Here Today, Gone Tomorrow…Like Praying

Flag and soldiers.

Flag and soldiers.

How many times do we have to hear, “today might be your last day”? How many times are we reminded to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us and to verbally acknowledge our love daily? This weekend, we are once again a witness to the tragedies of life that are real and that we are not immune from. Over one hundred people lost their opportunity to say or to hear I LOVE YOU ever again. In the city of LOVE, Paris, France, evil once again slapped us out of our stupor and reminded us that life is precious, life has a meaning, and we are not in control; we humans can not do this alone and we are now begging for mercy.

To whom are we asking to give us this benevolent gift? Political leaders who just days ago denounced prayer in public buildings, laughed at a tiny red cup controversy, are now asking us to pray and telling the world we are praying for them! We are? It’s ok now?  I thought we weren’t allowed to pray? I thought praying was offensive and hurt the freedom of those who choose not to believe in a higher power? But…but…wait! Now it’s cool to pray? Now we look like a kinder and a more compassionate people if we bow our heads and have a moment of silence? Can somebody tell me how long this fashion trend will last? Overnight, along with the “man bun” it is now correct, elite, sophisticated, and trendy to pray… to…once again, who? I’m confused. This country’s rule book has so many amendments; the margins are so crowded with notes and references that I can’t deceiver the actual text.

Bowing our heads is a symbol of humility. We are recognizing that we are willing to be schooled. We are physically demonstrating that we are on a lower level of greatness. We bow our heads, close our eyes, close our mouths, and  then what? The act of asking a crowd to be silent and to ponder on an event has what purpose? For a few weeks it will be politically correct to post the command, “Pray for Paris” on social media. Next week, we will be told to keep our religion to ourselves.

For just one week would you mind, would it be ok, if we once again asked our children to place their hands over their hearts and repeat, “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, UNDER GOD,  indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Just for a few days maybe, could we leave God in our pledge to love our country and to stand united? It’s cool now you know.

We would look pretty outstanding to the rest of the world, don’t you think? I like man buns, it’s a look that goes back thousands of years actually. I think it was first revealed in Asia like so many other fashion trends that we in America adopt and then make our own. What could be sexier than a man praying with a man bun? That is what’s it’s all about right? Looking like we are doing something? Like so many fashion trends, this is a look that we have already done. Like fur vests, bell bottoms, yellow ribbons, flags flown on everything, statements like, “a nation in mourning, a nation of compassion and unity” yeah, yeah, did that, been there.

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY - NO COMMERCIAL SALES) Firefighters raise a U.S. flag at the site of the World Trade Center after two hijacked commercial airliners were flown into the buildings September 11, 2001 in New York.  (Photo by 2001 The Record (Bergen Co. NJ)/Getty Images)

NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 11: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY – NO COMMERCIAL SALES) Firefighters raise a U.S. flag at the site of the World Trade Center after two hijacked commercial airliners were flown into the buildings September 11, 2001 in New York. (Photo by 2001 The Record (Bergen Co. NJ)/Getty Images)

Maybe this trend will stick around longer than fourteen years.

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Change Is Good! 

As my program grows, so too must the media! I wanted to let all of you know that my posts will now be found on http://www.heavenandnot.com. It’s an easy transition I hope. Stay along for more fun, information, and necessary chatter!

Love to all!

Rene’

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Breaking The DREADED Drama Triangle

Problems in life are often met with anxiety. We may have a physical reaction, anger, shock, flight or fight. How we handle our life challenges often put us on a path of happiness or constant conflict. My guest today, Diane Dennis, explained a path that we can all take that will change our habits, break our repetitive conflict patterns and make life so much easier.

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Diane is president and founder of Inspired Media Communications, a multi-media PR firm. Clients include world renowned and best-selling authors Harville Hendrix, PhD, and Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, PhD., Douglas E. Noll, J.D., and Imago Relationship International. Some Inspired Media local clients include Portland Relationship Center, Creative Compounds, Aesthetic Medicine, authors, financial firms, technology innovators and media personalities. Besides PR, Diane is a sought after speaker and trainer, and a certified trainer for TED* (The Empowerment Dynamic).

