This is not a poster intended to persuade you towards a solution. We put up posters like this because of the emotion they evoke. I cannot imagine a single person I know that would not be moved by this poster – because we all love our children.
Our children are precious to us and we cannot fathom a situation so terrible where risking their lives on a crappy little boat, crammed with other desperate people, sailing to an unknown future and possible death . . . would seem like the only answer.
The problem is, there are people in the world who do not see children as priceless. For them, children are used and discarded without pause. They are simply weapons to be used against people who cannot even imagine such evil. They bank on it. They want the pictures of their dead bodies being pulled out of the sea, to show up on every Facebook page so that they can frame the debate with emotion.
It is entirely possible the boat people are all families fleeing unimaginable terror and deserve every ounce of our compassion.
It is, however, also entirely possible that they are victims, being used by evil people with an agenda more horrible than we can imagine. They may, in fact, be carefully placed to evoke the very emotion we all feel. Their parents may be perfectly willing to risk their lives to accomplish their goals. Continue reading →
I have never seen the world as it is. I freely admit that.
I don’t ever remember any time of knowing where I did not completely understand that I was different. I have always understood that how I see things and the way I think about them, is NOT how other people do. I had two choices, to forget who I was, or not. Except it is never as simple as that. Choosing to hold on to me came at a bigger cost. It meant I would probably always be on my own at best, and at worst, I would be the one that others directed all their personal angst at. I would make myself a life-long target.
It might have been different if being me was about going quietly on my way but being me is loud and full of laughter and excitement and enthusiasm. It is compassion spilt all over everywhere and tears . . . tons and tons of tears . . . sometimes in sorrow but also in pure joy and love. I love people with loud exclamations. I fight for the people I love and I fight for those that no-one loves. I never sit down and keep my mouth shut. I see everything. And everything means something to me. I scream for people to see the elephant. I draw chalk outlines and colour it in so that everyone has to be able to see it. I call people liars when they refuse to see it.
The family meal used to be an institution. Whatever was going on in your life, everyone was expected to check in for meal time.
It was a way to count heads, to make sure that everyone was safe, and to find out what had happened in our day. My grandparents used it as a time to teach and to talk about life. My brother often used it as an opportunity to tell everything I had done that might mean I was in trouble and he would get to choose the TV programming for the evening. I might have taken that same opportunity myself sometimes.
But it was more than that. Meals were connections and social times with other people. As children, we were always coached on our manners before people got there and given any special instructions that were required. It might be that our visiting Aunt had lost her leg to polio and walked with a limp. Under no circumstances were we to ask about it, or stare, or ask anything about whether she had any children, which she didn’t. I remember listening intently as my grandmother explained that she thought it would be too hard for a child to grow up with a mother who was missing a leg, and she did not want to embarrass them. I wanted to run up and hug my aunt and love her enough in that one evening to make up for all the children she should have had because she was such a beautiful lady. I knew any child would have loved her because I loved her. I couldn’t do that so instead, I was on my best behaviour. Continue reading →
The Pez annual Easter Egg Hunt for Children, in Connecticut had to be cancelled. It wasn’t because of “the kids these days” either. Nope, it was because of the people in charge of raising “the kids these days” – their parents.
Adults suck because they are always painting their own agendas, fears, insecurities, beliefs, etc . . . all over the innocence and fun of children. Children are capable of running and playing and having fun with all the other kids. They win, they lose, they share. When they don’t share, the natural consequences of the herd take care of that. The other kids stop wanting to play with you until you learn to share. No-one gets killed or trampled in the process, you just learn that “friends” require give and take.
This Easter, one family of grandkids arrived at our home for an Easter egg hunt. It contained an older sister and 3 very close in age, very aggressive, very male, little boys. They ranged in age from 2 – 5 and are constantly competing for all things life. As they ran back and forth on the lawn finding their eggs to put in their “baskets” there were shouts of happiness and good natured taunting. There was some impromptu racing for the egg spied across the yard in the birdbath, a little bit of shoving, but mostly laughing. In the end, all tired and sweaty, proud of their efforts, they handed over their eggs to be put into the fridge to keep them from melting. No-one cared about counting who had the most. In the end, when they came out of the fridge, the children wanted them divided between them all, regardless of who had found them. Kids are capable of a heck of a lot of decent human behaviour when the adults can just back off and not project all their own crap all over them. Continue reading →
I received a phone call this morning from a young woman who asked me to check my email. She had sent me a copy of Family Law Reform Coalition press release. I was impressed because in her little corner of her world, where much of life passes her by on a regular basis, she was awake enough to care about what is on her plate. She is not likely ever going to be anyone that the world will know, but with each event in her life, she is waking up, paying attention and engaging. I admire her for that.
