Saturday, March 24, 2012

Are You Scaring Your Child?

When we are very young, our parents inadvertently program us to be
what we eventually become~

Did you know that young children have more fears and phobias than adults, and experience the emotion of them more intensely? They seem to fear a whole array of things: some fear animals, kidnapping, being alone in the dark and injections, while others are afraid of monsters or snakes, and many young children fear the loss of a parent, death, injury and divorce.

I once had a piano student who was terrified of dogs. I had a Yorkie that weighed about five pounds. Sadie was harmless, but barked when people came. Small dogs are usually “yappy,” but I love them anyway! However, when this little 10 year old girl came for her lesson, she’d wait at the door until I put Sadie in another room and closed the door. When I questioned her mother about her fear, she said, as far as she knew, her daughter had never been bitten or even threatened by a dog. It seemed to be an innate fear. I hope she outgrew it.

Our twelve year old granddaughter’s fear of men is uncanny. Recently, I went along when her mother took her to the hospital for a test. Unfortunately, her doctor was a man. She was quite upset, to the point of tears, when she was told her mother couldn’t go into the room where she was to be anesthetized and the test conducted. But when a young female nurse told her she’d be in the room with her the whole time, her attitude changed drastically and she told us, smiling, “I’m fine now.”

This young lady has a loving father, brother and grandfather. All the men in our family have children of their own and we don’t know of a single instance of mistreatment by a man. I certainly hope she learns somewhere along the way to trust men, at least a little. Her life will be miserable if she doesn’t.

The thing is – children are like sponges. They soak up everything they see and hear. That’s good in a classroom at school, but I’m not so sure how good it is in the “school of life.” We, as adults, must be very careful what we say and do in their presence. The kind of example we set is crucial to the way a child’s life turns out.

We certainly want to teach them to be careful about talking to strangers, and never to get in a car with a person they don’t know, but when they hear us elaborate on these things constantly, it can do more harm than good. It’s a well-known fact that adults teach children to fear certain things before the child has ever encountered them. Children may also 'pick up' the fears of adults in their family – just from listening to conversations.

Children are supposed to be happy, carefree and fearless little beings whose parents and others around them watch over them and keep them safe. Rewind back to my childhood (not saying how long ago), and that’s the way it was. I can’t remember ever being afraid of anything as a young child, except being punished for misbehaving! :) That was scary enough – with a mother like mine!

I’m not trying to minimize the dangers out there today. I know what they are. I’m just saying that we should seek some balance in the way we warn our children. Teach them the importance of being watchful without making nervous wrecks out of them before they’re teen-agers. I know a 10 year old who is being treated for a stomach ulcer!

That’s sad.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

An Invasion Of Privacy?

Does anyone else feel it’s an invasion of privacy to be asked your year of birth and other personal questions before you can get an online account? It’s not so much that I have anything to hide but... must I tell my life story to the whole wide world? They say, “We won’t reveal your information without your permission.” Yeah, right! Sorry, but I’m not that trusting. Tonight, when I tried to get an account and was given the run-around over and over again because I wouldn’t enter answers to questions I felt were too personal, I left the site saying, “Forget it!”

You might say, “If you have nothing to hide, what are you so worried about?”

And I’d answer, “It's not about having anything to hide, it's about things not being anyone else's business.

I once had an aunt who was independently wealthy. She never had a charge account at a major department store because the credit applications ask for the amount of your income. She said, “It’s nobody’s business, so I’ll just pay cash for what I buy.” And she did!

But I decided to rethink my position. This site provides a service I want. Why should I do without it over such a small thing? I’ll put the information in. It will satisfy them, I’ll get the service I want and everyone will be happy. Right?

It should be no problem for me. After all, I write “creative” non-fiction every day!  

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's Never Too Late To Have A Happy Childhood~


Walk in the rain, jump in mud puddles, collect rocks, rainbows and roses, smell flowers, blow bubbles, stop along the way, build sandcastles, say hello to everyone, go barefoot, go on adventures, act silly, fly kites, have a merry heart, talk with animals, sing in the shower, read childrens' books, take bubble baths, get new sneakers, hold hands and hug and kiss, dance, laugh and cry for the health of it, wonder and wander around, feel happy and precious and innocent, feel scared, feel sad, feel mad, give up worry and guilt and shame, say yes, say no, say the magic words, ask lots of questions, ride bicycles, draw and paint, see things differently, fall down and get up again, look at the sky, watch the sun rise and sun set, watch clouds and name their shapes, watch the moon and stars come out, trust the universe, stay up late, climb trees, daydream, do nothing and do it very well, learn new stuff, be excited about everything, be a clown, enjoy having a body, listen to music, find out how things work, make up new rules, tell stories, save the world, make friends with the other kids on the block, and do anything else that brings more happiness, celebration, health, love, joy, creativity, pleasure, abundance, grace, self-esteem, courage, balance, spontaneity, passion, beauty, peace, relaxation, communication and life energy to...all living beings on this planet.            ~Bruce Williamson

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Do Dreams Come True?

I recently dreamed that a man with a red spot on his face mentioned me in a speech shortly before he died. When I awakened, I was puzzled. But I soon realized that it doesn’t matter whether I know a man with a red spot on his face or not; dreams don’t have to make sense. In fact, they hardly ever do.

Nobody believes dreams are anything except the imagination running wild, or the way the mind releases tensions after falling asleep. There has been dream study for many years, but, to this day, there is no accepted biological explanation to answer the question, "what are dreams?" So, we just laugh as we share them with friends and family – and then they are forgotten.

However some of us, especially children, choose to believe that dreams actually do come true – the good ones at least.

