Jan 5th will always be one of the most special days to me.
It is the day that I gave birth to my son, Nicholas Michael.
Last year, for his 16th birthday, I made him this video. It has taken me a whole year to figure out how to convert it from “just tv viewing” to other viewing. At the risk of someone complaining ” Well, there’s 12 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.” I do realize that videos like this are rarely appreciated by anyone other than the family involved. I enjoy viewing things like this for more than just face value. I like to watch the evolution of film. The evolution of photography, and of someone’s talent. I like to watch how a child evolves, too. I like to see how their friends have grown as well. Sometimes, people just take things for what they are worth and forget to actually ‘look’ at them.
I’ve always said that my son is the sort of child that I could wake up at 2 am and he’d smile at me and say ” what do you need, mom?” He’s truly my SONshine. My constant source of strength. Nick is quiet, but he is funny. He is a lot like his father in that way. He is talented, smart and handsome. He is strong, but gentle. But don’t ask him to sing!
Nick will flash me his smile with his dimple and I feel like I want to hand him the world. ( If only I could). He works hard. He has a goal and I admire his determination.
Nick was 4 when I got sick. He probably doesn’t even remember a healthy mom or the things we used to do together. And that’s ok. We’ve done plenty of different things together since then. He’s also grown into a more compassionate, empathetic, understanding young man because of my condition. So in a way, I guess it’s not all a bad thing.
So, before I cry ( again), Happy 17th birthday to the biggest and best surprise of my life.
I have been volunteering for Kindergarten Registration for years.
Selfishly. Because for me one of the greatest joys in this world is enjoying the Kindergarteners’ complete and utter innocence and the laughter that the little children derive from such simple pleasures. Children find our world fascinating and because of that, I am fascinated by them, too.
When you are a child, the world is yours.
The road and the possibilities it offers are endless.
As it should be.
I will never understand.
I can’t turn on the television today.
I just can’t.
I’m in a bit of a heated debate with someone right now about Social Media and children, specifically teens…
When I was pregnant with my now 16 year old son, I sold homepages to companies. Imagine if you will, a world not familiar with this thing called The Intenet. It was not quite 2 decades ago. These large companies I was calling to offer an internet presence to had never even heard of this thing called “The Internet”. Back then the only people with email addresses were college students, Libraries and some very large companies. I remember a collegue and close friend of mine trying to sell a home page to a very respected retailer when the CEO told her ” No one will ever buy anything over this thing called ‘the internet.” I’d imagine he would like to eat those words now. He probably didn’t have that title for very long, either.
Shortly (in relevant terms) after the Internet was born , Facebook was created. Then Twitter and things like Instagram, etc. New and fascinating pieces of Social Media are being born for this world to enjoy (or not) practically every day. Along with Social Media, come the ways to use that media. Laptops and Smart phones, iPods and iPads. I know my children, especially my daughter and her friends document practically every moment of their day with their Smartphone. Photos of her and her friends and their daily movements are plentiful. Heck, they even take pictures of their conversations!
My kids, who live in the same house, saying goodnight to each other. Natalia kept a screen shot of their conversation.
To that end, it is my contention that Social Media is here to stay. I take the stance that rather than deny kids access to things like the Internet and it ‘s offerings ie: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc , it is our job as parents/adults to teach them how to handle such things. We need to teach them how to deal with the ramifications of their behavior on said sites and how to use them wisely. It is our responsibility to teach them that whatever is posted today, will be there in their tomorrows.
I have come to learn that not everyone shares these views and some people close to me believe that it is better to shelter the children from these things. Lock them away, if you will. Deny them the right to use them. I fear that doing so will only harm the kids and make it worse for them once they reach the age that we are no longer in control of their actions. I feel as though behavior like that is as antiquated as the dial phone.
Social media is a part of everything we do these days. We can order our dinners, select our new clothes, even turn on our lights, start our cars and control the environment of our homes all in an instant and all within one or two clicks of a mouse or swipe of a finger. I think that we are foolish to think that our children should not be involved in that world.
If someone bullies my child in the Social Media world, rather than yank my child from that world to shelter and protect them, it should be my job to teach my child how to handle it. To give my child confidence and strength. To teach them what to do about it and provide them with the valuable lesson that bullying is never ok, whether it’s a spoken or a written word.
A big part of being a teen is pushing and testing limits. When we were teens I am fairly certain ( if failing memory serves) we cursed, we complained and we teased. The difference being, it was probably in our best friend’s basement or in the school yard. It wasn’t visible for the world to see. Now, it’s available for all of our “friends” to see AND to comment on 24/7. (Friending- a whole other blog I can’t wait to write…) I suppose that’s the incredibly big difference. We could shut the world off and go to sleep, safe in the comfort of our homes and away from the constant drama. But our children can’t . It never goes away for them and it is up to us as parents to set their limits and to educate these children how to balance real/tangible life *and* their Social Medial lives that they live “in” their Smartphones.
