Tuesday, July 30, 2013


To say that parenting has been challenging this summer would be an understatement of the century. In my experience with kids, there's that summer "initiation" process of new rules, new boundaries, who can do what that they couldn't do last summer, extra freedom, and always ALWAYS pushing of the envelope. Yeah, that just hasn't ever ended this summer. Add to that some other lovely behaviors (some of which could be traced back to mine - dontcha just looooove it when your kids mirror you??? It's fan-freaking-tabulous), negative attention getters, terrible two's tantrums (again with the mirror here), and problems of epic proportions with neighborhood children... uffda. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

I've been trying to keep it fun with activities like dance classes, swimming lessons, tae kwondo, picnics, parks, ets. But with all the driving (and bickering from the backseat), I need a break. It'll have to wait til September 5th when school starts. 

Long story short, I get to the end of the day, (or sometimes the middle of the day, or, other days I make it til mid morning) and just don't think I will make it, that I'm not cut out to be a parent, that I'm screwing my kids up more than helping them grow. And sadly, I often times get to the point that I really even have a hard time enjoying them. I work at it, because that makes me feel bad, but a lot of times I'd just rather flee. I don't want hugs, or bedtime stories, I'd rather they pee out the window than to come downstairs so I have to see/hear/deal with them one more second or 90. 

Tonight was one such night. The whining, complaining, pestering, hitting, etc had caused a general overload of my senses and my parenting abilities. Actually, these happen often.

What I usually do is eat, think about intoxicating myself - though mostly I think that just thinking about drinking is enough of a stress reliever that I don't actually have to do it and then deal with the morning after bit - and vedge out on FB. It's a FB and chocolate night tonight.

I'm sure I could be so much more productive during this time to make my life easier for the rest of the time, but that's some wishful thinking at this point. I'm decompressing. And tonight, FB conspired to make me cry. Dangnabit! (Crying, btw, is a great decompressor.) But... in such a good way.

I watched this video (or actually, one that was set to "My Redeemer Lives" but I can't find that one and MercyMe gets the job done too). Then this one. So as I was sobbing away, and continuing thru my FB feed, a friend posted this one of her son. 

So from these videos and songs, this is what I took away:
  • "I know my Redeemer lives. The very same god who spins things in orbit, runs to the weary, the worn and the weak. And the same gentle hands that hold me when I'm broken, they conquered death to bring me victory. And I know, my redeemer lives." - Nicole C. Mullins
  • "I can only imagine what it will be like, when I walk, By your side, I can only imagine, What my eyes will see, when your face, is before me. I can only imagine. Surrounded by your glory, what will my heart feel, will I dance for you Jesus, or in awe of you be still, will I stand in your presence, or to my knees will I fall, Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all?" -MercyMe
  • A video of a man who loved his son so much, who sacrificed, and worked, and I'm guessing he never complained or grumbled about it but instead felt honored to be able to do so. Something I certainly can't boast of.
  • The shining, exhilarated face of a man crippled and disfigured with cerebral palsy who was ALIVE, happily so, on a race he couldn't run/swim/bike himself but who lives with the motto "I CAN." His video ended with the scripture, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
  • And as the tears are streaming down my face, having been reminded that HE strengthens me, and that I CAN be a good parent, through Him, I watched the last video of another sweet, special needs boy (I think he's about 10 yrs old?), who himself was moved to tears by the song, the sentiment, the haunting emotion of the song "Halleluja."  "And even though, it all went wrong, I'll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my tongue but Halleluja...." - Leonard Cohen.
Halleluja, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Thank GOD that He does. Because otherwise where would I be? Thank God that He and FB conspired against me, made me cry, made me take a deep breathe and release a whole lotta pent up anger and frustration, spoke to me that He has my back, and my front, and up, down and side, humbled me, and gave me the ability to say, I'll try again tomorrow. I'll love them a little more tomorrow.

And may I just say, parents of special needs kids have gifts I don't have. More than just a special kid, but a special capacity to love that I'm not sure I'm capable of. It blesses and humbles me to know such people. 

God Bless.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Here's your sign

We live in a nice, quiet, little town in rural America, where the children can play outside without worry of guns, drugs or kidnappers. Granted, there's also not much to "do" here. A few parks, a grain elevator, a bar, a diner and a gas station. Oh, and let's not forget the volunteer fire department. But we like the quiet. We like the safety.

There is a park across the street from my house, which is great because it's almost an extension of my yard. My monkeys are over there, along with many other kids, at any given time of day. People even come from out of town to play at this park. It gets a lot of use. We also happen to live on the corner of "Main Street" and a county highway that runs through our sleepy little village. The highway sees traffic from semi trucks hauling grain and pigs, people going from one village to the next, motorcycle groups doing (barhop) "rides" and even a bicycle race every summer. While the highway turns before the park, the road in front of the park still gets a fair amount of traffic from residents and errant motorcyclists who missed the sign.  Though there is a stop sign at the end of the block,  people often drive faster than they should, especially given that there's a park full of children there. (Never mind my 2 yo escape artist who has been known to take it upon himself to sneak out and go to the park on his own. I could write a whole post on his escape tactics, they're that impressive.) We've heard cars hit the brakes before.

One of my neighbors, who's children are grown, really has a bee in her bonnet (rightly so) about how fast people drive here, and has tried to get a removable speed bump put up. The most surprising thing is that the speeding offenders are often  parents of younger children. Go figure. While the council thought it was cost prohibitive to put up a speed bump, they decided on putting up some extra signs.

The first of such signs was put up yesterday.

Our lovely town cop placed a small stand-alone sign (as seen at the top) in the middle of the street right as you enter our block.

After about half an hour (no exaggeration), a young mom, talking on her cell phone, comes cruising around the corner and SMOKES the sign. (Kong was there to witness this whole event.)  Since she had a street sign jammed under her car and windshield washer fluid pouring everywhere so she didn't have much choice, she stopped, got out, and proceeded to get mad about "who puts a blankety blank sign in the middle of the bleeping street??" My husband was quick to point out that at least it was a "blankety blank sign and not a blankety blank kid." "Huh. Yeah. No kidding," she said.

Guess it proves the point that it needs to be there.

Here's your sign, sweetheart. **rolls eyes** Heeeere's yer sign.