X-Plan: Giving your kids a way out (#xplan)

Brilliant! Thank you!!

Bert Fulks

Friends, as most of you know, I get to spend an hour each week with a group of young people going through addiction recovery.  Yes.  Young people.  I’m talking teenagers who are locked away for at least six months as they learn to overcome their addictions.  I’m always humbled and honored to get this time with these beautiful young souls that have been so incredibly assaulted by a world they have yet to understand.  This also comes with the bittersweet knowledge that these kids still have a fighting chance while several of my friends have already had to bury their own children.

Recently I asked these kids a simple question:  “How many of you have found yourself in situations where things started happening that you weren’t comfortable with, but you stuck around, mainly because you felt like you didn’t have a way out?”

They all raised their hands.

Every single…

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Stopping Traffic

Random Acts of Faith


via FTPTo the middle aged woman who gestured angrily and yelled as we passed…

To the thirty-something man in the power suit who honked and forced his black SUV through our line…

To the person who tried to pass us and then moved his car into our lane to block our progress…

Perhaps you don’t know. Perhaps you didn’t recognize the hearse and the flapping flags on the first few cars. Perhaps you didn’t notice that we all had our lights on and our hazards flashing. Perhaps your mama never taught you to show respect to the dead by showing kindness to the grieving.

You couldn’t know, of course, that the woman inside the hearse was only twenty years old. You couldn’t know that she leaves behind parents and siblings and a young husband and a one-year-old baby girl. You couldn’t know anything about the person in that hearse or…

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The Day After the Verdict, Round 2: Yup, Still a Joke

my name is elizabeth

Maybe this time, I thought before yesterday’s grand jury decision was announced.

Because Daniel Pantoleo, the police officer who choked Eric Garner to death on July 17, has a history of alleged race-related misconduct.

Maybe this time.

Because the NYPD forbids its members from using chokeholds — a rule that went into effect 21 years ago, long before Pantoleo was ever a cop.

Maybe this time.

Because the New York City medical coroner ruled Garner’s death a homicide.

Maybe this time.

Because the entire incident was filmed.  Because you can see in the tape, as the New York Times stated, that Garner was “not acting belligerently, posed no risk of flight, brandished no weapon and was heavily outnumbered.”  Because you can hear him say “I can’t breathe” 11 times before he dies.  Eleven.  Times.

Maybe this time.

But then the news broke.

As I tried to make sense of the decision…

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Manic Monday

It started off fantastically well-9 yo & I were at the hospital lab for his blood work minutes after they opened.  When I saw the 6 vials, I was a little concerned but he asked the lab tech to let him know how much it would hurt and to tell him when she would pinch.  The lab tech was great too.  She patiently and gently answered his questions.

As she finished, Cameron was still breathing deeply, as he had been instructed.  She took out the needle and held the cotton ball down on his arm.  I had positioned myself on the other side of him so that he would look at me during the whole process.  Then, he slumped, his body not quite sliding down the big cushioned chair.  His head fell forward and the lab tech calmly told me to push the red button beside me.

I pushed that button and did not let go.  We both held on to him, propped his head back up and called his name.  Three er nurses were there in literally 2 seconds.  After some cold compresses and calling his name, he awoke.  This moment was pretty darn high on the relief scale for me.

It happened so quickly and so quietly that is was scary.  The reaction time of the hospital team was phenomenal.  I have never felt so secure as when the 3 nurses appeared and were looking after him.  He was brought apple juice and promptly drank most of it.

We were told that this is a completely normal reaction to giving blood.  Especially if you haven’t eaten much or are slightly dehydrated.  Cam had had breakfast (eggs), vitamins and juice.  He has given blood before but this has never happened.

Later on, my mom told me that this always happened to my brother and to warn the lab techs from now on.  So I looked it up, of course.  Here is the link with some great info:



Who is protecting the kids? A cautionary true story

When we sign our kids up for sports, piano lessons, etc., we do so with joy. Joy that they will be learning something new, having fun & making new friends.

And then reality sets in. Especially in minor hockey where the first rule is that parents will and do behave badly (quoting my dad here). I’m not sure what about hockey makes people insane-does it speak to our hunting/gathering days? But I thought that I had seen some pretty bad behaviour in the arenas when my brother played as a youngster. Then I registered my oldest son for hockey & all hell broke loose.

Recently I was told by his head coach that ‘one more strike & he was out’. Wow. I never received word of the first two strikes so not sure what is going on here.

I asked for specifics & this is what the association president gave me:

‘He doesn’t leave the ice right away when he’s tagged out in British Bulldog & someone else complained that ‘he stole the puck from my kid’.

Are you kidding me? I can’t believe that I am writing this out loud. What has happened to us? Where do we even find the time to ‘complain’ about a six year old boy? Don’t you people have full-time jobs outside the home and children to raise inside the home?

Wow. Will my kids ever play hockey again? Well, the oldest would like to but I’m not so sure now. As a hockey player, daughter of a hockey player, minor hockey referee, assistant coach & mom, I will think twice about handing my kids over to ‘parent volunteers’ from now on.

Sure, you’re giving of your time, but I gave you a gift & now I am taking it back.

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