Saturday, March 2, 2013


       Crossroads are places where two roads meet------ and the path that is chosen determines the course.  I remember recently, driving my daughter to a Saturday practice. It was in a neighborhood that I was unfamiliar with.  My other kids needed to be somewhere around the same time, and I was burdened with the need to also grocery shop and accomplish Saturday chores and  homework.   I reminded her bitterly of my lengthy list of commitments, and she assured me it would not take long and she knew just where to go.  So, we loaded up the car---- my daughter, my anything-but-pleasant attitude and myself.  We drove, turned, yielded and stopped.  Finally, we came to a crossroads ----------which way should we turn?   At this point, patience was running at an all-time low.  Aggrevation pulled ahead and won the race.   She was able to call a friend, determined that the address given was incorrect.  Facts and directions were updated and we finally arrived.  No words were exchanged as she left the car, the door slammed and I quickly sped away to meet the rest of the day's obligations.  The crossroad in question was not whether or not to turn right or left.  It was not should we have called the friend earlier?  The crossroad was not whether or not I was taking her to practice.  That was a given.  The ride would be provided.  The crossroad was,  would I take advantage of the 15 mintues of travel to talk to my daughter?  To sing with my daughter?  Would we spend the 15 minutes dancing in unison at the red lights, regardless of who was watching?  Would I use that time to encourage or discourage?Or, would I choose to have a short fuse of anger, which would burn lower and lower with each wrong turn, until the inevitable combustion?  Unfortuntely, I chose a path that I am not proud of.  I chose a path and traded time with my daughter as a captive audience for wallowing in the demands of the day and taking out those frustrations on her.  Many parents who have experienced Family Change, would give anything for just another 15 minutes.  However, at that particular crossroad, I took the other road.

     We meet such crossroads everyday.  Will I turn left or right?  Each morning we wake up, our first crossroad.  Will I be happy or sad?  Will I choose to be positive or negative?   Each morning, as the sun rises, we have the opportunity to Give Up or Give our All?  To despair or be determined?  Will I walk today with my head hung down in grief and resentment?  Or will I hold my high because I am learning to be the best I can be, in spite of opposition and family change?  Will I spend this new day in sorrow and guilt over the past?  Or, will I brush my teeth with faith in the future---- faith that things can only get better?  Faith that hurt heals, empty is filled and challenge preceeds triumph?  Will I expect things to be as they were, or will I accept today and its newness and opportunity to become what I make it?  Families Change, and as they do, we can choose to focus on what is tearing us apart or, what is holding us together?  Remember, the question was not whether or not I would take my daughter to practice?  The question was, what would I make of that time?  Would our relationship be strengthened because of those 15 minutes or would I sacrifice that time and allow the pressures of life to rob us of what could have been?  Ironically, those 15 minutes became 45, as we followed an incorrect address in pursuit of practice.   The time allotted was tripled, and so was the time lost.  Each night a crossroad---- will I reflect on what went wrong that day, or what went right?  Turning left and leaving self-doubt behind?   Turning right and deciding to be a light,  so that others around us can see!!  Some crossroads seem an "open-road."  Others obviously "dead end".  Others, more of a "good, better and best."  Life will always be full of crossroads.  Everyday, choices to make.  Attitudes to share.  Destinies to determine.  Remember,  Alice fell in a hole before arriving in Wonderland.  A "hole" for me, anxious and overhwelmed on our way to practice.  Dorothy, along the yellow brick road, realized the importance of a brain and the priviledge to think and act for oneself.  She found courage was not something everyone had, but crucial to success.  She also learned that even those who seem to not have a heart, can learn to love.  The question was not, whether or not I was taking my daughter to practice.  But, what would I make of that time together?  Families Change.  That's a given!  And when in doubt , family first!  Crossroads!


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