Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Review: Regret Free Parenting

I received a copy of Regret Free Parenting  from the publisher...that is my disclaimer.  However, what I read and what I have to say probably wouldn't require a disclaimer.  Sometimes a book's title sucks a reader to it, in spite of what their usual preference for reading may be, because the title makes promises. Much like a diet supplement that makes the user pray that a pill will result in a twenty pound loss while sitting on the couch. "Regret free" anything is pretty much a goal of most individuals. "Regret Free Parenting", therefore, is certainly an attractive thought.

Our author is most definitely experienced, a licensed therapist for many years, Catherine Hickem's knowledge and the stories and experiences she's shared with people is most certainly applaudable and not in doubt. Nor is Ms. Hickem's ultimate goal in helping parents - most notably mothers - get past so many parenting nightmares and become "intentional" in all that they do.

The writing is clear, succinct, mostly to the point. The books is clearly divided and written at a level that is understandable. My concern, and the portion that leaves me at 2 stars, is the premise that intentional parenting = regret free parenting. The connection is tenuous at best and while good intentions are well and fine, the idea that by being intentional in my mothering, I will end up at regret-free...well, in this world the connection, to this reader, is just not possible.

Finally, the full title - which I purposely saved for the end of this posting - Regret Free Parenting: Raise Good Kids and Know You're Doing It Right ....it's an unusual premise and title for a piece of work coming from a Christian publisher....no mention of from Whom our help in raising these children comes from.  And, honestly, when my time of raising up my children is done I will be thankful and breathe a sigh of contentment if they end up as Christ-followers..."good kids" is not even on my radar.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ten Years To Forgiveness

Thanks to my earlier bedtime, I awoke yesterday to the news of Osama Bin Laden's death at the hands of a group of braver-than-I Navy Seals.  I missed the parties and revelry and random public demonstrations that ensued at the announcement and I even missed the early social media threads.  Thank goodness Facebook and the like allow me to go back in time and relive every moment of consciousness shared by the populous.

Thank goodness.

Ten years ago I sat at home holding an infant, just shy of her first birthday, watching the Today Show as a bottle was distributed and another toddler played cars at my feet.  The first plane was an 'accident'.  The second had Matt Lauer wondering aloud whether this was premeditated.  By the time a third fell into fields in Pennsylvania we all knew in some measure what was happening.

Ten years later we've had the benefit of the news media pointing out the frivolity of our then Commander-In-Chief attacking terrorists verbally and otherwise.  We have had movie versions and been Datelined to death and in some psycho experiment drawn from The Twilight Zone we are officially desensitized to the massive loss of life and the fear that some moms felt while holding infants somewhere in the Midwest.

Except when it comes to those poor terrorists.  We should be loving all over them.  Or so goes the hoax of a quote that has traversed its way through Facebook.  I'm not even going to re-quote it here because it's a dreadful, made up sentiment attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr.  (Google it and you're sure to find all sorts of information on MLK, Jr. loving his enemies.)  The quote doesn't make historical sense and it doesn't make present day sense.

Yet here we go again.  Loving our enemies and choosing to forget that God is "jealous"...that He "hates"...we pick apart Scripture (and more often than not shove it aside for what feels right) and avoid things like:

"Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it completely."  (Proverbs 28:5, ESV)

God does love.  And He surely longs for our reconciliation.  And for those concerned more about repaying evil for evil, consider instead that ten year have passed.  TEN YEARS.  That's a decade.  For that baby I held it's approximately a lifetime.  There has been ten years to forgive, to receive a mea culpa from the enemy...ten years is plenty of time to allow for peace.  And so 66 years to the date that another madman, one A. Hitler, met his Maker another master of terror has met his.  I choose to hate what is evil and cling to what is good.  I suggest you do as well.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Why Being 10 With Diabetes.....

Transparent Language......really stinks....
  • growing....growing is cool.  Growing throws off blood sugar.  Crazy.  Can't win this one.
  • hormones....I don't know if I'd call them "cool" but they are necessary.  Yup.  There goes the blood sugar.
  • numbers....now the 10 year old I love is good at math.  But her life is now governed by numbers.  And that's not always fun.  Sometimes the challenge is at least interesting...not "fun"....and when the number is too too high that same 10 year old feels like she failed.  Big time.
  • shots.....my lovely little brunette girl is a trooper.  These aren't bad.  But trying to look "normal" and needing shots at really inopportune times stinks.  Really stinks.
.......can have it's okay moments....

  • it can be hard being unique as a kid...it can be hard being unique, period.  This earns a gal some unique points.
  • when an athletic little girl has Type 1 diabetes, there are moments of utter bliss called post-sports low blood sugar.  Now I don't advocate low blood sugar, but...but....BUT....when they happen after, say, a basketball game?  Carbs!  Free carbs to get the level to a sane level.  That kind of rocks especially after a particularly hard week.

