Friday, March 7, 2014

An Open Letter To You.

You ARE a “beautiful snowflake.”

For some reason, this has become a sarcastic comment one makes about others, especially to parents regarding their children and how/why the world doesn't care.  Say what you will, but the truth it is simply a statement of fact. YOU are a beautiful snowflake.

That means it’s even true of me, it’s true of you (yes you, the person reading this right now), and that kid at the store who threw a tantrum and the guy who cut you off in traffic.

I don’t always reach my goals, things don’t always turn out the way I hoped prayed planned. Often it is quite the opposite. Intentions matter little when it comes to results and I find myself looking at poor results in every aspect of my life from time to time. Instead of succeeding, sometimes I’m just hoping to fail less, but my struggles and my successes are mine. They are part of me, as yours are part of you.

There is no single measure of you.  There is not one action that defines you. One story that paints your picture. One moment that epitomizes all moments. You are evolving every second. Whether you think you are searching for nirvana, talking with yourself, praying to a god, or simply changing neural patterns within the electrical box in your head… you ARE special and every thought and every action you take confirm this. It is mathematically impossible that you are not a beautiful, precious snowflake.

Somewhere along the line this obvious fact ceased to matter to some, myself included. At some point, I began to take snapshots of those around me and make judgments about who they are and who they will always be based on nothing of substance. You follow a certain political persuasion and I judge you. You parent differently than I and I scold you. You are imperceptive in one manner and I mock you while ignoring your superior perceptions in another area. You ask me to play a game while I am waging war with the synapses of the world wide web and I shoo you away. You cry and I wish you would stop because it would be easier for me. You disagree with me, so I gnash my teeth and think (on a good day) or say (on a bad day) what a loathsome creature you must be. I forget that we are the same because I know we are different. I forgot you are special. I forgot that I am special.

Enjoy yourself, appreciate those around you and do your best to remember they are a unique creation; there will never be another like them (or you). We can’t change the structure of another, but we can remember we all fall from the same sky and will melt on the same ground. What we do in between is what separates us or bonds us with others. Today I will not spend my time looking for weaknesses in your structure. Today I will play in the snow.

Love,
Dad On The Run


39 comments:

  1. I think we do this as part of judgment of everything. We rush to judge and take the easiest route. You aren't the only one.
    Enjoy the snow. I won't judge.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Larry, and thanks for reading.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Maybe you should calm down and take some Tylenol PM. I raised 6, and have over 50 first cousins, so I've seen my share of teething. I think I know what I'm talking about.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Crying for 5 minutes but several times a night is just as bad. It's being woken several times at night that's the pits. I just about went insane when my son was waking me every single night, usually just after I fell asleep. But then, sometimes bad luck happens. Most adults get on with it, not write nasty notes.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your open letter could have been apologetic but you chose otherwise. Some people find joy in raising their children. Some people find joy in living their lives however they want while dragging their children along like accessories . I've enjoyed this discussion because it has allowed both kinds of parents to look at the other's opinion. I'm not saying that parents who drag their children around don't love their children . But it often appears to those of us who choose differently that the children are an after thought for those who take babies all over kingdom come just because the parents don't want to miss out on trips or wait a few years until the children are older. They are only little once, those years are precious. Why torment them with nights in strange hotel rooms and hours of flight if you don't have to?

    ReplyDelete
  6. But it's disingenuous to infer that the letter writer was addressing your relatives' occupations; why would they? They were addressing their lack of consideration for others. Their behavior. You seem to be backpedaling from your initial stance now that you'd basically had your ass handed to you on websites around the world. Now you're harping on the "they should've complained to the desk" instead. Not working. You still come off like the poster child for entitled breeders and wimpy dad bloggers.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You'd think a brain surgeon would know about this possibility and how it might affect his child, though. And you'd think an attorney would've done some research.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Bull. You expect the people being disturbed to have gotten up, gotten dressed and gone over and asked for an apology. Just a modicum of common sense would have told your sister that her kid had awoken people around them. The onus was on her to reach out to her neighbors unprompted and apology for the inconvenience.

