Monday, September 10, 2012

Censorship? Yes, please!

I teach Sunday School for a sweet group of children who range between the ages of 5 and 7. Our regular crowd is made up almost entirely of five year olds... And Alex. Who just turned seven.

This week our lesson was about David and Goliath. Thanks to a very thorough Sunday school class Alex visited when he was five, he is privy to gory details about the David and Goliath story that many people are not aware of.

I planned on following the preplanned curriculum, which omitted the gruesome details, partially because they're gruesome details, and partially because having to explain decapitation to my kindergartner a few years ago was slightly scarring for  me. I have no wish to repeat the experience with other people's children.

I decided a quick chat with Alex before class time was crucial for my plan "Avoid Gruesome Details".

Me: We're going to talk about David and Goliath today.

Alex: I know that story!!!! David hit goliath with a rock AND THEN HE CUT OFF GOLIATH'S HEAD!!!

Me: Yes, but we're not going to talk about the part where his head gets cut off.
Because the girls are only five years old, and I don't want to scare them.

Alex: ....If they say it first can we talk about it?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Ode to a Pediatrician

Dear Ex-Pediatrician,
The last time I saw you, you broke my heart into a million pieces.
When you said you were moving across the country, I forgot how to breathe.

You came into my life, when I had given up. I had no hope. While the other pediatricians told me I was an over anxious first time mom, you listened to me, and addressed my concerns. Instead of rolling your eyes at me, you looked through the charts and saw my reason for concern.
Because of you we were pushed through to see the specialist and get the necessary tests. Without you we probably never would have had the chance for Alex to get the surgery he needed.
You helped renew my faith in medical professionals.

After you left, we bounced from one pediatrician to another. We saw big ones, we saw small ones. We saw old ones, we saw young ones. After another visit of being bullied and ridiculed, I would sigh deeply and say "I wish Dr. P was still here.".

But then we met someone. Someone else who listened and addressed our concerns. When we choose to do something outside of the mainstream way of thinking, she helped us achieve our goals. I stopped wishing you would come back.

Then today, as I gingerly walked through the crowded pediatric lobby, praying that my healthy children would hold their collective breath and not touch anything. I saw you. I have to admit, you looked familiar, but I couldn't put my finger on who you were until I looked at your name tape.
Excitement coursed through my body as realization hit me.

You are back!

Visions flashed through my mind. First of you ordering Alex's allergy tests, then of our current pediatrician ordering donor milk for Spain. Examples battled in my mind as I grappled with the dilemma: Stay with our current pediatrician, or try to get you back.
All day long I deliberated. I thought I had decided, and then I would change my mind.

Finally I made a decision. What we had was wonderful. You restored my faith in medical professionals, and because of you, my son can breathe... Literally.
It's been three years though, and we've moved on. We're happy in our relationship with our current pediatrician. I can't throw that away.

You'll always have a place in my heart.

Thank you for everything.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Sometimes I sit down to write a post with a very clear idea of what I want to say. Usually it happens to be an issue that I'm feeling particularly passionate about.

Surprisingly, I'm finding that my writing begins to go in a different direction altogether. While the finished piece is something I'm usually proud to share, it is not at all what I had originally intended.

I chalk it up to a supernatural power. You see, in the melting pot that is my genealogical ancestry, there is a strong Irish presence on one side, and a lively Scottish presence on the other side. Neither group is particularly known for their diplomacy.

Not to mention, I really hate having to eat my words.

Sometimes I feel like I'm swimming in a sea of negativity, so writing a blog post- Even unintentionally- that is not negative makes me feel refreshed. As a bonus, the driving urge to vent and rant away about some awful situation leaves me.

That is not to say that I will only be writing positive posts from now on. That is HIGHLY unlikely. I'm just saying that sometimes God takes pity on you, and removes my desire to spew my discord all over the internet.

See, miracles do happen.

Musings from a mother

I often wonder how much value is placed on our children. I don't mean how big is their life insurance pay out.
I mean, how much do we value their contribution to society?
I chuckle when I hear the term "Life skills". Life is what is happening every day. From the moment we are born we start learning and assimilating skills . We study our environment consciously and unconsciously. We learn how to respond to social cues and situations. It's an ongoing process that we never stop cycling through.

When Alex was born, he relied on Sweet Husband and I for everything. In one very short year he could get from Point A to Point B on his own. He could feed himself, and he could communicate with us in broken English. 
Two years after that, he could use the bathroom by himself. He understood the other people had feelings. He could still communicate with us in broken English.
Four years after that, he is starting to learn multiplication. He can grasp concepts in physics. He can read books by himself. He can write a letter by himself. 

Every year he continues to grow physically and mentally. He is maturing and picking up new attitudes and behaviors. Every year he is evolving into the man he will become. 

I have to constantly remind myself that Alex is not three years old anymore. He has new capabilities now, and if I don't allow him a chance to exercise these new  attributes, I cannot expect him to become a contributing member of society.
As his parent I need to allow him the opportunity to explore and expand his skills.

One day Alex will be an adult. It will not be a rapid transformation, but a slow metamorphosis.

My hope is that he will be able to interact with people, regardless of their culture or age. My prayer is that he will never stop seeing the humanity in other people, and that he will value their contributions.

I want my child to interact with people that are much older than him, and with people that are much younger than him. I want to learn first hand about compassion and teaching. I want him to hear firsthand accounts of life before the internet and cable tv.

I want him to know that we can celebrate our differences.

I want him to have the confidence to think for himself.