Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Birthday to a Special Girl

Twenty One years ago today.. at about 1am or so, my water broke..

I of course called the Doctor and they told me to come on in, being the mother I was I explained that it would be closer to 6am because I had to finish the Halloween costumes for my other two children, take a shower and of course shave my legs.

Around 6am, we strolled into the hospital, only to be yelled at by my doctor who had beat me there. I told him I had explained that I was busy and it would be closer to 6 before I showed up. He looked at me for a moment before shaking his head and saying, well yes but no one actually believed you. From there I was taken into a delivery room where I promptly fell asleep. What can I say, I was tired, it had been a long hot summer with no central air, which meant I didn't get all that much sleep and the past 24 hours I had none. A Few hours later they woke me up and told me it was time to push.. Ok, I did so.. heard from my husband "honey, it's a girl" smiled rolled over and fell back asleep. You have to understand, after two stepsons and two sons, I really really wanted a girl.. but I was tired. From delivery they took me to this absolutely gorgeous private room. It was available and they gave it to me at no update cost. Brass headboard, Brass cradle, floral prints everywhere.. gorgeous.. and what a waist! I literally slept for the next day and a half. Sometime in there my doctor came in to check on me (I found out later) and the chart said I was over medicated.. the only problem is, I hadn't had any... yep.. I had the easiest delivery in the world.. and I slept through it.

This beautiful girl was a joy, at 9 months she was the how to dunk a baby example at mommy and me swim lessons, we would dunk her and she would come up laughing. The instructors told the other mothers that if they did it right this was how their children should react.. (still makes me smile) by 3 she was going off the high dive by herself (I wasn't going with her).

Also at three she decided she wanted to learn how to ride her bike without training wheels, so I took them off.. standing behind her holding the bike and ready to run behind her, she smiled at me and said "Let go mommy, I can do it myself" and she did! The next day she rode her bike, with the rest of us into town, about 4 miles.. fortunately a friend had a truck to bring us back because that was a bit much.. From there she was off and running!!

This child had the heart of a lion and the determination to do it all on her own.. but she also had a sensitive soul. I failed my baby in this manner, she was often bruised by others, even adults.. instead of fighting for her.. I told her to suck it up and learn to deal. Being sensitive is a hard burden to bear.. she did but the shell that encased that heart sometimes hurts mine.

For all of her sensitiveness about herself, she learned early to stand up for others, no one was going to be insulted or put down on her watch. She stood for those who would not or could not stand for herself. She was the first to say it like it is and wouldn't put up with any crap. This made her an easy target for the mean girls and their moms.. and believe me, those butter wouldn't melt in their mouths children took great joy in picking her apart.

While hurting her, a lot, this didn't seem to stop her from being a true leader. Not that she ever realized that... she gathered a group of friends around her that others fought to be a part of. Twice, those groups were destroyed but a girl who wanted what my girl had created and young girls learning their way.. chose the interloper.. the same one.. who came in and bad mouthed my girl, worked at her insecurities and turned her "friends" away. The first time she was forgiven. After the second time I told Word Girl, she was welcome to forgive her again, but she was not welcome, in my car, in my house, in my presence.. I don't care that her life was hard.. MY DAUGHTER.. deserved better. But in both cases, Word Girl rebounded by making wonderful new friends and starting a new circle.

All through her elementary and high school years she was the lightening rod that attracted the mean girls and sometimes they managed to really hurt her.. but most times.. my girl soared! Of course she never understood what a leader she really was.

When she left for Western Illinois University.. she shed this town. She left behind the mean girls, those that stepped all over her to find their glory and those that needed to demean her to create their own.. Instead she blossomed. From the very beginning she was given leadership positions. She was a member of the Residence Hall Committee, even chairing the after hours committee, as a Freshman!! She has never really came home. She works as a summer RA and a leader for incoming freshman with Camp Leatherneck. Has been active with STLF (Students Today, Leaders Tomorrow) and this year has pledged to XO sorority..

All that while maintaining an excellent GPA!

I am so proud of my amazing girl.. and more than that I respect the woman she has become!

