In the last couple of weeks I have spoken with a number of children who are struggling with difficult family situations, dealing with significant losses in their lives, or having trouble understanding why it looks like everyone else has a “normal” family or a “great” life, and theirs’ comes up short in so many ways. When I tell them that what we see on the outside doesn’t always tell us what’s really going on I am reminded that even as adults we can fall into the trap of thinking that what we see is the whole story. I have heard more than one parent say, “That child is the problem. If only those parents would do a better job.”, and I have found myself thinking those very same things.
When I stop, though, and think about what could be happening in a family or in a child’s life I realize it’s not my job to judge him or her, nor is it my job to judge the quality of parenting in their household. However, I am not, as many of you know, beyond making suggestions to parents about how they might change what they’re doing. Sometimes we get so insulated in our own situations that we cannot see that there is another way to do things, and it helps to hear another point of view, whether or not we agree with it, or choose to act on it. There are rarely simple solutions to the difficulties our children face today, and I wouldn’t presume to have simple answers to the challenges facing parents today.
Sometimes, though, It can be so hard to recognize that one’s own child is not perfect, and that there is more work to be done. It can be just as hard for some of us to recognize all the good that our child is doing, despite the fact that we are disappointed in our son’s behavior in class, or in the fact that our daughter is not as pretty or popular as we want her to be. Maybe if we consider that none of us is done becoming what we’re supposed to be - not parents, not teachers, not children, and certainly not principals - then we can refocus our energies on ourselves and the work we need to do.
During Lent we are asked to walk with Christ as He carries His cross. Let’s remember that we are all given crosses to carry. To others our cross might seem light, but to us it might be just plain unbearable. Regardless, any cross is easier to carry if we have help. Maybe just refraining from making sweeping judgments about a child or a family; maybe avoiding the temptation to gossip or to dissect another family’s situation; maybe not assuming we can understand the crosses that others carry - maybe if we try not to judge or dismiss others, we can become better people. Maybe instead of rolling our eyes or acting like we have all the answers to our neighbors’ problems, we can just say a silent prayer for them - that God will provide them with someone to help them carry their cross - and maybe that someone will be us. Then, maybe we will move a little closer to what God wants us to be.
“Our tendency in the midst of suffering is to turn on God. To get angry and bitter and shake our fist at the sky and say, ‘God, you don't know what it's like! You don't understand! You have no idea what I'm going through. You don't have a clue how much this hurts.’ The cross is God's way of taking away all of our accusations, excuses, and arguments. The cross is God taking on flesh and blood and saying, "Me too.”
Dates to Remember:
28 Report Cards available online
29 Holy Thursday, Dismissal at 12:10pm
Easter Break begins
April 9 SCHOOL RESUMES, 8:00am
10 Principal Search Committee, 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Enrollment for First Holy Communion, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
11 Faith Knowledge Test, Grades 6, 7, & 8
Principal Search Committee, 5:00pm - 7:00pm
HSA Board Meeting, 7:00pm
12 Faith Knowledge Test, Grades 3, 4, & 5
13 Mass at noon
17 Grade 6 Field Trip
18 8th grade Confirmation Retreat, 8:30 - 3:00
California Pizza Kitchen Fundraiser - 4pm - 10pm
19 Grade 8 Field Trip
20 Mass at noon
22 Band Festival at Saint John’s College High School
24 Eighth Grade to Vocations Mass
Seventh Grade to Air and Space Museum
27 Dismissal at 12:10pm
Packet pickup for Lions’ Roar, 12:45 - 5:00pm
Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction, 6:00pm
28 Lions’ Roar Kate Truax 5K and 1K runs, picnic and more!
Drawing for Hamilton Tickets
Raffle Drawing for Class Baskets
Mrs. McGann, Principal
OLOL Wednesday Words by Patricia McGann is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.