Like a Girl

I’m really, really tired of the fact that being called a girl or a woman is the worst insult you can throw at a boy or a man. There is nothing shameful about being a girl and a woman, so why is it so insulting to be called one?

I was thinking about this recently when I was watching “The Sandlot” with my kids. I triple love that movie and part of it was filmed in my hometown. I’ve loved that movie for 20 years, but there is one part that has always bothered me. When Ham is trading insults back and forth with the rival baseball team his penultimate insult is to tell the other player that, “you play ball like a girl!” Everyone is shocked! How dare he go there? THAT WAS THE WORST DIS IN THE HISTORY OF TIME!!!

What does that even mean? This movie is set in the 1950s during a time where America had a professional girl’s baseball team. Shouldn’t playing ball like a girl be a compliment since back then there were professional female ball players and they were just kids in a sandlot?

There is a company in Salt Lake called Pick n’ Pull and they have rather annoying radio commercials. In one of their commercials the two guys in the ad are arguing over telling each other’s secrets. One of them shouts out at the end the other guy used to ride a girl’s bicycle that was pink. So what? What about him riding a “girl’s” bicycle as a child should be embarrassing or shaming? He got to ride a bike as a child. Congratulations, you’re richer than 90% of the world’s population.

Speaking of bikes, my son rode his sister’s bike to school the 2nd day of school because his scooter is broken and he didn’t want to walk. He was mercilessly teased on the way home. He came home bawling his face off because people were so mean to him about riding a “girl’s” bike. My daughter’s bike is black and just has a tiny butterfly sticker on it. Why the hell does it matter so much what bike he rode to school? Why is supposed to be so humiliating for a boy to ride or have anything remotely feminine? The sickening thing was that the child who teased him the most was a girl. It makes me sad that at a young age she is internalized the message that being a girl is wrong and shameful and she should attempt to humiliate any boy who does anything remotely feminine. It makes me so angry.

I’m still trying to figure out what “like a girl” even means! One time this kid told me I ran like a girl. My response? “Good because I AM a girl, dumbass.” Why was this kid trying to insult me by saying that something I was doing was feminine? What is so wrong with being feminine? What is wrong with being a girl? What is wrong with being a woman?

NOTHING!!!!

So, dear culture at large: stop trying to insult boys and men by saying they are girls. It’s not an insult to be a girl. Stop calling them names like the p-word that rhymes with wussy and all the other “delightful” euphemisms for female reproductive parts.  There is NOTHING wrong with being a girl. There is nothing wrong with being feminine. There is nothing weak about being a girl. There is nothing shameful about being a girl. There is nothing wrong with having a vagina and the ability to bring forth life. That, my dear, is the very essence of strength. (Pop 4 kids out of your reproductive parts and we’ll talk about whether you can use the p-word as another word for being weak, bucko).

So boys and men, next time you’re insulted by being called a girl or a woman, think about why. Think about it. Sit with it for a minute.  Is it because our culture has sold you the lie that it is shameful to be feminine? That it is shameful to be a woman? The culture is wrong. The culture is misogynistic and hates women, otherwise being called one wouldn’t be such an insult to you. Just like being a more masculine woman is not insulting. One gender is not better than the other (I’m totally aware of intersexed and transsexual people, but I’m talking generally here and I could write a whole other post about why transwomen are more likely to be killed and/or hurt because of transitioning to a female).

Next time someone tries to insult you by saying you’re “like a girl” in some respect, turn around and say “thank you!’ Because there it nothing wrong with being a girl. Nothing. And I refuse to let my children grow up in a world where being half the population is considered an insult.

 

 

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Happy Halloween! (Even though it’s my least favorite holiday)

Okay, so truth?  I really don’t like Halloween.  I never particularly enjoyed it as a child even though I felt like I should.  My costume was never good enough for all the other kids at school because my parents didn’t have the money to go all out for one measly day.  Also, I was a rather sickly kid.  My asthmatic bronchitis was much, much worse back then and I didn’t exactly relish schlepping it out in the freezing cold through snow to beg my neighbors for candy.  And because my mom was so paranoid about me getting pneumonia (a very real concern considering I was hospitalized for it in 3rd grade) I always had to wear a coat, which defeated the purpose of showing off my costume.  There was an older single lady in my neighborhood who went bowling every year on Halloween, but before she did she would give out full-sized candy bars and invite the kids to come sit by her fire and warm up.  I always tried to make it out for trick-or-treating early enough to hit her house.  Some years I was successful, some years I wasn’t.  The years I made it to her house in time were my favorite because for 5 minutes I got a reprieve from the harsh Utah cold.

