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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Please Hang Up, and Try Again.

It never ceases to amaze me just how drastically things can change in a day.  But not "drastically" in a catastrophic way, just....not what you had in mind.
OK, so hold onto your seats, this may take a while.
Got a text from Elijah a couple days ago.  Things for him are not going well.  The distance, the long odd hours and being apart from his family are proving to much.  He has given his notice and will be returning home next week.
How do I feel about that?  As with everything with my kids, I see both sides of the argument.  I don't want them to ever suffer or hurt, but I know that is just a part of growing.  Sad part is, I am quick to come to the rescue, smother and seclude.
In response to chocking up another "parental failure" to our growing list Angela and I sat down (actually we were lying down) and I entered into a tirade about the mistakes we have made, over the years, by coddling the children.  The long and short of it is, that for fear of all the societal pressures that come to bear on parents, and the elimination of parental rights with the bolstering of a child's right to "rule the roost" we opted out years ago.  Rather then give them the opportunity to make mistakes we just started sheltering them and doing everything for them.  Sadly, it's just safer for parents and a way to avoid the scrutiny of people in suits with clipboards, questioners and ID cards hanging from their necks questioning you for four hours because your child went to school with a stain on their shirt and the sniffles!  As an unfortunate side effect, eventually they didn't play outside without close parental presence anymore.  They don't visit friends houses or vice versa.  This all eventually regressed into an over reliance on electronic stimulation and entertainment in it's absence.
Well, I had had enough.
Yesterday marked the beginning of their NEW life.  A revelation that was met with shrugs, elation at the prospect of more exploration and in Logan's case, a hysterical meltdown that lasted a good twenty minuets when I relieved him of his cell phone.  Oh, don't think me to much the evil doer, I'm just bringing it back to basics.  Monday through Friday is for school, homework, reading, outside play, friends, games (non video) and a little bit of "life learning".  Saturday, just like when I was growing up, is for morning cartoons, games or whatever they want to pursue.  Logan can cuddle his cell phone that day. 
Also, we have had to accept the fact that whatever they are learning at school is meant more for the coveted higher FCAT scores,  and has NOTHING to do with preparing them for life.  Perhaps, too late in the game for some, it was time I stepped in and REALLY did my job as a parent.
SO, after playing several rousing games of checkers last night, I sat down with Logan and Owen and played an impromptu game of "The Quiz Show". 
Digging out Mom and Dad's change jar, and starting with pennies, we ran through, three questions each of math, English, and eventually "life lessons".  I was shown just how much the public educational system has failed them! 
I've got my work cut out for me!
SO, confession time!
Some of you may remember that a little over three years ago I quit smoking.  Angela already had, and I joined in. Well, February of last year when we learned Sweet Bay was closing and we knew it would kill the plaza we had been in, I got stressed.  And I fell off the wagon. And have been struggling with it again ever since.  A couple weeks back I tried to throw myself back up on the wagon and sought assistance from the "Patch".  It helps, but with an odd double edged side effect.
vivid, exhausting dreams!
At this point, I have taken it upon myself to start writing them down.  The upside is I've got the complete synopsis for a book (and have already written most of the first chapter) and several other smaller poems and short stories.
Last night was particularly memorable as the dream came in a rather "childlike, Aesop's fable" sort of tale.
If you'll humor my self aggrandizing dalliances, hear it is...

The Rat.

A rat had an odd dream.

He dreamt he was a horse. And that was an odd dream for a rat to have seeing as he had never met a horse

The rat, for as long as he could remember, which, to the best of his thinking, may or may not have been that long, but then, he had nothing to compare that which was long and that which what was short.

But, he found a certain comfort in the thought that he'd been "knowing" for some time. So he stopped thinking about time.

Instead, he focused on the odd sensation of his eyes being so high off the ground.

What a strange sensation.

to not focus on tiny little things. Bits and pieces of stuff scattered about that really served no purpose but to get in his way.

And to no longer be in that box.

Oh, it seemed like such a big place before. Really the only one he knew for as long as he had been knowing,

But now? That his legs were so long, his body so heavy and his eye's so high? Definitely to small.

And then their was the man.

The one who had always kept his box clean, and brought him the food and water, so he didn't have to find it himself.

And then came an odd realization. He always brought him the food. Could the rat have ever done it himself if he didn't have the man?

The man stood inside his box, the one that held the rats smaller box and blinked.

The rat thought it must have been odd for the man, expecting to find a rat, to find a horse instead.

It was funny. The rat, at first, being out of his box, thought it right to run up to the man and run up his leg and sit on his shoulder as he had done so many times before.

For as long as he had known, really.

But as he turned to do so the rats new body bumped into something. Then, as he turned to look at what he bumped into, he bumped the man.

The rats hairy new tail swished across the man's face.

But the man only smiled.

The rat was beginning to wish the man could pick him up, feeling the warmth of the mans hand.

Instead, the man reached out and stroked his long, new neck. The rat liked the way it felt. Warm. Then the man rubbed under his long jaw as he stroked his long new nose and looked curiously into the rats eyes.

The man continued to look into the rats new eyes.

The man looked so small now.

The man then tilted his head slightly, and smiled a gentle smile that shone through his eyes. Eye's that were becoming wet, and said

"I see you finally found yourself"

and with that the rats nose twitched, his whiskers danced and he felt the warmth of the mans hands under him.

Holding him safely.

Yes, I know what it means.  It's always fascinated me with how the mind processes emotions and information through the simplistic use of imagery. 
As I have flittered away the better part of my day trying to help Angela make a travel itinerary for Elijah, I best get back to work....
Or perhaps continue working on chapter one of "Rose"

See ya soon!
OH yea!  Before I forget!  Put a few out yesterday, check 'em out!

ONLY $75.00!!
ONLY $85.00!!
ONLY $635.00!!!

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