16 Reasons Why …

… I love you, being my daughter.

Happy 16th Birthday!  Since you were born, I couldn’t wait for this day!  There’s just something special for a girl, when she turns Sweet 16.  I’m not really sure why … even as an adult, I am trying to figure out what’s so “sweet” about being 16. :o)  I mean, you’re still in high school (oh what a drag … HA!), your parents still rule the roost, you think you’re an adult, yet, you’re still a child. LOL Ohhhh, I don’t know.

What I DO KNOW, is 16 Reasons Why I Love YOU, being my daughter!

1.  You are the kindest person I know, and that’s not an easy feat.  I surround myself with kind people, always, yet, you still come out number ONE.
2.  You make me so happy, just for being YOU! Don’t ever change.
3.  In my opinion, you’re so brave, for being SO honest. It took me a long time to not “sugar coat” things, to not hurt someone’s feelings.  You have a way, with your honesty, that I truly admire.
4.  I respect you, and your opinion … ALWAYS.  Even if I don’t agree, I still hear you.
5.  I love that you still like to spend time with me.  (Don’t ever stop, even though I may go, go, go … I always have time for you.)
6.  You teach me something new, almost daily.  (And all these years, you thought I was teaching you!) ;o)
7.  You crack me up.  I love your sense of humor.  Keep laughing, it’s good for the soul. It’s so much easier to be happy, than miserable.  Remember, misery loves company, keep steering clear of misery. You’ll be so much happier.
8.  I think you’re very good at picking clothes, that YOUR body feels comfortable wearing. These days, it’s easy to get caught up in short shorts, (ridiculous looking) crop tops .. It’s in these moments, that I’m so proud of you, and happy that you listened to me (way back when) when it comes to respecting YOUR body.  So damn proud.

HALF WAY THERE!!

9.    I LOVE how you love animals.  It shows that one day (in the VERY far future),  you’ll be a wonderful mother.
10.  I love your work ethic.  It’s so refreshing to see you (and your brother), working so hard this  summer, and saving more than you’re spending.  I know that you can now value the worth of a dollar, and how hard you have to work to get the things you want (not need).  It’s only going to make you better, as an adult.  You will see.
11.  ANYBODY, would be lucky to be your friend.  You’re thoughtful, caring, loving and MOST importantly, KIND.
12.  You have a heart of GOLD, and it radiates through that gorgeous face of yours.
13.  You have great instinct.  I couldn’t have picked a better boyfriend for you, if I tried.
14.  I think you’re meant for BIG THINGS, and by BIG, I just mean … Whatever makes you the happiest to jump out of bed each day, and reach for the stars …
15.  Persistence. Maybe something you’ve learned from your step-father, but I do admire it.  You are relentless, when it comes to either something you want, or something you’re passionate about, you don’t stop until you’re pleased.  It’s an awesome quality to have.

Annnnnnnnnd Drum Rollllllll Please …….

16.  I trust you.  This trust isn’t just given, it’s earned.  You have proven to us that you can be trusted, and that’s MORE than I could have ever hoped for in any of my children, and it’s refreshing to know, that HEY, maybe I (we) have done something right.

Well, it’s not just a maybe … You are proof that good humans still exist, and will exist in the future!!  You are an amazing daughter, sister, role model, friend … HUMAN!

Happy Sweet 16, to our very, VERY sweet girl. WE LOVE YOU!

Meet Hakim …

Have you ever felt like you’re in the presence of a musical genius? Does music bring you to another level of “feeling”?  Do you remember the first concert you ever went to? What’s that one song you always turn on, when either you’re feeling blue, or happy as hell?  These are some things that people tend to never forget, and I recently had an interview, with someone I’ll surely never forget, and his name is Hakim Bell.

Now, I’m sure you have all heard about this “little” band from the 70’s/80’s, through today really, called Kool & The Gang.  Celebrate good times, c’mon!!!  Yeahhhh, you know who I mean!! Well, I had the honor, of meeting the son of Kool, from the band.  His name is Hakim Bell, some may know him as DJ Prince Hakim, as he’s known for spinnin’ in the clubs, parties, events … you name it!!

