For the Boys ~ From this Mom

Apr 17

Wearing #theStitch !!!

Wearing #theStitch !!!

The World Loses a Great Musician

One of my followers recently liked one of my older posts, one where I posted an article that was written about Vale in our local paper.  You can see the post right here.  So of course, I reread it and something struck me.

In the article, the author mentioned how Vale’s abuser would manipulate him for the privilege of playing video games and/or the abuser’s guitar.  And I guess I’m feeling maternal right now, because I just need to state this clearly.  Yes the abuser presented it as a quid pro quo, but the reality is, in this situation there is no refusing.  Power isn’t always physically enforced, it can be subtle and just as demanding.  Anyway…

I was thinking about how Vale won’t eat blackberries, because it reminds him too much of where he lived when he was in his abuser’s clutches.  What if, because of this situation, he never picked up a guitar again?  These days, he has a guitar in his hands every moment he can, he has such an innate passion for it and a God given talent to boot, it’s ridiculous.  How tragic it would have been if, because of the price he had to pay in order to play guitar in his earlier days, he refused to ever touch one again?  Everyone would have suffered the loss, because he creates such beauty on that instrument.  I hate to sound like a cliche, but it’s nearly transcendental.

Makes me wonder, how many other talented artist, musicians, doctors, inventors were we deprived of because their love for their gift was spoiled in youth?  How do we know that we don’t have our generation’s Leonardo DiVinci out there right now as a 5 year old?  But because he or she is being tormented over the use of an artist’s brush, we will never know the genius that could blossom from those tiny hands.  What if the cure for cancer was lost because a wee one simply wanted to look into a microscope, but had to pay a horribly ugly price?  Heavy thoughts for so early in the morning.  And I haven’t even had a second cup of coffee.

In the end, I get some type of satisfaction of knowing that Vale is mastering the guitar now.  What sweet revenge, no?

Apr 16


Do you have #theStitch ?  You better go on and get one from !  Do it now!

Do you have #theStitch ? You better go on and get one from ! Do it now!


And the beat goes on…

Here in our little corner of the world, things are chugging along.  I appreciate, so deeply, those of you who push on our behalf to get our Open Letter to One Republic read.  That’s so amazing.  

If you haven’t seen it, click right here.

In a large sense, I feel so guilty posting day after day on Twitter about the letter.  I feel like I may be spamming the snot out of these poor people.  But the reality is probably that there are so many people posting, posting posting, that it’s easy for my little note to get blown by.  These are busy men with a hectic tour schedule, and we’re only one small voice among thousands that are clamoring for their attention. I mostly tweet directly to One Republic and Eddie Fisher, but I do tweet the other band members occasionally.  E. Fisher favorited two tweets that mentioned the letter, so I am hoping that means he actually read it.  We have a couple of months until June 28th, so I’ll just keep plugging away.

Vale is doing fantastic.  His eating is so good that I wonder if we’re really looking at that elusive ‘R’ word that I dread saying…. recovery.  I avoid thinking it in case we’re not and then I’m disappointed.  Nothing like a true defeatist attitude, right?  He’s gaining some weight, eating with very little actually no pushback.  He even serves himself ice cream nearly every day.  It’s rather amazing.  He was even on the track team for a while, but due to his performance academically, we had to pull him from it.  That was very hard, because I know he loves track so much.  We’ve even absconded with his instruments, because he’d come home from school and play and play and neglect homework.  *sigh* I understand his passion for music, believe me, I do.  Heck I’m a classically trained soprano for cryin’ out loud!  But I’m old enough to know now that an education is very important.  We have set up a deal that he can earn back on instrument a week by showing me his French and Chemistry homework.  So send him a note virtually kickin’ his butt to get his homework and studying done, okay?  Maybe we’ll post a video of him playing.  Now THAT would be groovy!

You want a video of Vale playing?  Tweet him up to One Republic, will ya?  Send us a message, we always love to hear from you!

I got my semicolon on! #semicolonproject416 Go get yours!!!

I got my semicolon on! #semicolonproject416 Go get yours!!!

Apr 14

Ready for my 2 hour road trip to a clipper class. Hope I don’t cough my head off!  Brought some friends along to keep me company, thanks guys!

Ready for my 2 hour road trip to a clipper class. Hope I don’t cough my head off!  Brought some friends along to keep me company, thanks guys!

