I have spent the day mostly in reaction mode online. I have watched idiots talking about how this whole thing was staged because a few of the witnesses are actors (surprise, there is a lot of acting jobs in Orlando). I have seen one side and the other. I will tell you what this feels like to me.
I feel like I am re-living September 12, 2001. I can tell you that before that day, I would wake up every morning, do my hour of power, work out and get ready for work. I would take my daughter to school and then go to work. I lived in Hato Rey, PR and had a fairly good life. The day before, Anna had forgotten something, so as I was getting ready to take her father to work, we had to go back to her school. When I parked the car, the first tower was hit, and then the second. I drove by the “Milla de Oro” hoping not to see a plane take that out too. Then I consoled myself thinking that nobody wanted to kill any Puertorricans. I spent the rest of the day in a trance and by the time I woke up on September 12, most of our friends and family were accounted for. But I could not work out, do my hour of power. I did not have a workout routine again for many years to come. I did not feel like eating much, talking much or doing much. I hated the world because I felt the world hated me.
So now, fast forward 14 years, 9 months and 1 day. I feel the same lack of interest on doing anything. The main difference this time: it was in my town, my friends and family have loved ones that died a couple of days ago and the majority of those deceased were Puertorrican. I guess I was wrong. I feel, once again like the world hates people like me. Only this time it cannot be the same. I just looked at that list once again. The majority of the people that died this weekend are in their 20s. We had 50 killed, 53 injured, 2 dead terrorists. Why do I say two? Because on Friday night some terrorist killed a beautiful, lovely girl in front of plenty of people. Yes, I’m counting her too. If I look at the list, there was a 50 yr old, a 49 yr old and pretty much everyone else was in their 20s and 30s. I do not have the luxury of forgetting my dreams this time around, because these kids will never have a chance to live theirs. The least I can do to honor them, is to live my dreams and live every day as if it was my last because when they left home that night, they thought they were coming back. RIP my beautiful once. #OrlandoStrong

OpEd Monday: Good Parenting

This weekend, I watched a video by comedian Steve Hofstetter about hecklers.  The thing is, to me, the topic he was presenting was more interesting than the actual situation that later happened.  You can see the video here and in the interest of full disclosure, I agree with him completely.

The topic of good parenting is always as interesting and as wildly debated as religion and politics.  People who have never had kids, like this comedian, believe that just like anything else in life, you can tell whether or not a parent is doing their job by how their kid comes out.  Now, I am not as harsh as he is.  I do believe that even good parents have bad apples.  We’ve all seen parents who did everything right:  noticed signs of strange behavior, sought professional help, talked to their kids, and unfortunately, their kid still went out and killed somebody, got into drugs, etc.  I am not talking about those parents.  I am also not talking about parents of children with psychological disorders.  What we are looking is at the average parent who thinks they are special just because they have a kid.  Hofstetter thinks that what makes you special is if your kid turns out well.

There is a second component to this for me and that is the parents that post every little accomplishment their kids do on Facebook.  I compare it to the couple that are always proclaiming their love online and two months later get divorced.  I’m not saying don’t post it.  What I am asking is, are you telling your kids these things in person?

We all knew the one kid in the neighborhood that was always getting in trouble, on purpose, in the hope that his workaholic parents would pay some attention to him.  Those same parents would go to a gala or a social event saying how much they loved their kid and how great he was.  Unfortunately, they never told their kid and he either turned to drugs, crime or suicide.  I saw this happen at least three times when I was growing up and it broke my heart.  The new social event is social media.  Parents tell us all the great things their kids are doing.  Guess what parents?  Your kid rarely looks at your Facebook.  They’ve moved on to other platforms and they only look when somebody brings up an interesting post.  Thanks to the new systems that is in place, your posts will rarely ever show up in their feeds anyway.

I’m not saying don’t gloat about how great your kid is.  What I am telling you is to make sure to let them know, to their face, how much you love them and are proud of them.  And by the way, this is one of those things where more is less.  I don’t care if your kid tells you “I know, mom stop it”.  Do it every chance you get.  You will thank me later.  Make sure you do it in private and in public.  As embarrassed as they pretend to be, there is something about knowing your parents love you and their friends knowing that…it will stay with them, even when you are gone.  So do the uncomfortable.

I did a video on this topic today as well.  Watch it and let us know what you think in the comments below.