Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Turning the Corner

Yesterday I went to the doctor and received my okay for the surgery on September 20 to get both of my knees replaced. The first thing that you hear is that there will be a lot of pain post surgery, but the next thing everyone says is that I will be so happy to have it done. I will feel like I have my life back. So, here is to a new corner coming up in my life. I raise my glass to the new adventure that awaits me.

This year isn't over yet, but there have been some very bitter and sweet moments. Life is that way. We have good and bad times, sometimes the bad outweigh the good and sometimes it's about even, or you feel ahead of the game. Whichever it is, life continues and blind corners await decisions that we make. The turn may take us down a newly paves street, a rocky forgotten road, or maybe it ends in a field of crops that need to be taken care of. Whatever we find, it's ours.

No one ever promised that life was easy; it's not. But life is worth continuing on for because we will always have new experiences.

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it

Chuck Swindoll

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Some people are clueless

In youth, it was a way I had,
To do my best to please.
And change, with every passing lad
To suit his theories.
But now I know the things I know
And do the things I do,
And if you do not like me so,
To hell, my love, with you.
~Dorothy Parker

A woman who has met me once has decided that she knows all about me and has the right to make judgments. Most of her information came from two teenagers, one belonging to her, who have both admitted that they lied and exaggerated issues because they were upset they weren't getting their way. Of course to me, in a facebook message instead of direct communication, she insulted me regarding her child and how my decisions with mine affect their life. For instance, I should not call my child home for lying to me and not having done her chores. I should wait until she is finished doing whatever fun activities her child has planned because it's not fair for her child to be affected that way.
There is a weird logic in that. It is true that calling my child home for lying and not having her chores done does affect the plans they made with her child if she gets into trouble. However, allowing a child to get away with lying and not doing what they were specifically told to do is not a good example to set. If you lived by that rule your child would make sure they were always making plans with someone else. The rule is simple, you can go when your chores are done. How we discipline is really not of the concern of this other parent, nor is the way she disciplines in her home our concern.
In my home all the children have chores, even the ten year old. The funny thing is that none of the teenagers actually do their chores the way they are supposed to. The ten year old is the only one that voluntarily seems to do them. Each child is given an opportunity to have an allowance if their room is clean on payday. The only child that has actually managed to get his allowance is again, you guessed it, the ten year old. My 15 year old has been cleaning his room for months. If you listened to him you'd think that the items in his room were possessed because they somehow manage to make their way back down to the floor and it never looks any differently than before he started cleaning.
According to this woman we used our daughter as a Cinderella. We don't love her and we abuse her. Now these are horrible allegations from a woman that has never stepped one foot into our home nor ever taken ten minutes out of her time to actually speak with me. She lied to me one time to get our daughter off restriction because her son wanted to see her. I found out it was a lie, after saying we could make arrangements, and confronted her about lying to me. Since that day this woman has hated me. Evidently lying is okay in her book, and you never confront the person that lies to you. I never have worked that way.
The truth, according to my daughter, is that this same woman hates her. She calls her names such as "fat ass." She has insulted our family by calling us names. She has told my daughter that she's not good enough for her son. My daughter has come home from their home crying numerous times. After being in their home she yells at people and uses language that she knows is inappropriate, even in Wal-Mart, for which we have had to call her on. Her son has called her names, has allowed his friends to call her names. Being there makes her feel less about herself. So, we compromised. We told her that she was allowed to see the boy but was not allowed in his house. They could meet in other places where it was neutral territory such as the mall, go out to dinner, take some time to walk in the park, or even watch a movie.
Of course this was short lived, and again they lied. They went back to his home, which became evident, and the incidents started all over again. Verbal tirades over the phone in our home with screaming and cussing and crying.
There is only so much you can do as a parent. When a child gets to be within a couple of months of being 18 your hands become more tied. They make decisions that you don't agree with and that you can see are hurting them more and more. It breaks your heart. No parent wants to watch their child self-destruct.
The other mother says that I don't love my daughter. That is the farthest thing from the truth that she has ever said. I love my daughter enough to want to give her another chance to put things right in her life. I love my daughter enough to present her with opportunities to get away from vile and contemptuous statements made by ignorant people that prefer to say hateful things about her and then pretend they care.
Has our relationship with our daughter been tumultuous? Absolutely. We spent over a year in therapy. She was taken out of our home by the state because she was considered a danger to the younger children. She had things happen to her by her biological family that no child should have had to endure. She lashed out in ways that were very hard for anyone to take. She fell into bad habits that seemed impossible to break. We stuck it out through the years never giving up. She knows, because of this, that she is loved. She's told me so, that she pushed and pushed to make sure she was loved. It was never easy for any of us.
In the long run what a friend offered is to help give her a new opportunity to get out of the rut she has put herself in. To discover a place without a history or with people that know all the things that she's done. Somewhere she doesn't feel she's in competition and will feel needed.
According to this other woman, who either makes up things in her head or prefers lies over discovering the truth, our daughter is being "forced against her will" to go. However, an "anonymous" phone call to the police saying such things as we were abusing her and she was being shipped off against her will proved otherwise. The police, after speaking with our daughter, determined that she needed to get away from her situation with her boyfriend and never look back. He determined she was indeed in an abusive situation - with the boyfriend - and that a fresh start was just what she needed.
In the end, I could care less what this woman believes or feels. She has her own issues in her family including problems with her own children. I'm sure those take their own toll on her as well.
My concern is over my own child who has been through enough for two lifetimes. Did she lie to these people? Probably. Why would she lie? Because she wanted them to like her. Did it work? No. The boy I think genuinely cares for her though; he just had problems with knowing how to show it sometimes.
Bottom line is this - I am not perfect. I do not have all the answers. I make mistakes. But in the long run I will do whatever it takes to do what is best for my family and I will not be bullied by some clueless woman into thinking that I am a bad person and doing the wrong thing. I have great kids that are intelligent and have a lot of love in their hearts. We must have done something right.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Where does the time go?

In a month he will be 16. He has his first official girlfriend. He is driving a car. He is now taller than I am. Where did the time go?
Has it really been that long since I held him under my chin soothing him?
Is this the same little boy that told me he never wanted to grow up?
Today we were talking about college and the possibility of him applying to the Coast Guard Academy.
Last year he was asking me if he could ride his bicycle around the block.
Saturday he asked me for money so he could go on a date.
I remember crying when he walked away so easily in his kindergarten class ready to explore new things with new people.
It won't be much longer he goes off to explore a new world and see what awaits him for his future.
I may never be ready, but he definitely is moving in that direction.
One thing I can say is he has always been an excellent son. There is no doubt he will be an equally excellent man.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Everyone Comes from Somewhere

Everyone comes from somewhere, but sometimes we forget.
We forget about the one that brought us into the world.
We forget about the first friend we ever made.
We forget about the first time our heart was broken.
We forget about the words of wisdom our father spoke.
We forget about the promises we made to our lovers.
We forget about the pain we felt that once made us cry.
We forget to do the things that are good for us,
                                                 because bad feels so good.
We forget that sometimes it is better to just slow down.
We forget that our actions may affect the lives of others.
But most importantly
We seem to forget that life here is temporary,
                        and the things we remember
                                       are the things memories are made from.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


And in the twilight of our live we look to find the way
To tell us if the path we chose was the best and finest paved.
And when the darkness comes we see the twinkling of the stars.
We know that our journey here was short, and yet still very far.
But life is full of puzzles, enigmas, and mazes of human thought,
Yet the beauty of the life we've led was paid for with the tears of hope we brought.

Pasty Dunbar