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Friday, July 21, 2017

Be a Parent.

Recently I saw a post from a Dad about his daughter.  The post was as follows.

"Hello, all!

This is Susie Q's new hair color! Nice and normal! She wants to color it Orange! Yes, orange! Please "like" her hair color, now! May-be with lots and lots and lots of "likes", she will keep it this color, and not orange!"

I responded, perhaps a bit tongue in cheek, 

"I'm confused - aren't you the parent? Tell her no."  I did put a winking face on the post, but got this reply:

😁 Lori, it's 'Susie Q!' We have talked about it. She's a great student and is involved with so many things at 'some private school'...... So I pick my battles! 😁Doing pretty good as a parent, if the only thing in her life, I have problems with, is her hair color! 😀

Others commented on his post that he was a great parent and many others voted for the orange.

I was a little taken aback by the whole thing.  It is an interesting concept isn't it?  We hear this a lot, "Pick your battles".  Maybe I'm old, maybe I'm old fashioned.  My parents didn't pick their battles.  They were in charge.  Keep in mind at the time of the posting, the young lady was under 18 and living at home.

Why are we afraid to tell our children no?  Are we friends or parents?  Do we think that they won't like us?

Do you think that some of this kind of attitude is contributing to the lack of respect some of the younger generation has these days?  No, orange hair is not a huge thing.  But where does it start and where does it end?

Who is really in charge?  

wink emoticon.  

Friday, July 14, 2017

A Broken Heart - Loss in the Family

It has been a year since you left us.  I still miss you terribly.  I still look for you.

I remember the day we brought you home.  Your sweet little raccoon face.  David dropped me off at the pet adoption and parked the car with Elsie.  When he walked in the door he saw me holding you and knew that it was all over.  He knew you were coming home with us.

We named you Murphy.  Murphy's law followed you everywhere.  You were a little terror when you were younger.  Poor old man Casey.  You terrorized him to no end.  You just wanted to play and Casey just wanted to sleep.

The house seems empty, I look for you all the time.

Towards the end of your life, we had to sometimes carry you outside.  We fed you rice, people food, wet dog food, eggs.  We would look for anything that you would eat.  Sometimes you would go days without eating.  Every day you got weaker my heart broke a little more.  We never wanted you to suffer.  I still saw your heart in those big brown eyes.  You would look at me and follow me around the room with your eyes.

We lathered you with Young Living's Peace and Calming essential oil.  Once you had that on, your breathing would seem easier and you would rest.  Even to this day, I smell you when I smell Peace & Calming.  I know it made your last days easier.

The last couple of days, I would prop your head up on a pillow and lie on the floor next to you.  I would pet your ears.  You loved to have your ears rubbed.  You would bury your head between our legs and snuggle.  That was your snuggle.

The house is no longer full of large clumps of your under coat.  Holy cow you shed ALL THE TIME.  With the Elk Hound undercoat you could pull masses of hair out of you.  In the Spring the birds loved it.  They would come down on the deck to add to their nests while I brushed you.

You marched to your own drum.  Man, you were pig headed.  You would come when you wanted and ignore us when you didn't want to come.  You were the alpha male.  When we would throw the tennis ball, you had no interest in actually getting it.  You just wanted to be sure that Lucy didn't get it.  You would charge at her and she would drop the ball and lay down on her back to let you have it.  She loved you!  She would lick your face and your ears with her tail wagging a hundred miles an hour.

You could NOT be outside when the kids were sledding.  You would run after them, pull their mittens off and playfully nip at their heals.  When Elsie was a toddler I actually hit her in the head with a tennis ball.  She was running up the hill and you were playfully nipping at her heals.  I meant to throw the ball at you (not hard) to get you to stop.  I hit her instead.  I was never a softball player!  You NEVER hurt the kids.  It was just your way of playing.

You often thought you were a lap dog.  You were 55 pounds of a mack truck like dog but you were a lover.  So many times you would jump up on Elsie and try to lay in her lap.  You would scratch her legs but you would curl up in a ball to be on her lap.

You did learn to love Porter again.  When Porter was a toddler, he would lay on you.  He might have occasionally annoyed you a bit.  You kept away from him for a few years.  Although there were times at night, after we had all gone to bed, when Porter would let you up on the sofa.  You weren't supposed to be on that sofa, but he would be up late and you would crawl up there to snuggle with him.  The last 3 or so years you reconnected with him!  He was so excited.

