Posted in differences, mindset, parenting

Everything is getting scarier

The Kid doesn’t like movies with scary parts. He’s a sensitive kid and scary things linger. (I relate to that.) We can occasionally do movies in the park, maybe because the sound is less intense, but even those are a crap shoot.

So we don’t watch many movies.

Now, I’m not a movie person, but the last G-rated movie I’m aware of was the Peanuts Movie a few years ago. We went to see it, and he was happy.

What happened to just nice, fun, sweet movies for kids?

Maybe I’m just more aware of this now than I have been, but it seems like Halloween is getting scarier, too. Stuff that used to be reserved for slasher movies and maybe haunted houses is out on people’s lawns. Halloween was fun and had an element of spooky to it, but not so much gruesome. Or at least, that’s my recollection of it.

We need more nice things. Clean things. Funny things (not at the expense of marginalized people). Beautiful things.

Scary things have their place, no doubt, but … can we leave space for nice, too?

Posted in about me, audience participation, differences, mindset, parenting, thoughtfulness

Birthdays, and the wide variety of reactions to them

It’s my birthday today!

Except that mostly, it doesn’t matter. Work, chores, appointments, etc. all happen regardless. Which is fine (and reasonable).

The number changing doesn’t make me feel any different. I know quite a few people on both sides of that fence—some who don’t care about the number turning over and some who react pretty severely.

Where are you on that spectrum? What’s your thinking behind it? I’m curious if people with the same result as me have the same process. And if my guesses are truth for people who are different than I am.

I like to celebrate my birthday, but for reasons unrelated to my age. (More about that on another day.) Again, I know people all over the spectrum on that, from “I don’t like/need/want to acknowledge my birthday at all” to “I like to celebrate all month!”

Where are you on that spectrum? What’s your thinking behind it? I’m sure these answers will be all over the map, and I’m very interested to know where those points are.

For people who celebrate both birthdays and Christmas, Christmas is usually a bigger deal (for a lot of reasons that make some sense) but I would rather do more presents, bigger celebration, etc. for birthday. It’s a day to celebrate the person, that they were born, that they’re part of our lives. Reason to celebrate indeed!

I’m a little sad that I didn’t start any great birthday traditions with The Kid before he got old enough for them to be unpalatable. We’ll see what I can come up with, maybe starting now (his birthday is soon) and going forward. Hopefully something that The Climbing Daddy would like, too, and that they would put in place for me.

Any suggestions?

I’m in a conversational kind of mood today. Leave a comment and answer one or more of those questions. Especially the first two.

Posted in connections, differences, socializing

The hidden side of … everyone

Saturday last weekend, I was at a funeral for the husband of a coworker.

I know this coworker strictly at work. We’ve never talked about life outside the building; we’re not connected through any social media.

During the service, they played a slideshow, trying to capture this man’s life. (Can you ever really capture it?) They were married a long time, so, as expected, she was in quite a few of the photos.

 It was neat to see her “other life,” to see a little bit of who she is when she’s not at work. (Or who she is when she’s at work, because it’s all different sides of the same person…)

A few times, I’ve shared a “share a random fact about yourself” thing on Facebook, and I’ve learned things about my friends that I didn’t know. Not just the people who I don’t really know anyway, but people who I’m friends with offline, talk to often, etc. Some of them were surprising.

I’m sure there are things about me that people would be surprised to learn. I don’t know what those things are, because they’re really more about other people’s perception of me. (Just like my surprise was based on my perception.)

But this “hidden side” — sometimes hidden intentionally, sometimes legitimately just never came up — is what is so interesting about hearing people’s stories. Even people who I’ve known a long time. There are always more interesting things lurking. Often things that the owners don’t see as interesting. It’s just a matter of finding them. Which I’m not at all good at. But I often like listening, so there’s that. Now just to get better at asking the right questions…

Posted in books, differences, education, mindset, parenting

Reading is reading!

The Kid is learning to read. I mean, he’s in the years-long process of learning to read.

He loves to read.

Part of that is that he reads things that are interesting to him. It doesn’t have to be books. It doesn’t have to be at his reading level. Whatever is interesting.

Sometimes, he likes to read his old picture books. (The words in those are not always easy to read, since they’re generally intended to be read out loud by a competent reader. Even when they are easy, he enjoys them.

Sometimes, he reads LEGO magazines.

Sometimes, he reads chapter books.

Right now, he’s reading a Minecraft graphic novel. I believe he’s read it in its entirety three times since acquiring it less than a week ago.

Reading is reading. It’s all practice. It’s all building skills, building habits, nurturing a love of reading.

I remember overhearing a conversation years ago between two moms. One’s son was only interested in reading comic books. She forced him to read “real books” before he was allowed to read comic books. They weren’t school-assigned; she just didn’t think comic books “counted” as reading.

There are words, sentences. There’s a story. There are characters.

It counts. It all counts.

Reading is reading.

Posted in differences, mindset

Basic job skills

I was in the ER last night (I’m OK—no worries). The two nurses who most often attended me were very personable and seemed to know what they were doing.

Except they sucked at putting in IVs.

Now, I know my veins are small. Through my cancer journey, I had ample opportunities for nurses and techs to try and fail to put in an IV.

But I was well-hydrated and I haven’t had a needle stick in years (so there aren’t any spots blown out).

First nurse tried, dug around a bit (OUCH), failed.

Second nurse used ultrasound, which was kind of cool, but it still hurt more than it should have and continued to bounce between very uncomfortable and hurts the entire time it was in.

I would think that, maybe aside from EMTs (though I don’t know for sure) that the ER most often needs IVs placed in a hurry. Which means all the people working there should be better than average at this skill.

Are my expectations unreasonable? (Perhaps my ignorance leads me to draw poor conclusions.)

Teachers should be able to explain things in a variety of ways and troubleshoot learning pitfalls.

Anyone who works with the public should be personable.

Anyone with a phone job should have good diction. (I’m not only talking about thick accents.)

And ER nurses should be able to install IVs well.