When I finally found my parking spot on Church Street, in Montclair, I breathed in a big breath, and I said to myself, “You got this!”.  I’m not gonna lie, I was nervous.  Once I found Hakim’s office, I really felt the jitter bugs, which is a good sign, because it meant that I was really excited with what was about to transpire! Here. Goes. Nothing … (knock knock)

Hakim immediately made me feel comfortable.  I could tell that he knew I was very new at this, and his patience and kindness will honestly, never be forgotten.  We took our respective seats, in his conference room.  We sat across from each other, me with my notes, recording device, and he with his computer, and phone not too far away (always working).  He was so chill, so cool, so ready to delve in, and just do it.  The sign of a true professional, yet so easy to speak with.

BLOG_Hakim2

So Hakim, growing up, who was your biggest inspiration, other than your father, of course?
“Oh, well RUN DMC, of course.  Then, I mean, it changes. As a teenager, it was Run DMC, LL (Cool J), New Edition.  I could go on and on.”

If you could eternally be stuck in one year musically, or decade, let’s say, which one?
“The seventies, the eighties were good too, but to be stuck, definitely the 70’s.  The music is so amazing.  The songs, the instruments … everything.”

What is one subgenre that, in your opinion, doesn’t get the attention it deserves?
“Oh. That’s an interesting question. Umm, I’d say Indie, that’s a good one.  The acoustic, the sound … A band called Haim, they are 3 sisters … They’re Indie and have a cool sound, they’re dope, actually.”

What is your opinion regarding old school DJ’ing, where you were spinning on real vinyl, versus today, where technology plays a HUGE part?
“There’s nothing like touching that piece of vinyl, and looking at the grooves, or the scratches in the record, that you make… when you play a record over and over, and you get those grooves…  It’s like this …  When you first buy a record, it’s nice, it’s shiny, it’s clean, but after you play on it for a year, you know what I mean, those things get nice and grooved.  Then looking at the artwork on the cover, flipping it over, and reading who produced it, etc.. Man, there’s just nothing like vinyl!  As a matter of fact, I’m giving DJ lessons, out of our Montclair office, on Church Street … Get in contact with me, if you want to learn how to rock the party!! All ages are welcome!!” (Information will be provided below)

Do you think it has hurt the exclusivity for DJ’s having a certain sound, by not using old school vinyl to scratch and tear it up on, versus the use of technology today?
“Ummm, not really, I know what you mean, but not really, because it’s really about what records you’re using in the mix, not the record, itself.  So it still comes down to your own vibe, and how you blend your song choice and how you scratch and mix these records in. So you still find your song on iTunes.  I think your sound can evolve even more now, because you have access to every song out there, when back then, you had to find the song you wanted, go buy it, etc.. So, I think your sound can evolve, for sure.”

What is one song, that never gets old, no matter how many times you’ve heard it?
“Ohhhh man … ummmm … Jungle Boogie.  Yeah, Jungle Boogie NEVER gets old. Master Jammin’ by Stevie Wonder, Off the Wall by Michael Jackson … MAN, we can go on forever.  Hall & Oates, I Can’t Go For That. So many, so many.”

When did you go from DJ’ing to Producing/Managing?
“So, while DJing, we were PLAYING the beats that other artists and rappers made.  So you start DJ’ing, and now, we want to MAKE the beats, you know, it’s just second nature. Now I want to make these beats, that I’ve been spinnin’, so alright, leave these turntables alone, for a little while, and start producing for the next 10-15 years. And that’s pretty much how I got into that. You know my uncle, co-founder of Kool & The Gang, Ronald Bell, he wrote Jungle Boogie & Celebration, he’s a producer. So, I used to be at his house, as a kid, you know with my cousins, and I would watch him produce. I grew up in the studio.”

Is it fair to say that producing and managing go hand in hand?
No. Management … man, I got into management, and I only manage one artist, Victoria Skie. I usually sign an artist, in the past, to my production company, meaning … I would take them, find their sound, produce their demo, at my own expense.  I would do artist development, meaning, teach them how to walk, how to sing, how to conduct an interview, you know, all that stuff, and put together their sound, identify their sound, put together a demo, all at my expense, that’s what a production company does. So, I left that alone, because we would get so close to getting these artists deals, and then something … either an attitude problem, or they decide not to do it anymore, or they just didn’t cut it for a record label.  You know, there was just something they were missing. So, you know, that’s a lot of time and money, so I kinda fell back from doing that, I kinda left messin’ with other artists alone.”