You loved the water.  When we used to go up to our lake home, you would go out in the water and just lie down.  I am sure you were hot with all that fur and it must have felt great.  You would stick your entire head under water chasing something in your imagination.  The smell of wet dog.  Nothing like it and with all your fur?  It took forever to dry.

One place you really despised?  Vets.  It didn't matter how nice they were or what they were doing, you wanted no part of it.  We routinely had to muzzle you when we would go.  I had to do the muzzling, you sure wouldn't let them do that.  
When you were younger you had a lump on your side.  I took you to the vet.  It was just simply never a pleasant experience.  They looked at it, looked at you, took some samples and I waited.   I waited, by myself in that room and my mind started to go crazy.  I called David and said, "What if it is cancer?".  I waited some more.  I will never forget the feeling in my stomach when they finally came back after what seemed like an eternity.  It was cancer.  Somehow I knew. The big C word.  A dog is part of our family.  What in the world would we do?  Would you die?  

They told me it was one of 3 kinds.  1.  Benign, 2.  Could Re-occur, 3. It Would Kill You.  They had to remove it and do biopsies to find out.  

Your memory is an amazing thing.  When I close my eyes I can remember being in that room with you.  I remember the sounds, I remember the smells.  I remember burying my head in your fur and crying with worry.  You comforted me more than I comforted you.

They removed the mass and then came the dreaded CONE period.  Oh my, you hated it, just like every other dog on the planet.  You were big and clumsy.  Running into doors, walls.  And of course, then, more waiting.  This did not kill you.  It was the second type and it never came back.  You were too strong and stubborn to let it come back.

I still look for you.  I still think of you.  You are forever loved.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Raising Emotionally Strong Kids

Part of Whole Health is emotional health. As a parent, it is much easier to sooth bumps and bruises than to sooth matters of the heart.

Our daughter, is strong, smart, independent, beautiful, talented and so many other things.  Of course I am not biased at all.  There is nothing worse than to watch your children hurt. Trying to teach your children resilience and emotional strength is a crap shoot at best.  I guess honestly it is often hard for adults to navigate the road of relationships so how are we expected to teach our children to do it?

There are so many times that our children seem wise beyond their years.  This is one of them.  I found this letter that our daughter wrote a few years ago in 2014-2015.  It is so wise and mature I thought it was worth repeating.


Someone asked me if I knew you, a million memories flashed through my mind, I just smiled and said, "I used to."  Some would say it is your loss, but it is mine.  I'm so sorry that I couldn't make you stay.  I'm so sorry that I'm just not enough.  I could see you getting really close with other people and I could feel myself becoming less important.  My heart got this deep ache and soon everything just hurt.  Now you may call this jealousy and you very well may be right.  But I call it fear of losing you.

It will happen like this.
 1.  The conversations go from 3 hours to 1
2. The way we look at each other goes from "how could I live without you" to "you're my friend".
3. Then, the conversations go from 1 to none
4.  You won't even need to look at me anymore
5.  And that will be it.  I'll no longer be part of your life.
6. And that will be that.

It was really amazing, we were two strangers and we became the best of friends, but it was really sad when the best of friends become two strangers.  When you can walk right past someone like they were never a big part of your life.  How you used to talk for hours and how now, you can barely even look at them.

You and me
We used to be together
Everyday together always
I really feel
That I'm losing my best friend
I can't believe 
This could be the end
It looks as if you're letting go
And if it is real
Well I don't want to know
Because losing a friend is more painful than losing a romantic relationship

Sometimes I get this urge to talk to you, then I remember that we're different people now.  It is just sad because I miss you a lot.  We parted ways not because we fought or ceased to be friends.  We simply got older and this just meant we had more responsibilities to attend to.  Everything is changing now, people are forgetting who they are.  Everyone wants to fit in and when they finally get the chance to, they leave behind the people they care about for the people that don't care about them.  It is supposed to be about quality not quantity.  Unfortunately that has never been the case for me.  I've had many "best friends" through the years.  The one problem with these friendships?  They didn't last.  I want you to know that I'm holding on to the memories, the laughter, the pictures, to every precious moment with you, like the left behind color in the sky when the sun is gone.  I'm so sorry I tired so hard to be worth your time, to be funny and smart and pretty and deserving of your love but despite every attempt I'm still not enough.  I'm not sure which is worse, missing you, or knowing there is nothing I can do about it.  

