Saturday, February 23, 2008

Put Your Head on My Shoulder

Dear Mr. Paul Anka:

Who knew that your fame was still so widespread? I just thought you'd enjoy this conversation my 6 year old daughter and I had tonight... I'll preface by saying that Alex and her cousin are trying out for their school talent show this week. They're very excited!

Alex: I wonder who the judges will be at the tryouts.

Me: My guess would be either teachers or maybe some PTA people. I really don't know.

Alex: Maybe it will be Simon Cowell!

Me: Oh, I doubt that. I think he's pretty busy these days.

Alex: You're right. It'll probably be Mr. Paul Anka.

Me: *laughing hysterically* I guess we'll have to wait and see.

~Mom on the Edge

Saturday, February 16, 2008

What does "well regulated" mean anyway?

Dear Gun-toting Stranger:

Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of the current interpretation of the second amendment. Your "right" to bear arms is arguable, in my opinion. But, I will admit that your actions were well within the law (a law I completely disagree with). Here's what I want to know there really a need for a well regulated militia inside of the local Fuddruckers restaurant? Beyond that, did it seem like a great idea to you when you sat down at a table that placed your gun (which was completely in the open on your hip, not concealed) approximately six inches from the little five year old girl at the next table? Did that seem wise and appropriate? I'm just wondering, since clearly we have very different views on this sort of thing, if you thought it would make her feel safe and secure. Did you think it would ease her mind? Eventually it seemed the child's father had made some sort of comment or shot you a dirty look because you suddenly got up and switched seats with your companion (who was wearing no less than 10 John McCain stickers). The two of you appeared to be about 16, although I would have to hope you were at least 18. I'm sure you think you're very patriotic. But how are we supposed to know if you're the good guy or the bad guy? I'd really just like to know what motivated you to carry a (presumably loaded) weapon into a family restaurant. It's totally beyond my comprehension.

Anyone care to explain it to me?

~Mom on the Edge

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Smarty Pants

Dear Alex:

I was so proud of you today. I helped with the Valentine's Day party for your kindergarten class today. When I got there one of the little boys grabbed your hand and pulled you over to where I was standing. He was so excited and said to me, "Watch what Alex can do!" He pointed to a conversation heart decoration on the wall and you said, "Cute Stuff, " reading it perfectly. He pointed to another and you said, "Forever." Then another, and you said, "True Love." This went on through a few more hearts, all of which you read with ease. Your classmates were looking on in amazement. You seemed totally unphased. It's good to be humble.

I also found out today that you are involved in the accelerated program at school. I don't know much about it yet, but I'm glad to see the school is recognizing your talent and that they are trying to encourage and challenge you academically.

Stay tuned readers....Alex's Talent Show Adventures will be coming soon.

~Mom on the Edge

Friday, February 8, 2008

More on Obama

Dear American Voters:

As I said in my previous Obama post, I have always voted for Republican presidents. I mentioned my reasons were typically fiscal. Lately though I have been thinking about the future of my children. Not just financially, but in terms of what I want for them and for their futures. I want them to have a great education and every opportunity to take advantage of that education. I am fortunate that my children seem to have no disabilities at this point. I do have a family member with disabilities. He has been diagnosed with childhood schizophrenia as well as Asperger's Syndrome. Asperger's Syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder. It has been a nightmare for us, as a family, to try fighting our way through all the red tape and beaurocratic bullshit just to get him the education he is supposedly guaranteed. There's not enough funding. There's not enough support. There's not enough knowledge amongst those who are supposed to be in charge. It's shameful. All this leads me to reason #2 that I support Barack Obama...

In addition to reclaiming America's global leadership on this issue by becoming a signatory to -- and having the Senate ratify -- the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the plan has four parts, designed to provide lifelong supports and resources to Americans with disabilities. They are as follows:

  • First, provide Americans with disabilities with the educational opportunities they need to succeed.

  • Second, end discrimination and promote equal opportunity.

  • Third, increase the employment rate of workers with disabilities.

  • And fourth, support independent, community-based living for Americans with disabilities.

And from Obama's Plan on Autism Spectrum Disorders:

Support Special Needs Education for Children with ASD: Barack Obama understands that children with special needs - students with visual, hearing, physical, sensory, and mental impairments - require meaningful resources in order to succeed both inside and outside the classroom. Obama is a strong supporter of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and supports full federal funding of the law to truly ensure that no child is left behind. The current underfunding of IDEA causes school districts throughout the country to deny necessary services to students with ASD and other special needs. Obama will also work to change IDEA's definition of "autism" to Autism Spectrum Disorders to ensure that all children diagnosed with ASD disorders receive the support they need.


These issues are becoming so much more a concern to me. I think it's important that people pay attention to specific plans the candidates propose. There are often differences that seem small on the surface, but in reality make a huge difference. I hear a lot of people saying, "Obama talks a good game, but that's all. He's got no plan." I beg to differ. I think he has some wonderful plans. Plans unlike the other candidates are offering. Plans that could make a real difference for people who are too often overlooked.

~Mom on the Edge

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Big boy!

Dear Sam:
Look how good you're getting at writing your name!!! Daddy loves that you make your M just like the Mopar symbol. :) Keep up the good work, buddy.
~Mom on the Edge

A Wave of Change

Dear American Voters:

I don't often discuss my personal political beliefs and choices. Politics, like religion can often lead to heated debate and disagreement. I like to avoid these things for the most part. From time to time though, I am moved to speak out on one or the other of these subjects. I do so without reservation and without apologies in those instance.

I have long considered myself a fiscal conservative, social liberal who typically leans in the direction of Republican candidates on the national level. My money has always been the driving force in those decisions. I usually find local politics to be a more personal decision, the effects of those results hitting closer to home. This year something has changed for me though. I'm not sure I can even put it into words. It may take several posts to dissect my own thoughts.

This year for the very first time, Pearson and I will be able to put signs of support in our yard, on our cars, on our kids if they'll let us, in support of a candidate. We've never agreed on a candidate before, so we've avoided these symbols of support. But during this primary season (and hopefully beyond...into the general election campaign) we will be going all out to show our support for Barack Obama.

For the very first time in my personal voting history, I have found a candidate who I actually find hope in. I've always felt like I was voting for the candidate that I believed would do the least damage. But this time around I have the opportunity to vote for a candidate that I truly believe could enact some positive changes. It's an incredible feeling to discover a candidate that makes you feel hopeful about positive change, makes you believe in your own ability to assist with that change. Barack Obama is that candidate.

Do I agree with Obama on every issue? No, of course not. But I trust him and I believe he is a genuine and passionate candidate. He's not just passionate about being president. He's passionate about the potential of this country. Optimism is a powerful thing.

Reason #1 I believe in Obama:

Obama believes teachers should not be forced to spend the academic year preparing students to fill in bubbles on standardized tests. He will improve the assessments used to track student progress to measure readiness for college and the workplace and improve student learning in a timely, individualized manner. Obama will also improve NCLB's accountability system so that we are supporting schools that need improvement, rather than punishing them.

Amen to that!

So much more to say, but as I said, this will likely take me multiple posts. So that's it for now. I'll have plenty more reasons to share with you in the coming days.

~Mom on the Edge

p.s. Hey Virginia voters (and Maryland and DC), don't forget to get out and vote for Obama on Tuesday!!!