Thursday, May 28, 2009

A little honest conversation with Spiderman

We took Evan to Universal Studios for his 6th birthday trip. What an amazing fun thing to do with a 6 year old, I tried my best to look at the trip through his eyes, to feel and get infected by his joy, his amazement, fear, and eagerness. We slogged through the rain, danced in the water attractions (fountains and such) doused each other with water cannons-A LOT- held each other tight on the scary rides, went through each and every gift shop looking for exactly the right thing (he even made choices not to spend his money, just in case something better was in the next shop!!).

I am marveling at just how cool it is to be 6, Spiderman, Wolverine, Captain America, and Dr Seuss, it's all good.

The best part of the trip for me was the night Evan & I went riding in the glass elevaor, 28 stories, facing the northern view of Orlando, we must have taken that thing 10 times, up, down, up, down, then went to the lower lobby, tied a towel around his neck and voila! batman was born, running though the halls on a desperate mission to save all the folks in the hotel from slimy sneaky bad guys.

Evan did get to meet Spiderman, and when spiderman asked who was his favorite superhero, Evan, in typical fashion said "Wolverine" The picture above is evidence of Spideys disappointment.

Today I am grateful for having the wherewithal to take him to such places, and for being enough of a child myself that I can see it though his eyes and be there with him

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mothers Day ("What not to Wear"- where are you?)

The picture is from Friday, May 8. There had been a Mothers Day tea at school, and I asked Nee Nee to take him for the balance of the day, I met them there after work, they had gone out to the pool, Evan made a great game of trying to pull me in the pool. I was winning....until I relaxed for an entire 2 seconds. splash. oh well, we ended up having great fun, while I tried to keep the skirt part of the little sundress from floating up around my waist (there was a character in the pool with goggles who kept trying to cop a free look at my unders, cretins abound)
So this same sweet boy, we are going to sleep last night (Mothers Day in the US) and he turns to me and says, "Mommy, you have the most beautiful heart, million bazillion, kanillion"
Me- Aww thank you my sweetheart, I love you too
Him- but your face isnt very beautiful

Me- Well, I'm glad you think my heart is.

him- why dont you wear make up Mommy, here, here and here (pointing to the various spots he thinks need camoflage)

Me- well, because makeup takes time, and in the morning I would rather spend that time with you

Him- how long?

Me- probably ten minutes

Him- Well I would be OK for that long if you wanted to wear makeup, because I know it would make you feel better (hard truth this child speaks)

Me- OK, then I'll do it tomorrow

Him- and Mommy? you need some girly shirts

Me- I dont like to shop baby,

Him- I will come with you and I will help you

Me- laughing- OK tootsie, that would be great. good night I love you forever.

Next morning-5:15 AM

We're waking up, he's having chocolate milk, I'm having vitamin water, and he turns to me and says - arent you supposed to be putting on make up?

me- OK, I'll go do that now

I go, apply goop, come back, he looks at me & says - you dont look any different.
I'm still laughing.

I am grateful for being whole enough inside my heart that this is funny, not hurtful. I am grateful thats he trusts me enough to be that honest. He does know the difference

Go Big or Go Home

My friend, Ginny Luther, is amazing. She has devoted herself to showing parents the way to discipline with love, understanding and respect. I, myself, don't think discipline is the right term, it's a form of loving guidance. Understand- it doesnt mean there are no consequences, there are. What she teaches us enables us to lovingly guide, grow with and absolutely delight in our children. She gives herself wholly, completely, and with out reservation to enable others to walk a peaceful path. I walk this path with my son, (yes I stray sometimes, we all do) He is 6. I can see the greatness in him, the heart, the empathy, the strength, already. All because Ginny taught me that what was in my heart made more sense than conventional wisdom.

She discovered these things while searching for a way to guide her young son, Bart. He grew into the kind of man you want your own son to be, a man of his word, a man of great strength and character, a man who knows love, a soldier who wanted nothing more than the world to know the freedom and joy that he lived. Who wanted nothing more than to come home and marry the love of his life.

A while back, Ginny thought she was home free, her son Bart had returned from deployment in Iraq. Phew. He was home, safe. She was to be one of the lucky ones. He was in Fort Hood Texas.

Then one day two uniformed men came to her door, ushering her into a hell like no other. The hell where your beautiful, true, love of your life little boy turned man-warrior has been taken from you, senselessly.

As I know the story, he was alerted that the MP's were going to the home of one of his men, cause? suspected stolen army property. Bart, as his mother does, took it upon himself to give this man, this human, a safe place, a safe path to reconsider his error. The man, the human, shot Bart. 5 times. In the head. Murdered Bart. And then killed himself.

Ginny is bringing herself out of this hell by doing something in typical loving Ginny fashion. She discovered in her rages against the pointless injustice of it, that of all the people and entities she was angry with, the killer wasnt one of them. Her husband pointed it out to her, that she never mentioned the killer as a target for blame. Ginny took this, pondered it, and discovered that she realized this man, this killer of her sweet son, didnt have the tools she teaches, he had no way to deal with the insane amounts of stress, anger and fear, that these people (who often are no more than children themselves) are living with. These soldiers, male and female, who put themselves out there at the request of the country, to fight, defend, and protect us. We are failing them. Go fight we say, and when they come home, we offer no support for the nightmare they most probably lived. The fighting changes people, in an extremely profound way. We can no longer pretend it doesn't.

Ginny is spearheading a movement called "Go Big or Go Home" words that her son Bart lived by. She wants to take what she knows (and its a lot) & teach military familes how to begin to deal with the myriad conflicting emotions, how to channel them, how to not get caught up in a cycle of hatred, paranoia and violence. She wants to prevent another mother, another family from a visit to that hell. And she can.

the title to this post is a link to her sons memorial site, go there, do it now. help her Go Big or Go Home

I am so grateful for all I have learned from Ginny, for trusting my heart, for my beautiful Son, and for the man he will grow to be, I know he will be as Bart was. and thats a lot to be grateful for.