I ran across this little gem today on Facebook. It tells the story of 13 year old girl and her phone.  It is, in one word, heartbreaking.  This girl is living the life I fear for Isa.  Not that she is a bad kid.  She is academic and involved in sports.  She has a loving family and has all of her life necessities readily available.  It's just that dang phone.  There is too much at her fingertips and the fingertips of people who's brains aren't developed enough to handle or be responsible with it.  Oh, that damage they do.

Isa went through a time where she was actively trying to convince us to get her a phone.  I read the news, yeah no.  We got her an iPad mini.  Everything she does on it backs up to my iPad (including messages). She can't download anything without my password.  She can also only use it while on wifi so it limits her time. Does that make me too controlling?  Maybe in 4 years it will but now, not so much.  I watch Law and Order SVU people! Kids aren't capable of understanding the ramifications of their actions. Being a teenager is hard enough without worrying if your selfie is good enough and if you are getting enough likes.  (You know what I love?  Blogger just underlined the word 'selfie'.  It doesn't recognize it as a real word.  Yay blogger!). 

When I was Isa's age I spent quite a bit of time in a large holly tree in our backyard.  I would pretend I lived there and would climb to the top to see all the undiscovered wilderness I imagined was around me.  When the neighbor kids were home we would play, softball, soccer, steal the flag or build a hotel in the woods behind their house. We were outside using our imaginations.  It was liberating.  I felt independent.

Even with just an iPad, Isa can be like a zombie.  Always looking at something.  I talk to her and 5 minutes later she looks up realizing she never responded.  She has to check her score on a game or see if so and so messaged her back yet.  It makes me sad.  Sometimes I get excited when she misbehaves and I have an excuse to take it away.  After a while she isn't mad about it and actually spends time with me. We have real talks, or make something together.  I miss her. 

It's hard at school though.  Everyone has a phone and I guarantee if they knew I could read the messages they probably wouldn't txt her anymore. I wonder how many of their parents if any check their phones?  This is the time your kids are changing the most.  They are figuring out who they are and if you don't help them someone else will.  Do I really want someone on her electronic device teaching her what she's worth? Highly unlikely. Their brains are growing and learning so fast. Help them fill it with imagination and goodness!  There is so much time for all that grown up stuff (which is totally overrated).  childhood is so, so short.  Make them play outside, run in the sprinkler, ride their bikes, climb trees, dig in the dirt!  Hold on to it, they can't go back.



I have a dear friend who is in the hospital with her child.  It's hard to watch. The memories come back like a flood.  Being in the the hospital wears on you.  It's like as soon as that admit paperwork is processed you pick up this 50 pound bag of rocks and carry it with you everywhere.  It's exhausting and sometimes there seems to be no end in sight.  You might be there a day, week, months or even a year. The thing is, when you have a medically complicated child that bag never really goes away.  When you get to go home you just set it down for a bit, and as you slide it from your shoulders to the floor you know,  you will have to pick it back up again.  Maybe sooner rather than later, but you will have to carry it again. But next time it will be heavier because you will remember the last time.  The trauma builds.  When you come back it's like you never left. The fight is never over.

When Emmeline was a baby I didn't have any idea what was going to happen.  I didn't bond with her really.  That's not to say I didn't fight for and protect her.  I fought for her hard.  I didn't want to get too attached though.  I think deep down I thought she would die and I knew if I truly fell in love I wouldn't be able to handle it. Stupid I know.  I would have been a wreck either way but it was easier if in my mind I was merely her advocate and not her Mother.  She smelled like medical tape and antiseptic, not my baby. But someone had to fight for that tiny body and I did. Eventually I gave in to how much I loved her and made sure she knew it every second.  Just in case. She was there for so long and has been in and out of the hospital more times then I can count, wracking up 14 surgeries.  She's 7.

It's expected now and sadly feels normal.  When things happen with Emmeline and I tell people, they are concerned and worried.  When it doesn't land us in the hospital it seems like nothing.  Emmeline fell last week and cut her head.  Isa brought her into my office with blood flowing down her head and neck.  When I told people they were all concerned and shocked. They had nice, normal responses.  My response?  No big deal.  Clean, apply pressure and get her in to be glued.  Emmeline's response?  "Mommy I need to go to dance!  Just put a band aid on it!" Our reactions come with memories. 

For someone who has an average kid, going to get their head glued isn't a "normal" occurrence and probably freaks them out.

For someone who falls 50+ times a day, only cutting your head once seems pretty good. 

For someone who has stood by their child's bed as they are being bagged because they aren't able to breath on their own, a cut on the head is what I pray for.

I feel like every time we go to the hospital I add a rock to my bag.  It weighs more and more every time I have to pick it up.  But when it needs to be lifted I do.  Because if I can add the rock to my bag instead of Emmeline's I'd add two.