I’m finally back to blogging. (Even if it is later than I had hoped. Blame it on working over 40 hours last week during my “break” followed by a disfunctional wireless connection.)

As most of you already know, I’m a busy mom of three children, ages 6 to 13. By default, that also makes me the referee. Somehow, I’m supposed to be aware of where everyone is at all times, what they are doing, and whom they are doing it to. I should be on hand to immediately step in and punish the misbehaving offender with the appropriate (predetermined) consequence without allowing my personal emotions to influence the outcome.
 
Yeah, right.
 
Like I have eyes in the back of my head or something. Like I’m never sleep-deprived, hormonal, or simply frustrated with the frequency of the offenses. Like I don’t have other things (work, fixing supper or driving the car) or other people (my husband, the person on the phone, another child) to take care of. Like I always have the appropriate consequence ready to hand down.
 
So, I miss stuff. The guilty go unpunished and the innocent cry “unfair!” I’m sorry. It happens. And I’ll try better next time.
 
The same can be said of the game of football. Twenty-two players on the field. Four referees. You do the math. Somebody is going to miss seeing something sometime. And somebody is going to think they saw something that didn’t really happen. At least they’ve got the advantage of instant replay in certain situations. But don’t tell me that a sideline ref never gets ticked at being screamed at and maybe, sorta, throws a flag on that team in retaliation. They’re human too (even if the guy behind me at the last game said they needed glasses).
 
The point? Life isn’t fair. Not all the bad guys are caught or punished. And sometimes the innocent get caught in the cross-fire with unintentional consequences.
 
The real lesson comes in how I respond in the face of a flag (or no flag). Do I acknowledge I made the mistake and accept the consequences? Do I continue my behavior since I didn’t get caught last time? Do I complain when someone else gets away with a foul? Or do I rejoice when others get caught? And do I find reassurance in the fact there is an ultimate Judge upstairs watching every player?
 
What about you? Are you the referee, the penalized, or both? How do you handle it when the bad guys get away with one? How do you respond when your mistake is overlooked?
Football Friday – Penalties
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