Humanity

A news article prompted this blog.  It breaks my heart to read the news. Every single day there is something disturbing in regards to a child or children.  Most days when I scroll through the social media sites and see articles pertaining to children, I have to keep going and not read them…not because I don’t care, but because I care too deeply.  The words on the pages of those articles haunt me for days and depress me. I truly just can’t.  Children and the elderly will forever hold a soft spot in my heart.  They are fragile and dependent upon us to take care of them.  They both need loving, understanding, and caring arms to feel safe…they not only need it, but deserve it.

Today’s article was about a 43-year-old woman who left her 3-year-old daughter with a couple of strangers at a Budget Inn so she could go get drunk.  She lied to the couple, while her little girl was crying and hanging onto her mother’s legs, and told them she would only be gone twenty minutes and was actually gone for almost three hours. Can you imagine how that child felt being left behind as she begged her mother not to go?

Now, while I am generally not a dramatic person and by no means try to throw the book at people over every little story I read because I was not present and do not know all circumstances involved, this person deserves to lose their child.  In my opinion, she should never get this child back and should spend a substantial amount of time behind bars for child neglect.

First of all, she left that poor baby with strangers.  Neither the mother, nor the child had any idea who these people were. They were apparently pretty honest people as the child was still there and unharmed.  However, it could have just as easily been a totally different story.  They could have been pedophiles, human traffickers, drug dealers, or just plain terrible human beings with no regard for human life, much less children and could have just left her there alone or worse. And this, so the woman could go get drunk.

Secondly, as a parent, as soon as your child enters this world..it is no longer about you.  You have created another human being that is not capable of taking care of themselves and it is your responsibility to do so. There should be nothing you need to do and nowhere you need to go that your child shouldn’t be able to go with you.  If it is somewhere they don’t need to be, more than likely, you shouldn’t be there either.  If you do not realize that, and your habits are more than you can control to the point of leaving your child with strangers to get your fix, there are only more drastic measures to come. This time it was strangers (which is bad enough).  What happens next time? This has been made public knowledge now.  Her face plastered all over the news so she knows if she gets the child back she can’t pull the same stunt again.  So, what happens next time?

I see a couple of possibilities here.  One, she goes to rehab and follows all the steps to a better life and earns her child back and lives happily ever after.  This, however, is a more realistic possibility with a younger parent.  Someone that screwed up but hasn’t been screwed up for too terribly long and has a chance at recovery.  This lady is 43, has probably had issues for the duration of her adult life with alcohol and/or drugs, and at this point it is just who she is.

Two, she takes even more drastic measures next time.  The child gets left home alone or she decides to dispose of the child altogether.  Eliminate the burden. While I am sure some of you are reading this and thinking I am being ridiculous/taking this too far…we see this every day.  Every day people who never should have had children, have children. Those with mental disorders or drug/alcohol addictions and, therefore, altered state of mind don’t deal with the responsibility very well.  There are usually signs that get ignored long before the actual horrific, front-page event takes place.  They do things that are screaming ‘I need help’. We have to start paying attention to the signs.  Help these people by taking these children out of their hands before it is too late.

As a mother, you literally grow a human being, a piece of you inside yourself for almost a year. That unconditional love and unbreakable bond is natural. If you don’t feel that, something is automatically off. If you are leaving your precious, beautiful, fully impressionable, very dependent little girl with strangers and see absolutely nothing wrong with it…you have ZERO business with a child.  If there are no warning signals going off in your mind about what might happen to your child while left with those people you do not know, there is something not happening in your mind that should be.  This is not normal.  This is not okay. If our society does not wake up and start acting on those signs we keep ignoring, we are doomed to only get worse…to fail.  Where are our morals?  Where are our wholesome values?  Where is our great country?  Where is our humanity?

 

 

What is it?

Vision

The ability to see and experience all of God’s creations?  Or, the ability to see God’s vision, his plan for your life.  The ability to understand God’s vision and purpose for this country, this world, our era?  All very deep, and very beautiful thoughts/theories.  However, are we fulfilling the vision, or do we fall short?

