We can fool ourselves into thinking that we have our lives well planned out. It was that way for me, being a product of the 1950/60’s: I’d go to college, meet my prince, get married, have children and live happily ever after. As much as I thought I knew what to expect, my life was riddled with surprises. But the last was the most unexpected, compelling me to write Fifth Child, a non-fiction book about the anguish and consequences of a drug-addicted child, which resulted in parenting her child almost since birth.

My husband and I are cast into a shockingly large demographic. Grandparents raising grandchildren is a growing phenomenon in our country because of our shifting economy, unmarried teen mothers, alcohol abuse and illegal drug use. Close to 10 million grandparents comprise the club. We had already raised four children. Jaime was our third child, and Brady is her son, who began calling us Mommy and Daddy when he was three. Readers may be amazed to find calamity overcoming a so seemingly traditional family. But as events and family history unfold, disturbing pitfalls and unfortunate genetic vulnerability reveal fault lines that can sabotage people from any walk of life.

"The Addict's Mom Sharing Without Shame" Video is so important whether addiction has touched your life or not. It's powerful. Please click on the link below to watch the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHNZbbePiKg

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chapter Excerpt: Oh, No, Brady's Almost 8!

Brady's favorite outing became The Model Train Store, a forty-minute drive from our house.          
“Why can’t I buy the Lionel Train?” he’d plead. “I’m old enough to work it.”                       
“Brady, on the box it says you have to be at least eight years old,” I said, to my relief.                        
“But, Mom,” he’d say, the box won’t know I’m only five!”           

We’d leave the store, with Brady yearning for his eighth birthday. I left hoping they’d change the age on the box to twelve by the time Brady turned eight.                                                

My boys were never that interested in cars or trains, so this was new to me. Even if they had been; we couldn’t afford them, which left them content to play with anything they could find in the house. 

Barely two years old, our galley kitchen was Adam’s favorite area to explore. He’d pull all the pots and pans out of my cabinet and play. One morning, while I was in the bedroom folding laundry, I heard Tracy and Adam giggling. By the time I peeked into the kitchen to see what they were laughing about, my jaw dropped when I saw Adam. He was covered in white grease! He had taken off his clothing and diaper, lifted the plastic lid off my giant can of Crisco, slathered it all over his body (even his head), and was sliding on the linoleum floor from one end of the kitchen to the other yelling, “Weeeee!” I should have bought him some toys. I can’t begin to explain how long it took me to clean him up.