Friday, December 2, 2011

Broken Hearts

OK.  It’s official, I’m completely totally 100% over it.

My son goes to a private school.  I put him there thinking he would, in some measure, be safe, at least more so than in public school. He’s in the third grade.  He’s doing well, reads at almost 7th grade level according to the standardized tests, is extremely creative, follows the rules, puts reasonable question  to authority,  gets along well with his teachers and classmates.
And he’s getting bullied.  Everyday.  Verbally and/or physically, pretty much every DAMN DAY.  This has been going on for years.  Zero tolerance they say. We’re working on a solution they say.  We have a plan they say.  Yeah, that’s why when I pick my son up some days; he’s on the verge of tears, tears that rain in a torrent as soon as he & I are safe in the car.

Yesterday, what resounded with me was “why won’t they keep us safe from him Mommy?”  (notice he asked ‘won’t’ not ‘can’t’) and “Why don’t they make him leave mommy?” and sadly- when I ask what the teachers do-“ I hate my teachers, they won’t do anything” 
Good questions, those are.

They are trying to do something, they say, they have a plan.  Big damn whoop.  The plan is about helping the bully.  What bullshit. What about what it’s doing to my son and the other kids that are being tortured? Everyone is so intent on helping the BULLY, that they are forgetting the damage he has inflicted and continues to inflict on his classmates. 
Forgetting that at night parents like me have to stay until their child falls asleep because he’s scared. 

Forgetting that at night, the bullying doesn’t stop, it revisits in dreams, the kind our kids wake up crying from.

Forgetting that parents like me are on overtime trying to compensate for the damage inflicted on burgeoning self-esteem, damage that will last a lifetime.
Forgetting that by not protecting, lifting up and cherishing the kids who are getting hurt, they exponentially add to the damage.

Forgetting that the bully getting all the ‘fix it’ attention is the wrong message.  There is no apparent consequence for him.  But the kids who are getting bullied get in trouble for ‘tattling’
Forgetting that this is the stuff kids are dying about.

All the positive reinforcement techniques in the world do not stop the message the bully is pounding into these children.  That they are losers, they are stupid, they are worthless.  The message gets through and it sticks. Compounded by all the ‘forgetting’.
And I’m beyond pissed off.

And I am grateful that my son trusts me and believes in me enough that he brings his hurts and sadness to me, and we work on it together.  But I can’t fix it, and that breaks my heart.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Sandhill Cranes update

As I promised Evan, We went back to check on his friends, the Sandhill Crane pair that one of them had been injured. 

They weren't there, we looked everywhere, all around the lake, all down Grandmas street.  Couldnt find them.  Evan investigated the swale where we first found them and found some amazingly soft fluffy down from one of them, it was like trying to hold a bit of a summer cloud in your hand.  It made him smile, and then laugh as the breeze caught it and he tried to catch the itty bitty cloud.

We talked about how it was good that we weren't seeing a crane alone, because that could mean something sad, remember- they mate for life.

Evan said a small prayer, and as we were leaving the development, I thought I caught a glimpse of a pair walking on the other side of the lake, one not walking as gracefully as the other....

And I am grateful for that, so much.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Sand Hill Cranes

My son is 8.  He is rough, rowdy, goofy, serious, sweet, smart, totally all boy.  Wants to grow up and join the CIA to rid the world of bad guys.  Some have expressed that he is ‘obsessed’  (their word, not mine)with violence.  (Off topic side note, the ones who say this are the ones whose sons bully mine. Go figure) The ones who know him, know better.

My son tests himself and his emerging maleness by playing at swords and war, as boys have done since the dawn of the world. It is not obsession; he is readying himself to make a difference in an increasingly difficult world.  I do not shelter him from the craziness as much as other moms may, nor do I allow much exposure, in my view neither is fair. I tell him the truth in language he can understand.  He is safe and knows it, he also knows there are bad folks out there and only the brave and true of heart will stop it. He will be one of them. He is brave, empathetic, gentle, discerning and kind, above all he is kind.

We knew something was wrong when we saw these two sand hill cranes.  They were hanging out in the middle of the day in a tiny swale at my mother’s house.  One was down, seemingly resting; the other was pacing around the first, nervous, sitting, then pacing some more. 
These birds mate for life, their chicks stay with them until fully grown, they are beautiful.

Evan wanted to see what was going on, certain all was not well, he approached them very slowly, took almost 10 minutes to get the last few feet.  He moved gently, deliberately, talking to them all the while:
“Don’t worry”

“I won’t hurt you”
“Are you alright?”

“Just want to see if I can help you”
“I love you”

“Shhh, its ok, it’s just me, don’t worry”
This was an eight year olds litany of comfort to a wild animal.

He got very very close.  The one moved away, not too far, but as if to let Evan know he was trusted.  The other, stood, as Evan looked him/her over, He discovered a fresh wound, the right foot was missing, bleeding, painful to put weight on.

Animal control said to leave it for a day or so, was no doubt from an alligator, happens all the time, etc. etc. ad nauseum.

As Evan walked away from them, he said:
“Thank you for letting me get so close to check on you, we’ll be back to see how you are doing, remember that I love you.”

I only heard his conversation with them because I have Mommy hearing, they were private, quiet, meant only for him and the cranes.
The partner crane that had moved away now moved back to his mate and both watched Evan walk slowly and quietly away.  They felt my boys soul, like I do.

"We need to come back and check on them mommy"
"I know, baby, we will, tomorrow"
"Thank you Mommy"

And I am so grateful for that.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I got a gift this morning!!!

In the car, on the way to life as usual, at just about 6:20 this morning, my son in the back, happily playing his DS (no nasty emails please, he gets to play one way only LOL)  I watched this unfold as we made our way.  The picture is from my iPhone, so its not the best, but you get the idea. 