When I was about ten, I had a dream in which I saw myself riding a shiny blue bike. I was smiling and obviously happy. When I awakened, I lay in my bed thinking about the dream with pleasure for a long while, but finally dismissed it and went on with my day. My birthday was only a few days away and I hadn’t asked for anything in particular. I was blessed, as an only child, to have most everything I wanted or needed. But when my father came home from work one evening, he said, “I want you to walk down to Keefer’s with me.” Keefer’s was the only hardware store in the small town where I grew up, and it wasn’t unusual for my dad to take me places with him, so off we went for the three or four block jaunt to Keefer’s.

Once there, my dad led me straight to a section where they had a few bicycles set up. My eyes were drawn immediately to a blue one with the name Mercury on the front of it. I’ll never forget the name because, I mispronounced it... “Oh, look at the pretty, blue McCury!” I said, and my father laughed.

“Try it on for size,” he said. I jumped right on, so excited I could hardly contain myself. “Oh, it’s just right. I love it!” I fairly squealed.

With a most satisfied look, my father paid the cashier and I rode the shiny blue bike home~ as per my dream a few nights before! I’m sure I was the happiest kid in town that day.

Believe it or not, some dreams really do come true!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Cruel Bug

Your life is going just great when, suddenly, your body is ravaged by the bug. “The twenty-four-hour bug,” they call it. Misnomer, if I’ve ever heard one! Whatever its name, when it pays you a visit, it brings all kinds of misery with it.

It keeps you in your lavatory at least one whole day purging your body of every ounce of food you’ve put into it for days and most of the life-giving liquid. And on the second day, if you’re lucky, you have just about enough strength to take a quick shower before falling back into bed shivering and sleeping for a couple more hours. Hopefully, you have someone (who isn’t sick) to bring plenty of liquids to your bedside.

Don’t even try to eat!  Yuck!  Nothing in the way of food sounds even remotely appetizing. Basically, you just want to sleep. Except you have to wake up sometime – and then you’re right back in the nightmare you slept to escape.  Huh?

After struggling for two days to follow your mother’s advice, “You must eat to build up your strength!” You finally talk to your doctor who says, “Oh, no. You don’t feel like eating. Just rest and drink plenty of liquids so you don’t get dehydrated.” If only you'd known that sooner, you wouldn’t have been making yourself sicker trying to eat food you didn’t want! 

I guess even when we grow up thinking our mothers are right about everything, that’s not always the case.

The days drag on... one... two... three...

It seems as though the misery will never pass, but one day you wake up, the sun is shining and you realize you feel okay. Not great, but you’re probably going to live. And right then and there, you pray you’ll never have to tangle with that “cruel bug,” again.

Yet, down deep in your soul, you know you will.

Monday, March 5, 2012

She Keeps Changing Her Mind

Today was a typical March day.

When I got up this morning, the skies were gray and snow was flying. The flakes were so large and dense that I could barely see across the street. What a beautiful sight! But within minutes, it had stopped and the sun was shining! There’s no doubt March is a woman – the way she keeps changing her mind.

My son was up early and took pictures of the winter wonderland that was his backyard. Knowing my habits, as well as those of March, he was afraid I’d sleep too late and miss the snowy beauty that I love so much; so he very thoughtfully sent me the pictures. I was thrilled when I saw them!

It squalled most of the day – first snow, then sunshine – acting exactly as we've learned to expect March to act.

March is mostly known for its gusty winds, but there are other memorable things as well. In our part of the country, we start seeing all kinds of new growth shooting up out of the earth. If you planted bulbs in November, you’ll probably start to see the fruits of your labor this month. You'll soon see spectacular fields of daffodils - and possibly tulips. They can bloom any time from late March until June, depending on the variety. Many trees are budding. At any rate, we’re seeing enough growth to give us hope that the long winter is behind us and spring is almost here. But don’t be fooled! March is very erratic. One day, it will be spring-like and the next, it may be snowing and feel like winter again.

Today was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ~Charles Dickens

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Welcome Sweet Springtime

March 1st.

In my little corner of the world, the third month of our new year has definitely arrived like a lamb. The sun shines brightly, and the temperature hovers around 60 degrees. Beautiful!

But do not be deceived. March is known to be the most unpredictable of all the months of the year. As the saying goes, if March comes in like a lamb, she’ll roar out like a lion, so thirty-one days from now, we could have ankle-deep snow, or rains and high winds that wreak havoc. We hope none of that occurs, but past history proves that it’s possible.

The good thing is, winter officially ends with March. Spring in the northern half of the world begins with the vernal equinox, which occurs on March 20 or 21 depending on the year. The equinox occurs twice a year when the sun is directly above the equator. At this point, the hours of darkness and daylight are equal in length. 

An old superstition calls the first three days of March "blind days" because they are "unlucky." If rain falls on these days, farmers supposedly will have poor harvests. Some superstitious farmers wait until the fourth day of March to do their planting.

Many changes take place in March. Animals end their hibernation and many plants come to life. The sap flows in the trees again, buds begin to show up, and soon, the first robin will herald the beginning of spring.

Suddenly, the world seems brighter.

I believe all seasons, like all people, have some good in them. If you’ve been reading this blog very long, you know that I truly love fall and winter, but when spring arrives with its sunny days and budding flowers and trees, it’s difficult not to love it, too. The seasons sometimes remind me of my children; I love each of them differently—for their diverse qualities.

A very smart lady once told me: “When we are in tune with the changes that happen around us - like the varying seasons or a child or a person who needs some special attention, then we are truly living a full life.”  ~svm

Thankfully, I am. In all seasons! Hope you are, too.

Welcome Sweet Springtime!