on I knew if I walked into the family room to find the papasan chair disassembled that it was because the kids were playing pirate ship again.  I always just smiled and put it back together.  New scenarios would be created and played out repeatedly.  Throughout, the wicker frame remained strong and never collapsed amidst all those waves and stormy seas.   The kids are all teenagers now, too old to pretend and too large to all fit in the papasan ship.  Yet, we all still fondly remember those days in their youth when imaginations reigned supreme allowing them to escape harsh realities and enter into another dimension where pain isn’t a thought and glee is plentiful.

We have since moved again.  The papasan chair really no longer fits our decor, yet I will never be able to relinquish ownership of it.  The memories attached to it are too heart warming.  And I’d like to think that someday, a future generation of children might want to make some of their own adventures in the papasan ship.

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Assignment #3

Another of my writing class exercises, but this one is pretty much in the ‘memoir’  or ‘essay’ category.  I kept it under the 500 word point but I think I may add a little more than what I turned in to my instructor, aren’t ya’ll lucky?

The assignment was to write about something we hate in such a way so that you can hear our ‘voice’.  See if you can hear my ‘voice’ below:

Picky Eater

     I hate it when I order fast food at a drive through restaurant and arrive home to find they have muddled my order.  I am a picky eater and have been since birth.  My taste buds have expanded their horizons as I have aged but there are still some food items my palate finds inedible.  I eat my hamburgers plain and dry.  Lettuce is okay, sometimes even onions, but I cannot swallow mustard, mayonnaise or ketchup.  I will gag or vomit if those things are on my sandwich, literally.  Just the scent of mustard sends my stomach into a roiling storm pushing my gag reflex.

     My taste buds are keen to avoid those items.  I still remember one event that happened at McDonalds when I was a child.  My mother placed our order on the table and as I opened my sandwich wrapper I could smell the acrid scent of wrong items on my burger.  My mother returned it to the cashier, explaining that we had ordered the burger ‘plain and dry’ which means just the meat and the bun.  I guess the imbeciles working there thought they could pull a fast one on a picky kid and simply took the burger to the back and scraped the toppings from the bun and placed it into a new wrapper.  Mom brought the burger back to me and I took one bite and immediately spit it out.

     “What on earth?”  My mother was annoyed.

     I opened the bun and showed it to her.  “Look!  They just scraped off that junk!  I can still taste it!”  I pushed it away from me saying, “I can’t eat this.”

     After that, I always opened up the burger and looked at the bread first.  I didn’t want any more nasty surprises.

     In the fast food business, quality help is a rarity.  So now, as an adult, I have learned when placing the order to spell it out in no uncertain terms.  I say, “I want a hamburger plain and dry.  That’s just the meat and the bun.  Nothing else on it.”  Inevitably, the morons still sometimes mess up the order.

     What can you do when you have ordered food to go and arrive home to find it’s wrong?  I hate that, especially if I’m starving!  It not only ruins my appetite, it irritates my mood.  Sure, you can call and complain and possibly get a new free burger out of it.  But then you have to take the trouble and the time to drive back to the restaurant, which takes the ‘fast’ out of the food.  And then you have to wonder if the cook is spiteful enough to spit on the food or worry about the dimwitted cashier making another mistake.

     My brothers and sister think it is hilarious that my youngest child was also born a picky eater.  He’s even pickier than I am.  They say it’s my ‘pay back’ and that may be true.  All I know is this:  if Karma is at work in this matter, then there will be oodles of restaurant workers who receive an order so wrong it causes them to gag!