I enjoy Halloween much more now that I’m an adult because I insist on being the candy distributor instead of walking the kids around the neighborhood.  That way I can stay in my warm house, the only downside being getting up every 5 seconds to answer the door.  And I refuse to go through the work of dressing up in a costume.  I admit I’m a full-on party pooper.

There are things I do enjoy about Halloween.  Baby costumes break my heart.  I think babies and toddlers in Halloween costumes are just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.  I really like how my mother-in-law makes pumpkin chocolate chip cookies every year and don’t mind gorging a few dozen while we show the kids’ costumes off to the grandparents.  I like going with my in-laws and the kids every year to the family pumpkin patch and picking out our pumpkins.  I don’ t even really mind carving pumpkins that much (because, let’s face it, the hubs does most of the hard work).

However, I hate all the gross/scary stuff surrounding Halloween.  I’m not that into death and I really don’t relish seeing a decoration that is a rat with a meat cleaver stuck in it (like I saw at one restaurant recently).  I really don’t want to see Zombies with rotting flesh, or dead whatevers, and just icky yucky stuff.  Give me the happy part of Halloween (benign ghosts of the Casper variety, unassumingly nice witches, jack-0-lanterns, dancing skeletons) and I’m okay.  Bring out the gore and it’s puke city.

And for me, Halloween is kind of a sad time for me.  Oh sure, I try not to make it sad for my kids.  I try to get as excited about their costumes as they are.  I pick and carve pumpkins with them with a huge smile on my face.  I impose a 50% candy tax on all three of them (just kidding).   The truth is Halloween five years ago was the last time I saw my Mom lucid and happy before she succumbed to pancreatic cancer 6 days later.  It was the very last time my oldest two children ever saw her alive.  She was in the hospital and we brought the kids up there in their costumes so she could see them and they could see her.  She was so happy to see them and gushed over their costumes. If I had known that would be the last time my daughter and oldest son would ever see their grandma again in this life, we would have stayed all night.  However, we stayed for just a short time in order not to tire her out.  They might not remember that was the last time they saw their grandma, but I do, and that makes me sad.  Halloween 2o07 was a Wednesday, just like it is this  year.

So, I’m happy for all my friends who say Halloween is their favorite holiday.  It is a fun one, for sure, just not one that I could ever make myself like.  And goodness knows, I’ve tried.  Halloween 2007 kind of put the nail in the proverbial coffin for me as far as my enjoyment for Halloween goes.  But it will be fun to see my sweet kiddos in their costumes.  My daughter wants to be on of those Monster High girls, whatever they are.  My oldest son is going as a ninja.  He’s covered head to toe, so he’s sure to be nice and warm.  And my youngest boy has been begging to be Iron Man since he saw The Avengers this summer.  I know their enthusiasm tonight will be contagious and I will let myself enjoy it, and I will only have a twinge of the bittersweet in my heart.

Being the Bad Guy: Why Parenting is Hard

A  couple of years ago the hubs and I took a popular parenting class: Parenting with Love and Logic.  We learned a lot of great things.  Mostly consistency and letting your children experience natural consequences.  We had reached a point in parenting where we felt that our children would only listen if we started yelling at them.  This was frustrating for many reasons.  We don’t like to have to yell to get our kids’ attention and we don’t want to parent in anger. Our daughter has ADHD and our parenting strategies for her have to be vastly different than our boys.  After 11 years, school interventions, and her medication, I’m finally feeling like that the way we are parenting her is what’s helping her the most to be a fully functioning adult some day.

That said, I really hate being the bad guy.  I really hate listening to my children cry, whine, or complain.  It would be so much easier to give in to them so that I never have to hear the bickering and arguing.  But what favors am I doing for them if I parent them like that?  That’s certainly not how the real world works.  They don’t get to whine and complain their way out of school assignments or bad grades.  Once they’re adults, they won’t get to whine and complain their way out of work assignments they don’t like, having to show up to work on time, pay their bills, or obey laws that will land them in jail if they don’t.  So although I believe that home should be a safe haven and a child’s soft place to fall, it shouldn’t be a place devoid of any consequences for behaviors.  I will always love my children more than the world will love them, praise them more than the world will, and accept them for who they are more than the world will, but it is our duty as their parents for the hubs and I to provide them with consequences, the world will one day provide, when the stakes aren’t so high.