It's been "one of those weeks"....of super highs after weeks of lows....of tears shed over numbers.....a bit of mourning over what was (and perhaps not knowing what we had until it was gone...like a fully functioning pancreas).....but it wrapped up with some well-earned carb celebration thanks to two (plus) hours of basketball.  And the smile that resulted kind of wiped away the tears of a week.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Mom, who did you tell first?"

Transparent LanguageIt seems that we all get to that age where we realize that the hallmark of friendship is "who did you tell first?".  My daughter reminded me of this tonight when she asked - quite out of the blue - who I told first about her diabetes.  She wanted to know who got the info while we were still in the trenches of the ER.  It was an interesting conversation and one of those moments where you realize that your little girl is becoming an older girl and remember a lot of the angst that comes with being a girl.  Who you tell first is integral to womanhood.

What I didn't add to my (short) list, was the fact that I don't think we should be blamed for not calling everyone first.  I mean, really, does "first" mean anything if everyone gets to be it?  It's like those darn "Participant" ribbons they started handing out for every athletic event in elementary school.  I mean, I'm not inherently cruel and I'm all for soothing the child who is crying over last place, encouraging the 8th place runner to perhaps shoot for 7th next time, and maybe even guiding a 4'1" hurdler into the 50 yard dash.  But I'm also all for acknowledging 1st and 2nd and 3rd....especially when we know those individuals really worked to earn these places.

So to with friendship.  I am blessed to count many as friends.  I'm uniquely blessed to count some old-time friends in that mix...the people that knew me back when.  And I have friends and acquaintances and family.  But someone had to be first and second and third.  And that's how it goes.  And I think it's okay. 

And in case you wonder, I'm okay with not being the first call for everyone....though I fully expect a call from a few friends rather than a participant ribbon.....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Another V-Day Come & Gone

Transparent LanguageIt is true love when two people with colds can look at one another across a crowded table and feel contentment.  Not in the location (crowded & noisy) not necessarily in the all-alone-ness of it (took the kids) but in gratitude just for being there.  For making it.  For muddling at times.  For soaring at others.  For enduring.

I read yesterday of the longest marriage in Louisiana - 81 years I believe - that's the stuff of legends.  The stuff of child brides (and grooms).  That's the stuff of endurance.  Of making it through (imagine) a Great Depression, World War, Korean War, Vietnam War....it's abiding in the midst of cultural shifts that 81 years can't even fathom back when they were on year 1.  It speaks of "sticking it out" and of contentment...an emotion, feeling, state of being so often discounted and discarded.  Of finding that contentment rather than seeking some vague notion of fulfilment.  The two don't often go hand-in-hand but I'd much rather describe myself as the former rather than the latter.

In making it through as many Valentines as we have I can say that love is not a feeling - it's a state of being.  And it isn't measured by the number of flowers one receives, the sappy poems one is capable of composing, nor of the necessity of being alone.  I would submit that love is the ability to be together in the midst of chaos, of knowing when flowers have become (dare I say it) unnecessary....when legacy has perhaps taken primary importance - seen in the faces and natures of the children one has the privilege of raising.  And surely, it is patient & kind...it keeps no record of wrongs....especially no record of wrongs....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

To recall upon a loss....

Transparent Language"...remember that all worlds draw to an end and that noble death is a treasure which no one is too poor to buy."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Some people get more....

Transparent LanguageWhen we last encountered our blogger she was weathering a year of ups and downs and ups and downs, perhaps resting on her laurels a bit as the year rolled to a close. December was going to be a coast month....and the benefits of having a 2009 which was filled with all kinds of changes and falls from roofs and the like, was that providing for a Christmas in 2010 felt certainly more doable than in the past year.

(Gifts for kids - check)

But some people just get more.....

In this house we have seemed to get more challenges than average.  Pollyanna over in the corner with a bag over her head is wanting to scream "BUT IT COULD BE WORSE!"....Pollyanna needs to sit in the corner a while longer.

December 2010 was the beginning of our collective lives with Type 1 Diabetes.  'The baby girl' spent some quality time in the ICU was blood sugars were levelled off and I pretended all was fine and well and giving multiple injections (and receiving multiple injections) is really like Disney World only better.  Yup.  Denial.  Don't enter the ICU without it.

Even visitors just kind of half smiled and shook their heads.  Not us again.  Not another (insert big happening).  I think sometimes our family tragedy bores people.  It certainly has meant the phone lines have grown silent (you know who you are).

But in life...some people get more.  And that's life.  And I'm not sure I'd have it any other way.  There's not another societal or political or economic system that would rectify the providential nature of this life we are given.  Some people get more. Or less.  Or less is more.  It really depends on perspective.  And in the end, who are we to say what is fair or just.  (And the reality is - most of the time I wouldn't want what I justly deserve.)

Some people get more.  And it behooves us all to acknowledge the times when the getting is good and that goodness could be spread around to someone else getting an added dose of bad. 

For 2011 I plan on eating less carbs, reading fewer awful books, embracing my humor, unembracing a few people, and generally praying for the grace it takes to accept the moments of getting more (or less) in a fashion that perhaps will someday make the Giver just a bit proud of me.