Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Evolution, The Reason why “Good” girls go for “Bad” boys?

February 27, 2010

Let me be straight here. What follows is strictly my voice alone. I have worked in middle school and high schools for years, and am always amazed at how so many “good” girls go after the “bad” boys. I can even say that I myself did the same type of thing when I was younger. I’ve become even more curious now that my own children are dating. Then, just a couple of days ago, I was talking to my son about dating and made the comment that young girls tended to like the bad boys who took control, didn’t always do what they wanted, etc. That’s when it occurred to me that maybe girls liked bad boys because of evolution.

Think about it. The bad boy is the one who does what he wants, controls situations, appears tougher, and doesn’t do what other’s tell him to. He’s in control and seems to have power that others don’t. Is this whole phenomenon simply the result of survival of the fittest?

Think about cavemen. The nice Neanderthal, who shared his food and spent a lot of quality time with others, probably didn’t have the most food. Instead, the one who thought more of himself than others most likely spent much more time hunting and stocking up. The neanderthal woman would find herself in a quandary. Do they stick with the nice male who spent more time making them happy than hunting for food, or the selfish male who always had food available but didn’t really care what their females did as long as they didn’t get in their way? The Neanderthal thug who killed everything he saw may have provided the best for those around him. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily make the woman happy but at least she’s full!

Now, let’s look a little closer to home, say a few hundred years ago. The early American male who got sentimental over shooting Bambi probably didn’t have as much to eat as the one who came back covered in blood and boasting about his kills. The man who thought nothing of beating up a rival probably ended up with a lot more than the nice guy. Who could blame a girl for sticking to the one who could provide the best for them. The toughest, meanest guy around probably didn’t have too much trouble with getting what he wanted, and keeping it.

Now, if all of this is true, then todays society has totally screwed up what evolution has created. Young girls who haven’t yet figured this out are therefore still drawn to the “tough” guy, not understanding that the “smart” guy is the best choice in the ‘being able to provide category.’ Sometimes it takes years for the smart girl to finally get past these evolutionary tendencies. So, good guys if you’re feeling like you’re being left out, don’t get too discouraged, eventually the girls will figure it out.

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Healy and his surgery

February 24, 2010

We got Healy as a rescue puppy almost a year ago.  From the start he seemed to have some problems with his gait.  Unfortunately, this past week he had to have surgery on his right hip.  He’s doing great but it cost us a small fortune.  The vet removed the ball in the hip joint.  It sounds horrible but I’m so impress with how he’s doing.  The vet’s office calls him a real trooper.  The vet even thanked us for letting him have the surgery.  I guess a lot of people would have simply let him live in pain or put him down.  He’s too good a dog for us to do that.  He’s still NEVER had an accident in the house.  He’s an excellent watch dog; he’ll bark at anyone coming down our driveway, unfortunately that includes all of us too.

Here’s a couple of pictures of him right after surgery.  The little girl with him is ginger.

Healy one day after surgery

Healy

Life Changes

September 14, 2009

My daughter went away to college at the end of the summer.  It was the biggest change of her life.  What has happened since has surprised me, and probably surprised her too.

The girl who left our house was opinionated but insecure.  She depended on us to push her forward.  She needed us to reassure her of her own strengths.  At the same time, she could be judgmental of others without really understanding.  I was afraid that she would get to her new school, and her new home, and become even more insecure and judgmental.  I was prepared for her to find reasons to not like the people she was surrounded by.  I was expecting long phone calls about how she couldn’t do the work she was being asked to do.  She was afraid of the unknown, and I was afraid of what I thought I did know.

What has happened has been something that I never expected.  That became clear on the first night that we left her at her new apartment.  I called just before we got home, expecting her to be anxious and feeling alone.  Instead, she asked if she could call me back later since she was hanging out with her roommates.  Who was this person I was talking to?  I was suppose to tell her that things were all going to be ok, and she was letting me know that SHE was in the middle of making that true without me.  Don’t misunderstand, I wasn’t upset, I was proud.  The very best thing she could have said to me was exactly what she said!  And, it’s gotten better.

She loves her roommates.  They may be very different from her, but that’s ok.  They may do things that she doesn’t do and not do things that she does, and it’s still ok.  I hope they can be friends for a lifetime, and she probably does too.

The first days of classes were daunting.  Riding the shuttle to campus, finding her classes, buying her books, meeting the teachers and sitting in a class with complete strangers.  Again, I expected the worst.  Again, I didn’t know the strength of my daughter.  She thought her teachers were nice.  She felt secure in her own abilities.  Again, I thought “Who is this girl?”  The girl who left my house just a few days earlier was not the person I was talking to on the phone.  Where was the insecurity?  Where were the tears, and doubt, frustration and anger?   Well, remember how I’ve always said that the person you are now will not be the person you are as you grow older?  My own daughter has created that very picture.

Alix is not the same person that left my home a few weeks ago.  The new lifestyle and new people in her life have added to her character, pushed her in new directions, and opened her eyes to things she couldn’t see when her dad and I were always in the background.  She is becoming who she wants to be and not being pressured into being who we want.  We’ve had to give up the control that we thought we had, and she’s taken over without us.  And, that’s a very good thing.

Your life will be full of changes.  Like Alix, you’ll think you know what’s coming and sometimes be afraid but you won’t really understand until you get there.  You’ll meet people who will make you see life through different eyes.  You’ll find your own strength and character.  Some of it you may expect, and some will surprise you beyond what your experience now will let you.  So, don’t give up on yourself.  The things that seem so daunting now won’t even be a memory later.  What you think that you’re lacking will either become unimportant or you’ll find it’s been there all along.  Hey, it’s going to be ok, and maybe even a really great ride.

My summer vacation

August 30, 2009

My summer was pretty relaxing until the very end of it.  I spent a lot of time getting to know the horses.  I managed to piss them off quite a bit too.  I’ve learned that they hate having fly spray sprayed into their faces.  The flies literally get into their eyes, cause them to drain, and then the flies eat the stuff that drains out.  Gross!  Oh, and wasps absolutely terrify them.  That’s the only thing that will keep them away from their food.  I sit with them every evening for about an hour and just watch them interact.  Copa really doesn’t like Yankee, and Ben barely tolerates him.  Poor Yankee’s gotten use to it though.  Surprisingly they all sleep in one of the stalls together.  They love eating grass right after it’s been cut, and Yankee’s the only one not afraid of the riding lawn mower.

