Monday, March 31, 2014

Giving and Getting

"I didn't get any messages," my child said to me disappointedly. 

"Well kid, you get what you give," I replied as I drove to the next stop on our busy weekend schedule.  "Send someone a text, then you'll probably get one back."

The last thing I want to do is encourage more online activity in my family, but I do want to encourage the whole idea of getting and giving and expecting and connecting.

When I was around 12 years old, I dreamed of what it would be like to be older, to be the ultimate...a teenager.  I pictured big house parties, Jake Ryan giving me a birthday cake, having to decide between the quirky, nerdy guy and the rich, perfect guy.   Yeah, basically I pictured teenager land like being in a John Hughes movie.

My father told me that I could date when I was 15.  I could.not.wait.

When I turned 15, I just sort of thought guys would know that was THE age and start calling.  I thought it would just happen.  I hadn't quite gotten the whole idea of building relationships, connecting, giving and getting.  When there were no Jake Ryan-types bringing me birthday cakes or asking me out on dates, I was severely disappointed.  

It's taken me a long time to actually get this whole give and get idea.  

I have a tendency to keep people at arms' length, or worse push them away.  Maybe it's because of the whole nobody asking me out when I was 15, or more likely it's because of all of my other issues.  Whatever the reason, it is hard sometimes for me to reach out, know what to say, know what to do,  let people in, ask for help.  I'm afraid to let people down, be let down. 

Yesterday, I went to a luncheon for a friend who has four treatments left of chemotherapy.  She is beating the hell out of cancer.  She is amazing.  The table was full of people, her people, dressed in pink.  We were there to give her support and smiles and hugs and gifts and "you go girl's" and love.  Because she is an amazing, cancer ass-kicker, yeah because of that.  But also because she GIVES. She gives support and smiles and hugs and "you go girl's" and love to everyone.  Every person at that table could tell a story about how she encouraged them to do something big or sent them a message congratulating them about an award or a race or a new job or a new baby.  They could also tell you a story about a message she sent telling them how sorry she was about an illness or a miscarriage and how she offered to take them dancing or out for a drink when they were ready.  She gives.

This isn't really about karma...I'm talking about building relationships, putting ourselves out there, reaching out, connecting with each other.  Not expecting the text messages, the boyfriends, the relationships, or the world to come to us.  We have to risk being rejected and feeling vulnerable.  And give.


Our busy weekend schedule included our first baseball tournament of the year.  In a dome.  I am not a fan of indoor baseball, but there are still patches of snow on the ground so okay.  Plus, it makes all my boys really happy.

On Sunday, there was sun. Sun!!!!!! AND it was 50 degrees.  We were all let's have a picnic! and not wear coats and run and smile and laugh and love life.  Dude, 50 and sunny is a big deal.

Check out sand and snow.  Oh Michigan, you are so weird.


  1. I am all for giving too. The best people are givers - givers of love, kindness, laughter, support, hugs, smiles and real talking tos when one needs it.

    Good luck to your amazing friend and her cancer kicking awesomeness!

  2. One thing about getting is, when we expect of getting something, and probably we don't get it. Then mostly, that hurts us. It is always better to learn the joy of giving instead. Good reading.

  3. I always had trouble building and maintaining relationships. I never expected getting anything, but always had a hard time giving. It's an effort, and I've regretted more than my share of lost friendships. I have a hard time being vulnerable, and that's the core of it.