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What Should We Do With Our Children?

I’m getting ready to shave my head. This is no idle threat. I’ve done it before. Actually, I came out looking quite debonaire at the time, but that was years ago. May not go so well this time. I’m older. Wrinklier. And in terms of my last post, cuter.

Bald too, but that shouldn’t factor in at all. Should it?

I’m not sure it would make a difference anyway. I’ll just do what needs to be done. It’s like a habit.

Don’t you relish things you read? Time can be condensed, ugly things might be skipped, and you can jump to the part you relish.

Right now, my youngest boy is tearing off a huge fit. Now you have a chance to meet him. He’s beautiful; he runs, jumps, and plays with exquisite abandon. In that he is like every child should be. His face mirrors my wife’s. The rest of him duplicates me as a hellion of that age.

Involuntary smiles, laughs, guffaws, and genuine knee-slapping good times happen to everyone around him when he behaves, and he is definitely a boy. His twin sister, with her deep dimples and love of getting dressed up, is every bit the female as he embodies the male. They are regular toddlers Venus and Mars. They approach life with a gusto that I hope never fades. That is not to say they are the most beautiful children in the world (but of course they are). As a matter of fact – and this should be treated as a booming voice from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel – Every child born should be viewed as the most beautiful being in the universe because they are. Especially to homo sapiens.

Maybe not so much to the rest of the universe, but that will be another blog.

For the past month and more I had the pleasure of substitute teaching in a self-contained classroom for children with special needs. I hope I made positive differences for every one of the children there. I tried to stay longer, even applied to do it permanently, but alas, those that administer the choice decided another person would best serve their needs, and that’s okay. As long as it does, I’m happy.

The reason I brought it up here was a young girl attending their classroom who told us one day, in the most graphic way what happened to her at home. Please understand. While I work with words and my novels, indeed my blog never shies away from clear visualizations, I am not shocked by these words. Hell’s fires I’m not even taken back by a youngster her age using rough words that communicate things in rough ways. What disgusts me is she used her words in the correct context coupled with correlating bodily actions. That made my brows elevate to my hairline. I know, all the way up.

I will not repeat what she told me, and this is not to protect her parents, the sorriest assholes with which I have had the misfortune of being on the planet. To paraphrase a line from The Lion in Winter – if they were on fire, I would not piss on them to put them out. My personally imposed gag-order is partly because there are limits beyond which I will not write and describe. The lion share of my gag-order is because she lived through an amount of bullshit treatment incomparable to anything any child ever lived through.

There are worse things put upon a child, but they involve the child expiring.

Somehow I must escape from this aphotic visualization. I must ask the obvious question. Why the hell do people hurt children? Believe me, I understand the frustration of listening to the inevitable screams of displeasure and the tantrums. That still does not license anyone to abuse children. Unlike James Bond stories, there is no license to do what you want to anyone, especially growing youngsters.

I think we should all face the fact that developing from babyhood is hard work. It is intense, and the first twenty-five years are the toughest. It is so excruciating we won’t even let them join the workforce for the first many years. That’s true in this country, unfortunately not so in some others. I understand having the children pitch-in for the sake of survival. I don’t like it at all, but I get it. Having them do things for the pleasure of adults disgusts me. That is unless that pleasure is to hear the children laugh and have fun. Most of the time it is not. It certainly wasn’t the case for the youngster in my classroom.

Oh, the twins just stormed in like whirling dervishes, stopped, wrapped their arms around me, and hugged as hard as they could which amounted to gentle squeezes of their arms, heads rubbed on the side of my thighs like a cat purring, and a little chattering in their own language. I say it’s their language. What they do is babble away with occasional nods and shakes of their head followed by more gibbering and or tearing about with squeals of pleasure. To me, there is an exchange of ideas between the two. They demonstrate love for each other – they run, play, hug, and have an occasional fight. In the end, though, they lie down and nap together, wrapping the other with their arms in contentment.

Last night they woke in the middle of the night, crawled in bed with me and the boy did the flamenco on my back and both the girl and he laughed the remainder of the night, no matter how much I growled and barked at them like a dog. But that was the extent of my behavior. There was no yelling, swatting blindly, or God forbid, blindly causing blood to appear anywhere.

How do people become so self-absorbed that they can, and do, things that make children want to do themselves in? And this is what happens to far too many of the little Cherubs. Incidentally, if you cannot see them as angels at any time, then there is a reason why, and it ain’t their true selves shining through, more like your own getting in the way.

