Posts Categorized: Julie Cole

Forgiveness – A Work in Progress

Mabel's Labels Blog

Hanging on a wall in our home is a list of basic principles that our family tries to live by. It’s a visual reminder of how we should treat each other. One of those principles is “Be quick to forgive”, and every now and again, the universe reminds me of just how important that is, too.

When I was in my first year of university, I upset one of my friends. I was mortified and apologized for my action. She forgave me, it seemed, and we moved on. But over the next couple of years, every once in a while she would remind me of that mistake. I got to the point where I just didn’t want to hear about it again and again. I sat her down and said that if she mentioned it one more time, I would have to end our friendship. She was shocked to learn how painful it was for me to be reminded of it, and completely understood. We remain extremely close today and it has never been mentioned since. In fact, so much time has passed I can’t even remember what I did in the first place.

This brings me to an incident that occurred this week. I made a mistake with one of my kids that left him in a potentially dangerous situation. I was horrified, upset and my confidence was completely shaken. I couldn’t sleep for days.

What was remarkable about the situation was that even though I made an outrageous mistake with one of the kids, Daddy-o supported me completely and kept telling me what an amazing mom I am. I found this remarkable because I know what I would have done if it had been him that made the same mistake. I would have been unforgiving. I probably would have told him that he can’t be trusted. I would have made him feel like a complete failure.  But he didn’t do any of that to me.

So it has been a week of big reminders and even bigger lessons for this mama. The most important lesson being that I’m going to pay closer attention to the family principle of being quick to forgive.

Are there double standards of forgiveness in your house?  Are you forgiving with your partner?

Kindergarten – To Go or Not To Go?

Apparently I blinked. And suddenly, my sixth child will be starting Junior Kindergarten in September.

Six kids in elementary school. There was a time I never thought I’d see the day, and now I feel like I don’t want to see the day.

My other five children attended kindergarten for half days every day. It suited us perfectly. We established a nice daily routine. On the days I worked, Nanny Hazel was there for them, so I never had daycare issues or logistics to juggle.

Next year, our school is providing full day kindergarten – every single day. I’m just not sure how I feel about this.

My teacher friends assure me that it’s play-based and kid-directed. Children move at individual levels and are free to let their own interests guide their learning.

But then I’m left wondering:

-          If I don’t have to send my kid, should he go? He’ll be in the “system” for a heck of a long time. Do I need my four-year old to be gone all day, every day?

-          If I don’t send him, is he going to somehow fall behind or not be as stimulated as the other children?

Look at how things are done in Finland. Finnish kids start school at 7-years old, get 75 minutes of recess a day and don’t have exams or homework until they are teens. Yet Finland’s schools get top ranking for international education systems.

Then sometimes I think that I’m just in denial that my baby is growing up. When you’ve had babies at home as long as I have, it feels just plain weird to think about an empty house with no more daytime play dates, walks, or Mommy and Me gymnastics.

So, what do you think? Full-day kindergarten – yes or no?

Wanted: Good Neighbors

Earlier this week, a mom in the autism community reached out to me for some ideas or suggestions for dealing with a difficult neighbor. Her son, who is quite severely affected by autism, has recently developed a verbal tic/stim. Often verbal tics/stims present as loud, unusual, and random sounds.

Apparently this neighbor finds the verbal tic annoying to listen to when the little guy is playing in his backyard or swimming in the pool with his family. So annoying, in fact, that he regularly calls the police to report the child. When the police arrived the other night, they actually suggested the parents try to restrict the time their son spends outside—to keep their neighbor happy.

Yes, you read that correctly—his parents were asked to keep their son inside so he doesn’t make noises that upset his neighbors. Needless to say, their young daughter was left crying inconsolably because the police were at her home to deal with an issue her brother is unable to change.

It is nothing short of disgusting that a neighbor would be so intolerant of a child’s disability that he feels compelled to call the police. Equally disturbing is that the police found it appropriate to suggest keeping a young boy confined to his house, because his disability is an “annoyance” to the neighbors.

My first question was whether the mom had spoken to the neighbors about the issue. She told me they weren’t interested in listening. Whenever she has made an attempt to explain her son’s behavior, she is shut down and met with, “Yes, yes…we KNOW he’s autistic!” How’s that for empathy? I wonder how this guy would go living next to us—with six kids, our backyard noise levels are off the chart.

But this is about more than a cranky neighbor; this is about intolerance for disability. And for that, I’ve got two dozen eggs in my fridge that are looking for a good home on the outside of an idiot’s house. Anyone care to join me?

How would you respond if this was your neighbor? Have you experienced, or even heard of  anything like this? 

Related Posts with Thumbnails