    Furthermore, once the letter was received what has your family done? Not apologize, but double down on the entitlement.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dear Dad On the Run,
    Your sister and BIL couldn't help it, but neither could the neighbour avoid being pissed off after having their sleep interrupted over and over. The note was indeed retribution, but in all honesty, isn't your open letter retribution? The note was mean and unnecessary, but I think some perspective is in order. The writer should not have to consider your family's jobs, circumstances, your sister's choice to stay home with her baby, any more than your sister should take heed of a stranger's advice as to what to do with a screaming baby or what they used to do. I don't think you are any worse than the note writer, but saying things like you feel sorry for their children doesn't make you much better. What is admirable is that you have come out strong in your support of your sister, but not that you insult a person for having their holiday enjoyment diminished (not likely ruined) and then responding not in a way you would have. Yes, they achieve nothing by writing a cowardly note after the fact, except to make themselves feel somewhat better having vented. Wait, you wrote a letter to them after the fact, letting them know they are a waste of space, to make yourself feel better. Knowing that a whole range of things might disturb you while staying at a hotel, including your own illness, does not make it any nicer when it happens. Venting at the poor person even if they were responsible, won't return your rest. Neither does replying to them in kind.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Absolutely awesome! Right on! Oh and to the d-bag that slipped the note under the door, newsflash, babies can and do ski (you do, don't you?) I think I can speak for most Coloradans when I say, please plan your vacations elsewhere, we don't want your kind in our state!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Finally, i was waiting for this type of response. Neither one is wrong, neither one is right. Move on with your lives and get over something that effects no ones lives AT ALL.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Implication is an opinion of what someone is meaning. Assumptions. You cannot justifiably state these things are true because you do not know. Not saying anything in some opinions is wrong so, that's a judgment. We are all hypocrites, everyone feels entitled to SOMETHING. Live life for everyone, this includes yourself. But don't let others opinions and actions effect your mental stability. That's under your control.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I lived in hotels while traveling full time for work for 5 years, not to mention numerous vacations in different countries, and never once had to deal with a child, dog, drunk frat boys, a construction crew, leaky faucet or loud lovers. No, it's not always something, actually, just next to people like this. Sorry, no one wants to hear anyone's precious little rosebud. I wouldn't dream of imposing my problems on my neighbors and expect them to deal with it. As I've often said, I like kids and dogs, but sometimes they have crappy owners.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Um, I'm pretty sure the majority of Americans don't believe you should be confined to cells. I think this is more a discussion of understanding, courtesy, empathy and rational behavior.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you! :-) I generally ensure I am prepared for any situation and we endeavour to attempt to prevent the kiddies from bothering others. Sometimes though, there is just not a lot you can do. My worst moment was when my son had an earache on an International flight (at 4am) and screamed. I was horrified and tried to do everything I could to settle him and took him to the furthest corner, but it's one of those things that sometimes just happens. Most passengers were understanding but I got the odd rude look. I can appreciate it's frustrating but the majority of the time, the kids are great and we get so many people compliment us on their behaviour. Depending on our childrens behaviour on the day we are judged by others as 'great' or 'terrible' parents and the same person would form totally different opinions of us if they came across us on two different occasions but the moral of the story is for most families - children are generally good and occasionally naughty/unsettled. Please don't judge us as parents for these moments. Trust me - we would prefer them to be settled and behaving far more than the people surrounding us that may be put out! I saw a lady in the shop the other day struggling greatly with a toddler. I had a lollypop in my bag and quietly offered it to her. She was so grateful to be able to finish her shop without the fight (ok, I know that giving a misbehaving toddler isn't great - but it did save the mum the stress). Please spare a moment for us Mums and Dads when we are in these situations as this lovely writer did, and I will endeavour to NOT forget when my children grow up that YES - on occasion these situations did happen to me :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I would be more likely to expect a screaming kid at Disney, not a ski resort.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ironically you're still a jackass.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Why would people be so self-rightous and venomous to the letter writer? It was just a letter... not a signed declaration of war or public (via internet say?) character assassination. Why does it matter- at length- what the profession and education is of the baby's parents? Does this make people of such a class more honest? righteous? devoid of lapses in judgment? self-involved? Obviously the letter's author could have refrained from name calling, but it is pretty hilarious to read the post and all of the comments offended by anonymous vitriolic while spewing ... anonymous vitriolic. Passive aggressive private anonymity seems much less offensive than public spewing.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This is awesome. I wrote a similar post on my blog: Working Parent vs Stay at Home Parent: Who Has it Tougher? http://realsahdla.blogspot.com/2014/03/working-parent-vs-stay-at-home-parent.html

    ReplyDelete
  20. wish I had a big brother like you. wow.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Dad On The Run has been saying that people who think there are inappropriate places for babies and toddlers and appropriate outings for them are child haters. But I haven't seen one comment that said, " I hate children and I never want to breathe the same air as they do. " Most people like children. If you take your happy baby out to the park or for a walk in their stroller, watch and see how many people stop and smile at you and the baby. Probably a lot, that's been my experience.


