Monday, October 27, 2014

Tire Swinging and Reading in the Sun

Let's be honest, I have lost all will to walk or to write about it. I got really off-track as a result of Caden's hospital visit and Adam's travels. And even now that he is home, I still cant seem to motivate myself to continue. Sorry y'all, such a fail!
I did promise an update on Caden's heart following his cardiologist appointment on Friday. He was a champ, sitting still for the echo and everything (although to be fair, he did eat three lollipops in quick succession, because how else am I supposed to keep this kid still?!) So Caden's cardiologist is a gem, he takes such good care of us and we feel so confident in his wisdom and genuine concern for Caden's well-being. That said, I was a little rattled by how worried he was before the ECHO. Because Caden's oxygen sats dropped so quickly and he got so sick, so fast, there were a few things he needed to look at asap. Thankfully, once he looked at the ECHO, he felt much better about it because everything looks about the same as his last appointment, which is great news! He does, however, want to present Caden's case at Egleston next Monday to get their opinions on a timeline for surgery because he doesn't want to wait too long because of how quickly Caden got sick. So we should have another update after they sit down in a week.
 
It's amazing to think how far Caden, and all of us, have come and grown and changed in the last three years. Another thing that has changed a lot since we moved here is our neighborhood, and this made me laugh: Signs Your Neighborhood Might be Gentrifying (DL Mayfield).

Some more good reads from around the internets:
Sufferable Faith - Ethika Politika
On Fighting, Farming, and Feasting - Deeper Story
Dear World, Let's Stop Giving Our Crap to the Poor - We Are That Family
Black Moms Tell White Moms About the Race Talk
Under the Volcano - Anthony Bourdain

As Andrew Golis points out, this might suggest something even deeper than the idea that poverty's stress interferes with our ability to make good decisions. The inescapability of poverty weighs so heavily on the author that s/he abandons long-term planning entirely, because the short term needs are so great and the long-term gains so implausible. The train is just not coming. What if the psychology of poverty, which can appear so irrational to those not in poverty, is actually "the most rational response to a world of chaos and unpredictable outcomes," he wrote. (Your Brain on Poverty  - The Atlantic).

Don't forget, you can donate to our Christmas baskets for the CICU at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Thank you so much to everyone has already contributed or reached out and offered to help put together baskets, bake yummy goodies etc. Y'all are seriously the best.

I've had a few requests for a comprehensive book list. I do keep track of most everything I read on Good Reads, but I'm also going to work on putting together a big list on here for you guys. Thanks for asking about it. Also, I get a lot of questions about when-in-the-heavens I find time to read, and here's your answer: I stay up too late. I sacrifice at least 20 minutes of sleep every night by staying up a little extra to read and unwind a little.

I just finished reading this book (Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx), and it kind-of wrecked me. More on this coming soon.

Finally, I wanted to leave y'all with this post from Humans of New York (as I'm mentioned, I'm slightly in love). Because this is it, exactly (why we do mentoring and what we believe at Blueprint 58).
"I’m a recovering knucklehead from the South Bronx. Now I run a mentorship program for teens. A lot of the teens we work with are angry, but I used to be angry a lot too. I can’t even say exactly where the anger comes from: the trash, the potholes, the sirens, the cursing, the yelling, the seeing people getting frisked. I can’t say exactly what causes the anger, but it’s hard to grow up around all that and be OK.
Your brain is growing at a rapid rate during adolescence. There’s a lot of emotion, confusion, thrill seeking. It’s a time when you try a lot of things and make a lot of mistakes. We all went through it. But in this neighborhood, there’s not a lot of maneuverability. There’s not a lot of room for teens to make mistakes, and the mistakes have higher consequences. To make things worse, adolescence seems to be prolonged here. Many young people in the community view adolescence as a pinnacle, and not a stage. Girls become mothers at a young age. Fathers are absent, so young boys are forced to act like men. So what you have are adolescents who become authority figures, and spread the adolescent mindset through the community. Instead of thinking through a conflict, young men feel a social pressure to immediately react, so they don’t appear ‘soft’ or ‘weak.’ That’s one of the reasons I feel that mentorship programs are so important. They give adolescents a space to remain adolescents.

3 comments:

  1. It's totally not a fail that you just can't do the walking/writing thing! It's just life, right? I'm looking forward to your book list, and thanks for the links, I love seeing what other people find worth reading around the internet.

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  2. Have you read The Other Wes Moore? If you haven't, I think you might like it!

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  3. I can tell that you and I both love in cities! I added the book to my reading list and I loved that hony post and shared it on my timeline. I've lived and served in Baltimore for 23 years. I understand stopping and wondering if it is enough. I've stopped and felt it was God's plan for me and I've stopped and felt guilty for giving up. Life is hard. God is good.

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