An overhaul of Family Court is due in most countries. The only people who do not understand the need for this, are those who have never had to use it.
Family court, unlike any of the other courts, makes allowance for people’s emotions during a difficult time, which is the only excuse I come up for as to why they do not enforce the basic rules and codes of conduct that are upheld in the other courts. The most blatant of which is the amount of lying that goes on. People lie in their affidavits. They lie to the court ordered psychologists and psychiatrists. They lie in their testimony. They lie for themselves. They lie for their families and friends. And those lies are often proven during the course of the case that is being decided, and NOTHING is done about it.
By nothing, I mean I have never heard anyone being charged with perjury, despite the same wording being on everything people sign regarding swearing that you are telling the truth and it being a criminal offense to lie.
The problem with this is that it leads to people lying to the Police, to Social Services, and to Maintenance. In some instances it is even teaching the children involved how to lie and that our courts do not deserve respect. Making you swear to tell the whole truth doesn’t actually mean the “true truth.” Based on these lies people’s lives are ruined, their wages are being garnisheed and charges and judgments are placed against them. Continue reading →
We went to visit some people once. I don’t know why. If you knew someone years ago and never stayed in touch, I don’t get why people think it is a good thing to renew things. Like maybe the people were doing you a favour and keeping Uncle Herman from eating another one of their good friends? Maybe the people never liked you in the first place and they are just too polite to tell you that “no, they really have no interest in seeing you again.” Maybe they only are having you over because they can’t remember who you are and have you confused with someone they actually like. Or maybe, they forgot all about you and they hate to miss out on an opportunity to rub it in someone’s face that they hit the big times.
Oh ya I know, maybe they really missed you too and are dying to have you come over.
Get real, and stop reading my blogs ok?
We went to visit people that were from “way back” to my grandparents. We drove for what seemed like 3 weeks to get there but any time confined in small places with my grandparents made time stand still so it might have only been 3 minutes, I don’t know. When we got there everyone hugged and we were introduced and pushed into place and head patted until the adults went off to have coffee and left us with their absolute little snotball of a daughter – so we could “play” together and not be bothered with all the grownup talk that would probably “bore us to death.” Continue reading →
Dialogue is the substance of effective problem solving. A topic alone can be too broad and ends up with people on opposing sides shouting rhetoric at one another that does not even remotely resemble the give and take of meaningful discussion. People come to these situations with a suitcase full of catchy phrases and half stated facts from half read articles that came to them on Facebook during one evening commute home on the train. The object of the exchange seems to be to unpack that suitcase as quickly as one can, flinging the phrases with all the strength you can muster, and then to grab the empty suitcase and head home. Continue reading →
How many women play games with their child’s father, long after the split up and divorce, these women are still so fixated on “getting him” that some cannot move on and have a healthy relationship with anyone else. EVERYTHING is about the partner who is no longer with them. Hating them takes up their whole life and causes them to do everything they can to poison the child against that parent.
Years after the break up they are still telling anyone who listens that all the problems their child suffers with are caused by their father. If a child is not improving a couple of years after being removed from their “horrible father,” then perhaps the problem was not the father, but the mother.
When women go out of their way to cause problems or involve themselves in their ex’s life years after the split, for the single purpose of creating drama and problems for him, someone needs to be asking some serious questions about the mental state of these women and their suitability to be responsible for raising any child.
The first time I met an adult who took the time to get to know me and thought I was really cool, made a huge impact on my life. Up until that point I was the kid that everyone pushed into the back corner and no-one wanted to hear from. Adopted by my grandparents out of a sense of duty, their existing kids resented me. At least my brother was a boy, and boys had value. I was just another girl.
I don’t remember anyone really spending time to get to know who I was as a kid, so having someone who did, seemed magical.
It was a moment of validation. It was a shot in the arm and encouragement that I could actually be who I was, as different as I was from all the people I saw around me. It gave me armour against the barbs and the neglect. But . . . Continue reading →
Step parents are in an unenviable position. Those who are doing an awesome job are often abused by an insecure parent who undermines them at every turn and those who are abusing a child with Parental Alienation Syndrome are destroying live, none more at risk, than the child entrusted in their care.
Adding children into a home, especially when they are not your own, is a difficult thing to do. Well, it can be done, but achieving the goal that everyone gets out alive is a big undertake. Continue reading →