Speaking of riding lawn mower; I’ve become the official John Deere lady.  I no longer plow into solid structures with the tractor which of course is good.  I’m getting quite adept at going backwards too.  I did have one small mishap just recently though.  A piece that held up the cutting blades on one side fell off and I didn’t realize it.  That left one side of the blades as low as they would go, and the other side at it’s highest level.  This makes for a very weird cutting pattern.  I had ridges cut all through my yard.  You might ask why I didn’t notice this while I was cutting.  Well, I don’t wear my glasses when I cut the grass and apparently I can’t see worth crap!

My husband had a big surprise for me right before school started.  Remember my big red van.  Well, it’s mine no longer.  While I was gone to a friends little girls birthday party, my husband took my van and traded it in for a Mx5 Miata.  I miss the van but wow is that Miata cool!  It’s bright blue with a convertible hard top, 5 speed transmission, and satellite radio.  The hard top is automatic and takes about 12 seconds to go down or back up.  The satellite radio is AMAZING.  How did I live without it?  It’s the best handling car I’ve ever driven and I use to sell cars, so that’s saying a lot.  So, if you see a blue Miata driving around Valrico, check to see if it’s me.

Alix, my daughter went away to college.  We found her an apartment that she shares with three other girls, right across the street from UCF.  I honestly was really worried about her moving out.  She gets stressed out about everything and she about drove us crazy the week before she left.  She couldn’t sleep, or eat, and she seemed close to tears all the time.   Well, remember how I always talk to you about how much you’re going to change as you get older.  Well, Alix has proven me right.  She’s like a different person since she’s moved out.  She’s proven to be very independent and resourceful where in the past, she’s always depended on us.  I think that she’s actually loving her classes and is bonding with each of her roommates.

Oh, finally, remember how I’ve said in the past that school doesn’t necessarily get harder.  Both Alix and Zach have commented on how easy their classes have been so far.  All of Alix’s classes have internet access and  if she has any problems, all she has to do is look up the answer online.  Zach is taking statistics and guess what he’s studying right now.  Mean, median, and mode.  Sound familiar?  He was laughing about how easy it was.  So, don’t get discourage, and don’t be afraid of classes.  At your stage in school, you build on what you’ve already learned, as much as you will be learning new things.

Good luck guys,

ms bliz

Eating Disorders

August 26, 2009

Have you ever been walking in the woods and you come to a little brook or stream?  The water is flowing peacefully, things are growing along the stream line, the rocks in the water are tumbled and smooth, and the water is crystal clear and cool.  It’s wonderful.  Movies use this type of scene to add romance.  Well, an eating disorder is like having this beautiful stream and then blocking the water to it.  It becomes muddy then dried up, cracked and sad.  The little brook has to have water to feed it, and when the water is taken away, it become dried up and ancient looking.  That is the way a person with an eating disorder can eventually look if they don’t get help or help themselves.

I think that there are several reasons for eating disorders and they begin with a poor self image.  I like the show “What Not To Wear.”  On the show a person gets a makeover from head to toe.  At the end of the show, a young woman shows the person how they should use makeup.  Before she starts, she ask the person being made over to look in the mirror and tell her what they see.  Typically the response is a negative one, like “blotchy skin,” or “a big nose.”  Carmandie, the makeup artist stops them right then and tells them the positive things that she sees in their faces.  She then uses makeup to high light those positives.  The transformations are amazing.  What Carmandie has done is make a person with a poor self image realize that they are pretty.  She didn’t have to do surgery or botox, or any other thing.  She just pushed them to see themselves differently.

A problem with poor self image is that when you look in the mirror, you see a distortion of yourself.  The distortion is caused by something that usually has nothing to do with your appearance.  That means that no matter how much weight you lose, the distortion is still there. You’re still going to be dissatisfied and you can end up doing yourself serious harm.

Anorexia is a condition where you literally drop your calorie intake to a point where your body doesn’t get enough fuel to survive.  Your body, in a desperate effort to function, starts to get the fuel it needs from where ever it can.  Any stored fat is used up first and then other organs are shut down so that the main organs can continue to survive.  If this continues, the condition will eventually cause the person to die.  Now, the beginning of this may sound like a good thing to some of you because getting rid of fat can’t be bad; right?  Actually it can be.  Your body needs fat.  It helps us regulate our body temperature, and many other things.  That’s why our bodies store fat.  Stored fat is also our body’s effort to have reserve fuel in case we need it.  If, you survive anorexia, your body will remember what you’ve done, and store fat even more aggressively.  It literally is trying to protect itself from self destructive behavior.

Bulimia is also an eating disorder.  In this case, the person eats whatever they want, but then throws up to get rid of the calories.  Hey, the best of both worlds; you get to enjoy the food without any of the bad side effects.  WRONG!  The side effects are the same as those of people suffering from anorexia, and there’s one more pretty nasty one.  You see, when you throw up, you’re not just throwing up food, you’re also throwing up stomach acid that is used to break down your food.  That stomach acid breaks down a lot of things including your TEETH!  Your teeth can lose their protective coating and begin to rot away.  The longer this continues, the more damage is done, and the damage can’t be undone.

Eating disorders may begin because a person sees themselves as fat.  It has very little to do with weight very quickly though.  It becomes a control issue.  No one can make you eat.  No one can keep you from throwing up.  Only you can control that.  Unfortunately, that need to control things can end up controlling you.  You find yourself literally not able to eat even if you want to.

Finally, if you really want to lose weight, there are some very simple and satisfying ways to do so.  Weight Watchers is great.  You can start feeling good about yourself very quickly and can even “mess up” without quilt.  Your body can handle this type of dieting without causing long term damage, and you’ll get to keep your teeth.

Having the internet is a great source.  Go online and look at images of people with anorexia and/or bulimia.  Those images are real.  They’re not a distortion like the one you may be seeing when you look in the mirror.

Losing Weight

July 27, 2009

I recently had a comment from a young teen wanting to lose weight.  Here is part of  my reply

The only way that I have ever been able to lose weight and keep it off is by using weight watchers. I do it online and you would have to get your mom to sign up for you because of your age. They don’t let 12 year olds do it. It’s very inexpensive, about $14 a month. You can also join and go to meetings but again, I don’t know if they take anyone as young as you and it is a little more expensive.

If neither one of those work then I do have some suggestions that I use when doing weight watchers. First off, and this is important, I tried not to think about how much weight I needed to lose and focused on the short term. I set a goal of 10 lbs and work on that. I also didn’t cut anything out of my diet. If I wanted a cookie, I ate a cookie; but, I would make myself wait for an hour before I did. What this does is give your mind an hour to possibly get over the craving. Sometimes that happened and other times it did not. Either was ok. Another thing I did was if I wanted to eat something late at night, I would talk myself into waiting and eating it the next morning. That gave me something really good to look forward to. At least once during the week I would eat what ever I wanted as a reward for doing good during the week. Finally, I would eat slowly, and try to eat only half of what I would normally have at a meal. Oh, and I’d drink a lot of water!

