Thursday, March 28, 2013

Diapers and Golden Calves

There is only one great tragedy in a mothers life. To run out of diapers. Let's discuss possible substitutes: paper towels, towels, lots and lots of big brother underwear, commando, prayer. Yeah, I'm not so hip on any of the aforementioned items.

A mad dash to the store is the only choice here *. Good thing it's not quite Armageddon and the shelves are still stocked. A mad dash it was. A quick diaper run. Nothing so difficult about that eh? Not so fast.

Upon entering the store, and I mean smack you in the face at the entrance, couldn't avoid the thing, I was quickly overtaken by this TV that was at least the size of Texas and possibly Alaska. Does anyone that shops at the stores I shop at even have a wall big enough for that monstrosity anyway?! No matter, it was the TV to beat all TVs.

So I worshipped. I got sucked in and found myself needing the fool thing. How is that possible? Hypnotic and cunning its power was alarming. Disturbingly, the alarm only came after I managed to escape from its grasp. Lucky me, I did escape.

In a world inundated with the next best thing, and all the technological toys a person could ever desire, maybe we should dig up some dirt, and plant some seeds, and take a walk, and see what's real. Maybe we could choose to live beyond the screen rather than to the screen. 

The Golden Calf was a welcome gesture towards fun and entertainment without consequence. Its hypnotic powers promised safety regardless of behavior. Masterfully deceptive are the golden calves of our day.

* I am not an equal opportunity diaperist. Cloth diapers were not mentioned for a reason. I nannied with them and never jumped on that bandwagon as a mother. However, I have nothing against them and shout hurrah to those more environmentally diligent than I. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Super Mom

Sometimes I want to scream, really, really loud, "I AM NOT SUPERMOM!" Whew that felt great.

I don't believe there is such a thing. Furthermore, I think it inhibits the accused supermom in her ability to be real and ask for help when needed. It discourages honesty and meaningful friendships because one has an image to uphold rather than a friend to rely on.

To inflict a label on someone is rarely edifying. Placing another on a pedestal discourages self appreciation and encourages depression when such abstract ideals cannot be met or "showed forth".

Here's a thought;  pay a specific compliment if you feel so inclined, but leave the impossible out of it.

And for the record, I am not bitter, just absolutely not supermom.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cultural Pressure

What do you do when you are part of a large group that says at a certain age your children are supposed to do certain things and there seems to be little acceptance/tolerance for variance?

What if the subgroup of which you belong does not have such a stellar "program" to "move on" to and you feel its not the best fit for your child?

What if you are weary due to growing pains, of this same nature, for the past few years and you feel done offering your child as a guinea pig?

What if?

There seems to be little room (if any) for individuality within the confines of group culture. I am not finding it simple to encourage authenticity and individuality with the ever looming shoulds, peer pressure, and accusations of passing judgement on others, because something might not be a fit, at the current time, for my child.

I don't want to upset friends. I don't want to be seen as the incessant squeaky wheel. I don't want to offend anyone or claim to be making a declaration for the entire group. I do want to do what is best for my child.

He sees incongruence between what the program and its leaders profess it to be and what it actually is. The current program is devoid of all but entertainment. The world runs amok with entertainment. He is looking for substance and meaning in everything around him.

There is also concern that another endeavor, more worthy of his time, and individually, as well as socially, satisfying, will be slighted due to time commitment and conflicting schedules. The more he is desensitized by wasting his time being entertained, the more he begins to feel as though what he desires is unattainable. Mediocrity is popular and the comfort of it can be addictive. Not a message I want to perpetuate in my children's lives.

I suppose the more important question is; when and how, as a mother, do I separate myself from my own insecurities long enough to make a decision best for my child. A decision that has nothing to do with me and everything to do with encouraging him on a path that is best for him.

I am having a difficult time navigating the waters of social non-acceptance in relation to motherhood. I am at a loss as to how to encourage individuality within this particular group.

I've got nothin'.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Be a Good Mother

What is that anyway?!

A wise woman once told me, "If I can live so my daughter's highest aspiration is to be a mother, then I have done my job well." Amen. Here's the best part. Every mother gets to determine what that means; all by herself.

What happened that we are so eager to tell everyone else what it means to be a mother. And worse, what it means to be a "good" mother. It even seems at times that the eagerness has escalated into a rite of passage required for womanhood. Of course this applies to all women, not just mothers, but I am a mother and that is the perspective from which I live and write.

Tis a sad day when feminism declares war within and refuses to be compassionate enough for all women's voices. We should be able to share what matters to us without hearing about how insignificant we are as part of a group or how menial our life's work is thought to be.

How about we all get down from our perches, stop yelling our declarations and passing judgement on each other, and simply be the best we can be. It's going to look different for every single one of us. Be honest with yourself. Define your life's mission by yourself, with nary a thought or slightest concern for what your bff, or anyone else, is doing or saying. No matter how loud they are. 

Validation isn't all it is cracked up to be. Unless of course you are talking about self validation powered by a source that is higher than any pedestal one may be perched upon with their bullhorn.

Be yourself. Be your best self. Inspire those around you with that simple quiet message; it is much louder than you think.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Dawn of Positivity

It's just under the surface you know. Waiting for you to bring it into being. You can't see it. You can't touch it. But you can access it. You can.

As I was sitting with my special needs toddler in the early hours of the morning, I saw the sunrise. We have had a long road with him, much longer than expected or has ever been documented for his particular disease. We have been awaiting the miracle. I have seen thousands of sunrises, but my heart was troubled and the Lord opened a window for me.

Guess what happens while we are waiting? We miss things. The glimpses, the progress, the billion micro-miracles that precede the crown jewel, the shinning moment of sunshine illuminating our whole world.  My friends, that is life. Life is the glimpses, the progress, the billion micro-miracles. Each and every little click is what makes the shinning moments feel so wonderful. It is easy to take the brightness of day for granted. Seeing the sunrise opened my eyes to the beauty of the process.

Have you ever savored a sunrise? Have you noticed that you are surrounded by darkness and slowly the hue changes from pitch-dark to hazy gray. Then, when you least expect it, out pops this sliver of amazing brightness and color. But it is only a sliver, a tiny little peek at what is coming. Amazing Grace.

With each new pop and sliver of color and light comes an acute awareness that hope is here and good things are coming. That awareness feels good. It awakens our soul and, if acknowledged, can set the tone for our day, our life. Our thoughts can cause a conscious acknowledgement of the glimpses of hope that are present in each and every life. That awareness brings the dawn of positivity to the forefront of our consciousness and encourages us to continue on its path. Amazing Grace.

The hours of darkness that block out the sun can be overcome. The slow haze of gray awaits. The splash of color to follow is not so much a splash, but a gradual unveiling of careful brushstrokes on the masterpiece. The sun does indeed come and there is so much beauty to drink in before illumination.

Seek the sliver of color and light. Acknowledge the glimmer of hope. Before you know it your sky will be filled with more light than you knew possible.

Behold ...

The Positivity that is in You.