Monthly Archives: July 2013

Cheer!!

Being at The Center for Courageous Kids is a life changing experience. Going to a camp designed for kids with medical issues is freeing.
There is so much to write – too much actually. But when the little girl paralyzed from the shoulders down was put on a horse and got to ride, we all cheered for her!
Trained walkers held her back, head and trunk in place as they walked beside her on her horse.
So glad someone had the vision to create a camp for children with special needs!!

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Filed under ADEM

In All Fairness?

I rather like being a clear cut it is either right or wrong kind of person. The cop out answer of “It’s complicated,” more often than not is an excuse to do what you want to do anyway because you’ve spent some time rationalizing it.

Yet as a mother of three children, with different personalities and ways of doing things, it’s not always easy to show them that I’m being clear cut with the principle of the issue. Perhaps it is because they, as children, appear to us adults to be always on the lookout for any amount of unfairness. It is as if they go to special training to hunt out any possibility that their brother or sister may have gotten away with something that they did not.

My son got out some roast leftovers (which I managed to incorporate into breakfast this morning) for lunch and I told him no, because we were going to use some of it again at supper time. My daughter pulled out a biscuit from this morning and he was upset that she was getting away with it. I gently reminded him that biscuits weren’t on the menu for tonight, but the leftover roast had appeared at breakfast this morning and would again at super tonight so he didn’t need it at lunch as well.

I look at how some adults, as individuals, corporations and even nations interact with each other and it seems to me that many of them never outgrew that childish phase of hunting for ways where they were being treated unfairly. I wonder what would happen if they spent the same amount of time volunteering and making a difference in their community?

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Filed under Community, Family, Parenting

The Dying Ridge

We’ve all seen it before on some nature program, a book or even in a movie. A sick or injured animal gets isolated by the predators and that’s the way nature is. As Biologists and naturalists well know, it is the way of nature.

But today, I saw a different story. I was watching a documentary called, “The River of No Return.” The narrator was astonished to see an injured elk, isolated on the top of a ridge by wolves, suddenly defended by another elk who proceeded to chase away the wolves – at the risk of her own life. The narrator didn’t hide his surprise and admitted what he had just seen went against everything he’d ever learned in biology.

Sometimes it seems like we’ve been injured and there is nothing left to do but submit to the ways of nature, find our dying ridge and wait for the inevitable. But today I learned that nature has compassion. There is reason to hope.

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Filed under Community

The Drag Test

When I worked at summer camp, not revealing how many years ago, we had a swimming pool. Lifeguards did the work they needed to do. Camp Yorktown Bay, where Michael worked this summer, has a nice lake and therefore they had to practice and perfect the Drag Test.

During training week, the staff were required to find the “dummy” drowning camper nicknamed Luke Skywalker within a certain length of time. As with all drownings, every second counts. Assuming the camper was underwater for two minutes prior to the alert being sounded that a child was missing in the lake, the staff now have only 2 minutes left to find the child before permanent brain damage and so forth takes over.

Michael described in detail the work of the staff divided into three groups: divers, swimmers and walkers. Staff were assigned to their appropriate group based on their skill level in the water. Michael, of course, ended up as a walker. His description of the walkers linking arms and going through the shallow part of the lake step by step searching for Luke Skywalker definitely made me feel like I was there experiencing it for myself.

The precision and efficiency the staff is required to achieve before campers actually arrive is impressive. What if we put such practices into our parenting? When was the last time your family did a fire drill – and took it seriously? If you live in Tornado alley, or even if you don’t, do you know what to do? We expect summer camps to protect our children and to hire competent staff before we entrust our precious offspring to their care. Is there a need for a “drag test” in your home?

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Filed under Community, Family, Parenting

Too Busy

I came across this quote from Pastor R.A. Torrey recently.

We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little; many services but few conversions, much machinery but few results.

The first sentence makes such an impact. Too busy to pray=too busy to have power. The truth is that we can get “too busy” with a lot of “good things.” Even if it is considered a “good thing,” such as helping a neighbor or volunteering at a soup kitchen; it becomes a problem if it keeps you from the most important thing of praying and spending time alone with God. Where do you think you get that power to help and volunteer?

We get so wrapped up in busyness and wonder why we don’t feel connected anymore, even when we are doing good things. We fail to realize – we aren’t connected anymore. Don’t get too busy.

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Filed under Spiritual Disciplines, Spirituality

The Lost Tickle

Missing one of your children is an interesting experience. My husband moped around the house for a few weeks. He missed Michael greatly. I certainly noticed that my right hand in cooking was gone. We all missed Mr. Witty and random fact spiller. But Greta’s reaction was one of the most endearing.

As I tucked her into bed one night and we discussed her missing brother, dutifully working at summer camp, she wondered about the most important part of their relationship as siblings. “Will Michael forget how to tickle me?”

I assured her that Michael wouldn’t lose his ability to tickle her and they would still have a lot of fun when he got back. The simplicity of childhood – and yet the most vulnerable and intimate. Here we were, adults and so mature, thinking about surface level areas of missing our son. Greta went straight for the heart of the matter, to a very personal level, and she wasn’t afraid to do so. She also seemed much more at peace once I had reassured her of her biggest most personal fear about her brother being gone.

Perhaps we, like Greta, should open up about our deepest fears to people we can trust instead of dwelling forever on the surface level ones. The sooner we are assured – the sooner we have peace.

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Filed under Family, Parenting