Wednesday, August 28, 2013

How Does One Talk to a Three-Year-Old About Cerebral Palsy?




"Hey, JJ, what did you do today with daddy?"
"We go to Shriners with daddy."
"Oh, yeah, that was Friday. Today is Saturday. What did you do this morning while mama and Malachi were at ABM?"
"Today is Saturday?"
"Yep."
(silence.)
"So, what did you do with daddy at Shriners?"
"We go to Shriners with daddy and mama and Kai-kai. We have appointment."
"Yep. Hey, JJ.... Why do you think Malachi has so many appointments?"
(Silence.)
"How come Malachi has appointments? Does JJ have appointments?"
"No, JJ not have appointments."
"How come Malachi has appointments?"
"How come Malachi have appointments?"
"It's because Malachi has cerebral palsy, remember?"
"See-bral pazie. What's that?"
"It means Malachi got hurt in his brain. Remember yesterday we were talking about where thoughts come from. They come from inside your head, in your brain. Malachi got hurt there when he was a little baby. Now he needs appointments to help him learn how to walk and stuff, like we are."
"We are walking."
"Yep, we are walking. Mama is walking and JJ is walking, all by ourselves. Kai-kai is learning how to walk like that too. No wheelchairs, no walkers. Just all by himself, like us. We are trying to teach him how at appointments."
"Malachi walk by himself."
"Yep, we are trying to help him learn."
"Mama hold."
"Oh. Yes, that's right. Mama holds Malachi to walk sometimes."
(long silence.)
"Here's the blackberries. Can you reach them? Here, pick only the ones that are all black."
"These are blackberries. Not raspberries."
"Yep, not raspberries. Don't pick the red ones, just the all-black ones."
"I like to do something."
"You like to do something?"
"Yeah, I like do something. Pick blackberries. And mama like to do something. And Kai-kai likes to do something, too."
"Yeah, hon. Kai-kai probably would like to pick blackberries. Maybe we'll try to bring him next time."




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Looking for a meaningful gift? Dark & Light: A Love Story in Black and White is a beautiful and insightful board book available here. All profits go towards my son's medical needs. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Stories of Random Acts of Kindness



For my 30th birthday, I asked for 30 people to do an act of kindness and tell me about it on my Facebook page. So far, nine wonderful people have told me their stories and I love them so much I thought I would share a few of them here.

Some people said they only remembered about my request after their act. But that was fine too, because it made me realize that we really don't have a forum for talking about this kind of stuff. Unless someone specifically asks you about a time you did a good deed, you're pretty unlikely to share it because you feel like you're grandstanding.

Well. Not here, my friend. I want to hear all of those stories because they show us how much good there is out in the world and how much power we have to change it, one deed at a time.

Just like these women I heard about yesterday, who are now my new heroes. They took it upon themselves to work a little harder at saving money and put that money directly into helping random strangers. It's a great story. I highly recommend you click on the link.

So, without further ado, here's some fantastic stories from my Facebook page.


Bobby
I thought of your acts of kindness challenge when pondering this decision. I decided to let ,my husbands high school friend that is going through a divorce stay in our home for awhile. This was a lot for me to choose this as an option, because we really enjoy our family time and for somebody else to constantly be in our home is a lot to ask. And to say the least he has a very large presence. However it is helping him out tremendously and I am happy that our kindness Wil get him to the next step along his path.

Nisha
I donated one cup of rice to a hungry Indian through http://bhookh.com/ in honour of your birthday. Happy birthday we love you!!! (This one is from Nisha, a fellow blogger, who wrote this lovely post about my challenge. Nisha is an inspiration!)

Leila
Thank you for the acts of kindness challenge - its given me the extra edge to speak up in two situations I wouldn't have otherwise. The act was very very small on my part, but it took an enormous effort on my part to actually speak to a stranger. I was sitting next to a woman with three kids, two at or under two, one on her lap and one screaming to get up. Screaming, relentlessly, the entire ride. I tried to smile at her and the kids, and the hard part for me, as I was reaching my stop, I told her I'd been there, and she was amazingly patient and doing a great job. For someone that prefers to keep her head down and never ever make eye contact, let alone speak, it was a big deal for me. Thank you for the push to reach out!

There's still a few days left in the month of August! And, if you remember from my original challenge, everyone who tells me about their act of kindness — preferably on my Facebook page — is entered to win their own "act of kindness" from me. What will it be? I can't say yet because I hope to tailor it to the random winner! So get out there and do some good!


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Looking for a meaningful gift? Dark & Light: A Love Story in Black and White is a beautiful and insightful board book available here. All profits go towards my son's medical needs. 

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

30 Random Acts of Kindness
for My 30th

My birthday has always been bizarrely important to me. As a child, my otherwise mild-mannered self would turn into an attention-seeking monster proclaiming: "It's MY birthday," to anyone who would listen. My peers would shrug and accept my royal status as fact, which only added fuel to the fire.

But ever since my boys were born, my birthday (along with the rest of my life) has taken a back seat. I get out my need to plan a themed BBQ early in the summer and have no juice left for my own birthday in mid-August. Last year I didn't really celebrate my 29th birthday at all, figuring I would save up my energy for something really cool for my 30th.

Well, my 30th is less than a week away and I have no plans. This is not because I'm moping about entering my 30s, by the way. I strongly feel that I earned those years. And, I often hear from older friends that one's 30s usually trumps one's 20s anyway.

So, I want to celebrate but I realized that a party is not quite what I have in mind. I have been reminded in recent days how incredibly nice many of my friends are. So, friends, here is my birthday challenge to you, if you choose to accept it:

I want to log 30 random acts of kindness for my 30th birthday. My goal is to recruit 30 of you to do something unexpectedly nice for someone else, and then tell me about it on my Facebook page. There are only two rules:

1. It has to be something you weren't already planning.

2. You have to tell me about it, preferably on my Facebook page, before the end of August.

As added encouragement and to let you know that I am not just sitting on the sidelines here, I will randomly choose one of the 30 (or more???) entrants to receive their own act of kindness. I can't tell you what it is yet because I hope to tailor it to whoever is randomly selected, but believe me when I say it will be a substantial gift because I've learned that those are the most fulfilling to ME. And it is MY birthday after all! :D

Your random act of kindness can be to family, friends or strangers, but I encourage you to be as creative as possible. If you always make pancakes on Saturday, but add blueberries this time, that's awesome but it's not really what I'm after. My dream is for you to get out of your comfort zone, make a bold decision, take that next step to making the world a little better place.

But don't let that scare you off, either. As I mentioned in my post last January about giving, even just $2 can do an amazing amount of good. All I ask is that if you see a need and hesitate to fulfill it, please use my birthday as the added excuse and oomph to follow through! If it makes you feel good, then you're doing it right!

Despite some of my recent grumbly posts, I really have had some amazingly positive experiences in the last two years. I would love for those good vibes to continue. It would really be the best birthday present ever to know that 30 of my friends made a difference in the world just because I was born!

Think about it, will ya? Thanks! Much love to you all!



P.S. Here's a gratuitously cute picture of my kids sharing an ice cream cone. They thought this was hilarious.






Feel free to share this post using the icon buttons below and if you haven't subscribed to my RSS feedliked me on Facebook or followed me on Twitter, there's no time like the present! 

Need a great gift? Dark & Light: A Love Story in Black and White is a beautiful and insightful board book available here. All profits go towards my son's medical needs. 

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