Heather Arundel

The Diva of Darkness

Salton Sea Sunset Photo by Ron Niebrugge

Salton Sea Sunset Photo by Ron Niebrugge
The Beauty of Hell...

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - also known as my personal life motto!

All Human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Who I am...

I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a survivor.
My family has made me who I am...my past family with past hurts...my current family with current joy.
Family is something you are born into and cannot choose,
family is also what you choose it to be once you are old enough to start anew...


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Let's Lighten Things Up A Bit...

I've been much too dark lately, I know this and I apologize to all of you wonderful people who have been reading all this downer stuff - commenting so nicely - and probably feeling like "Shit, when is she gonna stop?!?"  Well, that time is now!

My eldest and middle child started back to school yesterday, for my middle child it was his first day of Kindergarten.  Of course, I had planned to hang around long after the bell rang - my daughter had, after all, almost blown a blood vessel when I tried to leave her on her first day - but my son, he is a different beast all together.  As I stood there clasping his little hand in mine, he looks up at me and says "Mommy, why are you still here?"  Isn't he sweet?  I stifled my smile and said, "I'm here for you, when you are ok with me leaving; then I'll leave".  He dropped my hand faster than a hot potato and said, "I'm fine, Mommy - you can go".  So I left, and the tears slowly ran down my cheeks as I walked to the fifth grade classroom where my daughter was waiting to go into class.

As I approached her, I saw that she was crying; but my husband was there and she hadn't seen me yet, so I slowed down and moved out of her line of sight.  I know, it sounds bad - right?  I wanted to give him the opportunity to handle it and I knew that she would lose it even worse if she saw me (to be fair, we recently moved and so she is starting a new school as a fifth grader with no friends).  My husband was dealing with the anxiety; but the teacher came out, recognized the situation; then instantly fixed any and all problems...YAY TEACHERS!

I went and spent the next few hours chasing my littlest one around the house, cleaning where I could.  When I went back to pick up my son, the teacher pulled me aside.  I'm thinking..."Crap! What could he have possibly done?"  She then tells me that my son is (and I am quoting her here) "Probably the nicest, most well behaved boy I've ever taught" HOLY SHIT!!!  She then went on to explain what a "bucket filler vs. a bucket dipper" is (if you are as confused as I was, click here), and then told me that my son does this naturally.  She used words like "loving" and "kind" and "sweet" and "thoughtful" and "helpful", then the final coup de gras..."wise beyond his years".  I was floored.  It seems my son is a bucket filler and NOT a bucket dipper.

I have to tell you that I am exceedingly happy.  The book in question, "Have You Filled a Bucket Today?" by Carol McCloud, is used at my kids school in conjunction with their anti-bullying education; it's a pretty straightforward book that gets right to the heart of the matter.  I am glad that I've been introduced to it, and I think perhaps it should be used in a more widespread manner.

So here is the point of this post (besides a bit of bragging on my part)...

Do you, gentle readers, know of other children's books that have an excellent message?  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, message books - and I especially love clever authors that hide their message in a fantastically entertaining book that children adore!

I can't wait to hear from all of you!

*Please "like" my writer's page on Facebook


  1. OMG, totally got the warm fuzzies over here! Your son sounds like such a great kid. I can totally relate to your daughter, though - I know how it is to be the new kid. I hope she makes lots of nice new bucket filling friends. I clicked on that link - as someone who was bullied, I think that book needs to be put on school curriculums both here in Canada and in the US and everywhere else ASAP!

    PS: Don't worry - I certainly didn't mind the darker posts. I do the same thing when I'm feeling shitty and need to reach out to someone, even if it's a bunch of on-line someones, and I'm always happy to be able to return the kindness I've received. Glad you seem to be in a happier head space, though! :-)

  2. @Crystal: I'm glad my story gave you a positive feeling, I think it was about time - huh? :)

    That book is pretty amazing, and as someone who just changed schools (one of the reasons we moved was to leave the school we were at because they had no concrete anti-bullying program and my daughter was being bullied and sexually harassed by a disturbed boy) I can say that ALL schools should be adopting this as part of a DAILY lesson on how to treat one another!

    Regarding my "darker posts" ( I like that, by the way!), I'm like that ALL the time! LOL! I live in this strange in-between-land, one where I am a happy, normal mom & wife; the other where I am the dark, brooding, goth-girl who can't see if the glass is half-empty or half-full - who cares? You are going to spill it eventually, right?

  3. Aw, I'm sorry I don't have any titles to add, but this post was adorable. Starting school is hard, but it sounds like your son did it amazingly well. Congrats and I'm wishing all of your kids the best of luck starting out!

  4. @Kelley: Thanks for the good wishes! Perhaps you know of some YA books that have a great moral to the story? I'd love to be able to recommend such stories to my daughter...thanks!

  5. I hope things got better for Blondie. And T well-behaved? That just floors me. I'm glad he had a good day, though.

  6. i also don't have a book to recommend. 'mommy, you can go.' i love the independence:)
    first days of school are such an important ritual.

  7. @Liz: Blondie ended the day with a statement of "Today was AWESOME, my new school is AWESOME!" and of course T was well-behaved! He is only a holy terror around family! ;)

    @Ed: Independence = my son! Thanks for coming back!

  8. Heather, I left you a little award on my blog...