I understand that. I’ve let my true self get in the way plenty of damn times, but it stops there. Kids need room to grow, room to live and experience life under sheltered conditions. Why then does society let this crap happen. The answer is simple. Society can only do so much to prevent it. As long as there are people bent on outwitting everyone else and do harm to others, we can’t stop it. I suppose we might have to wait for Humans to grow up.

Or … we can be the diligent ones and never lose sight of our children and protect them.

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Paradoxes

Today is a day of paradoxes. My little angels are devils today. This day is supposed to be a calm, relaxing day, a few flurries flying about, outside but … It didn’t snow yesterday, it was freezing rain and sleet. Miserable.

Oh God. Now the pre-teens are awake. And now, of course, that means there are hormones to fly, fights to pick, and insults to scream. I can’t wait for all of the cacophonies to begin.

Everybody loves a good fight. Right? Hell no!

So now, in a wink, everything quiets and my Celestial Beings return. They look as if they could churn butter in their mouths. Pour in some cream and presto. There it is. No telling how long it might last though. This day looks to be a quick-change day too.


My original thought about this blog was to talk about humor but a few things sidetracked me. The first things are the kids. Anyone that has one or more knows what I’m talking about here. Oh, and I guess I’ve given a few hints about them above. They are so consistently capricious, and when they are, they charm with irritation. I do love them. You would too once you met them. They’re kind of like me – cute.

Just the other day I had a woman mention that I’m cute. She was on the phone with some of her peers and said it three times within as many minutes. Now let me tell you that is just what a man needs to hear, that he’s cute. Ordinarily, I would simply blow it off. I did start to tell my wife that she had nothing to worry about but decided not to tell her. She has no reason to be jealous about anything or anyone because no woman wants a cute old man except to grin at from afar, that and maybe the grandkids like it. Once you reach the cute stage your machismo sinks like the Titanic.

I guess I haven’t been a woman magnet in years. Well, that’s not really true. I don’t think I’ve ever been a huge draw for driving women into a lathering frenzy. I’ve always been the kind of guy that does the right thing. You know the boring gentleman.

Oh. Will you look at those words. I’ve cut myself to the quick. What a fibber I’ve become. I didn’t use to be the boring one. I used to be a bad guy. How bad? Let’s just say I’ve had my face slapped several times and, yes, I deserved it. Here’s the bottom line about it though. I learned from each experience and didn’t do or say whatever it was that triggered the quick-slap. So does that make me a good-bad guy? Dunno.

During the course of my life, I’ve done several jobs that rounded off my sharp corners. I’m rather well traveled. I was a soldier (really loved that profession too, by the way). That was where I learned the skills I give to my characters in my thrillers; the kind of things that lend realism to the suspense. Before the Army, I was a roughneck in the oilfields of Oklahoma, and that was after I coached gymnastics. My most long-lived job was a restauranteur. At least with that, food wasn’t hard to come by. Did I mention being a teacher? How about a school bus driver?

Oh, what the hell. Right now I’m boring and … cute (the death knell of machismo).


I guess it’s better than just being a grizzled old bastard. I’ve been an undying bastard, a real son-of-a-bitch, a sorry asshole, and an ever-loving shithead. I guess it won’t hurt to be … grumpy and cute. Not that I have any say in the matter. The image of a cute old man looks to be assigned to you by someone else. Once again, this kind of news isn’t that important. It won’t cause the poles to reverse and make the south pole and north pole change positions. It won’t eradicate the most heinous thing of which I can imagine, child abuse.

What I’m talking about now is, I suppose, only a part of growing older. It’s froth on a beer, fluff on hot cocoa, or maybe a piece like this. While this may be lite and comical it is far from life shattering substance.

The reason I wrote this is simple, I had a blog ready to post but I’m holding off on it, because It is rather dark and deals with a problem that I can’t stand, and I needed to lighten my own mood.

Again, a paradox. It’s like being a published author that no longer has a book on the shelves. The Sigma Factor is soon to be back on the e-shelves. Not long after that, I should have my second book out. The Great Zero Sum should be out by next year. I am looking for Beta readers now. These are readers that get a free copy of the book along with the chance to have input into the final copy, a voice to tell me what you liked, or perhaps didn’t like. If you want to do that for me leave a comment and I will get back to you.