The three roles that make up the triangle are victim, persecutor, and rescuer. On the website for The Empowerment Dynamic program, developed by David Emerald,we can read the description for each role. “Victims feel powerless and at the mercy of life’s events and may avoid taking responsibility for their actions, finding it easier to blame others or their circumstances. Persecutors must win and convince others that they are right. They have little compassion for another perspective or way of doing things. Their universe has often been a chaotic, insecure place at some time in their early life, so they developed controlling life strategies to survive and minimize the uncertainty they feel. The last role in the drama triangle is Rescuer. By fixing and saving others, a Rescuer believes others will appreciate and value them for their good deeds. Rescuers feel an obligation and urgency to change or fix, in their view, what is not going well.”

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So what is the answer? Listen to Diane as she describes how to reverse these roles and give us back the power to change the stories we continually tell ourselves, forgive others, and find resolutions and happiness.

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Nostalgic Reflection on Parenting

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I truly believe that this surge in parenting advice coming from books and mommy blogs is a scheme derived directly from a non-sectarian form of Al-Qaeda. It stems from a group of control freaks who lack enough children. Say what? I truly mean this. If you have more children than you have hands, you have to let go of control. If your children equal your arm count, and they are female, you can grab and hold tight at all times, you may feel gloriously in control. You may be inclined to give advice to other parents because it seems so easy. If you accidentally or on purpose possess more than two, you soon realize you don’t, can’t, won’t control many things. You have to let your children fall down, climb up, play, explore, make mistakes, be tired, be hungry, because you are too out numbered to micro manage. Mother’s before 1990 weren’t surprised after giving birth that they were tired all the time. They didn’t have to learn it from Oprah, they already knew. They had been awakened themselves from their siblings and maybe even walked a few hallways with a new baby at the age of twelve.

I soon learned that if one child was asleep, one was awake. If one child was fed, another might decide once again he was hungry. If one child was dropped off at an event on time, another child was picked up late. If one child had an amazing macaroni model of the Golden Gate Bridge, another child didn’t get their spelling homework done. My kids had to learn to be independent, to accept failure, to take responsibility. I physically couldn’t be in control at all times. It’s the law of averages, I love average, I gave birth to average children, they had an average childhood. I have extraordinary memories of raising these little people. Best job anyone could have. Thank heavens those were the days before blogs, or the internet for that matter.

I am already bracing myself for the armed assault that will be strategized once my finger hits “post”. That is the risk of “mommy blogging” but, here’s the thing, in spite of what child rearing experts want us to believe, it’s not rocket science, it’s not brain surgery, let me think of another metaphor, I can’t. Let’s begin by saying, mommy advice is something that no MAN should ever write a MANuel for. Except perhaps for the guy who started it all, Dr. Spock, not the “live long and prosper” one, (probably should listen to his advice too), but rather, Dr. Benjamin Spock.He was a man with a message but even he had a female whispering in his ear and was heavily influenced by his meditating second wife, who finally at the age of 75, got him to try a pair of blue jeans.

Many of you parents who are under the age of forty, may have never heard of Dr. Spock. Dr. Benjamin Spock wrote the book “Baby and Child Care” in 1946. I like his message that mothers know more than they think they do. We do, we know enough, we have gifts and talents beyond compare to any man when it comes to caring and nurturing our children. Not that men can’t be great parents, obviously, but our gut is geared for nurturing. Men’s guts are geared for…well, that is another blog altogether.

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Dr. Spock’s ideas about raising children influenced many generations of parents as he encouraged them to be more flexible and affectionate and to treat children as people and not possessions. His book came out at a time when families consisted of at least four children, playpens, and slides at the parks. He was later blamed for those darn hippie kids who started the “free love” movement in the sixties. See what happens when you love your kids and not whip them in the shed? Who knows if this is true, but in his later life he wrote a book advising parents to feed their kids a whole food plant based diet. I really like this guy.

