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Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Price of Failing to Step Up

Like many of you reading these pages, I live in a community where under-age drinking is quite prevalent. Oh, the local D.A.R.E. program does it's yearly school thing but over the past twelve years of our living here children (yes, children, not mini-adults as some would seek to have you view them) have been caught drinking and parents have been slapped on the wrist for providing the alcohol, having it accessible to children, or looking the other way. So much for accountability and responsibility.

More than once, over the last five years of active teenage parenting, I have looked at my husband and honestly asked, "Are we the only sane parents!?" Oh, I know there are others--Anne, Dennis, Cynthia, Mark, Gary, Darla, and hundreds more--but sometimes it feels as if a warped Parallel Parenting Universe composed of mindless "can't-see-the-big-picture" fathers and mothers make up the majority of supposed adults.

Sigh. I'm sick of reading headlines and captions such as the one in the opening of this post.

What's wrong with us as adults?!

When did the safety of our children and others people's children come to mean so little?

When did we lose our brain and forfeit our soul.

For the love of the Creator when did we abdicate so thoroughly the role of Protector and Nurturer?

In my community several years ago a boy barely into his teens was dropped off in a cemetery by his equally drunken "buddies" to sleep off a serious night of binge drinking. It was winter time in the state of Illinois and after hours passed-out in the unrelenting cold this boy--this child--froze to death.

A
l
o
n
e.

I've never been able to (and I pray I never will) shake that reality from my heart and mind. He was just a child--thirteen, maybe fourteen, years old. He should have been home playing Nintendo or flopped on the couch watching ESPN. We as a community should have been outraged and grieved and changed. Perhaps as individuals we were but as a community not enough to say, "Enough!"

We've dealt with these matters in our family and I'm no, "My babies would never think of taking a drink of alcohol," wacko-Mom here. No, I'm a realist when it comes to such matters--but that doesn't mean I capitulate and give up the battle.

Yes, teens are going to try their best to drink if they want to drink, take drugs if they want to take drugs, and a myriad of countless other things, but gads, that doesn't mean we should have Open Bar night in the family room and serve up shots. Nor give up the parental ship all together.

And when a parent DOES allow and/or encourages such asinine, illegal, and dangerous action and behavior by underage children, well, nothing short of being held accountable and judged to the fullest extent of the law should occur.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Kate McCann's Journal Entries: ...and the truth shall get you arrested

I've been diligently following the story of missing four-year old Madeline McCann and read the following news comments in a September 13, 2007, online edition of Time magazine:

On May 3, nine days before her fourth birthday, Madeleine McCann, a British girl on vacation with her parents in Portugal, disappeared. She hasn't been found in more than four months despite one of the most intensive and far-flung missing-person searches in history. This past spring and summer, Europe and much of the rest of the globe became fixated on the disappearance, which carries both the international breadth of the Diana tragedy and the hypersentimental, at times prurient fascination that Americans brought to the unsolved case of another little blond girl, JonBenét Ramsey.The Pope and even bigger global celebrities--David Beckham and J.K. Rowling among them--have taken an interest in the search for Madeleine. People around the world have given more than $2 million to a private investigative fund begun by Drs. Kate Healy McCann and Gerry McCann, Madeleine's parents. Yet many Americans have only a vague sense of Madeleine's case and why it has mesmerized so many for so long. Only in the past few days, when it emerged that her parents might be charged with accidentally killing her, has Madeleine's image begun to appear with regularity in the U.S. media.

On September 7, Portuguese authorities named both parents as suspects and within a brief amount of time Kate McCann's (mother of Madeline) personal diary entries were being examined by Portuguese investigators as well as being quoted online in the court of public opinion.

I literally cringed upon reading the first online heading:

Kate McCann's diary 'tells of struggle to control Madeleine'

Look, I'm an ocean (or two) away from the all the details and I'm not about to purport to know what's-what when it comes to the investigation of this yet another horror story of loss and every parents nightmare. All I know is gleaned from what I read in online news articles and what I hear on television.

Clearly, the facts of the case are for the authorities to settle. However, I literally cringe upon consideration of a mother's personal journal/diary musings being copied, printed, and quoted for public consumption--especially given the fact that up until this moment, Kate McCann has not been officially charged with specific crimes against her daughter. Nor have these diary documents been presented against her in an official court of law. No, her words were filed away in the confines of her journal; read and copied by authorities; and then leaked to journalists.

Can you even begin to imagine YOUR journal entries made during the frustrating, weary, and difficult years of motherhood being read and dissected? Analyzed and judged? I want this little girl found as much as the next mother reading these words. And I understand ALL things must come under minute scrutiny to accomplish the end goal. I understand...but God forbid any one of us stand convicted based on our gut-wrenchingly authentic confessions and struggles squirreled away in a journal or computer document alone.




Friday, September 21, 2007

MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Convention

I'm typing from my Gaylord Palm Resort balconey view room in semi-sunny (a tornado touched down just fifty miles from here last night) Florida. Over 4,000 women in leadership positions have converged sans children for three days and nights of training, fellowship, food, and frivolity. Ahhh....sweet!

Last night I spoke with a couple hundred of those wonderful women and reconnected at my book and product table regarding matters of the heart and home. You know stuff like toddlers refusing to poop in the potty, strong-willed toddlers (and teenagers); and mothes finding REAL LIFE-CHANGE from their anger due to the material and honest discussion offered in my first book, She's Gonnal Blow: Real Help for Moms Dealing with Anger.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Check this out

Sometimes One Tough Mother simply needs to be reminded--gently reminded--of the glorious insanity of those earlier parenting years. Click on the video frame of a blue-shirted dad playing a guitar to your right under the title, "Pachelbel Bedtime" and enjoy!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Britney

I watched the opening and just finished reading through a dozen or so "reviews" regarding Britney Spear's Sunday night come-back performance on the MTV Video Music awards in Las Vegas.

Sigh.

From the moment her eyes made contact with the camera, every Tough cell in me wanted to jump through the fiber optic cables (and/or whatever gets the image from there to here) and rescue a young woman imploding moment by moment on stage. To rescue a young mother of two little boys with words of hope and One Tough Mother truth.

The magazines, gossip sites, and sorry stand-up comedians who have reveled in her fall will no doubt continue with their vapid, useless, and soul-killing comments. But for those who have known grace (and please tell me we are many) there was no thrill or glee noting her...

vacant eyes,
lethargic and stilted dance moves,
forced, tired and over-played sexuality.

So, today, as you're going about your routine, mundane, and oh-so-blessed everyday life as a mom, think of Britney and pray for her. Pray for all the details which we need not know about via Star magazine or TMZ.com. Pray for her own mother, Lynne Spears, and for their relationship. Pray Britney will discover her true worth apart from sculpted abs or the fleeting acclaim of an audience.