    Dad On The Run has interested me with his attitude because he was expecting the people who disagreed with him to be people who don't have or don't like children.


    But most of the people who disagree with him claim to be parents . It's the internet so you can't tell who is telling the truth and who isn't but probably the majority of those who claim to be parents are. So that threw Dad On The Run off. I think it made him uncomfortable that so many of us who like children and are tolerant of them disagree with him . So he responded by calling those who disagree childish child loathers. We disagreed with him and he just couldn't handle it because we aren't the miserable kind of people he was expecting us to be.


    I applaud him for putting his thoughts and feelings into his blog without guarding them.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Dad On The Run, I've been reading your blogs. You are talented at writing and you seem to express yourself well and make your points. I'm having difficulty believing that you didn't intend your letter exactly the way it sounded. You thought the professions of the parents mattered. You thought the general public would care that the dad is a doctor and the mom is a lawyer turned stay at home mom. You thought people should excuse the fact that the baby kept someone else awake in part because the parents are busy professionals.


    That's just my opinion and everyone has one. But someone as talented at writing as you are isn't going to fool we with, " Sorry, I should have written it better." You came across as a bit of an elitist maybe because you might just be a bit of an elitist.

    ReplyDelete
  23. If I come across as a bit of a redneck it might simply be because I just might be a bit of a redneck. Oh and since you are from Georgia, bless your heart Dad On The Run. Bless your heart. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  24. The letter was right on and Family should stick up for family... No mater husband, brother, uncle or even far off cousin.... If you have a complaint, you should at Least let the person know so they can fix it.. by writing letter after does nothing.. Since that person started it, I totally understand you answering the best way you could... the Hotel allowed kids so if they wanted an adult vacation, go to one that does not allow kids... They have no soap box to stand on with their I didn't sleep 2 nights. It obviously didn't affect you enough to want to move some where else.. if it was THAT bad you would have called desk and complained to be moved...

    ReplyDelete
  25. So I'm curious, should I have to keep my autistic son at home ALL the time because he has verbal stims? Under your thoughts that's what it sounds like. He will NEVER know any better, but he has just as much right to go out as you pompous a$$. If it is a "Kid" friendly resort maybe YOU should stay somewhere else or stay home. Anytime you travel you take the risk of being disturbed and deal with other peoples issues. If you can't accept that maybe YOU should be the one to stay home. If you are disturbed you can call the desk and ask to be moved. Parents can't look into a crystal ball and determine when the baby will start teething. I take my son out in public, and does he disturb people YES. He can be loud, but you can tell he has issues. I'm not keeping him home because people like you would be more comfortable if I did. He has just as much right to be out as you do, whether it be the mall, restaurant, resort, hotel, whatever. And trust me I get the looks from people like you, and give them right back. The ones who have actually had the balls to say something to me or god forbid my son, well they get their balls handed to them and regret they opened their mouths.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I would have been incredibly annoyed that my vacation comfort is defaulted to the preferences of the family with the screaming kid.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Michaela Desiree SchwenkMarch 10, 2014 at 6:14 PM