As far as exercise, a gym would be great but if you can’t do that then walk, ride a bike, or swim. Now, that was actually as hard for me as cutting down what I ate. I had read up on exercise and so many articles said things like “If you want to lose weight you need to exercise an hour a day, four days a week.” That sounded pretty overwhelming to me. Instead, I figured any exercise was better than none, so I would tell myself; Ok, I’m going to exercise for 15 minutes and if I feel like quitting then I’ll quit. Sometimes I would quit but most of the time I would finish the 15 minutes, and decide that I could keep doing it a little longer, and half the time I would workout close to an hour or more. I got to where I was working out every other day and that made a big difference in how I looked. One more suggestion, get some light hand weights (5 lbs) and when you watch TV, use them during commercials.

Finally, you don’t have to lose all the weight to be able to feel good about yourself. As a matter of fact, as soon as you start losing the weight, you’ll start feeling better. That does two things for you. You lose the first 10 lbs, and you feel like you’re really accomplishing something and you want to keep going. It’s like cleaning the house. Thinking about cleaning the whole house can be pretty overwhelming and I will put if off and never do it; but, if I say to myself, I’m going to clean a bathroom, it’s much easier.

So, try the following:
1. Eat what you want but cut down on the quantity
2. If you have a craving, put off eating it for an hour
3. Drink a lot of water
4. Reward yourself at least once a week
5. Set small goals (six goals to lose 10 lbs will equal 60 lbs.)
6. Exercise as many times as you want for as long as you feel like it at first
7. If you have a craving to eat something late at night, try to wait until the next morning to eat it. That gives you something to look forward to.
8. If you feel like you’ve blown the diet for some reason don’t get too worried. Everyone does it and the ones who succeed, don’t see it as a failure, they see it as an excuse to try harder the next day.

I hope this has given you some ideas. Remember, set small goals so that when you reach that goal, you’ll start feeling good about yourself and your diet. When you feel good about dieting, the dieting gets so much easier.

How’s your summer going?

July 14, 2009

I’m working on my tan.  Learning more about my horses (Yankee is still causing problems, Copa sweats a lot but is still a blast to ride, and Ben is as stubborn as they come.)  I’ve learn to drive a John Deere tractor with only one slight mishap (I ran into the fountain we have in our yard!)  And, for one night and day, I looked like a punk rocker with neon red hair!

What about you?  Learned anything new?  Faced any new challenges?  I miss you guys so keep in touch.

Ms. Bliz

The year 2012

July 14, 2009

Comment for “Ask Ms. Blizzard”

ms bliz i know that it seems kind of stupid to talk about this because it all seems kind of crazy but everywhere on the news people keep talking about how the world is going to end but do you think it could really happen i mean i know its kind of stupid but sometimes i get scared to here that and it seems like they only talk about down here in florida because i went up to north carolina recently and there is absolutley no talk about it up ther but down here its everywhere.So anyway back to the point do you think the world will end in the year 2012

Response:

The year 2012 is significant because it is the year that the Mayan Callendar ends.  The fact that the Mayans had created such a callendar is amazing.  This was an ancient civilization that appears to have understood the passage of time way beyond most people’s imagination.  The accuracy of the callendar astounds scientist today.

The Mayans believed that the world advanced through cycles, (which it does.)  They believed that when one cycle ended, another began.  We celebrate the new year for that very reason.  Every year a new cycle of seasons begins and we look at it as a New Year (we make new year’s resolutions to celebrate that new cycle.)  For the Mayans, the year 2012 just marked the end of one long cycle and the beginning of another one.  They may have believed that that would also bring change, something new, but not necessarily something bad.

What seems to have happened is that some people take this information and are using it to predict what they want to.  It makes news, grabs attention, and can fit into different religious beliefs.  The creators of the callendar simply estimated when one cycle would end and another begin.  Undoubtably, there are people out there who believe that the end of the Mayan Callendar represents the end of life.  This is their opinion and not the opinion of the ancient Mayans.  In turn, they use what they believe to motivate people to buy books, become more religious, or make news.  A book title ” 2012 The end of the World” would sell a lot more copies than one titled “2012 A New Beginning.”

“That Damn Yankee”

June 30, 2009

DSC_5802Some of you may remember me talking about Yankee, our little black quarter horse.  Well, his register name “That Damn Yankee” now seems to be even more appropriate.

When we first got Yankee, we found that he had some rather frightening habits.  I can remember the trainer we used calling me just after we got him and telling me.  “I’m going to kill your horse!”  She wasn’t serious of course, but she was truly upset.  You see, Yankee had some stall issues.  If he was in his stall, and you, or anyone, went in to get him, he would do several things.  He would pin his ears back (a really bad sign), turn his back end to you (an equally bad sign), and then spin around so that his back end was always pointed in your direction (a potential sign or things to come, ie. a good kick in the gut!)  The first time I walked into the stall with him he did the same thing.  I of course, being the person who feels the need to fix things, decided to try some of the “horse whisperers” techniques I’d seen in a movie!  I turned my back to him and stood by the stall door.  I was amazed when it worked.  Yankee turned towards me and eventually let me approach him.  Wow, I’m a miracle worker.  Not really, but it did help me to realize that I didn’t have to be afraid of Yankee no matter how scary he acted.  Mrs. Hernandez can attest to that.  I think she would have dragged me out of Yankee’s stall (if she hadn’t been too afraid) the first time she saw me go in.  What I eventually deduced was that Yankee was trying to hide when a person approached him in the stall, He wasn’t actually turning his back to you in order to kick you, he was turning his face away from you in a effort to disappear, (if he can’t see you, then you must not be able to see him.)

The situation became even worse when our trainer let Yankee out in a paddock.  I arrived at the barn and the first thing the trainer said to me was “Go catch your horse!”  You see, once Yankee was let out of his stall, the last thing he wanted was to go back in!  I could have bribed him with a bucket of carrots and he wouldn’t have gotten close enough for anyone to catch him.  We eventually had to literally corral him into a corner to catch him.  This led to Yankee not being allowed out of his stall unless it was for exercise or riding.

Something had happened to Yankee that made him this way, and it probably happened in a stall.  Maybe he was beaten, or abused in some other way that made him behave this way.  His anger, or fear ended up making his life a lot more restricted than all the other horses at the barn.  He never got to go out and just run, or feel free.

