Just me and my random and irregular thoughts since April 12th, 2004.
Lately I find myself wanting to avoid all social media. It started with IM a few months ago, and is spreading to Twitter and Facebook, which until my injuries, I was pulling away from. Why? Because of all the whining. It's become epidemic.
I originally became involved in these because I enjoyed the communication with friends, the laughter, and yes, the commiseration. I loved the daily contact with friends, hearing what they were up to, and making plans for get togethers. I loved the humorous stories of children, family, and pets. But in the last year, all of that seems to have taken on a darker tone. People viciously mocking others behind their back, constantly degrading family members. making fun of those whose grammar, lifestyle, or beliefs may not be on a level with their own, and others who are always looking for the negative in any interaction or situation. It seems to be more of a glass half empty outlook instead of a glass half full outlook.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it should be all puppies, roses, rainbows, and sunshine, everyone needs to vent now and then. I'd just like to see all my friends, family, co-workers, etc., have a little more joy in their lives. Lighten up, smile, go for a bike ride, have an ice cream, hug a kid, leave the negativity behind.
I think I'll go sit in the backyard now, and watch the grass grow.
This year the girls started Kindergarten as all 2 of you know. Last Fall we noticed that Riley was putting her face very close to everything she was looking at, reading, etc. and she was walking up to the board a lot to see what it said. When questioned about it she said the board was too far away, that she couldn't tell what it said. I spoke with the teacher, and she told me that the following month they were going to have a vision screening with an optometrist, so we should wait until then to make any decisions. As it turns out she was referred for further examination. Yesterday we picked the girls up at lunch, and finally had that appointment.
We set the appointment for both girls since it was long overdue for both to have an official eye exam. After several different exams, eye dilation x2, and one more exam it was determined that Sam had mostly normal vision. She does have an astigmatism (thank you hereditary), but that is not affecting her vision at the moment. She was/is extremely sad that she does not need glasses. She wants them badly and is insanely jealous of Riley over this issue.
Riley, on the other hand, had far greater problems than we had ever imagined. We (I) had thought that there might be a slight deficit that could be easily corrected with glasses, maybe associated with an astigmatism or the like. Unfortunately we were to find out differently. Apparently she has not been using her left eye at all, and has been letting her right eye do all of the work for both. We don't know how or when this started, but we've been told that it's been caught early enough to fix. Riley has been referred to a specialist who will probably patch her good eye in varying time lengths to help strengthen the weak eye. If that does not work, then the next step would be surgery. Obviously we are praying for the patching to work its' magic.
On to the issue of glasses. She was a little nervous about having to wear them and how the other kids would react, but once she discovered that Sam wanted glasses too it changed everything. She picked out a really cute pair without any assistance from Mom, Dad, or the sales crew. They fitted them out with her prescription, and we were on our way. She donned them for the first time at school today, and was pleasantly surprised by the positive reactions from her classmates. One of the boys came up to her and said, "I really like your glasses, they look very nice on you." This was without any prompting from anyone. As for the girls in the class, they were just as complimentary and it would now appear that all the girls in her class want glasses too. Success!
Updates to follow in June.
A few weeks ago I was asked to sit on a parents panel for our local twins group regarding education. That meeting takes place tonight. There are going to be representatives from as many types of schools as possible including public, private, and parochial. It got me to thinking about religion from another point of view - that of the agnostic, perhaps previously affiliated.
Many of my family and friends have stepped away from their church due to disagreements with the superiors in the church, the notion of one greater being, a mixed marriage in which neither side felt compelled to attend on their own, time commitments, perceived useless, or a number of other reasons. I too, left the church (in my case, Catholic) for a time because as a single parent I didn't feel welcome. It's like walking around with a giant red D(ivorced) on your chest. In hindsight, I wish I had not allowed myself to be intimidated in that manner.
As you may have guessed, I returned to the church, slowly but surely. Now I once again attend regularly as do my children. The reasons for this are multifold. The first being that I was raised within the church, and I think it's a large part of who I am. I truly learned kindness in the face of adversity, humility while still achieving my goals, love for my fellow earth dwellers, community, etc. Can you learn those things elsewhere? Absolutely. Is it nice to have the lessons of our youth reinforced outside of the home? Absolutely.
So how to deal with the parts of the church I disagree with? It's been a struggle, and I've had more than one person tell me I'm not Catholic because of my differing beliefs. I'm sure others have heard similar things about their faith. This weekend our Bishop came to speak to our congregation regarding a recent Bishops meeting, his thoughts, and where the church is headed. I had heard many things about this Bishop and was concerned that as a representative of the Catholic church he would be too far right for me, but I went, and I listened, and I was pleasantly surprised. He spoke of women one day being priests, he spoke of fertility treatments and birth control in a positive light, and he reminded everyone that in the end it comes down to your relationship with your God, not your relationship with your priest, your bishop, or even the Pope that you need to be worried about.
It reminded me that had everyone that disagreed with certain teachings of the church just walked away, then change would and will not happen. Vatican II, girls as alter servers, women allowed to attend mass, children involved in mass, etc? None of it would have come to pass just as there will be no future changes if we all just walk away. Now I'm not saying you should go down to your local church and start picketing the community. Far from it. I'm advocating change from within. I believe that's where it needs to come from.
For me, it's important that my children have a relationship with God. It's important that it's reinforced outside of the house, and it's important that they speak their minds when they disagree, and fight for change. For us this meant Catholic school, but it could very well have been public school supplemented by CCD classes. Either way I would have been happy.