(And then there was Victoria, who in my own opinion, has the voice of an angel.)

Is Victoria your only client, and how did you find her?
So, I was here, in my office, and I got a call from Joann Smalls, who is the head of Montclair Center Stage, she said, “Hakim, you have to come hear this girl sing”, and I was like “Ohhhhhh, c’mon, what, why”, and she was like, “You HAVE to come hear her!” You know, you hear it allll the time, this trash, lol. So she finally convinced me.. I’m walking down the street, right here on Church Street, and I’m hearing this girl sing, and I get up there and I sat there the whole time (in awe), like WOW! This girl’s got something. So from there, I talked to her parents, and I said, “We need to meet NOW!” So, Joanne told them who I was, and we had a meeting, THAT DAY, and the rest is history …  you know, we made a deal, and now I manage her, and of course, it’s based on a couple things, cause I don’t like to promise anybody, anything. I know people think I’m crazy, but I’ll put together a deal, where, look, I’ll say, let’s put together an agreement, XYZ, and it doesn’t go into full effect, unless I deliver on my goal, but I want a certain amount of time to do that.  I mean, I’m getting her some major things right now, an interview with you, she sings at BB King’s, I have her booked at the State Fair, etc … So I am doing a lot of managerial stuff, but we’re not makin’ a lot of money, YET!! 🙂  Let’s keep it real, surrounding her with the best team, getting a record deal, and yes, making money … that’s the bottom line.  For me personally, it’s to be a part of an artist’s’ career that can be a major star in the world and influence culture, and I believe she can.  So, yeah, that’s why I got into the management side of it.  You know, I’m not looking to manage a bunch of artists.  I’ll be fine with just Victoria, and myself, for now.”

What does it take, to make it in today’s industry? How do you KNOW, when someone has that “IT” factor?
“I just know.  I just know.  Well, I think I know.  You can just tell.  It’s good to have a great sounding demo, you know, a great sounding recording, but if you’re talented, a seasoned manager or executive, should be able to recognize great talent, just from a voice recording of you singing your songs.  A seasoned executive will recognize that talent right away, and then take that talent, and put it where it needs to be.  So, there’s really no excuse.  If you’ve got talent, and you’re taking the time to upload your stuff, persistently, they’ll find you, as long as you keep marketing yourself.”

Other than being “sellable or marketable”, meaning the way the artist just looks on the outside, what do you feel are other elements an artist needs, in order to be successful?
“Great body language, great songs, catchy commercial songs … I think you need to be a great songwriter, it’s very important to me, AND it’s YOU, you should want to tell your story.  So like the fabulous “Rhianna’s”, or the amazing “Beyonce’s” out there, they may not write their songs, now they may co-write, but they might not fully write them. I think for a true artist, you know, someone like Lady Gaga, or even Victoria, you want to tell your story.  Like if something happened to Lady Gaga last night, she’ll write about it today, get on her piano, and write a song about it. Now that’s dope.”

Hakim, your stage name is DJ Prince Hakim, where can we find you?
“I’m gonna start MC’ing … hosting events, and stuff.  For right now, it’s DJ’ing, and I also tour with my dad.  I used to do about 40 shows with them a year, ‘cause they do about 80, but now I do about 5 – 10 with them.”

I still can’t believe that, after all these years, they are doing 80 shows per year!!
“Yeah, man … you should see their list, and you know, they have guys that have been with them since the 70’s, they have some new guys with them, as well, they have good talent, and you know, my dad is just sitting there on bass, chillin’ in the pocket, he’s not out front spinning and dancing. Sometimes people think that he’s the singer, but ‘Kool’ is actually the bass player, and my uncle, is the original horn player. So, yeah, but even at that, with the planes, and the travel, it’s a lot, but they still look great, and they’re still kickin’ it, man.”  🙂

As a person, who just started my journey in the blog world at 41 years young, THIS motivates me more than ANYTHING, to never stop believing in myself, or my dreams.  I hope this is just as motivating for you all.  Anything can happen! Anything.

