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Grasping at straws

Updated on July 29, 2012

Decision making

Finding answers

Life has a way of throwing us curve balls from time to time and sometimes we feel a bit overwhelmed as we try to deal with so many things all at the same time. As a result we usually feel like there is not enough time to address each and every one as we would like. Life can get complicated and when we are caught in the midst of having to make so many decisions we just feel like we are grasping at straws in our moments of indecision. I understand that in each of our lives a little rain must fall and we must learn to adapt so we can weather through the "rainy days" of our lives. We all need an "umbrella" to protect us and keep us safe during these times.

If I could find resolution to half of all the things that come up in life I might just be OK but we all must strive to address everything that comes up and we must take full responsibility. Did you ever think about that "safe place" you would retreat to as a child? I remember my safe place and I still like to retreat to it even as an adult for that is where I can gather myself so I can find a moment of peace and quiet amidst the daily pressures we all face in our lives.

As a child life seemed so simple and our earliest recollections of our childhood were the times where we would find comfort in knowing our parents were a safe distance from us and in plain sight. I remember the times I would ride on the merry go round as a child and I would be placed upon the horse with my mom standing by my side. I would feel happy and safe knowing she was right there with me and my dad was in plain sight waiting outside watching us as we went around. If only life was that simple. It seems we need to have reassurance in our life and as we live and make decisions it is like being on the merry go round going around and around where we are seeking the safety and comfort of knowing our parents are right there with us. In order for us to grow and mature we all must learn to think and act for ourselves and we must know how to cope and deal with the situations we find ourselves in. Otherwise we'll just keep on going around and around with no prospect of getting off the merry go round.

Sometimes as adults we still think back to those innocent times of our youth and we find comfort in remembering them for we felt safe and protected always knowing our parents were there to support and help us. As we get older the decisions we are faced with are more and more involved and sometimes we need to seek our parents guidance and advice. For me the biggest decision I had to make was choosing the right school to continue my studies after high school. I think for most kids this is one of the biggest decisions they will have to make.

As a parent I have come to realize how important it is to listen and be supportive of our children as they express their feelings and their fears. I have been very supportive of my son with all his special needs but I still feel like I have so much to do in helping him find his way. My wife and I have experienced many highs and lows along the way in addressing our son's needs and sometimes we feel like we are grasping at straws trying to find answers to which we are still asking the same questions. I am feeling a bit more relieved knowing my son is back in school after a period of absence but I am faced with the realization that he still needs a great deal of supervision and constant attention. He is also in a special school that is focused on life learning and skills development rather than the traditional academics so he is not provided regular homework assignments like I remember as a kid. I am concerned and wondering how I can best address this. I feel it is great that he is taught "life lessons" but I also feel the reading, writing and arithmetic are equally as important.

I wish I could ease my son's worries and tell him everything will be OK when he seems to be upset and says things that cause concern. I am far from perfect and I may not always know what to say but I know I love my son and I would do anything I could to get him to smile and feel better about things. I know life is not always the way we want it to be but we must make the best of it and always try our best. We must certainly learn to deal with the disappointments and strive to bring out our very best. We must also learn to accept responsibility and be accountable for our actions. Life is a gift that we should learn to appreciate each and every day even on the days we feel like crying. We must always remember this.

We also must realize that we will make mistakes along the way and that is OK because that is how we learn and become better as a person. We must never be afraid to make decisions. The most important part of growing up is learning to think for ourselves. As my son grows and I find the right times to talk with him about the important things in life I will make sure he understands and realizes that he should look upon growing and learning as a natural process that he should never be afraid of and he should actually look forward to it. I will also instill in him to believe in himself and to never be afraid to make a mistake. Life is too short to get hung up over things. We must learn to roll with the punches and just be the best we can even if we have to grasp at straws sometimes.

Edward D. Iannielli III

Grasping at straws by Mariah Wester


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