My grandmother used to tell me about her life as a young girl. At 100 years old she hardly recognized the world she was living in. So many things had changed. Some of the changes have been good for us as humans and others not so good. We need to stay aware of the changes in our world and work to correct those that are bad for us and the earth. After all, our children will know what we have done. What world do we want to leave for them?
Today I go the cutest text from my granddaughter. She was having a conversation with her son who is turning two next week. I do love the conversations with young children. The wisdom can be amazing and the thoughts and ideas such fun. Enjoy this simple little talk.
Mom: Karter do you know where the remote is for the living room TV?
Next week I have signed up for two tasks at the Mediation Center. One is a Community Conference with two children involved and the other is a standard mediation. The Community Conferences (I’ll call them CC) are hard. It is so sad to work with these teens and hope to get them to see there are better ways to deal with conflict that violence. In some ways I am not looking forward to it. I will keep on doing them for now and may have to evaluate if it is for me.
The other mediation is simple and sometimes it can be too simple but there is not stress involved. It is hard to weigh them against each other. I will just keep on for now and see how this goes.
I am still thinking about the young people I am encountering in Community Conferencing. Since Monday celebrates Martin Luther King this quote fits right into my thinking
What I am seeing in the schools here makes me wonder if we can find either one. Intelligence is nothing without character. The environment in school can be distressing to those who want to learn. It is amazing that the teachers keep on. It has to be depressing to try and reach those who want to learn when around them is hatred and violence. It has to be nearly impossible to keep order in a classroom when there are so many things that you can’t do.
When I went to school the teacher was always right. My parents would come down hard on me if I wasn’t good in school. Unfortunately, in today’s world, the parents seem intent on blaming the teachers. Children are not held accountable for their actions.
There are some who are now realizing that teaching about character and accountability is crucial. Those traits are so important and often overlooked. For those raising children please have your children be accountable now or later in life they may end up being held accountable for something catastrophic.
This week I have been assigned two Community Conference cases. After reading the information on both of them I am amazed at what teachers are dealing with. I don’t know how anyone can teach in an environment with so many problems. From my recent experience I see so much violence erupting in the schools. Students get in arguments and their way of solving them is to get in a fight. This is not high school….this is middle school.
The environment of violence that we live in today is being played out by children! This is how they have learned to react. They have no experience with other ways to handle disputes and disagreements. We have to find ways to break the cycle. The Mediation Center does have a program that goes into the schools and teaches groups how to mediate a dispute and there are peer groups that are trying to help.
This culture of violence will continue until we teach alternatives to young children and help them to be played out in Elementary School. We have to stop it early.
Have you heard about angels? In one of his fantasy books C.S. Lewis implies that they move to fast for us to perceive them. They are only visible when they slow down.
I am not sure about wanting to actually encounter an angel. I have an idea that they are pretty impressive to see. Have you ever noticed that in the Bible almost every time they appear the first words they speak are “FEAR NOT!” That should give us an idea of what they are like.
One of my favorite stories about angels was told my Madeleine L’Engle at a conference I attended. It is such a sweet story that I decided to share it here.
There was a religious school in a neighborhood. Many of the children there had families who experienced fighting, yelling and sometimes abuse in the home. One little boy was always falling asleep in school so one of the nuns asked him if he was able to sleep at night at home. He admitted that there was usually lots of yelling and the he was frequently frightened and pulled the covers over his head to try and disappear.
The teacher told him not to worry. That night she would send four angels to stand at each corner of his bed to keep him safe. The next morning she asked him if the night went well at home. He told her that he was not frightened at all…the angels were there but could she cut down the number of them? The flapping of their wings was keeping him awake.
This is such a wonderful story and an example of the power of belief.
This is a wonderful list of how to help families with sick children!
Before I continue our story I want to share more on how you can help. In the last few years between NICU, RSV/Adenovirus/Pneumonia stay, and this most recent round of hospital time, it has occurred to me most people don’t know how to help. Most people ask “Let me know if I can do anything”, […]
My husband loves Christmas. He can’t wait until the tree is up and the decorations out. He bought the tree while I was in the hospital but had it delivered after I came home. It is now up and decorated. (which he did) I am good but still some tired.
I managed to get enough energy to do some of the other decorations and things look pretty nice. We have pared down some over the years and don’t over do.
If we strictly followed our church’s thought we would not put up decorations until Christmas Eve and keep them up for the 12 days of Christmas ending on Epiphany. When I was a child my father and I would walk into the woods and cut a tree on Christmas Eve. That was such an exciting time for me. Just spending time with my father doing something special was enough. I remember it with such fond memories.
I hope we were able to give those kind of memories to our own children. These are things that can’t be duplicated. Expensive gifts are nothing compared to time spent with parents. It is so wonderful when we spend time with our own children playing, what I call, “remember when….the time the dog opened most of the presents under the tree during the night??” Those are the things that last.
Tuesday is a day that I always look forward to. On Tuesdays I meet with friends for knitting and conversation. We are a group who before starting this group did not know each other. We are all different. We are from different countries, different social groups. This makes the group inspiring and conversation is stimulating.
To add to it we are also being creative. One of the members is an amazing artist and does many pencil drawings for children to color. Each of us is creating something usually in yarn but not always. Most of the things we create are for others. We also offer free help teaching to knitting for anyone who want to learn. This group is such a joy.
I have been knitting since I was a child. It reminds me of the my wonderful mother and the many things she taught me. The motion of my hands and the creating of something both beautiful (I hope) and useful have a calming effect. Knitting can allow the brain to rest (if not too complicated) and the mind to let go of stresses. Seeing the finished product brings joy. Now that I have children, grandchildren and great grandchildren it is fun to do things for them and for friends.
There is something about music that moves my soul. Music can take me to another place quickly. Many times music will touch a place inside and bring me to tears. There are so many kinds of music that I like. There are very few that don’t touch me in some way.
Music can lift us when we are down. It does have to be the right thing. Listening to something depressing when you are already sad is a mistake. There are some songs that just force you to feel better especially if you sing along.
I will never forget the Muppets singing about being mad. I made sure that my children learned that song and could sing it when angry. I seemed to bring perspective to those feelings.
We also don’t teach as much with music as we could. I have a song taught by a college biology professor that I have never forgotten. My children can still sing the preamble to the constitution learned in Schoolhouse Rock. I recently learned that one of my favorite people here in Savannah was key to creating that series. His talent was amazing. He is now gone by never forgotten. His name was Ben Tucker, a bass player who player with almost all the old jazz groups, and knew everyone in the music world.
Music helps us to learn and I still wonder why learning this way isn’t used more. If you didn’t grow up hearing those teaching moments here is an example.