    Wow, laughed my butt off! I love your blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. When you become a parent, it's not all about you anymore. Life becomes about the needs of your child. Becoming a parent is a choice you made one way or another. When a parent chooses a career that keeps them from home, that too is a choice. There is no shame being dedicated to a career, especially a career of service to others. That said, if you have a small child you know their behavior is unpredictable. As a parent, you should continue to be thoughtful of others especially in places where small children aren't expected. That means taking your child to places meant for children. Taking them to places where their unpredictable behavior is acceptable and common. There are plenty of family friendly restaurants, stores, and vacation locations. While your child is small, too small to exhibit self-control for extended periods of time, go there. By deciding to have a child you've relegated yourself to those places for a few years. Accept that and enjoy your child as they grow and learn. Please remember you have a responsibility to be thoughtful and kind to people with children and people without children. Just because your child is too young to practice self-control does not give you the right to subject others to the same frustrations and challenges you are experiencing.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I agree. How was the blog post any less cowardly than the letter? If this letter truly bothered the author and his family, they could contact the ski resort and request to send a reply letter in response through the resort. Address the issue on hand, directly. If they received it, they least they could do is not do that again and would strive to actually just bring their complaints through the resort next time. At the very least, this will give them the peace of mind that they've done something more pro-active in regards of the situation.

    The way I see it, both are cowardly acts of passive aggression. The blog post is basically accusing the same writers the same thing he's doing. It doesn't make it any better and justified, if anything it makes the situation look worse on his end.

    I personally feel part of the negative comments on the article is how it was written. It made it appear that the sister and BIL are so awesome they are entitled to do whatever they pleased. In effect it has vilified both parents which I'm certain was not the author's original intent, but came off as that anyway (which spawned a lot of negative comment on the author's sister and BIL needing to understand that being considerate is a two-way street and the baby card isn't an excuse to be a douche bag to any one else type of responses).

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hey, thanks for visiting. I check out your article and I can certainly relate. I left a comment over there, have a good one!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed it!

    ReplyDelete
  32. It's so reassuring to hear that you don't doubt that parents who take their small children on vacations love them. Then again, they're such selfish a-holes that it's probably never occurred to them that these trips are a "torment" to their children. Geez, I was just skimming the comments, but that's some snide, vitriolic stuff, lady. Taking your toddler on vacation means you're not in the category of parents who "find joy in raising their children"? That you don't understand that "those years are precious"? Live and let live, fellow mother. There are many "right" ways to raise children, and only a few wrong ones. What is "right" depends greatly on the particular parents and children in question. And on the subject of noisy babies in hotels (as opposed to the subject you raised, of whether taking small children on vacations is bad parenting): The world is full of all kinds of bothers. Personally, I always take ear plugs if there is a plane or hotel involved.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Your mind reading abilities are not quite as honed as you believe. I appreciate your feedback, but have moved on from this post. It was a small event, a large reaction and after a few weeks has ceased to hold any influence on me personally. I said my piece, many supported it, many disagreed. It's not as if I'm going to argue it in the comment section for eternity.

    All I will add is that the "child haters" were largely represented in comments that I choose not to publish on my blog. This blog is primarily a device to speak to my children in the future and I choose not to provide a soapbox for the hateful opinions of a vocal minority. If you choose to doubt their existence based on the moderated comments section here then that is your prerogative, of course. Those who disagreed for reasons other than thinking all breeders are terrible people, were published and a decent, if heated, discussion was had here. The discussion is an important one (as to what place in "public" or society children have). The discussion is much greater than this one incident which people have read and weighed in on ad nauseum.

    As far as my thoughts on the letter and the reaction: The detail I was indignant about was the lack of addressing an issue in a direct manner that would result in relief for the complainant and the insinuation that bringing a baby to a place where they could potentially disturb someone is no more selfish than going to the store with a cold. You cover your mouth when you sneeze and take care of your business. If you travel with kids, you do your best to prevent them disturbing others. Of course there will be times when parents fail at that, just as there are times when a loud snorer or a building issue creates a disturbance.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Bless your heart as well.

    ReplyDelete
  35. i truly agree with you ....may your tribe increase!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Got to respect a sense of humor.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Why is it OK for a baby to keep people up all night, but if there had been a party going on next door everyone would've been in big trouble???

    ReplyDelete
  38. FYI, 2-year-olds are old enough to ski (and likely to have much louder meltdowns than an infant would). Skiing is a family sport, it's not at all comparable to eating at a five star restaurant.

    ReplyDelete
  39. You may have young children, but you're clearly not a skier. "Expensive" and "not-child-friendly" are not synonyms- skiing costs a lot of money, but it's absolutely a family activity. As for where the baby was during the day, perhaps at the resort's daycare? Most decent-sized resorts have daycares, because, again, they are generally child-friendly places.

    ReplyDelete