Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Wait a minute. Save a life.

Last week, a crossing guard led a bunch of us through the intersection in front of my kids’ elementary school. Like he does every day.

But halfway through the crosswalk, a woman in an SUV headed for the middle-school car line decided she’d waited long enough and pushed right past us, wiggling around 10-year-olds with backpacks and their outraged parents.

She drove past children. In a crosswalk. Directly in front of school. With a crossing guard in a bright yellow vest holding a flashing STOP sign.

As I voiced my disgust, the crossing guard confessed, “It happens all the time.”

Yesterday, when I learned of the three sweet children killed by a driver blatantly ignoring the lights and stop sign on their school bus, I was devastated. But I wasn’t surprised.

I’ve seen cars speed around stopped buses before, just like the driver who blatantly ignored our crossing guard.

Happens. All. The. Time.

And how sad is that? That these little kids just trying to get to school, they follow the rules, they wait where they’re supposed to and cross when they’re supposed to. But this driver was what? Too busy? Too distracted? In a hurry?

Unacceptable. And heartbreaking. And hopefully, a wake-up call for others.

One minute to wait for a school bus or a crossing guard won't make a dent in your day.

But it could save a life. 

Or three.

Five IEP reminders I tell my son

We have a complicated relationship with Individualized Education Programs (IEP). They are a wonderful tool to help my son get the boost he needs. At the same time, he feels the social stigma of having accommodations (for dyslexia) that his peers don't have.

I tackle this tough subject in my latest article in Grown and Flown:

Five things I want my teen to know about this IEP.

If you enjoy this article, please like, comment and share on social media. Thank you!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

5 things you should know about my son with dyslexia

In honor of Dyslexia Awareness Month, please check out my latest article in Grown and Flown:
My teen has dyslexia; five things I want you to know about him.

As always, if you enjoyed this article, please like, comment and share on social media. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Failing at picture day, but I’m OK with that

As soon as my kids could dress themselves, I quit picking out their day-to-day outfits. Sure I’ll dictate their clothing for weddings, funerals, perhaps Christmas Eve with the extended family. But otherwise, it’s their call.

Picture day at school falls into a grey area.

When he was little, I’d encourage my oldest to wear a dress shirt on picture-day morning, and from kindergarten through fifth grade he actually complied. (Sixth grade was a different story, and I quickly decided it wasn’t worth the battle after that.)

However, way back in first grade, after donning the crisp button-down his mother liked so much, my son finished off the ensemble with athletic pants. When I suggested he grab some bottoms that somewhat matched his top, he explained that from his kindergarten picture the previous year, he was 100-percent certain the camera only captured from his mid-torso up.

His school picture would only show the dress shirt, and no one but his classmates would see the sweatpants.

He’s wasn’t wrong.

I’m a sucker for a well-played negotiation, so I let him get away with the questionable pairing. Picture day wasn’t a good enough excuse to forgo comfy pants, he knew it and I knew it. And, to his credit, his first-grade photo turned out super cute.

My youngest is 10 now and has always been more easy going than his big brother. So I was genuinely surprised when he challenged me this year on picture day. I had laid out one polo shirt and two button-up dress shirts for him to pick from. But, uncharacteristically, he grumbled back at me.

Turns out, he really wanted to wear a dark grey T-shirt with thin white stripes. He’s really into black and dark grey these days. And the shirt he handpicked is actually quite cute, still in good shape, no stains or holes or fading.

Without much thought, I replied to his protest with some vague comment about wanting him to “look nice” for the photos, and I assumed he would drop it.

But he didn’t. In fact, his rebuttal was priceless.

“They use those pictures in case you get kidnapped. I never dress up like that. Wouldn’t it be better if my kidnap picture actually looked like ME?!”

Touché, my child.

As I’m sure you can imagine, he wore the striped shirt.

Self-advocacy. Reasonable, logical negotiation. I’d gladly take those over a stuffy dress shirt.