My blog…I can’t see your toes so please forgive me if I step on them.

Be thankful, every single day, for your sight: to be able to enjoy the countless numbers of luscious corn fields as you pass them on your way to and from your daily destinations, the ability to see your beautiful children’s faces light up…the glimmer in their eyes…and even the tears roll down their sweet cheeks, the visual of all God’s glory that is nature…the way the morning light hits the dew on the petal of a flower that makes it shimmer as if there were glitter upon it…the enormity of the trees and all the various trunks, bark, leaves, and flowers that they possess…down to the smallest birds that wear a multitude of colorful coats and own the gift of flight.  Vision is a blessing that we should be very grateful to behold.

Be patient while you wait for the answers to your prayers about what God has in store for your life’s work.  Some people already know what their calling is, and some of us are still waiting for that answer. Be still, be quiet, be observant, and listen.  He will tell you in His time,if you will listen and obey.

God’s vision for this country, this world, our era?  This is where you probably think I will get religious and political.  Both of those words are ugly to me and I refuse.  Instead, I say to you…we all need Jesus, not religion…we all need patience, love, compassion, to h open-minded, forgiving, hard-working, self-sufficient, supportive, and most of all KIND. Always, always be kind.  That is what I believe our God wants us to be, and I make every effort, every day to do the best I can.  Some days are truly trials, no doubt about that, but He knew he was making children full of flaws and knows we will fail sometimes and that is how we learn. He wants to see you try.

Be somebody’s blessing today because we, too, are blessed daily.

 

Survival:Natural Instinct

Survival

From the day we are born, it is natural instinct to do everything we can to survive/live. Isn’t it funny though, the different ideas of what it means to live…what it means to survive on a daily basis?

For instance, some people wake in the mornings, take in a big breath of air, stretch, smile, kiss their children, and just enjoy the everyday ins and outs of living and that is beautifully satisfying to them.  Survival to them, in its simplest form, is breathing, eating, and keeping your mind, body, and family healthy and safe.

Then you have those that believe that you are only ‘living’ if you are taking risks and gambles, jumping out of airplanes, climbing mountains, and surviving in nature’s harsh elements ‘Naked and Afraid’ (which I find ridiculous, even cave dwellers knew how to cover themselves and battle the elements.  This show was derived by perverts, in my most humble opinion).  The last on that list is probably most accurately what survival truly is, without the naked part. Survival is…to exist, to live, sometimes in the simplest of means…despite whatever odds you are up against.

Survival is…to overcome this world’s demons.

 

The Generation I Generated

Generation

It is safe to assume that I have created monsters.  Well, in a sense at least.

It is absolutely astonishing how the majority of us, as children, worked hard.  We might have even done without certain things…whether they be groceries from time to time, name brand clothing (or clothing that fit appropriately for that matter), field trips for lack of funds, after school activities because mama doesn’t have the gas to come pick you up afterwards, trips to the movies with friends, a car when you actually turned 16, etc.  I could keep going, but I think you get my point.  Times were very different for us then, and because we worked so hard and still seemed to have so little…we don’t wish the same things for our children.

So, we do the best we can to make sure that they don’t have to do without things, don’t have to be bullied or picked on because of their clothing, don’t have to worry about working while trying to keep their grades up so they can actually make it into a good college and make something of themselves.  Do you know what happens to our children while we are on our mission for them to have it easier than we had it?  They get spoiled.  They don’t learn the value of the dollar.  They don’t learn how hard it is to come by.  They do not learn what it is like to be/do without.  They become…entitled. They become little monsters.

Somewhere along the way…with a mentality of taking care of and protecting our children from hardships, it makes them candy ass brats.  They can’t do this or won’t do that because they might break a sweat in the process or feel like certain jobs are beneath them.  Really??  You are a teenager…nothing is beneath you.  You have to start at the bottom and work your way up. All the while, I am usually thinking to myself ‘they didn’t get that from me’, but oh yes they did.  They might not act like I acted at their age, and I didn’t purposely teach them to behave the way they behave…but yes, I inadvertently did that.  I created little monsters.