Eventually Yankee seemed to get over the bad habits when we moved him to a new barn.  He was still afraid when someone walked up to him with something in their hands (camera, hat, etc.) but he would go into his stall at feeding time, and he would let you walk into the stall without acting like he was going to try to kick the crap out of you.  DSC_3213

Things got even better when we brought him to our new house.  There were no stalls, and Yankee got to run free with our other two horses.  He became the sweetest animal.  He would be the first horse to come to you.  He’d lick your hand, and follow you around.  Things were going great, until we realized that Yankee was losing weight because Ben, our bully horse, was not allowing Yankee to eat all his feed.

We decided to build a stall for Yankee to eat in.  This would keep Ben from pushing him away from his food.  Yankee could eat in peace.  Unfortunately, it has also brought out Yankee’s bad habits again.  Last night, we went out to feed the horses, and spray them with fly spray to keep the flies from biting them.  (Flies attack a horses eyes, and can cause a lot of pain and problems.)  Yankee would not let us catch him to put the fly spray on.  My husband finally managed to get his arm around Yankees neck (an approach used to halter a horse,) but when he tried to lead him out of the stall, Yankee jerked so hard that he slammed my husband into the stall wall.  It was frightening,  Yankee weighs over 1000 lbs. and can do a lot of damage.  I decided to try to catch him.  I closed the stall door so he couldn’t get out and tried to approach him.  He turned his back to me.  This continued for several minutes.  I finally started purposely trying to shoe him away from me.  I stood along his side, and waved my arms at him.  We ended up going around in a comical circle for quite a while.  After this went on for several minutes, I simply stopped following him around.  This surprised Yankee, and he stopped spinning and turned to look at me.  It was then that he allowed me to approach him and attach a lead rope.

The lead rope seemed to be the key because Yankee allowed me to walk him out of the stall.  Our problems weren’t over though.  As soon as Jim (my husband) started to spray him with the fly spray, Yankee tried to bolt, jerking the lead rope almost out of my hand.  I was able to hold him but at the expense of some considerable pain in my hand.

Afterwards, Jim and I talked about what had happened.  He told me that when I was in the stall alone with him.  He was imagining how he would get me out if Yankee attacked and hurt me.  He was seriously afraid for me.  I think that Jim is very close to being ready to get rid of Yankee.  I have a hard time thinking about that.  What might happen to this sweet horse if he gets into the hands of someone who thinks that beating a horse is the way to make a horse behave.  Believe me, there are many people out there that would do exactly that.

Yankee definitely has some serious issues.  Where those issues started I can only assume.  Unfortunately, the habits he has developed as a result of those issues, may become his biggest down fall.  Jim and I were really trying to help him last night with the fly spray, but Yankee’s fear and anger almost kept us from doing that.  That same fear and anger may force us to give him up.  Something I really don’t want to have to do. DSC_3232

Kids, the same type of thing can happen to some of you.  Fear and anger can lead to some very bad habits.  Those habits can keep you from some of the good things that might come.  We were trying to help Yankee, make his life better, but he was too afraid/angry to let us.  I’ve seen that same thing in some of you.  You won’t listen even when someone is trying to make things easier for you.  You don’t trust adults enough to let them lead you in a positive direction.  Your anger, fear, and bad habits push away the very people who could do you the most good.  Most adults want to help make your life the best it can be.  Give us the chance to do that.

Michael Jackson

June 27, 2009

I can’t begin to fully understand the childhood of Michael Jackson, but I can imagine what it might have been like.  I picture a very young boy with amazing highs and terrible lows.  There would have been times when he felt like he was on top of the world, and times when he felt like he was stuck alone in a locked closet.

I grew up with Michael Jackson.  Now don’t misunderstand me, I didn’t personally know him, I was born just a few months before him, and grew up during the same time.  I would have never been allowed to invite him to my home.  Two things would have kept me from having him over; one of course would have been his fame, the other unfortunately would have been the fact that he was black.  In the 60’s, at least in the south, blacks and whites did not have much of a social interaction.    Was it the same where Michael lived and worked?  Was it ok for him to make money for a group of white men, but not ok for him to go to their kid’s birthday party?  Every child has limitations on the friends they make because of where they live, and their social status.  How limited was the young Michael Jackson?  Could he have realistically had any real friends?

I imagine that a pop star has to stay in the spotlight to maintain his or her status in that world.  It’s a competitive market and hard work, constant traveling, and overwhelming pressure must be all a part of daily life.  Michael Jackson was in elementary school when he was immersed in that life.  He once said in an interview that he loved performing.  He was the center of his world when he performed.  Thousands of people wanted to be with him, touch him, be a part of his life.  It’s no wonder he felt on top of the world.  But, what about when he wasn’t performing.  He still had to work.  He still had to practice, record, learn new things.  Who was sharing that time with him?

Michael Jackson lived an adult life before he had the chance to learn how to be an adult.  He didn’t have the opportunity to be a child, and being a child is how you learn how to be an adult.  That’s the time you learn how to interact with others.  It’s when you learn what works and doesn’t work in social situations.  Mistakes are constantly made by children and the lessons learned during childhood are very important.  They are also excusable.  A child can make a bad choice, and the only excuse he or she needs is that they’re too young to understand their actions.  Michael Jackson didn’t get the chance to learn those childhood lessons, at least not during his younger years.

It seems pretty clear that Michael tried to become the child he was never allowed to be after he was old enough to control the life he lived.  He created Neverland.  A place where kids would, and to some extent did, enjoy being.  He was able to finally play with kids.  Unfortunately, kids playing with kids is seen as perfectly acceptable, even good for them.  An adult man playing with kids (with the adult acting like a kid) is not.  Sleepovers are always suspect.  Two ten year old boys sleeping in the same bed during a sleepover is perfectly normal.  A man and a ten year old sleeping in the same bed is taboo.  A ten year old boy who can’t wait to get outside and play with his friends is normal.  A man who can’t wait to get out and play with a group of children is seen as disturbed.  No matter how hard he might have tried, Michael Jackson could not relive the childhood he missed.

If, Michaels interactions with children when he was an adult was as innocent as he professed, then I can only imagine the horror and pain he must have gone through when he was accused of so many ugly things.  If, as an adult, he finally became the child he was never allowed to be, then the world’s reaction to his actions was totally unfair and cruel.  He was attacked for things that would seem normal in a child.  He was targeted for things that any child could have done.  Did he finally get to experience childhood, only to have the world, who had once idolized him,  make him some type of monster?

Another Year Gone

June 6, 2009

2008 03 03 Alix 013I had a really great last few days with you guys!  Hopefully I’ve taught you all a few things.  I know that I have learned a few things from you.  Even old ladies like me have a lot to learn.

Some of you surprised me the last day of school.  You made me feel like I was appreciated and will be remembered, and I can’t thank you enough for that!  Know that I will remember you too, (some more fondly than others:)

I’m counting on you to remember the “life lessons.”  Remember Andy and Wes, and Shelby.  Think before you treat driving like a game, or drugs like a safe choice.  Remember Cameron, don’t make fun of people, or bully people just because they’re different.  You don’t know what has made them that way, and you don’t know who you would be if you had lived their life.

