Smiles for Moms

b0bf15bcfd35fc09b2ca989e7dbef296We know its true, so we may as well wear a shirt that says it right? I was the “baby” of 4, so of course I was the favorite. 🙂 My darling children have these shirts and yes they take turns at being my favorite. 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful Moms! I am so grateful for my Mom, who I know always has my back! I wouldn’t be who I am today without her guiding love and her prayers!

Motherhood is a TOUGH job, so I thought we all could use some smiles! But I can’t miss saying that I am very thankful to be a Mom to my amazing children! I love them unconditionally and they truly do make me smile every day! I think they have made every emotion there is cross my face, but today we will concentrate on the smiles, joy and laughter they provide! I dreamed of being a Mom ever since I was a little girl and taking care of my baby dolls. Little did I know how much the experience would transform my life and I am so thankful for the honor.

718eafa9d2ce5490e1b7f9719146a92f I am glad to say that I always turned off the beaters for my kids. 🙂

0eb4dba26346eac4a6619e55fdfa397d For you Mom’s out there with little ones, this is for you! I do remember these days. I also remember the carousel that was right in front of Kmart. It cost .25cents to ride. My children loved it! Always wanted a ride before we went in the store. The deal was if they were good, they would get a ride when we left the store! It really was too bad that the grocery store didn’t have a carousel. 🙂

bdce5688e3ecedc50da31966361b1227OH Yes! These really were true for me, what about you??

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Counting Down….

10, 9, 8…weeks to go! 8 weeks until my family and I stand strong, as we enter through courtroom doors. I am not counting the days, hours and minutes yet, but feeling that the time will come before I know it.

8 weeks to go until my heart is worn on my sleeve as I take the stand and testify. This is not Judge Judy’s court room, this is not about something small. I’m fighting for my daughter and her innocence that was stolen. I’m taking a stand for all the other children that are out there and hurting, that have no one to be their voice.

One out of every 10 children will be sexually abused before the age of 18. My husband and I want to send out the message that this is horrible and needs stopped. Can we stop it? NO, but we can make it loud and clear that we won’t tolerate it! We can show up in court in 8 weeks to fight for justice and we will! We may have knocking knees and a racing heart, but we will be there. We will be there , because we love our children. We will fight for them no matter what.

In 90% of sexual abuse cases the child knows the perpetrator! Yes, that is staggering to think about, but the message really needs to be heard! We hear about stranger danger all the time, it is preached to our children at school. Our children do need to learn about being wise around strangers, that is true. But our children need to know that its not only bad touches from a stranger that is wrong!

No matter the relationship you have with an adult, if they give you bad touches, it is wrong! It doesn’t matter if it is a relative or close friends, the neighbor or your teacher. No matter who it is, it is never right!

Our children need to be taught to not be afraid to tell us.  Our children need to know that even if the perpetrator is someone that Mommy and Daddy really like that we still will believe them. Only between 4-6% of child sexual abuse cases are fabricated. This is not something children lie about. They are much more likely to stay secretive about it, because they are scared, ashamed, and the list goes on. A lot of times they are threatened not to tell.  They are much more likely to act out in different ways trying to get the message out to you without actually saying it. We as parents need to be tuned in to that. Tuned into our child’s behavior and noticing when it is different than normal. We still may not see the signs, we are not perfect, but we need to be aware.

Here are some signs that can be displayed most often in younger children:.

    • Has nightmares or other sleep problems without an explanation
    • Seems distracted or distant at odd times
    • Has a sudden change in eating habits
    • Refuses to eat
    • Loses or drastically increases appetite
    • Has trouble swallowing
    • Sudden mood swings: rage, fear, insecurity, or withdrawal
    • Leaves “clues” that seem likely to provoke a discussion about sexual issues
    • Develops new or unusual fear of certain people or places
    • Refuses to talk about a secret shared with an adult or older child
    • Writes, draws, plays, or dreams of sexual or frightening images

 

  • Thinks of self or body as repulsive, dirty, or bad
  • Exhibits adult-like sexual behaviors, language, and knowledge

Here are signs exhibited in adolescents and teens:

 

  • Self-injury (cutting, burning)
  • Inadequate personal hygiene
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Running away from home
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Suicide attempts
  • Fear of intimacy or closeness
  • Compulsive eating or dieting

This is not saying that if your child exhibits any of these signs that sexual abuse is the reason! There can definitely be  other things going on. This is only to make you aware of signs of possible abuse. Please don’t put blinders on and think that it can never happen to your child. This is real life. We are far from living in a picture perfect world! We also cannot believe that we can always protect our children. Unfortunately we can’t, no matter how hard we try. It’s just a fact. An ugly one, but a real one!

These are all ugly facts that I talked about in this post. I would have much preferred writing a cheerier post, but this is my reality now. Yes I could keep this ugly fact hidden in the closet, but who would that help? I have been told to be real. For in being real maybe I can touch another hurting soul. Isn’t that what life should be about? Reaching out to others with a caring heart. Reaching out to others who may feel so alone by saying, “me too”. I feel your pain, your guilt, your fear, I am here.

