WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How things have changed-

In 1980 Montana Mountain men were a joke- we thought they were some insane cult hidden away in the mountains. Even as a child I thought it was laughable that we would ever lose our American freedoms, or have a socialist government that would endanger our rights-The cold war is what I lived with daily and we learned a feeling of American pride and patriotism in our freedoms- you ask a 10 year old now why Russia, Communism, or Socialism is a threat and they give you a vacant look...

Now in 2012-we all sorely wish we had listened to what those Mountain Men were preaching.. Survivalist websites are all over the internet, you can take a class at your community college on how to put up enough foods, energy and water to survive a collapse of our government. Last month, I got invited to a "gun carry permit party" to take an all day class to be able to get my my permit to carry a gun in my purse- They had the cutest little guns in pink, and yummy tea cakes- 10 years ago, I would have gotten an invite to a pampered chef party. 10 years ago, when you heard "Militia" you thought about 3rd grade history lessons and the Boston Tea party- Today, executives, lawyers, and other very well educated men and women meet up on the weekend for Militia meetings and training instead of the golf course or bridge parties. Today our gun ranges are filled with not Hunters or the stereo typical uneducated "redneck", but well educated citizens who are fearful. Gun sales are at a historic high- it isn't the poor or crazy or unbalanced making gun companies rich, it is the American Middle class and upper class.

30 years ago our high schools even with 2000 students had 1 Principal and 1 Vice Principal and no police. Today, if you want to go in and pick up your 5 year old you must show Identification(but you don't need ID to vote?)and often you must give your fingerprints. Today, high schools and middle schools have 3,4,5 or 6 Vice Principals. If your child was sick 20 year ago, you the parent said they were sick and as long as they maintained their grades it was the parents business. Today, even if your child has notes from their Dr, if your child misses more then 10 days they require you to sit a Truancy board- you are guilty of abusing the Public school and poor parenting, unless you can prove every single absence- even then, they will make your child do Saturday detention to make up for their absences- even if they have straight A's. Schools have locking gates, they lock the children in each day. You have to have permission to play or use the schools property(taxpayer property right?) on the weekends because of liabilities and vandalism,20 years ago we spent our summers joyfully playing on the school playground so when school started we could do the monkey bars better then anyone! 20 years ago the only policeman you might see on an American school campus was Officer Friendly to remind children that police were there to help.. to stop,drop and roll, to not take rides from strangers- it was usually once a year and a joyful day. Today, all American High Schools(vast majority)have police trolling the parking lots, the halls, running metal detectors, drug sniffing dogs.. the children have to have an official note to use a bathroom- they cannot walk into a school on their own late, they must have a parent sign them in.. school nurses used to hand out motrin, today without a legal release form(pages long)even high school students cannot have a motrin, even a prescription inhaler is grounds for suspension- Nurses walk by children who have fainted, who are bleeding, who need medical attention because the school says they cannot have medical needs without a slip of paper release liability.

20 years ago, 95 percent of people who graduated high school could read- you did not graduate if you could not add and read- if you had developmental needs you had a special program, but if you could not meet the standard, it wasn't fair to take that honor away from those who worked so hard. Today, 50 percent of high schoolers cannot read- guess that police presence and 10 vice principals and fingerprinting and truancy courts isn't teaching them how to read. 20 years ago there were no prep courses for the SAT- the SAT meant more then any State test- if you scored well on the SAT you got into college. 20 years ago, there were just as many academic scholarships as athletic scholarships- Today, being poor, being a minority, or being athletic is more likely to get you into college with a scholarship then being smart enough to handle college. 20 years ago if you went to College you did not go if you were not prepared to be successful. Today, the Colleges are having to give high school level course for a 1-2 years to get high school graduates(often graduates who graduated with high GPA sand honors mind you)up to par to even try a college level course.

20-30 years ago, we did not have preschool- we played and hung out with our Moms. Somehow, 30 years ago, without being able to read or write before kindergarten we managed to score twice as well on the SAT then the children that start preschool at age 2 today. Somehow without preschool we knew how to behave and play with other kids without hitting,biting, misbehaving- If you misbehaved the Teacher called your Mom- after you were disciplined at school(spanking often enough) you got it when you got home too- I don't remember many issues back in the day, and we managed to have 3 30 minute recesses, 1 hour lunchs and still got home by 3 for a snack and to rush outside and play. 20 years ago there were no daycare centers, no free breakfast at school, often no hot lunch, and somehow even the poorest among us managed to read,write and do well enough in school to graduate literate. We did not have obese children- well maybe 1 at each school,but if you pull out your class pictures from 20 years ago and compare to the class pictures today- you will see more pasty and plump children today.