BLOG_Hakim1Tell me what else you have going on…
“So, some things I’m excited about this summer are:  Booking more shows for Victoria, and putting the finishing touches on her record. Finding the right company to partner up with for her EP.  I’ll also be DJ’ing on the 4th of July at Liberty State Park in Jersey City.  I’ll also be making my Hampton debut, DJ’ing at the Surf Lodge, and I’ll be making my return Dj’ing at the  popular speakeasy, called La Esquina in Soho. Of course, I also offer the DJ lessons, as well.”

Well, Hakim, I think you’re dope!  I greatly appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to sit, and have a wonderful conversation with me.  I’m a huge fan of the arts, music especially… and opportunities that are being presented to me, are like a dream come true.  I joke a lot about my “age”, and being “old”, but at the end of the day, there is no age to inspiration.  I have been inspired beyond words, after this conversation.  I am on cloud 9, pursuing my dream, my passion … there’s just nothing more “dope”, if you will!! 😉

Please do yourself a favor, and check out DJ Prince Hakim this summer.  Whether it be at a Kool & The Gang Show, in the clubs, or taking some DJ lessons, you won’t be disappointed, that’s for damn sure!!

You can find more information on his website at www.djprincehakim.com, and in the words of Hakim, himself, “DON’T FORGET TO CELEBRATE LIFE!” Peace.

Let’s Rock For Character!

“Be respectful .. be loving ..  be happy.”

What’s your passion?  Do you have one?

For me, it’s writing.  This is my passion.  Spreading inspiration, creating imagery with words, taking your head to another place, even if for a little while … THAT’S my passion, with four kids, a husband, 6 chickens, 2 bunnies, a dog and a cat … That’s about as passionate as I get, these days … wink wink!!

Recently, I sat with Rocco Costanza, who is a 24-year-old ROCK STAR … well, at least locally, he is, but I promise you, please remember his name, because his talents are certainly going to pay off … maybe sooner than expected.  Rocco walked into my house, very confident with his dark Ray Ban Aviators on, his very cool, very stylish ripped jeans, hat on backwards, guitar in hand … ready to sit down and chit-chat.  I couldn’t help but to wonder … Was I that confident at 24?!

HELL NO!

Immediately, I admired him.  Was it the confidence I admired?  Yes, but that’s not all.  He was polite, respectful, talked to my youngest child as if he knew her forever … a rock star, but better!!

BLOG_RoccoRFC

In an earlier blog, I mentioned The Anti-Bully Squad, which was started by a friend of mine and my husband, Tom Peterson, along side Brandon McManus, from the Denver Broncos.  Well, Tommy also started another campaign back in 2000, along with an old buddy of his, Kyle Poyer, (small world) who is also from the area, but now resides in Anderson, IN.  Together, they have formed something called Rock For Character, and I’m on a mission, to be their voice, so they are heard!!

This campaign is AHHHMAZING! I’m a lover of writing first, but music is a very, very close second place!  For me, it’s my get-a-way from LIFE.  If I’m in a bad mood, I’m cranking up the tunes, because I know, that at some point while listening, my mood will change.  It’s magical.  Why is it magical?  WHO CARES WHY?! It just is, and that’s all that should matter, because I know that I’m not the only person this happens to.

Me:       “What was your favorite elective in elementary school?”
Rocco:  “It was music, and gym.”

For me, it was music.  I love to sing.  I’m a freaking rock star every day in my shower.  It’s an AMAZING show, too bad my family are the only ones to have the privilege of listening to SUCH awesomeness! wink wink!

Me:       “Why is it important to keep music in schools?”
Rocco:  “If music wasn’t in school when I was younger, I wouldn’t have had the desire to sing, and make music.”

He also went on to say that it was his MUSIC TEACHER, who taught him how to play the piano … in school … for free.  Did you hear me?! FOR FREE!! Yet, another, rather PHENOMENAL reason, to  PLEASE keep music in the schools!

What does this organization do?

