The trouble with kids today. OK, there’s so much to love about this post. I cringe-laugh at the Connery interview. I know I shouldn’t feel bad for him, publicly airing his ignorance and fear, but I kind of do. And it’s ironic our macho, best Bond (well, I like all the Bonds, but got a soft spot for Mr. Connery) is in reality a frightened person, who hits and then justifies hitting as making sense. But I really liked all the quotes at the bottom. “Get off my lawn”, the world is going to the dogs, “kids today”, et cetera. Good stuff.
Social wellbeing: Badinter Protests Too Much by Wendy Priesnitz. Yet another convo about how our own children are keeping us down – this has been around for some time now – but nicely refuted by Wendy. Pro-tip, if your so-called progressive feminism mostly picks on women and their choices you might want to check your feminism.
Sewing: Figgy’s Patterns posted their new line, sized up to about 8/9. Shipping is May 10th. I got a testing sample of Banyan and as soon as I’m finished with my current project for Phoenix – and while I wait for the fabric to arrive for Dharma’s jacket – I’m so whipping up some of those pants for my little guy!
Tomorrow marks a particular anniversary of my sobriety date. It’s been a wonderful journey, unlike any period in my life I can recall. It’s hard to explain. It has been like being born again, or being a child. I am less sure of myself but more secure and serene. Rigorous honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness.
I had the Willingness from day one, and for this I am so grateful.
And like someone new and picking through garbage, making missteps and being brave regarding things I’ve been frightened of – yes, there has been pain involved. My worst moment sober, however, has been hands-down better than life while I was employing other methods to cope. Depression, anxiety, fear, resentments, anger, over-excitement, a head spinning like a top, resentments (I put “resentments” twice because they are a Big Fucking Deal)… these things have been dashed to the rocks or at least incredibly reduced – in such a short time. All because I was ready to do a few simple things which I won’t detail here – but go into any of the rooms of Recovery, stick around, and you’ll hear all about them.
Life is beautiful. My children are the most incredible gift and to be frank, I don’t deserve them. So I just give Thanks. Daily they venture forth, these days with very little interference from me, and with a confidence and a joy of living and a love and care for other people. They remember names of strangers, they hug friends, they share their ice cream or their clothes. They are loving, caring people and it is a genuine pleasure to spend time with them.
At night my husband makes dinner and does the dishes and I have a few minutes to sew or knit or write. He takes better care of me now and (I truly believe) he takes better care of himself. Our family has changed. We are kinder to one another. We are more honest. There hasn’t been a yelling match or a nasty fight for quite some time.
But today one of the things that sticks with me is how precious and incredibly fragile life is. How all the days we can go about on the treadmill and be spiritually dead, or at least suffering so much our turmoil is loud in our ears and people say, “How are you?” and we say Fine, fine, and maybe we even think we’re fine, but we suffer so much. More scary still is the result of our confusion and isolation and quietude: others do not know know how much we suffer, how lost we are. In the last few days how many emails, how many people have expressed astonishment I had any kind of problem at all?
I am not going to diminish the mother of my children by negating all I did and accomplished, who I was, or how I incurred and attempted to patch up my bumps and scrapes (many of which I’ve written about here, publicly). The woman I was did the best she could. The woman I am today does the same. This woman, when the chips are down, I see her character and I like her just fine, about as much as God does I suppose.
May I always see her in this light.
By the way, I couldn’t wait until my Friday links to share this with you. Definitely NSFW, by the way. It made me laugh so damned hard. It also reminded me of my grandma, may she rest in peace.
8. So, I’m not going to link to the deplorable article by LZ Granderson entitled, “Parents, don’t dress your girls like tramps”. I don’t want to contribute to even one blog hit, although by all means go read if you can stomach it. Ostensibly about the sexual exploitation and objectification of young girls and young women, it was also a hot mess of oppositional sexism, patriarchal attitudes, adultism, slut-shaming, sexism, victim-blaming, and misogyny (so: nothing we haven’t heard before). Yes, this was aired on CNN. A few good things came out of the piece: namely, on-point rebuttals. Here are four:
Today’s Friday links are shorter than usual; I took a media break halfway through the week (this meant, among other things, I would click over to my Google Reader, scan briefly for any of my friends’ blogposts to read – then close my eyes and click “Mark as Read” ON EVERYTHING ELSE while crying). OF COURSE I still got some great stuff for you all – never fear.
