One of the benefits of having a blog is being able to vent. I try not to hit “publish” on topics that are negative or mean spirited or just plain whiney. There’s already enough of that noise out there, I don’t want to add to it.
So if you’re reading this, it would seem I found a nugget of positivity or a learning moment somewhere in here. Plus, how cute is this turtle picture? I just want to reach out and stroke him and say, “It’s okay scared turtle. Everything will be alright.” But then I remember…salmonella. So perhaps just soothing words of encouragement from a distance.
Turtles may appear passive and even apathetic, but you should see them when they’re feeling amorous. The day we took the kids to “Reptilia” we got an eyeful. I tried to tell the kids that the turtles were just playing. True, if by “playing” we mean #turtleporn.
I feel like a turtle some days. Not in a “Come back to my shell and party!” kind of way, but in a “retreat into my shell and hide” way. I’m not confrontational at all. I live in fear of hurting people’s feelings. I’ll often apologize even when I’ve been wronged—just to smooth over an awkward situation and bring the “happy” back.
I smile at grumpy people.
I give people the benefit of the doubt.
I root for the underdog.
I wear my heart on my sleeve. Which can be messy.
I turn the other cheek whenever possible.
I’m a Snapping Turtle.
“Snapping turtles have fierce dispositions; but when encountered in the water, they usually slip quietly away from any disturbance. (I hear ya turtle.) Snapping is a defense mechanism. A snapping turtle will bite humans if threatened, but as a last resort and will try to scare off threats by hissing before it bites.” source
I’ve hissed and I’ve snapped, but only when provoked. Like if you mess with my family, I’ll crush you with my beak-like jaw.
This morning at school drop I was faced with a choice—to swim away or to snap?
The parking lot at our school is not for the faint of heart. It’s chaotic. Fortunately the school has given us access to a quieter section, reserved for families of children with special needs. This way we can hand our children directly over to their E.A.s who are waiting at the door.
Today as I slowed down to park, another parent following closely behind swerved around me. She was late and was not permitted to be in this parking lot in the first place. But like I said, she was late so the rules don’t apply to her. Right?
She glared at me as she drove past and parked a few feet in front of me.
When I returned to my car, she was getting back into hers. I pulled up beside her and gave her my best “stern” look. She stared back at me indifferently.
That was it. I snapped. Well, it was more of a warning “hiss” really.
It would’ve been cooler if I could have actually rolled down my passenger side window. Instead I fumbled awkwardly with the power controls. The window was frozen shut so I had to get out of my car.
I walked over to her window and asked, “Did you give me a dirty look just now?”
She looked shocked.
She responded with a meek, “No, I was just looking at you…”
Seriously, don’t lie to a turtle. Ever.
“This is parking for families with kids with special needs. See the sign on my front dash? You are not supposed to be parking here. And, you need to slow down. This a parking lot. There are children here.”
I can’t honestly remember what she said. “Sorry” maybe? I couldn’t hear her over the clatter of my snappy jaws and hissing words.
I got back in my car and drove away.
I advocate for talking it out and finding a path toward forgiveness. But this woman messed with the wrong turtle today. Sometimes for the sake of our own sanity and self-esteem, have to let it out. Otherwise, we might just… snap.
Sometimes I don’t snap, but wish I had.