To each his own. To me my own.

Posts tagged “Children

Stand For Change Day

This Friday, May 4th, is the inagural “Stand for Change” day – a day in which participating schools across the US will attempt to raise awareness of bullying in our youth.

I wasn’t a stranger to bullying as a child. I remember a boy named Randy decided to make me his target in 5th grade. For virtually half the school year he threatened me with his fists and chased me. When I finally told my mother and grandmother about it, my grandmother happened to get off early so she came by the school to pick me up. I felt so brave with her there that I walked right up to Randy with my head held high and planted myself about a foot in front of him. He gripped the front of my t-shirt all the way up to my chin (I still can feel the embarrassment of having my bare chest exposed to everyone) then rared back the other fist to punch me. Lo and behold, here comes my Savior disguised as a white haired lady – belting out of a yellow Ford Pinto and hauling ass across the parking lot. Once Randy saw her, he ran away as fast as he could. He was almost laughed out of class the next day for the incident. Nothing like your family’s love! Incidentally, Randy never bothered me again, and we even ended up becoming close friends in Junior High School.

I’m fortunate not to have experienced any bullying from other females. The same sex can be so competitive, especially in this day and age. Add to that all the social networking sites and internet that we didn’t have back then… well you get my point.

It’s true that today, over 160,000 kids stayed home from school from fear of bullying. FEAR. A word I so despise… especially when paired with intimidation. That type of fear is gut-wrenching, especially when you feel like you’re in it alone. It’s a fear that can escalate into suicidal thoughts, and actions. If that’s not enough to grab our attention, I don’t know what is.

I’m sad to learn only certain states or even lone cities here in the US are participating in this classroom awareness event on Friday – Florida seems to be the largest participant and I applaud them for that. Remember that even if you don’t have young children – bullying has probably affected your life in some way, shape or form. Perhaps you remember how it felt to be bullied as a child – maybe you have grandkids to worry about. Promoting awareness and just plain getting it out in the open is crucial.

There’s no place for hate. We have more than enough hate to deal with as adults – we need to do everything we can to protect our children.

Stand for Change.  http://stand4change.org/

No Place for Hate.  http://www.adl.org/npfh/

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After Effects

This past Friday my daughter underwent oral surgery to have her remaining two wisdom teeth removed. I dreaded this almost as much as she did. Exactly two years ago, the abominable happened – lack of sufficient novocaine administered prior to surgery caused my kid to wake up screaming in pain in the recovery room. Once home, she passed out from the pain, thankfully her Dad was standing behind her at the time and able to catch her. Both he and I shed tears for her that day… there’s nothing that compares to seeing your child in that much pain and not being able to help. It took a good 3-4 hours to get it under control, and we worried about the risk of overmedication to get her there.

This time she opted to return to her original surgeon with whom she’d had a good experience, having four of her front teeth pulled prior to getting braces. The icing on the cake ended up being the cost – Mr. Botched Job charged her almost double of what was charged this past Friday. And just so we’re clear, I define a good oral surgery experience as not waking up in the recovery room screaming in pain – it seems to be a highly coveted perk of choosing a proven and trusted oral surgeon. If it ain’t broke… let’s not try to fix it.

The effects from anesthesia can make you very funny or very sick, or a combination of the two. In the case of Julia vs. Anesthesia – she was 100% hilarious. Once in the car she asked for chapstick, and it’s funny how a simple little thing like chapstick can become so confusing. The outside plastic came off in her hand with the actual top remaining in place. I glanced over to see her dazedly holding it – staring back and forth from the plastic, to the lid, back to the plastic, then back to the lid. God only knows how long this would’ve gone on if I hadn’t intervened.

My goal was to take her straight home, then head back out solo to fill her prescription. That goal was thwarted when she announced she wanted to ‘pick herself out some ice cream’ (I’m an old softie to that word ‘puh-leassssse‘). I obliged her request, by then knowing better than to leave her in the car alone. As we made our way across the parking lot I asked her to hold my hand while we crossed (remember, she’s 24). She actually stood there a second thinking about it, until it hit her like a ton of bricks. “NOOOO!!”