Know that your parents love you even if they don’t act like it sometimes.  Respect them and realize that they are people too with their own problems and worries.  Try not to add too much to those worries.  When you do get into trouble, realize that the getting into trouble was your choice and only you can keep it from happening again.

Finally, remember that you guys are going to change a lot between now and adulthood.  The choices you make now may seem like the right ones at your age, but you may regret them when you are older.  I see the adults you can become.  You need to start “seeing” that person too.  Know that the things you do now are all a part of becoming that adult.  You can have fun, make mistakes, make and lose friends, even live through battles, and pain.  Just remember to learn from those things.  Become the adult you were meant to be.

  1. No matter how bad things seem, they always get better.
  2. Anger is the worst emotion you can hang on to.  It hurts you more than it ever hurts the one you’re angry at.
  3. Don’t expect other people to make you happy.  That’s up to you, so do things that make you feel good about yourself.
  4. Don’t hate someone, instead be glad you’re not them.
  5. Surprise people in you life with kindness.  You’ll get more from that than they do.

I’ll miss you guys!

Teenagers think they know everything

May 30, 2009

DSC_4621People change constantly.  That’s a part of growing and it’s going to happen.  Have you ever watched the show “What Not to Wear”?  In the show, a person is nominated by friends or family for a makeover.  Typically the person is an adult who dresses in a way that is inappropriate for their size, age, or gender.  The show’s two hosts bring the nominated person to New York, and teaches them how to dress in a way that makes them look their best.  This also includes a new hair style and makeup tips.  The transformation in appearance can be amazing.  Over one week, the nominated person can go from looking frumpy to sexy; from older than their age to younger than their age; from over weight to slimmer; from plain to glamorous.  The most surprising change in the person may not be just in their looks though.  In almost every episode the person who goes into the makeover becomes someone very different by the end of the show.  They stand taller, walk differently, behave like a completely different person.  The bar hopper suddenly behaves like a strong, confident woman.  The scary dark goth becomes an approachable, positive woman.  The sloppy guy becomes the man who can handle anything.  It’s truly amazing how much a change in wardrobe and hairstyle can alter how a person sees themselves, and the world they live in.  If this type of experience can change an adult, imagine all the new experiences that teenagers have yet to go through, and how much those experiences will affect their lives and personalities.

As teenagers, you may think that you know who you are.  You know what’s important, what’s good for you.  What you don’t realize is that all of that can change in a moments time.  You meet someone new who becomes so important to you that you want to become the right person for them.  You do something new, and it makes you feel so powerful and strong that your passion’s change.  You may think that you’ve experienced everything but, unless you lock yourself in you room for the rest of your life, you haven’t even come close.  You have a lifetime of experiences yet to go through and those experiences will change who you are, and who you want to become.

I love it when I ask a teenager what they want to be when they grow up, and they proceed to tell me that they’re going to become a professional sports player, a rapper, a rock star, a movie star, etc.  There’s nothing wrong with any of those things.  You just can’t count on any of them happening.  The best teenage athletic can have a minor accident and end any hopes of succeeding in a sport.  The artist that seems to be so much better than all their friends may find themselves just average when compared to a brand new stage full of artist.  I actually saw myself becoming an artist.  I won awards all through my growing up years for my art.  I found out in my second college art class, that I was decent in art, but not even close to being as talented as so many other people.  You see, I hadn’t met any truly gifted artist growing up.  That class forced me to change some of my goals.  Those same types of experiences can and probably will happen to you.  You haven’t met all your competition yet; you haven’t had the opportunity to.

The probability of things changing who you are is one of the reasons that succeeding in school is so important.  Succeeding in school is one of the best ways for you to insure that whoever you decide to be can happen.  It sets the stage for everything else.  The gifted football player won’t even get the chance to play on a professional team if they drop out of school and never even gets to play in front of a recruiter.   The kid who thinks they have everything they could ever want, will find that there is always one more thing they’re missing and, that may not be attainable with the limited resources they have without an education.   Those limited resources are the main reason to keep trying to succeed in school.  An education opens up possibilities.  Without it, a lot of doors you may wish were open to you, will be very firmly closed.

Then, Now, and Later

May 24, 2009

DSC_6309Think back to when you were in early elementary school.   What got you excited?  Who were the most important people in your life?   What were your favorite foods/games/shows/things?  How did you feel about your parents; the opposite sex; adults?

Now, think about how you feel about all of those same things now.  Are your feelings the same; or have they changed?

You’ve experienced a lot since early elementary school.  You’ve learned that adults aren’t as perfect as they seemed when you were younger.  You’ve found new things to replace your favorites.  And, the opposite sex can cause some really exciting things to happen to your thoughts.  You’ve grown up some.  It’s the way you were made to be.  You’ve met a lot more people; Done a lot of new things; Been let down and brought right back up again.  You’ve done it all!

Not so fast.  What about later?  What about all the new people you’re going to meet when you finish school or go to college?  Will they affect the way you think and feel?  What about the first time you live on your own?  Will you learn new things; Have new fears; Change how you see things?  Of course you will, it’s all a part of growing up.

The person you were as a child is very different than the person you are as a teenager.  The same holds true for adulthood.  It all depends on your experiences, the people you meet, the things you try, and the things you learn (and not just in school.)  Life experiences don’t come to a screeching halt when you become a teenager.  You just see things differently.

The little kid who always wants to please may become the angry teen who thinks they know everything.  The smart little boy may become the too cool for school high school stud.  The little girl who has lots of elementary school friends, may become the moody loner in high school.  The silly little girl may become the high school prom queen.  Who you become depends on so many things you experiences.  And as a teenagers, you’ve only experienced a very small part of what life is really about.

The high school football star may find them self as a nobody as an adult.  The prom queen may become a divorced mother who feels alone in the world.  The loner may become the most popular person at their job.  The high school stud may finally realize that partying too much eventually leads to a beer gut and a lonely life.

As a teenager, you really don’t know who you’re going to want to be as an adult.  Unfortunately, you can do things as a teenager that will alter just that.  A teenager who has a baby does not become the adult they would have if they hadn’t gotten pregnant.  The kid who decides that driving a car is like a game, won’t become the adult they might have if the game they played in a car with their friends, ends up killing someone.  The teen who drops out of school will not become the adult they might have become if they stayed in school.  Think about this.  You are a teenager for seven years of your life.  You’re an adult for a lot longer than that.

Would your friends go to jail for you?

