Tag Archives: children

A Time to Remember – At the Circus

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A few weeks ago I decided to take Jeremy, my amazing son, to the circus. It had been a while since we had enjoyed something like that together and Jeremy had never been to the circus. I was really excited when I purchased the tickets. I got the best tickets I could find. Our seats were right in the middle, so we wouldn’t miss anything.

Jeremy was with his dad for his summer visit, so I thought it would be special to pick him up for a fun activity. He always misses me when he is at his dad’s for a long time. I called to tell him about his surprise and he couldn’t wait.

The big day finally arrived. I picked him up and off we went.  Eric and Jeremy’s grandma joined us. When we got there I bought Jeremy a ridiculously priced program, which came with clown glasses. Jeremy’s little face, which honestly isn’t so little anymore, lit up like a department store Christmas tree. He insisted I fix the glasses right there, before we walked in, so he could wear them.

We made it to our seats right as the show was starting. Jeremy watched in amazement as the clowns and performers did their routines. He was awestruck at the tricks performed by the tigers, elephants,  and poodles. He excitedly applauded for the performers. I was filled with joy at the site of the most important person in my world having such a grand time.

At intermission, Jeremy wanted nachos, so Jeremy, Eric, and I made our way to the concession stand, to buy a couple outrageously priced orders of nachos.  We returned to our seats to watch the second half of the show, which the ringmaster promised would be even more spectacular than the first. Jeremy ate his nachos and finished watching “the greatest show on earth.”

It seemed like the show ended not long after we returned to our seats. Jeremy again applauded the performers. When we first arrived at the circus a dragon sword caught Jeremy’s eye. He’d asked me then if he could have the sword and I told him he could, but that he had to wait until the show was over.

Jeremy was so polite, as he usually is. He waited without out one word to get the coveted sword. I know it wasn’t easy for him, because he really wanted it the moment he laid eyes on it. We made our way to the souvenir stand and purchased the special sword.

Jeremy was the happiest kid on earth at that moment and I wouldn’t trade that experience with him for all the money in the world.  I haven’t been able to take him to do a lot of things like that recently, because work had been a bit slow. In the past, I always made it a priority to go do fun things with my precious child.

Our circus experience ignited a spark in me. It made me realize how important it is to build these special memories. Jeremy won’t be excited about going to the circus pretty soon, at least for a while, when he becomes more concerned with what his friends are doing than spending time with me.

I have to treasure every amazing moment with him. It doesn’t matter how much money I have. I can engage in fun activities and share special memories with Jeremy for free and that is what I intend to do. Everything else will be okay as long as I am rich in love and life experiences.

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Inspiration from a Child

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I feel truly honored to be the mother of a most amazing 10 year old boy. His name is Jeremy and he is almost done with the 4th grade. During 1st and 2nd grade Jeremy was in a program at school called Reading Recovery. It gave him one on one time with a teacher to help him with reading. He was ahead of other students in his vocabulary and could spell the words out loud, but he struggled with reading.

I read with Jeremy before he started school and every night while he was in school I read to him. It was hard for him, because he would get so frustrated. Also, he felt different because he had to leave the classroom to go to his reading classes and the other kids knew he was in Reading Recovery.  I really had mixed feelings about this because I didn’t want him to feel singled out and have self esteem problems.

I made it a point to tell him that he could do anything he set his mind to and that I knew he could overcome this obstacle. I took him to the bookstore frequently and bought him books he was really interested in, to encourage him to want to read. It was hard for me to relate to him though, because reading was something I never struggled with. Actually, I always loved reading and excelled at it. I felt responsible and wanted to be able to help him.

In 3rd grade Jeremy stated to catch up to the other kids in reading. He even started to enjoy reading. He finished out the year with average reading score. Throughout the summer I took him to buy books often and had him read to me. He started 4th grade and was doing much better. He worked very hard all year in anticipation of the STAAR standardized test he would have to take at the end of the year. 

