Saturday, November 24, 2012

Growing Older, is Still Growing.

I found the journal I started in 1981. It was interesting to read the words of the 18 year old girl filled with big dreams and an innocent heart. Flipping through the pages, I felt it was like reading a prehistoric Facebook page about myself. I found it interesting how I wrote, the things I wrote and the way in which I addressed whoever my imaginary audience really was. I am not sure why I assumed my words would be public someday, somehow.

It could be interesting to one day, post it as if it was a Facebook page, from the past. There are literally hundreds of pages of my own handwriting--stuffed here or there around my life. I am not and never have been a very private person. Even though others seem to assume there must be some mystery I hide--that has never been the case with me. I hide nothing well, and find it difficult to keep a secret of any kind. I find there are very few secrets in life that are positive when eventually disclosed so, it's really just a best personal policy to Not Hold a secret in the first place.

I have not figured out yet, if being an open-book in life is really a good thing or not. For me there have been times as a mother where I have been accused of keeping secrets or lying to my children. They need to understand that while they were young and growing a parent is not required to be accountable to our children for every choice we make in life. Not the same way we will be with them when they grow up and become adults themselves. And, that does not make a parent a liar. We all make choices as adults, some less productive, some less wise, and some that are not the business of our little children. There is nothing wrong with showing the Best Role model we are able, and keeping Adult behaviors out of sight is Not Lying to our children--it is keeping Adult behaviors out of our child's sight and the right thing to do.

There is this point in every child's life where they come to understand their own parents were just as stupid and unable as they are in life--and the truth is, that never changes! Everyday, every step, every breath of life is growing older, getting wiser, and learning. It does not stop. There is just not that moment in time when someone has learned it all, finished the process, and finds all the answers. That is Not what Life is about, and it is not a possible goal. Growing OLD is Still Growing...that is the reality of life.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Eve

I am pretty sure this is the 30th year I have made all or some part of the Thanksgiving feast for my family. I am fairly certain the majority of these feasts have been held at my dining table. I was taught well--by my mother--how to pull it off in style and with grace.

It's the day of the year--I break all the rules in Healthy Cooking. I think I must have 10 pounds of butter invested in the feast, here and there and everywhere. There are two ways to cook, healthy and Never Forget how good it tasted... Thanksgiving is the day I like it to be all about tasting good! Less would be less and to me that's not what Thanksgiving is about. I love to pull out the recipes my Great Grandmother used back in the day no one knew about heart disease or obesity. I am sure she did not cook this way, every night which might be why she took the time to Type the recipes on 3x5 index cards, a task that was far more difficult then writing a blog post.

I am not a wealthy woman, but when it comes to cooking the FEAST, I take no short cuts. I may not be able to afford all the glitzy and flashy toys or bling-bling my children might desire, and I will Never Ever give money or gift cards for Christmas.... but, I can cook a feast that my children will never forget and cause them to have a desire to take one day a year and be Thankful we can take one day to Feast!

I believe in healthy eating, healthy lifestyles and good clean living. But, when it comes to Thanksgiving Dinner I simply ask myself, "Would this be better with Butter and Cream?" or "Perhaps some Bacon would make this the bomb!" Real, feast food is the Point here--I have the entire rest of the year to Think and Cook Healthy and one day a year, I can honor the past, and cook like my Great Grandmother did for the hardworking members of the generations before me.

So, now it is time for me to go ADD some Sugar to my homemade Applesauce, because it is just a little better that way and it will taste so good next to the Turkey and Dressing... with a Buttered Roll and some Candied Yams....yummy.... 

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Special Education -- How Many Trees will be Sacrificed

"No child left behind" that is the federal mandate, and goal of the current special education programs offered at the public schools. It seems to me the whole things has turned into documenting any little effort to help a child and apparently the more paper used the better.

Why does it requires ten pages to identify the need to learn Times Tables....and the goals that are established to reach that goal is beyond me. The reality is that in this world it's all about "cover your butt" and with every step of special education, the papers are all about the public school proving they did what they were supposed to do... and the proof must be found within the thousands of pages of paper.

It seems to me this stack of papers Must Prove the school system is doing everything they can to identify and help my child learn the things he needs to learn. The sad part is that over the years since "No Child Left Behind" started--the only people Learning are the teachers and administrators.... They have Learned How to Cover their Butts and jump the right hoops to be sure they prove they did the most Basic Things....and tried to teach a special needs child. Every new thing the education system learns results in another 10-20 pages to document what they learned about the needs of my child and how they plan to try to measure any sort of accomplishment along the way.

There used to be a time when a teacher could just teach. Now the teachers have to write Novels about the fact "Little Johnny" will be 70% able to read at the 3rd grade level by the end of the second quarter, and 80% by the end of the third quarter....with the goal of 90% by the end of the fourth.... but--What Does That Mean to the Parents?

I sit here with the Sap of 20 Trees on my hands....reading the pages and pages of words written to prove the school is aware and doing what they can to help my child learn....and all I see is meaningless chatter and cover your butt words on page after page of documentation that the Only Problem there is has to be the Child and their special needs....

The fact is that my son's IEP paperwork required two separate trips home. It would have been child abuse to send his whole file home in his backpack, it could have harmed him due to the weight of it all. I sure wish, No Child Left Behind had resulted in that being the issue--instead of making sure No School is Sued seems to be the result.

Friday, November 02, 2012

November is National Adoption Month.

In just a few weeks, I will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Becoming Makala and Jeremiah's adoptive mother. A journey I am so thankful I have been able to make.

As is true for most people, life is not always what you imagine it will become. With everything in my life the one thing I never regret is becoming the mother of All four of my children.

Being a parent is always more difficult then we imagine...and more rewarding too.

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