Listen, I actually believe in the whole ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’.  Even knowing and believing in spanking children as I do (and understanding that there is a big difference in spanking when necessary and child abuse), my kids might have gotten a spanking a piece when they were somewhere between the ages of 5 and 10.  You know, when they are not quite in the too little to know and understand what they are doing stages anymore and have crossed over to the ‘testing boundaries with mommy’ stages…that is when you have to show them that they should respect and do what mommy says because she actually WILL spank you.  Once they understand that it truly is possible, they tend to hear you a little better/respect you more, especially when you get that look on your face or that tone in your voice.  So, while I believe in it, I didn’t feel the need to spank them for every little thing…and no, I don’t feel like that is where I went wrong, neither with the spanking or lack thereof.

Have you ever met people that you felt used their children to do every little thing for them?  In essence, they were little servants for their parents and you couldn’t help but think that was wrong.  It pretty much made the parent just look lazy and just plain mean for using their children in such a way. I’m actually wondering if I should have been one of those people.  I actually frown upon the idea…it truly isn’t in my DNA to be that way, but maybe that is where I went wrong.  I should have taught them at an early age about chores and what it takes to keep a household running smoothly…and kept at it so it wouldn’t seem like such a burden and chore to them now.  However, I am slightly O.C.D. and knew that the children could never do certain things to my satisfaction.  I would just have to go back behind them and do it right…so for the most part, I just did it myself.  That and the fact that I just kind of felt like it was mommy duties.  Man…that mentality sure makes it harder to get anything out of them now. Oh the little monsters.

Now, having said all that I have in this piece…before I leave you I need to say I am currently trying to work on my parental tactics.  I hope to be able to administer small doses of reality to them on a regular basis until I turn them back into fully functioning, non-entitled, human beings again. Wish me luck.

My daughter is out on her own now.  She is just getting started in this world, just figuring it all out.  Since mommy is not in the position to pay her bills as well as keeping up with paying her own, she is learning quickly.  My oldest son is my intellectual that feels the need to debate whether certain housework/chores really even need to be done since they will just get messy again, but he is doing much better about just doing what is asked of him and less arguing/debating.  My nephew is in the ‘testing me’ stage and his dose of reality is probably closer than he thinks.  Now, my two year old, who has been everybody’s world for the last 26 months is definitely spoiled.  No worries, since I now know where I went wrong with the older kids, we are already teaching baby boy about chores and will continue to do so. I just pray that we make it through the temper tantrums of the terrible twos.

All in all, I love my little monsters and wouldn’t trade any of them for anything.  I realize I have pointed out a lot of true negatives here, but I do have good children that love me as deeply as I love them. However, I believe we should all be very aware of, and feel the need to correct the generation we have generated. This world has enough monsters. Take responsibility and raise beautiful people…and beauty comes from within.

 

Striving for Diversity

Diverse

What do you strive for?  We all have aspirations.  Do you strive to fit in, to be invisible so as to not be bothered, or for perfection in the most general and worldly sense of the word?  Honestly, if you strive for any of those things, you aren’t being diverse.  To be diverse, you must stand out.  To stand out is to be noticed.  To be noticed is to make a difference.

While I feel diversity is necessary, it can also be difficult to attain.  As an introvert and a highly guarded person with people I am not extremely familiar with, diversity proves to be a tremendous challenge as the need to be invisible feels safest.  The need to be quiet and observant generally wins out over being the life of any party…if I were to ever attend them.

With all that being said, the need to make a difference and to truly be different burns like wildfire in my soul.  Of course, until the epiphany of how to bring about this chance to be diverse enough to get noticed and make a difference slaps me in the face…the current satiable hobby is blogging.  It is only the beginning of something immeasurably great.

