Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Activity Night

I had a little "inspiration" after speaking to a few parents about this and thought I'd get some feedback.

Activity Night. It's one of those things I've never really liked.

What is it? Well funny you ask because the definition of "Activity Night" in my mind is different from what really happens there these days. When I went to school, "Activity Night" included dancing to music from a DJ, basketball, ping pong, board games, refreshments served in the cafeteria, and walking around with friends. I remember having fun those nights and dancing til I was a soaked sweaty mess and running out to meet my Mom who was waiting in the car to pick me up when it was over. I remember rattling off about what songs they played and who was there.

When it finally came time for Kayleigh to attend her first "Activity Night", she went and when I picked her up she said it was boring and she didn't want to go to another one. So from 6th-8th grade, she only attended one activity night and then she attended her 8th grade dance.

Now that Kacey is in middle school, it's that time again. She missed the first one because we had plans but from what we heard after that night, she really didn't miss anything. You see, these "Activity Nights" these days are MUCH different from the ones I went to. Girls follow the boys around. Wait...they practically chase them! They're holding hands. They're slow dancing with boys. They're walking around and stopping to "talk" in corners. BOY CRAZY girls! So where does this leave me? Kacey is NOT into boys. She's been in a girls group that is teaching her to "guard her heart" and not give it out to any boy that walks around. She's being taught morals and values about how to stay pure to herself and follow a path that is faithful to God and His ways. So why in the world would I take her up there and subject her to this wrong? Should she be dropped off and given the chance to be in the middle of all of that on purpose? Should I discourage her from this behavior? After all, we've had the talks about it before and how middle school boys and girls are NOT supposed to "date" and she should never be left in a room alone with a boy. Do I trust her? Absolutely! But I feel like I'm sticking her in a situation that she shouldn't be in. I feel "Activity Nights" are NOT being monitored properly. Now, in defense of that first night, I was not there. I did not chaperone. My child did not attend. BUT...I listened to several parents talk about what their kids came home with. So why in the world would I put my child in that situation. Even if she asked to go...I would say "No."

So how about you? Would you let your child attend an "Activity Night" that you knew consisted of boy/girl dancing at 11-12 years old? Would you let your child have a boyfriend/girlfriend at 11-12 years old? Should middle schoolers be dating? Should they be allowed to hold hands and "talk" in dark corners? Do you think that this is a problem in todays society?

And just FYI....not long ago there were more than 10 girls pregnant in Kayleigh's high school. I know I was one of those unsupervised teens and I was just graduated when I got pregnant....BUT...is this a problem? Are these kids being left unsupervised to raise themselves and that is whats getting them into these problems? Are they not involved in enough extracurricular activities? Do they not have enough homework? LOL!

I'm leaving this open for a little debate. Please keep it nice. But I'm just wondering if I see the world a little different than most Moms or do I see it the same way and there are just too few of us to make a change?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tis' The Season

Whew! Life certainly got busy the last two weeks. Things seem to fly this time of year! I'm finally able to sit for a few minutes to update.

The Power Pump Girls are doing GREAT! Kacey settled in nicely with the extra button pushing steps on the Animas pump compared to the Cozmo pump. She is LOVING that remote feature and when you ask her if she misses Goober, she quickly says "Nope!". Could I ask for a better transition? Nope! I am pleased we made the switch for her but I can honestly say...those 2am checks take a little longer since there are a few more steps involved. And what do I miss most? THE ALERTS! The alert for lows....the alert for highs...the alert for site changes. *sigh* But I guess if I had to give those up in exchange for the remote and a very happy baby girl...then I am happy that we did it.

We finally got all the Christmas decorations up inside. That is such a chore! But now my house feels so cozy and ready for the holidays. We still can't get the outside done yet because the ground is too wet. Guess thats the price we pay for living in a flood zone!

Each year around this time, we choose an angel from the Angel Tree. We've done this since the girls were little. We choose one for each girl, as close to their age as we can. This year, the girls decided to change the plans a bit.

