I already had my column for the week done (“Aggression”) when I received this email from my mother. After reading it I knew it needed to post it as my next column as it relates directly to the last two “Angry Birds” articles I’ve posted and provides great background as I moved forward with this topic.

To David My daily check on Facebook always brings an unexpected surprise. The responses to the “Angry Birds” articles are indeed very inspiring and take me to a time in my life that many of you are now experiencing. First let me say: looking back, all of the frustrations and challenges of raising four children seem so minuscule now in comparison to all of the joy and wonderful experiences. There were no handbooks then and to my knowledge no one has yet discovered a magic solution to the challenges of parenting. Everyone is their own unique person, no two of us are alike and no matter how many children you have, their needs will always vary from day to day. All children have special needs, all children have some form of learning disability, and yet all children are capable of much more than you are able to see or even imagine. How amazingly accurately the Angry Birds describe each of us – The blue bird separates into three birds, which we are all capable of doing in a matter of minutes; remember going from sad to angry and then suddenly happy appears. Life is a mixture of emotions that can be mixed up in any order. It is a process of learning how to manage each situation in the best way possible. There is a saying “It is what it is”; the choice becomes what we want to do with what we are dealt. We learn how to handle being the black bird that simply explodes as well as when to be the white bird that drops explosives on others. It is interesting to note that when we stop and look at how children handle those same emotions, especially those with special needs, it is in much the same way. The difference seems to be that we have, through the years, learned the meaning of and the ability to understand those feelings. Place them in the minds of a child who suffers some extremes and you can understand why at times they will become whatever Angry Bird they choose to be yet are unable to explain or understand why. As a parent you think you are the one who is meant to set the example, while in reality your confidence and knowledge is being taught to you by each child. Your strength and ability to handle each challenge increases with trial and error. No one gets it right the first time and just when you think you have it figured out another incident appears. You just keep getting STRONG-ER I cannot end this tidbit without discussing those “pigs” who are the victims of the angry birds. I discovered in researching this game that once the birds had been developed, the staff felt they needed to have an enemy. At that time the swine flu epidemic was headline news, thus the choice of the Pigs for their enemy. Ironically, they chose different sizes rather than colors for the enemy. Understandably the smaller pigs were weak and more vulnerable, thus easier to destroy, while the older and larger pigs have learned how to defend themselves. They become more resilient as they learn what protective gear is needed to save them and in their own time they find the crown that helps them survive. So the moral of the story is this; the birds are angry for a reason, which is that nasty pig who they find to be their enemy. As they grow older and discover the ability to change their colors they also understand how to conquer the biggest pig with the golden crown. All it takes is time, patience, confidence, listening, understanding the spoken and unspoken words, communication and, most important, acceptance. The knowledge I have gained is quite simple: your heart will lead you, love will endure you and your attitude will sustain you. Never give up, never stop learning, never underestimate anyone’s ability and never ever say can’t. Patience + Confidence + Listening + Unspoken Words + Understanding + Communication + Acceptance = Desire = success                  Result – STRONG-EST Love to you Mom