The Weight of Parenthood

I came across and old photo of my son. It reminded me of some “heavy” criticism that I received while he was growing up. Parents are a particularly susceptible group when it comes to criticism , in general, but I had my reasons and here’s my story:

My son was a difficult child from the start.(Actually, three weeks before he was born, he kicked me hard enough to bruise me internally.) They call it ADD but I am aware that many folks use that diagnosis as a ball park term for naughty kids too. Anyway, he never seemed to foresee consequences and danger.

It started with a toddler who walked at 9 months old. That boy could literally get burned and go back for more. He’d walk off the end of a dock into a lake. He’d climb to the top of a playground slide and throw his hands up, drop his weight and holler, “Watch this Mommy!”

As he grew, his careless nature did not mature. I still think he may have other emotional disorders. But, in my day, that was considered bunk and he is now 30 years old and therefore was never diagnosed.

There was a time, that he became very “chunky”. Actually, he was quite overweight. This added to teasing at school and compounded every attempt to get his self-esteem lifted but he was alive.

Yes, it was THAT simple. His snacking and sedentary habits were, in my mind, a trade-off for his life.

We lived on a busy street next to a river and railroad tracks. To encourage my son to “go out and play” was too big a risk because I understood his inability to sense danger. Video games kept him happily occupied and he felt successful and proud of his gaming prowess. He had so little to feel proud of himself for. At school, he’d sought negative attention because he was unable to accomplish normal goals in a classroom. He became a chronic “bad boy” and hated school which hated him back. One foot note from a teacher described him as a good kid, at heart, but a trouble maker, just enough, to be disruptive.

Childhood obesity is a real problem in our country. I’m “on board” with kids becoming more active and taking in fewer calories. But I want folks to realize that letting kids go out and play isn’t like it used to be. Child predators and dangers are out there. Parents are busier trying to make ends meet and not available for supervision in many cases. Even healthy foods in large quantities can add weight when kids sit around. My son visited the refrigerator as an activity. We had yogurt. grapes, whole wheat bread and he ate them all. To this day, he will not eat a fatty piece of meat and chicken is his favorite meat.

Well, there I go explaining again. I heard many comments, secondhand sometimes, they all came down to,”Why did she allow him to get fat?”. (BTW-He is a trim and fit adult now.)

My answer…because I loved him, that’s why.

Next time you feel like criticizing an obviously attentive parent. Remember this post, and, please, keep it to yourself. They just may have their own reasons. 🙂

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Random Word Story 14~Just the Facts

Random words generated at creativitygames.net

These writing exercises have been great fun for me. At first, I was using 5 random words. In order to challenge myself , I have been adding extra words. Lets try 8 random words today.

breakfast…caffeine…foundation…crown…carriage…leader…leech…lawyer

Jury box in courtroom of Hamilton County court...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s my story:

Debbie was going to be the leader. She’d never led anything and being appointed as the jury foreperson was very intimidating.

At breakfast that morning, she’d considered that her day off would be a quick release from court and an afternoon of shopping.  She had always gotten out of jury duty early before. Why would she consider a different scenario? Ah, but the day was still young and she was now wearing a crown of responsibility she had never imagined.

After being seated in the courtroom, her knees began to jiggle and jump. Could this be a caffeine induced jitter from 3 cups of coffee or nerves?  Debbie HAD considered taking an Ativan but was afraid it would make her sleepy. Horrifying images of falling asleep in the jury box had helped her decide against it.

The case they were about to hear was high profile. A nanny was accused of the murder of one of her charges.

The defendant sat red-eyed and trembling at the table before her.

She didn’t look like a monster at all. Debbie’s instinct was to console her until she caught sight of the parents of the child, huddling tightly, with equally red eyes. It occurred to her then, that her day was not tough at all. Those poor folks were living a nightmare.

The defense lawyer began laying the foundation of his case with his opening statement. God, what a leech. Debbie could tell right away he didn’t really care…didn’t really feel anything. His matter-of-fact speech which amounted to the t-shirt slogan “Shit Happens”, really put her off.

How was she going to be the carriage of justice with so many feelings attempting to rule the day? Nausea was beginning to take over.

Suddenly, she felt outside of herself. An awful truth came to her. Justice, HA!  There was not going to be anything swift and final in this courtroom. Justice was only a word. She was only, one, fallible human being with feelings.

When Jack Webb used to say,”Just the facts, Mame.”  He didn’t know what he was talking about!

Story from Random Words #3 “Life Noticed… Life Inspired”

Sharing MY moment with you.http://www.creativitygames.net/

The Creativity Games site has a random word generator for folks who wish for prompts for stories, poems or discussion. It has offered me a lot of fun. I am about to create my third story using 5 words that I got there. My personal exercise rules consist of developing a story in one sitting and as quickly as I can. Today’s words are:

galvanise…button…title…leaf…value

Here is my story:

A blank stare and idle hands were not unfamiliar to me. It’s called “writer’s block”. As I waited for my creative juices to stir, my heart pounded. Creating a story is equivalent to giving birth in emotional satisfaction. When thoughts galvanise,  and a unique piece results, an extraordinary birth occurs. Even more than a normal birth, which takes two DNA donors, the new title comes only from myself.

Today my mind contemplates Mother Nature. She is a favorite subject and ever inspiring. I had a kid game that I used to play when I took long rides in the car on”old style” family vacations. There were no video players or hand-held electronic games in my childhood. The value of having nothing to entertain a child but their own imagination can not be measured or underestimated.

I called the game,”Never, Ever, going to see that again.” It consisted of one player, Me. Not a button, controller or battery needed.

I’d focus my attention on something outside my window. It was usually so small and insignificant that I knew only I would ever witness it. How often do we direct our attention to the ordinary, plentiful items that make up our world?

You’d think a bird would be a good subject. No way. That bird was bound to be witnessed by someone, somewhere, at a feeder or casting a shadow from above. My subject, most often, was one single leaf. A marvel of nature that was mine to behold and witness alone. The power in that “view of the world” has made me appreciate small things to a degree that I’ll always treasure.

This story was not only fun but true.