At What Tami Said: “Sexism and Saturday Night Live”. “When faced with hard discussions about sexism or racism or homophobia, etc., people are often quick to a) minimize the past and b) celebrate just how “post-ism” we are today.” Yup, you said it.
In the food department: on FB my lady Flo posted a recipe for Bacon Egg Pancake Cups. Let me tell you, I hate breakfast foods Times One Hundred, but the rest of the family loves them. Oh also: I will rock these the very first time I make ’em.
Ending on a transcendent note: friend and reader Medrie wrote “Fear Not”. I’ve mentioned her work many times; she is the blog I read that always has my heart in my throat. I can imagine many mothers and erstwhile children could relate to this piece.
My husband tells me there’s another something wrong with the running car, and you can tell he doesn’t want to upset me in the way he breaks it to me, as today was the last day before payday and we spent our last few dollars on tofu and broccoli to top our sticky rice with, and we already have a $200 repair pending on this car for a deal-breaker issue (broken headlight switch), plus the tires and brakes are bad (as in, we’ve been warned not to drive by a trusted source), and since I lost the key to the trunk we can’t repair the back taillight (it just went out two days ago) without some serious tomfoolery. In case I haven’t spelled it out, our car went from get-home-before-dusk to now being street illegal, and rather unsafe to boot with this whole brake thing (repair to the tune of $1200 not counting the tires).
In case you’re curious, that thing Ralph mentioned today so cautiously? An increasingly sluggish start (which I already knew was going down), not just a cold start, I’m thinking glow plugs.
I suppose it’s time to admit defeat and trudge our way to a used car lot, where on some kind of credit (maybe) we can get something financed, and let me tell you just how entirely distasteful that whole event is to comtemplate. I’d sooner go carfree entirely, which in a food desert is unwise, but while I’m willing to step off this cliff (and may indeed have to) it is a very difficult prospect for my husband, a bike ride of 6 1/2 miles one-way which isn’t too bad, but in my estimation is dangerous (and y’all know I’m balls-out about this personally but not when it comes to ten rainy long rides per week on a highway), bus rides with hour-long gaps if he could handle the other problems associated – ask him if you want to get a rant (people around here who never, ever have to ride the bus? Say we have a “great transit system”. They can bugger directly off).
So my point is, I was sort of thinking about some of this while I opened the fridge to get my son a drink tonight and I saw my husband had yesterday as per usual purchased organic milk (about $5 per gallon as compared to the best-scenario gas-station-special of $2), because for various reasons and regardless of where anyone reading places themselves on the debate (which will not be engaged in my commentspace), my husband has always given a damn what the kids eat and drink more than just about anything and, kind of even more tenderly, to me at least, how cows and farmers are faring as well. So maybe other people reading don’t get it, but lifting the jug out and then getting down a mason jar I squared my shoulders and felt better about the whole thing, not because we had good milk, but because I have a good man.
A little while back I decided the best thing for my constitution is that I no longer allow stress to prematurely age me and cause me ill health. This is a great mandate but a little tricker to practice, more or less specifically during certain patterns of weather (today applies) and at certain times of day. Already at 11 PM I feel the familiar stranglehold and my mind and body grasp at patterns of the not-really-soothing enterprises of additional eat and drink, instead of (a smarter solution) the much less glamorous vocation of taking a deep breath and patiently turning my face to the wall to wait it out. Best thing I have going for me, besides Ralph who at some earlier hour than I retires to sleep, are the kiddos and their infinite sweetness and their good smells and their soft skin and their loving hands.
In other news, I love Twitter, love it like deep-fried pickles, enough today it often served as a balm for all sorts of ills and kept me not only informed and enthralled (for instance, after much discussion next week’s broadcast is shaping up with more focus and some lovely new topics) but also the kind of senseless exploits I find so delightful. Example: tonight I amused myself (and a few others) live-tweeting the cheesetacular 1983 film-spectacle of Assery, The Keep (directed by an at-least demonstrably talented Michael Mann, even if this film was a bust). That was some Good Times to be had. Tomorrow, maybe it’ll be nice enough to get outside, and I refuse to look at a weather forecast for the bad news that surely lurks in my future.
