Mary Kathryn Johnson - Mary's Blog


Hitting Negative Where it Hurts

Like everyone around me, I have my good days and my bad. Most days I am a very positive, upbeat person, and I see the possibilities and goodness in those around me. There are days, however, when I'm not so positive.

I have had a string of six of those days:

Day 1 ~ Son #1 was punched in the face after teasing another kid.

Day 2 ~ Son #2 was told by a friend (in detail) about a great website called

Day 3 ~ Woke up to dead car battery.

Day 4 ~ Received grades so far this trimester for Son #1.

Day 5 ~ Received grades so far this trimester for Son #2.

Day 6 ~ Woke up to the 21st straight day of Husband working from dark a.m. to dark p.m. because it's Harvest time.

I realized the negative vibe was spilling out of me with today's zinger. Son #2 was being teased by some kids at school, and he lost it and refused to do any more school work. Of course, Son #2 was the one who got in trouble, and while I was yelling at him that he needed to control his anger, I realized where the behavior had originated. Really, it was like I was slapped in the face with this realization, and that mental slap took it all away when I saw my son's face, and looked over to my other son to see him cowering at the homework table clearly saying to himself, "Please don't let her start on me next!" Okay, maybe some "Mom Guilt" is spilling out too, and it wasn't really that bad, but that is how it felt.

I took a deep breath, and called both my sons over to the couch. I apologized for yelling, and said, "Let's recap our week so far, and find out why we are all so tense."

I ticked off on my fingers the above six days events in greater detail, and then asked both boys, "So, how does that make you feel?" Stupid question, really, when their feelings were as clear as the scrunched up noses and seething eyes on their faces, but necessary to get them to verbalize it.

I asked them to close their eyes and take a deep breath. We all did that, actually, which started a good crack in the negative. To get that crack to grow into a chasm from which the negative would never recover, I ticked off on my fingers the above six days events a little differently:

Day 1 ~ Son #1 was very lucky the kid who punched him wasn't taller and stronger, otherwise the little red mark on his nose and under his eye would have probably been a broken nose and black eye. He is also lucky both kids' parents didN'T OVER REACT AND CALL THE SHERIFF! (deep breath) More importantly, Son #1 learned a very important lesson...DON'T TEASE! It's not nice, and the Karma hurts!

Day #2 ~ Son #2 is lucky he knows right from wrong, and has a good enough relationship with his Mother that he talks to her about such things before sneaking off to the computer (because he is not allowed to look up websites without my presence and approval), investigating them himself and having those images forever burned in his brain!

Day #3 ~ We are lucky we have AAA roadside assistance - and now know that it works out on a lonely road in addition to our very own garage - and are even more lucky to have wonderful friends who are willing to give rides to school anytime we need them!

Day #4 ~ We know where we need help now, don't we?!

Day #5 ~ We know where we need help now, don't we?!

Day #6 ~ 21 days down, 34 to go, and on April 15th we have a party, after which Daddy will crash and wake up a few days later...then we have him back for the rest of the year! Yes, my hubby is a Tax Accountant, and this is his harvest time!

After talking about this party for a while, and the goodies we will have...the movies we will watch...the Black Ops they will play (while mom is on the computer writing another blog post because she can't stand watching them play Black Ops), I turned to Son #2, and asked him, "So, how do you think we should handle this latest situation with you, the kids at school, and refusing to finish your school work?"

Since this son is the very dramatic one, and we have talked about this particular issue several times since first grade (he is now in fifth grade...) he had lots of advice to draw upon, and he is very lucky he did so now! When he spewed my former words back to me, head hung low, I said, "Thank you for listening. Now, what is going to be different the next time someone starts winding you up?!"

"Next time, I'll ask the teacher if I can move my desk before I let them get me so angry." he replied. (Why isn't he telling the teacher the kids are teasing him, you might ask?..."I've got 30 kids in this class to deal with...just get along!" is her reply. Again...deep breath...)

We all felt better after the camaraderie of our discussion, and agreed that we will still be under some stress until Daddy gets released from Tax Season, so we will need to be on our guard for negativity and the situations it creates.

We now have a daily saying in our household that comes from a very dear friend going through a very trying time in her life:

"Who we are is not made up of what happens to us, but how we deal with those events."

Now, we are hitting the negative with some positive whenever possible! Don't ask me about the conversation with Hubby the night Son #1 was punched...I just had to let that storm blow over, and not wake the kids.

How do you deal with the negative that creeps into your daily life when you least expect it?

Please share some of your ammunition.



Son #2 experienced the same teasing yesterday, and handled it exactly like he role-played with me, and of course surprisingly it worked! He came home a very happy and confident kid! Son #1 earned an A on his latest History test! (whew!)

Now I'm off to Home Depot to get some fence stakes and nails to fix the fence so the neighbor's non-neutered mastiff won't come through the fence, then our dog doors to try and mark our living room as his territory again...our two Aussies were quite offended. Please send positive thoughts out into the universe that I don't drown in the downpour... ヅ


Bert Carson said...

There is a place, far above all of the stuff, where the wind blows soft and gentle as small puffy clouds slip by, occasionally winking at you.
Go there.

David Atkinson said...

I walk in a forest on a warm summer day with the gravel path dappled by the sun shining through the broad leaves of the surrounding trees, only the birds singing for company.

Claude Nougat said...

Wise words...and excellent advice! I agree that reaching out and trying to understand what's going on is probably the best way to deal with negatives...Turn them to positives! That's what loving (not love - loving) is all about...Thanks for reminding us!

MommyLoves To Chat said...

Claude ~ I agree, 'Loving' is 'Helping' - action verbs, not feelings. If I can't do that with my kids, hubby, friends and myself, how can I really love?

David and Bert ~ Both of those places occupy two of the many doors in my mind that I visit (and am helping my kids learn to visit) when I close my eyes and take a deep breath. Wonderfully welcoming, aren't they?! Thanks for sharing your poetic beauty and surroundings with me. That helps more than you know.