Whew!

shrinershospitalforchildren

 

For the child who finally got a clean bill of health, long enough into remission at last, after three bouts of cancer, four surgeries, five courses of chemo, two collapsed lungs, a resistant infection, and more invasive treatments and hospital days than one can count (though I’m sure her parents had counted. Every. Single. One.)

Whew.

We’re so relieved.

You rock, little one!

 

 

For The Daily Post

Father Kindness

fathering

Photo: C. Moriah-Gibor

 

Be a father to the vulnerable

Guide the path of those who need

A lift

A helping hand.

Be a father to those seeking

To find shelter

Who need help to

Understand.

Show the way.

Provide

Kind counsel.

If by biology or presence

Be the best

Model

You can.

For it is by kindness

That fathering

Takes hold

And

Grows children

Strong

In body, heart

And mind.

 

Restore Reality

expose

Be brave.

It’s time. It’s been time for too long. It feels eternity.

Take heart … tune off naysayers … and remove the grime of fakery and deception. Speak fact to polish off stains of misinformation, so Truth can once more spread its wings to sunlight, unburdened from prevarication.

Expose the burnish of veracity from under messy piles of perfidy.

Be kind, be firm, and wipe clean fib to showcase verity.

Reality awaits. Impatiently.

It is past time.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Dis-pro-portion

radiate pinterest

photo: Pinterest

 

There is more good than bad in our world,

yet often bad shouts louder.

There’s more that’s beautiful than not,

though ugliness might steal the hour.

Love holds truth far more than hate,

and radiates the brighter.

So … be mindful of the disproportion …

as dark creeps in to dim what’s lighter.

And know:

Hearts will out-sing cacophony when led by hope,

even if fear may prowl the farther.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Radiance

She lights up every room with her smile.

He effervescents joy in a dimple.

She casts love spells all around her.

He melts everyone to a puddle.

She makes your heart sing.

He ropes your soul in.

Their laughter makes right

Glow full bright

From a fizzle.

Their giggles shine rainbows

On sorrow

And drizzle.

They heal hope.

Luminesce peace.

They remind why it matters

We take care

To Insist.

(All photos from Pinterest)

For The Daily Post

Catapult Care

hands-and-heart

When terror strikes … All blast of cowardice, in a bluster of dark soul, empty of faith or humanity: Catapult care, not hate. Hold kindness, not panic. Seek healing, not division.

Those who attack children, who aim to maim, to kill, to harm – they aren’t powerful. Their hatred makes them weak. They hold no values. They rob the lives of others in pretense of strength. Their hate exposes the emptiness of anything they pretend to care for.

The ones who celebrate the terror’s aftermath (and sadly some do seek to) are no better. They broadcast their own weakness by aiming to amplify panic. Their words become a badge of a spirit blighted, a heart polluted, a mind infected. With hate.

Let us know it for what it is … but let us not spread it further.
Terror thrives on helplessness and violence. It feeds on panic. It seeks the refuse of division. Those are its only currencies.

But we have better ones. We have real powers.
Let us celebrate and amplify: The energies of care, healing, and kindness; the strength that comes from sharing burdens; the forces of compassion and empathy. These are the nullifying opposites of harm and violence.

Let us come together, so all those hurt and hurting be held in the light, empowered by love, supported by healing. Let us hold up the true might of humanity.

Terror cannot prevail in light, for it skulks in darkness.
It cannot prevail in courage, for it lacks it.
It cannot prevail in care, for it has none.

But we do.
And we can.
Prevail.

My love and thoughts to all in the UK, and the victims of terror everywhere. May the last breath of terror.
Soon be vanquished
Into light.
Amen.

 

 

For The Daily Post

A Way Out

Clay Tablet Babylon Ca. 2000-1700 BC

Clay Tablet Babylon (Ca. 2000-1700 BC); SCHOYENCOLLECTION.com

 

“I just get lost,” she sighed. Her pre-teen face was creased with dejection.

Schoolwork is hard for her. She tries but often fails to live up not only to the expectations of her school, but also – and harder still – to her own views of perfection. She begins. Gives up. Procrastinates. Misses deadlines. Then needs to make-up what she had delayed as well as keep up with current assignments. School is a merry-go-round of stress and frustration.

“Lost how?” I prompted. Not only did I want to understand more about what she’d meant (rather than assume I knew it), but one of the things we’d been working on is expanding her ability to narrate her feelings and perceptions, explain and communicate her needs.

She glanced at me, not quite in irritation, but almost.

“I’m not being tricky,” I smiled. “I really want to understand.”

“Fine,” she sighed again. Her brow furrowed as she thought, and she reached over to the pad of paper that rested on the desk between us. Doodling can sometimes help make paths for words.