Last weekend the hubs came home from a business trip sick as a dog.  He rarely gets sick and when he does it’s always really awful.  Saturday morning my youngest woke me up saying he had a pokey in his foot.  When I looked he had this huge sliver in his heel and there was no way I felt qualified to perform surgery on him.  So I took him up to the Urgent Care clinic as soon as it opened (8:00 am) while I left the older kids with their sick dad.  The doctor found other slivers in the back of my little guy’s calf and had to give him three shots of xylocaine to numb the area so he could extract the slivers.  Which means I had to hold him down while he was screaming his head off from the burning stinging sensation of the shot.  After it was all over, they had to give him a Tetanus booster.  It was not a fun morning.  I would rather get those shots and be in pain than watch one of my children endure that kind of pain.  Then I had to carry my 40 pound child out to the car because he couldn’t walk on his little foot.


None of us had had breakfast yet and I had bought some Texas toast at the bread store for the express purpose of some French Toasty goodness on Saturday morning.  When I got home the older kids were no where in sight.  The hubs was asleep on the couch and I woke him up to ask where the kids were.  He said that they had asked if they could go around our neighborhood to all the yard sales going on (we had a neighborhood yard sale this particular weekend) and he said that they needed to wait until I got home.  They were impatient and snuck out after their dad passed out on the couch.  Our daughter was already grounded for her and the neighbor boy shooting BB guns at each other the night before and she knew she was in trouble.  Maybe they thought they could sneak back in the house before their dad woke up and before their mom got home.

I didn’t yell, even though I wanted to.  I was upset that for a few minutes we had no idea where on earth they were and if they were okay.  Also, I was upset they disobeyed a direct order from their dad to wait.  So we told them they were grounded and they were going to be stuck inside all day on a beautiful Saturday (and probably close to one of the last warm Saturdays for the year) and do chores.  They have daily chores they have to do after school (plus homework) before they’re allowed to do any thing fun and we usually give them one more in-depth chore for Saturdays, but usually we let play for most of the day on Saturdays.  I had a few loads of laundry I hadn’t yet folded.  I usually fold everyone’s laundry and then they are in charge of putting it away.  Instead I made them sort the laundry into who it belonged to and they had to fold their own laundry and put it away (this worked so well I might do this from now on!).  After they were done we made them spend several hours in the basement cleaning.  We are going to start finishing our basement soon and it needed to be straightened up so we can measure out for where we want walls and such. (Even though our basement is unfinished, the hubs still uses it as a home office, the kids have a majority of their toys down there, and we have a TV with a gaming system).  After that was done, we had them pick up our front room and vacuum.  I was surprised that for the most part they didn’t complain.  They knew they were willfully disobedient and did their chores.  Of course there was fighting among the two of them because they always measure how much they’re doing against the other one.  And there was a meltdown when they figured out when we said they had to stay inside all day, we meant it.

This isn’t how I wanted to spend my Saturday.  I didn’t like starting it having to take my child to the doctor and see him in pain.  After spending all week alone with the kids I wanted a break and instead spent the day ordering children around and taking care of my sick husband (which I’m happy to do because he takes care of me every time I get sick and I’m sick a lot more often).  I was hoping to spend my Saturday folding the laundry, going grocery shopping, and once that was done, kicking back with a good book.  Instead I was Mom-Dictator ordering children about, monitoring their progress, and basically feeling like a Prison Guard.  When the children are grounded, I’m pretty much grounded too.

In other words, I hate being the bad guy and forcing my children to feel the consequences of their actions.  It would have been so much easier to yell at them for disobeying and then letting them go about their day playing with friends and buying things for cheap at the yard sales.  But what would they have learned from that?  They would know they could take advantage of us again in the future.  They would learn that you can take advantage of their future teachers, bosses, and other authority figures.  I hope that by reinforcing the rules even though I was exhausted and at my wit’s end teaches them that we love them enough to not let them get away with bad behavior.  I hope it teaches them you can’t run off and not tell anyone where you’re going (I didn’t even do this when I had roommates…it’s safer to always let someone know where you’ll be).  I hope it teaches them that first basis law of physics…for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Saturday wasn’t all about crime and punishment.  After a nice dinner together as a family, we watched movies and ate ice cream.  We even let our oldest son spend the night at his cousin’s because they had already planned it and he worked extra hard to earn that privilege.  It would have sure been nice to spend the day as the nice guy instead of the bad guy, but the long-term effects of good parenting will outweigh a day of inconvenience.  At least I hope so!

