What is foolish? Foolish can be many things. It can be positive or negative. You don’t want to be labeled as “played a fool” or being a fool, but sometimes acting foolish can be a more positive label. Acting foolish is a more light-hearted, positive, goofy way of acting that could bring laughs from those around you. Judgment and tone make a big difference.
Personally, I’ve experienced foolishness positively and negatively. Back in December, I had some concerns with the way that my nephews, and one of my nieces were being cared for and some of the situations that they were being put in. In a perfect world, I would have been able to talk to my in-laws about the situation, but in a perfect world, they would have remedied the situations prior or after our discussion. With smaller things, my husband and I have basically been ignored or discounted on these things because we don’t have children of our own so they think we are foolish.
Truth is, I gave a lot of thought to the situations. I tried to consider were some of these things annoying, upsetting, triggering things from the past, etc.? I could acknowledge that because I had gotten in a car accident one morning leaving my driveway that yes, one of the situations was very much triggering me. I did my best to slow down and remove the emotion from it. Looking at the situation for what it was, the children were arguing over who would drive the car and their mom put the kids in her lap to drive the car to the bus stop.
I was angry and disgusted that paper bowls were left by the sink with milk and cereal still in them for days and that the 3 year-old was emptying his own potty. I heard my sister-in-law recount the details of how her friend was found dead having overdosed; the children were also in the room when this was being discussed with their grandmother. I was afraid that the children were with their mother at the home while and where the drugs that killed her friend were being dealt and that they were being put in what seemed like a number of unsafe situations.
I talked to my husband about making a report. We decided it would be best to make it anonymously. I did so, but unfortunately, despite my being very clear with the DHS worker that I was afraid of the family finding out and that my report would make it clear of who was making the report because of the information that it contained. I learned one morning that one of the DHS workers emailed a copy of the report to my sister-in-law, who in turn showed it to her mother. It was a nightmare. And I couldn’t help but feel foolish for trusting DHS to help protect us or to at least give me a chance at anonymity.
I’ve never shaken so hard in my life as when my father-in-law approached me while I was sitting on my bed and waved the document in my face and yelled at me. I used all of my coping skills to try to keep it together, to be understanding that he was angry. Unfortunately, my husband and I have to be here a little longer while we finish getting our ducks in a row and the snow and ice melts so we will be able to move out of the basement. Foolishly, the situation has significantly changed the dynamics when it comes to my husband and I. My in-laws barely talk to my husband and really don’t talk to me. It is uncomfortable and awkward for sure. When we are here, we are in the basement.
I am sad that these foolish things have impacted everyone the way that they have. I’m disappointed that my in-laws can’t or won’t get beyond whatever it is that they are feeling to see that I made the report out of love for the children and wanting them to be cared for properly and safely. I really wish that things turned out differently.
Through all of this, I am thankful. My husband stood by his decision to support me in making the report and through all that he has had to endure as part of the fallout. I am thankful that we are able to lean on each other more and we are learning to connect and grow together in the most challenging of places and situations.
On a more positive, foolish note, our dog, Gremlin, is foolish with his toys. We have been told that he must be about the biggest Pekingese ever. At the time, he weighed over 17 lbs and could have used a little more weight then even. At a small stature, he has a lot of heart and spunk. He earned his name, when we brought him home almost 10 years ago and he began taking parts and tools while my husband was trying to build furniture for our apartment.
And Gremlin continues to show us all of the time how he is definitely a Gremlin. He absolutely loves stuffed animals and Kong toys.
The only problem is that when he has a Kong, he won’t really do anything other than chew it. We have to limit his time with a Kong toy because he’d rather chew a Kong than eat or drink or sleep. It is cute when he falls asleep relentlessly chewing as his eyes close and when after they close they pop open again for a few more chews and there are a few eyes-closed chews because it’s just that good apparently… When he gets really foolish though is when he pushes the kong away with his paws and grumbles at it. This is usually done with him laying at my feet and he pushes the Kong out of reach under the couch and will bark until we get it for him. If we give it back to him, he will do it again. And then I wonder, who is the foolish one?
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