Saturday, March 31, 2012

During rEcess

rEcess, spelled that way on purpose.

Parents of special needs kids can have a very, very tough time.

When your child is in a wheelchair, or is severely autistic, or has lots of special needs, date nights for just the two of you can be few and far between.

If you are a single parent, getting time out at all doesn't happen much.

Thus there is rEcess. Nationwide and with some chapters in other parts of the world.

The premise is simple. Volunteers are trained to take care of these kids, one or even two assigned to each special needs kid. The kids, and their siblings up through age 12, can be dropped off one night a month for 4 hours, and the parents get a break.

The kids have a blast. There are always activities planned, and there's a room for being quiet in if one has a meltdown.

The evening ends with all of the kids whose parents want them to changing into jammies, and everyone sits to watch a movie until parents come back.

Mia is one week younger than Little Girl. Developmentally delayed, speech challenged, cerebral palsey, in a wheelchair. She likes Barbie, and the boy named Tailor who comes, too. They say they are dating.

She and i were the cheerleaders while Tailor and some of the siblings played basketball. We had an Easter egg hunt. We colored pictures and played with PlaDoh, and she didn't eat any this time. We clapped and sang along with VeggieTales.

It was a great evening for all of us.

Today is:

Bunsen Burner Day -- on the birth anniversary of its inventor, Robert Wilhelm Eberhard von Bunsen, in 1811

Buy Some New Socks Day -- because all the websites that list it agree you are worth it

Day Everyone Says "31" a Lot -- Fairy Calendar

Earth Hour -- sponsored by the World Wide Fund for Nature at 8:30-9:30pm your local time; turn off all unneeded electrical equipment and become more aware of climate change

Eiffel Tower Day -- inaugurated this day in 1889

Festival for Luna -- Ancient Roman Calendar (moon festival)

Hot Guitar Day -- the day Jimi Hendrix first set fire to his guitar in 1967

Jum il-Helsien (Freedom Day) -- Malta

King Nangklao Memorial Day -- Thailand

Kirishima Nanohana Flower Walk -- Kirishima Jingu, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan

National Clams on the Half Shell Day

National Love Our Children Day -- sponsored by Love Our Children USA, highlighting the plight of abused and neglected children

National "She's Funny That Way" Day -- pay tribute to the women in your life, and how they keep you laughing; sponsored by Brenda Meredith of Dahomey Publishing, Inc.

Oranges and Lemons Day -- St. Clement Danes Church, London, Enlgand (traditional children's service based on the rhyme that begins "Oranges and lemons/say the bells of St. Clement's)

St. Balbina's Day (Patron of those with scrofulous diseases or stroma)

Thomas Mundy Peterson Day -- New Jersey, US (the first African-American to legally cast a vote in the US, this date in 1870)

Transfer Day -- US Virgin Islands

Vigil to Mourn China's Annexation of Tibet

Birthdays Today:

Pavel Bure, 1971
Ewan McGregor, 1971
Angus Young, 1955
Al Gore, 1948
Rhea Perlman, 1948
Gabe Kaplan, 1945
Christopher Walken, 1943
Herb Alpert, 1935
Richard Chamberlain, 1935
Shirley Jones, 1934
Gordie Howe, 1928
Cesar Chavez, 1927
William Daniels, 1927
Leo Buscaglia, 1925
Henry Morgan, 1915
Andrew Lang, 1844
Joseph Haydn, 1732
Rene Descartes, 1596

Today in History:

Bernard of Clairvaux preaches his famous sermon in a field at Vézelay, urging the necessity of a Second Crusade; Louis VII is present, and joins the Crusade, 1146
King Ferdinand & Queen Isabella sign decree ordering Jews to convert or be expelled from Spain, 1492
Jews are expelled from Prague, 1745
Commodore Matthew Perry signs the Treaty of Kanagawa with the Japanese government, opening the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American trade, 1854
Thomas P Mundy of Perth Amboy, NJ, becomes the first African American to cast a vote, 1870
The Eiffel Tower, commemorating the French Revolution, opens, 1889
Richard Pearse allegedly makes a powered flight in an early aircraft, 1903
Serbia accepts Austrian control over Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1909
Construction begins on the RMS Titanic, 1909
Construction of the RMS Titanic is completed, 1912
The United States takes possession of the Danish West Indies after paying $25 million to Denmark, and renames the territory the United States Virgin Islands, 1917
Daylight saving time goes into effect in the United States for the first time, 1918
The Royal Australian Air Force is formed, 1921
The Dominion of Newfoundland joins the Canadian Confederation and becomes the 10th Province of Canada, 1949
Remington Rand delivers the first UNIVAC I computer to the United States Census Bureau, 1951
In the Canadian federal election, 1958, the Progressive Conservatives, led by John Diefenbaker, win the largest percentage of seats in Canadian history, with 208 seats of 265, 1958
The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, crosses the border into India and is granted political asylum, 1959
The Soviet Union launches Luna 10 which later becomes the first space probe to enter orbit around the Moon, 1966
Explorer 1 re-enters the Earth's atmosphere after 12 years in orbit, 1970
The USS Missouri, the last active United States Navy battleship, is decommissioned in Long Beach, California, 1992
Netscape releases the code base of its browser under an open-source license agreement; the project is given the code name Mozilla and is eventually spun off into the non-profit Mozilla Foundation, 1998
Amid unrest in the Mideast, activists claim China has launched the largest crackdown on dissenters in recent years, 2011


  1. My heart goes out to parents of disabled children. We were blessed with a happy healthy child, but I know many who weren't so fortunate.

  2. Ok, I have never heard of that before, but that is BEYOND awesome. It wasn't a child, but when my Grandpa was really far into Alzheimer's, I know my Grandma sometimes just needed an hour to do something as prosaic as shopping. It is a wonderful thing to be able to have that!


  3. Stephen, it makes me glad Bigger Girl didn't need that level of care.

    Cat, you are right, caregivers for the elderly often have the same problem, compounded with the fact that it's sometimes their life partner, so no possiblility of "parents spelling each other" like with kids.

  4. rEcess, what a wonderful idea. Whoever thought of it, I am glad that they did. :-)


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