Contemplating Educational Changes

My brilliant, beautiful, talented 11 year old daughter has AHDH.  She was tested for it in 1st grade when her teacher told us she was missing 80% of what went on in class.  I didn’t know if it was really ADHD or a reaction to the upheaval in her home life.  I was pregnant with our youngest at the time and had just started a new job, which is a big change in and of itself.  But right before 1st grade started, my mom, her grandma, was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  I can barely remember how I handled my emotional state or how it impacted my little 6 year old.  Then her grandma died that November and we all started grieving hardcore.  Getting the news at her first parent-teacher conference, right after my mom died, that my daughter might possibly have ADHD was more than I could handle.  We put off testing until her next parent-teacher conference when her teacher basically insisted she be tested.  The testing included her teacher and us filling out a bunch of forms on what we noticed of her behavior.  Both ours and the teachers came back with her being two standard deviations outside the bell-curve of normal 6 year old behavior.  We took this information to her pediatrician who counseled us about possible medications and we found her a child counselor who specialized in ADHD and learning disorders.

Despite all of our interventions, which included getting her on a different medication that actually worked and she felt better and more focused on, we watched our very smart daughter fall behind in reading in math.  No matter how much reading or flash cards or homework we did with her, she continued to fall behind.  Even with a great 2nd grade teacher who understood her educational needs in a way no one had up to that point, she fell behind.  Then we moved her half-way her through her third grade year to a new school and a homeroom teacher that couldn’t be bothered to help her, and she continued to fall further behind.  I felt very helpless feeling like no matter what I did, she kept falling behind.  Then in 4th grade she had a great teacher who worked really hard with the Special Education teacher to get her tested for receiving some additional help in reading in math.  We had to do even more testing, her teachers had to submit to more questionnaires about her learning patterns, and we had to get notes from her doctor.  All this came too late because when everything finally came back 4th grade was over.  Luckily her 5th grade teacher was amazing and with all that testing and the commitment to her education the special ed teacher has to her, we finally got her the extra help she needs for reading and math.  Within two months of being in the special ed program for just reading and math, her test scores tripled.  Her SE teacher said that she was the hardest working, highest achieving, and sweetest kid in her class.  She’s not learning disordered because she can learn and has proven that she retains new information. It’s getting her to settle down and focus enough to learn those things.  And her strengths have always been in the Arts, so presenting topics in an artistic way are what really get her attention.  I’ve very proud of how hard she works and how hard she tries.  She never gets discouraged and just keeps trying.  And I’m incredibly proud that she’s brave enough to separate from her class at a time when any difference among your peers gets you made fun of.

At the beginning of the school year she entered 6th grade.  Besides feeling exceptionally old to have a 6th grader, I have been concerned about her educational future from here on out.  Next year she goes to Junior High and the things I’ve heard about the local Junior High she is supposed to go to scares the crapadoodles out of me.  Then my youngest’s pre-school teacher told me about how she is sending all of her kids to a charter school this year when her oldest entered Junior High.  It’s an Arts academy and the more I hear about it the more I think it’s the right place for my daughter next year.  Their curriculum is awesome.  The student to teacher ratio is smaller so she will get the more individualized attention she needs.  And with their focus on the Arts, the curriculum plays to her strengths.  Of course she is not on board with this idea because, “I’ll have to leave all my friends!”  While she is concerned about her social life, I’m concerned about her life-life.  I pointed out to her that after 7th grade my best friend ended up going to a private school an hour away, and we still maintained our friendship and are best friends to this day.  I told her we would enter her name in the lottery to see if she even gets in.  If she does, she’s agreed to go there with the option that if she really, truly, absolutely  and in all other ways, hates it, she can go to the local Junior High.