How can we expect our children to evolve into successful adults unless we provide them with the experiences and tools that allow them to grow, to succeed and yes, to feel hurt and also to fail? (The real world is not always a positive place, as much as we wish it were so.) Maybe once upon a time those experiences happened on a playground, but now those life lessons sometime happen in a laptop or on a Smartphone. These devices are every bit as much a part of their world now, too. Rather than shelter them from it, I want to allow my children every opportunity to learn from these new worlds that I can. And just as their world around them is changing so, I believe, are the roles of their parents.
I feel as though denying our children access to these amazing ever evolving things like Social Media and Smartphones would be denying them , as well as ourselves access to the future and I for one , am too excited about the future to do that.
This pics from May of 09. Couldn’t find any other pics of me or the children on the computer. Best I could do. I need to take some random pics for this blogging thing, it would seem.
~ signed the boy up for SAT’s (the college board exams.) Boy has 2 different proper ID’s due to his “nickname” (pun intended). His social security and birth certificates both identify him as NICHOLAS.His school ID says NICK. All are considered acceptable forms of government identification for travel, id, etc. SAT people will not admit NICK with conflicting ID’s. Have spent the better part of one week trying to prove said child is, in fact, same child.
*Moral of story- Do not give your Nick a Nick-name.
While I sort this mess out, enjoy this “practice SAT question ” just for fun and be glad that YOUR name isn’t NICK ( or Nicholas, for that matter!)
If the graph of the function in the -plane contains the points , , and , which of the following CANNOT be true?
A. The graph of has a maximum value.
B. for all points on the graph of .
C. The graph of is symmetric with respect to a line.
D. The graph of is a line.
E. The graph of is a parabola.
~ If I have had this much joy just in scheduling this test, I can’t even imagine the joy of taking this test.
Fortunately, my own SAT’s are but a distant memory for me.
Sometimes , when you have a chronic condition, you have to make choices on what gets your energy for your hour, your day, your week. There’s been something written about this that’s circled the globe a few times called “The Spoon Theory” ~ I use it when I have to explain to my new friends or even to reiterate to family why I sometimes can’t do more than a certain amount of things in one day. Why sometimes choosing to take a shower and straighten my hair means I can’t drive later that day. Or why driving and running errands means I won’t be cooking later that evening. I just sometimes run out of spoons. I was afraid today was going to be one of those days. My family often ‘forgets’ that I am sick. Which is fine with me, because I sometimes do, too. And there are many times that I would just like to forget , as well. Though there are many , many times that I wish I *could* just forget.
I had lunch today with my parents and 2 amazing women from Blue Cross. They brought a giant basket filled with goodies for the Chinese Auction at my upcoming benefit. But more importantly, they brought themselves.
Getting to the lunch was challenge of the day #2. I had already showered (challenge #1) and skipped the hair straightening because I knew I had to drive. Driving is not easy for me for many reasons. I’ll spare you those. So into the car I go. I am currently driving a 1995 Volvo. It does not have working air conditioning. Understand that I am completely grateful to have a car at all. Having no air is not a big deal for most healthy people. It is usually just considered an inconvenience. For me it is like asking for trouble. Here comes challenge #2. Moving air hurts me. And I can’t really expect healthy people to understand that. Wind hurts.Fans hurt. If you ever had a toothache maybe you can understand. Picture a giant full body exposed tooth. And the wind blowing against it. It’s *kinda* like that. Or an open wound. And not only does the wind from those rolled down windows hurt me, the noise that it makes is beyond painful.( I had mentioned in a previous blog that my nervous system interprets some (most) noises as pain.)My body also does not do well at regulating extreme temperatures so leaving the windows up and just toughing it out is not an option either. I would boil. But off I went.
By the time I arrived at the restaurant 20 minutes later I was not a happy girl. I was in pain. Lots of pain. Seeing my parents always helps me to forget that a bit. I’ve got amazing parents. They are kind, generous, loving people. They are still so very in love after 45 years. My father has been battling severe heart disease since his late 30’s- and my mom , diabetes. They have taught me how to fight. How to be brave. And I know that seeing me sick hurts them. So I smile as hard as I can when I am with them. I don’t ever want to be the cause of more pain for them.
Challenge #3. Chairs. Wood chairs. I shift, shuffle, get up and down an awful lot.
Challenge #4 Temperature of the restaurant. It’s cold in here. I brought a jacket. I’m already wearing a cami and a sweater. ( I couldn’t over dress because of the car….). I also always have soft socks and gloves in my handbag. Don’t worry, they get switched and washed often. Usually when I have to bust the socks out I pray no one can see under the table. After 12 years I’ve gotten less vain about this, but I’m still vain.
Challenge #5 what to eat. My immune system has changed so much since I’ve gotten sick and since I began treatment. I was never really a big meat eater now I am allergic to shellfish and nuts. Plus I have a lot of weird food hang ups. ( that’s a whole other , oddly entertaining blog). My digestive system has been affected by my disease so I have to be really careful with what I eat.