His words need to be re-read as his advice went against the previous books of the time which advocated for children learning to sleep on a regular schedule, not picking them up when they cry and feeding them on a schedule rather than on demand.

I thought that all children were free range cherubs until the 80’s but I guess not. I guess, even previous to 1946, there were Nazi parents.  How did parent-led schedules creep back in to our lexicon and mind set? What kind of adult even considers creating a child if the thinking is that this helpless little human will not infringe on their plans to binge watch “House of Cards”? If that is your mind set, just don’t do it! You really can’t have your cake, HBO, bunko night, pick a hobby, and children too, for awhile at least.

The problem with the “my way or the high way” mentality of raising kids is thus creates the proverbial helicopter parent. If you can control when and how they eat, who they will play with, (even the Beaver was allowed to play with Eddie Haskell),which diseases they will get, when their serotonin kicks in, when their melatonin will kick in, prevent limbs breaking, or scrape a knee, heck, you should be the leader of a nation, maybe not a free nation, but at least the PTA president. You find yourself so filled with pride for your little soldiers that you want to command an entire company, virtually or literally in any type of gathering. You may even want to place some initials behind your name like, CEO, child executive officer. If you gave up a six figure income to stay home and raise your kids, maybe that’s what your climbing towards?

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My point is, child rearing usually comes naturally unless the parents are mentally ill, abusing drugs or alcohol, or reading too many child rearing advice books. Books which scare the be-geezzus out of expectant mothers, books that tell lactating women to only nurse for ten minutes, books that instruct parents to let children cry it out, books written by men especially and dare I say, books written by a parent of only two girls. They should be ignored and the authors put on the list of potential terrorists. More voices need to rise up and cry out, “I already know what to do, I’m a woman in tune with my instincts, not yours!”  Put on a set of pearls, kick your kids outside and tell them to not come home till the cars turn on their headlights.

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“Are all Your Children from the Same Father?” and Other Stupid Questions!

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Laura Young has a gaiety to her voice that you wouldn’t expect from a mother of seven children. Yes, I don’t stutter, I said SEVEN! The oldest is fourteen so you do the math! What is even more remarkable though is that two of those kiddos have been diagnosed with Autism.

Laura continued working off and on after her little guy was born. She recorded normal progression until he was about eighteen months. It was then that a day care provider hinted that he might have Autism. This story is repeated a gazillion times in the Autism world. The denial, disbelief, fear, disappointment and finally the call to action. Laura already had baby number two when all of the testing and the evaluations were complete.

It was a challenge that Laura and her husband were willing to take on, conquer, accept and live with. He was their bright light and a gift. When child number five was also diagnosed with Autism, Laura cried. This was too much. But, it wasn’t too much, it was enough and “enough is as good as a feast”, so says Mary Poppins! Feast they have done, they feast on the joy of a large family, five boys and two girls. They feast on determination and positive energy. Laura shares her crazy days with the world on her blog, “Today’s Dose of Sanity”. She also has two other blogs that highlight her endeavor to home school and to eat a raw food diet. Aren’t seven children enough of a challenge? I would at least want my plant food warmed up!

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We had a fun chat this morning and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

PLEASE COMMENT or REPLY to this post below in the comment section. I would also love you more than air if you would become a tried and true follower! CLICK up in the top bar where it says, “follow”. SEE? So very simple, much simpler than seven children!

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My Ducks in a Row

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I don’t know if every mother has this dilemma but I never seem to be able to gather all of my chicks under my wings at the same time any longer. Once they left the nest, there always seems to be someone missing when we gather. However, this last Saturday, I did it! All six of my children gathered for a fun run called “The Bubble Run”. I was still missing one grandchild but 99.9% of my people ran through colored bubbles with me. The excitement in their faces, the joy in their squeals, and the happiness everyone was feeling was celestial. If there is an antibiotic for the disease of “empty nests” having your loved ones, run through rainbow bubbles is the medicine.