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Awards Ceremony

Monday night our family went to an awards ceremony at the local high school.  Our graduating senior was receiving multiple awards, i.e.:  a Booster club scholarship, a physical education award and the big one:  graduating ‘Cum Laude’ from his high school class.  That was the big deal, he was rated like #26 out of a class of almost 400, so I felt like that was a great honor and we wanted to be there for his accolades.  Unfortunately for us, that meant we had to sit through the whole show.  It was in the gym so that meant sitting in the uncomfortably hard bleachers for 2 1/2 hours.  Listening to many different speakers give many different (I say ridiculous in some cases) awards.  Really, how does ‘being the most improved‘ qualify?  Doesn’t that just mean that you started out sucking but in the end, you caught up with everyone else?  Isn’t that what is supposed to happen if you start out sucking?  And why do we need a ‘most improved’ for every stinkin’ subject for every grade?  I understand giving top honor awards, but come on – you gotta draw the line somewhere.  And is there really such a thing as a “$50 scholarship” ?  Yes, and probably about 50 kids were honored with them.  I don’t know that it was worth $50 to sit through that ceremony.  I question that there are better ways of earning $50 lousy bucks.    ($50 won’t even pay for a 2 day parking pass where our son is going to college...)

We tried to entertain ourselves by poking some fun at the program.  Giggling at the girls that were trying to walk up and accept awards in 10″ heels that they had obviously never walked in before.  Then over-applauding the one smart girl who actually took her shoes off to walk up there rather than totter precariously.  At one point my husband snapped a photo with his phone camera of the spaced out looks on the faces of my daughter and I.  We were able to giggle extensively at that picture because we had the same exact pouty look on our faces and the family resemblance was so obvious as to make it comical.  Crazy haphazard thoughts crossed our minds.  At one point my daughter looked at me and said, “Mama, did you know that if you shake a baby too hard you could kill it or make it retarded?”  This was a fact she had learned in her health class that had evidently stuck with her.  The thought that kept running through my mind was:  “This stupid bleacher isn’t helping my hemorrhoid any!”  Which in turn, caused me to share that information with Tara, who quickly replies, “Yep.  If you have babies you get hemorrhoids!  Yuck!”  Nobody ever told me that before I had babies.  I guess that’s good cuz I might’ve stopped at one instead of having three.  And since my daughter Tara was the 2nd born then I wouldn’t be sitting there with her having that fascinating conversation!

In the end, we congratulated Trent on his accomplishments and rushed out the doors to get home.  There was supposed to have been  cookies and punch for everyone at the end, but by that time so many other people had left early and in the process devoured everything, that there were no treats left to be had and empty punch bowls.  Which was too bad because all evening my mind kept going back to those yummy chocolate thumbprint cookies they had displayed and I was looking forward to sticking one into my mouth.  My saliva glands were severely disappointed.

But my pride in our son’s accomplishments remained in tact.  And that was what is was about, after all.

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To Be 18 Again…

My first born turned 18 years old today.  It’s hard for a mother to grasp that – the time has sped by and so many memories have been made and so many more lost somewhere in the voids of time.  But I do still remember the miracle of his birth, this boy who was so desired and dreamed about.  I knew he was going to be a boy, but it wasn’t because of a sonogram because the only one taken of him was when he was still too young to discover the sex.  I knew because when I was pregnant with him I had ‘boy‘ dreams.  I dreamed of baseball and sports.  This may not be a scientist’s way of telling the sex of a child, but it worked with me every single pregnancy.  In my sleep the dreams I had were prophetic of the child I was carrying.  Strange maybe, but true still.

My first born gave me the full experience of the painful hours of labor, the exhaustion and fear of what would happen – and ultimately the birth of a beautiful, healthy red-headed baby boy.  Yes, he was born with a full head of red hair.  Unusual in this part of South Texas where most babies are born with brown hair, if they have hair at all.  Unusual too because his Daddy had brown hair and brown eyes, which ‘SCIENCE‘ tells us are the ‘Dominant‘ genes.  Really?  Because, somehow my freakish red hair and green eye genes took control in this scientific battle.

I always tell my son that the song from George Thorogood entitled ‘Bad to the Bone‘ is his theme song because the lyrics of it start out:

On the day I was born, all the nurses gathered ’round
And they gazed in wide wonder, at the joy they had found

And that is exactly what happened at the small town hospital he was born at – nurses from all over the hospital made a special trip by the nursery because they ‘just had to see the little red headed baby’!  Everyone was ‘Oohing‘ and ‘Aahhing‘ over him.