I learn every day from my children.  I hope I am doing right by them.  Stand by your friends.  Stay in touch.  Don't let things come between you.  Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other is gold.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Please Let Children be Children. Please!

Oh my word.  Oh my goodness.  Good grief.     Social media is an amazing and terrifying thing for kids and honestly for parents as well.  I am a member of some Mom's groups on Facebook.  Most of the Mom's are first timers or Mom's that have young children.  My children are not young anymore so we face very different issues.

There is so much pressure put on kids today to perform and excel that we don't let kids be kids anymore.
Image result for let kids be kids

This morning a post on social media from a Mom really caught my attention.   She had a picture of a valentine that her 4 year old had "signed".  It was scribbled and she seemed stressed about the fact that he couldn't write his name.

Here was her post, 

"My 4 and a half year old son is so frustrating at times! He can't write yet, and gets so lazy when it comes to practicing. This is his name for his valentines. (I wrote his name below) What do I do to help him? He's so smart in other things but I'm afraid he's going to be behind in other things that he should already know."

"It took an hour tears and all to do get these done!"

Some of the responses on her post absolutely blew me away.  Here
 are a few.

"My 5 year old just did 32 cards this evening. His name is Jeremiah, last year he struggled. We made him write his name when he got home from school 10 times before he could do anything and we got work books from target to help him."  The original poster asked if the 5 year old fought her on that and here is her response, "stand your ground. I took away anything he liked until he completed them. He finally learned it was my way or the highway."

Oh my word.  I am honestly speechless about that response....

"My son is 4 and has no interest in coloring, drawing or writing. I'm nervous too."

I'm nervous?  Really?  They are 4 years old.  I am pretty sure at 4, I was not worried about writing.

"Look up handwriting without tears. It's a writing curriculum that starts with putting ones and curves together like a puzzle to make a person and then to make letters. Eventually, kids draw pictures and then letters using lines and curves. There's even a fun song/activity you can do to make "mat man." I'm sure there are lots of ideas on Pinterest and some videos on YouTube"

At least this suggestion sounded like helping them learn to write at a young age could be made to be fun.  Better than the Mom that took away anything her kid liked until he got it right.
"look up Dysgraphia"

OH MY GOSH!  I had to look this up.  Here is the definition.

  1. inability to write coherently, as a symptom of brain disease or damage.

The kid is 4!  What a horrible thing to say to a Mom.  Your 4 year old can't write his name so he probably has brain disease or brain damage?

" I wonder if focusing on 1 letter at a time would help - perhaps he is overwhelmed by all the shapes. Maybe if he just had to do the capital R over and over till he could do it, then add the y... If you show him several letters can he pick out the ones in his name? has (insert kid name) been thru preschool screening yet? Do you see other delays?"  "but has he been evaluated by the school district? It's totally free and may qualify him for extra help before kindergarten... and is separate from preschool"

Evaluated by the school district?  He is 4!!!  (I can't say that enough.  He is 4. He is 4. He is 4>

"Have him practice writing his name 20 times a day."

He is 4.  He is a kid.  Let him be a kid for heaven's sake.

"Have you had him tested for visual processing disorders? Most of you are probably saying..."what the heck is that?!" Often times, we see patients like your son, who are having a very difficult time writing or in an academic setting, but are exceptionally intelligent. Sometimes, this can be a result of poor visual processing skills. Just a thought. If you are interested (Insert Dr. Name and Clinic Name)  offers free Vision Therapy Evaluations."

This woman must work for the clinic?  But again, is this really necessary for a 4 year old? 

Of course there were a number of people that were responding with don't worry about it, it is all normal etc.   But honestly this whole thing upset me at so many levels.

We push our kids harder and harder all the time.  So many parents want Johnny or Susie to be the next child prodigy in school, music, sports, dance or any other activity.  Why are we doing this?  What is the point?   

Here is a great article if you want to read a little more about it.  Let Kids Be Kids  

Children should be playing, be outside, jumping in puddles, building snowmen, creative play, exercise, HAVE FUN!