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August is half over and school will be starting soon. Vacations are winding down, schedules are tightening up, the air is getting crispy and another year is almost logged. I am grateful for this fun afternoon and know that it is rare and therefore precious.

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Choose Today To Choose Life and Purpose, Nancy Byrne Shares her Wisdom

Are you writing your life script or are you following one that was given to you? Nancy Byrne wasn’t given many choices when she was a child.; in fact, she prayed to God that he would allow her to die. Her father tried to kill her many times and wasn’t afraid to tell her he wished she would die. Her fear of water came from an incident where her father took her out to the lake, swam out with her in a tube, pulled the tube out from under her, and swam back to shore.  The drunken buddy that was with her father was sane enough to swim out and save her. She was beaten and sexually abused by an alcoholic father until she escaped with the help of others at around seventeen. She thought that getting good grades would give her the tools to get out and so she chose to study and follow the rules. She was right. Others outside of her home saw her potential and helped her get a job and become independent.

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She didn’t share her childhood horrors with many but the few that she did tell urged her to write them down, write a book they said. She tried. When she showed her friend what she had written, her friend said, “oh no, you can’t write this, this is horrific!” But, one day she awoke and the spirit told her to write. Nancy knew that the words that were being written now came from a different place, a different intention, a different dimension.

Even after her book was completed she listened to the advice of humans who dissuaded her, told her it was impossible to get a book published in these days. So, she listened to them, shelved her manuscript once again and let it sit. She was prompted once more and decided to listen to the inner voice within instead of the people without. A few months later, she was speaking at a Louise Hays event and signing copies of her book for the hundreds in line to meet her.

Nancy Byrne is the author of the new book, “Choices”. Byrne majored in psychology at the University of Colorado Denver for both graduate and undergraduate. She has worked for an adolescent psychiatric treatment hospital, a women-in-need-of-group-support program, a rape crisis center, a major police department as director of a victim services unit and several high risk shelters for adolescents. Byrne states, “It is my soul’s desire to ‘give back’ to the Universe and to serve by assisting others on their life’s journey.” More information is available at www.choices-nlb.com

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LISTEN to our chat FOLLOW THIS BLOG for more exciting interviews. COMMENT RIGHT HERE!

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No Vacation From Cerebral Palsy

I glance across and stare at three of my grown children sitting in the “kiddie” pool with their children. One of them has her arms placed on each knee of her husband’s straddled legs. They are both laughing and multi-tasking by keeping a set of eyes on one child each and conversing. The conversation bounces between my other two children who like wise keep their heads forward watching babies as if they are donning a whistle and a red sweatshirt bearing a white cross; at the same time, throwing their heads back with an occasional relaxed laugh. I shake my head remembering how it was just yesterday I was the young mother standing knee high in the pool, watching their moppet heads bob up and down yelling, “watch me mommy”.

I wish I could hear the dialog. I love to hear my adult children chat about their lives as siblings, their memories of returning yearly to this sunny get away. I can’t hear them however because I am across the pool sitting in the shade with their brother. The one in the wheelchair who can’t stand to sit in the sun, who can’t dip in the pool to cool off, the one who keeps me away from the company of my whole family. We are together but I am somehow banished outside the circle by circumstances beyond control.

Let me take you back to the beginning, it’s been a hard day. It get’s tiresome “making it work” as they say. Making a home that was rented under the promise of being wheelchair accessible work. Yes, I guess anything is accessible if you have enough men around to lift the wheelchair down and up the stairs. Accessible if sponge bathing can get you buy for seven days because the bath chair doesn’t fit in any shower or bath tub. Accessible if you just want to sit and listen to the nice man play his guitar at the band stand. Not so much if you enjoy going INSIDE the boutique like stores. Window shopping is over rated!