May 22, 2009

DSC_8009You’ve just turned 16 and finally have the freedom you’ve been looking forward to for years.  You know that there’s a group of kids (mostly older than you) who get together every Saturday night and you’re going!  No one can stop you.  Your parents won’t even know.  Being cool is worth the risk anyway.  You don’t realize that the risk is far greater than you could have ever imagined.

The “party’s” started by the time you get to the apartment.  Several of you friends are already there.  The minute you step in you know you’ve made it, you’re a part of an exclusive club, one of the cool kids. Empty beer bottles litter the coffee table and the ashtrays are full.  The guy you’ve been trying to get to notice you is sitting right there.  Smoking a cigarette and you are almost sure that he smiled when you walked in.  Your heart races, and you hope you hands don’t get sweaty.

Within minutes you’re in the mix.  You grab a beer and sit on the floor between two of you friends.  You keep glancing over at the boy you like to see if he’s watching you.  A new guy arrives and everyone gets excited.  Much more excited than they did when you showed up.  He pulls out a bag of extacy and passes it around.  A couple of kids pass it up but the guy you like grabs a couple of the pills and pops them with a sip of beer.  The bag gets to you and you know you can handle more than two.  You’ve done it before.  You grab three and wash them down.  The guy you like is definitely watching you.  He’s impressed; you’re not the goody-goody he thought you were.  The party is on!

At first you’re fine.  You feel strong, powerful, and uninhibited.  Music’s playing and the most perfect guy in the WORLD gets up, grabs your hand and pulls you up into his arms to dance.  Who cares if your hands are sweaty, it doesn’t get more perfect than this.  He presses up against you and you know that he wants you.  You don’t want the dance to ever end.  But god, you’re thirsty.  It’s hot, you’re hot, you have to get something to drink.   You pull your partner with you to the kitchen and grab a water out of the frig.  The two of you go back into the living room and sit on the floor.  He’s got his arm around you, you’re his girl.  He’s picked you and it’s even better than you imagined.  Except, you’re not feeling so good.  Actually, you’re feeling pretty bad.  You get up to go to the bathroom and on the way out you stop one of your friends and tell them you’re feeling sick.  They tell you to have another drink and blow you off.  You go back to the boy of your dreams, and wait for the sick feeling to wear off.  It doesn’t wear off, instead, it gets worse.

You can’t let this happen.  You are not going to be one of those wimps who can’t handle a few drugs.  It’ll get better but you’re finding it harder and harder to think beyond the thirst and discomfort.  Finally, you tell your guy that you’re not feeling so good.  You get up and find a couple of your friends munching out in the kitchen.  “Hey guys, I think I’m sick.” They pull you over and try to get you to eat something.  “No, I’m not kidding, I’m really not feeling too good.” you say.  They start to giggle, pull you into their arms, and tell you you’re going to be fine.  You leave and go back to your “guy.”  You can wait this out.  You are not going to make a fool out of yourself.

The boy settles you back against him, you rest your head on his shoulder, but you are now feeling too bad to even get any pleasure out of it.  You’re really starting to get scared.  Your head is killing you.  You’re wondering if you can even move.  Finally, you whisper, “I need some help.”  but no one hears you.  The music’s too loud.  You try again.  The boy your with looks down and asks what’s wrong.  Again, you whisper “I need some help.  I’m feeling sick.”  He smiles and pulls you closer, then turns back to a friend sitting on his other side.   You start to cry.  You’re going to ruin everything but you’ve got to get some help!  You force yourself to scream.  “Please help me!”  Everyone is looking at you.  An older guy, one of the high school football players, yells out “Oh, do we have a baby here?  Someone need their mommy?”   Suddenly, nothing matters to you except getting help.  You don’t care what anyone thinks.  The only thing you can feel is fear, and pain, and it’s got to stop!  “Please, someone help me.” You whisper.  You’re friends come over.  They finally realize that you’re serious.  Everyone’s staring.  Again, you don’t care.  Your friends ask you what you want them to do.  They seem angry with you.  Finally one of them says “What, you want us to take you to the hospital?”  It’s like a joke to them, but it’s not to you.  “Yes!”  you quietly beg.  “Please.”

They pull you up, and help you into the car.  You’re not even thinking about the scene you’ve caused, all you want is to be somewhere safe, where someone can help you.  The drive takes forever.  Finally, you see the lights of the emergency room entrance.  It’s like a beacon.  Things are going to be fine.  You have your friends, they’ll make sure you’re ok.  But your friends aren’t really with you.  There’s no way they’re going to go into a hospital where adults will see how wasted they are! You’re Their friend but they’re not willing to get into trouble just because you can’t handle yourself.  So they get you out of the car and you watch them drive away.

You’re alone.  You’ve never walked into a hospital by yourself before.  You’re 16 years old, and there’s always been someone there to take care of you up until now.

A male nurse sees you through the glass doors leading into the emergency room.  He comes out and you’ve never seen a better sight.  He asks if you need help but you can’t answer him.  You feel yourself crumbling to the ground.  Everything is going so slow.

Your friends stand out in the rain watching them lower your casket into the ground.  Some are crying, others look scared.  An orderly at the hospital saw the car that dropped you off.  The police are looking for that car.  No one’s talking.  You’re dead, they can’t do anything for you now.  You’re not worth getting into trouble for.  Unlike you, they’ve still got too much to live for.

The Preakness; A life lesson

May 17, 2009

Preakness finish from espn.com

check out “Mine that Bird iso cam” on msn video

I have watched the Triple Crown Horse races since I was in middle school.  I’m 51 years old now so that’s been many years and many races ago.  The first race that really stands out in my mind is the Derby where Secretariat blew the competition away.  He continued to do just that right through the Belmont; making him my first experience with a Triple Crown winner.  Secretariat was big, beautiful, and unbeatable.  Coming from the back of the pack and winning by a landslide in each race.  Permanent images from those 3 races 30 plus years ago will be with me forever and I’ve been waiting for that same heady feeling in every race I’ve watched since.  Well, it’s finally happened again and the horse that inspired it didn’t even win!

Mine that Bird, a 15.1hh gelding that originally sold for under $10,000 entered into the Kentucky Derby pretty much unnoticed except for the fact that he was carted there in a trailer for over 20 hours by a trainer with a broken leg.  That was his entire back story prior to the race.  I guess that was to some extent understandable;  he is a rather non-descript horse with a small star on his forehead, an average brown coat, a slightly sideways gait, and a small build compared to most of the horses running in the most prestigious horse race in the states.  Top that off with the fact that he’s a gelding racing almost exclusively with stallions and you’ve got a serious underdog who wasn’t even considered a contender in the Derby.  Well, he proved just how much of a contender he was.