He was such a good baby too.  He only cried for a reason:  hungry or diaper change time.  He traveled well, never complaining about riding in a car seat.  He even kept on his dark, baby-sized sunglasses (keeping out the bright South Texas sun.)  He was cool.  Oh, and I can’t forget, he was on time!  The only baby I’ve ever heard of being born on his exact due date naturally!

As he grew up, he became inquisitive and thoughtful, learning all he could about the world – dinosaurs and wild animals being his first subjects of fascination (besides sports – always sports for this boy.)  His favorite toys were all balls of various sizes.  He could throw them all expertly, leading me to believe he would become a future pitcher or quarterback.  We wondered why he couldn’t catch the balls as well as throwing them.  Then we found out why when he was about 18 months old and his Grandmother took him to the eye doctor.  The poor boy was almost blind!  She fitted him with these cute, little, round, THICK glasses and suddenly he could see everything!  Now you could throw the ball to him and he would catch it !  Because he could see!  As he grew a little older his nickname became ‘Jerry McGuire‘ because he looked so much like the little boy in that movie, with his spiked hair and glasses.

When he started school, he was a good student and always took learning seriously.  Of course, he still always played a sport.  He started out in T-ball, moved on to Little League but found his LOVE when he started playing football.  I never thought he would take to that sport like that because he was never a rough child.  Turns out he really loved being able to hit and knock down other kids all in the name of sport and not get in trouble for it!  LOL.

He’s always been a rule follower so we never had to worry about him getting in trouble for anything at school.  He’s made such good grades in school that he is rated #26 in a class full of 386 kids.  He set a high standard for his little sister and brother to follow and believe me I’ve heard about it from them through the teachers they have all shared.   Both of his younger siblings have had to hear about what a great student/athlete their brother was.  This doesn’t irritate them at all though (which I think is awesome) because they both love and admire their brother so much – they agree – he is great.   How cool is that?

This boy, who just turned 18, so I guess you could call him a ‘man‘ now, has been such a joy to our life.  I feel privileged to call him my son.  I admire him for his wisdom and strength of character.  He has stood by his morals and his idea of right, never falling to peer pressure or doing something ‘other stupid teenagers do.’   As a person of the world and having been a teenager once myself – I’m astounded by his accomplishments.   This was the young boy whose father (also his hero) died when he was six years old.   He took it harder than anyone.  He tried to be strong until he couldn’t hold it in any longer and then there was a time, for about a year, when he would cry almost every night in grief for his father.  (As his Mom, this was so hard for me – I wanted to take his pain away but there was nothing I could do, only be there to pat his back or hold him…it’s really hard to watch your child suffer.)

I worried this might affect him later – like when he became a teenager – as teens tend to find many excuses to act out or go wild.  God blessed this boy though.  He stayed true.  Just last month I was sitting next to him in Church when the offering plate came around.  I knew he had worked his job that week (mowing yards, no taxes:-) but he was at the age where we had stopped suggesting to him that he needed to save some money or give some to God.  We had started letting him make his own decisions without prompting him.  So you can imagine my happiness and pride when I noticed him casually toss a $20 bill in the plate.  Just giving it to God.  Not expecting anything from it, just doing it from the goodness of his heart.  I wanted to turn and hug him on the spot but knew that would only embarrass him.  (I did however, point it out to his sister and brother who have yet to learn the joy of giving their money away to someone else...)

I’d love to write a note to my son telling him things I would’ve liked to have known at the age of 18 – but I’m thinking my boy already knows them.  He is such an amazing young man that I still find it hard to believe I am lucky enough to be his mother.

No matter what mistakes he may make in the future (as we all know will happen) I am still so impressed by this child at this point in his life that I will always remember him as he has been for his first 18 years – which is darn near perfect in my eyes.

