Friday, June 26, 2009

Gone Too Soon

Unless you live under a rock, by now you know that Michael Jackson died yesterday. I was utterly stunned by this news, and quite honestly, a bit heartbroken. As I've written before, I have always found him fascinating. I don't know how you sum up the life of someone so complicated, so talented and yet somehow so broken. I know that he will certainly be remembered for his incredible musical accomplishments, as much as he will be remembered for his strange behavior and white children. Many will only remember the accusations against him. I'm glad that I didn't have to sit on his jury, because I could never say for sure if I could believe that this oddly pale man-child could ever do such terrible things.
Andrew Sullivan had some things to say about Michael Jackson's death that I found touching. I pray that his kids are well taken care of, and that they are able to find peace in their lives that their daddy clearly never could.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cyanoacrylates are our friends

We had a particularly exciting time at the campground this past weekend. The Tyrant took a header into a stone step and split his chin open. The poor little guy screamed and gushed blood all over. The volume of blood told us he would need stitches, even before we could see the gash clearly. We left the big kids with friends and headed up to the closest emergency room. I was dreading spending several hours in a waiting room, but to our amazement, we were in and out in an hour. The doctor was able to use glue and steri strips to close his chin, and we were very thankful to avoid the trauma of stitches. The Princess had to get stitches above her eye as a toddler, and I never wanted to repeat that hysteria.
We stopped at a store to get children's ibuprofen, thinking that he might have a hard time sleeping with the pain. He whimpered a bit but seemed ok when he went to sleep.
Apparently he had a great night's sleep, and got up with the birds. I'm not sure exactly how early he was awake, but campground security knocked on our door & returned him to us at 7:30am. It was a proud moment for sure, when I admitted that we hadn't even known that he was gone, since we had all still been asleep. We have no clue how he got out of the camper without us hearing him, since the door is right near our bed. He was found near the camp store, which is ironically where he had fallen the night before. (Maybe he was looking for the ice cream he missed out on??) The dog was also loose, no idea where she may have been during this, but thankfully she was running circles around the security man when I opened the door.
The main thing I learned from this weekend, outside of the need to tie bells to my child and explain to him the reasons why he must wear a helmet 24 hours a day, is this: when your child splits his chin open, and the doctor clears the blood away so she can close the gash, do not, under any circumstances, look closely to see the damage, because it will look like ground beef and you will want to chuck, which you cannot do because said child is on your lap having his face super glued back together. Here endeth the lesson.

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Friday, June 12, 2009


I had a conversation yesterday that I'm still festering about, so maybe blogging will clear my head of it. You know how afterwards, where you kick yourself for what you said or didn't say, and how you should have said this or that, and you just continue to have the back & forth in your head. Of course I always come out looking good and triumphant at the end of these.
I was at the school, waiting for the kids to come out. I was standing with a group of other moms doing likewise, and one of them, whom I have seen before but don't know at all, was complaining about the stupidity of her neighbors. She then went on to talk about the residents of the recovery house near her. I won't recount the whole thing, but she had some pretty derogatory things to say. Now granted, I know that those who are fresh out of rehab are not always the most agreeable sort, nor are they schooled in the finer rules of etiquette and manners. I could understand her being upset about some of their inappropriate behavior. That said, I have a tendancy to get my back up when people make stereotypical statements about people in recovery, which she made plenty of. She then went on to say that she couldn't understand why these people were allowed to live in a neighborhood around children. I raised an eyebrow and asked where they should live then, and told her that there were recovery houses in pretty much every one of our local neighborhoods. She said she didn't know, but that the Don Pablos was empty, and they should just ship them there. (a local restaurant that went out of business & is sitting empty)
I think I nearly bit through my tongue at this point, as I considered my options. I considered informing her that not all of us in recovery appreciate being ranked with pedofiles when it comes to undesireable neighbors. I thought about letting her know that those in early recovery need a lot of patience and compassion. I thought about calling her an ignorant bizzo. I instead said nothing, because I knew I was not capable of being diplomatic at that point, and it would accomplish nothing to tell her off.
After the kids were dismissed and we were walking home, I told myself to let it go and not let it bother me. Had she known that I am in recovery, she would surely not have said those things, or at least I'd like to think that. I know it's idealistic, but I'd love the chance to talk to her again and set her straight. But with only a few days left in the school year, it's unlikely that I'll have the chance.
I carry the green card with me in my purse and I thought of it as I stood there facing that woman. I thought of the one line, "I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but today I will not show it." I wasn't hurt, just ticked, but I knew it was better to hold my tongue. One of the gifts of my recovery has been the realization that I do not always have to have my say, and I do not always have to be right. The satisfaction of knowing I didn't lose my temper tastes much better than telling her off would have.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

My Anniversary Present

Looky what I got!  I've been wanting the industrial piercing for about a year, and I finally went and did it.  It's my wedding anniversary present from the Man.  12 years went by fast!
IndustrialBW.jpg picture by Shay7474
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I celebrated 8 years of recovery from alcoholism on the 28th of May, hallelujah!  I wish you could have seen the smile on my face when I went to my home group the night before & received my coin.  There is just no other feeling like it; to know that you have succeeded at changing your life, one day at a time, through the grace of God and AA - it is simply amazing, in every sense of the word.
When it was my turn to share I talked about where I had been and where I am now.  How I'm incredibly blessed to have a husband and children and the life that I enjoy.  I shared that I am a first timer, and that I have stayed sober for this many years because, quite simply, I do what I'm told.  I listen to the suggestions and advice of my sponsor and fellow alcoholics.  I take my life one day at a time, I try my best to be humble, I am honest, I admit when I am wrong.... not because I am so awesome, but because I know what happens when I don't live this life the way I'm supposed to.  I did things my way for a long time, and it got me in a lot of trouble.  I don't need to have my way anymore.  Giving up my own will, and submitting to God is what keeps me sober.  I make amends where necessary, pray for those who cause me pain, and keep my mouth shut, which is hard, for anyone who knows me.  I don't always need to be 'right' anymore.
I carry my coin in my pocket every day, as a reminder to me of needing to 'practice these principles in all my affairs'.  I love the coins that my meeting uses. They look like these:
Coin.jpg picture by Shay7474
The history of the coins, if you're nerdy like me and need to know these things, can be found here.
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How to Ensure that Parents of Your Fans Will Hate You

I read recently that Kanye West is anti-reading.  I thought at first that this had to be a joke, because who would be against reading?  But sadly, it's true.  As disturbing as this is, what's even more disturbing is that this genius has now written a book.  Umm... what?  Yes, the anti-book rapper has 'written' a book.  And 'written' gets air-quotes because 1) he doesn't believe in books and 2) he had to have someone co-author a book that consists of random quotes, 'Kanye-isms' and blank pages.
As Jen over at Cake Wrecks said, "After banging my head against the desk and weeping for future generations," I thanked God that my parents did not feel this way.  We were always encouraged to read and to write, and had our own library cards from a young age.  We read mysteries, autobiographies, and poetry, along with the Bible.  Some of my earliest memories are of my mom reading books to us on long car trips, and of my father making up stories to tell us at bedtime.  I am incredibly thrilled and proud that I have passed the reading bug on to the Princess, who plows through books at an amazing rate.  She read the entire Left Behind Kids series in about two weeks.
As Thomas Jefferson said, "I cannot live without books."  As a lifelong reader and an aspiring author, I have the urge to tack Kanye's picture on my dartboard.  The celebrity platform is a gift Mr. West, and you have clearly squandered yours.  Young people looking for good writing by a black author, skip Kanye's 'book' and instead check out someone worth reading, like Howard Thurman or Rosa Parks.

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