I should’ve known there was more than just ice cream on this kid’s mind. Once inside, she immediately started searching for another wheelchair to ride in – I thank the dear Lord one wasn’t available. She graduated over to the special motorized cart and it took a minute to convince her she was too impaired to drive it. Finally, a partially deflated red balloon on the floor stole her attention. She dragged that balloon around behind her the entire time.

I glanced down at my watch. In a moment of horror, I realized the pharmacy didn’t open for another 15 minutes. What the heck was I going to do with her all this time? It was like having a full-grown toddler to watch after, and we’re all aware of Bon’s patience level with unruly children.

The newly adopted orphan balloon.

It took a moment to remember she didn't much care for Jeff Gordon.

Once she decided on her ice cream, I proceeded to peel it from her hands and place it in the basket. Guiding her in the direction of the pharmacy (which didn’t open for another 10 minutes) I discovered they actually sell canes in this grocery store. Did she find them, you may ask? Absolutely. Up she walks leaning on one like a pro, looking like she’d just found her best friend. I’d love to post the video, but my life would be in danger if I did.

Hats off to good experiences.


Badge of honor

Saturday night, we enjoyed a nice fish camp dinner out with the family. Located a mere two feet from the entrance doors of the restaurant and parallel to the long line of waiting patrons, were tables set up to harbor the mothers little girls selling girl scout cookies.

The whole ‘mothers pushing sales’ thing touches a tender spot with me and it’s not a sweet one. If I’ve never addressed the subject before, humor me in seizing this little opportunity to do so.

On Sunday morning we headed out for breakfast and our weekly trip to the market. Lo and behold, more tables were set up approximately four feet from the entrance/exit doors of Bi-lo. FYI, Keith is very well-aware of this little ‘peeve’ I have and is ever-gracious in his endeavor to take my elbow and guide me within a safe proximity around them accommodate me. As we approached, two women sat posed theatrically behind the tables. Their girls, each six years old or less, were running around looking like they’d rather be picking clovers in a grassy field.

Mother #1: (whispering) “Go ahead, ask her…”
Munchkin #1: “ummmm, would you like to buy some Girl Scout cook ––”
Me (as Rooney Mara in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo):No.

That was easy enough, I thought as we proceeded to walk in the store. We shopped, we bought, we paid, we go to leave. Actually – scratch that last one.

There, standing smack in front of the exit doors, in true ‘twins from The Shining‘ fashion, are munchkins 1 & 2. I purposely stepped on the mat to open the door, forcing them to move back. Mother #2 was completely disengaged as she sat cross-legged on the ground designing a campaign poster (seriously guys, I can’t make this shit up).

Mother #1 (again): “Go on, ask if they want to buy some.”
Munchkin #1 (again): “Would you like to buy some Girl Sc ––”
Me, to Mother #1 (as Linda Blair in The Exorcist): NOOOOOOOO!!

Didn’t add thanks afterward, didn’t pass Go, didn’t collect a bleeping $200, didn’t earn an Oscar. Now, for those of you who may call me a grinch, curmudgeon, or any other creative schmuck that comes to mind – so be it. Take solace in the fact that this was mom #1’s lucky day! It stands to reason that had there not been children present, my mouth surely would have chosen to take the road less traveled.

Being a girl scout was the only thing I was really involved in as a kid – and I loved it. Having been raised in a single-parent household, scouting was one of the few activities that was actually affordable. I learned that being a scout was just as competitive as other extracurricular activities like cheerleading, dance, music or sports – but this knowledge didn’t help me to understand why. Even then, those and other sought-after badges were very difficult to earn – I never did get one and believe me I tried. I can only imagine how much harder it is now due to the competing nature of mothers who opt to Occupy Walmart or Bi-Lo in a heroic effort to earn it for their daughters. Let’s fast-forward to my own kid, who I’ve witnessed endure many of the same trials and tribulations through years of hard work in playing sports.

Certain ‘perks’ and ‘opportunities’ are afforded to a few of every batch of kids as a result of extraordinary parental ‘involvement’ (aka, ass-kissing). There, I said it. Not only have I lived it – I’ve watched it. I’ve seen the tears of disappointment as a result of yanked opportunities that she knew in her heart she’d worked hard for and deserved. Chances that instead were handed to a kid whose parent’s head was so far up the coach’s ass they couldn’t tell where they ended and the coach began. I view this competitiveness no differently than I view those freakazoid pageant moms. Meh.