8 weeks until our day in court comes. It was about a year and a half ago when I was told that I needed to “just walk away!” That I needed to just let go of the words that poured out of my daughter’s heart. In 8 weeks I will face the one who dared to say that to me. He will see that there is no way that a Mother Bear just walks away!

 

Gone

via Daily Prompt: Gone

I been trying to think of a post today. I perhaps got a little too spoiled by Colin having stories in my inbox waiting for me this week. This morning there was none, I was on my own! I had 2 phrases that were running through my mind this morning. I didn’t know why I had them but when I saw this word prompt I thought the phrases fit. I will let all of you be the judge as to how well they fit. 

Gone

She was reading the note on the table. Still trying to take it all in. Trying to focus, when all she wanted to do was collapse back in bed and pull the covers over her head. Praying  that this was a nightmare that she could wake up from.

Sorry that I did not say goodbye.  I was afraid if I had stayed that you would have seen the pain in my eyes. That you would have unveiled my shattered soul.”

OH why, why did her dear daughter have to go?  She was still so young. Had just turned 18. Should be ready to conquer the world, but instead was carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders.

What was she to do? She wanted to run after her with every fiber of her being. She felt the adrenaline pumping through her. Thinking she could run however far she needed to go, to catch her. She, the one who never runs! But this was different. This was her child, she was the Mom,  and there was nothing she wouldn’t do.

This child of hers had been so hurt by the world. Hurt and scarred her daughter was.She would  often remind her daughter of the quote, “Broken crayons still color!’She would tell her how there was still so much inside her that she had to offer the world.The Mom remembered the night that they watched the snow fall and how the fresh fallen snow was glistening in the moonlight. How she hugged her daughter tight reminding her of how she could shine bright.

She grabbed her rain jacket and stepped out into the light of dawn beginning to break. The raindrops mingled with the tears that were streaming down her face. She stood there for a little looking down the road. Her daughter was gone, but she would be back. She needed time and she would give that  to her.

Like the dawn breaking, the light would come and shine full force in her daughter’s heart once again. Her daughter would heal and her heart would be strong. “Broken crayons still color”, sometimes they just need time.

Found on Pinterest on 5-4-16. Ernest Hemingway.:

What you Don’t Know…

The arrival is imminent , you are beyond excited! You have been preparing for this day for what seems like forever!

You have  read all you could read, gone to classes, watched all the DVD’s, gathered as much information as possible. Gathered until your  brain was in a state of overload!

Watching others you have  tried to learn from them.

The problem is you can watch and you can read, BUT…there are things that Parenting 101 won’t tell you.

They won’t tell you how the minute you hold your newborn in your arms, that you have committed your heart to walking outside of your body for the rest of your life. They won’t tell you the panic you will feel, when your precious one has been sleeping for so long, without a peep. How you quietly will tip toe to their crib to  look at them, as you hold your breath and check that they are breathing.

No book prepares you for the guilt that can take over, how you can question everything you do. No video can simulate the true worry you have when your little one is ill for the first time. Your brain rushes through all the 101 illnesses that you read about ,so that you know what to do, but now they are all in one big gobbley guk mess in your brain.

Parenting 101 doesn’t say how it feels when it is late at night and you have no idea where your child is, the fear that strikes your heart. It doesn’t say how you would feel a protection so fierce that you would rather cut off your arm then see your child go through gut-wrenching pain. A DVD can’t simulate for you the helplessness you feel at your child’s pain that you can’t put a band-aid on to fix.

Parenting 101 also doesn’t  prepare you for the pride you feel when your child walks for the very first time. How  when you hear them say, ” I love you”, and your heart melts like it never has before.

It doesn’t convey how when that little hand squeezes yours, that your whole body tingles  all over.Your heart feels as warm as the sun and you squeeze that little hand tight, knowing it won’t be little forever.

You are not prepared for the magic of the goodnight hugs and kisses and the fun of reading their favorite stories.

No DVD can simulate for you the true joy you feel, as you are  having a conversation that goes beyond Clifford and animal crackers, a conversation with a child that is growing.  While they are talking , you are thinking, ” Gee, I like this child , a pretty cool kid!” Then the flash of pride  hits you when you can say, “And they are mine! All mine!”

Parenting 101 prepares you for the basics, not for the emotions, not for the reality of being a parent. It can’t describe how many times your heart will break, but it also can’t describe the infinite joys that you will have. Yes many moments of guilt and so many other mixed emotions are in store. But remember this, when your child can look at you with tears in their eyes and say, “I love you ,and I know you love me so infinitely much and always will.” That’s when you know that somehow, someway, amidst all the mistakes, you still must have done something right! That is all you need to know to show you that you can make it through this jungle, called Parenting. There are plenty of scary things in the jungle, but the jungle is full of beauty as well! Don’t miss the beauty or the crazy monkeys. Laughter is a very important tool to keeping your sanity as you go through this  jungle.

