Jonathon's Closet

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Today I learned: My Aura is Green

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Day 2007

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My thoughts on dreams YOU have for ME

My Mom wrote the following on a journal:

The truth is that children lose parents to death every single day. And we as a society are indeed incompetent when it comes to dealing with the accompanying grief. We desperately lack the necessary knowledge to help grieving children heal.

The dreams I have for Jona are not typical. Yes, I dream of a good education and a productive future. I dream of a nice home, good family, and of never going without. I dream of his becoming a decent moral man; caring, kind, and generous. I dream many of the same dreams that all parents dream for their children. But I dream of more.

I dream that he will be able to move past the grief and sorrow; the devastation and destruction that the death of his father brought to our lives. I dream that the pain will soften, and that the universe will provide a soft landing. I dream that he will one day be able to find trust in life again, that he’ll grow up to be brave and strong and move past the flashbacks that torment not only his sleep, but so many waking moments as well.

I dream that he will learn that anger turned outwards is violence, anger turned inwards is depression, and anger turned sideways is humor … and that humor is preferable! I dream that he will learn that doing what is right is best, even when it isn’t always easiest. I dream that his smile will again come as naturally as it once did, and that he will learn to relax as he searches for his place in this world.

Children grieving the loss of a parent have experienced a trauma so great that it's nearly incomprehensible to the rest of us. Even the experts DON'T KNOW what life becomes for these children. This is an invisible wound, My kid looks like all the other kids (well, except for that red hair and those freckles - but that's a totally different thing!) Life is different for a child who is not just imagining that something terrible MIGHT happen, but a child who KNOWS that terrible things DO happen.

For these children, happily ever after only exists in fairy tales. And yet I dream that he finds some measure of happiness.

At first when I saw it, I thought "who are YOU to decide on dreams for ME???" But then I read it. And her dreams are just for a good life, for success, for happiness. She's not dreaming or insisting that I become President or that I save the world. She just wants me to be a good person.

And when I thought about what she had written, I decided that I need to start to work at this. I'm not a little kid anymore. It's time to start really working toward these goals. And I'm choosing to start today.

Love ya Mom!


Friday, May 18, 2007

What you don't want "public", you shouldn't prance across a stage!!!

Here are a few of the comments people have shared in e-mail and on my other journal. Apparently, I'm not alone in believing that CHILDREN should not dress like streetwalkers:

I'm surprised that they didn't impose some form of uniform dress for them! I've played in orchestras since I was in 4th grade. We were always given some guidelines for dress, and often they were very specific--either white shirt and long black skirt or pants, or later on, all black.

That is truly appalling. Some parents like to live through their kids. They will let their kids do whatever it takes to be "popular" or look cool. It is utterly ridiculous!!!

I'd have been as appalled as you were. WTG for speaking out!

I hate seeing the girls at my daughter’s jr. high dressed like that! It is like they are advertising that they are easy!!

I had a similar experience. It's sad that parents think that kind of apparel is appropriate. I went to the principal and he handled it immediately.

I was there, and I was appalled also.

I echo what has been commented many times earlier--I'm just shocked at what some parents think is appropriate (or not)!

I understand your disgust and frustration. The way that these young girls dress is NOT becoming to say the least.

That would REALLY bother me, too. Why do they have different standards for the 6th grade?

I would be complaining - loudly - until I was heard.

I think the band director is responsible for the appearance of his band. He should decide on appropriate dress and require it for everyone.

UNIFORMS, UNIFORMS, UNIFORMS!!! That would solve the problem!

I was in band in school. For concerts, we had to dress nicely.

Good for you!! Dressing for school like that has gotten way out of control!!

At last year's sixth grade graduation rehearsals, I overheard the then-PA President - a male - embarrassed beyond belief mentioning to one of the teachers that they need to start telling girls of a certain age to invest in undergarments, especially if they're going to be standing under bright lights. I think if someone had said that to me when I was that age, I'd have died of mortification!

Some parents are afraid to set limits, because then they'd have to be the parent.

Students should be required to dress better for a concert than they do for everyday classes.

The audience has a RIGHT to be offended by this kind of garbage and to express how they feel to the school. And the school has an OBLIGATION to address this issue with the student-offenders and their parents!

Those stupid little girls think they look great ... and YES, it IS the responsibility of the adults to burst that bubble and tell them that they look cheap!

We recently had a similar situation happen here … only when I told the school principal that the students looked like little sluts, he not only spoke with the students and parents, but he suspended the students for 1 day each, for violating acceptable school standards!

Oh, it IS bad parenting ... but in those situations where the parents are too unintelligent to do what's right, the school should absolutely enforce appropriate standards.

