Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Five years ago tomorrow, Peanut was born 6.5 weeks early. We were very, very lucky. He was well-developed, a fighter, and needed only 9 days in the NICU with minimal interventions.

Prematurity is a leading cause of neonatal death and sadly, the US has one of the highest rates of premature births in the developed world.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Another Halloween is gone. Peanut wasn't feeling up to par and had fits over his costume. We eventually convinced him to wear it and all went out for a little trick-or-treating fun.

When we got home, I noticed this in his bag:

Why do people feel the need to give this absolute crap to children? Why? I respect that some Christians feel obligated to spread the good word. I respect that some feel Halloween is a pagan holiday to be avoided. That's fine with me. Please, turn off your porch light and don't participate. Don't instead say "I"m out of candy, but I have a book instead." My child is already terrified that he is going to die. We've had horrible meltdowns about it. The knowledge of a happy afterlife where we'll all be together is of no comfort to him. All he knows is that someday we die and that's VERY SCARY. So please, do not put your hateful shit into his bag, telling him his dog will be euthanized if he doesn't pray.


Weirdly I had lunch with several friends the day before Halloween. Two are devout Christians and one is like me, she's not church-going but was raised with religion. One is a very good friend and practices what she preaches. She's not judgmental but talks about God and her beliefs out of love. The other is a bit judgmental so I usually let the two of them talk with an occasional comment. AS we were discussing something relating to afterlife she looked at me and said "selzach, we've never really talked about your beliefs, what do you believe?" Talk about being put on the spot. I was honest. I told them I was raised Protestant and that I'm not completely sure of my beliefs. I pray, but I'm not always certain I believe in God. I'm not certain of heaven - I'd love to believe there is one, but I feel that when we die our energy dissipates and rejoins the rest of the universe.

I'm really glad I didn't ask what I was thinking when they were talking about near-death experiences: what if the feeling of peace and the light seen during near-deaths are actually a biological function of dying and not a spiritual experience?

I'm sure the more judgmental friend feels bad for me that I don't fully believe. And it is kind of sad. I would love to be convinced in God and that a wondrous afterlife is waiting for me. But I can't force myself to believe. Nor do I want to force myself into belief out of fear of hell. I think God wants us to love Him fully, not out of fear of the alternative.
Hubby and I may gripe about the stupid calls he takes for work, but he does get valid ones, too.

He was home for lunch break with the boys and me. A call came on the radio, Hubby replied and dashed out the door. I heard the siren wailing as he hurried down the street. He called a short while later to let me know he was OK. A two-year-old child was drowning in a pool and he was the closest unit to the scene. EMS was already there and had revived the child and were readying for transport to the hospital.


He's recently had a lot of calls dealing with unruly teenagers. There was the boy who was acting belligerent and threatening toward his mom. Hubby's method of dealing with him: "It doesn't take much of a man to threaten a woman. Why don't you try someone your own size - see what happens."

Another family with a troubled teenage daughter who was refusing to go to school: Hubby read her the riot act. It sounds like she has serious emotional problems and the parents are in the process of getting her into a residential program. Good for them.

The best was the tweens with 'tude. They were riding up and down their rural road on a 4-wheeler and yelling obscenities at a neighber. The neighbor got fed up and called the police dept. Hubby took the call. Driver girl starts in with the attitude "This is my 4-wheeler and I can ride it where I want..." Hubby cuts her off with "I'm not your Daddy and I'm not your friend. Give me your parent's phone number now, and your friend's too. If you keep up the attitude, you're going to JAC and I'm impounding the 4-wheeler." Her Dad was surprised to discover she wasn't riding on their driveway, alone (the girls were a couple miles from their house, with no helmets or other safety gear, illegally riding on a public road). While waiting for the dads, another neighbor shows up to speak to Hubby. She's a bus driver and the girl ignored flashing red lights to pass her bus while kids were crossing the street. Both dads got an earful and a recommendation to take the keys away.

Seriously, who lets their 12-year-old ride a 4-wheeler without a helmet or supervision?