Tuesday, August 30, 2011

An inspiration.... A long time coming

A couple months ago, I ran across an organization on Ravelry called Calvin's Hat's.  (Go to their site to read their story in full)  They distribute itty bitty tiny baby hats to people who experience the loss of a child due to premature birth.  Having experienced the loss of a child myself (due to a heart defect, he was born full term), I felt compelled to participate.  But, at the same time, I hesitated.

My child, Christopher, was born on April 12, 2008.  I am still not anywhere near healed from his loss.  Some days, I wonder if I've even started.  And this pain is what made me hesitate. 

After my loss, my sister-by-choice's niece lost her twin girls, Kilayah and Kiera, in August of 2009.  She was 20 weeks.  A part of me wanted so badly to make something for her girls that she could keep, but I didn't.  The pain, then, was still so crippling that I couldn't bring myself to even try.

Calvin's Hats organization has provided me with the inspiration to begin creating hats for these tiny angels.  The other day, I was compelled to pick up this awesome yarn given to me by my cousin (Thank you again, Ness) and create a hat and then a bonnet.  I didn't really know what I was doing, how big to make it, or anything.  I just started stitching.  After about 5 hats, I figured I should try to find some information on the size or the measurements.  Turns out, the hats I'd created were the perfect size.  I also discovered that the fit on the itty bitty baby doll that belongs to my son Kevin.
So this mission is helping me heal just a little bit more.  I hope you'll take a look at Calvin's Hats and maybe look at your local hospital and see if they need any donations.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pedestrians have the right of way.

For those of you that don't know my complete lifestyle, let me tell you that I am a full time pedestrian and infrequent bicyclist.  I know the rules that I have to obey as both of those stations in society.  I was, at one time in my life, also a licensed driver, so I know those rules as well.  So when I have my rights as a pedestrian trampled on by some c-bag with an undeserved sense of entitlement, I get a little miffed.

Excerpt from MN Statute 169.222...
"Every person operating a bicycle shall have all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle..."

Now this would lead me to believe that a bicycle must stop at the same line as any other vehicle at a light controlled intersection.  Wouldn't you agree?  Well, this is what happened today...

We went for a walk and were headed back to our apartment and we were waiting for the light to change at the intersection of Franklin Avenue and Lasalle/Blaisdell Avenue.  The traffic slowed and stopped as the light changed and we began to cross the street.  Just as I stepped out, a bike in the bike lane pulled ALL the way in the crosswalk and directly into the path of my child and me.

I walked right up to her and smile and said, "Hi!" in a friendly tone.

She looked at me, matched my tone and said, "Hi!"  But... she didn't move back.

I said, still with a smile, "Crosswalk," and placed my free hand on her handlebars and pushed.  THEN she got the idea... Sort of.

She backed up.  However, she said, "Yeah, but I'm on a bike! (pause) Bitch." And her friendly tone was gone.

And I turned around, still walking with my kid, and yelled, "But a pedestrian has the right of way at a F@&!ING GREEN LIGHT!"

And we continued on our way.  But man! that pissed me off!  The sheer audacity of that woman just has me flabbergasted.  I hope my fellow pedestrians will also stand up for themselves (and I hope it goes without saying that it be in a non-violent fashion) while still being considerate of vehicles, both motored and non-motored.  And I hope that, after reading this, my fellow cyclists will be more considerate of pedestrians and cars.  I also hope that the drivers of motorized vehicles show that same consideration to everyone else on the road.

*steps off soapbox*

Before I completely step off...  I just realized that my last 2 blogs, both posted this week even, are about how inconsiderate this society has become.  What are you doing about that?  Are you making it worse and feeding the beast with your own inconsiderate treatment of others?  Or are you trying to lead by example and show your children, your friends and peers and the rest of the world that you can be kind and considerate without being weak?  Hmmmm...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A message to the "normals"

While walking to the store yesterday, some jackass walking in front of us lit off a bottle rocket.  When it whistled and banged, Kevin was absolutely terrified.  He jumped and screaming and began to cry uncontrollably while pressing his hands over his ears.  He nearly collapsed to the sidewalk, but I caught him.  I had to pick him up and carry him while he screamed in my ear.  I squeezed him and stroked his back in an attempt to calm him.  I told him over and over, "It's OK.  It's all done now."  It took what seemed like ages to get him to stop crying and screaming.  And even longer for him to relax enough to be Kevin again.

On the way back home, we walked the same street that this event had happened on.  We turned the corner and he tensed up like he was about to be struck.  He started making the noise of the firework vocally and flailing his head like it was being knocked about. 

This small, seemingly innocuous, however obnoxious and asshole-ish, action has traumatized my child, possibly for the rest of his life.   Now, I can't expect those of you that are not autistic to know that he or any other child could react that way any more that you should expect me to keep my child isolated from those who would behave in a manner than might bring out such a reaction.  My message, however, is this:  Think before you act and speak.  You never know what it can do to others.  You are never too young (or old) to start being considerate of the world around you.