Thursday, May 26, 2016

Ohana

The past few weeks has really had me thinking a lot about the concept of family. Those who know me, know my childhood was less than stellar. But it had its good times. It had great times. I have had people enter my life, not just in my childhood but rather throughout my life, who have truly made an impact. And these are the people whom I can never truly leave or let go of.

When I was a young girl, I spent my summers in Wisconsin on my step-mom's grandma's farm. Those were days where I felt so at peace, even with all the abuse and crap in my life. And there was one friend I met in those days who I grew very attached to. She and I did everything together. She taught me how to make friendship bracelets. We showered in the milk house together. We wandered the pastures for hours on end. We talked, shared, laughed. Tonight... I realized that even though we aren't close anymore... even though we are friends on facebook and that's about it... if this beautiful soul ever called in the middle of the night needing a friend, I wouldn't hesitate. And if it was so bad that she needed someone there for her in person, I'd be on the next flight out. She is my sister.

A few weeks ago, I was sending out graduation announcements for my daughter and it hit me that I needed to invite my dad. I was hesitant because of the distance and pain that has been between us... so my invite was more a second-hand approach. I told my sister that she could invite him if she wanted. It was my way of protecting myself. But the truth of the matter was... I wanted my daddy there. And he showed up. And regardless of the pain and time between us, I went into his arms as if I were a 6 year old kid once again.

These are only two examples... but I could easily list off a few others. My entire "trailer" family.... the wonderful people who took me in when I was homeless. My real sisters and brother. The brother/best friend/soul mate I just met a few short years ago. The pastor friend who brought me back into the church. My father-in-law who, unfortunately, left us a couple years ago... and his wife... who opened their hearts and home to me. The family who allowed me to be a godmother to their childen. And I'm sure I'm missing a few....

These people who made an impact on my life are still in my heart. They're still in my prayers. They still help me as I try to navigate through this crappy thing called life. And I would lay down my own life for any one of them.

That's what family is about. It isn't about blood, it's about heart. We were going to put that on Caity's graduation picture board - "family isn't blood, it's heart." But Caity opted for a different quote... "Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind, or forgotten."

That's always been her quote... and I realized that it spoke so much more than just who family is. It's how we treat family. My family is a crazy mix of blood and heart.... always heart.... so the simple quote I was going to use just wasn't enough. Caity's "Lilo & Stitch" quote on the other hand... that says so much more. "Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten."

You're not forgotten. I may suck at keeping in contact.... but if you're "family".... I do truly love you. And I will definitely be there when you need a best friend...


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Superhero

They claim a superhero
is tall, dark and handsome
can leap tall buildings
in a single bound

But that ain't what I need
That's not what I'm looking for
I need a superhero
Who can go beyond the score

yeah, I don't disagree
When things got bad you were there for me
And yea I know it's true
When I was crying you pulled me to you

But what about the rest of the time?
What about those dreams of mine?
What about the dreams you've wanted too
Did it ever occur... ever occur to you

I ain't looking for a super hero
I don't just want someone who'll swoop in and save the day
I ain't looking for a super hero
I need someone who wants me... wants me in every way

Yeah, I know you're there
Anytime I'm hurting I know you care
And yea I know it's true
If i need to cry I can cry on you

But what about a normal day
When I stop by cuz you're on my way
What about the hugs we need
Those based on love not lust or greed

Am I wrong in feeling that way
Am i wrong in thinking you feel the same
I thought you wanted to be that for me, but no
You're just looking..looking to be the hero

Well I ain't looking for a super hero
I don't just want someone who'll swoop in and save the day
I ain't looking for a super hero
I need someone who wants me... wants me in every way

I know, you just don't get it
There's no way you can really understand
The pain that seeps through this mess
Whenever I reach out to you for some happiness

I really cannot blame you
For being true to you
But sometimes it brings out the bruises
the chooses, uses, abuses

I wasn't looking for a superhero
I wanted someone who truly cared
I wasn't looking for a superhero
I just wanted someone.... someone who wanted who wanted to share
I wasn't looking for a super hero
I wanted someone who'd truly realize
All the pain I face, just to see the love in your eyes

Yeah, I ain't looking for a super hero
I don't just want someone who'll swoop in and save the day
I ain't looking for a super hero
I need someone who wants me... wants me in every way

I ain't looking for a super hero
got enough faking to take that role
I ain't looking for a super hero
Just want someone to protect my soul

I ain't looking for a super hero
I don't just want someone who'll swoop in and save the day
I ain't looking for a super hero
I need someone who wants me...

