Secrets kill

I was ready the news online as I always do when I came upon a BBC special report on Child Abuse in America. The country where voices are regularly raised around “Family value” and Christian principles is the focus of this report. Yet, the sad and horrifying truth is that reports now list America as having the worst record of any industrialized country in dealing with child abuse. Thousands of children every year are killed by those who are entrusted to protect and love them.

Thousands more are neglected or psychologically maimed  leaving a generation of children to grow into child abusers.  We talk about family and yet we have accepted children growing up in shelters for decades. Harsh, unsafe, frightening places for the young developing minds of children. Why should we be surprised, with all the family value talk, America places 39th in the WORLD for infant mortality. Another shame we don’t choose to address.

If we continue to hide from the violent underpinnings that plague our country today, what hope do we have for being a beacon of light to the world tomorrow? There are so many reasons for the increase in child abuse. A cohesive approach is needed which of course includes education, jobs, social supports, and a massive public outreach campaign about child abuse.

This is about the future of our nation and the soul of our country. Where is the outrage?

Away She Goes

My daughter is going off to college in a couple of weeks. That in and of its self is strange to me. I am not one of those overly protective moms. Nor, am I one of those moms who is in my daughter’s business 24 hrs a day. I actually fancy myself as a unique mom, properly involved, supportive etc. I suspect that my daughter views me quite differently. And, truth be told, it hurts.

I have worked hard as a mom to inspire and to make possibilities available for both my children. They are very different, and as can be expected they respond to me differently. So, this AM we went to the doctor’s for a well visit . She required a shot. I was outside of the patient room most of the visit. She is of legal age now. But, being there made me feel better. Now, this afternoon, she has a dental appt. about her wisdom teeth. She wanted to go alone. I guess I used a bit of guilt to get her to say I could meet her there. It is strange. My son would not have balked at my coming to his doctor’s appts. He probably would assume I would go with him.

He has just graduated college and is off on his own now. My daughter has been dying to get away to college. Perhaps, I am more overbearing then I realize and that is painful as well.

I really only want the best for my daughter. I accept that she has her path to follow. I just wish I could share some of the journey with her before she completely flies away. Like a bird, she must lift off and spread her wings. That is nature. And, if we did our jobs well, she will do that successfully. Still, there is a longing to be part of the flight…More lessons to be learned both for her and for me before and after she goes away.

the mystery cont’s

It is nearing the end of the first week of the new year.  I have been doing my best to understand selling but have not actually sat in the chair to sell.  I want to focus on selling to women — lots of challenges. I was about to write “I am confused”  But, damn it, I refuse to write that anymore.  I am moving ahead with my plan to earn money through selling ins and annuities. It is way out of my comfort zone but then my comfort zone wasn’t very comfortable.  I get very excited about the seminars we are going to be doing as I get to teach.

My son returns home from Israel today. I am excited to see him and to hear the details of his trip. I spoke with him once when he was overseas and he was having a grand time. He wants to go back and study there. Interesting.  He is braver than I was at his age, maybe braver than I am now. He sometimes straightens my crazy thinking out for me. He is creative but he has a practical side to him as well. As does my daughter the beautiful ms. L.  

I sit here typing, killing time as I wait to go to the dr. Not feeling well, cold, sinus infection, blah, blah, blah. Haven’t written much on my novel this week because I haven’t felt up to it. But, it is most definitely proceeding well.  I am anxious to see where the characters lead me next.  I write using an overarching structure but the substance that fills the structure is unknown.  So, as the mystery cont’s in the progress of my novel, so too does it in my life.

Miss L. is stepping out for the night

My Miss L. She is a beauty. The only problem is that she is a young beauty. Scary to see photos of her sometimes as she looks soooo much older than she is. But then, you look closely and you see her youth in a detail here or there. In this particular case, Miss L had bought a dress for her friend’s school homecoming dance. I don’t even remember going to homecoming dances. For that matter, I don’t even know if we had homecoming dances. But then, I was not a rah, rah, high school girl. Miss L is not a rah, rah, HS girl but today, events like homecoming are ridiculously big events.

So, we went to Urban Outfitters and we found a cute dress that was not expensive. Of course it is put together with “spit” as the expression goes. That may be dating myself… There were several options of high heels already at home –as Miss L like high heels. But here is the thing, she will fuss over everything matching– hair, nails, shoes, etc. and yet, there she is in the picture looking beautiful except she is not wearing her high heels. She is wearing her sandals. Miss L always steps out to her own drum beat.

