Friday, September 22, 2017

Children + Electronic Devices = DISASTER!



Once upon a time, parents used to tell their kids, "if your bored, I have chores for you to do, I am sure I can find something for you to do" OR, they used to tell their kids, "just go play outside, go do something"

Remember way back then we had to invent our own fun, we played outside until the street lights came on, we made forts, tents, girls had their own little clubs and boys did the same. The boys would build tree houses and the girls held tea parties.

Baseball and football was one of the biggest things that kids did when they were instructed to go play outside. Parents got things done and they knew that their kids were outside doing something constructive.

Fast forward 40 years, while I am at work and parents are dragging their little babies in tow, their babies tend to get anxious, bored, and yes, even temperamental. Mothers and fathers alike will dig into their purses or back pockets and give their kids their phone with games on them, they will hand them their tablets with movies on them. GOD FORBID the parents discipline their kids in order to get them to behave.

Why would they when it is much easier to hand them an electronic devise that will and has been known to shut up their kids. Kids will push every single button within their parents and they know just how to get that electronic device and how to drive their parents from an even temperament of a 1 to a full 10 within a matter of a Nano second!

Once that child has that electronic device in their dirty grubby hands they then become calm, cool, and collective and then the parents get to finally continue with their shopping. The world has gone from parents ordering their child to go play outside to now sitting in front of the television to watch movies or play video games, or watching and playing games on their phones.

And we wonder why the kids in today's world are over weight, demanding, withdrawn from society, the kids in today's world don't know how to complete a sentence without an electronic device in their hands. Many of the kids in today's world don't even know how to have a simple conversation because their heads are buried within any electronic device given to them by their own parents.

Parents have thrown any type of home life, dinner conversations, family time, to the wayside and would rather not face any confrontation with their kids and why? Because its so much easier to shut them up than try to actually be a family.

I for one am one of those mom's who takes my daughters electronic devices away when homework is to be done. The only electronic device she has is a calculator for her math. Once dinner is served she still has no electronic device in her hands and the rule is we must share four things that either makes us happy or angry with the goal of finding resolution or share the joy of the happiness of her life.

I have sold all electronic game such as Play Stations and their games and replaced it with physical games for us to do together.

It is our duty as parents to co-interact with our children, it is our duty as a parent to teach our children that electronic devices is not a babysitting tool, it is our responsibility to show our children that we do care about how they think, feel, or how they behave once they pitch a fit. I have seen parents turn a blind eyes to their child now having a complete melt down allowing them to scream, yell and yes, even become physically confrontational by either spitting, slapping, or punching the parents still do nothing about it. I have seen mothers and fathers dig into their purses or back pockets and yell at their kids, "here take it just shut up my God."

Our Legal System

So many may think, "what does the world of electronic devices have to do with the legal justice system and kids? A TON!

Back in the early 2000 I had just graduated law school with honors. I landed my first job as a legal assistant at one of the most prestigious law firms that handled family law. As I was given the tour of the office one of the other legal assistants was bogged down with MANY court cases on her desk which if I were to count, she probably had over 40 cases she was working on at on time.

Those cases were dealt with child abuse and their parents. I learned rather quickly how the court system gave children the control of their parents and protecting the children more than the parents. Some parents were trying to get back their children yet due to "spanking" their child that child was removed from the home due to abuse.

Our laws today will protect a child more than the parents and often leaving the parents dumbfounded on just how to discipline their child. I even had one case where a boy at the age of 8 pitched such a fit because his parents would not give him back his iPad that he threatened them with abuse then he would call the police and turn them in. The parents never gave in and he ran to a friends house, called the police and told the police how they are abusing him.

Not only was the child removed, the parents have now become part of "Child Protective Services" and many will remain within the "system" until that child is 18. CPS will continue to tell that child or any child within the system how protected they are, what is deemed abuse to a child and how they are there to protect that child.

Now if I were a child and rightfully knowing how much power I had over my parents, don't you think I would abuse that power just to get what I wanted if it didn't go my way?

The police believed the child, removed the child, and the parents were prosecuted for abuse upon their own child over a stupid iPad. Well, I got pretty good at my job and started to call bullshit on these kids who learned rather quickly the law was on their side 100% and against their parents 100% the parents were at the mercy of their own kids who were now running their parents lives and what happens at home, school, and within the public.

A teen girl who had her phone taken away due to violating her curfew had a complete melt down walked into the wall without thinking and bruised her arm. Because her parents stood their ground and refused to give into her, she then called the police and showed the police the bruise her mother so called "inflicted" upon her, was removed and the parents arrested. When I went to meet with the girl now in foster care I sat down with her and began talking to her. She was trying to intimidate me and once she found out that she couldn't, I got her to break and learned that she actually walked into the wall by accident and because her parents disciplined her, she was going to inflict pain on her family.

I remember vividly telling her, "well, your plan backfired. Here you are in foster care, no phone, no parents, and your miserable. Great plan huh? You really thought long and hard about this one didn't you?"

Our justice system has taken the power of parenting away and turned that taken power and given it to the children of our world. Once in court there were two parents desperately trying to get their child back from who now was living in the foster care system. It was a complete misunderstanding and because the judge believed the parents caused the abuse he was going to make them pay for their mistake. I confronted the judge;

"So let me ask you something judge. When you were a little boy did your father ever spank you, did your father ever have control over you and directed you to a better life? Did your father ever tell you to go pick that limb off of the cherry tree so he can spank you with it?"