I ain't looking for a super hero
I don't just want someone who'll swoop in and save the day
I ain't looking for a super hero
I need someone who wants me...

I need a super hero who wants me... wants me in every way

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Matching Mine


I could feel your heart beat from across the room
Echoing through my soul, matching the beat of mine
I want to run to you, pull you into my arms
Feel that beat race against my breast
But I find myself rooted in place, trying to quiet
The pounding in my own chest
The flutter in my stomach
The throbbing of my need

Your eyes are so intense, drilling into me
Seeing into my soul, matching the need in mine
I want to move closer, gaze up into those eyes
Get lost in the desire shining within them
But I find myself standing still, trying to hide
The longing in my own eyes
The yearning in my soul
The wanting of my need

Your tongue wets your lips while you glance at mine
Causing a thirst in my soul, matching this lust of mine
I want to feel you against me, feel our lips meet
Wet your lips with my own
But I find myself unable to move, trying to still
The thirst of my own lips
The craving deep within
The hunger of my need

Saturday, March 5, 2016

crappy poems

Unsettling

The seas have grown cold and distant
The sun has pulled away its warmth
Silence envelopes, its embrace unsettling

No storm clouds hang overhead
The calm evening air lacks but only
The slightest breeze, its chill unsettling

All the creatures have slipped away
No chirping or movement to disturb
No songs, no cries, the chatter unsettling

----
Sonnet XIII (I think)

Once held in passions glow but now alone
Once drowned in loves sweet light but now so dark
Once warmed by tender rays but now cold stone
Once embraced in fire, now not even a spark.

Those pools once so deep and tempestuous
Have grown so calm, so numb, so tranquil
Those storms once raged brilliantly treacherous
Now quiet, now cold, now fearfully still


The fire's no more a threat to heart or soul
The light no longer tries to suffocate
The storm's no more a threat to what was whole
The fire no longer yearns to captivate

The glow no longer lights the shaded path
And the stillness of night cries out its wrath

Saturday, February 20, 2016

3 Things We Inadvertently Teach Our Children

As loving parents, we spend a good deal of our time trying to teach our children from the time they are born. We teach them their ABC's, their colors and shapes and numbers, and numerous other things. We also try to teach them life lessons - to apologize, say please and thank you, and so much more.

What we don't always realize, however, is that we also inadvertently teach them lessons that are not so beneficial - lessons which can, in fact, be harmful or dangerous. Some of these things include:

1) Your child's feelings don't matter


If anyone were to ask you if your child's feelings are important, you most likely would answer "of course!" And you mean that. And you try to reinforce that by telling your child that. But sometimes our actions as parents teach a child more than our words do. One good example of this:

Your young child gets angry at his grandma. In an outburst, he exclaims "I hate Grandma!" You immediately respond with "You don't hate Grandma. You love Grandma." Perhaps you even start to point out all the good things Grandma has done for him.

What you don't realize, however, is that you just invalidated your child's feelings. You just told your child how he feels - or rather, how he should feel. You've just told him that his feelings don't matter, and that he has no say in how he feels. He must feel a certain way - your way.

The better way to handle this: Validate your child's feelings first and foremost. And, take this as an opportunity to teach a child about emotions. "I understand you're angry with Grandma. What did Grandma do?" By this, you are validating your child's feelings while also teaching him the better term for what he's feeling, and teaching him to differentiate between anger and hate. And then you can continue the lesson with how to deal with that anger - perhaps this would be for him to explain to Grandma why he got angry.

2) Your child has no control over his/her body


This one is one I know I have been guilty of before, but is also one I very strongly feel we need to be careful of. We all want our children to know that if someone tries to touch them inappropriately (i.e. sexual molestation), they should tell that person to stop. And when we feel our child is old enough to understand this concept, we do tell our child this. But consider this example:

Your daughter's uncle has been visiting your house and is about to leave. He goes to give her a hug goodbye and she says "no!" You insist she hug her uncle.

What you have just done completely contradicts the lesson you want to instill - that a child has the right to tell someone to stop when it comes to touching. This uncle may indeed be a wonderful person who would never harm your daughter (and, 99.9% of the time, this is truly the case). Your daughter isn't saying "no!" because she's scared of him or because he's hurt her. In fact, she may have even just given him a hug willingly and happily and lovingly just hours before that. But in that precise moment, she is simply not in the mood for a hug.