All done in the name of a trophy, a ribbon, a metal, a plaque or as the case may be… a badge. Call me curmudgeon if you will. I’ll NOT be one to justify these self-serving acts which always result in a child somewhere feeling less than just as good as anyone else. I guess some things will never change.


Define IRONY…

Well, actually it came by way of the 5 o’clock news this evening.

There’s a strangeness that no one can quite put their finger on. In a suburb right outside of my lovely town, a little girl was photographed. By a stranger. Playing in the snow. Zipped up tight to her nose in fluffy coatings and wintry garb. That’s right folks, a picture was taken.

Let me say first, I’m not trying to make light of any sort of potentially dangerous situation, particularly that which involves a child. But I’ve gotta say, there are some things with this ‘story’ that just don’t jive well with me.

The story as told by an 8-year old girl starts with her playing down the street from her house, and looking up to see a man taking a snapshot of ‘her’. She ran home to tell her mother. Mom is then broadcast all over the evening news rolling her eyes and saying “the thought of a sick, perverted man having a picture of my daughter infuriates me”. Every. Ten. Minutes. Well yeah lady, I have a daughter. That particular thought would infuriate me too.

But.

Let’s say for the sake of argument – there was this man going down the road with his wife driving (the little girl reported he was in the passenger seat – with no description of the driver) who decided to take a few rare southern snow pics, like I had the urge to do my own self today. The little girl (or other children) just happened to be in the general vicinity of where the camera was faced. Hell, it’s happened to me many times – I’ve just never been ‘accused’ of anything. But then again… I’m female. Hey, somebody had to say it…

Through many years of photography, I of course have my own photo library. Rather than a subject who happens to be laced, zipped and velcroed all the way up to their nostrils in the dead of winter – I’m quite sure a few of mine are on a public beach (Gasp**) in bathing suits! Certainly they weren’t the intended subjects of the frame – but what if they had been? This is what it’s come to. Yes, this. Here and now.

I must give credit to my Dad and his eagle-eye on this subject, as it was he who called and brought me up to speed on the said situation-at-hand. Yes, it’s pretty bad when you can’t be your normal self anymore. To be forced to avoid situations we’ve not only been accustomed to all our lives but have been raised to admire, respect and enjoy. Now we have to worry about staring a little too long, if at all… whether anything we say might be perceived as a prelude to an abduction… not to mention the subjects that might happen to be in the general vicinity of our cameras… need I even go on? And if you don’t worry about it… well you’d better worry about it. I don’t wish to downplay the possibility of a legitimate threat on this particular story. What I wish to up-play is the fact that we can’t snapshot a timeless moment anymore, without the fear of consequences.

Because this is where we are.

But Bon, where on earth is this irony you speak of? You really mucked this title up – wayyy off!!

Here we go, folks. In between sessions of Mom rolling her eyes and speaking of Joe Pedophile staring at photos of her little girl – a lighter, more airy segment flashed up where us viewers got the chance to see submitted photos of the snow aired on tonight’s edition of the local news. How sweet and funny they were, too – most submitted anonymously. Anything from snowmen, to sledding, to children playing, to pets playing, to…. hey BACK UP just a minute. Did you just say children playing????

IMHO the persons behind each of these two segments had to be on two different wavelengths, in two different buildings. In two different cities. With no communication tools. Ahem, you get my drift. Speaking of drifts…

Just be careful where and what you point those cameras at.

Story as seen on WBTV news


Time in a bottle

As I glanced at the calendar this morning, a wave of nostalgia hit me. Twenty-three years ago today, I got married. My first and only time.

Everything in life happens for a reason. It is true that time tends to change things. People change, and grow, in different ways – sometimes in two completely opposite directions. The product of that union is a wonderful young woman. A woman who has set out to enrich the world with her beauty, charisma, honesty, knowledge, love of God, and heart of gold.

Her name is Julia Christine, and I thank God every day for her. She is by far the biggest blessing ever bestowed upon me – and I’m sure her father feels the same way.

Instead of dwelling on how long the storm lasted… remember how good the breeze from it felt. ~BM