Category Archives: parents

two stem cell and bone marrow registration drive possibilities: please share

Please share these dates:  6/28 and 7/12 when folks 18-44 can register to register to be stem cell or bone marrow donors if a match is found.  The registry needs you!

Those 45-60 can register on line. Please check out information on bethematch.org regarding what this means!  The registry needs you. A cheek swab and a willingness…

Here is the thing: 97% of whites find a partial match.  65% of African Americans do. Other ethnic groups are lower than Whites and barely higher than those of African descent.  For a full match: 75% whites and only 25-35% of those of African descent.  Others are in between. Diversity in the registry is key. The sites for the drive are because they are diverse, inclusive, and social justice minded.  Please come by.

Feel free to share the fliers

Thanks! Sharon

Matt Dobie Immaculate

Matt Dobie St T

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happiness moments

For my birthday (11/5 if you want to remember it in the future) my son gave me The Happiness Project. by Gretchen Rubin.  I thought it was an intriguing choice.  With respect for him, I won’t spend words talking about the personality styles of my sons.  What I wondered was whether this was something he thought particularly appropriate for me or was it a projection of his sense of self.  Fairly soon after giving it to me, he checked in. “So how is the happiness project going?”

That makes the question clear, right?

I have been formally and informally evaluated (by numerous bosses, co workers, students, residents, and patients) as being serious, but with a very in tact sense of humor.  I have not been evaluated as seeming unhappy. OK if you asked the 7 full or interim chairs of my department if they think I am happy, I confess I have no idea what they would say or what their criteria might be.

Do you have a clue whether your bosses, your co workers, your friends, your family think you are happy?  And if you drew a line from 0 to 100,  0 being morbidly depressed and unhappy and 100 being ecstatic all the time, where would you rate… self rating or by others? I admit to a slight bent towards paranoia since getting the book, wondering how many, like my son, think I will benefit from a happiness project, well any more than any of us could. ( i think we all could, but not at the expense of that which drives us to seek and work for a world that is better…OK, I think it is how to have both.)

I am reading the book.  There are great tips.  I like the “enjoy the now”, “sing in the morning,” and many more that challenge me.  Others I do, routinely.  And I guess I am glad.  Think of the Eeyore my son would think I am if I were not generous, open to people’s feelings, looking for ways to be off the path, collecting (ok very small that way…two means a collection).  I do sing, not in the morning.  I need other voices around me to find my part and I don’t have other voices with me in the shower, not that I am opposed to it, just is not there. I think I have done a good job at stop nagging.  As for not wanting appreciation: I plead I am human. OK, I will take it on…not being a martyr in the not wanting appreciation, that is hard.  I am human.  It is a work in progress. I am a work in progress.

Write a novel? Forget about results? OK.  I have not written a novel.  I have written a manuscript.  And I cannot forget about those results.  I am carrying the stories of many people, including the 30+ contributors to this work, and feel a responsibility to bring it to print.  These narratives need to be shared. What shall I do next to get it there while waiting for replies?

Happiness…I think I have it a lot of the time and it is multi-tasked with the things that weigh on my mind: things out of sync with my values and yet realities at work, my kids’ health and challenges, the fears of waiting for the other shoe(s) to drop, and wanting this manuscript to become a book.  In the meantime I will read and find those tips in The Happiness Project that can grow me and maybe reassure my son that I am not Eeyore.

Backslide

Parent is a noun, not a verb.  In late twentieth and the current centuries it has been relegated to verb status by many who speak to the art of being a parent, as in “to parent.” Leaving the semantic argument aside, there are developmental challenges along the way of being a parent.  How we spend time with, coach, and nurture a two year old is different than for a five year old, twelve year old, twenty-five year old.

One quote I found: “Parenting isn’t a noun but a verb–an ongoing process instead of an accomplishment.  And that no matter how many years you put into the job, the learning curve is, well, fairly flat.” Jodi Picoult House Rules

When our children are little we are in active verb mode. We nurture our kids not just by our presence; we set the standards, the expectations, the family values.  We guide, we play with, we love our children.  We do their laundry, buy, cook and serve their food, coach their teams and attend their games, help with homework, be sure the homework is done, take them and their friends places, teach them to ride bikes and practice reading and math, celebrate their accomplishments, wipe tears from their eyes, and tuck them in at night with stories and hugs.

Then they start to shun our verb like presence in their lives, brushing it off like they brush off lint on their dark sweaters with the apparently emerging demonstration that they care about how they look (even if that look isn’t one we particularly like).  Well, actually, it’s all the better from their perspective if it’s a look we won’t particularly like. The practice we got with our two and four year olds, hearing “no, I do it myself” should serve us well when not a decade later their cry is undeniable.

I don’t know about you, but for me I was in boot camp training to transition from verb to noun.

“Mom, why are you bugging me about my work?”  “Mom, are you going to come to college and make sure I get enough sleep and eat the right food?”  These were all good points, but in my mind I had the answers ready, even as I tried, often unsuccessfully,  to avoid sharing them: “I am still paying the bills.”  “Maybe you don’t know how important this is.” “You think you are older than you are or act.” My thoughts did not dampen the push back, nor should it have.

I admit to jealousy that  some parents have an easier time with this transition than I did. A concept and an image both helped me.  The image is of those bobble head dolls that sit on dashboards.  My job: imitate them as much as I could.  The concept:  stop parenting as a verb and embrace parenting as a noun.

My sons are adults now.  Unless I am asked or it involves my resources, there really is no need to be a verb.  Sometimes it is hard.

The other night I was giving my son a ride somewhere. All day I had been worrying about something that (1) was not really my business and (2) was really not worth worry and (3) did I mention it was not my business? So I brought it up in the car and the words floated, no rushed from my mouth in a torrent I couldn’t stop soon enough to prevent them reaching my son’s ears. As the sound waves were traveling, I realized I had just taken a giant step backward. Verb, giving advice that was not asked for or needed. And my son’s radar is finely tuned for sniffing out parental back sliding. He called me out, suggested (with amazing tact, given the visual darts coming my way) alternative wording. And I apologized.

Some kids are more tolerant of their parents and some maybe even enjoy frequent meddling (verb) by their parents.  I guess I can thank my kids for the hard core training they give me.  Wait, that’s a verb!  Can I look forward to noun from them some day?