It is still wordless Wednesday here, but I need to say a few words as I share the outline below for the first chapter of my next novel. Much of Cal’s story takes place among the trees and birds of Hawaii, so today I am grateful for capturing a Japanese White-eye or Mejiro hiding in the banyan tree that overlooks Cal’s school. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you might see a little green bird.
Cal is Mia’s little brother and his story begins when Mia is in fifth grade and he is third. He too has problems related to his sister’s anger after the bullying. Bullying not only affects the victim, it affects the whole family. This is what my son and I both want you to know. This is why there will be a second novel.
Chapter I: Angry Times
A. Mia’s not the only angry member of the family
B. My thoughts
II. Pleading my case
A. To Dad
B. To Mom
III. Venting and Acting Out
A. Getting in trouble at school
1. My friends don’t understand
2. I cannot explain
3. It sucks
B. Mom deals with it
1. Talks to teachers
2. Talks to Dad
3. Talks to me
4. Arranges for time just for me
IV. They get me and I get them
1. From family
2. From friends
V. Light bulb Moment
A. Mia does not have this support even after Mom talks to people
B. I give Mia support
Green and Bright
Last year for Christmas I shared my dream for the future. I hoped and prayed for 2011 to be a year of change, where people made an honest effort to be more open-minded and to really try to educate themselves about differences. While some disappointments occurred in 2011, I am grateful for those who listened and I hope more will listen in 2012.
Like Martin Luther King, Jr., I have a dream. I still dream of a world where bystanders, parents, teachers, counselors, principals, and all people stand up to bullies and their parents and let them know it truly is time for change. I dream of a world that is bully free. I dream of a world where we reward kindness and it is more highly desired than a football championship. I dream of a world where others understand and accept my daughter and others on the autism spectrum along with others with differences.
As I dream, I also try to help spread the word that we all need to help change the world. I am grateful for those who share my dream and help spread the message. Kindness, respect, understanding and acceptance of differences should have a greater value in our society and I pray I will live to see the day that they do. Until then, I wish you Happy Holidays and in the words of Tiny Tim, “God bless us everyone.”
I love Jess at A Diary of a Mom and Leigh at Flappiness is… too, so I completely understand why all of you love them. I followed Jess closely as she went to the White House and I went with Jess to Harvard and I will be eternally grateful that she took me along. I fell in love with Leigh over her beautiful Apology letter. I too enjoyed #youmightbeanautismparentif and #whatanautismparentneeds. I even added to the #AutismPride although not as eloquently as some of you. Yet, all of you break my heart everyday without realizing it.
My heart breaks because I know my daughter did not have the services your children have. My daughter did not have our understanding when she was little because we did not understand. We tried to get help, but we got the wrong help and during that time damage was done. Then bullying made everything over a hundred times worse. Still, she was on the mend until last year when the bullies rubbed salt in her healing wounds, and an intolerant teacher pushed her over the edge.
Then I convinced her to share her heartbreak and her successes with you, but she never got the support Jess and Leigh get, so she stopped sharing. She realized what I tried not to believe. Too few really care and we cannot make any of you care. We are insignificant.
Bullying is not as interesting as successes shared about cute younger children. There is no way to make it fun because there is nothing fun about it. I hope and pray none of you ever know the heartbreak of trying to help your beautiful children overcome the longterm effects of bullying or worse yet having to bury them because of bullying. I was hoping to help prevent this from happening to you. I now realize I cannot do that because no one is really listening.
We are misfits even on the Island of Misfit Toys.
I originally posted this last December after someone started me thinking differently about Rudolph. This week political correctness run amuck has multiple sites talking about a segment on Fox News:
War On Christmas | Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Ban | Mediaite.
Rudolph has always been one of my favorite Christmas shows, but we were too busy to watch it when it was on a week ago, so my family and I watched last night. Thanks to my fellow bloggers, I watched it with a fresh set of eyes.
Now obviously everyone knows Rudolph and his buddies were not treated very well. That I got! What I didn’t get initially is how the whole show is about being cruel to those who are different. When you look at it that way it makes you think.
My thoughts are that at the time Rudolph was made, it probably was meant to teach tolerance, but given today’s climate, it really does seem cruel. I can certainly see why there are people who do not like it, so I have some questions for you.
Do you think Rudolph should have let Santa and others off so easily? Remember I’m all about forgiveness, but even I can understand why many think he shouldn’t have. Still, I think Rudolph did the right thing. It would have been nice if Santa and everyone else had really changed, but that isn’t really clear in the story.
Should the classic be remade to make it politically correct? I love Burl Ives and I love “There’s Always Tomorrow,” so I would be sad if the original Rudolph was no longer a Christmas classic. I think it might be more important for parents to use it to talk about bullying and how wrong it is like my parents did instead.
For those watching Charlie Brown, what about Lucy? Is she a “mean girl?” Many are also talking about the Disney classics. Let me know if you think of others?