He asked where I was leading with this and I better make my point..."well my point is this, because you were disciplined, because you had the guidance of a family that loved you, you are now sitting up in a chair wearing a black robe that tells the world your family must have done something right." 

And NO our world isn't messed up with our children taking control us and we have no control over them right?



Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Mother & Father III

We all know the story, boy meets girl, both fall in love, and marry with the anticipation of living their lives out together for the rest of their lives.

The now husband and wife who stood before family and friends her, in an amazing wedding gown that made all gasp as she entered the room, and he, who stood in front of what seemed like the whole world shared vows promising to be there for each other through "sickness and health"

They promised each other a life together and when the person who performed their ceremony blesses their marriage both the bride and groom kiss then turn to face their loved ones, friends of a life time, guest, it is then announced, "I would like to introduce you to Mr. and Mrs." (fill in the blank)

As they descend down the isle both beaming of joy, laughter, two individual souls have now become one soul, one heart, one life. They both clasp their hands and together they prepare to face the world that can and is cruel, cold, and what always seems heartless and painful. You dance, eat, meet and greet your guest, share laughs and tears of joy.

As the night wears down and the guest begin to leave, that is when your lives actually begin. The only support you have now is each other and that delicate bond must always remain strong. I have always been the one to say, "relationships are similar to bridges."

So what do bridges have to do with relationships...EVERYTHING! Imagine two people standing hundreds of feet apart, she on her own mountain and he the same. Below is well, what can destroy the trust you have built, the love you have, the commitment that must remain solid.

The task...both the new bride and groom must find whatever they can to build a bridge so they can meet in the middle. They must carefully plan their steps creating great support of what they are now building. They must work together as a team, trust what each other is saying and doing. As they both create this bridge they are creating strength and love. They are working as a team, they are trusting each other and once that bridge is created they know no matter what comes down the pike, their marriage will survive....Yet, will it? 

As the marriage grows that bridge that you both created once on separate mountains can and will be tested. Oh yes, those test that come down the pike can be ruthless, they can be brutal, there will be obstacles and challenges that will and can ultimately put each of you through twist and turns that can create distance and some even fall out of love.

Growing Yet Again! 

So, you want to have a baby, the husband of course wants a boy to carry on the family name the wife wants a baby girl that she can dress up and love and create a bond so tight it can often seem stronger than ones marriage. So you plan, you both get great jobs, save you money, start a savings account and you both work and work and work.

What constitutes the "perfect time" to start a family? Does anyone really know? Not really. Two couples can plan and plan and save and save and then struggle to become pregnant and in today's world that is of course more often than one taking a pregnancy test and seeing two lines. It can and will take a toll on the marriage if both do not become pregnant. Then there are couples that "accidently" become pregnant when they are not ready.

I was at work last night and I learned that my boss and his wife suffered a miscarriage when she was 16 weeks pregnant and that explains so much of his behavior and why he was missing from work for almost three weeks. It explains the anger in his tone, the sharpness of his tongue, the loss of his witty charm.

But, when I met his wife and his other two boys one that is almost three and the other almost six, I saw a marriage that would endure the pain, that would endure the loss of a loved one who did not make it into the world. I saw a couple that had built a bridge so strong no matter what storm comes their way, or the high whipping winds that challenged the bridge, their marriage was forever.

Yes it is a loss!

Any couple that losses a loved on before it comes into the world is very similar to one losing a loved one in this world. There is love for that unborn baby, the tossing of names around, getting the baby room ready, the joy and excitement of bringing yet another child into their brood so their family can grow and become one yet again.

There is grieving the loss of a loved one even if it has not reached the full 40 weeks of pregnancy. My heart went out to him and we shared tears, we shared stories, we bonded in a way that no store director and simple employee would. As he wrapped his arms around me when I went to hug him expressing my grief for him I felt the grip of pain in his arms, I could feel his chest against mine and the quivering of his body riddled in pain only he knows and yet what one could imagine.

The crackling of his voice as he talked more about the loss of his son. The piercing blue eyes staring directly at me now flooding with tears and as one dropped then two dropped then floods of more I grabbed him and held him holding his deeply and tightly in my arms not letting go.

I can only imagine what his wife is going through and I will never say, "I know what your wife is going through" because actually I don't. Everyone suffers loss in a different way and it is no different when someone suffers the loss of their baby in this world.

Remember, if it has a heart beat and it is moving around, it is in fact a baby! We must give love and support when one suffers the loss of their baby. We must step out of our shoes and step into their guiding and loving them and their is no time length of healing.

We must be gentle and kind, we must stand strong for them because they are and will be weak. I have seen my boss back at work laughing and sharing his wisdom and now I know it is all just a persona of his pain that he is burying down while still trying to run an entire store and not think about what happened. He is a strong man, he is a kind man, he is a man who does not deserve to have this happen but no one deserves to have this happen.

Do I believe their is a reason, oh yeah, do I believe that something else will come down the pike that is better for him and his wife, you bet!

In Loving Memory of Taylor!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Every Mother & Father II

There is human growth when one allows vulnerability into their lives of strangers. Blogging is not just sharing your thoughts and wisdom, it allows others to read, share, and understand that pain is just not a one person event.