They go into the schools. All schools. Elementary through college, and any event you can think of in between. They deliver a VERY clear message, by using music, and singing, to get the attention of the students, and staff.  Everyone loves music, or at the very least, they can appreciate good music.  Rock For Character, takes a young artist, guitarist, drummer, etc., and they start off by singing an inspirational song, more than likely a cover of a popular song, they already know … so this automatically engages the students.  When that song is done, the artist reaches out to the students, and speaks to them in a language they understand. I watched a video of this program.  I was instantly inspired.  They go on to sing another song, maybe a little riff on the guitar. They inspire some more, by speaking their language.  I was so inspired personally, that I have offered to help in ANY way I can, to “relay” this message, the best that I can.  So, I’m starting with this blog …

I’m sad to learn that it’s hard to get this program into OUR NJ Schools … I’m actually not sad, I’m freaking mad! Rock For Character (RFC), has no problem booking schools in PA, OH, CT, parts of NY State, and IN.  I’m not understanding what the problem is in OUR NJ Schools?!  To me, this is a no brainer!!!  RFC, has a motto, Keep your character in tune, one string at a time.  They also incorporate this six letter acronym (like a guitar has six strings) into their message, P.A.R.T.T.Y., however, not in the way you may think!

P=Passion, A=Attitude, R=Respect, T=Trust, T=Thoughtfulness,  Y=You

Rocco said, “It starts with you, and ends with you.”  It starts with your passion, your want and desire to do whatever you want, be whoever you want. They speak about attitude, respect, trust, all things that are very self explanatory.  Here’s where they tie in the Anti-Bully Squad, through THOUGHTFULNESS.  It makes sense, right?  Again, I’m echoing my sentiments in my previous blog, but bullying is getting out of hand, and it seems these children are getting younger and younger, and parents are fighting with schools for help with their depressed kid, and NO ONE IS DOING ANYTHING!!! WTF?!

PLEASE!! Let this organization into our schools!  It could save a life.  Not only has it been proven that this type of campaign can help to stop bullying, it can also help reach a kid who is thinking about dropping out, smoking tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse, teen pregnancy, violence, and other destructive behaviors or decisions.

Me:       “Rocco, what message is it that you, personally, want to convey to the younger audience?”
Rocco:   “Be respectful .. be loving ..  be happy.”

Hmmm .. Sounds a little familiar to me.  Again, echoing the sentiments of my previous blog, be anything, but MEAN!

You can all have the pleasure of seeing Rocco perform, this FRIDAY, JUNE 23rd, at a fundraising event, that a FIFTEEN YEAR OLD freshman, has put together for a classmate, whose family lost their house to a fire last month.  It’s being held at Horseshoe Lake, in Roxbury.  You can find more info here.  Please make sure to also stop by the Rock for Character website to check them out, along with the Anti-Bully Squad.

Everyone here is just trying to do the right thing, and spread the message.  Thank you to Tommy Peterson, and Rocco Costanza for swinging by, and having this conversation with me! I appreciate everything you guys are doing!

Me:       “Rocco, how important is it to be an honest, thoughtful person?”
Rocco:  “HONESTY is huge … from the fans, from the critics … It’s great to be honest, you don’t have to be mean.”

 

 

 

 

 

Dear 18 year old, ME!

These are the moments, that make us who we are!

As a person who likes to write, I carry my knowledge of “life” a little differently.  I keep certain things on the back burner for “just the right moment” to  give a life lesson.  Child #2, who is almost 16 (and female), says it best when I have some advice to offer.

She says, “Does everything have to be a life lesson, Mooooommmmm?!!?” Ohhhh how I wish you could hear me imitate her, I’ve pretty much nailed it.

My response, “Why yes, yes it does, because I wish I had someone like ME around, to offer this same advice to me, when I was your age! Now be quiet, and listen!!”

HA! So, since we all know kids hardly ever listen, I’ve decided to write this letter to the person who listens to me the most, HEARS exactly what it is that I’m actually saying, and loves me to the moon and back … yup, you guessed it … MYSELF!!

Dear 18-year-old, ME,

Soon you’ll be graduating high school, the best years of your life … or were they?  I know you hear it all the time from your mom, or grand parents, how “these are the best years of your life”, but are they?  Do you know what is in store for the next 60+ years?  High School is a mere minute, in this thing called life, and I know it’s hard to see past next week, but  you have no idea what life will entail exactly, but I do know these things…

STUDY, study hard, because graduating high school, is WAY more important than that party in the woods…

Remember to thank those that taught you, no matter what you think, they never gave up on you….