It’s late so I don’t have the finesse to be delicate: but, car/financial/milk/etc. advice? Oh so not wanted. kthx
It’s Friday again and I gotta admit, this week’s links are rather schooly (or, non-schooly), but there are a few other subjects as well as some frivolity to boot. Let’s get started, shall we?
1. In “Authentic Parent, Inauthentic Birth?”, Laura shares a story of a birth that went poorly – with the typical lack of support from others, choice afforded, and semi-tortured reflection on personal consent given. It is a powerful piece and I related to much of what I read. I also thought a bit about how much I admire birth and breastfeeding – well, activists, I guess, although that word has, to some, such a rigid and harsh tone. Indeed, culturally-induced misogynistic perceptions have succeeded in bathing the birth movement in a poor light. But Laura’s post, spoken in first person and passionate and real, reminds us this movement is mostly populated by women who want others to have a safe and empowered experience – and to have choices, and the support to make them, in one of life’s potentially most profund events.
2. One of my favorite comedians, and from what I can tell an all-around beautiful man, tweets his interview: “BIll Corbett” at Suicide Girls. Besides being a must-know for any cinemaphile, it seems almost everything he says is funny, insightful, or sweet – and often enough, all three. He and Al Yankovic alone are worth joining Twitter.
5. Apologies if I’ve shared this (I don’t think I have), but because the Bill Corbett interview reminded me of the many delightful MST3K and Rifftrax educational shorts I’ve seen, I present: “The Cliche Family in Television Land!”
6. Misbehavior in Public courtesy of Love & Logic. OK, let’s have a contest. If someone can find something MORE f’d up and chilling than my cited example, you win like, a prize. Here’s the worst aspect, as I see it: the impressions and instruction the physically-large sixteen year old Preston in this story receives, given the “big stick” by the authority figure (the mother), to wield over the thirteen year old at his mercy. After spending most his days and hours in school, saturated in the playground (and classroom) bully culture in play, this seems an elegant and effective training session for Preston in Might Equals Right.
7. “The Deconstruction Of Indulgence (NFSW)” at Sociological Images. These were rather upsetting images, actually, so let me post a trigger warning for eating disorder content. Well-executed art, absolutement, not arguing that. What thoughts and feelings do the pieces invoke in you?
8. “Raising children to be submissive members of the lower caste” by Tami Harris (whom I just, a few hours ago, finished an awesome blogger-on-blogger interview; she’ll be posting on Monday!). Watch the video, read the passages and comments. I was really struck by how different cultures and microcultures frame the same strategies. In my parenting peer world, parents hardly *ever* own up to hitting (or dragging, grabbing, screaming at, coercing, manipulating) their children, although time-outs are deemed completely acceptable and *totally different*/separate from the abusive framework listed above.
9. In public health: um, go Georgia? (but, not) Anti-Childhood Obesity PSA Shames Fat Children as curated at Sociological Images. As usual regarding the folk devil obesity, the comments are riddled with a few haters; but hey, there are also some purdy good rebuttals to the haters. Or maybe I was just feeling kinda unsinkable when I read through ’em. Like I got some laughs from those who said they didn’t see the “shaming” in the campaign.
10. Speaking of fats: in AU: “Should fatties pay more for flights? Iâ€™m on the Morning Show” at Dr. Samantha Thomas’ site The Discourse. OK, I’m sorry, but I’m used to examples of US morning television, with it’s false parity and sensationalism and weird superficiality even on issues torturing Americans. So, is Australian morning television always this decent? A short, but satisfying, video, and Dr. Thomas does very well.
11. Top reasons to homeschool or unschool by The Sattvic Family. Good retort to the “socialization” question regarding homeschoolers, by the way: “As is obvious, the way of choosing oneâ€™s peers regardless of age is far more social than oneâ€™s child only having friends they are forced to choose from, and that are the same age.” Also, reason 4), in its entirety, was so good it made me pee a little.
“No one has to (or should) teach children anything. Children are wired from birth to learn everything they need to learn to reach their full potentials. They just need adults to get out of their way and instead guide, mentor and expose children to the resources they want and need in order to explore, create, play and invent.”
13. Speaking of people to listen to: Wendy Priesnitz will be featured at Unplugged Mom, 8 AM EST today! It’s a podcast so you can download later at your discretion.