Sunday, October 20, 2013

Art of Life

It's too personal a story to relate.
But after a long time friend left my house today, I found a note I'd jotted down during one of Father Lam's homilies. And it so appropriately sums up what I was feeling, and how that friend has lived life.

"The pain passes, but the beauty remains." - Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Thank you for making the trek - all the way to my house today, and all the way through our lives.

And don't stick your head in a tiger's mouth.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tough love

I was watching the Today show and they were talking about the first half of this story, where an exasperated dad took his 4th grade son to the street with a sign as a public means of discipline. The anchors all said it's a form of bullying itself, by making the son hold the sign saying "I'm a bully! Honk if you hate bullies!" And the dad caught a ton of flack for it.

Let me just make these points:
1. The son was in trouble at school for repeated offenses of bullying. This means that the school was attempting to curb/stop the behavior. The dad made various efforts to get his son to stop bullying.

2. The dad stood on the street corner with his son. He didn't sit in the car playing on his phone or drinking a latte.

3.  The dad owned his son's behavior. He basically said "My son screwed up. Let me do something to prevent it from escalating, and my son being the reason someone else's child ends up on the news because no one did enough to stop the tide of the mistreatment." He DID NOT defend his son's behavior. He did not say "oh, no! not MYYYY child! you're mistaken! you're lying!" that so many other parents do. He demonstrated to his child what other children were feeling when his son was being mean to his peers. Sometimes, empathy is a powerful experience. Who better to help victims of something cope, than other people who have experienced that pain and share their coping methods.

4. The school reported back to the dad that when his son returned to school, he apologized to his victim - OF HIS OWN ACCORD!  No one forced the apology as a contingency for his son's return. The son understood what he'd done, and how it impacted his peers, and he apologized.
Here is where I'll reference that Stanford prison experiment from the 70s. The two groups switched roles after a time. The first-round inmates did not mistreat the former guards to the same extent they were.
Maybe if bullies were subjected to a taste of their own medicine, they'd quickly check their own behavior.

5. He didn't backpedal. The next day, the dad stood on that same corner without his child, responding to the critics. He stood firm in his parenting, and told critics that he was not going to be bullied in to sugar-coating things. The fact that his son apologized to his victim of his own accord tells me this tactic worked.

As a parent of a child who must learn things the hard way, I can relate to this dad's frustration. It took a long time for my child to change some of his behavior, and it took interventions on many fronts. I can relate to the mental, emotional and spiritual exhaustion from constantly battling my child on things like house rules, treating people poorly, and consequences. And being strong-willed, my child also didn't back down from me either. As a result, the house was fraught with tension on a daily basis. But, I'm the parent, and the responsibility of the household rests on my shoulders and those of my husband. We HAD to exhaust our efforts to effect change. In our minds, there was no other way to do it. We were not going to shirk our responsibility to raise our children to become responsible adults.

I personally applaud this dad for taking a stand with his child, and going tough love on his son. If more parents did so, we'd see a decrease of bullying, entitled behavior, and an increase of civility. This guy didn't subscribe to what I call "speshul snowflayke parenting". And I appreciate that he took a stand against his child's behavior, and stood on that street corner with his son holding the sign.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hippy Chick

I am quickly outgrowing all my maternity shorts. And I have dresses that I would wear, but, I have this problem with my hips. My core muscles never got properly rebuilt after having Blur, so they're weakened and not doing their jobs now. They aren't holding my bones in place properly. And I have no one to blame but myself and yes, I blame the spawn because I can. And it's true. He's part of the reason why my femur slips out of the hip socket and pinches on my sciatic nerve with a direct shot. OW is the nice word for it.
I'm back to binding my hips with that post-surgical binder a friend gave me last pregnancy for the SPD (symphasis pubis dysfunction). I'm not having as much difficulty with that right now unless my hips are misaligned. What I *am* having problems with is the sciatic/femur/hip intersection. And there is only so much the chiropractor can do for me. I'm working on what I can to keep my mobility and learning how to more efficiently get myself safely on my feet first thing in the morning, and with minimal pain.
And then, there's this fun trick to get myself in and out of the mom-bus:

I don't have running boards to help me step up or down into the van, and it's a total crap shoot as to when and how my hip will revolt, and what will cause it to do so. One side is the more problematic, I think because that's the side with the partially sacralized L5 vertebrae. So, I'm trying to remember to use the other side to do the leg-foisting of things to scoot and turn me in the seat. And it's not my dominant side, so that makes it even more fun for me. I'm down to 7 weeks till my due date, and I can't say I'm looking forward to the physical challenges this is going to present.