The dream: to own my own business. To be diverse enough to have so much work that I won’t be able to keep up with it all.  Diversity is key here.  If you do not stand out, you get lost in the crowd…forgotten and unsuccessful.

The mission: to be able to put the dream to good use by giving and doing works for local charities.

The goal: to teach the children compassion for others…all others, no matter how diverse they might be.  We are none better than any other.  There is no such thing as better or worse…there is only difference…diversity.

My Blended Life

1074691_165421293668179_1379849500_oIt seems to make the most sense to start blogging with an introduction of myself, and the meaning behind my website’s name. Hi, I’m April.  My husband and I were married almost three years ago now.  He is my second chance at ‘forever’.  I also happen to be his second chance. ‘Forever’ is looking like it might actually be attainable…

Since I had two children with my first husband and he had one child with his first wife, we were already a blended family when we united. My family at the time also consisted of my niece and nephew.  If that doesn’t sound busy and hectic enough, my mother lives with us too!  Since then, we have also added our very own little boy to the mix.

My mother is our live-in nanny.  She keeps the baby every day, picks up the kids from school, helps keep the house straight, helps the nephew with his homework daily, and (in essence) runs the show while my husband and I work.  She is a life saver. She is super handy at fixing small things around the house while my husband isn’t available.  She keeps everything moving forward and I wouldn’t trade her for anything in this world…and she drives me nuts.  That’s normal right?!  No matter how old we get, or how many children of our own we have, or how capable we are …mothers can’t stop being mothers…it’s nature. The fact is, we wouldn’t really want them to.

My husband walked into a family that consisted of me, my kids, my mother, and my niece and nephew.  My mother and I struggled to get it all done, but we managed.  How many men do you know that would actually want all that responsibility and chaos?  It’s never quiet, it’s never ending needs/wants, bills, to do lists, dirty laundry, projects of all kinds, busy schedules, and anything you could possibly think of in between.  I thought he was crazy…jury is still out on that one.  Regardless of the verdict, we have adjusted quite well.  No matter what, we have each other and this eccentric little collection of people that we call family.

The niece (age 21 and a very artsy, helpful, sensitive, and dramatic individual) and nephew (age 8 and a very smiley, clueless, hardheaded, and sweet child)…well, that is a story that will take more than a paragraph for sure.  Maybe we will touch on that at another time.  However, since this blog will not be focused on the negative aspects of the past, it might be best to not approach the reasons why I have them in the first place.  I will just say, these two children belong to my older sister.  They needed stability.  We provide(d) them with that.  It hasn’t always been easy, but that is what family does.  We help each other.

The step-son (age 11 and is a ball of energy with a tough exterior and a soft/sweet heart) is with us every other weekend…sometimes more if we have special things going on that we need him to be present for. He has lived with us for months at the time, several times at that, but keeps going back to his mom’s.  He loves both his parents so tremendously that he just can’t seem to decide on living with just one.

My daughter (age 19 and is my sneaky, boundless, nervous, worry-wart, caring, and somewhat edgy, songbird and ONLY daughter) has now moved out since she graduated high school and somehow got the idea that she was grown.  So, we see her on holidays and randomly in between at the moment.

My oldest son (age 15 and is my grounded, temperamental, instrument playing, little brother loving, intellectual child) has his own room in the house.  He is now the oldest child at home since his sister moved out.  We felt it necessary to give him his space (mostly so he didn’t kill the nephew and the step-son since the age differences made for different interests and noise levels).

Our baby boy (age 2 and is our beautiful ball of pure light, love, joy, happiness, cuteness, and holy hell in a hand-basket child..hello terrible twos) bunks in our room.  He sleeps in his crib some,but always winds up in the bed with mommy and daddy before the night is through.  He is everyone’s entertainment in the house and he is…priceless…and rotten, absolutely rotten.

This concludes the introduction to our ‘Blended’ family.  Stay tuned for the daily fun stuff…