Adrian stood there shocked and dumbfounded stumbling for words when I shared I met his wife at the grocery store. Right after I said those words, words that were tearing my gut apart, words that made my heart race, those four words that could ultimately change not only myself, but my relationship with a man I feared every losing. My mind twisted and turned similar to a tornado taking out an entire town leaving behind destruction and despair. If one was to measure my level of fear it would not only break a rector scale, it would shatter it into tiny pieces.

I tried to not look at him, I tried to look out at the deep green sea ahead of me desperately focusing on the variety of boats and other sea loving individuals. I no longer heard the waves lapping up on the sands below, I no longer heard the children playing within feet of me or the cars passing by on Ocean Blvd. I could feel Adrian's burning eyes upon me and still I never once looked at him.

I could feel my heart pounding within my chest feeling as if it was about to explode. My palms sweaty, my legs quivering, yet I remember him just turning away and continuing to play soccer and I just sat down and allowed this new life of mine to conform to his needs. After the soccer game it was never mentioned about who I met, he never brought it up and I never did as well. Right then and there I was even more desperate to become pregnant to not lose this man and I did all I could to invite sex into our world. My thinking was, if I got pregnant and had a baby, I would be the winner, I would have this man for the rest of my life something I craved, needed, and demanded within my heart.

Well, as the months and seasons turned from winter to spring I continued to allow this married man into our home, into our bed and I openly took this man into my arms allowing him to touch me, love me, make love to me, and the more I did that, the more he seemed to disappear each night. I would lay in the bed taking my hand then sweeping his space only to feel something cold and uninviting. Multiple tears would fall out of desperation to know where he was and why he was not home with me. I knew where he was and yet if I said it out loud it would be a way of admitting most of all how stupid I was and how horrible my life had become but it was more than that. It would mean I allowed this to happen and I was far from admitting that. With each sound of a car or keys jingling outside the bedroom window I jumped to gaze out into the dark night hoping and praying it was him coming home to me. Yet it was always never him.

And then there was one!

I went to our bank to make a deposit one afternoon and in front of me was the teller named Suzi. She was pleasant and cheerful and once we began to talk I learned that she was actually my new neighbor who moved into the apartments next door to me. She shared her husband was in the Navy and out to sea for six months pf deployment. Suzi said she would love to get together with me. We set up a time to meet over the coming weekend and it was something I was actually looking forward to I was looking forward to actually being with someone other than myself living in fear and rejection.

Well, a friendship grew pretty quickly and the trust factor was growing over time between us both. I of course was relentless on sharing my life about being involved with a married man. Suzi was under the assumption that I had this amazing boyfriend named Adrian yet I felt she would look at me in a different light and no longer want to be friends with me of she knew the real truth about my life. Suzi and Steve had one of those marriages that was blessed for a life together forever. I envied her and Steve with a passion, I had actually come to love being with a man and the possibilities of marriage. I learned to be a doting girlfriend, cooking, cleaning, and sharing what time I had with Adrian.

It had been almost a year since I was off the pill and still no pregnancy. Each month came and went which was this heart digging painful reminder I was not pregnant. I even began to think maybe it was me, maybe I was the reason I could not get pregnant. Secretly I took each test first thing in the morning and as it read negative I cried and cried. Once the tears ended and I dried up I carefully wrapped it up in a paper towel then dumping it into the neighbors outside trash always fearing if Adrian saw it in our trash, well, he would leave me.

Suzi was into entertaining all the time. Her house was constantly filled with Navy men from Steve's naval ship along with other non Navy men and women. And yes, each time there was a party at their house Suzi invited myself and Adrian and each time I had to make one excuse after the other for not having Adrian to attend.

Finally months later, Suzi approached me and asked why Adrian never came with me. She cornered me into a place that no matter how I tried to fight my way out, it just wasn't going to happen this one time. I remember her piercing eyes digging into my soul. Her voice tense and her need to know was very apparent that she was not about to back down this time. Finally, I could no longer hold it in any longer. I broke and once I began to share my life with Adrian the tears flooded down.

For some reason it felt liberating to finally get the truth out. Suzi of course had a different plan of action. We always talked about my self-esteem and what I was tolerating. She actually got me to see what I was doing and how I was allowing this man to take away my self-worth, how he didn't care about me, how I was his "piece" when his wife didn't want to put out. I believe she put it in a more direct way..

"Wow, this man has the best of both worlds. When his wife isn't giving him what he wants, he comes crawling to you and you allow this to happen. You openly take him and gives him what he wants. And, when you don't give him what he wants, he just goes home and gets it from his wife. Wow, I guess it is true, a man can have his cake and eat it too."

I was slowly building up my self-esteem yet I was struggling with my need to be pregnant was somewhat beginning to diminish and as each month came and went I was relived to actually not be pregnant. I was growing not only on the inside but outside as well. My self-esteem and dignity was stronger than I felt before. I was seeing my self-wroth, I was seeing how I was actually valued, I could feel my sense of growth inside of me. Hell, even Adrian could tell I was changing and he didn't like it. He was actually spending more time with me at home and doing things together.

Then one day, I told him to pack his crap and move on! I told him that I needed to find a man who was NOT married and who saw me as a valued female that has so much to offer. I told him I deserve better and I wanted to be treated like the Queen I knew I wanted to be. It was liberating, joyful, I felt like a whole new woman. I was proud of myself and also very thankful for Suzi and opening my eyes to how I was actually living.

