Friday, April 19, 2013

Surprise Visitor

A most unusual  thing happened today. 

I was in the kitchen making snacks for my children and their friends- when the front door bursts open. Since it is snowing and the wind is howling I assumed it was the wind. I was wrong. Instead a little boy - who looked not even 2 years old was running full tilt into my living room. In pj's and socked feet that were soaking wet. Sobbing. Wailing. Snot flying. 

The friend who was over was closest and scooped up the little boy and I rushed to the door and then outside looking to see- where was the mother? Someone must be looking for him. Yet it was silent and no one was there. Rushing back inside I called 911 and we try to see if this little boy is ok. He is wet and I run to get some clean socks and pj's and a diaper. His diaper is soiled and wet and heavy . We check again to see if anyone is calling him- no one is. We try to get him warm, offer him something to drink (he refuses) although he starts asking "cookie" and I hesitate. With all of the food issues we deal with each day I hesitate and make a mental note to buy our little PKU child a medical bracelet-we've been avoiding it but at this moment I realize that food is a natural thing to give a child who is upset. 

My friend wraps the little boy up in a blanket and just holds him while I run get some trucks and books. He settles down , although he's still shaking. I wonder how long he's been outside. It is not really spring here yet- snow was falling and the windchill this morning was below freezing.  

 The police arrive- question us for a few moments, start knocking on doors and find where the child came from down the street.

The police come back and forth- each time politely knocking- and my children seem to find it funny- calling out- " I bet it is the police again" time and time. They take the little boy home and dealt with it however they saw fit. 

And now I'm left wondering- was that a sign? Of course it was a sign. A child doesn't just march through your front door into your living room. 

My husband and I have been talking adoption for a long time now. We've talked fostering. I'm not saying this child shouldn't be with their parents. Perhaps it was a truly innocent mistake- apparently the mother was asleep and the child walked out the front door. Perhaps the mom was ill. Those things happen. But for a brief moment as I watched this little boy sit on our couch and play trucks with my children I thought - maybe another would fit into our family- maybe we're not really finished. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon Tragedy

This morning my mother called me to tell me that she and my sister had booked to run their first 1/2 marathon together later this year. My mom is a seasoned marathon runner and so it was exciting to hear that my sister would join her.

This afternoon there were at least two explosions that went off during the Boston Marathon. An 8 year old  died. Over a hundred injured- the numbers keep increasing. My little baby will be 8 this year so this really really hits home.

I didn't hear about it right away- I was at a field trip chatting with other homeschool mothers - we talked about social media and technology and the world our kids were going to grow up in. A world where there was uncertainty and violence and information- lots of information- but sometimes not enough wisdom.

My children won't know about this tragedy. We do not watch television and they are not online on their own.  And I am thankful I can protect them from this- thankful that I can shield them - even if only a little bit for a little while- from some of the ways evil portrays itself.

One of my go-to parenting books that is in my shelf is Simplicity Parenting  and I love this book for so many reasons but i think my favorite part is when the author Kim John Payne discucsses why it is important to shield our children from the evil and the ugly in the world- since it is so elequently expressed in this book I will not try to restate it here- but basically the idea is that childhood is a special opportunity and should be cherished as they will grow up too soon. The wonderment and beauty of the world should not be tarnished for them by the grown up fears and issues.

So I will not tell my children- but I will hug them a little closer and read and extra story tonight. I will pray for those who were killed and injured and their families.

And I will wonder- what has happened to our world? Another senseless tragedy- it is just so heartbreaking.                                      

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Mother's Silent Protest

I can feel myself taking deep breaths as I pace up and down in my  kitchen, scrubbing the counters with abandon. If you would watch me you might think I was lacking oxygen, fighting off tears or battling exhaustion but instead I'm trying to combat a little addiction of mine called Facebook. You see earlier today I (somewhat rashly) decided to take myself off of Facebook.

Now I have done this before- taken a "Facebook Fast" - however it has always been for myself for a set period of time. I've wanted to create more time or wanted to re-focus on an aspect of my life. Today though it is different.

Today I am making a silent protest. Silent because no one (save the 12 people who follow this blog) will ever know what I am doing. I am making a protest against the abuse of social media.  Earlier this week teen Rehtaeh Parons died after committing suicide because she couldn't escape the criminal harassment following a tragic rape.  Photos of her during the rape were taken and shared- on social media. And she feared that as long as she would live those photos could haunt her.

Social media is the communication medium for our current generation- they live their lives (to a large extent) based on the influences of social media. In some ways this is not so different from generations earlier when social norms were strictly enforced and those who deviated from those norms would face public humiliation and ridicule. But in some ways it is different. Social media ebbs and flows- not with Biblical standards, or a sense of right and wrong but instead rewarding that which is more different or extreme with more "likes" and  "comments" .  Social media is merely a tool, a technology that we must teach our children to control (rather than be controlled by it) but it is also something that plays into the deepest part of who we are-  we are driven by the need to belong, to find our place - to learn that we fit and it is this quest that makes us so so so vulnerable. On Facebook adults (myself included) struggle sometimes with hurt feelings or frustrations because we feel we are being judged incorrectly or misunderstood or simply not valued. I am so thankful that Facebook didn't exist when I was a teenager.

So today I say goodbye to my Facebook account in a small act of protest. I say good bye to my Facebook account because I am a mother to three wonderful little girls and I don't want them to grow up thinking that what matters is what is on Facebook. And while I will miss my Bible study groups, my homeschooling support, and the photos of friends around the world- I will sleep well knowing that I am doing what I can- as little and as insignificant as it might be.

I pray for Rehtaeh Parons and her family, I pray that Jesus returns, I pray that I can be a good mother and while I will at some point have to navigate the messy waters of social media with my children and teach them how to manage- today I do not. Today I just have to hold them close and be thankful they are ok.

Quotes for today  “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” 
― Elie Wiesel

“To spend one's life being angry, and in the process doing nothing to change it, is to me ridiculous. I could be mad all day long, but if I'm not doing a damn thing, what difference does it make?” 
― Charles Fuller

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

No More Naked Barbie

My husband cannot imagine why this is making me so excited but I feel like i just won the Barbie lotto! 

        If your house is like mine there are more naked Barbies hanging around than you would care to admit. When someone comes over I try to stuff them behind the cushions or under the couch worried that the guests will be alarmed by such a sight. Now realistically I understand it is normal to strip dolls and especially Barbies and that it is difficult for little fingers to dress the dolls back again. I remember playing with many a naked Barbie as a child and I'm sure I turned out alright yet they still make me uncomfortable on some level. I know that Barbie doesn't have nipples and neither Barbie nor Ken have genitals. But somehow it still seems wrong to see them all thrown naked in the bottom of the Barbie drawer. I know many a household that has a "no naked Barbies outside of the house" rule. And some only let them play with this much disputed doll on the condition she remains clothed at all times!  While it may seem bizarre to those not in the middle of the Barbie season of your life- this is a real issue. 

       Well my friends- I have found the solution! This week at church a little girl joined our row with her Barbie in tow and her mother had painted a bra and undies on Barbie with black nail polish! It was so neat. So I quickly went home and started to paint our own Barbies. I painted bras and panties and swimsuits and a next on my list is a tankini . They are pink and blue in wonderful matching little ensembles and now at the end of the day when my children toss them in the Barbie drawer they don't look so naked- so exposed and so unloved. 

In fact their underwear ensembles even match- which is more than I can say for mine most days! 

** What do you think? What do you do with the Naked Barbie problem in your house? **