Growing, Not Dying

Welcome to my insights, ponderings, and experiences. Hopefully they will enrich you in some small way, or at least make you laugh.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Family Means....

Mom: "If you're talking you are not brushing!" (teeth brushing time)
"How many times do I have to ask you.....?"
"Could you please just do it the first time you are asked?"
"Is your chores/school work/bed/etc. done?"
"And if all your friends were jumping off a bridge would you be begging to do that too?"
"Does that really strike you as a good idea?"
"Well, where did you put it last?"
"Did you look (insert wherever lost thing is suppose to be put away at)? Imagine that. I wonder how it got there."

J 10 yrs old: "And Guess what. and guess what. and guess what."

T 7 yrs old: "What does _____mean? What does that mean? What do you mean?"

E 5 yrs old: "Why does he/she/they always get to? That's not FAIR!"

S 4 yrs old: "How long till ____? How many days is that? Can you show me on your fingers?"
"Is it afternoon/lunch time/playtime/preschool time/etc. yet?!?"

Though when she was 2 and 3 it was simply "again again!!"

As the Dad:

"What did your Mother say?"

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Remembering 9/11

Yesterday I was in a business transaction and the guy wrote the date down incorrectly as the 10th. I simply said, "It's the 11th." He commented he'd been getting it wrong all day. I was a little surprised. It has been 7 years, but I still thought it should ring a bell. Even the small pub out in the countryside I visited in Ireland had a plaque about it.

It did get me thinking though. The popular phrase is "Never forget." Yes, I do think we should remember and honor those who served and gave or lost their lives that day, but it does, or should, raise the question of what is the best way to honor those people.

Is this "war" really the best way? I am in no way opposed to protecting our borders or to the wonderful selfless people who serve in our military. But is there still such a threat that we need to have babies born with daddies thousands of miles away? Children growing up with one of their parents away for months at a time? Do these men and women need to be going on drills and watching movies instead of going to their kids activities and watching them grow?

Was it needed for us to go in the first place? I have no idea. I do know after 7 years the message should be delivered we went to give. After I have punished and lectured my kid, I don't keep on it for weeks on end. It gets old for both of us and stops serving any useful purpose. It looses meaning.

If I had died in that tower, or lost a loved one I would not want my memorial to be more families suffering division and loss. I would want it to be families being strengthened. Daddies playing ball in the yard cherishing the time they have with their kids, estranged friends or loved ones calling each other just to check in, not just for a few days or weeks, but as a change in lifestyle.

Couldn't we have a pro-connection campaign instead of a terrorism campaign? Instead of "homeland security" tightening, what if we, as a country, tried a "home security" policy where we tried to make our own children feel loved and secure in their own family? What if instead of pouring more money into tools of war and training more soldiers we spent just 1% of that on community parenting classes or free family day at area zoos and museums across the nation? There are many great organization working to help single parents, broken homes, low-income, high-risk, African-American males, single mothers, inner-city kids, teen abstinence and self-esteem most of which are way underfunded, under publicized and overworked. Could we start by giving them a hand?

This has gotten a little more "soap boxish" than I had intended to. I simply would like to put forth some questions and ideas. Maybe adding my one little voice to those out there will help create more positive ideas that will result in more peaceful constructive solutions. We all want what is best for our families, our country and our world. Maybe it's time to re-evaluate what that "best" looks like.