Adrian on the other hand had come to hate her, he was opposed to me being friends with her, demanded I stop and when I didn't back down, he became enraged and demanded even more and the more he demanded the more I fought back.

One night when he went to work, I packed his things and took them to the bar he worked at. I walked in with my head held high, I was turning heads of everyone possibly because I was carrying luggage into a meat market bar. I found him pretty quickly because every girl as always was flaunting and begging for him to talk to her.

I put the luggage down and told him and to never come home again, I told him it was over and I was DONE WITH HIM! Once I was gone I went and bought a new set of locks and changed the locks on the front door of the apartment. We had a joint checking account that had over $5,000 dollars in it and I went to the bank and cleaned out the account!

Never did I ever look back and crave this man again!




Friday, September 15, 2017

Every Mother & Father 1

Yesterday I posted "Every Mother & Father" and this is a continuation.....

Being able to open your life to absolute true strangers who will read about your failures, admittedly open up about your failures, barely any successes, is not only freeing, it is eye opening to hopefully others in the world that can see, "things can happen to anyone and everyone." 

Prior to having a child that you bring into this world there is of course the dating world. Women go and paint their faces and men slather themselves in cologne and both dress to impress. I know that dating for myself, if there was a line-up of eight men and 7 of them were perfect gentlemen, they worked, they were self supportive, had great careers, and this incredible love to give to any women, well and then there was "ONE" we all know that ONE, that one man who was well known in the police department, had multiple arrest, treated women like crap, tatted up over 90% of his entire body, sold and used drugs, I would pick him!

I have the worst luck when it comes to finding love ask anyone that knows me and the men that I have picked. I am that "double sided coin person" I was the true hopeless romantic. I believed in romance, I believed in finding love, I believed in having a man as perfect as my dad was with my mom, the lifestyle he gave her, the dedication to his family, the love for his family, the hard working man, I compared every single man to my father.

Then on the other side of that coin, I was the woman that fell for just about any guy that paid any attention to me. I never wanted to get married, but I wanted to date. I never wanted to talk about the future with any man and if it came down to having that conversation, well, I fled for the hills and never looked back! I had men chasing me all the time and the more they chased, the more I ran away. Because that would mean I had to grow up, that meant I had to do something with my life, that meant I had to share my space and time with someone else and that was just voodoo to me.

Then I met Adrian, he was a bartender at a popular hang out during the early 80's it was a place everyone went to. I called it the meat market, others called it a bar with dancing. Women flaunted themselves all over the men and if women and men came in alone, trust me, they never went home alone!

Adrian was this wild sexy Hispanic that had a smile which melted every single women in the bar similar to butter in a fire roaring skillet. I would sit at the bar and just watch the action on the dance floor while also watching women throwing money at him to make their drinks. He always gathered multiple phone numbers from women begging for him to call them. His suave sexy dark eyes, his bubbly personality, his voice it was intoxicating and breath taking voice, that raspy sexy voice it drew women to him and it was like watching a bear attacking the honey dripping from the tree.

We struck up a conversation and well, one thing led to another and before you knew it, he was leaving with me. I waited for the bar to close down while sitting in the parking lot at three in the morning shivering from the cold air. Once he arrived I was feeling something that was so unfamiliar to me, I was excited to see him, I wanted to be with him, and well, that is what happened. We went to an all night restaurant and just talked. The conversation flowed so magically. We had much in common and we both were surprised at how we even like each other.

I never expected anything to happen except we hug our good-byes and both leave in their own car and in separate directions. Nope, didn't happen. He actually came home with me and well, he was good in bed! That was the night I fell in love and I fell HARD and FAST! I became the person I never wanted to be, I had to be with him day and night, I became insecure, I became needy, I became desperate to be with him and trust me I made it easy for him to be with me.

Within two months of dating my self-esteem was in the gutter, I let him move in, never told my parents so they never knew because for one thing my dad HATED Hispanics, he couldn't stand them, he thought they were all users, abusers, and drug addicts. I went from this strong independent woman who knew what she wanted to no longer knowing who this person was staring back at her in the reflection of the mirror in the bathroom.

To many times when she stared back at me while in the bathroom I struggled to look at her, I did everything to avoid her and that even meant never looking in the mirror because that would have meant I was a failure, I became someone I hated. If Adrian was late coming home I would sit on the couch and cry in fear of him being with someone else, my gut kept telling me, "he is with another woman, you know he is, you know your not this person, who are you and why are you behaving this way?" 

I became this paralyzed person who didn't care about my appearance, who didn't cared about anything but being with Adrian. I became this panic stricken victim to this man and he knew it and he played the game. He knew no matter what day he came home or what time he came home I was there to fall into his arms and take this man back. My dignity was gone and not only that person in the reflection of the mirror knew it, anyone that knew me began telling sharing, "what happened to you, its as if you lost your way, you lost your edge, you never talk to us anymore, hang out with his anymore, where is Dee, the girl that is strong and self-sufficient, the girl that doesn't take crap from anyone?"  

It didn't matter to me about anything but being with this man and when things got hard I did the unthinkable. I began thinking a baby would hold us together and I went off my birth control never mentioning anything to Adrian. I thought if I got pregnant it would force him to come home every night, it would force him to be with me and me only, and if that shocks you, this will shock you even more!

