The World is Our Schoolyard

There have been people who believe the world is the best teacher since the beginning of humankind. They are called Explores, Crusaders, Pirates, Roma, Nomads, and many other names. Always on the fringes of society, these are the people who push through fears with courage and hope. 

These are our people.

The parks have become our schoolyard again. The kids bring their stories to life - today Peter Pan with an environmental ethos.

Soon we leave our summer home (Coralville lake), and the winds blow us southward. For now, we savor these empty parks and cool breezes. 


Happy 14th Birthday Hanna

September 6th
Today Hanna turns 14. Hanna celebrates with a huge smile on her face, and talks about all the cool things a 14-year-old gets to do – mainly getting her permit.

My heart begins to hurt. Tears well up in my eyes.  Hanna is not ready to get her permit, and no, I am not just being an over protective mom.  Trauma.  That is why I hurt. Trauma Hanna had no choice in.  Trauma shadows everything she does.

Recently Hanna’s special needs doctor sent us to the Endocrinologist, at my request, to see where Hanna’s hormones are based on her peers.  We got the test results back, and, much like my mommy instinct suggested, Hanna’s hormones and bones are delayed.  The doctor had blood work, and a hand bone x-ray done, which all came back with the same internal age – 10.  This only confirmed that academically she is on track at the 5th/6th grade level.  So even though we are celebrating Hanna’s 14th birthday earth side, Hanna really is more compatible with 10 year olds.

So it begins, well-meaning friends and family will ask, “How old are you now”? and my insides will cringe.  I know the judgmental side glances are coming because “she doesn’t act like a 14 year old”.  Instead of celebrating her milestones, they assume things about her not being developmentally appropriate.  I get it but it still hurts, and I am angry.  I am angry at the adults in her foundational years who failed to keep her safe, who failed to help her thrive, who created this trauma.  I am ANGRY and SAD!!!!!  I could digress here on how our social system has failed, and all the problems with generational trauma, and our mental health system, and how all these things make so ANGRY also but I will spare that for now.  Right now, I am just sad and angry for my beautiful Hanna.  My beautiful, strong, loving, warm, friendly, happy Hanna.

The good news is that Hanna is resilient, and easily finds happiness, and has learned to grow through her trauma.  The good news is that the “whole package” Hanna is developing steadily, and by the time she is 25 or 30 she will be just like her peers, maybe even taller according to the Endocrinologist.  The good news is that Hanna is surrounded by family, every day, that accepts her for who she is right now – not how she should be.  In fact, our lifestyle choice has actually set her up beautifully to grow, and flourish at her own pace.  The good news is that Hanna has people in her life who understand trauma.

Trauma also means when Hanna does hit those special milestones, we celebrate with more cheer and emotions. So even though I am angry and sad now, I know we have lots to celebrate now and in the future.