When you fall, jump back up, because as you get older, you can’t jump quite as quick,  both literally and metaphorically…

Those kids that talk shit behind your back, HA! Have no worries about them, Karma most certainly will give them a smack…

Don’t worry about the clothes you wear, people aren’t going to remember if you had clothes from the Thrift Store or The Mall…

You don’t have to drink or do drugs to fit in and be popular, be yourself, and those who matter will love you for you … and trust me, it is very clear, if you open your eyes, who will still be there in 20 years, and who will be gone…

There are more important things in life than your unruly, curly, frizzy hair (ha! who am I kidding, I’m still pissed off about this one, and some things will never change … yet another lesson in life)

That boy who broke your heart, it’s okay, there will be plenty more fish in the sea, and guess what, YOU WILL SURVIVE.  You will also get married at a young age, and when he breaks your heart, you will think your life is over.  Just know it’s okay, there is a reason, and that reason will make you happy and content for the rest of your life…

That boss who cut your hours?  Don’t get mad at him, he needed to give the hours to Susie Noname, because she’s a single mom of two kids, under the age of 3.  She needs the money way more than you.  Be gracious, be kind, because one day, that WILL be you, and you will be okay.

Your “best” friend just ditched you for other friends, it’s okay … They weren’t your friend to begin with … Your true friends won’t hurt you, ever, not intentionally, of course.  Remember, we are all human, and it is okay to make mistakes, it’s never okay to be mean.

You got ditched at the shore, because guys can suck?! It’s okay, the blessing that “saved” you that weekend?  She is still in your life at 41, and she’s the one you call your bestest … guess what? She didn’t even go to your school!

That sense of humor that got you kicked out of class??  Don’t ever lose it!!  Having a sense of humor will get you through the darkest of times.

Don’t be afraid to speak up for what you believe in!  You have every right to have your own thoughts and opinions.  Stop trying to please every single person in your life, and worry about making yourself happy!! It’s your life, live it to the fullest.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Those honors students are Honors, for a reason … They are smart, they can help.  Just ask. It’s better to get help, than to fail, but if you still fail, it’s okay, you did your best, and gave it your all.  Not everyone understands ADHD, but as you get older, you learn how to deal. It will be okay.

That girl who called you fat? She has issues of her own … let it be.  Don’t name call back, just try to be a friend, because you DON’T  know what goes on at home.

The rest of your life is waiting for you, you’ll be amazed to know that the best is yet to come.  Even though life has its ups and downs, twists and turns, the rest of your life is better than this. So don’t fret when Sally Soandso talks shit, or Joe Blow breaks your heart … These are the moments, that make us who we are!!

Love you always,

Your 41-year-old Self

Serendipity.


I wasn’t looking ..
for someone like you;
I wasn’t looking ..
for anyone at all.
You came into my life ..
out of the blue;
And did something I thought ..
no one could do.
Like a vortex tornado ..
you shattered my wall;
A wall raised by me ..
for protection from all.
You are so different ..
I sense your loyalty;
Don’t ever give up ..
for it’s called, Serendipity!


 

Not My Kid.

“It won’t happen to my kid!”

 


A little girl died. Twelve years young. I don’t know her. I don’t even know her family, yet my heart is crushed, overwhelmed with sadness for her. It is all I have been thinking about, since I learned of it last night.  Maybe because I’m a mom, maybe because I have a step-son that just turned 12, maybe because I’m freaking human?!

She didn’t die because she was sick. She didn’t die because of an accident. She was bullied, and she chose to die.  I can’t bear the thought of, “What if that was my kid?”. Hell … What if that was YOUR kid?

“It won’t happen to my kid!” … “Bully?! My kid?! NEVER!” … “I know my child, and he/she is fine.”

ARE THEY?! Do you KNOW if your child is okay? Better yet, do you know if your child is the bully? Have you checked through your child’s phone, tablet, etc., to SEE what they are getting in to? Do you regularly have conversations with your children about how THEIR day was? Do you have conversations about the “kid” that doesn’t have any friends?

“We’ve set our parental controls, they can’t get to that “stuff”.” … REALLY?! … They can’t?! Did you remember to set the parental controls at every single one of their friends’ homes, too?!