I was in the grocery store getting groceries for the weekend. Adrian was going to play soccer at the local park and he wanted me to make salsa while bringing other delicious treats to munch on. As I was rummaging through the produce isle this short Hispanic woman approached me. She had a baby in tow and she just stood there staring at me, loathing me, it was as if she wanted to attack me. Her eyes were swollen from crying, this little boy adorable and so cute, and I could tell if she could she would of reached out and punched me right in the face. I stood back due to her being so close and up in my space. She never said a word she only stared at me and then finally once I did back up she came forward staying deliberately within my space.

I feared her, I really was scared of her. The little boy began to cry out, "Poppy, poppy" and then this woman who was growing even more angry by staring at me finally spoke in horrible broken English.

With her teeth clenched and her fist growing tighter, I began to wonder if she was going to attack me. Her breath quick and unsteady, her body shaking violently and then a tear falling down her face.

"Do you want to know who his Poppy is, do you want to know, let me tell you, its MY HUSBAND, yep that's right my husband YOUR boyfriend is MY HUSBAND and this is HIS SON!" 

And all I could think of that very moment was not how I was hurting this women or how I was now known as the "other woman" no, all I could think of was the adorable child we could have. This woman stayed in her space and her tears began to fall more quickly, for some reason  I never could see the pain in her face any longer, this foreign matter falling from her eyes, her pain stricken face her aching body her broken heart nope, all I could think of was getting back to Adrian and making this salsa for him.

Even walking away it never once ever dawned on me what just happened. It didn't really dawn on me what occurred until I got home to our new apartment that we moved into. It was this adorable quaint apartment behind a house. Adrian worked while I forged ahead making our house a home, a place we could be together, a place that we could all deeper in love.

I remember entering our home and seeing a note from him, "Went to the park, don't forget to make the salsa and see you there love you tons Adrian." Love you tons, love you tons, that was when my spine just snapped, that was when I could suddenly visualize this woman's painful face her tears falling while holding a child the man that I loved created with another woman.

I was flooded with confusion, was I more jealous of her having a child with the man I loved or was I torn up about him not telling me he was married? Yet, I made the salsa and never once gave it a second thought until I went to the park.

I parked my car got out and unloaded all the goodies I had made. Homemade tacos, salsa, chips, drinks, yep I had it all and it was all for him and his buddies. I was the doting girlfriend I was the girl his male counterparts were jealous of.

I was the doting girlfriend who stayed by his side even through his carousing around town, not coming home, his lies, his betrayal, I was trying to hold on to the same ideas of my parents marriage for some reason. Loyalty even through the hardest of times.

I set everything up on the blanket I bought and as always I cheered him on calling out his name chanting my love to him. Then it happened....the unspoken truth happened....

"Sorry I'm late, I ran into someone at the grocery store." Adrian looked at me confused, "oh, who did you run into?" 

I remember standing up and hoisting my hands to my hips, and then turning my head to the side just staring at this man. I was contemplating telling him but I feared for some reason what I was about to lose, HIM! It was as if I had diarrhea of the mouth...

"Oh no one special, just your wife."

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Every Mother & Father

I don't know any parent who wishes ill-will for their child. What I do know is the minute every single newborn child is placed into the arms of the new mothers and fathers, their lives will never be the same.

There is a new sense of what love is, there is a new sense of security we crave to give, there is a sense about being new parents each and every single one will or have experienced a flood of emotions while they suddenly understand what "unconditional love" really is.

From the first sounds of the "coo" the movement of their body, the unforgettable smell of a new born baby, the touch of their skin, that human contact, and when the first time their new babies eyes open and look at you there is that tiny tear that creeps to your eyes and as it begins to descend down your cheek, you find yourself falling in love, a much deeper love than when you told your husband, boyfriend, significant other, "I Love You" yes, it will go even deeper than that.

I have shared multiple times how I never wanted to be a mother, I never wanted to be married, no, my time was my time and I was relentless on sharing that time and space with any man let alone a screaming crying child. Selfish? Sure! Was it my upbringing that made me want to be alone or was it watching the hundreds if not thousands of parents going absolutely crazy when their child refused to listen, refused to be good and they screamed a pitch that was this ear deafening sound that one would think only dogs could hear.

Yet, when I found out I was pregnant with my first baby girl, I freaked out! I panicked at the thought of being responsible for another human being and for the entire pregnancy I contemplated adoption, I even thought of abortion. I was the most unforgiving responsible person one would ever care to meet.

It wasn't I came from an unloving home, it was quite the opposite. I came from a very loving home, I came from a doting father and mother both which participated in family events, vacations, birthday parties, you name it, they were there!

So why would I be so selfish and so determined to not get married? My parents to this day have been married for 63 years one would think the marriage bug and baby bug would be exceptional!

There isn't a parent out there that can determine how their child will be later in life. There is no crystal ball that shares their future and the last time I checked, babies didn't come with instructions on what to do when they.... (fill in the blanks).

We as parents never imagine raising children alone, it's not like we seek out divorce or seek out being a single parent but for thousands if not millions it does happen and suddenly we find ourselves in a place so dark and so scary being both the mother and the father for your child or children.

Being a single mother is like walking on a frozen lake, certain place may appear to be solid, so solid it gives the image of being able to be walked on, it can support us, it can hold our weight, yet there are patches of ice over this lake in which the parent can see the running waters below and for some reason, we just walk on it and then we sink! The freezing waters grab us and takes us down that is when our struggle of being a single parent is real.

