Snowflakes

The term “snowflake” gets thrown around a lot lately, especially towards this generation of children.

“When I was a kid if you had a problem with someone, you just punched them in the mouth…!”

“Busses are cancelled today because its TOO COLD? What a bunch of snowflakes…”

Anyone who has been negatively impacted or found themselves a victim of an incident related to busses being cancelled due to extreme cold weather, please raise your hand. Anyone…? No…?

I didn’t think so.

Now I’m pretty hard on my kids – my daughter will even tell me that she thinks I don’t care when someone gets hurt. It’s not that I don’t care, I just know to reserve my fucks when they really matter. For example, the baby rode her little car square into the highchair the other day. That tray, well it was just at the right height to tear into her gums as she came flying towards it with a big toothy grin. Instant tears. And instant blood – which sent my oldest daughter into a panic. Me: I’m calm, pick up the baby, grab a Kleenex to wipe up the drooly blood before it hits my shoulder, and stains my shirt. “MOM, there is BLOOD! Is she ok? Is it BAD?” I ask the baby if she’s good, give her some juice in her cup, and send her off.

If there was a clearly broken bone, I may have reacted differently. Maybe not. I’ve never experienced something on the level of “extreme fucks need to be given”.

And I am also, almost always, in favour of sending your kids to school – even if the busses aren’t running. What kind of example would I be setting for my kids if allowed them to make excuses to “not show up”…? School IS their job. What about being a reliable friend? A dedicated employee? What about commitment to your college classes? Unless you’re deathly ill, or you have a funeral: get up, and show up.

So the busses are cancelled? That’s nice. Again, a situation where my fucks need not be given. I’m sure lots of thought and planning goes into managing a school board and bus fleets, and I’m confident that no matter what decision they make is in the best interest of the masses. That’s life, and as a parent I just adapt to the change in plan. This is also a great life skill to teach your kids: things change, but your goal doesn’t. Still have to make things work!

But the term “snowflake” – I’m just not sure how I feel about this. Are we discrediting our children’s feelings? Are we teaching them to be less empathetic towards other people? Which makes me wonder, are we raising future husbands/wives/friends/partners to be less sensitive towards their other halves/children/friends? Perhaps there is too much emphasis on padding their surroundings, and making their lives a little easier. Sure, we had it harder when we were kids. But when grandpa told US the story about how he walked to school uphill, both ways, in the snow, IN JULY… we rolled our eyes and told him, “Times have changed, Grandpa!”

I think the focus needs to be shifted and we need kids to be aware of something bigger: people will judge you, and people will have their own set of beliefs and opinions and morals *cough* or just like to complain *cough* – but in the end all that matters is what YOU believe in. Stand up for it. Social Media makes opinions all too accessible with very little room for facts to back it up. Maybe you want to be hard around the edges when your kids fall down. But guess what, when my kids come to me saying they had a bad day, I sure as SHIT don’t brush it off and tell them to suck it up. Bad days happen. And those people that are calling you a “snowflake” have bad days too. And maybe, JUST MAYBE, when “those” people have a bad day, they’re going to want to post about it on Facebook to feel heard and validated – because they are human. And we are all a little soft and gooey on the inside. And sometimes even the hardest of people need a hug, and some reassurance that it’s all going to be ok.

I guess my point got a lost in all this, but the moral is: do you. Be hard, be soft, be everything in between. Raise your kids to be brave and respectful, but also empathetic towards others. Know when to give fucks, and when to just let something roll off your shoulder. We all just want to be heard and accepted.

Bust most importantly, don’t complain for the sake of complaining. And if you ARE going to complain, you better be prepared to have a plan on how to rectify your situation.

AKA Just be good fucking humans.

The boy

Today is just one of those days where you sit and reflect on purpose, direction, and a potential plan of action. Lately I’ve just been feeling as though I lack something in my life. I’m sitting here drinking a hot cup of coffee, wondering how many grams of sugar are in the creamer I just put in it…

“Maybe I should watch my sugar intake…?”

“No, that’s silly. You do you girl. Just make smarter food choices…” (mentally fist-bumps myself) 

“….but maybe, just maybe… my skin would clear up and the inflammation would subside…?”

This. I just cycle endlessly through seemingly pointless thoughts. Do I need to make changes? Am I over thinking this?

My husband thinks I overthink everything. He’s probably right…

I met with my son’s teacher on Thursday. He’s scoring on the low end of the scale when it comes to reading. His writing output is terrible. Socially, he struggles. And last year we had a time period when he was depressed and talked about suicide on the daily. There was one incident where he pulled a kitchen knife out of the drawer, held it to his throat, and screamed at us that he was going to kill himself. As a mother, it shook me to my core. What am I doing wrong? What could I be doing more of? I wanted to hug him and put his broken heart back together. I went to him, pulled him in tight, and he punched me repeatedly. He didn’t want to be held – he wanted space. He was so angry and sad. All I could do was cry with him.

We saught help from a paediatrician, who ran some tests and diagnosed him as ADHD-IA (inattention) and GAD, which Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Along with this, his bloodwork showed a severe Vitamin D deficiency – this can affect mood. Basically he lacks the attention, and focus, and he feels anxiety when the pressure to perform presents itself. Meaning his self esteem is shot, he fears failing – therefore won’t try. He can’t stand to lose, and he gets VERY overwhelmed when he doesn’t understand something or gets it wrong. The teacher noticed that he’s been “off” and his academics are suffering. We met with the Special Education teacher who has also been working with him for the last few years. We discussed things we needed to work on, and possible suggestions to help him work on organizational skills and writing.

The hardest thing to hear was how his social skills are lacking. As an 8 year old – your social life IS life. He gets picked last, the kids make fun of him, and he gets into fights with other kids. My heart. I know he’s awkward, and can be explosive. But he’s also just the sweetest boy.

He’s so sentimental and cuddly. He’s helpful and passionate. He loves to help his little sister, and he loves to just hang with mom. And he says just the sweetest things.

“Mom, I don’t need money to be rich. I’m already rich – rich with love and family…”

Ugh. My hearrrrrrrt.

I wish the world could see him through my eyes. But I know they can’t. And they won’t. That’s the reality of life. All I can do is teach him the basic fundamentals of life: how to do your laundry, pay bills, make a good meal, be respectful, and maybe how throw a right hook.

As I sit here sipping my now-cold coffee, I wonder: maybe there is more I could do, as a mother and wife and friend. Maybe I could do better by my son, and help him be more successful and happy. Am I doing all that I can? Should I be home with him more? Did my divorce mess him up that much? Does he need more counselling? Maybe a tutor?

Maybe, just maybe, he’s going to be fine. And being an 8 year old is hard, after all. But all we can do is love them, guide them, and be here when they need us.

And maybe, I am overthinking this.

(Don’t tell my husband that 😉)