Sunday, August 17, 2014

A New School Year

Prima and Segundo go to a Catholic School.  But sometimes, you would never know it.

This school year hasn't even begun and it's already been a bit...interesting.  Parents up in arms about teachers and students in classes.  What happened to compassion and understanding?  You know, the stuff Jesus was talking about?

Yes, some kids are harder than others and don't get along well with others.  But you deal with it and you teach your child to deal with it in a kind and compassionate way.  Because you remember that they are all just kids and you remember that they all have parents that love them, even the hard ones.  You remember that you are not perfect and neither is your child.

And yes, some teachers are better than others.  But just because one is spot on and one is more laid-back, it doesn't make either one wrong.  Again, you deal with it, and supplement if you feel the need or learn to go with the flow.

You tell your kid they will have a great year.  You teach your kid skills to deal with other kids, skills that will be good for the rest of their life when they have to deal with co-workers as adults.  You teach them to make the most out of what they learn in the classroom and what you teach them at home.

Catholic School or Public School, it doesn't matter, these are the kinds of things you will find everywhere.  You would hope that a Catholic School, based on the teachings of a kind, compassionate man, would deal with these things in a loving manner.  These past two weeks have shown me differently and it makes me sad.  Sad that we ask our kids to learn about our religion, but then don't follow it.  Sad that we are not living out the most basic law to love one another.  I'm not perfect and I'm sad to say I've been judgmental, as well.  But I'm willing to change.

Starting with me, I'm going to approach this year with love and compassion for all the students and teachers.  We'll deal with issues as they come up with kindness.  For my kids and myself, it is going to be a good year.

Friday, August 15, 2014

This Is About Respect (Or the Lack Of)

There is a blatant disregard for Human Life in this world.

We think nothing of killing another Human, hurting, abusing, shaming

The problems in Gaza, Iraq, Africa, Chicago and Ferguson.  The problems with sexism and racism and religious persecution.  It is all this: We don't Respect our fellow Humans.  We don't believe everyone on this planet has a right to live.  If we did, then Humans wouldn't be starving to death, gunned down for looking different, abused for power.  If we truly believed that Every Human has value and a right to live, no matter how they choose to live, then maybe there wouldn't be riots in Missouri and a war-zone in Chicago and bombings in Iraq.

But that's just it.  We think Humans only deserve Respect if they behave and believe like ourselves.  If you don't share my beliefs, race, gender, then you don't matter.  You are a toy to use, abuse, and throw away.  Or you are simply invisible, not even worthy of notice.

EVERY HUMAN MATTERS.  Catholic, Muslim, Wiccan.  African, Mexican, Polish, Iranian.  Female, Male.  It absolutely does not matter who you are, you are Human and you deserve to be Respected.

We don't Respect Life on this planet, Human Life, Animal Life, Plant Life.  We just don't care.  We send our Humans to kill other Humans, all for what?  We end the lives of thousands of Humans because they go to a different place to worship, have a different color skin-tone, are female instead of male.  We destroy each other, day after day after day because we fear what we do not understand.  And we definitely do not understand that we are all a part of each other.


Why don't we understand that when one of us is hurt, we are all hurt?  When one Human dies, we all die with them?  Every day a fellow Human is hurt or killed by another Human.  EVERY DAMN DAY.  We inflict pain and death on ourselves, we allow other Humans to inflict pain and death.  We have no Respect for Human Life.



Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Prima and Segundo are uncoordinated.  My Other Half and I are, too, so it's no wonder that our kids are as well.

Prima has no idea she is uncoordinated.  She moves through life quite literally at her own pace and on her own terms, not caring how others are moving.  She is tall and built strong, and though she hasn't yet learned to use them, she is amazing.  Sometimes, though, I feel a little embarrassed by Prima's incoordination.  In her gymnastics class especially, I compare her to other girls and I cringe sometimes when she can't move her body in the same way.  She hasn't learned to use her height and her inherent strength yet, and so she looks awkward to me.

My embarrassment stems from me and my own expectations of Prima, and myself.  I want Prima to be well-liked by her peers.  I want Prima to not be socially awkward like her mother and father were (are).  I want Prima to be confident in herself and her strength.  But mostly, I don't want Prima to be a bumbling girl like her mother was growing up, and still is.

What I am most afraid of, though, is that Prima will learn about my feeling embarrassed about her.  I don't ever want her to think I care more for how she looks than for the kind of person she is.  Because I would rather have my clumsy, happy, kind, giving child over a graceful, coordinated but unkind child any day.

What I want the most for myself and Prima, is to be Prima as she is right now.  She doesn't care about the way she moves.  She doesn't talk bad about her body, she doesn't shame herself, and that little voice telling her she's not good enough is not there.

Prima is content to be just as she is right now, in love with life and unconcerned with anyone else's expectations, except her own.

I love that about her and I hope she never loses that feeling.  And I hope she can teach me how to be that way, too.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Taking a Break

The car ride home from Iowa was so quiet.  Prima and Segundo were still at the campground with their Grandparents and Aunt, spending an extra day and night there, and Terzo was fast asleep.  The older two had already spent the last three nights sleeping in the RV with their Grandparents and Aunt, while we slept in the cabin across the way.  My Other Half and I had only spent part of the long weekend with Prima and Segundo, as they had preferred to be with their Grandparents and Aunt, riding in their car, spending time at the RV instead of the cabin.  We were both a little sad at leaving Prima and Segundo behind, even though it would only be one extra day, because we had already spent so little time with them.

Don't get me wrong, I love that my kids love their Grandparents and My Sister.  They adore each other and love to be with each other.  And I know that a break from my kids every once in a while is a good thing.  It gives me a chance to decompress from their near constant need for something.  It gives My Other Half and I time to reconnect and have adult conversations that don't involve code words.

But I miss my kids.  And I think that is perfectly okay and normal.  It's okay to miss your kids.  It's also okay to take a break from them when you need it, not when someone says you should.

Some of us need weekends away or a weekly date night or even a couple days a week at the gym.  And if you need that, good for you!  Take it and run, and come back feeling awesome!  I don't need much time away from the house and my kids to feel back to normal.  Usually, a couple hours every couple weeks does the trick and I'm ready to get elbows deep back into parenting again.  And, again, I think that is perfectly okay and normal.

Just please stop insisting that I need to step back.  Because I know when I need a break, and I'll take it then.

But right now, I can't wait to have all my kids back!