Recently Mister and I were asked to share part of our story for a video compilation at church. After we were interviewed they asked if we could also send in some photos to accompany our video segment. Thankfully Google Photos has most of our photo memories so we dived into all that we have saved there. Oh boy there were lots to go through. Here are some recent ones compiled for Munchkins first grade teacher to get to know him a bit better.
To get a wide range of times and events we looked back to when we were packing up our house in Ohio (or rather, watching the movers pack it up for us) to when I was carrying Munchkin through my first Texas summer, then he was born and started to be the active and silly kiddo he is now. Of course there were similar pictures of Little Miss, her birth and her growth from an itty bitty baby to the creative and inventive girl she’s becoming. All that to say, there were some pictures missing without us even realizing it. There weren’t any pictures of when we were having hard times. They just didn’t exist.
We’ve had transition issues from being in a sizable house, with a basement and large backyard for our house pony, to a small one bedroom apartment with squirrels outside taunting said house pony. We had AC outages, ant infestations and the random cockroach hanging out in the empty dryer all while learning how to parent a newborn son. We had job title changes that altered when Mister was working or not (on call work is tricky with a newborn in the house) We had issues with the AC in our first rental house (in July no less), we had car issues that led to trading in our only car for a large van before we expected to do that.
We had our first rental house be listed for sale while we still rented it (for a few more months) and had to vacate the location with a toddler and a large dog for hours at a time when showings were scheduled. We moved to another larger house that again had AC issues shortly after we moved in (just our luck) and our dog got wanderlust in our new neighborhood, but thankfully just wanted to say “Hi’ to his new four legged neighbors.
I can find pictures of the kids happy and smiling while all these crazy things were happening, but fewer pictures of the Mister and I genuinely smiling. We tried to still have fun and remain positive while all these unexpected tough moments happened, but it was a struggle to be honestly happy. What helped us through all those tough times were support from friends close by and family far-off that tried their best to lighten our grumpy moods and look for the positives in the not-so-good moments we were going through.
Things as simple as friends who lived close stopping by to chat as the summer evening approached, or an aunt sending us disposable cameras for us to use and then send back to her so she could compile photos of our growing and active Munchkin. Small things that made a big impression for us to see that others cared for us.
Grand gestures are nice, but in the day-to-day events sometimes the smallest thing makes a HUGE difference. Now that I have first-hand experience with the potential drudgery of troubled times, I try to come along side friends who are in a period of trouble or worry to help them. I may not be able to completely do away with their troubles or worries, but I hope that by being present for them they can look back and see where their worries weren’t so heavy because a friend was there to help them hold them off, even for a small time.
Let me ask you; how can you help those around you?
- Could you check on your elderly neighbor in this unrelenting heat to see that they’re alright? Seeing how they’re handling the heat might open up a vein of conversation with them on how they dealt with the heat prior to perpetual AC.
- What about the parent whose spouse is either already deployed or about to be deployed for a long time? Can you come along side them and offer to help with childcare so they’re not always “on call” with their children? (Let’s be honest, we all need small breaks from our children, no matter how lovable they are)
- School just started back up for most of us; can you help out a working parent to hang out with their school-aged child(ren) after they get off the bus and before the parent is able to make it home?
- Can you check with your students teachers to see what resources they’d appreciate to have in their classrooms, but haven’t gotten yet? I think those of us who are able should try to help those educators who are investing their time, efforts and hearts into teaching our children for up-to 8 hours a day while still wearing multiple hats of their own. I honestly think teachers are so very valuable and need as much support as we are able to muster and offer. ::end rant::
I think we are all able to come along side someone when they’re struggling or in a tight spot. It may not be in a way we immediately think of, but sometimes the simplest thing means the most to those who are having a hard time. Be present, be aware and be loving.