The days linger on….

I have no idea what that title may mean. I am sitting here at my computer planning the day’s work with thoughts tumbling about in my mind. So, I will write about a few things as the hot days of summer get going.  I love to travel, and I associate travel usually with summer time. After all these years, and it is many years to be accurate, I am still on the old school schedule. Summer vacation!

I just came back from visiting my daughter and that was great. In July, I plan to visit a friend in CO and in August I am scheduled to go to a wedding in Ireland. I would like to travel in the fall. I actually thought I was going to Paris in the fall, but that has been delayed replaced by the Ireland trip.

Switch subjects: I went to a fantastic Christian McBride concert Sat. night. This year’s South Florida Jazz Concert series was outstanding. Next year’s promises to be wonderful as well. One of Sat. night’s trio was a 24 year old piano player, my my. What an extraordinary talent he was and just a baby, as it were. So exciting to see that talent and hear him play.

Sunday was father’s day. My husband was visiting our daughter: my son is away in Nashville, and I went to visit my dad at his resting place.  He would have been 93 yesterday. I do miss him. He was a good guy,  funny guy, talented guy. My sense of humor and perspective had a lot to do with my dad. I am grateful for him in my life.

Today I was reading a Buddhist magazine. Yes, I am reminder of being mindful. I have many blessings in my life if I stay out of the negative stories I spin in my head and remember to disengage and observe.

Happy, mindfulness to everyone on this hot summer day.

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?

The Feminist Revolution

We gain power and we loose power. I am not sure how 5 women in the Senate voted against equal pay. What is so threatening about women being paid the same wage for the same job? Once, people thought that men needed to earn more because they were the sole wage earners. That might never really have been the case, but it was what the media led us to believe in the 50s. In reality, women had been a huge part of keeping the economy going both here and in Europe during and after WWII.

Then, the feminist revolution occurred again (having happened in the late 1800s and the early 1900s) and we made progress. That progress was hard fought but progress was made. Images did change. Though these last few decades the progress was supplanted by misinformation and fear about the role of women and family etc. Young women entered new fields previously barred to them, but left early to have families. College women began to take these opportunities as a given and began talking about being anti-feminists. That was always disheartening to me as young girls are fed last, beaten, and killed at birth because of gender. I digress…

So, here we are watching the war against women continue. Several years ago, the bankruptcy laws were made more difficult. It really was a punitive action since the majority of those in debt were single mothers. And, unlike the image of carefree spend thrists, these were hard working women. But, the banking lobby prevailed. Of course, we know that regardless of what happens, the banking lobby prevails. Is it not shocking that the numbers living in poverty are greater now then they were when the feminist revolution emerged in the 60s and 70s?

Today, 49 million children live with their single, hard working moms. And the Senate  voted against equal pay. Where are the family values in that action? Where is the core of American values when the plight of families, which seem to be headed by single women are hurt by inequality? How does equal pay  hurt productivity or the economic well being of the country? And, how does fostering poverty help the wellbeing of our American family and the health of women and children? For all the talk about family values in this country, we rank pathetically low on world neonatal healthcare and tragically high on infant mortality. Imagine that! So, shame on you Senators! Shame on all of you who voted against the children of this country.

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 Perils of Parenting

I have been a mother now for 22 years. That is the age of my son, the oldest. Then I have a daughter who is 18. As the old sayings go “each one is unique.” That is true. Each one has his or her own set of challenges that are presented to me and their dad. 

So, I am in my home, living apart from my daughter and her dad receiving texts from both of them. A disagreement has occurred. The details are not important. But, now I find myself walking a fine line. Getting my daughter to open up to me about the disturbance while listening to her dad and his version of the struggle. 

The truth is not in either of their stories, but somewhere in between. Her story is as real to her as his story is to him. Then there is what really happened. Which reminds me a meeting I attended today. There was a common ground for all who attended the meeting. One person felt the need to pontificate on the truth of the matter for the rest of us. I have heard him speak before, always the purveyor of the truth. For me, he is arrogant and a bit of a loud mouth. He annoyed me today. I do not hold his truth as the truth. I do not see things from the same lens he does. He doesn’t care, he will state emphatically, “Am I right!” I have decided next time we share a space and he does that I will tell him “no.”

Back to my feuding family. So, I don’t have a solution. They obviously both were wrong and behaved as I say, “Mule headed.” It is a weird position to be in not knowing what is being asked of me, no one said please negotiate this. And, I didn’t. But, because my daughter is a teen and is at times somewhat sensitive, I tread lightly. I want her to come to me for help. I think the peril for me, at time is two fold 1) I am her mother and prone to being stupid on general terms,2) I am not always delicate. I have been known to state my views perhaps with the same arrogance of the man that so disturbed me today. So, I listen, I ask a few questions hoping the answers she gives will provide her with her own awarenesses. The head games exhaust me and make me keenly aware that I am in peril of blowing it. Oh the drama of it all.

Time Passages

This month is particularly unusual. I have a son graduating college and a daughter graduating high school. I  clearly remember sitting in Washington Square Park in New York, with my son only a couple of months old, looking at all the college guys passing by. I would fantasize about what my son would look  like when he was on his way to a college class.

I also envisioned what my daughter would look like in high school. In part my visions were correct but who my children have become and who they are yet to become in full adulthood still remains a mystery. The journey has been long, the journey has been short. Fast, slow, uphill, downhill. The road of the journey bumpy and smooth. Just like the road of my own journey and the journey I continue to travel.

My children are different from each other, so very different. Each one a unique combination of him and her self and of us their parents. Their potential is still unfolding with much strength yet to be developed and manifested. They are interesting individuals my children. 

Sometimes, I have stopped and asked myself “how did I get here”  surprised that I am where my feet have landed. But in truth, it doesn’t matter. Time keeps moving me forward. Sometimes I travel the road with grace and calm while other times I stomp my feet and step backward. Usually my backward steps are unintentional. But, once I regain my balance I move quickly forward. 

My son told me last month, “Mom, you were a good mom. You did a good job raising us”. I appreciate his statement. I know I wasn’t a perfect mom. I would try to be present and supportive though I know I didn’t always do it in the best way. I am emotional. Most of the time my children would laugh about it. I tried to bring laughter to our lives, sometimes I succeeded better than others. I tried to be sensitive and compassionate with both them and their friends. My son and his friends were far more open to me than my daughter and her friends. I am the type of person who is direct. It can make some uncomforable.

It seems that now my mom job takes on a different form. I look forward to sharing my children’s lives with them in the future and hope that I can still do a good job — even if the job description  changes a bit. My children have kept me going at difficult times and continue to inspire me. I want to be just like them when I grow up.

 

A new season

It is amazing how connected my life is to the rhythm of my children’s lives.  The academic season has begun, my son has gone off to college and my daughter has started high. This week I begin a new and very exciting job utilizing all my skills. And so, we all begin a new chapter in our lives and I trust that we will all grow and succeed in our efforts.

 I am looking forward to the challenges and the creative energy that will result from my efforts. The realities of such a position touch many aspects of my life; and there is a spiritual component to this as well. The potential for positive change is always present, both on a personal level and on a global level.
Of course I am working for a not for profit. I could not handle a corporate environment. I also get to continue to work from my home and be here for my daughter– that too is significant.
The process of change is unavoidable, the result of that change — my personal change — is dependent upon me. I look forward, as I usually do, to the opportunity to learn and grow.