Mine that Bird was so far behind in the derby at one point that my husband commented: “I feel sorry for that poor jockey in the back.”  It was easy to write him off even before the first turn.  The cameras broadcasting the race stayed focused on the front runners and the little horse in the back was pretty much forgotten, but not for long!  In a matter of seconds that little, non-descript horse seemed to fly into the view of the cameras recording the front runners.  Coated in mud, running around and between horses, the little forgotten gelding was making the big guys look like they were lopping around the track.  He made winning that race look easy and he added a new set of images that I will be able to treasure for years to come.

Mine That Bird from ESPN photo gallery. . .

It was truly a wonderful race to watch, but was it a fluke?  Did the jockey just get lucky?  Was the field simply not as good as everyone thought.  Was every other horse in that race just having a bad day?  The Preakness proved that none of that was true.

All the horses had been moved into the starting gates.  Mine that Bird was in the second gate.  Suddenly you could see the horse in gate one start to flail, and then rear, knocking his rider off.  If you’ve ever been around horses, you know that that can cause some serious anxiety in the horses surrounding the agitated horse, and Mine that Bird was inches away from the action.  Add to that, the horses had to stay in the gates until the horse in gate one could be remounted and moved back into place.  Finally the race was on.

Let me stop here and talk about the one horse that wasn’t in the Derby.  Rachel Alexandra, a filly was originally owned by a man that would not race her with the boys.  She was sold the week before the Preakness, and the new owners didn’t feel the same way.  She is a big 16.1hh beautiful filly with the oddest, most memorable blaze I’ve ever seen.  She was in post position 13 and one of the last horses to be loaded into the gate.  She was also being ridden by the wonder jockey Calvin Borel who had ridden Mine that Bird in the Kentucky Derby (Borel had been her primary rider and only rode Mine that Bird in the derby because she wasn’t in the race.)  She was the justifiable favorite to win and rightfully so.

Back to the race.  Rachel Alexandra flew out of the starting gate.  Staying in the front of the pack the entire race.  Her long sleek head always visible in the main cameras recording the race.  She kept up the pace and kept the stallions racing beside her at bay until almost the end of the race when she pulled away from the pack and became the obvious winner.  But what about Mine that Bird?  He’s really what this story is all about.

Mine that Bird started out slow again.  Settling into the last position, AGAIN!  Watching him later on a cam that was recording him, it looked like he was running full out even though he was behind all the other horses.  The little guy was obviously over matched and just got a lucky break in the Derby.  Well, maybe not!  Suddenly, he switched into a whole new, higher gear.  There were no holes between horses for him to slip through so he had to run around the field on the outside, and boy did that little guy run.  Suddenly the announcer is screaming his name.  Rachel Alexandra is pulling away from the pack and no one is challenging her except for the little, non-descript horse that started slow but finished in a league all his own.  He came in second, less than a length (the length of or horse) away from Rachel Alexandra, and he was gaining on her even at the finish line.  Rachel Alexandra won the race and proved that she was a very special filly but Mine that Bird won even more.  Rachel Alexandra was born a wonder horse, Mine that Bird, became one!

Of course, there has to be a moral to this story and since I’m writing this primarily for my teen readers it’s going to be about them.  Rachel Alexandra was the popular choice.  She had everything going for her.  She looked amazing.  She was built “like a brick house.”  If horses fought over popularity, she would win hands down.  And she will be remembered as one of the few fillies who could run and win against the guys.  But, Mine that Bird will be remembered in a much more important way.  He will be remembered as the horse that was the “loser” until he won;  The horse that couldn’t but did; and finally, the horse that once no one saw, but will now never be forgotten.

Road Runner

May 12, 2009

In an earlier blog I mentioned that the cartoon Road Runner was like real life.  It’s true in more ways than one!

Let’s take the Road Runner himself.  He’s just running down the road, pecking at small things to eat.  He’s taking care of himself, not bothering anything or anybody except of course a few bugs.  Unless  he’s just picking up seeds which would mean he really isn’t bothering anyone.  Ok, he’s smiling, happy, going along his merry way, but just around the corner is trouble!  The Coyote is waiting with an elaborate plan to stop the poor Road Runner in it’s tracks.  Usually this involves some type of major catastrophe.  The Road Runner rounds the corner, see the danger, and goes into fighting mode.  Oh wait, that’s not right!  What the Road Runner does is out smart the coyote with clever actions.  The only character to “get it”, for about the millionth time, is the coyote.  The Road Runner continues on his merry way, and the coyote get’s smashed by his own mean scheme.

Now, let’s look at the coyote.  He’s been raised to hunt in order to survive.  He’s obviously learned that not killing his prey means he will starve.  (Have you ever noticed how skinny that poor coyote is?)  He has been taught to be “mean” by both example and necessity.  All this poor, skinny coyote can do is keep going after the Road Runner.  (Apparently there are no more animals within hundreds of miles.)  Is the coyote really bad?  Does he have a choice in the actions he takes?

Finally, my real life analogy.  The Road Runner is the average person.  He’s been raised to take care of himself and not bother anyone else.  Success makes him happy.  He’s also very clever.  He knows that fighting with the coyote would be a waste of time and he’d probably end up getting hurt.  Instead of fighting, the Road Runner outsmarts him, goes around him, or avoids him completely.  In turn, the Road Runner walks/runs away from the encounter with a smile of his face, and the coyote gets it!  Just like the Road Runner, the average nice, clever person avoids the mean guy/bully.  He uses his brain to win in an encounter.  The “good” guy wins, and the “bully” fails.

Now for the bully/mean guy.  This is the person who has been taught that he’s not successful, or in control, unless he’s bigger and badder (I know it’s not a word but it works!)  than others.  He’s learned these lessons at a very young age.  He knows that if he doesn’t kill and eat something, he’ll hurt horribly.  Most kids who grow up to be bullies are taught the same thing.  Maybe they’ve been physically abused and know that letting anyone else be in control can hurt.  They’ve been made to feel weak and miserable unless they’re making someone else hurt.

The lesson here is that the best way to beat a bully is to not let him be in control.  You can do this by ignoring him, outsmarting him, or avoiding him.  If you fight back you will almost always lose.  Plus, that’s what he wants.  He wants to know that he’s gotten to you.  If you get angry or let him hurt you, he’s won.  On the other hand, the bully has been created.  It may not be who he really is.  Instead it’s what he’s been taught in one way or another.  Understanding that will make it easier to not be bullied.  It’s hard to be hurt by someone you pity,  and a bully is pathetic.  He can’t make himself happy, instead he counts on others to make him happy and that’s NOT your job.  Counting on others to make you happy and feel good about yourself, is bound to fail.  That’s why most bullies grow out of it.  You see, the only person you can count on to make you happy is you.