I could have told you regardless of which pair of high heels she chose to wear that night, that they would not be on her feet for more than 3 minutes.
Usually she wears 5 or 6″ heels and then feels uncomfortable because they make her very tall.

I looked at the picture and shook my head. “If you don’t want to wear heels, why not just get a nice pair of flats. You shouldn’t ruin your outfit with the sandals.” Her brother commented during this discussion on “I Chat” that her shoes were gross. But he is a looser from her perspective. And, she was disgusted with him at that moment as he had shared something about his college date she did not want to hear. Hmmm.

Needless to say, she was not open to my view or his. Still, I am glad that Miss L is stepping out regardless of whatever is on her feet.

Taking laughs where I can

Sometimes, I feel like I have a serious character flaw. I am so serious. Other times, I believe it to be my environment. Sadness often accompanies me. But, not always. Recently, my daughter said, “Let’s make a video and post it on Ben’s facebook page.” Of course I agreed.

We spent the next 2 hours making 6 videos which were posted on Ben’s wall, my wall and my sister’s wall. AND, we laughed and laughed. We laughed during the taping, we laughed after watching the videos, and we laughed that we had made them. I was exhausted but I also felt very much alive and relieved. It has been so long since I laughed so much and for so long. There were times, years ago when I would laugh easily — but not in a while.

My kids and I used to get hysterical laughing in the car over making stupid faces or making impersonations of make believe characters. I have always laughed easily with my children. I am grateful for the laughter I have shared with them.

When I was acting, I was able to be ridiculously silly at the drop of a hat. I was also able to be serious. Mostly these last years I have been serious. I am working on changing those things in my reality that create such heaviness. Here’s to more laughter and lightness in my life and in yours. I would always prefer to feel lighter than not. Wouldn’t you?

Laylah and Me

That is the title my son gave me the other day when I was talking about writing on my blog. Write about Laylah and me! He lifts this beautiful little bear dog, a yellow lab up in the air and states: I give you Cimba! OK.

We have a new puppy. OMG! It is worse than a baby. The first week I was up every night several times a night. Thankfully, the times up at night have been reduced to one with the day beginning early. Better but still…

Then there is potty training, as it is now called. Thank goodness for Ben. He and I take turns or shifts watching the pup. She is very funny and is smart. Though she is too little to have any control at all she does have the concept of going outside. There aren’t as many accidents as there could be.

My other dog, a 3 year old lab named Betsy was beside herself when Laylah arrived. She would not come to either Ben or I. She has gotten over her initial horror and sometimes even plays with Laylah. Of course, Laylah adores Betsy and can’t leave her alone.

The dog was to be my daughter’s. Yet, the timing of things didn’t quite work out. We drove a ridiculous number of hours each way to get Laylah and then my beautiful Ms. L left on a month long vacation the next morning. So, Ben and I have been hostages of a puppy that was not suppose to be our responsibility.

Ms. L comes home in a week for a day and then off she goes for another 10 days to a friend’s country house in the mountains.

It’s OK. Laylah can stay. She is a funny dog with lots of personality. But, I can assure you that she is the last baby dog I will ever get.

The road trip

My family and I went on a road trip. It wasn’t suppose to be that way. As my  son prepares to go to college, I wanted all of us to go cycling through Spain. The economy decided otherwise. Then, it was decided that we would explore the north west and the Canadian rockies only to have our plans foiled by college orientation. So, the road trip emerged. 

We travelled, four of us, in a station wagon over 2,000 miles staying usually in a very crowded hotel suite until our final destination (Ann Arbor, Michigan) where we left our rented car and flew home.  It was a long trip in some respects, but overall we faired well — at least most of us did. There was disharmony more toward the beginning of the trip with the two parental units: a story that will not be told here.

But, I enjoy being with my children and have always had good times with them. I wish I could alter the dynamic between the parental units but that has eluded me for many years. The trip proved that despite some poor behavior as a family unit we manage with a touch of dysfunction. I can only hope that my son will continue to return home and wish to vacation with all of us. I know I will miss him and I don’t want to focus on my daughter, now that she will be an only child. If I were her, that prospect would get me very nervous.  The road trip served to identify within me issues that remain unresolved. As with everything else, there were lessons to be learned and follow up actions to be taken.