Besides her educational future, I’m contemplating my own.  It was always my intention of going to graduate school and getting my Masters in Social Work.  I would like to be an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and work in lots of different fields.  But after graduating with my BSW 5 years ago and having a baby, it has been nice to just settle into a job I really love while being a Mom without having to work full-time or concentrate on school so much.  It’s been a nice break.  Lately I’ve been feeling that nudge in the back of my brain, the same one the lead me to finishing my Bachelors degree, that says I need to be back in school.

Of course my dream is to go to NYU and do their Master’s program.  I would love to live in New York for a year.  I would love to live in New York for any amount of time.  But NYU is hella expensive.  And if I’m scared about sending my daughter to Junior High in Utah, what kind of nervous breakdown would I have sending her to a public school in New York City?  Luckily for me there is a local University that has a part-time Masters of Social Work program.  It’s in a city an hour away, but they have local classes for their part-time program.  It would take three years, but it’s only one class at night per week and I could use my current work for my practicum.  Win-win, right?  Their next round of classes start in 2014 and that’s perfect for my family and future events.

Education is important and I don’t want my kids to ever think, especially my daughter, that you stop working, learning, and improving  yourself just because you’re a parent now and have loads of responsibilities. Had I gone the traditional route and earned my degree in 4 years before getting married and having babies, I wouldn’t appreciate so much the degree I have now.  I sacrificed a lot (and so did the hubs, my mother-in-law and father who watched my kids so I could go to class) to earn my degree and it’s not something anyone could ever take from me.  I want my daughter to have a bright future despite a quirk that makes life harder in a school setting, and I hope I can be an example to her of never giving up even when there are obstacles in your way.

30 Day Challenge: Day 2 – Where’d you like to be in 10 years

In 10 years it’ll be 2022 and I will be 43 years old.  Where do I want to be?

Still with this hunk of a man.

My daughter will be 20, my oldest son will be 18, and my youngest son will be 13.  My hope is that my daughter will be graduating from college, my son will be graduating from high school that year, and my other soon will be in junior high.  That is kind of scary to think about.

I hope to have my Masters of Social Work degree by then.  I’d like to be a Licensed Clinical Social worker so I can do more individual, group, and family counseling.  After working with some incredible hospital social workers, I’m interested in working in that field as well.  The wonderful thing about choosing a career in social work is that there are so many different areas and ways to help people.

I’d like us all to be happy and healthy and living vibrant lives to our full potential.  And if that’s not possible, I hope we are able to meet whatever challenges come our way with strength and a commitment to each other.

It’s kind of hard to write about the future because we don’t know what technological and social advances we will be facing.  If I had written this in 2002, I would have never guessed my phone could take pictures, send emails, and Facebook.  Actually, Facebook, is something I could have never imagined. And hello, tablets and e-readers?  Amazing.

I hope we’ve made some advances in our society in civil rights, health care, and such.  I hope that we have sought ways to eat better, live better, and to stop polluting our environment and stripping the land of all it’s resources.  I hope we use whatever technological advances that will come our way in 10 years to improve the lives of people in the world.  I hope that all the horrible ills that befall women the world over, as discussed in Half the Sky, will cease to exist.  I’m a big dreamer.

My Mom used to say, “If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.”  That is similar to one of the lines from one of my favorite John Lennon songs, Beautiful Boy:  Life is what’s happening to you while you’re busy making other plans.  So, although I have hopes and dreams for the future, at this point, it’s hard to plan my future.  I don’t want to get in the way of what God and Life have in store for me.  Do I have goals?  Yes, but I’ve always relied on my own instincts and divine promptings, and it’s worked out very well so far.

How I was almost brought down by Salt Dough

The day I brought the hubs home from the hospital was a difficult day.  It was made easier by sweet friends and neighbors bringing me food and a wonderful MiL who was willing to watch the pre-schooler until I could get the hubs home and settled.

The hubs was in a lot of pain and didn’t have a lot of mobility.  He’s 9 inches taller than me and outweighs me by at least 80 lbs.  And yet I had to help him out of bed, onto his crutches, and into the bathroom.  Thankfully he was on powerful pain meds and he slept through most of those first couple of days home.

My stress and anxiety level was high.  I felt like I was juggling a million balls, and if someone even knocked me slightly or threw a wrench into the juggling mix, I would drop all those balls.  I had things running smoothly.  Both lunch and dinner had been brought.  The kids were home from school and playing nicely and quietly.  There were 10 loads of laundry waiting to be folded, but I ignored them hoping they would go away until I could mentally deal with them.  I was calm, cool, and collected, but teetering on the edge of a meltdown.  That’s what happens when the most important person in your life almost dies the day before.

