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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Nesting or Latch Key Parenting

I read an interesting post on the New York Times web site recently.

For the purposes of this conversation I just want to focus on one idea mentioned. It is the title of today's blog. 

Nesting or Latch Key Parenting

It stands for parents moving around back and forth, while enabling the children of divorce and relationship break up to stay in their respected homes. 

Now it might seem a little creepy to have another couple...using your bed when you are not home. Especially if that couple is your x and their new love. Other wise if things are peaceful I think the idea has a lot of merit.

Being from a broken home is hard on a child. Going from one house to another is stressful. School is stressful. Life is stressful. Some stress is good for us. Most of it will not kill us. Still it has an effect and should be taken into account when looking at behavior and attitudes, especially in children.

Children need both biological parents. Biological parents fill a role no one else can ever fill in our children's lives. They need to see and be involved with us regularly. 

Many children also really appreciate routine and the comfort of home and school. In an ideal situation children have friends in the neighborhoods they live in.

Having parents understand of all these things and make the sacrifice of being a little uncomfortable for the sake of the children when relationships fall apart sounds divine.

The thing I have always loved about being a grown up is the opportunity to craft my own amazing life. I told my x once he started coming around that there really was no normal standard we had to try and emulate. 

Caring for our daughter would take whatever form we could agree upon. We were never in a position to want to house swap. We did however think that living in the same area of neighborhood would be ideal for us. 

A few years ago that is just what happened. When I ended up living with the crazy meth addict it was 3 miles from my x with the Jr. high school our daughter went to right in between us.

It was like a yellow brick road opened up. I said to him it looked like we finally had an opportunity to fully share custody. 

Before this we were living on opposite sides of town. Even with our daughter not being in school this meant he usually only saw her on weekends.

When we lived within walking distance of her school she could walk home to his house with her step siblings or I could pick her up and bring her home with me as was our custom. 

It really grew their relationship and blessed his life. We did things like every other three days or whatever she wanted. 

There is freedom in being able to communicate, compromise and share.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Surviving My Life & School

My life has bounced me around to the Hagginwood area when I finally began to realize I might have to enroll in college. Silly me I thought this would curb the bouncing around. I found a new roommate who happened to live in the Foot Hill Farms area. I knew this was a sign that I should look into Epic then called Trinity.

My roommate turned out to be a meth addict. 2 months of that bounced me to the Meadow View Pocket area. I bounced to Antelope road where we lived for two months and then we lived off Kirkby* for 7.

Lily Mar for a few weeks, Greenholme about the same. Across the street on
Madison*, for a few weeks. Citrus Heights* and Granite bay* a few days each. Natomas for 6 months. Nowhere for a month. Rocklin for the summer and finally ended up back on my own, off Hillsdale close to Trinity, sans car.

Being car less is as miserable as being homeless and I can only be comforted in the fact that these dual disasters have not befallen me at once.

* Students, Alumni and former students included in this list.

I am not sure what all God wanted me to get out of both these adventures and all the schooling going on around them. Anyone knows that cramming in information at the rate it takes to graduate in less than half a decade is not really primely conducive for depth or even retention. Nomadic living due to other desperate circumstances can unorganize even a Felix or a Monk. It was very unsettling to say the least. Heaven only knows what will be next. I can be glad things are on pace and have not been hindered.

I know other people are dealing with things that I have or worse. I can look forward to the seemingly so ordinary things I have never had. Marriage, a house, a car I get to choose on my own, and some type of career or business.

We sincerely appreciate the friends and contacts that provided us safe harbor. I have had renters and house guests so I understand the adventure that represents. I was recounting in a note all the places the young one and I have lived since the upheaval of 04. It shapes out like a greater Sacramento map.

Makes me feel like I might never leave here which is fine since there is no place I really want to go. If it were up to me I would have bypassed both legs of this journey. People are so busy off in their various directions. I wonder what it is really all about. Nothing really stands out yet.

I like to look at it as on the job training in the trenches. I know living through some things have honed my gift of discernment and talents for human administration.

I spent two whole days attending middle school. It was almost as harrowing but it's our right as parents to show our faces in the schools we send our kids to.

If I have seemed to be in shock or walked around a little traumatized well oh well. I wouldn’t wish what we have gone through on even someone who thinks them self to be my worst enemy.

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Daughters Faith

It has been a long and winding road raising a daughter of course. Gramma started weaving in faith from the very beginning. She took her on weekends almost from birth and of course this meant they attended church.

When I finally came back into the fold I took over. We attended church together but more importantly we talk about faith and prayer around the home. She would see me doing my devotionals in the morning over coffee and Christian television on the tube.

I switched our radio listening to Christian music and talk as well. To help get her on the right track in more ways than one I wrote a morning prayer for her to say which we did from like ages 6 to 9 or so.

When we were at a church that did Awanas the idea of having a prayer journal was presented to her and she embraced it some what. When we hit Ravelry she created a Christian Teens group although she was still just a pre teen herself.

We were contentedly living life without school or curriculum until the unsettling moment when through multiple mediums, people and circumstances God let us know He was sending her to public school. It was after she got sick with a fever. When it broke and she was perked up enough to talk she told me she had a dream. It is among other things she was holding a baby that said "Consecrate yourself...". I told her sounded like God was inviting her to get closer to Him.

As soon as she was enrolled in school she made friends with a girl who's mother had passed away. I knew young as my daughter was God had sent her on the mission field for ministry. He blessed her too with horse volunteer work and riding lessons. These things I explained to her as not just life's happenstances or accidents but gifts of the Lord.

We moved and she made a new friend as she entered junior high school. This girl was also a neighbor of ours. She happened to be a child in an interracial adoption who's adoptive parents had gotten divorced. One day my daughter called me from school so panicked I could barely understand what she was saying.

When I did the first thing I was thinking was why in the world did she call me and not get a member of the school staff involved or call 911. She told me she had discovered in the school bathroom that her new friend was covered in black, blue and purple bruises. The friend was claiming her adopted mother was abusing her and afraid to go home.

My daughter was calling to ask if we could shelter the girl for a night. I assured my daughter that if nothing else could be done before the end of school we would of course at least do that much. Instead when she got off the phone she discretely went to a vice principle and got her friend to come and tell. 

When I arrived to speak to the school staff about all that had happened; social services had been called and made it over to pick up the girl and get her a place to sleep in the system for the night and were on the case of investigating the situation in the girls home. 

The schools vice president could not stop raving about what a supportive blessing my daughter had been sitting with her friend trying to comfort her and keep her calm while they waited for authorities to come and get involved. 

A couple of summers ago we went to Tahoe with her current best friend and a church group. The two of them went hiking, alone and then decided to get off the trails... (things to make a parents hair go grey in no time flat eh?)

When they had walked, fallen, gotten lost and realized things were not getting any better and it was late she said "Mom I prayed Lord send us a ride home." Then she got into the first vehicle that stopped for them after that and indeed the people drove them back to our camp site miles away.

Oh my, oh my the teachable moments: 

Do not just get in the car with a stranger. 

NEVER get off the trails when hiking alone with no supplies as an inexperienced youth in unfamiliar territory! 

Prayer works!