A Child’s Fear

I am going to try and not get overly political about these school shootings.  My heart aches for their families and fellow classmates.  I pray for them to find comfort, somehow.  Yes I believe something needs to be done now.  I also believe the governing agencies need to allow parents to discipline their children ( I don’t mean abuse or beat them). Some  children of this generation don’t really understand the concept of a consequence for their actions.  Some children think “Oh That’s Awesome” as they blow up and kill victims in a video game.  I do not know what the answer truly is but do know that we together as a nation need to work at a solution for the safety of our children, grandchildren and neighbors near and far.  I am not sure how much of these shooter’s mental states are from a genetic disposition to some mental disorders or how much is from being teased, bullied and taunted for years and years.  Either way it is still unacceptable.

My oldest grandson is seven and goes to a public charter school.  Never would I think he at such a young age would encounter bulling.  This young boy is kindhearted, energetic and very compassionate.  He has had a little bit of a growth spurt and his height has not caught up with his weight, but he is not fat.  Why should a seven year old be afraid to eat a snack or treat for fear that he will gain more weight.  Parents need to teach their children that every child is different, and special in all their own way.  They need to be taught patience and tolerance of one another.  How at the age of seven does one child have the right to make fun of what the other child wears?  What makes that child the wardrobe police?  Why does that child think he is superior to others his age?  I can almost see how a bullied child could snap and “lose it” so to speak.  It does not excuse the shooting by any means, the shooter still chose to shoot.  They knew right from wrong in the end.  Hopefully we will be able to end this cycle of schooling.   How many more people and students must die.

We were in my house the other day just talking about my grandson’s upcoming birthday.  All of a sudden there was a loud BOOM.  My grandson ran around the house yelling “LOCK DOWN, LOCK DOWN” and finally ran in the bathroom to hide.  I was able to coax him out and asked what that was all about.  He thought we were being shot at.  I live in a decent middle-class middle-age subdivision.  It is usually quite and calm.  But I knew it was just a vehicle that had back fired.  To see that he knew what to do to protect himself and the ones he loved ( he grabbed my daughter with him) was grateful but also sad.  Where has the innocence of childhood gone? Why are they having to prepare for incoming bullets.  Now this is a small town where we live , pretty slow paced.  Most of the other cities that have been affected also were fairly small or suburbs.  None of our children are safe.   What can we do as parents or grandparents to protect them?

I have home-schooled my 5 children with the exception of my middle child who needed some special ed help that I could no longer do.  There are pros and cons to both public and home schooling.  As long as kids get socialization whether it be from scouting, community sports teams, or church, home schooling does offer many benefits.  But it is a commitment, it takes time and effort, and you have to be able to tolerate your children for extended periods , you don’t get a break.  I love my kids and can say we have had some fun adventures.  Some days didn’t go as planned but we stilled trudged thru.  Life can be fun, and it can be adventurous, but it does not need to be scary.

I pray that soon there will be an end to all this nonsense shooting and killing.  It is a multi problematic issue.  It is not just gun control, nor is it just mental illnesses, nor is it just bullying.  It is everything, everything that has just snowballed together.  It is a mess…we know..now how can make our schools safe again so our children can focus on learning instead of having “LOCK DOWN” drills.

I will bow my head tonight and ask that all these families receive comfort.  This is awful and unimaginable.  And before I lay my head down I plan to hug my children and grandchildren just a little bit tighter for tomorrow is not promised.

Sleep…The Elective Evil

We all know how valuable sleep is right?  Doctors say you have to get a good 8 hours a night.  What, how is that even possible?  We all crave that blissful slumber don’t we?

No, I don’t have a magical answer, point blank there really isn’t one without including medication into a nightly ritual.  For me going to sleep is usually not the issue, for me it is waking up after an hour or two of sleep and thinking I have slept the whole night.

Strike One for me is I am menopausal, every woman who is in this second puberty so to speak , knows this is real.  We are tired, dragging our butts tired, go to bed, only to wake up a few hours later.  I have discovered I have more energy at 3 am than I do by 3 pm.   Our hormones are upside down and all around.

Strike Two for me is I am a widow.  I still grieve and believe I always will.  The memories seem to come back into my head around 1:30-2:00 a.m.  Why?  Why at this time?  Is it because my guard is down?  Does my mind think, for whatever reason I could forget him? By the time I try to reason with myself ( usually I can’t) a few hours have slipped by and it is now approaching my get up time.  Yes, I am a ritualistic type gal.  I currently do not work, but set my alarm every morning for 4:20 am.  I like the morning, it the only “my time” I may get.  But I don’t like it starting at 2:00 a.m.

