Anyone who has raised children, taught children, been around them for any length of time has no doubt heard the words, “but that’s not fair!”.
Growing up, I remember dozens of reasons why “that’s not fair”, like who rode shot gun when mom drove us somewhere (yeah this was before front seat airbags and the accident studies, honestly amazing we all survived, eh?). Or who got the red cup at lunch, who got to walk up the street with dad….with 4 kids and only one red cup, one front seat shot gun position, dad only taking one of us, well there were a lot of things the remaining 3 would feel wasn’t fair. Mom had a come back for that, “No where on your birth certificate does it say life is going to be fair”, and she was so right. Trust me, first opportunity I had to actually see mine I was frantically searching for the fine print that guaranteed me fairness in life. In case you are wondering about your own, nope it is NOT there.
As my kids were growing up, well I wish I had a $1 for every time I heard my mother coming out of my mouth, I’d be a wealthy woman. Especially with that phrase about the birth certificate. Another favorite went like this:
MOM: Well, last time I wore it I put it AWAY where it BELONGS!
Now, mom did NOT wear the sweater, but the hint to me and my 3 siblings was if we would put stuff away we’d have a clue where to look for it. It was the beginning of training for us to put things away when we were finished with them. But back on track, I’ve hijacked my post…
My kids would roll their eyes in a big, dramatic way, when I used the birth certificate line one them. Then I’d get the “but you don’t understand!” response. Oh trust me child, I understand. Every day, even now, I am learning over and over again that life is simply not FAIR.
Why did my marriage fail (two of them) and other people last a lifetime?
Why is it I got let go from my job when clearly there were less productive people that could have been layed off?
Why at 16 did I get pregnant when there were countless other teenage girls having sex that did not get knocked up?
Why did MY car have to have the flat tire?
The list of “why me” could be pretty lengthy if I went on and on, and about that time I would hear my mother’s words echo in the background, “why NOT you?” and that would be followed by the over stated eye roll. Indeed, why not me?
Sh*t happens, it is how life is. Sometimes worse than others, sometimes the bottom drops out and we just want to die because it is painful, hard, and uphill. During those times it is so easy to lose sight of the good things, the blessings in our lives. Example, I know a guy that got pulled over and got a ticket once. That officer is now his wife and the mother of his children. Chance meetings in a bad moment turn into great things. I understand that it is hard to see the good, the blessing, when you pull a rotten apple from the barrel of life…but that rotten apple, when planted in broken soil, will fertilize that ground and yield wonderful fruit later. It is hard to see the shore in the middle of the storm, the silver lining in those dark clouds. But if we just remember that “this too shall pass” there is good to come. Be thankful and allow that spoiled fruit to grow GOOD things in you.
Meanwhile, keep that birth certificate handy, it never hurts to look for the fine print now and then when struggling against the ‘why me’ unfairness that hits us all.