Monday, October 17, 2005


as i sat in my son's parent-teacher conference today, tears welled up in my eyes. it has been a hard day. sam has been a bit naughty at school, he is the youngest and smallest in his class - he has skipped a grade but gets straight As but his emotional maturity is sometimes more his age than his grade. he has a (much larger) bully in his class that picks on him and sam tends to poke and annoy the boy too. but his teacher said he is always honest and admits his faults and shows a lot of integrity. she said that she normally gives the kids a jolly rancher to clean up this one part of the classroom and one time she said she was not going to give them candy that day, and another boy said "well i'm not going to do it if i'm not getting candy" but sam decided he'd do it anyway and all on his own, even when his classmates didn't. she said that showed a lot of integrity and she was very impressed. at that point is when i really started to cry.

of course i'd been crying already earlier but this is the reason it got to me when she said this about my son: every time in my life when i've been honest, done the right thing, or stood up for what i believe in against others who don't understand or don't care, i've ended up with the short end of the stick. it just hurts so much to know that my beautiful son is growing up with integrity but where is it going to get him? i don't mean to sound cynical. i know that truly in the eyes of God we have to do what is right no matter what happens in the world. it just truly breaks my heart that it does not seem to make a difference particularly in the business world. i remember in high school i worked at randall's grocery store, and my boyfriend was in the military and leaving for overseas and i decided to call in to work to try to take the day off. i told them the truth, that my boyfriend was leaving and that i would not see him for many months and i wanted the time to spend with him. i could have called in sick and lied. but i told the truth and i was fired for it.

i really try to do my best in everything i do in life. i don't always succeed. i make many mistakes. i see my mistakes and i take responsibiity for my mistakes. but it is not usually returned. i am fortunate that the friends who are with me through the years are those kind of people. i think we need something to change this unfortunate tendency in the world but i don't know the solution. i see that everytime in the business world you apologize and take responsibility the other side just says "yep you were wrong - see ya." my car floor is covered with books like "principle centered leadership," "winning with integrity," and others but at the end of the day where did it get me to try to figure out how to do the right thing, how to stand up for what i believe in and tell my truth?

but then i read the end of tuesdays with morrie to my kids tonight, and it broke me up how this young man, this sports writer put his face up to the old dying man's and they told each other they loved each other and how the one taught the other how to open up and be vulnerable. i could barely continue reading. i know that this is what really matters in life - being true and vulnerable and giving love, even when its hard. i thought of my own parents and how hard it will be to see them grow old and die and how much i want them to know how much i love them. i thought of how i sometimes mentally disconnect from my own kids because i was disconnected from my parents when i was a kid and i love my kids so intensely yet that same intensity scares me and i don't want to get too close. i have a good relationship with them and i am so much more patient with them now that i am single but i also am not their best friend the way celeta was with me. i am constantly guilty of working too much and not spending the time i vow i will with them. i guess i just know that i have to continue to live the best life i can with the most integrity i can no matter what holes i inevitably dig for myself, just try to learn more and more about how to be honest yet at the same time to self-protect.

life is just so confusing sometimes.

1 comment:

David said...

I hope you don't mind that I comment on your blog. After reading your post I came away with perhaps a few answers (well just one) for you. You ask, "where did he (your son) get his integrety from?" I think the answer is from you. Anyway, I take it you are divorced, as am I. It it hard to understand many things after you have given yourself so much to someone. I speak from experience. I hope you find your answers, and life becomes much less confusing to you.

BTW: you are not what I consider a Bohemian, but perhaps I have the wrong definition in my mind.