Monday, May 9, 2011

All things "Great" and small

My head is swirling. I should be cleaning, but because my head is swirling, I'm going to write. I have soap box issues. It's true...there are things I feel passionately about and sometimes feel like I need to stand on a box and shout to the world to listen. This must be why I have linked three different posts to my Facebook status- today alone. One was a very moving video called "Dear Sixteen Year Old Me" about avoiding Melanoma, which I promptly sent to a handful of my ballet dancers. Then there was my friend Kristi's first blog post about the benefit of community service- I had literally just mentioned that it feels almost selfishly good to do things for others- and there was her post, reiterating the same feelings. The one that struck the deepest chord for me was this one: Just a Word. It is the most satisfyingly articulate blog post about being held accountable for using the "R" word. I've had my own battles about the "R" word- because I think it's used so unthinkingly. Despite the fact that a person may not intentionally be meaning to demean a person with intellectual disabilities, the intent IS to demean (oneself or another). And by default, people with intellectual disabilities are thrown under the bus, because year in and year out they have clinical evaluations that include the words "Mental Retardation". I want to be clear: I do not think of my baby Elijah as being retarded. And frankly, I don't think I ever will. However, for some reason, I now get an actual physical, gut wrenching reaction to the word. Like a knife to the heart. I can't help it. I know there are some that would say that I am choosing to allow a word hurt me. Believe me when I say that my immediate reaction is beyond a choice. I do choose not to rip someone's head off for saying it. I do choose not to get into why it's a word I dislike with everyone who says it. But, my gut wrenching reaction is certainly NOT a choice. Anyway...despite my previous statements about feeling the need for a soap box, I am not going "there". Not tonight at least. However, I did want to post again what one writer said (that I really wish had been me) about the effect of the "R" word. So click here. Please take the time to read it. It's worth it.

Right now, I'm making a choice. The choice to talk, instead, about my delicious weekend, in which my firstborn turned FOUR years old!!!  He took it in stride, and has been practicing holding up four fingers, instead of just three now.  We have a party for some of his friends and family planned for this weekend, but we wanted to do something special for him on his actual birthday. Friday delivered some beautiful weather, so we pulled out the garden hose, filled up an inflatable pool and enjoyed the weather. (Of course as I type, it is RAINING. It's raining and we have a "pool' party planned for this weekend.  Great....But, I digress...) 


Elijah's not as much of a fan of the water, but he loves his swing...


Saturday morning came, and after a rousing birthday song, we packed up to enjoy the pancake breakfast at a friend's fire station.  The highlight (besides the pancakes...Yumm!!) is the fireman's challenge.  Christian did great!


That afternoon, we headed out to the PBS Dinosaur Train event in celebration of National Train Day at the Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum.  We danced with Buddy the Dinosaur (well... Elijah and I danced, Christian hid behind me and Charles watched from the sidelines) and rode the miniature trains around the park.  If you live in the Los Angeles area and have not been to this museum, you should make it a priority.  It is fantastic!! (Great?)


Sunday was Mother's Day.  We kept it simple.  I got a nap in, and we spent the afternoon and evening with my Mom and Grandma, while Charles and my brother, Bill, made us a delicious meal!  Sadly, my sister and Dad were not able to be with us, as my sister is recovering from a major jaw surgery in Texas, where the surgery was performed.  You can read more about her story here. It was a slightly more restful day than normal...though, it was proof that a Mother's job is never done. :)

I woke up to cold, hard reality when Elijah woke up with a goopy eye.  I didn't think too much of it at first- thinking that it could be a small recurrence of the blocked tear duct he had the first few months of life.  However, by the time he woke up from his afternoon nap, his eye was producing more goop (there has GOT to be a better word for it than that, but I cannot think of what it would be!) and by then his eyelid was starting to swell.  A quick call to the pediatrician and we were on our way in for a check up.  Sure enough, he has some type of conjunctivitis that is getting infected.  I don't know what it is about the thought of conjunctivitis, but the second I so much as think the word, my eyes start feeling itchy.  So far, my "symptoms" seem to be completely psychosomatic, with no actual concerning manifestations.  Good thing, because my Mother in Law comes into town on Wednesday!

I'll leave you with nothing soap boxy, nothing too fraught with cold, hard reality, but a funny/horrifying story:  We have just returned home from the pediatrician, when Christian announces that he's going out into the backyard.  I suddenly hear him yell (in the most excited voice I may have ever heard), "MOM!! There's a dead mouse in the backyard!!" Great. (This is the 3rd one this month...the cats in the neighborhood have clearly been busy.)
At least my firstborn thinks it's cool, because I really, Really do not.


P said...

Oh now I'll have to copy my comment here too. I'll try to make it more readable but I get too intense when I'm passionate!

I liked the community service blog too and I'm still digesting and LOVING your walking comments on FB. Is it just LA? I heard a mom saying that they were going to take the long way home from school. Is that okay she asked? Then added we need the exercise rather than won't that be fun or what things do you think we will see?

I also have the idea of walking-pools to school and that or either having parents sign up to watch at certain corners certain days (like valet we already do) then so many more people would walk safely and less people driving and dropping off which is fun but a monotonous pain other days after day after day...

A little Violent phemmes there! Day after day

P said...

But to summarize, I was inspired by the R word but more in the sense of finding WHAT you are passionate about and making change in the world. His honesty about not always doing it right and making mistakes too.

I'm passionate about tons of issues. Good thing I'm a good manager, maybe I can be a great team leader of teams tackling lots of issues.

P said...

Kelle Hamptons always amazing blog yet again reminds me of a thought I share, using specific needs rather than special needs. We all need our own specific needs met, some people have more accomodations and more frequency in making them. (Divas, Presidents and the Queen of England have special precautions they must make!)

My high school had the districts program for these kids moved to our campus junior year I believe. I recall volunteering but I think I had no time in my academic and WORK schedule to do and I did not make it a priority. The yearbook says SPECIFIC needs so the term is not new but I like it.