Apr 10


Apr 08

Teenager's poems about anorexia read around the world -

This is simply amazing… I hope you read it!

Apr 07

Like Chris Brown, This Teenaged Black Boy Is Struggling With The Normalization Of His Rape -

"We must start protecting our boys. We chastise, blame, arrest and murder the damaged men they often become, but these men were once children. They were boy children who were beaten, ignored, manipulated. Raped."

Speak Your Silence presents The Stitch -

I don’t typically do the whole Man Crush Monday thing. But I am this month. April is Childhood Abuse Awareness Month as well as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and I wanna just highlight some awesome people who do so much as advocates. So I guess my first MCM is Matt Pipkin. Matt runs a wonderful organization called Speak Your Silence which simply encourages a conversation about CSA. That is so important because the biggest weapon a pedophile has is silence. Not only that, but SYS also provides grants to recovering victims to pay for therapeutic services. Yep that’s just awesome. It was a total privilege and honor to have met you Matt. You rock! Below is a video of Matt talking all about #thestitch You seriously want to get involved.

Mar 13

I have forgotten how much I enjoy writing.  I’ve just had such a white knuckled grip on life that I left no space for this.

Went to the grocery store yesterday to… get this… get groceries.  I know, earth shattering right?  I wanted to get supplies to help Vale stay on the track team; higher calorie, nutrient dense, portion controlled snackage.  I offered to put up a list of snack options, combinations, and the calorie count so he can stay on top of what he needs to do in order for success.  So far he doing his best to make good choices, at least from what I’ve seen.  You can definitely see the strain on him about it.  He’s made such strides in his recovery, I wonder if this is too much too soon.

This morning I offered light cream to put on his hot cereal.  Four tablespoons have 120 calories, easy peasy.  He pushed the cereal aside as if to say, “I can’t even think about this.”  Fortunately Grey, who is also competing this spring (in tennis) reached for the light cream.  That seemed to make it easier on Vale, and he followed suit.

I have to admit, I’m thinking quite a bit on this whole OneRepublic thing.  I kind of imagine the phone ringing, I answer and I hear “Hello, this is Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic” on the other line.  I have to think that it would be a life changer for Vale, but I guess I’m wondering, what kind of change?  Would it inspire him to really dig in to his music?  The kid is ridiculously talented, but that only takes you so far.  You also need discipline, technique and theory under your belt to truly *make* music.  I’ve also noted that Ryan Tedder attended a private Christian high school and a Christian university.  I wonder how much his faith plays out in his life now.  One could surmise from the music that I’ve heard him play and write that there is a Christian influence.  There is little to no swearing, no blatantly overt sexual themes….  The influence of Tedder in this area could be fantastic.  Vale still has some issues with God, although he can see how God has provided and encouraged Vale’s music, still does in fact.  Perhaps, Tedder, a man and musician that Vale truly admires, could demonstrate that there is room for both God and music.  That alone could change Vale’s entire life. 

Of course, I also feel completely ridiculous thinking on something so far flung and perhaps ridiculous to consider.  What a dreamer, no?

Mar 11

And then there was this bit of awesome…this post on Brent Kutzle’s facebook containing my Open Letter to OneRepublic.  How incredible is that?

And then there was this bit of awesome…this post on Brent Kutzle’s facebook containing my Open Letter to OneRepublic.  How incredible is that?

Uptdates… thank yous

Hello!  If you reblogged my Open Letter to OneRepublic and have not received a thank you from me, it’s because I couldn’t find your ‘ask’ box.  Let me know and I would be happy to send you a personal thank you. Please keep reblogging, if you’re on Twitter, please tweet.  It would be so incredible if this happens! 

Vale’s appointment at CHOP went well yesterday.  He was cleared for track, which is fantastic!  However, he was down 10 pounds, which wasn’t so fantastic.  His vitals were stable which is why I’m thinking he was cleared.  He needs to gain 5 pounds back and consume at least a 4000 calorie diet.  If his vitals tank or he looses one pound, he’s off the team.  The stress and pressure were evident all over him today.  He struggled over breakfast which is something I haven’t seen him do in ages.  He’s doing so well, and admittedly I worry that this strain, this anxiety will set him back.

Of course, Mom will do everything she can to support him.