I remember when my, now almost 16 year old, daughter acquired her very first Instagram account. I was like a fly on shit checking in after her, setting controls, CONTROLLING who she followed, and who was allowed to follow her back. PHEW!! That’s a lot of work!! That’s a whole other job, within itself. These days, parents don’t have time to check, recheck, check again … Oh, and add on a sibling or two, or Lord help you … more, yes I fall into this category, as well, lol, who also have phones, tablets, etc., it’s exhausting to try and keep up. I also remember the ridicule I received from family members/friends regarding my daughter’s account, and how many followers she had, etc.

As the years have passed, I see family and friends  children now on Instagram, at a younger age, than my daughter was. Which, I can go on for hours about that topic, however, my point is this:  it’s easy to point fingers, when you haven’t “been there and done that”. Well, I’m here to tell you that I’ve been there AND done that! You can monitor everything you like, but it all comes down to one thing… Yup, you guessed it … PARENTING!!  Now, I am NOT saying to never check their stuff, but the sneak attack is always the best approach, and Ohhhh SOOO much better <insert evil laugh>.  If they suspect it’s coming, they will hide and/or delete all the shit they don’t want you to see.  TRUST ME!

“Your child has a phone? Aren’t they in 2nd or 3rd grade? … Ohhhhh, you’re going to CLOSELY monitor them. Cool. Now THAT makes sense.”

NO IT DOESN’T!! Children don’t have filters. They say what they want, when they want. Until a young person has the ability to THINK about what they are going to say, they shouldn’t have any type of time, on any type of social ANYTHING! The end!  You cannot erase words that are typed and sent. Plain and simple.

Let’s not forget the kids without phones, tablets, etc.. I know these days it’s all about “keeping up with the Jones”, I get it. However, there are little people in Pre-School, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades.  These little people, hopefully, don’t have access to freely be on any type of device without the proper supervision.  It’s during these years that parents and teachers are going above and beyond to raise Bully Awareness.  It stops at a certain grade level for whatever reason.  Maybe they feel the first 6 years or so of Bully Awareness, in public school,  is enough?  Well it’s not.

As the mother of two high school age children, one middle school, and one elementary, I’m here to tell you that it stops.  I feel fortunate to live where I live.  Our school systems really do go above and beyond to raise awareness for Bullying, along with our community.

As a matter of fact, I remember when a good friend of our family, Tommy Peterson, started this “little” Organization, along with the kicker from the Denver Broncos, Brandon McManus, 2016 Super Bowl Champ (Not to throw any names around or anything) called The Anti-Bully Squad. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s not so little.

BLOG_ABS_Photo

The Anti-Bully Squad (aka: ABS) has over 40,000 SQUAD MEMBERS from the United States, plus FOUR other countries! They give assemblies in NJ, PA, NY, CO & UT.  Lee Rouson, a 2-time Super Bowl Champ with the NY Giants, wink wink, is their Vice President. They team up with the NY Jets, Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, The NJ Devils, and the Sussex County Minor’s, for Bully Awareness.  They are ahhhhh-mazing, and I’m proud to call Tommy, my friend.  For more information on ABS, please check them out on their website, at: antibullysquad.org .  They are always there, ready for new Squad Members!! It will truly benefit you to check them out!!

In closing, I’d like to leave you all with this ..

Kindness: noun. The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

The word KIND, always comes to mind, in these situations. BE KIND! It’s not that hard. It’s so stinking simple. Our children emulate us. They follow OUR footsteps, from the moment they are aware. When YOU are kind, THEY are kind. Communicate … Always talk to your kids.  Be involved. Be Gentle. Be Aware. Be Considerate. Be Friendly. Be Generous. Be Tender. Be Gracious. Be anything … but MEAN.  Please, just be kind.

 

Wow.

This is the man, I hunger to be mine.

I awake each morning,
With no one to hold.
For a day in New York City,
Has captured my soul.
Like fireworks that go off,
In the dark night time sky,
In an instant I knew,
I desired this guy.
A quick passing time,
Was all that we had,
I miss him, I want him,
It’s making me sad.
Astounding to me, impressive to him,
What hours of conversation had done.
For two unattached hearts,
Suddenly fluttering, as one. Continue reading “Wow.”