Friday, October 19, 2007

cheerleading 101

Life gets complicated, doesn't it?

For instance.
Today was (very early on) pretty humdrum. I'm thinkin' "change the banners today." That means time for harvesting herbs, children playing in leaves, seasonal escapades, et cetera, et cetera.
I should have known! (Indeed, I do know better. Truly I do.)
"Children! Leaves! Fun! Kicking and frolicking, if you please."
Now what did they mean by "what?"?
"You know. Autumnal romance. Crispiness. Crunching and frolicking and leaves in the air - with smiles of joy, if you please."
Please know that staging - as I mentioned earlier to my df Evie, is not my forte. I just don't like it. Never had much fondness for phoniness, if you will. It's all about capturing and finding the magic for me.
Well, 'cept for today.
Well. Gotta come up with somethin today.
Not in a pressure sort of way, you understand, but in a "find something to rejoice" sort of way. I wanted to. I had a need for celebrating and being joyful. Finding joy. Celebrating it.
So onward.
The children... not so much.
Just Not Interested.
"No, no, no..." they seem to say, twitching their pointing fingers back and forth. "You know better than that! Attachments perpatchments."
"Of course I know that!" I say. "But... it's just The One Time, and it's not as if it's not fun..," I say as I grab a handful of leaves and toss it into the sky, "See? Wheeee!"
"Huh-uh", they insist.
Stomp, stomp, stomp.

Much later, after quite throwing the children to the wolves :), I seek out less... uncooperative lively friends. Twitching leaves, if you will.
Caught a few things In Their Glory, I think.
Course, I came inside smelling suspiciously of dogpoo and a few sticks tangled in my very unromantically dreaded locks.

So while all of this is taking place, I'm thinking about the way I communicate with others.
Thinking of my place in this world, and how I can best serve in friendship and love my fellow man. Er, girls, actually.
I tend to think "fix it".
Not so helpful.
I've said that before, but still... I like to help, iffen I can.
Eventually my head gave up on 'action', and just went back to pondering.

And I arrived to where it gets complicated.

Maybe it's not about responding to people at a (supposed) progressive level. Maybe it's not about communicating to them on a level that I know them to be.
Maybe the souls that I surround myself with are just like me, and have (a lot of, in my case) moments of doubt and vulnerability. Maybe I shouldn't treat them as if they already are where they so long to be (including impervious, above-it-all, and immune), but be sensitive to any temporary retrograde.
This isn't about superiority, or anything similar, it's about my own insensitivity.
It's about making allowances for, and recognizing, with empathy, when a friend (or relative - my mother comes to mind) needs a supporting hand.
It's about being a cheerleader in another's moment of adversity.
It's about saying "That sucks! You deserve So Much Better!" with outrage and indignation.
It's about saying "I suck", and "I am so sorry", and "please forgive me" when I don't.

It's hard to know what the best path is when you're inside your own head, and not exactly sure what another is needing most right this minute.
We can think that it's not as important as it is, or suppose -often in our respect, esteem or high regard of another- that another is far, far beyond our own vulnerable position - how we might be feeling under similar circumstances.
Not necessarily Truth.

So with that being said... I'd like to express immense gratitude as best I can for my own cheerleaders and supporters when I am feeling down.
They are:
All of those that have ever commented on either of my blogs. I thank you sincerely. Shallow and superficial and egotistical it may be, but I find much happiness and am honored when another takes a minute to respond with a comment. Thank you! So much.
I hesitate to mention this, in fear of offending new friends who I am already coming to like and appreciate, but I'd like to give thanks to dear friends, too...
My personal cheerleaders:
My sister, KKS.
CP/SA/T :)
S'pose I should mention Eric, too (though he has Never Once commented) since he is a dedicated reader. Even if it is by force.

I shall try to be a better friend and supporter. These friendships (even the barely acquainted ones) mean much to me, and I am a better person for the communications through this supposed virtual reality.

I am a better person for having known all of you.
While it may be apparent that this post is in response to a specific circumstance, it is really for anyone that may read this.
As much as I try to convey my thoughts and feelings exactly (it's a great fear of mine to be misunderstood) I can often misrepresent or poorly express an idea.
I am appreciative of all the friendships that I possess, here as well as in person, and hope to do better by all of you.
My blabs and babbles are over!
(squinting my eyes closed and hitting "publish post")


Melissia said...

I think this is what I was trying to work out in my last post. I am finding I do not want to commiserate with other people but I want to help, so how do I validate what the person is experiencing and elevate them. I am not sure but I think maybe in time the right things will just come to me. You write so much better than I what I am sometimes thinking. :)

Stephanie said...

I don't know about that!
Mostly I'm just amazed that anyone can even understand me!

It's difficult - being someone who wants to help, when often times folks just (apparently) sometimes need an "I know you're hurting, I'm sorry."
Especially because I think different people need different things under different circumstances and at different times!
Glad you, for one, understand! :)

Kim said...

I wish I could fly to your door step and give you a gteat big sisterly squeeze!! I love you so much and you make me cry!!
I have a quote hanging on my fridge that says..."You were sent here to change the world, not for the world to change you." Caleb read it today and says "Mom, I have so much to do, it will take so long to change the world. Where do i start?" (I guess he thought about it for the first time today....and was feeling the weight of that assumed responsability). I said "That is such a good question, son. It shows me that you are thinking about your life and how important you are. But you know what? People change the world by doing one small thing at a time. It doesn't happen in a big booming moment. You change the world every time you do something kind, every time you smile at a stranger....little things like that. Stay on the Lord's side and he will guide you to change the world." He thought for a minute and said..."OK, that sounds better." and walked off.
Thank you, Steph, for changing the world one small post at a time.
You are the greatest!

whimsigal said...


There is so much about this post that I love that I don't even know where to begin. In fact, were I to go through the list of things I would basically be re-printing your post right here! :) Trying to imagine coming in smelling like dogdoo made me laugh so hard!!!

It's natural to want to fix a problem for someone you care about. I think it's a sign that you care. I, for one, don't always want someone to give me the sweet and fluffy response. Sometimes I need the tough one. I think I try to do a little of both - validation with a suggestion of how things might be better. I don't I'm babbling, but in my defense it is after midnight here and my kids are still awake. Husband? Asleep.

Anyway, I already think you're a great friend and an amazing supporter. Like you said, I'm a better person for knowing you. Your comments always make me look at things in a way that I hadn't before and that's a good thing.

You're a wonderful person and I consider myself lucky to count you as a friend!



Stephanie Ozenne said...

I've been trying to figure out how to respond to this post in a way that will do it justice. In the end, I decided that fumbling is better than silence, so here goes.

Steph, this blog is a great "cheerleader" for me. It's one of a few places that I go to slow down, and think about my life and parenting. I don't always know exactly what you're wrestling with, but I always come away with something worth thinking about. I think that's a great feature of your blog - because you don't spell out exactly what's going on that lead to the post, readers can more easily see the common humanity of what you're dealing with.

An aside - Saying "Ouch, that hurts!" when Emmett hits me has totally changed the trajectory of those interactions. I've even suggested it to another mom with the same problem. So thanks!

Stephanie said...

Kim, Evie, and Steph-
thank you all so much.
Cheerleaders, as I said!

piscesgrrl said...

Well, it's late here and I'm tired and I'm resting quietly and catching up on your blog, and it's always a serendipitous experience when I gulp great drinks of your words and then see my name. And so I will simply say you are such a dear, delightful person. And send a big 'ol hug across the miles.

You inspire me.