Challenge #6 As we said our good byes outside I heard the telltale whistle of the train. the restaurant was right next to railroad tracks. the noise! the vibrations! I thanked our generous guests and hugged and kissed my parents and got in my car as fast as I possibly could. ( which isn’t really fast).
Challenge #7 Back in the non air conditioned car for Challenge #8 more driving.
REMEDY: Picked Nick up from school and my day got immediately better. My son’s smile can turn my worst day around in a flash. His dimple! I needed it today like a drug addict needs their fix. But he was leaving me .. so it would be only a momentary high.
I need down time every day or I get pretty crabby. And a crabby Hope is not someone you want to know. ( ask my kids). But it didn’t look like I was going to get any today. Not even 15 minutes. I was heading straight to crabbyville -in the fast lane.
Challenge #9/10 back to the car, back to the drive.
REMEDY: My Natalia. have you ever met someone who is so effervescent that their mere presence changes the whole essence of a room? That’s my Natalia.
I know she can sense when I am over the edge. I know she can tell when I have reached my limit. She always has this ‘way’ of just being able to push me , to help me make it a little bit further. Today was no exception. We were driving home from dropping Nick off. She found a song she liked, turned up the radio , pushed the sunroof back and stuck her hands out and started dancing them around in the wind. It was just so silly looking . So carefree. So her.
~And with that, I wasn’t thinking about my pain.I was thinking about how lucky I was. How lucky I am. And there isn’t any other place I’d rather be or any other person I’d rather be.
“You know, it feels good to be alive.”
* I did not write this looking for sympathy. I just want people to be a bit more understanding of others. A bit more tolerant. Just because someone “looks good” doesn’t mean they feel good.
And as I go to hit “publish” on this, I know that there are typos. Grammatical, punctuation and others. But it is late and my eyes aren’t working together any more – another Challenge. Almost forgot about that one.
I have always told my children, you never know what sort of day someone has had until the point that they have met with you. Give them the benefit of the doubt and if they are a bit grumpy , perhaps show them just a little bit more kindness. Kindness is one of the few things that are still free.
Apparently I need a lot of work on night time lighting. Fortunately for me it would appear as though between Nick’s fall baseball and Natalia’s cheering for soccer I am going to get my fair share of practice.
If only my technology were up to the task. I currently have to download my photos to an antiquated 2002 PC that wont support PS ,then I move the external hard drive to another PC located one floor away, edit them on half of working photoshop (thanks to a very generous friend who lent us that PC) which doesn’t get internet because *someone* threw the disk away for the wireless to work.. THEN I move everything over to my laptop and upload it. Not A Problem.
Good thing I don’t do anything else all day but eat bon bons.
And now you know where my “musings of a frustrated modern day housewife” comes from. Kinda think I have a lot of nerve referring to myself as modern day with a 2002 PC. and a 2004 laptop. (Oh and a husband who still thinks that WebTv was cutting edge technology.) *smh*
I’m not sure who these two young love birds are and I should be embarrassed with myself for stalking them like this, but I’m not. I love this photo.
Wow. This is an awful lot more difficult than I expected it to be. “Blog” they said. How hard could it be? All the cool kids were doing it … or so it seemed.
I HAD NO IDEA.
I don’t even know if you’ll see this. Or what it will look like once you finally do. It is my hope with this blog to eventually move away from FB and find a nice quiet place to share my thoughts, my journey, my photos, my stories. Join me. Because I’m sure I’ll miss you.
I’ll eventually get to the background of who I am and why I’m here ( on this blog, not this earth, because I still have no idea why that is.) but I just want to make certain I’m getting this all where it belongs first. Oh, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Hope~Thus the ‘all sorts of Hope’. I’m going to give you all sorts of me. The good, the bad, the happy and the sad. The fun, the grumpy, the healthy and sadly , the sick. I’ll give you my time and my talent and, naturally, all sorts of my hope(s).
Feel free to post all your tacky little Hope jokes too, I’ve heard them all and rarely are they punny. I’m sure my mother didn’t realize when she named me that she gave men the opportunity at some of the *worst* pick up lines ever.
On another note, I do , however love a good hope quote- those you are more than welcome to share. I’ll share ’em too.
In the mean time… here’s a little known “hope” fact.. I borrowed it from Wikipedia. and you know if it’s on wiki, it must be true. 😉
Hope can first be seen in ancient Greek mythology with the story of Zeus and Prometheus. Prometheus stole fire from the god Zeus, which infuriated the supreme god. In turn, Zeus created a box that contained all manners of evil, unbeknownst to the receiver of the box. Pandora opened the box after being warned not to, and those evils were released into the world; hope, which lay at the bottom of the box, remained. This is the beginning of the tale of hope.
And so it is….your beginning to the tale of Hope
allsortsofhope is now on Facebook! If you could like me here, than you could like me there, too! ~ heck, you could like me anywhere! ( Dr Suess fans? ) https://www.facebook.com/Allsortsofhopecom
All Sorts of Hope
thank you to my very talented friend Kevin Brett of Soul Imagery for this terrific shot of me!