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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Are you missing the gift in others?

Do you ever have days where you think you have nothing to say?  I was dinged in my inbox several days ago with a reminder that today was my day to blog on ladyscribes.  My poor brain feels literally fried from trying to write two different novels in two different time periods at the same time and facing more changes to the beginning of one of them.  I complained on the playground to my friend today that I literally felt like I had nothing to say.

My friend and I got to chatting about blogging and she told me I should read this blog called Hands Free Mama www.handsfreemama.com.  This is an amazing blog!  I encourage each of you to take the time to check it out.  Her blog post today was about looking at the flip side of your child’s weakness and seeing it as a possible positive.  This post touched me personally.  I don’t usually get too intimate on my blogs, but I realized I just had to share my story.

Lately, my oldest boy, a second grader, has had a bit of a problem with a few older kids bullying him at school.  Nothing too serious, but enough for him to feel bad about himself.  My child is smart, sweet and funny.  He is always kind to everyone, so I was especially angry that some other children would be picking on him.  I talked to several people who told me boys just need to be tough.  I questioned this.  My son is tough enough, believe me.  He has a little brother and they go at it all the time leaving bruises and tears in their wake.  He plays every sport known to man and he is more than willing to stand in the freezing cold or boiling hot to excel and help bring his team to victory. 

What my son hesitates to do is to respond to someone being mean to him by being mean back.  Granted, I don’t want my son to let people push him around, but I never want to change the part of him that tries to reason and discuss and hesitates to use violence when there is undoubtedly another way.  I realized today when reading the Hands Free Mama article what some people may see as my son’s weakness is his gift. 

He is a negotiator and a thinker.  How tragic if I were to try and change this about him.  Perhaps he will someday be President of the United States.  Would you want someone leading the country who didn’t try to negotiate with the enemy before they pushed the button that sent us into nuclear war?  I know I wouldn’t.

I am so glad I read the Hands Free Mama blog tonight, because it opened my eyes to appreciating the special gifts each of my children are bringing to this world.  I have no doubt my child’s gift will change this world for the better one day.

I encourage each of you to look at your child’s weakness and try to flip it and see what strength may be found in that weakness.  Have any of you ever perceived a weakness in yourself or someone you knew that turned out to be an amazing gift?

Have a thought provoking day!
Julie Johnstone, The Marchioness of Mayhem


  1. Julie,

    What a beautiful post! I feel like my kids are a gift to my husband and me, not to mention the world. I love that they are both tender-hearted, funny, confident, smart as whips, and tenacious. I think some people might see their tenacity as a weakness. It can certainly be annoying at times, but I think this trait is invaluable. It's what makes you get back on your feet when life has knocked you down. :)

  2. Samantha,
    I so agree! I think my youngest was tenacious from the moment he entered the world.

  3. How cool! I absolutely see that as a gift! I need to check out that blog!

  4. Jodi,
    It's really great! Her post is so touching I had tears in my eyes.

  5. I love this idea. I know one thing I do, when I think one of mine is going to drive me looney-- I like to take a step back and look at all the amazing things about them. There really are so many more wonderful positives, even when that one negative is wearing on your nerves. :-)

  6. Great post, Julie. I don't have kids, but I do know this...for many years, I thought of my sensitive nature as a negative. I'm empathetic with others to the point that I can literally feel what they're feeling...which can be a huge emotional drain. But that ability has become a strength as a writer, because I'm able to delve into a huge well of emotion--and if writing doesn't have emotion in it, not too many people are going to want to read it.

  7. Deb,
    What a great technique to keep in mind to help us parents stay sane!

  8. Catherine,
    I couldn't agree more, and you're writing is very emotional so obviously your empathy is a great gift!

  9. Julie ~ You know, I don't think of aspects in my son as weaknesses. There are aspects of her personality that remind me of myself. The good aspects make me proud and the not so good aspects... I think "Well, he is just like me." How can I fault him for that. ;)

  10. What a great post, Julie. And it is so hard to not act on going up there and telling those bullies what's what. Even harder not to tell your son to don't take that kind of treatment and respond immediately.

    And thanks for sharing that blog you read. :)

  11. Your words are powerful and beautiful! What an honor that you were inspired by my message to step back and look at look at the special gifts in your child. He sounds like a caring, compassionate, and thoughtful boy. The world needs more people with those qualities! I am grateful you have decided to embrace those qualities and continue to encourage and build him up. After all, if we are not our children's advocates, who will be?

    Thank you for sharing this message with your readers so that more children can be given the love and acceptance they need to flourish and live life to the fullest.

  12. Ava,
    Too funny! There are times I look at my kids and say they are just like me or just like their dad.

  13. Marquita,
    You have no idea how hard that is! My first instinct is to protect him, but he has to learn to stand on his own two feet. I would step in though if I became really concerned for his safety. And my other instinct was to tell him to fight back, but everything I read said NO don't do this.

  14. Hands Free Mama,
    I'm so glad you visited! I just loved your blog, and your story. I look forward to reading more of your journey.