I love you baby Happy Birthday


Monday, October 1, 2012

Suppport Banned Books

Did you know that this week is Banned Books Week? It's a week that has been set aside for the last 30 years to promote reading. To stand up against those who would make our choices for us. It is for those who choose to proudly say I READ..

I grew up in a house where books were plentiful.. where more often than not when we were at sporting events, if you wanted to find my mom, you looked over to the nearest set of trees and there my mom would be in her chair, reading a book. Not watching the game, reading a book. The thought of not having a book on me at all times is inconceivable.

My mom always said, it didn't matter if your child would only read comic books, at least he is reading. Of course that didn't pertain to her children we read classics.. *rolls eyes* She still hasn't forgiven me for my love of romance books.. but that is another story. I do know, more often than not if she had heard that a book was banned and she felt it was age appropriate, we had to read it. I tried to raise my children in a similar manner. I can say with great pride, all four read.. they have unique and interesting tastes but read they do.

Sadly, not all people are afforded that right.. schools, governments, churches all for one reason or another choose to challenge or ban a book.. How can that possible be right? Sure some books are graphic, some books are extreme, some books are *gasp* bad.. but it is not the right of State to make that choice for us. Parents need to guide their children, encourage them to read and question what they are reading.. to make their own short to LEARN..

I found this list on Rebecca Ryals Russell's Website  and  thought it needed to be shared..

SOME of the 2011 challenged or banned books were:

    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
    The Flamingo Rising, by Larry Baker
    The Notebook Girls: Four Friends, One Diary, Real Life, by Baskin, Newman, Pollitt-Cohen, Toombs
    Running with Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs
    My Mom’s Having a Baby, by Dori Hillestad Butler
    Betrayed, by P.C. and Kristin Cast
    Staying Far for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich
    Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen
    The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
    The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer

In 2010 the top 10 most frequently challenged books were:

1. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson

2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

3. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

4. Crank, by Ellen Hopkins

5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

6. Lush, by Natasha Friend

7. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones

8. Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich

9. Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie

10. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

But it’s not just contemporary books that get banned, classics get banned and challenged, too.
    *The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    2. *The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
    3. *The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
    4. *To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
    6. Ulysses by James Joyce
    7. Beloved by Toni Morrison
    8. *The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    9. *1984 by George Orwell  (This one is the most ironic as its theme is suppression of books and thoughts)
    10. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
    11. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
    12. *Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    13. *Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
    14. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
    15. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
    16. *Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
    17. *Animal Farm by George Orwell
    18. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
    19. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
    20. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
    21. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
    22. *Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
    23. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
    24. *Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
    25. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
    26. *Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
    27. Native Son by Richard Wright
    28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
    29. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
    30. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
    31. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
    32. *The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
    33. *The Call of the Wild by Jack London
    34. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
    35. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
    36. Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
    37. The World According to Garp by John Irving
    38. All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
    39. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
    40. *The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
    41. *Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally
    42. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
    43. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
    44. Finnegans Wake by James Joyce
    45. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
    46. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
    47. *The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
    48. *Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
    49. *A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
    50. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
    51. My Antonia by Willa Cather
    52. Howards End by E. M. Forster
    53. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
    54. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
    55. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
    56. Jazz by Toni Morrison
    57. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
    58. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
    59. A Passage to India by E. M. Forster
    60. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
    61. A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor
    62. Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    63. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
    64. Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
    65. Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
    66. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
    67. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
    68. Light in August by William Faulkner
    69. The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
    70. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
    71. *Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
    72. *A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
    73. Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
    74. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
    75. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
    76. Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe
    77. In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway
    78. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein
    79. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
    80. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
    81. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
    82. White Noise by Don DeLillo
    83. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
    84. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
    85. *The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
    86. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
    87. The Bostonians by Henry James
    88. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
    89. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
    90. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
    91. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    92. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
    93. The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles
    94. Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
    95. *Kim by Rudyard Kipling
    96. The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    97. Rabbit, Run by John Updike
    98. Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster
    99. *Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
    100. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

To read the entire article click HERE

You want to support banned books, share what books you have read that have been banned.. shout it loud and proud!!