Then my daughter threw a wrench.

“Mom, I have to make salt dough for school tomorrow,” she said.

I said, “Okay, where’s the note from your teacher?  Where’s the instructions on how to make it?  I don’t just know intuitively how to make salt dough.”

“She didn’t give me a note or instructions.  She told me today that if I didn’t bring it by tomorrow she would give me a 0 on this project,” she said and then she broke down into tears.

The anxiety was high in the house and I had already had one meltdown that morning on the kids when they wouldn’t stop fighting.  I hate the constant fighting.

And just a little background on this teacher (she’s not my daughter’s very capable and wonderful homeroom teacher…in her grade they do rotations with all the teachers).  She has threatened my daughter before.  Because of her ADHD, she does not do well with threats.  She’s needs structure and discipline, but most importantly she needs compassion.  She freaks out easily.

At this point I was really pissed that this teacher would require something without even giving me or my daughter any instruction on how to do it.  I was pissed she had threatened her again.  I was pissed that this was being asked of me on a day that I just couldn’t handle it.  I was pissed that this teacher made my daughter cry.  Again.

So, I took my frustrations to the Facebooks.  And I let loose.  I was so pissed at this teacher I wrote her an angry missive.  Thankfully I have really great friends and they immediately offered sympathy and salt dough recipes.  Some even offered to make extra for what they were making with their kids and send some to school for my daughter

And then I had an idea.  Why do I have to do everything?  My daughter is a tween-ager and very capable of measuring out some salt, water, and flour and stirring them together.  So I made her do it herself.  And she had fun.  I taught her how to turn on the oven.  I was a little surprised because my dad taught me how to cook at an early age and by the time I was her age I had a whole repertoire of homemade breakfasts I would make (i.e. pancakes, waffles, crepes, french toast…all from scratch).  By the time I was her age, I knew how to work an oven (although our oven is digital and mine was not growing up).

So yes, I was almost brought to my knees by salt dough.  After it was said and done, and I had calmed down, I ripped up the mean note to the teacher and took my Facebook rant down.

My daughter and I learned valuable lessons that night.  One, she learned how to use measuring cups, follow a recipe, and use an oven.  I learned that problems, no matter how tiny, in the right context will break you, and you can’t let them.

Happy Birthday, Beautiful Boy!

Eight years ago today I gave birth to this beautiful boy.  He came into the world right at midnight screaming his lungs out.  And that was after hours of me screaming out mine.  He was 4 weeks early, but healthy as could be, just a little small.  His birth was traumatic for me because I was forced into a natural childbirth by an incompetent nurse who couldn’t tell the difference between an abrupted placenta that required an emergency C-section, and a bladder infection.  Luckily I listened to my own instincts and went back to the hospital, instead of listening to said incompetent nurse and staying home and bleeding to death.

However eventful his birth was, after all was said and done, it was very joyous.  It was the last birth of any grandchild my mother was able to attend on Earth.  Six weeks later my little buddy came down with a nasty case of RSV and was hospitalized for a week.  I nursed him so I was in the hospital every hour with him.  The hospital had to feed me since I was feeding the baby.  Once he was released he was still on oxygen for a while and was not allowed to leave the house until Spring.  That made for a long winter for us both.  Luckily, my sister had her second child 16 1/2 hours before I had my little buddy and she was on maternity leave too and would come over with her two children and we both got some much needed adult contact.

I thought this beautiful boy would be saddled with asthma for the rest of his life, just like his mommy, and I grieved for him for having to endure the things I’ve had to endure in my life.  Luckily, by the time he went to his kindergarten check-up, there was not a single trace of asthma (I credit this to frequent chiropractic visits, but I have no actual scientific proof).

Now, my beautiful boy is a tall, gangly, 8 year old.  At every birthday I marvel at how quickly life is going.  I am so fortunate to be this boy’s mother.  He makes me laugh on a daily basis with his wit.  He makes me marvel at his intelligence.  He makes my heart happy with how kind and thoughtful he is.  He is a gift to the world.

This is a lullaby, or “baby song” as my youngest likes to call them, that I have sung to all of my children.  I sing it to my kids often.  They know every word.  Today I dedicate it to my beautiful boy.