Tag Archives: Huffington Post

A Real Mom

I haven’t written anything here for so long, but something irked me recently and I have something to say, and when a mom has something to say, she says it! So roll your eyes if you must, here it is.

I was perusing my Facebook news feed the other day, checking up on friends, reading various articles, when I stumbled upon this post posted by a well respected, well known online news publication.

A photo of three dogs with the caption: We’re adopted? OMG!!! You mean you’re not our real mom?

And underneath the post: Precisely why I’m not letting my pups know. What they don’t know, can’t hurt ’em.

Immediately I stopped. Now obviously it’s about dogs, great, I get it, and I know, it’s suppose to be funny, I should lighten up, but… those words, “You mean you’re not our real mom?” stuck with me all day: at the supermarket, the post office, the coffee shop; everywhere I went I saw infants strapped to their moms, young children skipping along next to their moms, teenagers slumped down in the front seats of cars next to their moms, adopted or not? I don’t know. I am sure some of them were and some of them weren’t but all of those moms sure looked real to me. I tried to talk myself out of my silly thoughts, perhaps I was overreacting, so I went home and reread the post, which by now had thousands of likes, hoping to see it through different eyes, and then I scrolled down and read the comments, here are a few:

“I never say, “adopted” in front of my fur babies because I know they understand English”

“I never say the “A” word.”

“Mine would never believe you if you told them I wasn’t their real mom.”

But you said that we’re your BABIES!!”

dogs

And then came another photo of a dog, that said, “I’m adopted??? OMG! You mean you’re not my real mom?”

Maybe I shouldn’t have read those comments by all those ignorant people, but I did and my blood began to boil. “I never say adopted”, “The A word.” “You mean you’re not my real mom?” Wow, I thought, how would my daughter or someone else’s child feel reading this? I had always promised myself I wouldn’t become one of those crazy, over the top, annoying, politically correct parents.  I believe that the world should strive to laugh more at itself; I don’t want to be one of those people that everyone has to be extra cautious around, and maybe four children back I would have been the one saying, “Oh calm down! It’s just a joke!” But life changes you, love changes you and I am not the person I use to be.

What does it mean to be “real?” Real means to be actual, genuine, valid, true, physical and tangible; something not imagined. I am my daughter’s real mom. I worry when she is sick, I laugh when she is silly, I hold my breath when I see her struggle, I get annoyed when she acts up, I cry when she is hurting and sometimes, as I watch her sleep, her hair a dark tangled mess, her eyelashes fluttering against her cheek, I have to take a deep breath, humbled by how fortunate I am to have this child in my life. These things are not imagined. These feelings occur with all of my children. I love each of them to my core, to the center of my soul, to the middle of my bones, whether they grew beneath them or not. I am a real mom to all of them and I am tired of people insinuating otherwise when it comes to adoption. Adoption is not the “A” word something to be hidden or ashamed of, adoption is something to be celebrated and we will celebrate because we are a REAL family. Real: actual, genuine, valid, true, physical and tangible; something not imagined.

And by the way, the dog joke…it’s not funny.

An Apple for the Teacher….

I haven’t written on my blog in a while. I have been busy with my writing class (which I LOVE) and life, but today something happened and I felt I needed to vent, so lucky you.  You get to read my vent!

Red Delicious

Image via Wikipedia

The schools where I live have this reading program called the RUSH (Reading Uniting School and Home) Calendar.  It is the expectation of the schools that children here read every day, and record that reading on their RUSH calendar. Sound good, right? I mean we all want our kids to read more, especially you would think someone like me who loves to write and hopes there are people out there who are reading her stuff, well…you may be surprised…(here comes the venting part).

What if someone told you had to eat an apple every  day.  EVERY DAY. Now assuming you like apples and you know they are good for you, you think, “Okay, I can do that.” So you start, maybe you eat a few days worth of Red Delicious, then Macintosh for a while, and then switch to Golden Delicious, then Granny Smiths, back to a Macintosh. Sometimes you even venture out and eat applesauce.  Crazy you! Oh, and every time you eat an apple you need to write it down. So you eat and write and eat and write…

How long do you think you would last eating an apple a day before you started resisting the apple? Rushing by the bin at the grocery store, not wanting to see an apple ever again.  Your stomach turning at the sight of a juicy red delicious? Hoping you could skip a few days here or there? Forgetting to write it down… This is how I imagine this RUSH calendar debacle we have set up in our schools.  Like a poisonous apple.

Here is the thing, most kids like to read and we like our kids to read. We know it is good for them, they know it is good for them… but to expect them to read EVERY day is ridiculous! Think about it, do you read every day? Not just recipes or Facebook or The Huffington Post, but real literature.  A book. Do you sit down EVERY night and read?  I wish I had that luxury. I love to read.  When I was a kid that is pretty much all I did, but I wasn’t forced and I wasn’t answering to anybody about it.  I did it because I enjoyed it, but even for me there were days I just didn’t read.  There still are; maybe I don’t have a book I am into, or I am tired, or I am busy, or just want to veg mindlessly for a few minutes.

So do your kids read every day? Be honest…every day or are you, like me, rushing around at the end of every month scribbling in pages for the @@!**! RUSH calendar? One time I had the nerve to write on the calendar, “(My child) did not read over the weekend, too busy!” (Smiley face).  I got back a note saying, “?? He must read everyday.

Huh? Excuse me? What happened to family time? Sledding, skiing, going to the Museum of Science, playing outside with friends or cousins, seeing a movie and staying up late laughing together before falling asleep: happy, fulfilled but shamefully unread.

I can’t stand the RUSH calendar. I hate everything about it. It makes liars out of parents and children.  It puts an expectation of reading that is unfair and unnecessary on already stressed out families. Typical day at my house, and many others may go like this: home from school at 3ish, half an hour or so to snack/decompress, homework 2-3 pages of math, spelling sentences, studying for a test or working on a project, dinner, soccer/swim lessons/CCD/tutoring/, maybe an instrument to practice, shower.  Where is the playing? The fun?

I have my kids read at bedtime and usually once they start it is hard to get them to stop. “Five more minutes guys….five more minutes guys…five more…”  But once in a while they are tired.  They don’t (gasp) feel like reading, or they have started a game of checkers or are sitting on each other’s beds talking and sharing their own stories. (Or…wait for it…the vilified television is on with the new American Idol).  Isn’t all this other stuff just as valuable to their development? I think so.

Hands up, how may of you out there have lied on your RUSH calendar?  Made it up?  Fudged the pages?  My hand is up, actually both hands and feet. Next time the RUSH calendar is due I may just send in an apple….