We watch the hundreds if not thousands who are married, the child has both their mother and their father raising them, and then we tend to wonder can I do just as good as a single parent versus married parents? What security can I provide my child that either a mother can provide and a father can provide? Can I teach my son or daughter things that only their father can teach them or their mother can teach them?

Will I be prepared for the twist and turns similar to that tornado taking out an entire field, can I catch that flying ball of life a pitcher can throw at 98 miles per hour, and what plan of attack will I be ready for when that tornado comes or that flying ball both of which are directed right at me? Because guess what, they will!

You can love your child or children unconditionally all you want, you can provide shelter for them, you can feed them, you can be there for them day or night but the one thing that will not ever prepare you for life is when they take their life and then that familiar body that parades around filling the home with laughter, those familiar hugs, that familiar sounds telling you it is your daughter in the room.

No longer do you open the bedroom door then sit on the edge of her bed to see her grown up, the bedroom now destroyed from her makeup, her shoes, her clothes where you wonder what is clean and what is not clean. No longer do you see the left over dinner sitting on her bedside table because she refused to eat dinner with you due to a disagreement you both had.

No longer do you see her walk into the house after school or wave goodbye when they leave for school. No longer will you receive their grades in your mailbox or hear the phone ring and her teacher is telling you that your daughter never showed up for school.

But what you do live with is the million dollar question...."What did I do wrong?"

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Our Education System



I have been so consumed in thoughts through the past few weeks, I have not been able to sleep!

Last week I was at work and while I was cashiering out one of our customers I noticed three people in line behind the current customer I was helping. There was a boy around sixteen, a girl maybe fourteen, and another boy I would guess around the same age as the other boy. They appeared to be from either Japan or China two countries I always confuse one from the other.

As I began to finish up with my current customer, I noticed they were speaking French. Well, that through me for a loop! Then without notice, I heard one speaking English to the other. All three were dressed impeccably and of course well mannered with each other. I have to admit I was impressed with the languages they were able to speak.

As I began to ring up these three individuals, one then spoke to another in Spanish. Well, that got my goat and I had to say something.

"Wait, did I just hear you speaking French to each other and then Spanish?" I just stood there dumbfounded at the level of expertise they were speaking. One of the boys was purchasing a very expensive calculator, the kind that is used in Physics and other extensive math problems.

The girl then piped up and shared where they are from, Japan. They are forced to learn five different languages when in school starting from what we call kindergarten school and they call elementary level 1. The boy then spoke and told me that they are in school from 8 AM - 5PM every day in which they are taught a variety of skills and education learning talents.

I asked then, "so if you don't pass a grade what happens then?" they all three laughed and told me, "failure is not an option within our education, we must pass and we must pass with an A or we do not move on towards the next level." 

I hung my head in shame and thought of our education system and how we failed not only our kids but the other thousands of students within the United States. They all three continued to tell me how easy our education system here is and how failure is an option because the schools out here within the United State will pass everyone with a D and teachers don't really care if they succeed or not.

Why is it in other various countries such as France, Egypt, China, Japan, and South Korea, the educational system is far more superior then ours? Why is it if a math teacher within the United States educational learning system has maybe two students in a math class that will succeed in various levels of math yet the other 29 students just don't understand the math and yet, if they receive a D in the class the teacher passes them right on to the next level of math?

For example; my daughter Sela who struggles in math, and I mean struggles in math is in Geometry and she has no clue how to do the homework. While in basic math, she did ok, then from basic math she then went to Algebra and from there, she got lost in the mathematical system and became confused about math. She begged for help and then she asked me for help which the math I learned in high school and the math that she is doing is two very different things.

When it came time for her to move to the different grade from 6th grade to 7th grade she was receiving a D- in math. I hired a tutor, and together the tutor and her worked two days a week and it somewhat made a dent and she took her D grade to a D+ and that constitutes her to move to the next grade?

Now when it comes to learning a language, they get to choose between French and Spanish and that's about it. Just recently did her high school add ASL (sign language) our education system realized that it was actually a language and once they offered it, the class filled up within one day of students waiting with great anticipation of actually learning something new.

Why can't our educational system be the same as the others countries? Why is we shelter our kids from learning and fear them learning in the same structure as Japan and China? Have we become so sterile to our kids learning and wanting the best education that our system can give them?

Why is it teachers in other foreign countries not worry about their pay and they worry more on the success of their students, parents want the very best for their kids so they don't mind them being in school from 8-5 and have four hours of homework each night. The pay off for their kids is far more superior then our own kids. They receive a better future, better job offers, and that alone will prepare them for their future

Maybe, just maybe, if our educational system was the same as other foreign countries, our kids would have a fighting chance at a great education. Oh sure, there are teachers who care and I am not dismissing those teachers but let's face it, those teachers are far and few and in between. Many of them gripe about their pay, the long hours, the hours of what 8-2? how they have to fork money out for supplies? How this and that and this and that!

Do we really have teachers that care if they move onto the next grade with a D in every class leaving our kids so confused from not only what they didn't learn but yet now the fear of moving on to the next class, a class they will be so lost in they couldn't find their way out of with a map and a flash light!