The day began with my daily ritual of dressing my son. At home, I have room to walk around his bed. At home, I don’t have a strange overstuffed recliner as well as an armless chair, two dressers, a queen sized bed, and a TV stand in a 12 x12 bedroom. Here in the rental home, I have to half climb ON the bed to dress him and barely have room to lift him up and place him in his chair. Yep, we knocked over the lamp with his feet, I forgot to mention the two bedside tables. Day five, this is getting old. Rental houses suck for the non-ambulatory.

This morning we headed to the Village, a quaint area of cafés and rental shops that try and squeeze a few more dollars out of the weary vacationers. People stroll the little shops, the ice cream salon, in the evenings, not quiet ready to put away the day in spite of rafting or hiking.  Or, they stroll in the morning grabbing a bagel and a coffee preparing for the busy day ahead. Tanned and relaxed, Columbia or NorthFace sweatshirt clad, with hands in pockets, the residents stroll the cobblestone like walkways and drink in every drop of mountain air.The ambiance is peaceful and welcoming except, for some reason, my presence disrupts the Rockwellian scene.

There are no walkers, canes, or disabled. I can safely stay in the center of the square, it’s open, but I don’t dare divert. Except…this morning, I diverted. The art faire opened this morning. I was anxious to take in this fun summer event and my efforts to just get my son and I dressed and to the faire did not include breakfast, for me anyway. Everyone was walking around with the proverbial coffee cup, glancing at the booths that had sprung up overnight like flower carts in “My Fair Lady”. I wanted to stroll the booths with a cup of something yummy too. I’ll just bop in to the bakery shop and buy a semi-healthy smoothie I thought. To be truthful, it was the cinnamon roll aroma that snaked through the air and grabbed my nostrils like a cow being lead by it’s brass nose ,ring.  I opened the door of the bakery and stood for a second glancing at the line before me. “Could I do this?” I asked myself.  “Yes”, I thought. “Should I do this?” Was the next thought. “No” I confirmed. So I did.

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The shop was “L” shaped. The entry door was your first step that placed you in the line to order. There were a few people in front of me but enough space to accommodate the wheelchair and my body. Enough space lengthwise but not necessarily wide enough for a two-way pass by, but kind of wide enough. This is where my “screw you” attitude gets me in trouble, “I want a smoothie/doughnut just like all of you, and ______(fill in the curse word) you can just wait behind me or go around for all I care”. So I push his chair a few more feet then, I have to make a ninety degree turn. Now his chair is blocking the fridge that is there for people to grab a water or a soda. It would be blocked by anyone who was standing in line but it’s easier to reach around vertical legs than scrawny strapped in legs surrounded by metal. A desperate mother did however awkwardly, overly apologetically, ask if I would back up enough for her to open the sliding door and get her son a water. I did. I backed up the opposite direction a few seconds later when another mother, awkwardly, overly apologetically, asked if I could move so her son could point out the cupcake he wanted. I was blocking the cupcake cooler. “Move a little forward would you mind?” “Move a little backward would you mind?” “Excuse me, could I just reach around you?” Coffee shops are very intense! Might I suggest a de-cafe next time?

BUT WAIT! There’s more! Behind the counter which was even more crowded than in front, bustled thin (an obvious job requirement considering the size of this place) frantic teenagers; trying to fill orders faster than you can say, “aaa… large, aaa…I mean Verdi”. This isn’t a Starbucks mind you. No place to stand and wait for your cup of Joe to be handed to you in a cup clearly marked with your name,“Hanoi”. Does René sound like that? Anyway, I ordered only a soy-steamer. By the time I actually got to the ordering station, I had lost my appetite and came to the realization that I was really never hungry. I was not hungry for food anyway. I was hungry for the desire to be one of the crowd. I wanted to walk around the art faire with a cup of something and casually “ooh” and “aah” over pottery, polished stone jewelry, and fancy metal creations. I wanted to be a laid back vacationer