I think some parents are trying to live vicariously through their children. They want their kids to be in the 'cool' group. What they fail to realize is that they are teaching their daughters that the only way to be popular is to be a (for want of a better word) 'whore'.

Disgusting. And the lack of response equally disgusting. And from an “A+” school district, they claim!

Yep, little girls in trashy clothes look, well, trashy!!!

These are some strange days we are in with this type of thing. Instead of being ticked off that you’re told the 6th graders looked like sluts, why not just enforce the dress code so they can’t look like sluts?

I just don't get how this is okay by parents! And apparently okay with some school personnel too! Totally offensive!

This kind of thing is why I homeschool!

Schools that claim to have dress codes are absolutely obligated to enforce them!

Absolutely shameful! That band director should be held accountable for allowing this to happen.

This school is why all public schools should be uniformed. This is a disgrace.

If they look like sluts, they look like sluts. No sense in trying to say it nicely. It’s an ugly thing. It should sound ugly. If the Vice Principal doesn’t like this, he should do something about it.

It seems a shame to have to punish the whole group due to the lack of judgment of a few, but perhaps the school board should require all musicians wear long pants and button down shirts.

I too hate to see children dressed like sex toys.

So, to those who are offended that *I* aired our school district's dirty laundry in public, GET REAL. I am not the one who chose to parade it across a stage at a PUBLIC event.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Boobs and Belly Buttons and Butt Cheeks, OH MY!

Monday night was the final band concert of the year. The 7th and 8th grade bands are uniformed; black pants, white tuxedo shirts, black bow ties. They looked, acted, and played respectably.

The 6th grade band, however, is NOT uniformed. And oh, what a serious mistake this clearly is. While nearly every boy I saw was dressed in khakis and a nice shirt, the majority of girls looked like sluts. 6th grade girls, for crying out loud ... 11 and 12 year olds!

Here are a few hints for 11 and 12 year old girls:

-If your "skirt" is shorter than the "skirt" on a bathing suit, it is inappropriate.

-If your skirt is not only overly short but also skin tight, it will ride up even farther when you sit down on stage - and guess what view the audience unwillingly has.

-If you add high heels to your disgustingly short and tight skirt, you should learn to bend at the knees instead of at the waist - cuz NO ONE wants that view!

-You are a child - we do not want to see your ass-crack or your thong, your cleavage or your non-existent cleavage, your belly button or your fat rolls at a school event. Save those things for the beach or better still the privacy of your own home.

-And if you have actually begun to sprout cleavage, skin-tight paper-thin spaghetti-strap tanks are highly inappropriate without some sort of undergarment. Again, NO ONE wants to see your nipples. (and yes, the audience could!)

-If you are wearing more make-up than Tammy Faye Baker, it does NOT make you look older. It makes you look like a CLOWN, or like a little child playing dress-up.

Oh, and for those little 6th grade girls who believe that dressing cheap makes you appear cool, here are a few comments that I overheard some of the audience members make in regards to your appearance:

"Middle school's got a whorehouse in it!" ... said in a sing-song voice by 2 high school boys as a 6th grade band member walked by with her instrument in her hand. (I can only imagine how this little girl must have felt, hearing that ... what on earth is wrong with her parents for allowing her to be subjected to this??? Yes, the boys were wrong to say this, but this child's parents are the ones who allowed her out of the house like that!)

"Who do those little girls think they're impressing? They look disgusting!" ... said by a white-haired woman to the lady standing next to her.

"My mother would SO not let me out of the house like that; they must all be ORPHANS!" ... said by a high school girl, rolling her eyes.

"Isn't that just begging for a child molester to abduct you, going out in public like that? That's so scary!" ... said by a wife to her husband.

"Yeah, all the 6th grade girls act like sluts - and they're always hanging around us, trying to get our attention." ... said by an 8th grade band member.

Some of the 6th grade girls were dressed appropriately, but the choices and actions of their peers was surely what stood out. And while I'm sure that "all" of the 6th grade girls do not act or dress this way (as the 8th grader shared in his opinion) this administration needs to realize that that the behavior and appearance of the students (ALL of the students, especially those in violation as unfortunately they're the ones who people will remember!) reflects on the school.

THIS SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS A DRESS CODE, for crying out loud! Or at least they CLAIM to!!! One that they strictly enforce when it comes to the boys! Heck, a boy can't even walk in the door in the morning and walk to his locker wearing a baseball cap. The cap must come off before he is allowed to enter the building!

I am absolutely appalled that the dress code for this concert was not equal to or better than the dress code imposed upon our students each and every school day. I would have thought that at the very least the same rules that apply to every day would apply to a mandatory musical performance. Any student who was scheduled to perform at the concert and showed up in violation of the dress code should not have been allowed on the stage at all!

