Summer Camp


There is something very special about being away from your parents for the first time, sleeping under the stars, hiking and canoeing.
Jami Gertz quotes

I have never been to summer camp.. Well with the exception of going for a week with my whole grade six class, however, I do not count that experience as a major event in my life. Both my children have gone to camp, my daughter has stopped, however, my son has the Camp Bug, and looks forward to going every year.

William, now 12, aspires to be a camp counsellor in 4 years, so this will be his last year as a regular camper, next year he will be a CIT (counsellor in training). Usually, our family receives a scholarship and help from family to get William there, however, this year the scholarship is not available. Therefore, we need to look outside our circle of friends and fam for help.

It is such a great experience for Wil to go to Camp Amy Molson. Many underprivileged children go there, and he feels like a guide to these kids since he is older now. My son is ADHD, thus the reason he was getting a scholarship.. The respite used to be for ME and not him! Yet now its all for him! I miss him when he goes to camp. If you go a year back into my posts, you can see some of the things William has gone through.. It has been tough for him. So going to camp is a vacation away from me and all the “Do this William do that” and “William!! Did you break that glass?” “William focus!” “William get to bed.. Brush your teeth… pick that up!” Because we constantly try to help him concentrate on the task at hand, especially during the school year!

So, with help from all of you, even if it is just in prayer, we can help make my son’s dream come true. Maybe he will even be able to go to 2 sessions this year, who knows?…

If you want to help you may use the ChipIn page or just send me an email at: kim.larocque@sympatico.ca or go to his Facebook Page The Camp Experience

With love

Kim

Moms are a soft place to fall. My most cherished memory.


I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life. ~Abraham Lincoln

I wrote this not long ago, and wanted to share with you my MOST cherished memory with my mom as a child.  I thought since Mother’s Day is tomorrow, this would be an appropriate time to post it.  Please note I changed our names.

‘’Mom, can we do our nightly prayer tonight?’’ she asks. “Sure Penelope, just let me finish putting your little brother to bed’’. Penelope loves when her mom tucks her in. It gives her those butterflies, which run from her tummy all the way down to her toes. She can’t help but get crazy excited every time and frantically kicks her feet under the blankets to let the silly’s out. When her mom arrives, Penelope is hiding under the covers. “Oh dear! Where did Penelope go?’’ teases Joan. “Penelope, Penelope where are you?” “She’s gone outside”  whispers a little voice from under the covers. “Oh no! Not outside my little angel will get cold’’ as they banter back and forth Penelope finally emerges from the covers: ‘’ Mom I’m here!” she yells. ‘’Oh my’’ says Joan. “I thought you disappeared. I was worried”. “Don’t worry mommy. I’ll never EVER leave you.”

Penelope couldn’t imagine leaving her mom, that would be to scary, however, she loved to play little tricks on her mom as it kept her in the room longer.

“OK Penelope’ time for sleep” Joan says as she tucks the blankets under her daughter’s body making them all tight. “But mom! Our prayer? You start and I will repeat K?” “K” and Joan starts to recite:

“Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen”

….. Then I would fall asleep, dreaming of Mary with her long blond hair keeping me safe and lulling me slowly to sleep…

J

Happy Mother’s Day!

As magical as 1, 2, 3!


A few posts back I was talking about my lack of being consistent. Not only does lack of staying constant affect my own life, it really does affect my parenting. My children constantly test me and push my tiny buttons because they know it will work. Older people have done this to me too, and I am really learning how empowering setting limits and sticking to them can make my world oh so wonderful. J

Last week my teenage daughter tested the waters (again!). She had been disrespectful towards the family, skipped school and lied about it. After giving her a chance to explain, her consequence was as follows: she received eight plasticized monopoly money that she could use, over 4 days, in exchange for her computer time. Each 10$ bill equals 1 hour (pls note that she is usually free to use the computer between 6 and 9) She had to decide which times were most important to her. In addition, the Thursday and Friday were to be “friend free” no friends no sleepovers.

When setting clear rules and consequences with a teen, and even a toddler, you have to be prepared for “the storm”!! Yes, its going to get worse before it gets better…oh and yes, they will try to get out of it… and she did at least 3 times!!

1st Thursday night she cleaned the whole house, top to bottom, all around. I let her go! ..of course I did! I was getting free maid service;

2nd She wrote me love letters after love letters. I wrote her back, explaining once again, why I was not letting go of the consequences, “I love you too… and ya thanks for cleaning our house… It looks great! J

3rd (THE STORM) She tried to bully me out of it. She screamed, she yelled, she slammed her doors. She got into my face, tried to sneak the computer back on etc.. etc.. I remained calm, didn’t budge, and told her “Speaking to me in this manner is not acceptable, please go to your room and calm down” After a couple of times she did..and slammed.. then… nothing. Just the sound of her music, some drum practicing, and then sleep.