The better way to handle this: "It's okay. You don't have to give him a hug." You can, if you want, offer other alternatives if you're concerned about the uncle being insulted by her behavior - a handshake or high five for example, but again do not push it. If the other person is insulted, be sure to tell that person that it is the child's prerogative to say "no." Don't make excuses for the child's behavior, implying that her behavior is wrong (i,e. don't say "I'm sorry - she's being stubborn today"). Instead, "she doesn't want a hug, and that's okay" is more than sufficient. You have just taught your daughter that she is indeed in charge of who touches her body, and also that you have her back.

3) Your child isn't smart enough, pretty enough, good enough


Naturally, we never want our children to believe they aren't enough. We tell our children they're nice, pretty, smart, helpful, etc. etc. We consistently want to build up our child's self-esteem and try to do exactly that. And yet there are so many ways in which are actions actually tell the child they aren't enough - not fast enough, good enough, smart enough.

When your son starts asserting his independence - wanting to dress himself, or feed himself - perhaps you always insist on doing it yourself. This is completely understandable, especially when you're in a hurry. I mean, seriously, it is so much quicker and easier to do it yourself than to wait for your child. And yet, if this is a constant thing, what you're really doing is teaching your child that they aren't fast enough or good enough.

When you consistently make those comments of "how many times do I have to tell you...", you're telling your child she isn't smart enough to figure out what you're saying.

When you tell your daughter that an outfit makes her look fat, or it looks stupid, you're telling her she's not pretty enough.

When you tell your son that maybe he shouldn't be in a particular sport because all he does is sit the bench, you're telling him he isn't good enough. Maybe even telling him that his apparent inability is a waste of your time (what parent wants to go to all these games if they can't see their child play?).

The better way to handle this: Obviously, with so many different examples, it's hard to give a good way to handle things. It really just boils down to stopping and asking yourself "what am I really teaching my child?" If time constraints make it difficult to allow your child to get dressed herself, consider getting her up a little earlier. Or, limit her options of what to wear that morning to only a few choices (if she's picking out her own clothes), and clothes that are easier for her to put on. Instead of "how many times do I have to tell you...", simply repeat the rule ("We do not hit people") and follow through consistently with a consequence. Do not insult your child's choice of dress. Do not demean your child's inability to play sports, but instead work with him on developing those skills, and/or encourage other hobbies (without saying "how about you try art instead of basketball?").



Take opportunities to teach valuable lessons


There are probably many other ways we inadvertently teach our children lessons we don't want them to learn. And this by no means makes us bad parents. It simply makes us parents. But I think it is important that as parents, we always take the time to assess what our actions are really teaching our children. And it is equally important that we take whatever opportunities are given us to teach our children valuable life lessons.

Even "screwing up" gives us one such opportunity. Many parents I know (including myself at times) brush those mistakes under the rug. We tell ourselves we'll do better next time, and just move along from the mistake. But we miss a chance to teach our children by doing this.

The better way to handle this: You've just insulted your child unintentionally by telling her an outfit makes her look fat, or by forcing him to hug a family member. Instead of just brushing it off and moving on, take the time to talk to your child. Sincerely apologizing for what you did wrong - not just a blanket apology, but a specific one. "I shouldn't have disrespected you by making you hug Grandpa. I am sorry." or "I shouldn't have said that about your outfit." And ask for forgiveness.

Some of the best lessons we can teach our children are to 1) admit they made a mistake; b) apologize and ask for forgiveness; and c) both give forgiveness, and accept forgiveness from others. This combination of lessons can truly only be taught by example - by watching trusted, loving caregivers admit they, too, screw up and by hearing them ask for forgiveness.


We will always make mistakes as parents. There is not such thing as a perfect parent. The best we can do is always ask ourselves: Are we benefiting our children with our words and actions, or are we setting them up for potential problems? Do our actions really convey the message we want to teach our child?




Wednesday, February 17, 2016

That One Brief Moment





That one brief moment
How you got here, you do not know
Who moved closer first is a mystery
Yet there you are, face to face
Eyes fluttering, meeting, glancing down,
Then closing
Lips barely a breath away
Anticipation, exhilaration
Fear, certainty

That one brief moment
You don’t know if you should
Take the chance or back away
So there you stay, face to face
Breath shaky, mingling, warming
Closing in
Lips trembling yet not touching
Needing, wanting
Doubting, knowing

That one brief moment.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

As of yet untitled

Desperately trying to separate
fact from fiction,
fantasy from reality.

But it is not possible.

The truth and the lies
have mingled together
in perfect chaotic harmony,

singing their separate hymns
in melodious discord.

Four unique minds
in two different bodies
entwined within one soul,

forever joined and yet never together.