They chose to be a Santa to a Senior living in a nursing home/assisted living center. As they made their way around the tree to choose the person they would be buying for, I listened to their coments.
"Wow! This lady is 80."
"Do you think they will know us?"
"Do they have family to bring them presents?"
"I wonder if we can visit them?"

And then....Mabel. Who is she? What kind of life did she lead? None of that mattered to Kacey. All she saw was "Diabetic candy and white socks". Yep...there was an instant connection! I felt like my heart grew 10 times it's size and I felt my eyes well up with tears. Kacey immediately grabbed this ornament off the tree! "I want her Mommy!"..."She has diabetes too!"..."She needs good socks for her feet!"..."I wonder if she has diabetes all her life?" She was spouting stuff and jumping around with excitement like she'd just won the lottery. She didn't care that this lady was in a nursing home. She didn't care that she was 80 years old. She didn't see the simple things she needed for Christmas...things that tugged at my heart strings. She only saw the connection she had with her.

Kayleigh chose Olivia. She wanted some of the same things that Mabel did. It didn't matter that she was 80 years old. Kayleigh just wanted someone to buy for this year. 

As the days passed, we purchased what these ladies needed. But the girls kept asking questions like, "Can we go visit them?"..."Can we take them presents in person?"..."I wonder if they can talk?"..."Do you think they have family that comes to visit them?" Some of the conversations really choked me. It's easy to explain the Angel Tree to the girls. It's for kids less fortunate. But how do you explain the Santa to a Senior? Especially when they ask some of those difficult questions. My girls felt this heart tug and wanted to deliver these presents in person. How do I tell them "No"? I knew we couldn't visit them...or could we? The whole process is supposed to be anonymous anyway. So I sat them both down and explained that their hearts are in the right place and if they wanted to write cards out for them both then we could put it inside the bag so they knew a child shopped for them this year. I didn't dare tell them that the card would probably be trashed when the gifts were picked up for wrapping. They were both so excited to write to these ladies and once again my heart exploded with love.

I've done my best to raise my kids on the straightest path, despite the crooked world around them. I've worked hard to instill morals and values in them ....and encouraged them to stand strong when everyone else around them is tempted. It's hard...very hard...but no one said parenting would be easy. I've been open and honest with both of them and I think that is the key to it all. We talk about things, we pray about things and they're slowly but surely beginning to see how God is working through them. And that is how I was able to explain it all in a nutshell.....God put you in front of that tree. You don't know this older lady but God does. God knows her needs and He chose you to help Him with it. It doesn't matter what age she is...a senior from the tree or a child from the angel tree...the bottom line is you took the time to help someone in need....and for that, you will be blessed. God blesses those who listen to Him and are good and faithful servants. You don't have to be personally connected to the person to help them.

How did they respond? With smiles and tears in their eyes! They knew they'd done something good this year and it was a GREAT feeling! As a matter a fact...I asked them both when we got to the store to deliver the bags..."How does your heart feel?"
Kacey: "It feels better than Christmas morning!"
Kayleigh: "Its an amazing feeling to help someone, Mom!"

Mission accomplished! We did what we were set out to do!

During the holiday season, I urge you to help someone in need. Pick an angel off that tree and buy for a less fortunate child. Make a meal for a struggling family so they don't have to cook. Send a card to someone you may not regularly speak to just to let them know you're thinking of them during the holiday. Give and make God smile and bless you!

And on another happy note....I'm super-dooper excited about winning Hallie's contest! Thank you Hallie for being an amazing D-Momma and awesome blogger. Thank you for working hard to hold contests all month long. Kacey is going to be thrilled with this prize. She's never had a custom made pack from any place online. My Mom has always made her packs for her so this is an extra special prize for us to be able to create one of our own. Thank you to Too-Sweet Boutique for donating this wonderful prize. We're so blessed!!