I need to shift gears. I just do.
So much behind us and so much to speculate.
I may be writing this because Trump’s son looked so uncomfortable on stage the other day, but I’m really trying to shift gears.
My general work week is Tuesday through Saturday.
We are in the busy part of the season.
Did you know there’s a corporate holiday coming which has been pretty much designed in order to give corporations a boost in revenue before the year ends. It’s the season of giving and you buy into it every single time. Giving straight to the corporations.
Anyway, that’s why we are entering the busy season. And when it’s busy, my Saturdays see different people working in the office each week. It’s probably good for them as they try to earn a little extra for the season of giving.
One woman in the office works the exact same schedule as I do. She has gotten to know me pretty well and has told me she enjoys working with me. But the second worker in the office cycles. So today a woman who has never taken in a Saturday worked with the normal one.
And the normal woman said to the one working a rare Saturday, have you met B before? This is a different B than the one who works Monday through Friday.
This fact was acknowledged by the new Saturday worker.
I’m definitely lighter on a Saturday than any other day of the week. My boss doesn’t come in. I work a shorter shift. I get to be myself.
Conversations are had throughout the day. And here’s where I get to why I’m writing today, and this is something I’ve thought about often over the years.
The woman who generally does not work Saturday was talking about a friend of her eight year old son. She was talking about how he is not raised by his parents and on and on. She got defensive of her son in this moment. She said that it makes her sad this young boy has had a tough life. She said other things.
She showed nothing but compassion for the struggles of her son’s friend. She showed nothing but anger at the way he has been raised. She showed nothing but disappointment at this kid’s parents being absent.
And the song by Doug (stylized dUg) Pinnick is in my head.
Standing in a doorway stood a little red headed boy
His momma said you have to go, I’ll come back and get you when I can
I can just imagine how he screamed and how he bled
The things that people say to you and things you don’t forget
So we keep pushing forward
If we slow down we’ll get swallowed
We never hold back
It’s only good for a heart attack
So we hide in the shadow of the sun
The moon, the stars, believin’ in love
It’s only good for a heart attack
If you haven’t listened to any of Pinnick’s music over the years, you should. He’s a bassist and a vocalist. Great bass line on this song and his vocals are still good even though he’s an aging rocker in his 60’s.
I’m not writing this to promote one of my favorite singers.
I’m writing this because I was once young. I’m writing this because I know words stay with a young person forever. They just do.
One of the stories that represents this is when I was probably eight or so. Much of the family was staying with my grandparents at a small coastal town. My aunt and uncle and cousin asked me if I wanted to ride to the beach with them. I did.
My uncle and cousin ran into this small convenience store in town to get some snacks or beer or whatever. I don’t even remember why they left the car. The car was a Jimmy.
I proceeded to be a child. Children talk. They get excited. They say things.
And the only detail I remember was my aunt sitting in the front passenger seat as we waited for whatever purchases were made.
She said, “Jesus, will he ever shutup?”
The things that people say to you and things you can’t forget.
I did stop talking. Immediately.
This is just one example of words that were said as I was a child. Words that change attitudes.
Worse are promises from people that were never kept.
I’ve been conscientious of this as I raised my kids. I’ve been preemptive. I’ve warned them that I probably have said things they’ll hold against me or that have messed them up. I’ve apologized.
But I’ve tried to think through my words carefully.
Children don’t forget. I promise you. They hang on every word. Choose them carefully.
Because we only get one life.
Why I get so frustrated that corporations and politicians have created a situation in which we need two incomes in order to survive this world. Leaving children to be raised by those who may not really care.
Children will remember every single moment we are not there for them.
Remember every single harsh word.
What the human brain does. Collects these moments in a storage area in order to define who we are even further by pulling them out when inconvenient.
Think before you speak to children.
Take advantage of the moments you have with them.
They will remember.
Every little bit.