The next morning, after saying: “good morning” in her normal happy tone.. We went into her room to talk. I told her she had free rhelm to say anything she wanted without me replying, judging or screaming. My role was to remain silent and listen (this good piece of advice was from an amazing twitter friend). So I did, I listened. In the end, she asked me some questions, so I had to break the silence.

Right then.. I felt the connection. I knew she was listening, and I was too. It was such a nice change in our relationship. I know we are learning to find each other again.. and I am learning, that this amazing girl is really that: amazing. We just have to take it one stepping stone at a time.. and yes we will go through this again, but this time we both know what to expect!

Note:  The next day when I gave her her 3rd and last warning with a clear message and intent (because warning’s can come in 3’s) I said: “If you continue making noise with your friend while your brother is trying to sleep, I will unplug the internet”  I was pure silence after that.. ahhhh…

Who is the parent here?


The one thing I have learned about being a parent is it seems to bring up every single one of my childhood issues. – Me

parent types

The toughest part about being a parent is not letting your own past affect your parenting. You can say, if I had to describe myself, that I am a permissive parent. Yes, I finally admit it! If Dr. Phil says: ‘’you cannot change what you do not acknowledge’’, then I have to acknowledge I let my children get away with murder. If there is disrespect in my home, it is because I teach my children, though my actions and NON-actions, that I can be disrespected.

I have two children: a pre-teen boy and a teenage girl. Both children, for the longest time, have not had any chores (except for their rooms), inconsistent parenting, and the most tolerant mom around. Don’t get me wrong, I am no wuss (well maybe sometimes), however; I am a parent in constant learning. The journey into self-respect for myself is translating into respect between all parties.  I want them to grow up in a loving, caring home but it is my job to send them out in the world as loving, caring, responsible, hard working adults.

What I think many of parents do in 2011 is try to make sure their children are happy by all means. I don’t know if this has something to do with us 30/40 something’s feeling like we were not heard as children; however, I know some of us let our children get away with too much. Well, I do anyway. Therefore, I had to devise a plan.

First, the one thing I have put into place in my home is consistent discipline. I’m still a rookie, however, I am starting to say what I mean, and mean what I say. I may go overboard at times,  or once and awhile give in; however, when I give a consequence I make sure I can follow through with it. No more screaming: “Your grounded for 3 weeks with no computer!!”. “Three weeks with no COMPUTER? and GROUNDED?” I say to myself pulling my hair  “What was I thinking? She’ll drive me nuts on day 2!”  Presently, I make sure I can follow through on those consequences I give my child.  If they are not sufficient, I can make the necessary adjustments the next time.

Second, I started to give my children chores. The rules are clear. They must have their rooms clean at least once a week and they must help with the dishes. Why so little you say? Well, it’s the same thing as the consequences, I’d rather give them less and follow through that too much and give up. So, as the weeks go on they will be doing the dishes on their own. Every one taking baby steps and the transition is much easier all ‘round.

Thirdly, and this one is a toughie, I’m practicing speaking less. My son is 12 and already thinks my voice is annoying!! Why? Because I’m all talk and no action. So hopefully steps one and two will help me through this phase, which is a challenge.

Since my son is ADHD I’ve had the privilege of taking a few parenting courses. Yet, no parenting course in the world will help if I don’t put the tools into practice. So, like me, give yourself some room to breathe, when you are ready, AND just you: Not when your neighbour or mom whispers “Don’t you think you should teach your children blah”.  You’ll  see, whenyour  frustration level so uncomfortable that your  eyes are  about to pop out of your  head, you’ll know its time for you  to change the things you can, and change what you can finally acknowledge.

and I say:  I’m a mom, and I’m a permissive parent on the road to good parenting!

Mourning the little girl and embracing the young lady <3


Mourning the little girl and embracing the young lady

In 1996, when I found out I was pregnant, I was magically embracing the thought of a new baby, and although the pregnancy was not planned, I was genuinely excited for myself and this child who was going to be in my arms in almost 9 months.

We were not rich, nor were we prepared, however, I quickly realized that I had a support system, thus, slowly but surely my nesting happened and we were ready for her arrival.

My pregnancy was not easy and I could not wait for the day to meet my baby. We did not know whether it was a boy or a girl until the day I pushed her out and arrived on my stomach as fast as I could say ouch!

I was trying hard to see what my baby was. The nurse quickly opened the baby’s legs and said: “Is this what you wanted to see?” Then the tears came, flowing as warm as a gentle summer breeze. I could not believe my eyes! I had my baby girl!

I was so in love with her. I could have never imagined feeling a love so deep for someone. This love could move mountains, displace air, and rock the oceans. Each and every breath she took was mine.. I could not stop staring at her in her little crib, which was right next to my bed and said to myself: “She’s mine, alllll mine! My little baby” (Tears well up in my eyes as I write this because the feeling, even though it happened 14 years ago, is still so fresh in my heart.)

As she grew, she amazed me even more. Always laughing, always playing and always by my side, she laughed like me, she wanted to dress like me ,she loved Oprah like me, and even at 4, she loved to argue with me. Once, while looking at a book of animals, I pointed out a spider to her. She yelled “Mom!!! That’s not a spider! That’s a tarantula!!” God bless her, she was absolutely right.

