*As always, these blog posts are my own viewpoints and in no way are reflective of or endorsed by "Friends of Maplenol Barn" or Save the Barn Committee.*
As a Catholic, I always try to stay with the traditions and beliefs of our faith. For the last few years, I've always either been pregnant or nursing so the fasting and no meat rule hasn't always applied to me (The Pope says so). I am nursing Baby B still, and while I will try to adhere to the no meat rule, fasting isn't always an option.
Usually I try to give something up for Lent. Candy, pop, etc. This year I'm doing something different.
It was an inspiring night, last night, at the West Des Moines School Board Meeting. I was told by a fellow parent that we (the Friends of the Maplenol Barn) cherish a "thing" while he (and his fellow anti-barn people) cherish their kids. He also suggested that we use the passion for the barn for volunteering at our kids schools. (Assuming we do not?)
For someone who doesn't know me from Adam, to state that anything I do is not putting my children FIRST is beyond me. What a hurtful, sweeping generalization. My husband and I ALWAYS put our children first.
My husband served in Iraq. He has told me that he wanted to go so that our child(ren) hopefully wouldn't have to. Can this parent say he has been away from his wife and child for a year and put himself in a war zone so that his kids wouldn't have to? I doubt it.
We chose for me to leave my full time job at Principal Financial Group, and while finances may be tight, we did this FOR OUR CHILDREN. Our kids don't go without. They always have a full belly, warm baths and a warm bed. And they have love and learning. On the days when my oldest doesn't have preschool, I sit with him and work on math equations (yes, he's only five), teach him history, writing, language and reading. And sure, I drive a 1993 old minivan (yes, it was built before I even had a permit). But it's paid for and it serves its purpose.
Some nights, after the boys are tucked into bed, I stay up until 1, 2, even 3 AM writing and looking for additional work. Just to make ends meet. Sure, sleep would be great, but again, I'M DOING THIS FOR MY BOYS.
People have asked, Why all of the interest in the barn now? Where were these people 5, 10, 15 years ago? I can't speak for every person who supports the effort but I can speak for myself. 5 years ago we were living in Ankeny with an infant son. 10 years ago I was in College at Iowa State working on my Bachelor's Degree. 15 years ago, I was a 15 year old girl looking forward to turning 16, getting my driver's license and prom.
You may have noticed I said 5 years ago we lived in Ankeny. We lived there for three years. But after my husband returned from his service in Iraq, we CHOSE to move to West Des Moines because of the great school district. Again, FOR OUR KIDS.
And that's why I'm fighting to save history on the Valley campus. Not only for my kids, but every kid in the district. Our children have the right to see, touch and learn history. Without the physical reminders of our history, it's only a picture in a book. NO taxpayer money will go in to refurbishing the barn. NONE. It is all money that has been donated by fellow history lovers; people who see the value of keeping landmarks and reminders of our history.
I love my boys. I would do anything for my children. Everything I do, I do it for THEM. For someone to say otherwise obviously doesn't know me.
So that's what I've decided for lent. At times when I feel like I want to blow up at someone for making such a rude comment, I will pause and think, "Am I being a good example for my boys?" Last night I bit my tongue. HARD. Granted, I did tweet my feelings but the rage built up within.
I compare it to the hate of those who are stealing signs and putting the word DESTROY over SAVE. It's the same hate that turns people away. Hate is not a good thing to have in your heart. Hate is not something we should be teaching our kids. The word "Hate" is actually on the "we don't say that" list at our house.
I am my child's first teacher. Everything I do, I do for my kids. Heck, with the exception of 3 months in 2008, I have either been pregnant or nursing one of my boys since February of 2005. Think about it. We're at 6 years (again, with the three month exception) where my body has not been just mine. We're talking 70 months. 70 months where my body has either carried or fed one of my boys. But I wouldn't change a day of it.
I will continue to be a good role model and inspiration for my boys. Anyone who says otherwise apparently doesn't know me.
“Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.” William Smith
I will not let their hate and anger consume me. God knows my reasons behind all that I do.