30 years ago, we did not run to the Dr for much. Vaccines kept until you hit elementary school and they would line us all up and the nurses would start giving us shots and sugar drops- it was a right of passage, I remembered being so fearful of starting school because my brother teased me about the "getting shots day"... We did not go for well checks, physicals, we did not have growth charts, allergy meds,we ran fevers for days and did not need the Dr. Our parents somehow had the common sense to care for us without a Ped Specialist recommending a cool bath to drop a fever- well ah Duh! Family Drs. delivered you, set your bones, stitched your cuts, saw you at the hospital,treated your cancer.. Being a family Dr. was a 24 hour a day job, but was not primarily about telling parents how to bath or feed their kids- somehow our parents did not need a Dr. for those things. Women who had children just could not be family Drs. because there were no preschools,daycares,they could not haul their kids with them to visit sick patients.. it was a dedicated job that was not a 9 to 5 job. Today, Drs. office usually close at 5pm. If you get sick or injured between 5pm and 9am you go to an urgent care or ER- your Dr. isn't going to met you at the hospital or the office to help.. Your Dr. no longer calls in a prescription. You can be a successful family Dr. or Ped and have 10 kids- you can still be home to cook them dinner, there are plenty of all day daycares and preschools you can pay to raise your children for you.

Things have changed- some are good changes, some are not. We have autism,ADHD,Mito,behavioral disorders, babies with biopolar diseases,and some sort of pill for all of them. 20 years ago, if someone had an inhaler we all felt so bad for that 1 unusual sickly child, today the line to the nurse at lunch for the kids to get medicated wraps around the building. We have very well educated medical professionals who direct us on what is a healthy weight, or a good soap for our babies.. we have free lunches and free breakfasts, computers for everyone, police at all schools keeping the kids in line.. we have an urgent care on every corner, women can be Dr.s and parents with the help of the daycares and preschools that are next to the urgent care and now often offer dinner,the daycares raise the children today.. We have militia's again, American's have more guns then any other Country, despite all this money for our schools and special daycare and preschool and certified teachers our literacy rate is worse then it has been since the Industrial period. Anyone can go to college- and everyone gets to graduate High School, but our children have less educational attainment then we did by middle school. They have more hours in school and often no recess, they have after school music,dance,sports instruction- and they have more chronic disabilities,more behavioral issues, higher divorce rates, lower education attainment - we make foods in a chemistry lab that can keep forever! but allergies are climbing and historic rates..

Today, a stay at home Mom isn't home much. Kids to preschool and daycare, errands, clubs, lunches, YMCA, Dr. appointments..My Mom went into town at best 1 time a week, and often only every couple weeks- times have changed. My parents could fix anything- from repairing the septic tank to washing our car, to even roofing the house... Today we pay people to do that stuff.. time is money right? I have admit, the idea of maid has appeal.. and who wants to get exercise washing the car when we can get exercise at a gym?

I could probably continue this rant for a few more pages- but I think I made my point, times have changed. Today, we are pausing and trying to decide what is helping and what is setting us back so badly.

As we struggle to care for Abby it has forced us to revisit our childhoods, our parents childhoods.. forced us to assess if all of this "help" we now are expected to use is really in her best interest. I can honestly say our Country and our children are at their darkest days in my memory, and probably that of my parents if they were still alive. With all the extra's we provide and all the incredible break throughs in science, medicine, education, why are our children not able to read when they graduate high school? Why do so many of our children have chronic illnesses when we do what we are supposed to do? Why is it okay for babies to get flat heads from being left on their backs all day? I mean if we vaccinate, pop them in preschool, medicate, visit the Dr. for scratches and picky eating, why are our children failing? We have eliminated the bias of single parenting, 60 percent divorce and the specialists assure us it is better for the children.. 1 in 10 Americans spends time in jail. 50 percent of children cannot read by the time they hit high school.. for all of the terrific interventions that make our lives so much better, things are clearly going terribly wrong- but why?

Oh how I wish my parents had been Montana Mountain Men.


Circus of 6 said...


These are some of the reasons we chose to homeschool. Having worked in the school district here, I have witnessed first hand how broken the system is. I do have friends who are teachers and I know they try but they are fighting an uphill battle.

The violence here on the border lends to other issues not addressed by the community or school district which blows mind.

As we have been studying the Inca, I am impressed at how they built intricate and viable water filtering systems, agricultural layouts, and housing with no written language and no iron tools. These systems are still around and could be used if necessary. If these people could build such things years ago with minimal tools, why cant we prevent cities from being flooded and feed people with healthy food?

Just my two cents you sparked!!

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