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The Games People Play (Part II)

I started thinking about this recently because of some of my daughter’s friends/former friends and the difficulties involved in being of the female sex and dealing with other females.  Thinking I might be able to help my daughter in some way, I started reading this book called ‘Odd Girl Out – The Hidden Aggression in Girls’ by Rachel Simmons.  Rachel interviewed various aged girls/women all over the country learning about the silent bullying females partake in against each other.  Anyone who has read ‘Reviving Ophelia‘ will appreciate this book as well.  I haven’t finished it yet, but I will let you know when I do if there are any solutions offered.  So far, there have been MANY stories of girls hurting other girls by excluding them, talking about them behind their backs, playing cruel practical jokes, gossiping and ruining reputations, the stares and looks of devious plans obvious only by the victim and the victimizers.    It’s actually depressing and frustratingly sad to read and it puts me in a bad mood after having read it.  The interviews detail points of bullying/abuse while the girls are in elementary, junior & high schools.  After all that misery, you would think grown women would know better than to re-enact those years.

Alas, that is not the case.  Which depresses me.  Every female I’ve ever known has agreed how hard it is to find a good female friend.  We learn in our youth that females (in general) cannot be trusted – because of unkept secrets, lies, the talking-behind-the-back-thing, phoniness and fake fronts, oh the list goes on and on.   The majority of women in the world will fully admit that it is easier to be friends with a guy because we always know where we stand with a male.  When it comes to women, most men complain that they can’t figure us out.  Guess what?  Women can’t figure women out.

Every female knows what it is like to be betrayed by a friend.  Whether it is a broken promise to keep a secret or a boyfriend stolen or a sudden dropped friendship.  And every girl has done one or all to a friend.    Some girls learn early that they do not enjoy doing wrong to a friend so they grow up to become women who are trustworthy, caring friends.  Some girls never learn.  Because of the hurts during our informative years,  when we become women out in the world we are less likely to trust each other and world-weary of female drama.  Yet, it doesn’t stop.  I’m lucky to have found a few good women friends and some lifelong ones that I feel comfortable enough to be myself with and trust them – and I truly cherish these friendships because the fact of the matter is – females must remain weary of their female counter parts – for the rest of their lives (check out what goes on in the Nursing Homes if you don’t believe that last part.)  Why do we do this to each other?

I had hoped that when I grew up the female games would be over.   That was back when I was young and idealistic.

I’ve worked in many different places.    In every place that involved more than two females, you can bet there was drama, angst, lying, gossiping, back-stabbing and general female catty-ness going on.  Like trying to make it through ‘Survivor’ you have to learn quickly all the stories and decide which group you will become part of – because one group will be staying while the others slowing disappear unable to take the game. (Just like in the television showOutcomes vary.)   (I am therefore ever so grateful to be a mostly stay-at-home-mom now, wink :-).

Another example of adult females acting juvenile happened to me when my children were in elementary school and I was nominated to be involved a particular school organization whose main goal was to raise money for the school so the children could have a better education.  Seems like a respectable volunteer organization right?  (Not).   I was new to it but learned immediately of the inner turmoil going on.  The VP and the Pres were talking behind each others backs but being ‘oh so nice‘ to each other’s face.  Other members were lobbying behind their backs to take over their positions the next year.  The gossip flowed about each different person in the group only when they weren’t around.  I quickly wondered what was being said about me when I wasn’t around.  (I made a special point to never say anything critical about anyone because I saw how quick they were to spread gossip.  I did listen to them though.  (I never took a stand and stood up to defend anyone – maybe that was my mistake?)  The back-stabbing that went on – for what?  This was supposed to be a do-good group.  Why would anyone want to turn it into the equivalent of a high-school popularity contest or ‘Mean Girls‘ episode?  I never spoke bad about anyone, maintained my rule of following the Golden Rule, listened and learned, and when my time was up I refused to re-join.  I’ve stayed back from any other kind of group activity at the schools because of that experience.  It’s a shame that the parents can’t be grown-ups ya know?  What happened to handling things in a mature fashion?

Why do so many females turn against each other?

If this book gives me some answers I’ll let ya know, but I haven’t seen any yet…

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