We Need to Stand with these Parents!

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We’re called as Americans to stand with each other to hold back impositions of government. Even if we don’t agree with the parents.

There are large issue weaved through out this case. I can see how it’s important to uphold the choices of parents but there are grey areas that needs to be talked about. How do we decide if the child is in danger? How much room do we want to give the state to impose on parenting decisions? Do the children feel in danger, are their voices heard? I think it’s sad that this case is going to “set precedence” and that in their county they have to 18 or older to be left alone.

I air on the side of less state involvement even if that leaves some children at more of a risk. I also feel that it highlights a need for parent community and connections. I think we need to understand and respect each other even if we don’t fully agree with other each other. I hope they back off this family, the kids seem really happy.

FREE RANGE KIDS

Strategies

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Quote possibly this makes me a bad mother but every morning my 10yo wakes up and tells me every detail of his dreams. I used to enjoy it. The more I listened the longer his stories would go. Suddenly he’s telling me EVERYTHING that comes to his precious mind. I can only stand to hear about cat characters that have taken over the world a few times before I lose interest. One morning I noticed he was really quite. What was this? No dreams? Then I noticed the comic section had caught his attention and he spent a great deal of time reading all the comics (without laughing). So this morning I found a second sheet of comics under the table (I smiled with joy), placed it on the table for him to see first thing. It worked! No dreams, no chatting, nothing but silence until he finished. Anyone have comic sections they can send? SOS!

To parents:

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Yesterday I took my kids to get hair trims. Well of course, one of the stylists doesn’t understand “trim” and cuts my sons hair shorter than we wanted. What can you do after the damage is done? So, I tried to help him style his hair a little this morning and now I’m sitting here worried that he’s going to be judged and ridiculed all day from the kids at school. I’m probably more worried than he is, but the fact that it’s made me stressed is an indicator of a problem within the school environment and social behavior. While people are debating over curriculum and academics our values and social behaviors are swirling around a rusted drain hole.

Last week I sent an email to The Father of my kids to tell him about some of the concerns that I’ve had throughout the year. His response was, “well, sadly that’s how the world is.” I disagree. As an adult, I don’t have to worry about a bad haircut. I don’t have to worry about being judged. I don’t have to witness my friends leave me for other friends day after day. I don’t have to deal with dating and drama. I’m not every adult, I get that, my point is that it doesn’t have to be like this. So why do kids behave this way? Why do we continue to stand passively by and allow it to remain this way?

I drafted this letter to the boy’s father:

Hello,

Hello,

I’d like to have a conversation about this, but right now I’m angry.
B told me a story that happened at church over the weekend. I do not think it’s acceptable for kids in his Sunday school class to be picking on him because he likes the color pink or has interests outside the stereotypical boy interests. He’s very brave to share with them about himself and not feel like he has to hide who he is and what he enjoys. I will not stand idol giving him blanket statements like, “well that’s what most people think” and make him bare the burden of ignorance on his shoulders. Please talk with his teacher or send me her email and I will talk with her. I’d like to know that this has been addressed.

Out of all places that acceptance and love is supposed to be taught, it’s a shame in your church and the parents in your community have children that behave like this.

PS- You may sense some anger in this post. I can’t bare to believe to think that he’s not allowed to have toys because “they’re for girls” at your house. These statements are where kids learn intolerance. In the future I hope you stand up for him. Allowing him to feel ashamed of who he is, is the worst thing you can do as a parent.

I hope sending this helps him to support B in his interests. I’m concerned that his father is part of the crowd that enables these closed ways of thinking. I guess we’ll see.

What he said.

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This afternoon I was chatting with my oldest son about his day. He said he cried through two periods of school. He didn’t realize there were additional parts to a project that he was to submit today and only turned in a third of what was due. He then went on to tell me that he felt like a failure, that he wasn’t doing what he was supposed to be doing or doing it well enough. I’m not sure if many of you have had these parenting moments but this is how I responded:

1) Failure is good. You might draw one of the best art pieces or think of some very unique exciting idea in the near future, in response to these feelings. Maybe feeling failure is good for a person?

2) Think about why you feel this way. Are you comparing yourself to others or to your best person? (At this point to pulled him away from the table and drew IMAG0616

I asked how things could be better. He said, “if I could learn about interesting things, instead of things I already know.” Tears welled up in his eyes. This make my heartache, I can only tell him that it’s temporary and that next year and the rest of his life will be better. I have to make it better. We plan to return to home schooling and joining a co-op. He says, “when that happens, I’ll be free.”

Straight from the stakeholders mouth.

And He Learned

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It’s unfortunate that many kids grow up in a well-lubed two gender society. Gender is oppressing and I wish we could move past this type of classifying each other.

