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Melanie In The MiddleI’ve been blogging for eight years. Can you believe that? Good Lord has a lot happened over those years. So many amazing things and some pretty catastrophic things too.

Looking back over the years I can’t help but smile at the highlights. As I look back over my blog entries I marvel at how my children have changed. My darling daughters who used to be round faced preschoolers have morphed into bra wearing tweens. Premature babes who have grown into healthy active and spirited young women.

And my sons. Oh the stories I could tell but cannot until many years down the road. They understand what blogging is all about and have not given me permission to share their individual stories here. And while I completely support them in that choice, I long to share  some of the crazy trials and tribulations we’ve weathered. Enough life lessons to fill a book!

The boys too have grown into strapping young men. And Lord have mercy can I see myself and their father in them. They are feisty and headstrong to say the least. They are also gentle of heart and quick to lend a helping hand. Wonderful qualities in young men. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that their father and I raised men who will do great things.

And in every life some rain must fall. Oh how it’s rained over the years. Drought has not been an issue in my life that’s for damn sure. As a blogger I’ve shared these difficult times with you and for the most part I’ve been supported and loved on this blog.

But then there are the trolls…

Recently a reader commented on a post with the following:

“I now understand why your husband left you.”

Originally I just deleted that comment and put it in the trash where it belonged because I truly believe that people who spew comments such as this are people to be pitied. People who have such empty sorrowful lives that I ought to be praying for them. But still, I felt that it needed to be addressed. So here it goes…

Let me be crystal clear. My husband didn’t leave me. And that’s all I will say on that subject because I want to honor my children’s father in all things.

I am secure in who I am beyond anyone’s judgement. I did not go through a childhood of physical and mental abuse, lose a child and fight for my life after being crushed by a car to subject myself to anyone’s judgement.

That picture you see above? That is a picture of a woman full of hope. A woman loved by more than enough people. A woman who chooses to focus on the good in life and prides herself in building her friends and peers up, not tearing them down.

This blog is not an open target for judgement. It is a place where I choose to share my life. And if you’ve ever wondered why I moderate comments, this troll is a good example as to why I do that.

It saddens me that there are people in this world who are so empty, so sorrowful, so bitter that they take joy in hurting others. Because truly they are to be pitied.

But I will not allow them to rain on my blog because this is my space. And this blog speaks to strength, courage and hope. And no one, I do mean no one, will take that away from me. From us, really. Because we are in this together, you and I. And we will prevail.

If I Had A Magic Wand

Cookies Make Everything BetterThe past three days have been tumultuous over here. One of my littles is struggling with a personal matter. And it’s one of those struggles that can’t easily be fixed because I have no power over the situation. It’s weeks like this that I long for a magic wand.

If I had a magic wand life would be so much easier…

First I’d start by swirling it around every middle school that I can find in this country and make all the mean girls nice.

Then I would gently tap each of my kids with it and infuse them with a positive self esteem that would never waver. Making them impervious to judgement, hate and exclusion. Allowing them to walk confidently into any situation knowing that they can be free to make good choices without being scorned.

And then I’d erase any thoughts in my childrens’ minds that were born from the media. How they should look. What they should say to be accepted. And what they should own to be cool. I’d zap the crap out of all of that.

Next, I would aim that wand at my own heart and soften it towards people who are mean. Because deep down I know that hateful people actually really hate themselves.

People who are hateful to other people are to be pitied. Not only because those people are hurting and lashing out, but also because in the long run that hate will poison them and manifest in real physical ways. And that’s sad.

But I don’t have a magic wand. So instead I put out a plate of cookies, heat up mugs of hot chocolate with marshmallows and greet my kids with a smile and hug after school because that’s the best I can do right now.

Parenting. No one warns you how hard it can be.