Show up: Get a prize

May 8, 2009

My daughter was born in December and for her 11th birthday party I decided to have all her friends paint a sweatshirt for the holidays.  I went out and bought the shirts, paint, and patterns and the kids seemed to have a great time decorating their shirts.  The party was a huge success and I was patting myself on the back for coming up with such a great idea until the first kid left the party.  She walked to the door, carrying her new sweatshirt, and asked “Where’s my party favor?”  Maybe I’m being too critical but:  What the heck!  I can remember my mother buying prizes for my birthday parties growing up.  There were games played and the winner of the games got a prize.  There was no rule that said everyone at the party had to leave with a gift.  I remember this was the case at all the birthday parties I attended as a child.  You weren’t entitled to something just for showing up.  I’m now wondering if that is the opposite of what we are teaching our kids today.

Look at peewee and little league sports teams that young kids are involved with now.  At the end of each season, everyone gets the same trophy no matter how proficient they played or, more importantly, how hard they tried.  The child who stood out in the field staring into space every practice and game is rewarded in the same way that the child who listened to the coach and became a better player did.  I can understand every child getting the chance to play their fair share no matter what their skill level is, but should the kid who decides that paying attention and really trying isn’t important, get the same “prize” at the end of the season as the one who at least made an effort?  Again, are we teaching our children today that the benefits of working hard are no better than those of just showing up?

Finally, are we setting our kids up for failure?  What happens to the kid who got a trophy every sports season when they were younger, decides that it would be cool to be on the high school sports team?  We’ve been teaching them for years that they can win the trophy/prize no matter what their effort.  Now suddenly the rules are completely changed.  They can’t just show up anymore.   They have to earn their place on the team and we’ve been teaching the exact opposite.

I can remember once when my young son was competing as a dancer.  He was a great tap dancer, good enough that his instructor gave him private lessons for free since we couldn’t afford them at the time.  He loved to perform but hated to practice and didn’t understand the need to learn things that he didn’t find as interesting.  At this particular competition, he was up against several really talented dancers.  One little boy in particular was really great.  He had obviously been working hard at several different types of dance, and he justifiably blew the competition away, including my son.  After the award ceremony, where this other little boy won the big trophy, my son came up to me and said; “I’m as good as he was mom.”  I wanted to say “Yes  you are sweetie.”  I wanted him to feel good about himself.  Instead I said one of the hardest things I’d ever said.  I told him that he wasn’t even close to as good as that other little boy.  Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t tell him that he couldn’t be as good, only that he would have to practice a lot more to achieve that.  My son is now a college student and he still likes to goof off and avoid work, but he has learn that the harder he works for something the greater his reward will be.  Feeling good about yourself, proud of what you accomplish, and winning the prize, takes a lot of effort.  You can’t expect those things just for showing up, at least not in ”real life.”

Purple dinosaur and a middle age man in a sweater

May 7, 2009

What small child doesn’t like Mr. Rogers neighborhood and Barney the purple dinosaur?  What parent doesn’t feel all warm and fuzzy when their precious child watches Mr. Rogers and Barney?  Well, I say turn the TV channel to something more appropriate like “The Road Runner” or “Tom and Jerry.”  Why you ask, do I feel this way?  Well, the later are much more realistic and life like!

Barney that cuddly purple dinosaur sings his little didi at the beginning of each show.  Ask almost any little kid to sing the “Barney” song and they will start right up.  “I love you. You love me.  We’re a happy family.”  A small child takes this literally and honestly believes that what Barney says in the song is true.  They may even take it further and believe that it’s a rule of life that everyone loves them and will make them happy, no matter who they are and how they act.  I’m sorry, but the only people who love their child no matter what, are their parents (at least most of the time.)  In the real world, you earn your friends by your actions, and you have to work at keeping them.

Mr. Rogers, at the beginning of each of his shows, announces to kids that he “likes them just the way they are.”  What!!!  Again, maybe that’s true of parents, but it doesn’t apply to everyone else, especially a child’s peers.  Parents don’t really have the options of liking or not liking their own child.  Peers on the other hand are not so restricted.  Instead, with peers, you have to MAKE friends.  That requires actions and some effort.  It doesn’t just magically happen.

So, you might ask, what’s the big deal?  Shouldn’t  kids  feel good about themselves, happy, and loved?  Of course they should but it doesn’t always happen that way, and it gets worse as kids grow older.  Suddenly, they’re in their teens and everything changes.  What happens when the child Mr. Rogers has made to feel perfect just the way they are, finds themselves standing on the outside of the popular groups at school?  What happens to the young girl whose best friend in elementary school finds someone “better” to hang with in middle school.  Are Barney, and Mr. Rogers’ shows setting kids up for disappointment, pain, and anger, later in life?

Not a game

May 3, 2009

I am so glad that I started this blog.  You guys have had some amazing questions and hopefully I’ve given some good answers back.  That saying, that if you can help just one person it’s worthwhile, really is true.  Unfortunately, one of my students decided to PRETEND to be suicidal in several of their comments.  I don’t know if this was done as a joke or simply to see what I would say or do.   I have had two people I know commit suicide and one who has threatened it several times.  I take it very seriously and as the person who made the comments now knows, I will do anything to keep it from happening to someone else.

I have deleted the comments this person made from the site.  I don’t mind if you ask questions about just about anything, including suicide, but please don’t use this blog just to get attention.

Finally, if any reader ever does comtemplate suicide I DO want to hear from you.  Helping you would be worth staying up all night for.

Breaking up is hard!

May 2, 2009
  • Great question for posting

    Anonymous Says:

    hi mrs blizzard i was just wondering if you have any advice if someone breaks up with you what would you do because some people get over it but other people will be hurt for weeks i was just wondering if you could give any advice on what to do

    • It took me years to figure this one out! First off, kids your age are actually learning how to relate to the opposite sex. Having someone break up with you may not have anything to do with you, but may simply be the result of a change in attitude. I can remember going out with a guy because he was really cute and talented but not my type at all. I went out with him because I just enjoyed his company. Unfortunately, he thought that me going out with him was a indication that I wanted to be his “girlfriend.” When he started talking about what we would be doing the next weekend, I realized that we weren’t on the same page. I felt bad about it too. You see, it was one of my first experiences where I was the one who “broke up.” The thing is, my feelings had nothing to do with him personally; He was still very attractive and talented and a lot of fun to be around, he just wasn’t right for me. This helped me to realize that a person breaking up with me did not necessarily mean that their was something wrong with me. You’re going to meet so many people in your lifetime, and you’ll meet many great people that you could never see yourself dating but who mean a lot to you. Give yourself time to explore and look forward to the journey, not backwards.