How does our educational system expect our kids to move from Algebra 1 to Algebra 2 if our kids do not understand Algebra 1? How can our educational system move our kids from Algebra 2 to Algebra 3 if they don't understand 1 & 2?

How can a student go from Algebra 1-3 to then Geometry if they failed Algebra 1-3? How can a student go from receiving a D in Spanish 1 to Spanish 2? Why are parents today so less involved with their kids education? Has working from 9-5, the demands of dinner, the demands of the spouse, the demands of running a home, the demands of community events, volunteering, vacations, or parents who just don't care taken a front seat to their child's education?

There are countless parents out there that have told me over and over and over and over, "well, he/she wants to fail themselves that's not my doing, that is my kids doing. I have tried to get into their heads and tell them to stop the video games, stop the cellphones, stop the YouTube, stop the Instagram, yet they just do it so I gave up."

Yet the absolutely IRONIC thing is as they are standing there bitching at me about their kids and their gaming or cellphones or other electronic devices, they are buying them the newest game for their gaming system, or they don't care if their kids have their heads buried in their cellphones, on Instagram, or on YouTube?

There are so many parents out there that have told me, "well if they fail, they will end up getting a dead end job living a dead end life. I guess they just don't care about their future." When my daughter who is homeschooled begins school, all of her electronic devises leave the room, her cable box is disconnected, and she has no means of any electronic devices whatsoever. I have blocked during the hours of 8-6 from YouTube, Instagram, or any other means of communication on the laptop and once she is done with her homework and she shows me what she learned from that day, where she can recite to me what she learned, what it meant to her, how she studied, then and ONLY THEN, will she get back her devices and YouTube turned on again.

So what changes are you willing to make towards your child's education?













Sunday, August 20, 2017

Companionship



Lately I have given much thought to the word "Companionship" and just what it really means not to just me, but to the countless others in the world seeking such a strong word.

Companionship can come in many forms and ideas. When two people get married typically a man and woman, do they do it to procreate the world as the bible tells us to do or, do they do it fill the void that they are searching for while seeking companionship?

Seeking out such a term and definition is not a beneficial behavior, it is actually part of our DNA and what we always seek out to find. Why is it, when we struggle with finding what should be a natural part of our what our minds tells us we need, we struggle to find such compatible match to our needs?

Elephants, one of the smartest mammals filled with a memory I only wish I had during my real estate exams, have a more defined and well rounded understanding of what companionship means. They are loyal to each other and their calves, they remain a close nit family filled with love for each other a bond so tight nothing will ever come in between them. Do elephants have a true understanding of the term companionship, do they understand the definition and meaning behind it? If humans could be similar to elephants would that solve our mystery of why we need such a thing in our lives?

As for the people that have followed my blog and left their thoughts, love, and understandings to my many post, almost all of you know that I have a daughter that suffers from panic attacks so severe that it is almost crippling for her. It suffocates her to the point of depending on me for security, truth, and leadership in her everyday life. She fears the outside world, she fears striking up a simple conversation with mere strangers, she fears having to face another human being engaging in a simple everyday task.

A great example is when we were at the gas station I asked her to do a simple task, go inside and tell the man behind the counter, "twenty dollars on four please" a statement so simple and yet it clinches her throat as if strangulation take place clasping her throat disallowing her to even breath.

We have been instructed by her therapist to seek out a service dog, or better known as a "companion" for her. I of course thought that only avails the need for something that I am desperately trying to have her overcome and learn to conquer and destroy her fears. Finally, after thoughts and deep thinking, I finally allowed this to happen.

We have searched high and low for a dog, we have ravished the humane societies, Craigslist, adoption clinics, I have posted stories on Facebook, I have begged pleaded, and still to no avail, no dog has entered our hearts.

Sure, we have seen dogs at the humane society and yet there is no direct link of both my daughter and the dog. I was becoming so unfamiliar to the companionship that she is needing. The dogs within the humane society pay no attention to her they do not seek her out they do not come near her, they just run and jump from feeling the moments of freedom.

A true companion dog comes with a hefty price and as a single mother who struggles each and every day in this world, well I do not have the liberty to reach into my pocketbook and pull out $500 - $1,000 dollars for the help my daughter so desperately needs. Her state health care could careless about the doctors request and I have even written to the state desperate for help in some form of payment but, when you have a "state health care system" we are just as vulnerable as the wounded vets or elderly vets seeking out health care yet the government shows no signs of helping or caring.

About nine months ago we came across a loving caring woman who breeds and raises German Shepard's a dog my daughter only dreams of owning.  She informed us that she personally knows a woman in Idaho that breeds and sells Golden Retriever's dogs that will sell without a thought to someone that wishes to purchase one of her pups, $4,000 - $7,000 dollars. This woman heard my daughter's story and wished to donate one of her pups to her. We were elated, we were feeling blessed, we couldn't wait for the one of many mamas she had to birth her pups. We were told that we would get one of the recent litters that would be coming within weeks actually within 3 weeks.

We purchased books about Golden Retrievers' Sela read that book from front to back. She informed me of their needs, their personality, their devotion to their owner, how they crave companionship, and how smart they are. Weeks into awaiting for the pups to be born, this generous woman sends my daughter Sela a text message of one of her mama's with her recent new pups.

Sela came bounding downstairs with a smile on her face something I have not seen in many months. She was out of breath with excitement sharing the pictures of the 13 pups born. They were beautiful and adorable. We quickly responded on which pup will be ours and then the bridge came tumbling down.