She scribbled for a moment, then her breath deepened and she flipped to a new page on the pad. “It’s like this,” she said.

She drew a labyrinthine squiggle that turned several times onto itself. Added another squiggle that sprouted from it, then another, and another. Sketched a stick figure at one end of the criss-crossed creation  and a bulls-eye at the other. Looked up at me to see if I’m still paying attention.

Very much so. I smiled encouragement.

“I have stuff to do and I think I know how, but I start doing it and then I get stuck,” she moved her finger over the squiggle till it ‘hit a wall.’ “So I go back, and I try another way … and I get stuck again,” her finger slid on top of the paper to another dead-end.

She looked up again. Her eyes were bright.

“So I get lost …” she swiveled her finger around the squiggly lines in a half-aimless, half-frantic manner. “It’s too hard. I give up.”

“I hear you. I really do.” I nodded, lifted my pen, and drew another squiggle around hers, connecting the pencil figure with the bulls-eye. “We need to find a better way. A way without a maze.”

 

 

For The Daily Post

You Better!

rainy day

 

He came up the stairs, looking like a cross between a drowned kitten and a frog: wet hair, clinging shirt, useless green umbrella and matching boots (with sloshy feet inside).

I smiled at him. He sighed.

“Yeah, I know,” he said, “I better …”

His father nodded.

Coded language.

I’ve heard it before.

“You better come right now!” “You better sit down quietly!” “You better not hit your brother!” “You better listen to the babysitter!” “You better not forget your homework again!” “You better not get this floor wet …”

You better? Better how?

More like “your life will be much worse, unless …”

I swallowed my own sigh. I don’t abide much by the “you better” style of communication. The dad was probably parroting the coded-directions of his own upbringing, spurred by habit, rigid expectation, his own fatigue.

“Looks like you two got caught in the downpour,” I smiled, took their umbrellas, and offered towels, a mat to put their footwear on, a plastic bag for wet things, a pair of dry socks for the boy. The minutia of a rainy day.

“He kept goofing around,” the dad grumbled. He pointed at the drenched boy in accusation, though he was only marginally less wet than his son (and had a bigger umbrella!). The father patted his arms dry, patted his son’s hair. He seemed embarrassed and glared at the errant rain drops on the floor as if they were proof of his son’s weathery misdemeanor.

“I ran because I didn’t want to get wet!” the boy retorted, eyes glistening.

“Sometimes there’s not much one can do to stay dry,” I soothed, and lifted the bag of extra child-size socks to emphasize my point. “It is raining hard and it is windy, too, so the umbrella probably can’t do much. I’d gotten soaked. Had to change.” I pointed at my clothing. “Not what I had on earlier.”

The boy threw a vindicated glance toward his dad.

“You better not give me any sass,” the parent reflexed.

The boy’s face darkened.

“You know what I think is better?” I interjected. “For all of us to come sit down and get dry and comfy …” I gestured toward the couch for the father to sit on, for the boy to take his seat by the table.

I wondered if the father was aware of just how alike his own expression was to the boy’s: a mix of combative, deferential, dejected and relieved.

The rest of the session went smoothly. By the end of it, the boy’s curls bounced back right along with his spirits. His dad’s mood improved, too, nourished in equal parts by the rain easing and the nap he’d managed to sneak in while his son and I worked.

They left calmly enough, but I’ll have to make time to speak with the parent. We spoke before on things that need discussing not in the child’s presence. I know the father means well. He’d told me he hadn’t had a close relationship with his parents. He had grown up with the threat (and frequent bite) of a switch, and he’d vowed to not repeat it. He does not raise a hand to the boy. This father wants better – the real better, not the threatened one – for his son. He’d told me he wishes for his son to be able to come to him with anything, interests or worries. Yet for now this parent’s very way of communicating stifles the possibility. He gets tripped by his own memories of what parental language ‘should be’ like. Maybe he knows no other way to exert control over a growing and often opinionated boy.

We’ll have a talk. The dad and I.

I know he wants better for the both of them.

“You better” is hardly is the better way.

 

 

 

For The Daily Post

Panic’s Anti-Dote

anti-dote

photo: dreamaker2.tumblr.com

 

There’s scare aplenty

Wide cause for alarm

A lot to frown at

Much that charters harm.

No wonder

Panic comes.

Trepidation pushes buttons of old worries

Latches through the tentacles

Of history

And ill-used charm.

It glitters daggers

Into

Masquerading stars and sun.

No wonder

Panic comes.

And yet …

Be brave

Stand firm

Lock arms

Form links

Knit facts

Raise voice

Weave hope

As panic’s anti-dote.

 

 

For The Daily Post