After years of relentless searching for my inspired, individual path in life, I’ve finally turned around and realized, I’ve always been traveling it.
All those years of changing diapers, cleaning up spills, and breaking up fights – have proven, perfect prerequisite to stand up for parents everywhere.
I don’t have a title, or some prestigious letters behind my name, such as doctor, or lawyer…but I do carry a long string of other initials that are even more important. Namely, Shauntyl, Sydney, Kinley, Whitney, Brighton, Ella, Halle, and Jordan.
These kids have been my real life experience.
I never want to hear the swear word “Just A Mom” again, because “justamom’s” are the heartbeat of our nation, and of the world. Am I being a little outrageous? Possibly, some would say so, but I don’t agree. The home is where everything begins, and what a better place to start changing the world than within our own homes.
The Connecticut Help Me Grow forum, was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. I am quite sure they didn’t mean for it to be spiritual, but for me, the messages that were flowing into my mind as I listened, and the discussions I took part in, were nothing less than inspired because I came away knowing that I wanted to help make a difference.
I was THE ONLY parent representing parents, at the conference. This wasn’t because of anything special I did, but because Barbara Leavitt (the founder of Help Me Grow Utah) saw the power of parents in the community. Because she gave me the title of “Parent Champion”, it continued the effort to consider this as being a very important piece of the system that Dr. Dworkin created.
I have spoke about Help Me Grow here on my blog before, but I think I was making it way to difficult. Dr. Dworkin developed a system to connect parents to already existing community resources. It’s that simple. It always shocks me how many free services surround us every day,
but none of the parents know how to get to them.
is what Help Me Grow is.
It isn’t a new non profit, it is connecting the ones that are already there with people that need them, and with each other. There are several states that have implemented the Help Me Grow model so far, and I believe that we are well on our way to taking it into every state. If you live in
Alameda County, California
Fresno County, California
Orange County, California
Western New York
Some of them don’t call it Help Me Grow, but they use the system in their area.
If your state isn’t on the list, let me know and we together can try and fix that!
My goal as the first “Parent Champion” is to begin meeting with parents in my area, and passing out information – so they in turn can give it to other parents in their area. At first, it will be small, but I believe it will pay off. After all, parents are the ones that the model is trying to help, why not jump on board and help them spread their message?
During the conference, I literally felt like I was in the presence of angels. The people there that had given of their time and talents, to bring wellness to parents, were amazing. I think it is easy to forget, how many leaders work behind the scenes, with no recognition, to bring our families services.
I wrote notes as each speaker shared their message, but over and over I kept having the feeling to begin. I knew I needed to begin spreading the word from my blog, and in my community. I have lacked some passion for my blog lately, because I feel like if I am going to spend so much time invested into Pink Moss, I want it to mean something and not just my random rambling. Oh believe me, I will still do that… but I have some bigger things in mind as well.
After the conference, I spoke with Dr. Dworkin. He is a brilliant man, and to make it even better, he is humble, polite, encouraging, helpful, honest, and especially visionary. He is well respected in the medical field, and by everyone else that knows him. Let me just share our interaction with you for a minute… in a shortened kind of way.
I was just getting ready to leave Connecticut, and fly home to Salt Lake City, Utah. I saw
Dr. Dworkin on the way out, and he thanked me for representing parents. I told him of my plans to spread the word on my blog, and in my community and he was really excited. I told him that I knew there were some of my readers out there, that would love to jump on board in their areas, and help. He mentioned how awesome it would be if PARENTS were asking for the same support in their areas.
You see, all he wants is for parents to receive services for their kids. If your child has autism, and you need some support. If your child is behind development in any area, you can call 211 (in our area) or another number in yours, and find someone on the other end of the phone call that will be there for you.
I plan on meeting once a month, at the park with other parents. They can pack a lunch, bring their kids, and come get pamphlets to hand out. They can actually take the ASQ (Ages and stages questionnaire) right there, and find out how their child scores, and get information on where to get help.
My first meeting will most likely be August 4th 2012.
I am going to combine the first one with my business work party, where I will be hosting our first family event, that will be held like the Help Me Grow family events. I will be recruiting help until then, and afterward continuing the play dates after. Maybe quarterly or monthly…? I haven’t decided.
If you own a business, and want to offer the same to your employees, let me know! If you work in a dentist office, pediatricians office, obgyn’s office, hospital, school, or any other area you help families, let me know! If you want to come, let me know! I can send information for you, to be plugged into the system.
if you want to be a parent advocate in your area, let me know!
It doesn’t take any previous experience, just a willing heart and a desire to serve.
It does take a village to raise a child.
While we were in Connecticut, we decided to visit an old graveyard, because Barbara had some ancestors buried there. I should be practicing my photography, so I tried messing around on manual mode with my lighting. Here are the first pictures I took. I wish I had more time, but we were in a hurry. I would have stayed all day if time allowed – well, until dusk anyway. I am way to superstitious to hang out after dark!
I loved spending time with Robin and Barbara.
In this picture, one of them had slipped and they caught each other.
This was my room mate Deb.
We had a great time together, and enjoyed our instagram photo contest the most!
Also, she is a very talented, beautiful girl, that would love to go out with a great guy! She will kill me for saying this, but let me know if you (or a friend) is interested!
(haha sorry deb, couldn’t help it! Payback for winning the instagram contest)
As you can see, I really enjoyed myself. It was so beautiful!
I was proud when I loaded them on my computer, that I didn’t have to change the lighting on most of them.
Here are my instagram pictures:
(and a few of Deb’s)
(Dr. Dworkin, by Deb)
(Dr. Dworkin, by Deb)
(I found these while shopping for my trip…wow… I really used to wear these 25 years ago)
Good bye from Handsome
Exercising on the 22nd floor of the Hartford Mariott
That’s right, I forgot my exercise socks…and wore these.
I love having jewelry that Jon gave me, to remind me of home.
He got the bracelet for me on one of his business trips.
Love these ladies.
Both Barbara and Robin have devoted their lives to service.
The yum yum yummiest bakery ever!
(picture by Deb, of me in lobby trying to take the best instagram picture)
Thanks for a great trip my friends! There were also a few other lovely ladies that I spent time with “colleen” she spells it different, but not sure how – and Harper, our “pediatric champion”!