Oct 18, 2012


Sometimes I feel an external pressure that I don't make great enough efforts to preserve my child's innocence. 

In some circumstances, like when it comes to TV, I have been conciously making an effort to change the channel before Spongebob ends and Victorious, or any other teen dramedy begins and sucks him into the cool zone.  Yesterday, I made a quick switch from Nickelodeon to National Geographic just in time for Shane to witness the dramatization of a mysterious river monster pulling a bathing toddler under to his demise.

Did you ever notice how much lying is required in order to preserve a child's innocence? Take Santa Claus, for example.  Why do we give all the credit away for our love and creativity, no to mention hard-earned dollars spent?  And don't even get me started on the Elf on the Shelf. 
Too late.  We got one as a gift.  This elf is supposed to move to a different location in the house every night so in the morning your kids think he is returning to the North Pole to report to Santa on their behavior.  First of all, this is psychotic behavior management.  Second of all, who remembers to move this thing every night?

After I put the kids to bed, I can't even remember my name half the time.  I tried to show Shane how they are sold in boxes at Target, asked him how they could be sold at Target if they were magical and from the North Pole.  He has his reasons still, but when it all blows up at least I can say that I tried.

They are all going to realize at some point that its a sham.  What will they think of us then?  How will we explain the great lengths we've gone to convince them of something that we know isn't true?

That, and I'm a bad liar.  And keeping up the charade is not where I want to invest my energy as a parent.

When Shane asks a question, it doesn't occur to me to make up an answer because it may be more age-appropriate than the truth.  And, can I play this card again?  His baby sister died.  I could not protect him from that, or from seeing his mother's pain and despondency.  He witnessed the tension in the home before Dad moved out.  He took it all in while we were elbow-deep in our own egos, fighting over who should make the calzones.

When I got the phone call that I didn't qualify for the home loan modification, I cried, and I didn't lie about why.  I always add that we have plenty of everything we need, and will always.  I don't want to burden him with adult problems.  I just think that I'm kidding myself if I brush him off when its clear that he has already picked up what I've been throwing down.

And now that he is starting first grade,  I am overwhelmed for so many reasons, but I feel like I'm expected to shove my anxieties deep down, to keep a brave face for him.  I do think there is some merit to that logic.  I know kids take their cues from us about whether or not a situation is safe, and I want him to take any confidence he can from my sure countenance.

I just wonder, what if we stopped pretending to have it all together in front of our kids?  What if we admit to ourselves that our kids witness things in our behavior that we'd like to protected them from?

Like, when we completely lose our shit (it happens), we accept this piece of ourselves, apologize, and set an example of how to bounce back from a tantrum?

Maybe if we allowed ourselves the full range of emotions,  instead of protecing children from our feelings, we would show them that it is safe to feel what they are feeling.  Moreso, that paying attention to our feelings can help us solve problems and lead us to better situations.

What if our children didn't feel hushed for their inquiries into territories we deem as inappropriate for them?  My belief is that our children would grow more comfortable in their own skin, more comfortable with us, and more comfortable here on the planet.  Just plain more comfortable.  ok?

The Better Choice

All this election business.  My impression is that many Christians see being Republican as the Christian thing to be.  That the two go together.  I'm going to be honest for awhile here, and it may offend everyone on either side.  Republicans scare me.  I don't like war.  I'm afraid of people that promote it.  I also feel that sharing what you have with those in need versus keeping it all for yourself, is the Godly choice. 

Speaking of Choice. Here goes...

Wait, I'm going to back it up a bit.  Those crazy old men and their definitions of consentual, "easy" rape versus legitimate rape is so infuriating that rather than enter into that discussion, I choose to sit back and enjoy their public embarrassment.  I'm glad they got "caught" by the media.  And I'm glad for the outcry and the conversations that it is starting.

I don't want those old men passing legislation regarding my rights to my own body.  I get that.  Yet, as I sit here, far away from those stupid old guys and their insane beliefs and their legislative power that makes this even more insane, as I sit here with my own body and my own thoughts, I am overcome with dedication to a cause that doesn't feel like a political stance in the least.

Even so, it feels a little uncomfortable to share, in the wake of this media storm, and more importantly to me, in contrast to many of the women that I most closely relate to, that I am pro-life.

I am pro-life because I believe a decision based on love is always better than a decision based on fear.  Love is not convenient, or planned, but I am sure its always the right direction.

The language of pro-life feels more honest to me. Really, an unplanned pregnancy is a growing person.  There may be a tiny little feminist growing inside of you, making every attempt to telepathically communicate to you that she is interested in her own rights to make decisions over the course of her life.  A tiny feminist whose cuteness if you let her grow will change your life forever.

 A Life is so much more than one choice. An unplanned pregnancy maybe a huge bump in the road, careening your life off course.  I've had my share of bumps, and here is the choice by Grace at long last that I have been able to make: To accept the new course. To connect with the blessings of each road bump. To open myself up to each accosting growth opportunity that the unraveling of dreams can present.

I am pro-life because I care more about the baby than I do a mother's freedom to choose.   There is great wisdom in accepting responsibility for consentual participation in the creation of your child.  I believe that there is deep healing when a mother gives herself over to caring for her new life.  I believe that the decision to allow an unplanned pregnancey to fulfill the life that's already begun, is as much a step toward more fully living your own life.  I feel that the decision to terminate a consentually happened-upon pregnancy could be a step away from your highest and best.

I am pro-life because I am for children.  I believe that our children come to heal us, to help us grow, and to deepen our understanding of life.  I believe that a decision to keep a baby is a decision that will always benefit the mother, and so many other lives as well.  I will take your unplanned baby.  Seriously, give them to me.

I don't want to take someone's right to choose.  But in my humble opinion, there is a better choice.  And choosing well will ultimately add joy to the planet.  To infinity.  And beyond :)

I am pro-life because in my life, I know that heaven is waiting to connect with you, and ready to help you.   I am living proof that divine help is ours for the asking. You can choose LIFE. I believe in you. And I'm not the only one.