"Oh none of these are your pups, these are already spoken for. I have decided to wait another year before donating one of my pups. My waiting list is just to long right now."

Sela caved in like Jenga the game. With each word this woman sent my daughter on her phone it was as if she began pulling out the square blocks without a care to my daughter's heart and as she read this horrible text message, tears began to fall, the pain filled her heart and she began to shake violently all over from the uncaring words which struck her like an 18 wheeler hitting her head on.

Then we found a puppy, a puppy from Craigslist a puppy that is supposed to be German Shepard, a woman who is a perfect stranger who is flipping dogs on Craigslist to provide money for her drug habit. Once we got the puppy home, Sela went into full panic attack mode, she was unsure what to do with a puppy, the attention, the hyper active puppy, the pooping, the peeing all over the house, our cats freaking out, she just crumbled like the delicious treat of blue cheese used in our salads!

Finally out of desperation I found a page on Facebook, "NW Animal Adoption Clinic" I once again posted my story of my daughter why she suffers from panic attacks, her fears, her pain and low and behold there was 59 comments. Out of all the pictures of the animals there up for adoption from agencies, families, singles, there was one dog, "Scout" a German Shepard dog. I felt it was a perfect fit, the dog was young enough to be trained and I felt it was perfect for Sela.

I sent in my story of my daughter and waited for five days and no response. Then finally on the six day that morning I heard it, that "DING" from a message on my phone. It was Tina Hays, a woman from Yakima Washington an almost 4 hour distance from me. We talked on messenger for almost two hours. Then she finally told me, "I believe Scout would be a perfect fit." she even had her son come over to see my house, inspect it and I was more then willing to let this happen, I was desperately trying to find a dog for my daughter, a promise I made to her and I was going to follow through.

The one of many questions I asked during our conversation is:

  • How old is Scout
  • Is she full breed GSD
  • Does she have any aggression issues
  • How is she when eating, will she growl when being fed
  • How is she playing with toys
  • Is she trainable
  • How is she around cats
  • Does she attack
  • Does she play well with other dogs

And Tina's response to my questions....

  • Scout is 6 months old
  • Yes she is full bred GSD 
  • She has ZERO AGRESSION ISSUES she is in fact very loving and playful
  • She has ZERO AGRESSION when feeding you can even reach down and take her bowl while eating
  • She loves her toys she loves playing with her toys 
  • Yes she is very trainable and would make a WONDERFUL COMPANION DOG  for your daughter
  • I can GUARANTEE YOU SHE WILL NOT HURT THE CATS
  • She does NOT ATTACK she is gentle and loving 
  • She loves playing with other dogs, she craves the dog parks
I thought of course this is the perfect dog for us, this is the most amazing dog because finding a grown dog to fit into our house with cats, well, that has been our BIGGEST ISSUE! So, we took Scout. Tina's mother was coming down to Vancouver to visit her family and so they brought Scout.

When they arrived, Scout was in the back of the truck in a kennel, we greeted her and she wagged her tail, Sela lite up like the Macy's Day Christmas Parade, the smile was real the love was instant. When Scout was removed from her traveling kennel she instantly growled a growl that would make anyone fear her. Her hair went up, and she began to bark and bark. She smelled the other dogs in the neighborhood and it was a fighting bark.

The elderly lady quickly told us, "Well she will make a great guard dog" this is what I feared the most, a German Shepard that would become a guard dog instead of a companion dog for my daughter. Scout continued to growl, bark, and her hair on ends. She circled over and over wanting to get lose, she wanted to run, she wanted to ATTACK the smells from the other dogs.

We brought her into the house and once in the house she did the same thing, she growled and barked and circled from the sell of our beloved cats and Sela desperately tried to take control of the dog. She was trying to be calming and soothing to Scout yet Scout would not hear of it. We had her on her leash thank God because when she say my cat, she lunged and attacked. So much for the GUARANTEE SHE WILL NOT ATTACK MY CATS!

I looked at the older lady standing there without a care in the world how she was behaving, she wanted to drop of Scout and hit the road. Yet, I stopped her and demanded to take this dog out of my house, I demanded she never come back. I grabbed my phone and demanded for Tina to call me yet my phone never rang. She just continued to talk to me on my phone through messenger.

"You LIED Tina, she attacked my cats and what does she say then..."Well she has never been around cats before." When she came out of the kennel Tina she growled a growl that would make anyone fear her, she is aggressive, she is horrible, she is mean. Once I demanded for this dog to be removed, Sela was crushed, she crumbled once again, she fell to the floor and shook violently, she trembled then screamed out in pain.

I grabbed her and she pushed me away yelling for me to stop and leave her alone. My heart broke to see my daughter in such pain. My first reaction was to go outside and kick this ladies ass in but it wasn't her fault, she was just delivering Scout. No, it was Tina I was after. I still continued in my conversation about how she killed any hope for my daughter, the lied, the betrayal, the need to get rid of this dog, and then I blocked her from any form of communication.

Now, we sit and suffer in silence as I watch my daughter tell me, "I'm fine, I'm okay" when I know she is not. She is suffering once again and having more setbacks and fears even more.

Oh how I wish someone would give me a Golden Retriever to help my daughter and not request money this is such a desperate need for my daughter, a desperate mother just trying to help a sick daughter.