Friday, January 2, 2009

christmas 2008

christmas was wonderful for our family. mark works a cool shift at work now, he works 7 days straight and is off for 7 days straight. the 7 on really stink, but the 7 off are awesome! we were so glad that his 7 off fell christmas week. the kids were out of school, i of course was not subbing, and mark was home. it was just great!
last year was a hard christmas for us financially, and mark and i went overboard trying to make up for it this year. so did santa. i think that mark, santa, and i made wise choices in our purchases, though.
we know we are so blessed, to have our family, a home, great friends, and Jesus.
my mom stayed christmas eve night with us, a tradition we started years ago, so that they grandparents can see the kids enjoy santa the next morning. christmas eve evening, we open the presents from each other. i started this when lacee was little, to make christmas excitement last a little longer. then christmas morning we open what santa has brought.
christmas day i prepared a big meal. mark brought his mom home from the nursing home to enjoy the meal with us.
we spent the rest of the day at home, the rest of the week actually.
who could ask for more?

tough times

poor lacee. she has had a rough semester. i blogged about her birthday party and how the girls there gave her a rough time. she distanced herself from those that were the pickers that night for about a month, and things got better. she learned a little about standing up for herself.
lots of life issues i expect to deal with with my kids. walking, talking, potty training, loosing teeth (although this one is still gross to me..the wiggling and popping...ewww), fights with friends, puberty, homework issues, teacher issues, the talk, etc etc etc. yet monday night i found myself dealing with a situation i was totally unprepared for. lacee was equally unprepared.
a friend of hers that had been over a night or two the week before was staying her second night in a row at our house. a super sweet, well mannered likeable 10yr old girl. mark and i loved having her over. the boys enjoyed her too. the girls also invited another girl over for the night. this one hasnt been here as much, but has been one of lacee's friends for many years.
i took the girls to the movies, and my young friend sarah went with me so i wouldnt be the only adult sitting 3 rows behind the kids. after the movies the girls all came back to our house for the night. mark had to be at work at 545am, so we warned the girls that they must be super super quiet that night (hard, i know) so as not to wake him and that the next day when everyone was awake they could let 'er rip. they understood and agreed.
they were actually doing pretty good with the quiet part, sarah just warned them twice to ssshhhh, we were trying to keep it low. the second time sarah opened the door, lacee says "i'm changing!!!"
lacee then tells sarah, "they are trying to take a picture of me while i am changing!" and sure enough, sarah seen one of the girls with her cell phone out, holding it up in picture taking mode.
being only 19 and unsure of what to do, she came to me.
my first mistake..i sat there stunned for like a minute or two.
my second mistake..i went to the room, told the girls that i loved all three of them very much and that there would be no naked pictures of anyone taken at anytime, or no sexy pictures of anyone with clothes on. i made them promise me that the picture had not been sent to anyone and that it had been deleted.
my third mistake..i left the room. for like 5 minutes. the longer i sat in the living room the madder i got. i was shocked and scared and didnt know what to do. i have never had to send a child home from my house for misbehavior. i certainly was not expecting to deal with naked picture taking from 10yr olds!!
i called a friend of mine to ask what she would do. "have you taken their cell phones away from them?" OMG NO!!! what was i thinking!! i should have confiscated them immediately. i just slipped. i froze. i was UNPREPARED.
so i got off the phone with wendi and walked straight to the girls room. "give me all 3 of your cell phones and you two pack your things, you are going home."
the tears ensued immediately. please please no.
i called both moms, explained the situation, and asked them to come get their daughters and have a long talk with them. it was between 10:30 and 11pm at this time.
the girls came into the living room, sat on the couch. crying and begging me not to call their moms, to let them have their phones back, they were sorry, they didnt send it to anyone, it was deleted, they didnt mean it.
i began to talk with them. i told them that i loved all of them very much, that it wasnt because the pic was of lacee. but that pics like that are just wrong. i asked them what they thought when they saw people in magazines or books or on tv like that, did they think it was cool? i told them that if that pic had been sent to even just one person, that by the next day that pic would be all over the county and lacee would forever be known by that pic. i asked them how they what they would think if one of their friends had a pic of another of their friends like that? i asked them did they think it was cool? i asked them did they think their moms and dads would be proud of them for this? i asked them did they think God was proud of them for this? i told them that life was full of choices and one bad decision can have tons of horrible consequences. they have to learn to think things through. as they go to middle school next year it is only going to get harder. i told them that i wanted to believe them, that they were just playing around and did not think through the consequences of thier actions and did not do this to be mean spirited.
i dont know if i believe that or not.
after both girls were gone, i woke mark up. from an entirely too deep sleep, he didnt have much to say.
lacee and i talked for a long time. she is devastated. this is the way it happened. as lacee was changing from her clothes to her pj's and was in her bra and panties, one of the girls pulled her panties down and said, "take the picture". as lacee bent down to pull up her panties, the other girl snapped the picture. lacee said she saw the pic and it showed her legs and her bottom. the other two confirmed this was the way it happened earlier.
i honestly believe this account of it, and that lacee was not agging them on for pics of her that way. why? because back in aug a boy put his arm around her at school, she shoved him off, and was mortified!!! so i dont want to think that in 4 months she has went from arm on the shoulder is off limits to wanting to pose for playboy. i dont want to be the nieve mom who thinks her kids do no wrong. i know they do and will. i just dont think she is this bad right now. and i pray that she never is. i pray that the girls all learn from this lesson. i pray that the moms all learn from it too. i have learned from it.
i have learned to be way more strict on her friendships.
from now on, lacee's phone goes to bed with me at night, as well as the computer. if she has friends over with cell phones, they too will go with me at night. the next step if needed will be that she is no longer allowed to text and that she will only be allowed to talk on the phone with me or her daddy in the same room.
the next morning, through text messages with the camera holder, lacee learned that they had also tried to take another of her without her knowing. she is so mad, so hurt. she doesnt want to be friends with these girls anymore, and dreads going back to school to see them. this is from a child that wants to be friends with everyone no matter what and loves school even when her grades are bad.
i will also be requesting that lacee's seating arrangements during class and at lunch be adjusted.
i made calls to confirm that the pic had not been sent to anyone, and by now, friday, if it had been sent i am sure i would have heard about it. i am so very thankful that it had not been sent, and that we caught this situation before it got worse. i have been second guessing my every decision as a mom all week. my biggest fear in life is failing my children and/or screwing them up.
i asked lacee this week how she would feel if she walked into school next week and their were all her friends standing in the hallway with cell phones open, looking at that picture of her. she said she would want to move to memphis and never come back!
at random times throughout the week i have asked her to explain to me what happened. i have asked her to tell me why it was wrong. i have asked her to explain to me why she chooses to not be friends with these girls anymore. (even if she didnt choose that--she wouldnt be allowed to--but i am glad she is on the same page). she seems to grasp the concept as well as can be expected for a 10yr old girl.
i must admit that i am still in shock that this whole situation even came up. these girls are 10! TEN YEARS OLD! they are in the 5th grade. they come from good families. i was so unprepared to deal with this.