I’ve had several annoying experiences with families, friends, and strangers who exercise a practice of ridiculous hierarchy in their relationships. “Dogs eat after the humans eat,” “If you’re not an adult you can’t sit with the adults,”Students need to know you’re their leader, not their friend,” and just now I heard a woman say to a crying 3 year old, “Shut your mouth. I’m your grandma, and I’m bigger than you. I’ll beat the sh– out of you if you don’t learn to respect me.” I’d like to meet someone that this type of training, parenting, and mentoring actually worked on. Respect isn’t something that can be forced. It’s earned. Respect isn’t in “yes ma’am’s” or “no sir’s”. It’s in the way a person’s heart responds to yours. I wouldn’t want to force the symptoms of respect onto someone. I’d rather know that they respect me, because I sat beside them, not above them. And that I talked with, not at them. If I exercised the hierarchy way of parenting, I would’ve missed out on an amazing experience with my son tonight. He had so many questions about his soul, his body, death, and the afterlife. For a brief moment, while looking into his puzzled eyes (that resembled my little brother’s at his age), I remembered what it felt like to be asking those very same questions. I remember fearing the unknown, and having a sickness in my gut when I would look up at the sky and wonder. I used to squint my eyes as hard as I could to try and see past the clouds and into heaven. None of us knows what that moment of death is like. I’m not talking about a “near-death experience,” because I’ve had one of those. I mean the moment that the Bible tells us about, when our soul leaves this earth, leaves our bodies, and enters eternity. So many of us share the common misconception that eternity is a measure of time, but I believe it is more of a destination. Even the concept of forever is one that is difficult to grasp. Death, and eternity, and heaven are all ideas that the human mind simply cannot fathom. That’s why hierarchy is a useless, self-serving, and foolish practice, and it has no place in my home or in my relationships. Now that I’ve had my Soap Box moment, a little side note about my husband here…they’ve experienced a higher than usual volume of attacks lately, and I’ve been trying to focus on not worrying. It’s a war zone, and those things are going to happen. I just have to continue to trust in God’s hand of protection over my husband and continue to take it all in stride, one week at a time (total blog title plug right there, just in case you missed that).
My activity this week: Create My Own Board Game
The game is called House of Awesome, where Awesome is as Awesome Does. It’s sort of a mix of pictionary, charades, and taboo, focused on my family in the subjects. Then there are little Cathi-isms throughout the whole game. I think it’ll be a hit!