Commentary: Real life, even when ugly, beats social media nonsense

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Jodi Rall, Columnist

Jodi Rall is a Brentwood resident and writer. 

Social media, give me a break. Now, I do a lot of posting, because it’s how I share the stories I write, manage clients’ platforms and connect. But the downside to social media is if you really read the posts, you can begin to behave like a real Debbie Downer.  

An example would be Mother’s Day. I, myself, didn’t post anything personal for several reasons. One big reason was because I know there are many moms out their missing children and grandchildren. 

I fell into the trap of reading all the great posts of how their family made Mother’s Day the “perfect,” over-the-top, most appreciated holiday. 

Gag me with a spoon. My day was real.  

It started out strong and simply went downhill like a bad rollercoaster ride. 

First off, in the future, my daughters need to handle the presentation of the gift, because a certain son waltzing into my bedroom and throwing a box at me saying, “Ya want it now, or should I wait? Na, you’re getting it now.” 

Oh, let me gush and go all weak in the knees with that sentiment. Good thing I was still in bed drinking my tea.  

In all honesty, the gift was great and something I had really wanted for a long time. It meant the world to me that the “fab four” did this. 

And then there is the hubby.  

“You’re not my mother. Why should I get you a gift?” Twenty-eight years of parenting and this is his yearly joke. He did ask if there was anything he could bring me as I sat in our bedroom reading the paper.  

How about breakfast?  

“Here you go.” Having a junior-size Kind bar handed to me was not the breakfast in bed I had quite expected. How kind, darling. 

Attending online church was nice, and I’ve loved the feeling of sitting in my bonus room surrounded by my loved ones hearing the message. Studying the fruits of the spirit has been a wonderful series. And a Scripture I love was shared, and I said to the boys, “That’s our family motto.” 

Do not be anxious, but through prayer and petition, turn your requests over to God. Little did I know how much that passage would mean to me. 

Son No. 1 and I decided to go play tennis while the rest of the family was helping my daughter move. That was one gift I gave myself, flexing the oh-hell-no muscle, I’m not moving anyone today.  

I have to say it was awesome. We were laughing, having fun and then the day took a nosedive. 

As I returned a ball to my son, he simply fell to the ground. 

“Mom, I can’t walk.”

For some unknown reason, his ankle simply gave out. The words “I heard it crack” was all I needed to hear.  

The fight or flight in me kicked in and my day became being the mom in charge. Within minutes, I had the car pulled up and was planning which ice bag to get out of the freezer.  

By the time we made it into the house, his left foot had morphed into a swollen, discolored mess.  

This 23-year-old wasn’t handling the news well. 

Since March 15, he’d already been stuck at home with his mother and father, missing his life in Washington, D.C., and hadn’t seen any friends because of the stupid virus. 

What happened next was sheer chaos at best. The rest of the family had brought home a late lunch and, of course, was concerned about the injury. There was a moment I honestly thought, “Isn’t this just the sweetest?” 

Football player son decided his brother needs an ice bath. He fills a gallon bucket and brings it into my family room and places it on my beautiful hardwood floors. It seemed like a great idea, at first.   

“Could we please put a towel under the bucket, please,” such a simple request coming out of my mouth. 

I leave the room and hear massive giggling from daughter No. 2. Her impulses have apparently not changed since she was 3 years old.  

Walking back into my family room, I now see that she and my other son both have their feet in the water in solidarity with their sibling. 

You know where I’m going, right?  

Use your imagination regarding the words that came out of my mouth as ice and water were now all over my wood floors.  

That’s when it got ugly because when the fab 4 behave this badly, there is only one person to call.  

“Honey, get in this house now and deal as I’m going to lose my ...” 

If you’ve read my columns, you know I have an Irish temper, am brutally honest about the fact that I am a control freak and can behave badly with the best of them. 

I texted my best girlfriends and asked, “Is it too early to drink?”  

Apparently, they realized this because, after the cleanup, we had a nice dinner and sat out by the fire enjoying family time.  

On Monday, we went to see a foot/ankle specialist who confirmed what we already knew.  

Life is messy, not perfect and we can’t compare our lives to others. And at the end of the day, what a blessing that I had all four of my children with me.  

Give a real gift to yourself, log off social media and make a list of the blessings in your life.  

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