She handed me my cup of warm soy milk, please, how desperate was I? I don’t drink coffee or eat cinnamon rolls! I realized that I might have a problem pushing his wheelchair out of this box with only one hand. I sat my warm cup of stupid on the counter less than an arm’s length away, pushed open the door with my back, pulled myself and my son out of the tunnel a.k.a. coffee shop and the door shut. The door with the sign on it that read, “entrance that way” was locked and my drink was two inches away sitting on a shelf behind that locked door. Do I leave my son alone, parked unattended, rush in and grab the cup of milk? Do I dare take him back in? I’m not that crazy or defiant! Fortunately another person soon came out and I was able to grab my milk.

A lovely couple was entertaining the morning crowd with folk music at the band stand. I pushed ourselves over and we sat down. I needed to regroup. I sipped my soy and let the Linda Ronstadt like singer sooth my nerves. My son is fed through a g-tube. His total nutritional intake consists of six cartons of formula a day, divided up into feedings every two hours. Two hours goes by very quickly. Remember what it was like when you were a nursing mother? It’s hard to retrieve your momentum when you have to stop what you are doing every two hours. He was hungry, it was time to feed him.

We left the comfort of our shaded seats. I scoured the area for a private place that I could feed him. I chose the side of a store. Not a lot of pedestrian traffic, secluded. I poured his formula into a larger container and added eight ounces of water. I attached his feeding tube to the button that extends from his stomach and began to pour his version of a soy steamer. His feeding tube holds two ounces at a time so it’s a process. I poured the last two ounces and reached back to put away the bottle in his back pack. As I reached back, his tube separated. I looked back to see formula pouring all over his lap. Feeling now, rather downtrodden, I sighed. I sighed and felt my shoulders drop, my head hang, I was defeated. I gulped back the lump in my throat and told my daughter that I would meet her at the pool. I had to go home and change his clothes. I made it back to the car before just a hint of a tear clouded my vision.

I have to bring him in this rental home through the garage, only one step to accent.  I have to take him out of the house backwards through the front door, two steps to lower him down. Back to the 12×12 storage unit known as a bedroom, I changed him and get him back to the car, we are on our way to the pool. I had foolishly transferred my pocket book to a backpack; thinking this would be more “pool friendly”. Now I am standing at the front desk of the pool searching though a gazillion zippered pockets trying to find my wallet to pay for him and I to basically sit on a chair and watch others swim. $50 later, we are inside. I emerge from the darkness of the check in experience into the light of the water park. And light it was. It is now noon and the desert sun is high in the sky. What are the chances of finding an unattended umbrella to park him beneath? Zero.

My daughter in law finally catches a family leaving the kiddie area and snatches one chair under an umbrella. Fast forward, soon my other children arrive and we are back to the beginning of this story. If you remember,I began by telling you that I watched my kids frolic with their kids and even joined them for a few moments, leaving my son in the shade. He would cough occasionally and I would see people sitting nearby shockingly look at him and then sharply look at me to be reassured that I was still on duty.

After a few hours I decided that for $50, we were going swimming. They had a chair that is meant to lower non walking people into the water. You’ve seen them at public pools or the YMCA? This one was placed strangely near the shallow area of the pool and right next to a little slide for kids. The area was filled with children and their parents.

I asked the life guards on duty what the protocol was to use the chair. They summoned another guard who informed me that yes the chair could be moved to another area to use but it was really heavy and a pain to move. Ah huh, tell me about it. Most people just enter the water in that spot and then swim to the deeper section of the pool he said.  Most people, as in, no one ever?

