Prayers answered August 14, 2007Posted by rootie2t in good stuff.
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I’m not typically the type of person who prays constantly. I don’t generally thank God for every single thing, especially if those things would happen whether or not I was here to benefit.
Sometimes, tho, something happens that I’ve been praying long, loud and hard about, and it happens in a way that no one realizes it’s an answered prayer.
My eldest son, the one we kicked out, who has lived successfully (relatively) on his own for the past year, was contemplating quitting his $9/hr 50hr/wk w/ benefits job for a $7/hr 35hr/wk no benefits job that was in airconditioning. I can’t say I blame him for considering it. His current job is in a textile mill, with an ambient tempurature of 120 degrees and 98% humidity. It’s better in January, but right now it is absolutely hellish. We tried very hard not to influence him one way or the other. We prayed very hard that he’d keep his job with its high pay (for this area, extremely high pay) and excellent benefits. He wanted to move into an apartment with a friend, a nice guy but whose work hours were quite different from his, and he isn’t strong enough to be able to regulate himself and his sleep. He just can’t say no. Then that fell through and his landlady offered him a nicer, bigger apartment for less rent if he’d stay. So he did, and he kept his job, and he came to us asking for help budgetting his money. Prayers answered all around. The hardest part was keeping a straight face when he told us all this news. We did a whole lot of throwing “Thank You!” around.
I knew when I was in my teens that I wanted to have kids. I would raise them right, they’d grow up to be productive and moral people, and I would feel proud of having raised perfect children.
When I started having kids in 1988, I read the right books, fed them the right foods, bought them the right toys, always put them in a carseat and went to church every Sunday. And everything went well. They did well in school, they had friends, and people congratulated me on my well behaved children.
And then, something happened. I’m still not sure what, but something definitely happened. My perfect 1st golden boy decided to go his own way. My perfect second boy knew beyond any doubt that he knew more about stuff than I did. My charming and attractive third boy was diagnosed with ADHD, had to repeat the second grade, and endured several summer school sessions in order to proceed to the next grade.
Eventually my 1st son decided to go his own way completely, climbing out the window at midnight to meet friends and smoke marijuana. He decided school was for losers. Mentally, he dropped out in the 9th grade, and eventually dropped out for real in the 12th grade. He also brought his drugs into the house, and we threw him out. Literally. We packed up all his belonging, and put them in his car, and told him he no longer lived with us. I felt like I cut out my own heart and packed it up when we did that. But what do you do, when there are 3 younger brothers in the house, including a 7 year old?
When all that happened, I doubted everything I’d done for the previous 17 years. I tried to figure out where I’d gone wrong, should I have read a different book? Did I spank too much, or not enough? I questioned everything, seeking a source of blame, convinced that source was in *me*, was something I had done wrong and all my son’s issues were laying squarely on my shoulders.
But, you know, my son had (still does, I believe) a brain. He was (is) capable of self-determination. There comes a point in a child’s life where they become autonomous and they *WILL* make their own decisions. Sometimes those decisions will go contrary to everything we raise them to believe, because they can. It pains us, as parents, to watch our child go down a road that the books and tapes and parenting magazines would have us to believe doesn’t exist.
Fisher Price never tells us that our child might smoke pot even if we buy the latest BabyJungleGym. Gerber never warns us our child might fail the second grade even if we feed them organic applesauce.
The best a parent can do is to equip that child with the tools they need. Beyond that, I don’t know what else we can do. If the child has the tools, they will eventually use them, we hope. When they get to that point where suddenly everything you’ve ever told them is WRONG WRONG WRONG because it’s not what they want to hear, they’re going to have to figure out their own way. You gave them the tools, the moral compass, the ethical road map, if they want to wander in a wasteland for a few years, then they will. And chances are, if they survive (there’s an awful thought), they’ll eventually remember the tools and find their way back.
I’m telling you, when you see your child come a-wandering out of the wasteland, tired and remorseful, it’s really hard to resist the temptation to say “see, I told you so!” That’s not the thing to do, tho, because they’re already saying that to themselves.
In the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), the son returns after wandering that metaphorical wasteland, and his father greets him with joyous enthusiasm, thrilled that his boy is back. I like to think that’s how we’ve acted when our son came back to us. No recriminations, no “why the did you do that??”, just “Welcome back, what can we do to help you get back on your feet?”