I shared my concerns with the principal, who chose not to return my phone call. I then shared my concerns with the assistant principal, who chose not to return my phone call, and since I got no response whatsoever from the school, I publicly shared this in a (different) on-line journal, titled "If I wanted to see this much skin, I'd have gone to a strip club". The assistant principal THEN stated that they had received other complaints about this very same issue and that the band director would be addressing this issue in the future.

The assistant principal also shared that she felt personally attacked by the fact that this was made public. THIS WAS A PUBLIC CONCERT. THIS WAS MADE PUBLIC BY THE LITTLE GIRLS WHO CHOSE TO DEMEAN THEMSELVES BY SHOWING UP DRESSED IN THIS WAY, AND BY THE PARENTS WHO ALLOWED THEM TO DO SO! The unsuspecting PUBLIC was exposed (yeah, EXPOSED seems like the right word!) to this the moment those children were allowed onstage. If the school had wished to prevent this, they could have. Why didn't the band director simply decide that any student not in compliance with dress code would not be allowed to perform and would be marked down accordingly?

Ultimately, it is a parent's decision how they choose to allow their pre-teen daughters to dress (or appear in public in various stages of undress). And ultimately it is the parent's responsibility.


*oh, and a note to the school administrator who disliked my pointing out that so many little girls looked like tramps? If you enforce the dress code and do not allow the little girls to look like tramps, you won't have to worry handling these matters!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Thoughts on Mother's Day

When I look across the dinner table at Jona, I know how lucky I am. But I also see the void; the empty seat that should be occupied by Chloe Ray, an irreplaceable, beautiful little girl who was so peaceful and so perfect, but too tiny to survive. I have made my peace with this loss, but don’t think that all my tears have been wiped away.

How do I cope? One breath, one tear, one moment at a time. So many people are afraid to speak of death and dying. They think that not speaking of it makes it somehow easier, as if it can perhaps slip by unnoticed. They are mistaken. We notice the void everywhere; from the empty spot in the church pew, to telling a new friend how many children we have, to the photograph on the wall that will never age.

With Mother’s Day approaching, please remember the mothers who have broken hearts and empty arms, the mothers who are aching for the child they should be holding. Remember other mothers like me who on this Mother’s Day feel the void, the absence. True, we may have other children begging our attention, but we remember and we have a heartbreaking ache for the child that cannot be replaced. Mother’s Day after the death of a child is particularly hard and is not a “happy” Mother’s Day.

This Mother’s Day, remember a mom who is hurting.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Enter to WIN!!!

Ok Moms, you MUST visit "5 Minutes for Mom". They're hosting an amazing Mother's Day contest, with chances to win LOTS of great prizes!


See ya there! And good luck everyone!!!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

I'm standing ... are you???

It's just an idea whose time may have come.

There may be enough people willing to stand in silence for five minutes on Mother's Day to let others know we care for the future of the world for our children and their children to come.

I had to pass it on.

I'm standing.

We are standing for the world's children and grandchildren, and for the seven generations beyond them.

We dream of a world where all of our children have safe drinking water, clean air to breathe, and enough food to eat. A world where they have access to a basic education to develop their minds and healthcare to nurture their growing bodies. A world where they have a warm, safe and loving place to call home. A world where they don't live in fear of violence - in their home, in their neighborhood, in their school or in their world.

This is the world of which we dream. This is the cause for which we stand

Please stand with us for five minutes of silence at 1 p.m. your local time on May 13, 2007, in your local park, school yard, gathering place, or any place you deem appropriate, to signify your desire to bring about this kind of world.

We ask you to invite the men who you care about to join you. We ask that you bring bells to ring at 1 p.m. to signify the beginning of the five minutes of silence and to ring again to signify the end of the period of silence.

During the silence, please think about what you individually and we collectively can do to attain this world. And then, begin to make it happen!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Money! Money! Money!

I got a job! Well, actually 3 of them! and will probably be asked back to a 4th!

I'm helping to re-hab a house to resell. It's really cool, it's only a block away from our house and the guy hired me to help out. I know his wife, she taught at my elementary school. My Mom was hired to do the landscape for this job, so part of the time I'll be working for her and the rest of the time I'll be working on the interior.

My other jobs? I also got a job mowing a lawn once a week, hired by a friend of the family to do this. Because she knows me, the friend referred me to her neighbor, and the neighbor hired me to help work in her flower gardens this summer too! And I'm hoping to be asked back to work on the farm I worked on last summer.

And the best part??? NONE of it interferes with swim team practice!!! How cool is that???