Living or Just Surviving?

'Children should be seen and not heard.' I don't know who said it, but it's one of the most ridiculous quotes to infiltrate society EVER!

It seems like a ridiculous notion that children should ever be muted. Their energy is bubbling up from inside them. I was reminded of this while my tea was boiling and I could hear them playing outside. You know it’s the weekend when you hear that. See, I never have two days that are alike and so it’s things like kids screeching outside that signals which day it is.

It's particularly peculiar to me when parents try to keep their kids quiet even though it would be nice to think that those times of keeping children silent could stay in our history books as something we could keep aware of. I understand the need for children to be respectful, but it’s so amazing to me that parents are building these homes that are so delicately constructed, that children cannot play, run, walk or even breathe without somebody scolding them for their spirited get-up-and-go which funny enough, is the same ambition most of us complain we don’t have.

I suspect that the stress of life is what causes parents to want their homes kept quiet. I also imagine that many parents are feeling like life dumped on them so badly, that their grumpy mood can be justified by demanding some silence for their struggle to keep a shelter above the children’s heads and food on their table.

I get it, I really, really do. I mean most families homes are way smaller than what they should be in. Sleep deprivation and budget cut-backs in the homes aren’t exactly helpful in keeping things cheery.

But I am constantly reminded from my own family situation how it doesn’t matter how bad things get, love can be prevalent. I think we can all allow ourselves to have bad days, but really at the end of the day all that matters is the family unit. I do understand that having grown up on a farm was helpful in all of us having our breathing room. Mom could get lots done after we bolted out the door and split up in four directions on 33 acres of bush, fields, gardens, orchards and barns. Most children are not this fortunate. In the city here, I see children playing on the chain-link fence in their front yard (all 3 feet of it) But I am convinced that there are families who despite their lack of space have somehow managed to make love the top priority in their home.

It certainly is very tough for everyone now, but I think a few sticky notes around the house could keep people reminded of what the focus is. In my home growing up, my Mother had several poems, scripture and quotes that centered on love and family as a regular inspiration for us.

I believe those framed pieces provided the reminders even if we didn’t notice them every waking moment of the day. I remember cleaning her apartment out after she died and finding some of them and smiling. It all came together then that she absolutely wanted this priority in our home. This was a woman who raised the four of us on her own so she could have easily felt justified with being grumpy and stressed out. My Father had no life insurance after he died so things were tight for her. I suppose she knew why she had a family to begin with. It wasn’t just about survival for her, it was about living.

I hope on this long weekend (for those who have it anyways) that you will take the time to remember what it means to live and not just to survive.

Much love on all of you!
Karen :)

“Look, I don't want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you're alive you've got to flap your arms and legs, you've got to jump around a lot, for life is the very opposite of death, and therefore you must at very least think noisy and colorfully, or you're not alive.” ~Mel Brooks

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