Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Very Thin Line

Most of you who stop by my blog know about our ongoing struggles with Will. This year has been so much better thus far and I am absolutely thrilled about that. So I'm sure you will understand my disappointment when I got a phone call from the assistant principal letting me know that Will had gotten into a fight. I didn't get the message in time to speak with her directly, so I'm still a little hazy on the details but regardless, he spent some time in the office.

My in-laws picked up the kids yesterday from school for a spend the night visit, so Lawton and I were just now able to speak to Will about what happened Friday. Here is where things get interesting. I was all prepared to give my usual lecture about not fighting, getting a adult to help you, walking away, etc., when he said, "Well, he (the other child) touched my privates."

You could have heard the mental brakes squealing at that point. Lawton and I looked at each other and could tell we were both thinking the same thing, which was GOOD JOB. Now, I realize that him finding his teacher still should have been his first move, because she wasn't that far away. But I also firmly believe that kids should be taught that while you shouldn't go looking for a fight, you have the right to defend yourself if need be and you sure as hell have the right to, shall we say, deter, someone who gets all up in your junk.

The problem is helping him understand the difference. He was thoroughly confused when we told him that while we wished he had located his teacher first, we totally understood him reacting like that to someone touching him inappropriately. Cutting in line for the water fountain isn't grounds for punching someone but neither do you have to let someone rough you up and not defend yourself.

This is so intangible a lesson and is so hard to communicate because what I WANT to say and what I SHOULD say are not always the same thing. It's kind of the same feeling you get when they are little and get bitten in preschool. I've never wanted to slap the crap out of a two year old until they drew blood on my daughter's arm. I didn't obviously - but that is one of those things as a parent that is so hard to deal with mentally. What we want to do versus what we should do when someone hurts our young ones.

As far as Will goes, we will always encourage him to walk away, as we would given the opportunity. But you know what? Someone touches my stuff without permission and I'll probably punch them in the eye too.



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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Where Were You

When I was growing up, I remember all the adults remembering where they were when they heard about President Kennedy being assassinated. As a kid, this seemed silly. I mean, sure, it's a big deal, but so big you remember the instant you heard the news? I just didn't think so.

Until it happened to me. Until that morning ten years ago today. I can tell you where I was, what I was wearing, which deejay was on the radio. Everything. Just like it was yesterday. I went to a dr's appointment, then to work and then back home and can tell you almost all the conversations I had at each place. Everyone stopped where they were and did nothing. Nothing at all, other than stay glued to the news.

I began thinking about this post several weeks ago, and thought that I wasn't going to post. There is so much media coverage, so many blogs, so many TV specials, just so much everything. But I can't not do this. I don't know why, really. I think it's my own way of making sense of the whole thing.

The thing I remember most is that, at eight and a half months pregnant, thinking, "What kind of world am I bringing this child into?" The feeling was of so much despair and guttural sorrow at the state of a world so mixed up that terrorists believe their god wants them to slaughter almost three thousand innocent people. What kind of sense does it make to have a baby, when the whole world is careening out of control?

The next big thing I remember was not even a few hours later, the flags came out. By the time I got home from work, no less than eight neighbors were flying Old Glory, and ours was up the minute I got home. Churches were packed, wallets were opened and our own firefighter friends hit the road to NYC.

Patriotism was at an all time high, songs were written, and the country collectively wanted to kick some ass. As horrific as the event was, as the fallout was, as the trickle down effect was, there was such a powerful sense of community and country. Of brother/sisterhood and honor. Of sacrifice and integrity. It was an awe-inspiring time to be alive, despite the overwhelming sense of loss and tragedy.

I will leave you with this quote by former president Bill Clinton that says, "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America." I believe this with my whole heart, my entire being. No matter how dark the times are right now, this country has the capacity to overcome, to rise up, to be great. To be more than great. We'll get there. We will definitely get there.




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Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Thirteen Dream Interviews (of living people on the earth, I'm not a heathen or yes, Jesus would be on it, okay?)

These are in no particular order, so please do not make judgements about me based on who is what number. I just write it as it comes.

13. Florence King - one of my favorite authors since forever, I cannot imagine how cool it would be to actually be able to talk with her.

12. Taylor Swift - because my daughter would never forgive me if I didn't, were I able to do so.

11. Betty White - do I even need to explain? Because she is AWESOME.

10. Ice T - I have no idea why. Right now I'm reading his book.

09. Sandra Bullock - I can tell that she and I would become BFF's. Totes.

08. Steve Spurrier - this should come as no surprise to those who know me. Regarded as one of the best coaches in the game, Heisman trophy winner, Gamecock football savior (hopefully).

07. Bradley Cooper - I mean, I'm sorry, but he's about the hottest man alive and he speaks fluent French. Please forgive me for being shallow.

06. Any living president - I don't care what your politics are, it's the President of our country.

05. Chad Ochocinco - professional football player. I follow him on Twitter and my man is HILARIOUS.

04. Aung San Suu Kyi - opposition activist in Burma, jailed in her own home for the large part of the past twenty or so years. Amazing hero of democracy and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

03. Oprah Winfrey - I don't think you are allowed to make a list like this without her on it. Pretty sure there is some kind of rule, actually.

02. Osama bin Laden - at the exact moment the US Navy Seals kicked his door in. Knock, knock scumbag.

01. JK Rowling - her story fascinates me, and the creative aspect of the Harry Potter series is pure, unadulterated genius.

There's plenty more where that came from, but then it wouldn't be a thirteen list, now would it?

Happy Thursday y'all.

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Holding My Breath

Wednesday afternoon my cell phone rang, and as soon as I came completely to a full stop in a legal parking area I looked to see who it was. Okay, that's a lie. I actually took one hand off the steering wheel, wrinkled my nose that my sunglasses would slide down enough to read the screen and narrowly avoided spilling my diet coke in my lap.


Long story short, it was Will's teacher. If you've been following this story, you can understand why seeing her name pop up made my stomach roll over. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Hi teacher!

Teacher: Hey Rebeccah - just wanted to know if you have a minute to talk about Will.

Me: Sure thing! What's up? (inwardly heaving a silent sigh)

Teacher: I just wanted to let you know that Will is doing great. He's happy, he's settled, he's doing his work, he's making friends, just doing fantastic.

Me: sputtering That is wonderful! I am so happy to hear that! I cannot believe this!

Yep, you read that right folks. Will is doing great in school right now. Just last night he told us that he likes school. After I awoke from a dead faint, I gave him a huge hug and told him how happy it made me to hear him say that. Then he says, "It makes me happy when Mommy is happy. And when Mommy is angry, it scares me." Um. Let's just put that aside for now, okay?

Anyway, remember, this is the same child who begged me to home school him not a mere three months ago. Who started worrying about going back to school about a week after it let out in June. The one who I lost countless nights of sleep worrying over. He LIKES SCHOOL! This is so huge it couldn't BE any huge-r!

Right now I'm cautiously optimistic. I'll admit I've been holding my breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop. But I'm trying to stay in the moment and enjoy the wonderful feelings that go along with this drastic improvement. Not dealing with the school peeps ten times a week is great, but the fact that he's happy and doing so well is what has me totally over the moon.

"I like school." I don't know that any words other than "I love you" have ever made my heart sing like that.

Happy Friday y'all.


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