 

 

Where Did Clifford Go?

Clifford The Big Red Dog

The bus just pulled away carrying with it pieces of my heart. How can it be a new school year once again? How can I have 2 High Schoolers now? Where did Clifford go?

I remember the first day of Kindergarten for my youngest. She was so excited to be going with her big sister on the big, yellow bus. This was the same girl who up to a week before school started was adamantly saying how she was NOT going to school. I had taken her for Kindergarten Registration and they do a little testing with the numbers and letters. They had commended her on how well she had done and welcomed her to the school. She got up from the chair and said, “Just so you know, I am not going to school this year!” and with that she turned away and started walking out of the building ahead of me! Always was and still is “my says it like it is”, and strong willed child. I was nervously expecting the first day of school to be a real show down, but that all changed when going to Open House at the school. She walked into the classroom and met the girl who would be sitting beside her in class and there was an instant connection. It was truly magical to all at once see her counting down the days til school started so that she could see her new friend.

So when that first morning came the excitement was there, as now it me holding back the tears. Where did my babies go? The bus came and with a hug and a kiss they was trotting  towards the bus and up the steps. I thought maybe my youngest would  get scared and come running back to me at the last minute. I thought she would at least turn around and wave, or blow me a kiss. Nope she marched up the steps like she had been doing it for years, never looking back.

I may have had tears on my cheek, but my heart was smiling, for my children were growing and that is what they were supposed to do. I knew that, we raised them in order to start spreading their wings little by little. I knew that, as I turned on the TV and watched Clifford. Hey, you can’t just go cold turkey to not watching the kids shows that you would watch as you cuddled  with your kids on the couch. But no, I am not watching Clifford this morning,  just remembering. 🙂

Love bears all things….

“The worst battle is between what you feel and what you know.”

Your eyes are brimming with tears, you can’t take your eyes off of it! How can you be holding this newborn baby in your arms? How can it be yours? They look so adorable and you feel that you will be blissfully happy all the days of its life.  How could you not for of course it will be the perfect baby.

2 months down the road, your eyes are brimming with tears and you are  feeling like you are going to lose it for this “perfect” baby has been crying for the past 8 hours straight! “Welcome to the wonderful world of Colic”, your Dr says and you feel scared about the days to come, but you know that you still love this screaming baby no matter what!

3 years down the road your tired toddler does not want a nap! They do not feel tired they say, but you know different and you know how they will be later on if that nap is not taken. In ways you feel it would be easier to not fight with them to take a nap, but in the end you know it will be worth it.

10 years down the road your child becomes a teenager and news flash everything you thought you knew goes out the window!! You thought you had got a handle on this parenting thing but now you  are really beginning to question  your sanity. Or should I say what is left of your sanity. Your eyes brim with tears again. If this describes how you are feeling right now, this post is for you 🙂

We don’t mean to, but you you know we do. We think in our minds of what our children will be like and we kinda plan their future. “Yes honey arranged marriages do still exist, you are marrying the neighbor boy, we decided that when you were 5.”  Ok that problem solved. You feel that as a whole you got things planned out, but then SURPRISE! You realize that your children are not puppets on a string. They have their own minds and they make their own choices. Remember the independence you taught them. “This is how you use a spoon, this is how you get dressed, etc.” and you were so proud to see them growing up.

I will make it clear that I am very proud of my kids! They have come through some very hard obstacles and I wouldn’t trade them for the world! They each have such a unique personality and I could go on and on. What I wanted to stress in this post tho was that there are days, months, years where it can get very scary as a parent. Where things happen out of your control and you feel like , “What did I do? ” and you want to beat yourself up over thinking , what if…BUT you can’t do that! Get rid of those feelings and grab hold onto what YOU KNOW. YOU KNOW you love your kids unconditionally and you KNOW that your kids know that and that knowing your loved is so very important!

You may be saying, “But you don’t understand what I am dealing with?” ” I never thought my child would go through something like this, would get involved with this, would do this?” I want to tell you that you are not alone! That I have been there! That I am there and that there is really probably very little that you can say that I haven’t dealt with yet. It’s hard to open up about painful subjects I know, so I haven’t been real verbal online; but have been gently encouraged to let others know that they are not alone in this battle of raising the next generation. Kids are facing things today that my husband and I never had to face.  Any of you remember that comedy, “A Different World”, from back in the 80’s? The world is very different now!

I just want to encourage you to not give up and to  stop it with the guilt trip! Does no one any good. I mean now if there are things that you truly have to apologize to your kids for than by all means do it! A sincere apology definitely goes a long way, but don’t guilt yourself over your kids struggling with different issues.  Right now your kids need you more than ever. Yes when they were little they needed us to help them learn things, but they need us just as much now. Only in a different way. Don’t give up! Your love and your prayers will get everyone through! Even the darkest tunnel does eventually show light!