 

Strike Three for me is stress.  Why do you have stress people ask, it’s not like you work.  No but that it not the only type of stress.  I stress about not working or about the prospect of looking for work down the road.  What will my body allow me to be able to do.  My hands and my feet have paid the price of my 30 year career of nursing.  I stress about my financial future…don’t we all.  I stress about my daughters and their high risk pregnancies.  I stress about getting small home projects done.  I find myself stressing about my health too.  I ask myself lots of questions, like should I get the carpal tunnel surgery and such.  I bet I can get stressed about my stress .

Try to remove your electronic devices from your room.  I do a certain point but cannot truly take my phone away with daughter number 3  in last few weeks of her pregnancy.  I don’t want to miss that phone call.  But, even when I have tried to remove the devices I found myself listening harder and thus not being able to sleep because I keep thinking I heard my phone.  I try to think relaxing thoughts as I drift off to sleep but I can’t stay asleep.  I have tried several of the “tricks”.  I just know that if I have a few bad nights by the third night or so I can take half of a “Tylenol PM” and it let’s me sleep a good 6 hours.  If I take a whole pill it takes awhile in the morning to shake it off.  I am pretty much a wimp when it comes to medication, it doesn’t take much to do the trick.  What works for one person may not for the next,  we are all individual.

I am not complaining, I know that this is part of the phase of life that I am in.  I thank God each and every day that I can get up and can share another day with the people that I love.  When I fall asleep in my recliner when I am feeding one of my grandchildren ( after they have dozed off), I don’t feel guilty anymore.  I accept that my body and it’s needs are changing too.  So a quick 10 minute catnap is sometimes all that I need to finish the day.   I then start to count how long I will be in this phase of life.  I take a deep breath and charge on through with the day.  Happy thoughts and Sweet Dreams.

 

 

 

When I Look Through My Grandchildren’s Eyes

We have had a fun filled week-end here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge.  Saturday the grandchildren, a few of my children and I went to the science museum.  Some of my children had been there with their dad when I had to work.  I had never been there, so I was expecting it be blah and rather boring.  I am not sure who was more excited about the exhibits, my grandchildren or me watching them explore, learn and be totally amazed.  I believe I even had to “experiment” with some of the hands on fun exhibits.  Some of the exhibits made me wonder where was this place when I was a kid.

Watching the two 2 year-olds be in such awe, brought a broad smile to face.  Watching them jump and dance on the musical rug, to sitting inside a giant model of a mouth, they never stopped to rest.  Me on the other hand, took whatever opportunity I could to sit for a few breathers here and there.  I was thankful that most exhibits had big benches where you could sit a spell.  My oldest grandson who will soon be 7, enjoyed it but had been there a few times and was not as excited as the little ones.  He caught me playing with one of the exhibits and said “Grandmommy, why are you playing with a kid’s toy”?  I told him it was fun and that I enjoyed it.  He replied “Me too”!  I did get stumped a few times and I would usually get ” Grandmommy you have to do it like this”.  Oh okay was about all I could say.  Sometimes this boy can be such a whiz ( I am not bragging…just proud he can think things through).  My younger grandson was trying to convince his mom why he needed to be able to take a baby goat home.   I just sat back smirking and remembering when she was 2 and how strong willed she was.  My granddaughter was so excited about all the exhibits, her favorite was the snakes.  Yes this pretty little two year old loved the snakes.  Oh My..guess I’ll be watching her very carefully when we have outside playtime.

Today (Sunday) after church we went to little town about a half hour from where we live to a Mayfair Festival.  This small town is quaint, pretty, and a bit free-spirited.  It was a small festival, but it also was easy to get around, and family friendly.  They had a few local singers and bands.  My 2 year old grandson loves music, so we pretty much stayed around the bandstand.  It was relaxing as they had had lawn chairs set up around the music area.  We walked around by the vendors admiring their talent, but we always came back to the music area.  What a beautiful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  It was partly sunny with an occasional light breeze.  The gently rolling hills and trees burst in a bright green color.  It gave hope that Spring was actually here.  No more snow or freezing rain.  It is really warming up and the re-birth of growth of the new grass and leaves lets us know this is a new season and a new year.  I’m sure in a month we will be complaining that it is too hot but it doesn’t really last that long and before you know it,bonfire, hot chocolate, and hoodie season will be upon us.    Take time to enjoy that gentle breeze, the little flowers that you see.  Take time to see life as your grandchildren do…simple, spontaneous and full of spirit.  Enjoy yourself…..for tomorrow is not guaranteed.