“But we can do better. We can be unafraid to move not only beyond male-female dichotomies, but also beyond an insistence on any hard-and-fast fixed categories. What, after all, is there to fear? We are all human; we all live and love.”

From Why We Need More Than Three Genders on NPR.

Rethink the Rant

When he noticed the naked little girl at the beach didn’t look quite like he did and asked why, they answered his questions in simple phrases painted in black and white, pink and blue, and tradition. And he learned that boys and girls were different.

When one of the neighbor kids painted his nails, they got angry. That wasn’t something boys did. And he learned that there were different rules for boys and girls, and that breaking those made people upset.

When he was handed down a pink bike from his cousin, they replaced it with a blue one, because they didn’t want him to be mocked for having a “girly” bike. And he learned that being girly was something to be mocked.

When he cried, they told him to be a man. And he learned that crying, and being not a man, was something less.

When he was being picked…

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Letter

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Loneliness has always been your curse. It’s what you used to cry about the most. I’m tired of being your free time filler when you’re down. Otherwise you’re no where to be found. Either love fully or go away.

Tonight I had to tell my kids about how you are full of empty promises. I had to ensure them that your behaviour was not because they weren’t loved. The moment that I knew they were let down again by your absence made me angry at you. Tonight I cried for them, for they will never feel the gentle unconditional love that they need from you. I cried for myself because it sucks to have been left alone many years ago by the people I needed most. I cried for you because you’re loneliness is the only gift that you had to pass on to your kids.

Tonight I grieve for children (mine included) that won’t ever know how deep strong love feels. I hope to one day find it for myself to share with them.

10 years

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Ten years ago today it was a hot day, the sun was bright. My family was outside lounging in the summer weather, I was pulling up weeds in the flower beds. My pregnancy had been surprisingly easy to this point. I was 32 weeks doing my typical regiment of medications and prayer. Noah was 1.5 years old living the typical two-parent suburban life with a smile.

I stood up from pulling a weed and blood began to pour out of me. I made my way into the bathroom, dizzy. Frantic that I was loosing my baby, my husband called for an ambulance. I was bracing the walls, startling the toilet, my body felt like it was one large cramp and I everything was coming out of me at once. I fell to the floor, sure that my baby was gone. I pulled the roll of toilet paper off to wipe my tears. I couldn’t stand to think that I had lost another son. It was unbearable.

Moments passed until the ambulance arrived. My bleeding had slowed down slightly. By the time I got to the hospital it was almost completely stopped. I was explaining to the triage doctor that I had lost ALOT of blood. When I say ALOT, I’m talking a Super Sip from Speedway. They checked the baby, he was still going strong, I wasn’t. We got settled into a room, they were going to keep me the night for observation. Then it started again.

The doctor looked at me and said, “We’re taking your baby out, now.” The memories after that are very sparse. I was being wheeled to the ER. I had tubes, masks and a feeling of nausea. Was my son going to die? Was I?


I woke up. No one was around, the nurse popped into my site. She explained my emergency c-section and that my son was down the hall in the ICU. They crudely stitched me up.

It was over a day before I could see him. I called him TT (tiny toes) before we decided on a name. He weighed five pounds and had the smallest fingers and toes I had ever seen. He actually had the smallest everything. He was on oxygen and on a feeding tube for about a week. They were monitoring his heart rate. He had some problems breathing. He was too early.

Eight weeks before he was due my body failed to carry him longer and his time was cut short. June 9th is his new birthday.

It was a very disconnected birth experience. It was days after he was born before I got to hold him and when I did I was afraid that I was going to do something wrong. I tried to pump my milk, I tried to feel happy that he was here, I tried to love but found that the fear was in the way. I wish it could have been something else for him. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t remember, the memories are my own. He spent three weeks in the hospital. Much of the three weeks was a blur, filled with stress and anxiety.

This type of birth gave me no time to adjust to the new person. It’s survival and we did.

Today Braeden is 10 years old. I wish I had a better birth story to share with him. I wish I remembered when he was delivered. Celebrating him today means so much more than I could have thought. He reminds me everyday that human life is hard, that we have to fight our way through the world all the while trying to take in the moments to keep us going.

He’s taught me so much about love, acceptance and patience. He’s given me the space to accept that we are all different and that should be treasured. When he reaches out to scratch my back or gives me kisses, I’m reminded how fortunate we are to be here right now with each other. I would do it all again.

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Yesterday we had a swim party for B with some of his friends. We’re fortunate to have such a great group of friends to celebrate with.

Daniel (the creepy looking guy in the background) has raised B with me for the past ten years (You do that math:). B adores him and so do I. He’s a great father and friend.

There you have it, one of my birth stories. There are many memories that fill the gaps, treasured times that I hold close. I’m really f$*&ing lucky.

(Yes, I’m going to end my birthday post cursing, that’s how we roll around here.)