Today I got a call from his teacher. She said, “Jeremy had something to tell you”. I immediately thought he must have done something wrong,  but he told me, “Mommy I got commended on the STAAR test for reading”. My eyes teared up. I was about to walk into an appointment and here I was standing outside, overjoyed at his success. I told him I was very proud of him and his accomplishment.

He is an inspiration to me. I will not forget what he was able to do by believing in himself, sticking with it and giving it his all. You better believe I will never let him forget it either. I am sure there will be a time that he feels overcome by a challenge, as we all are at times, but I will kindly remind him of this victory. 

The Golden Rule of Step-Parenting

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We all know the golden rule…”do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Well, I think there needs to be a golden rule to step parenting…”do unto your step children as you would have others do unto you and your kids.”

I have had two profound experiences with step parents that are sub-par. One with my own step mother and one with my son’s step mother. Both made a huge impact on my life. Coincidentally, the experience with my step-mother gave me the insight and wisdom to talk to my son’s step mother, and help her to see that she needed to change.

My situation with my step mother has turned out very different than that. She is bitter, mean and extremely hurtful. Everything is a competition between her daughters and myself. She has pitted her children against me and has caused major damage in my relationship with my father. Only after years of hard work on my part was I able to forge a relationship with one of my step-sisters and repair the extensive damage with my father.

My step sister and I are very close now. Sadly, my step mom caused major damage to her relationship with her own daughter. My step sister saw that the what her mother put me through was not fair. She learned who I was and the fact that her mother tried so hard to make her hate me discussed her. She lost respect for her mother, but our relationship has flourished.

I used this experience when I saw that the same thing happening with my son and his step mother. After our talk she was able to put herself in my son’s position and things have completely turned around. She now has a great relationship with my son, her son’s half-brother, and we have become friends. We compare parenting notes. We talk about life and truly do share a friendship. Our children will be better off because of it.

I beg you, please if you have step children treat them with respect. It is a horrible feeling to grow up in a home where you are not wanted. Children are innocent and even if they have behavior problems they still do not deserve to be treated badly. There is a good chance that they are dealing with a lot emotionally and being unkind to them will only make things worse.

If you are not able to do this please do not choose to be in a relationship with a parent. There are plenty of fish in the sea. Choose the one without children.

If you are interested in reading more about my experience growing up with a step parent I will be posting that story soon. I hope that my experience will help others, because I do not want anyone else to go through what I went through.

Stretching, The Truth

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It was not until my back neck and back began hurting horribly that I began stretching. I stretched in dance and in school, but as an adult the many benefits never occured to me. The benefits reach every aspect of our lives. We are all taught as children that stretching is good for our bodies, but somehow the mental benefits are not instilled in us.

I started stretching one night after a long day working. My back and neck were so tight I could feel a stretching pain in my legs. I have always been pretty flexible. On this day I could not even put my legs flat out on the floor in front of me, let alone attempt to reach for my toes.  I started by doing some light neck and arm stretches. I quickly felt my muscles begin to loosen. That night I went to sleep and woke up with no pain or stiffness for the first time in longer than I could remember.

I started making stretching a part of my daily routine and researched the benefits of stretching. I learned that stretching helps our bodies to detox of the many impurities that build in our system. It helps our reaction time, gives us a sense of peace, aids in eliminating stress and helps us focus. In addition, stretching daily helps prevent muscle damage.

We are all so stressed out now by all that we have to do that masses of people now suffer from neck and back problems. Having stiff muscles is dangerous and puts us all at risk, especially if we are involved in an accident. I learned from my boyfriend, who is te director of a physical therapy clinic that when someone is involved in an accident even if it is minor the damage is far worse if their muscles are tight.

Stretching should be a part of everyone’s daily fitness and well being routine. It is something simple that we can do in minutes and is definitely worth the time we spend doing it. I have found that Pintrest is a great place to find stretches and instructions on how to stretch properly. 

Try it, you will be amazed at how many aspects of your life are positively impacted. If you are a parent stretch with your kids and tell them about the benefits of stretching. I have done this with my 9 year old son and I believe it has helped him as well.