They agreed to be helpful and so I acquiesced. I rolled him over to the pool chair, they turned it on, turned it towards me, I lifted him out of his wheelchair onto the hard plastic chair. I quickly buckled the belt and dashed to the stairs to get in the water and guide him into the pool. Mind you, these chairs are meant for people who bend at the waist, not spastic, stiff, 2×4 shaped people. Within seconds he was in the water and I expected him to laugh with delight, relax his stiff body in the warmth and depressurization of the water. He didn’t. He didn’t like it. He whined, he complained, he was even stiffer as his body was uncomfortable with the uncontrollable freedom of the water. He didn’t like the people splashing him either.

I forced him and I to stay for at least a half hour. I didn’t dare ask the kids to help me get him out just a few minutes after we got in. When I felt we had served our time, paid our penance, I motioned for the guards to release us and we floated over to the plastic chair. We had to scurry away the little ones again and a crowd began to gather. Two old ladies actually stopped and planted themselves to watch the show. Children stopped their game of “Marco-Pollo” to see the exhibition. Unaware of the spectacle that we had become, my seven year old granddaughter helped me buckle the strap around his waist. Since he had already experienced this nightmare just thirty minutes prior, he knew what to expect so he stiffened up even more.  It was difficult getting him seated in any fashion. We did the best we could and gave the signal to lift the seat. I ran to meet him as the life guards hung on to him by his life jacket.  They once again turned the chair away from the pool and I crouched down to get in position to lift him off the plastic chair and back into his wheelchair. As I lifted his wet and heavier body I could tell that my swimsuit was going to betray me. Yes, you guessed it, I can now join the Janet Jackson and Tara Reid club. I totally flashed a nipple to the gaping crowd watching.

As soon as I could release my hands from his body I pulled up my swimsuit and carried on as if nothing had happened. I took off his life jacket, replaced his T-shirt and we walked back to the kiddie pool as if we did this everyday. My chattering granddaughter by my side, no worse for the experience, was gleefully asking me if I could go back and go swimming with her. I wanted to, I couldn’t, I wanted to go home.

I repeated the steps already taken twice today and got him changed and into dry clothes for the evening. We are renting two homes to accommodate our family. We are side by side and the grandkids are loving running in between. Dinner tonight would be at the neighbors. I descended the small mountain called the front porch and pushed him to the house next door. This house is even worse. Many steps. With the help of my boys, they got him into the house to enjoy dinner. When it was time to go, my son and I began to lower him down the steps to reverse the process and exit the home. I lost my footing as lifted the back of his chair, my son had the foot.  I had on sandals and my foot slipped. His wheelchair tipped and he fell against the furniture. His chair  was laying completely  sideways now with his face smashed against the sofa. We were able to pull his chair upright and put him back straight but it frightened him of course and my foot is injured. We got him out the door and I pushed him to our house, pushed him in the house, put him in bed with all the hassle of the other times I had dressed and undressed him today. So that’s it. That was my relaxing, fun, vacation day.

That is what it is like if I leave the comforts of my home and venture out to the cruel world. The world that may have a sign that says, “Handicapped Parking” but not for wheelchairs. The world that legally now lowers a curb but still crams every aisle of a store with items to sell to non-handicapped consumers who can circumnavigate the mess. The world that sets in place a wonderful device meant to look as if it could assist non-ambulatory sun bathers to take a refreshing dip in a pool,but actually is a hassle for the life guards and only assists a few far and few between. Looks good though.

I’ve always loved to travel. I left home at eighteen to see the world and I did. At the age of thirty-two my wings were clipped by the birth of my last child and my travels have never been the same. Now I just want to stay home. It’s easier. I make myself leave, to get off the couch, to disturb his relaxed slumber, because I know it’s good for both of us. I’m not sure though. I feel like today was pretty life threatening and humiliating. Which is worse, a flat butt from sitting on the couch or a twisted ankle from venturing out? Ask me tomorrow.

HAVE YOU HAD DAYS LIKE THIS? Comment below! Tell me about your trying days living with a disability! LIKE my blog and win a free copy of my book, “Heaven Sent and Bent”!