She had her favorite doll whom she baptized “Newbaby”. We played with Newbaby together. Newbaby even called me Nanny! When my daughter was hospitalized Newbaby was too and they both ate pancakes. The doll, still had a piece of pancake stuck in its mouth for a very long time until I decided to wash her. Newbaby followed us everywhere until the day came Newbaby shacked up in a drawer. Then I knew! It was over.

Today, I am mourning my little girl and trying really hard to embrace the teenager. I’m finding it really challenging, call me a wuss or wishy washy, however, I can’t seem to handle the fact that now: I’m an alien to her. She doesn’t connect with me, she often looks at me in disdain, and the way she talks to me, MY GOD, I want to slap her silly…. but I don’t and I never will. What kills me is that I studied Child Development and Childhood Psychology but I feel so lost.

We must argue twice a week, and even know the experts say: “Don’t engage, don’t engage’’ I engage..and then give myself cr@p every time. Lately I’ve been frantically googling “How to speak to teenagers” or “How to raise teenagers” and stumbled upon http://www.empoweringparents.com/ which has given me guidance on  how to communicate with my teenager. I do succeed at some of the stuff, however, my emotions often get the best of me and then I explode or cry! I really feel that I suck at this!

Don’t get my wrong, my daughter is a bright, funny, amazing girl. Just lately, she is crabby, disrespectful, sneaky and wise! She knows how to push my buttons, and I let her do it.!

So, thinking back to her younger years, I console myself in knowing that the values I have passed on are now little seeds planted in her soul, and maybe… just maybe I will see one sprouting really soon.

I love you baby girl. With all my heart and soul.

Mom

Without Him


My son cried last night in such a rage.  He is angry.

He is angry at me, he is angry at his step-father, he is angry at the world… but really the person he is really mad at is his father.  I knew this day would come where I had to finally let him hear the truth he has been constantly denying for awhile.  His real dad, doesn’t care.

How tough is that, especially for a boy, to realize your own father has abandoned you for all eternity.  This is how he feels.  All my son’s life, I’ve been trying to compensate for his dad who, cannot take responsability for the 4 children he put on this earth (two of which are mine).

How unfair for him!  Never to be held by a man, by a mentor, by an uncle or especially his dad!!  How unfair he never got to see a game, catch a ball or just hang out.  How unfair he now has to be bullied and taunted because.. ..”well he’s different having been raised by women”… Its not fair!!! no its not… really!

This is a critical time in my son’s life.  He’s pre-teen.  What do I do??? Where do I turn??? Who is going to help him get through this.. I know I am giving him all I have.  Yes he has a step-dad, however, it hasn’t been easy for my son to get close.  He is still hoping his father will come and save him:  his hero:

Death of a Hero

Last night, his hero died, and my son cried

his magical mind corrupted by time..

left all alone as his heart turns to stone.

All I can do is hold his hand.. and let him stand

Hug him tight with all my might

but I cannot replace

the male verson of this race…

Kim

I need to write this today, as a cry for my son..

Friendship Matters


Last month I blogged about my son’s bullies and his attempt to “fit in”.  I don’t know if my prayers helped, or if he started using the tools I gave him, or maybe both, but there is definitely an improvement in his life.

A couple of weeks ago my son called and said: “Mom, can I stay at Vincent’s to do my homework?”  I said:  “Vincent, who is Vincent?”  He replies:  “He’s in my class.. Can I stay?”  I said sure.  I hung up a bit confused not knowing who this new friend was however, I decided to trust and see what happens.

The next week, my son leaves me a note:  “Gone to Tom’s I’ll be back for supper”.  “Tom’s?”  I said to my boyfriend, “wasn’t he the one William punched last year?”  again, I trusted the process.  As the days progressed, Tom and Vincent were over at my house a couple of times, playing video games or outside playing swords.  They were all heroes trying to save the world…. all boys a left behind for one reason or another and  found each other. 

With this process came independence.  He was taking off on his bike, leaving me notes like:  “Gone to the lake with my friends.. I’ll be safe.. don’t worry”  Don’t worry??? Now that my son has this new-found independence and is riding around town going by the water.. How does a mom not worry? So I gave him a new set of guidelines and again.. I trusted the process.  I mean.. My son was coming home happy!  He even said to me the other night before falling asleep:  “Mom, I got this feeling”  “What feeling?” I said, hoping it wasn’t another sad moment for him.  He replied with a huge smile:  “My heart feels big, I feel happy”.. I replied:  “You are feeling joy my son!! Great joy!”…

My best friend and I took my son to Dairy Queen because he did his weekly reading and we had a deal.  He asked if his friends could come.. I thought “how can I refuse?” So along came the friends… As I sat there watching my son interacting with them (all 4 of them) I sighed a sigh of relief and thought to myself:  “My son is sitting at the round table with his circle of friends”  🙂