I said- Look! Look at that!! (fully expecting the usual DS induced comatose reply of Uh-Huh)
Instead he said- Wow Mom, thats so beautiful, thank you for helping me notice!
What an awesome gift that was.

Because they are so fleeting, I made a treasury on ETSY trying to keep the colors alive a little longer.  Click on the blog post title to see it, tell me if you think I succeeded.

I am so grateful for these little moments in my life.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Being the Change, Creatively

I am a member of an Etsy 'team' that features Palm Beach County artisans.  It never fails to amaze me when I peruse some of their work.  There is so much talent and generosity around us.  I was looking at Chantals etsy shop (click the blog post title to get there)  and came across these gems......
Blue Hibiscus Pillow Mola 14 " x 13" (36 x 33cm)

Jungle Turtle Pillow Mola 16.5" x 12" (42 x 30.5 cm)

The quilted fronts are called 'Molas'  Here is her sourcing story

"This pillow was made from a mola purchased in Panama. Kuna women of Panama hand sew their molas to used them as front and back panels for their blouses. Traditional molas depict geometrical patterns as well as realistic designs of flowers, birds and animals. Molas are hand sewn using a reverse appliquƩ technique and can take 2 weeks to 6 months to complete.

The Kuna people live in Panama, Central America and are a proud people. Making and selling their molas is an important source of revenue for them."

I am in awe of these, She is making things, exquisite things by hand, while helping to support an indigenous people.  Can you imagine if we all did that? sort of a Kiva/Etsy hybrid.  Damn, we could change the world.

Chantal already is, one Mola pillow at a time.

And I am so grateful to be part of a team that has such generous members.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Painted shoes, flights of fancy, wearable art.

NoraKaren- Where were you when I got married?

Wedding Shoes,something blue sapphire, beach crystals,I doI would have totally rocked these with my demure little dress!!

Nora's imagination is apparently boundless...check these out

Tatt Chic? No Problem
   Wedding Shoes Metal is Forever Rock and Roll painted black Peep toesGloves painted custom designed Themed Wedding,QuinceaƱera

Fairy Tale Wedding? Look no further...
Wedding Shoes Fairy tale wedding Cinderella Glass slipper

Elegant Extravagance ?  She has you covered.....
Painted Shoes to match your OutfitPainted Peacock feathers art deco small clutch for bridesmaids/bride -TEAL- Choose your own color and design

Hip Rocker Awesomeness?  no worries......
Painted Shoes, Wedding ankle boots,peacock feathers rhinestones

I love browsing through her will too!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wings and Faith

Awhile back a dear friend who has been my self-appointed fan club prez, (OMG I love her!) had been gifting her mother, among others, with my work, told me that her Mother was a docent at a fabulous Museum across the state.  (Trembling and disbelief starts here…)

Her mom wore my work a LOT while she gave tours, and apparently was being asked about the work consistently, and whether it was available in the Museum Store. (heart rate soars here…) 

This is one of the necklaces her Mom liked to wear.
Very long story short (fear, trepidation, and paralysis off the charts ALL through here…), with gentle prodding from my friend, a trip across the state, my work is in the Museum Store.  I discovered it’s very hard to drive back across the state while doing a happy dance.

My friend, with her amazing gift to me of unwavering belief  (and a good kick in the ass)…gave me wings and conviction.

Then....Not so very long ago, a friend who had commissioned work before, saw the pieces I posted that were sent to the museum, and asked if I would make her a piece of sea glass jewelry to remember her sister by. 

Yes, I cried.
(And I was afraid.)
But mostly I was filled with gratitude that she would trust this to me.

Her sister was a guiding light in the family, every picture I ever saw of her was full on laughter, always a light in her eye.  In the conversation about what would best represent her sister, my friend also shared that she had lost her mother not all that long ago.  She told a story about her parents, after they had discovered her Mom was sick, taking long walks on beaches…looking for sea glass. 
And I cried some more.

She decided that the gift needed to extend to more of their family, and we ended up with 8 pieces.  EIGHT.   We chose this from the glass her Dad so willingly sent:

(Paralyzing fear)

What if I couldn’t hit the mark?  What if I took all this beautiful glass and screwed it up? 

Then I remembered I had wings, and I breathed, and this is some of what happened:

Every single one has a heart soldered on the back.

This friend with her amazing gift to me of trust…gave me faith and calm.

I am am grateful for my friends, who lift me up.  I only hope I do the same for them.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dont may not get another chance

There’s a country song by Kenny Chesney called ‘Don’t Blink’.  It’s a reminder to pay attention to what’s important. 

You could miss something. Something important that you can’t get back.
Yesterday, I picked Evan up after camp at the ranch.  He had lost his shoes, among other things.  He was hungry and wanted to go to the market and get some of their yummy chicken.  No Shoes.  Hmmm.

I said yes.
I figured we could get away with it this once, but as we got out of the car into the almost 100 degree heat, I realized the asphalt would be torture on his feet.  It occurred to me to piggy back him, but I’m 5’2” on a good day, and barely over 120 lbs.  He’s up to my shoulder already and much too heavy these days. So we ran.
But it started that song in my head….

When was the last time he had asked for a piggy back ride?  Did I say yes? I don’t remember
When was the last time he wanted to hold my hand in public? Did I?  Yes

When was the last time he asked me to push him on the swings? Did I?  I hope so
When was the last time he asked me to go on a bike ride with him? Did I? No

When was the last time he asked me to read just one more story? Did I? Yes
When was the last time……

You never know which time will be the last. 
You don’t get these moments back.

Say yes. Say yes. Say YES.
I am grateful that I said yes to shoeless chicken, and for the possibility of going on that bike ride that I said ‘no’ to not so long ago.