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Free-Range Kids, Lenore Skenazy Breaks the Myth of Stranger Danger

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If Lenore Skenazy had it her way, we would all treat our children like competent humans, teach them correct principles, train them to understand how the world works, and then…let them live in it! Can you imagine? Lenore was given the title of “World’s Worst Mom”. Totally understandable with that kind of advice! Why I never! What kind of negligent adult would let a twelve year old babysit? Allow a thirteen year old to walk home by herself? Would you let your nine year old ride their bike to the park and play with a stick!? A STICK I SAY!  Well, most of the world actually and all of America until about 1981, until Adam Walsh was kidnapped and murdered. He was abducted from a Sears department store in Florida. Until that happened, all children were allowed to hang in the toy department while their parents endlessly compared appliances. With that one horrific event and the constant media coverage of a handful of sadly similar occurrences, all parents became paralyzed with fear. 

Lenore is a Yale graduate, a columnist, an author, and a reality TV host. Her book, “Free-Range Kids” brings to light the change in our perception of what youngsters are actually capable of. She quotes science, statistics, and common sense reality that can’t help but make you say, hummmmm. How long do you think you would have to leave your kid outside, unattended, before they were kidnapped? I’m not recommending you try this at home , but pretend this is like buying a lottery ticket. What are the chances you would lose your precious sixteen year old? (Remember, I’m not suggesting you try this, very tempting I know, but don’t) You would have to leave them outside for over 7,000 years! I think you should buy a lottery ticket, your chances of winning are better and then you can afford to send that said juvenile to an English boarding school like my Father was. Of course he was paddled when he disobeyed a rule and made to bath in ice cold water, so there’s that.

Lenore received the title of World’s Worst Mom after she wrote an article for the newspaper she was working for in New York.  She let her then nine year old son ride the subway alone, wrote about the experience; within two days her phone was ringing off the hook.  The media frenzy went viral and she was on every morning show, news program and even Dr. Phil! She has written for everyone from The Washington Post to Mad Magazine! She blogs daily about the dangers and horror of helicopter parenting, not the practice of letting your child walk home from school!

frk-coverWe had a jolly chat about her book, her blog, and her ideas of what parenting is all about. Her sense of humor will give you a chuckle as well as some much needed insight.

In comparison to how we parent today, I asked my Mom and Dad to talk about their childhood. My mother speaks about frolicking for hours with her siblings, miles from home. My father tells of how he and his friends would run out side of the bomb shelters after the all clear signal was given and dressed in their issued helmets, play with shrapnel that had fallen from the skys of London during WWII. HOT METAL BOMB FRAGMENTS! Wowza, I guess parenting expectations have changed a bit!

Scan 13Scan 7 How I covet school uniforms! My father wearing his protective bomb headgear!

I think you’ll enjoy this hour with HEAVEN SENT and BENT.

If you enjoy this show as much as I think you will, PLEASE comment below! Tell me who you would love to hear me chat with next. What would you like to talk about?

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COMMENT today and tell me what you think of Lenore’s ideas. What brave thing have you allowed your kids to do today?

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FREE RANGE KIDS AUTHOR AND WORLD’S WORST MOM!

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How many of you are afraid to let your children walk to school? How many of you will let your children eat their Halloween candy before you run it through the x-ray machine? Would you let your children ride the subway alone…at the age of nine?

My guest Monday, Aug. 3, 10am, Heaven Sent and Bent, http://www.talkzone.com will be Lenore Skanazy. She was voted “WORLD’S Worst Mom” and was interviewed world wide with that title. Her book, “Free Range Kids” is an absolute hoot and will really make you think about what it means to be a parent TODAY! Listen AND….CALL IN TO EXPRESS YOUR OPINION and WIN LENORE’S BOOK! 

MONDAY, AUGUST 3, 10am PST

888-463-6748

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TELL ME WHAT YOU WOULD ASK LENORE? Comment on how you feel about letting your children go to the park ALONE!!!!!

Posted in Parenting and Motherhood | 1 Comment