Beating ourselves up over the way he behaved is pointless. He was a free-thinking, autonomous creature who paved his own road. The tools we gave him when he was younger are coming into play now as well, stuff like a solid work ethic, how to pick friends, and a sense of integrity. He still does things I’m not quite so sure I approve of, but he’s making it, and that’s what matters.
My point in all this is to ask you, if you have kids, to be careful in becoming complacent about how you’re raising them. Half of how they turn out is within them. The other half is in what you teach them. And if your kids are doing things that you *KNOW* you didn’t bring them up that way, don’t beat yourself up about. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out the way you planned.
An Article in USA Today May 13, 2007Posted by rootie2t in Uncategorized.
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Slacker Moms Tell AlphaMoms to Chill
Thanks to Julie for the link!
O! Tha Angst! May 9, 2007Posted by rootie2t in Uncategorized.
In FoxNews Health today, is a video story about teenage girls getting cosmetic surgery as a graduation present.
Does this strike you as unethical or something? I mean, an 18 yr old girl isn’t finished developing. She hasn’t filled out here or slimmed up there yet. When I was 18, I wore an A-cup bra. Yes, a set of C’s would have been nice, and I eventually got them, but if I had jumped the gun and gotten them a 18, would I be as happy with the results today?
And why do we have a society that encourages a young woman to be displeased with herself to the point where she’s willing to go to such drastic measures? And why are her parents going along with this?
Why is this any different from getting braces or having your ears pinned back? Sure, I can see rhinoplasty or breast reduction if it’s causing problems, but liposuction? breast augmentation?
Why is it so damned important to be beautiful? What ever happened to sending a girl to finishing school so she could be accomplished?
What ever happened to focusing on a young womans character, instead of her nose?
Why does Paris Hilton get even more popular, for having a DUI and going to jail for it?
Would someone please explain to me WHY?
Zaftig April 30, 2007Posted by rootie2t in Uncategorized.
zaf·tig [zahf-tik, -tig]
|1.||(of a woman) having a pleasantly plump figure.|
|zaf·tig or zof·tig (zäf’tĭk, -tĭg) Pronunciation Key
Now, TullahMarie left a comment on my other blog which I am posting here in toto.
Another one of my favorite yiddish terms for women, “Gezunta Moyd”
A Gezunta Moyd:
pronounced, ah Geh-SOON-the moyd
It literally means “a healthy girl,” but there is a connotation beyond that. It’s a girl who looks so healthy she is capable of unbelievable things. It’s said when you don’t want to talk too dirty but you’re still thinking about sex. A gezunta moyd means, what she could do to you requires a lot of health to do.
It can also mean you’ll lose your health of you get involved with her. She could kill twelve Jews like you in a second. Well-stacked is what you really mean when you say A gezunta moyd. (definition stolen from the web)
My grandparents spoke yiddish regularly around the house. I still love learning new yiddish words/phrases.
Also interesting, I’ve observed that the more traditionally matriarchal societies (Jewish, African-American, etc.) seem to be much more appreciative of us “thicker” ladies. Hmmm.
You know what, the whole concept fills me with optimism. I am decidedly Zaftig, I’m not so sure about Gezunta Moyd. Somehow, tho, knowing there is a term out there, that is positive and empowering, and refers to those of us who’s size is um…frequently….hm…disparaged, it’s an encouraging thing, and serves to reenforce what mine own husband has been trying to tell me daily these past 20 years: That an armload of woman is a very good thing indeed.
Here’s what I’d like for you to do: When you’re watching TV, or surfing through the interwebs, make note of businesses who’s advertising policies feature Zaftig women. I don’t watch much TV, but I’ve found a couple of ads- the most obvious one recently is the Dove Real Beauty Campaign. They have all sorts and all ages of women in their ads. Another is PineSol, with it’s plump next-door-neighbor of a spokeswoman and it’s ordinary house type sets. Hamburger Helper uses real families with real lives. Keep looking,find stuff and post it up here.
You can also write to these companies-find their web site, they all have a comments section, and they really like getting feedback from the regular population.
So what’s the deal with non-caucasian types appreciating zaftig women, but us white women think we all have to be skinny? Why are we buying into the line fed to us by the entertainment and fashion industries? Where did it come from? 50 years ago, the Bombshell women were Marilyn Monroe,
Jean Harlow, Bettie Page, and more. Big, luscious and curvy women, with a fashion industry that played that up. But since the late ’60’s, when Twiggy came flying to the forefront, the ‘Look’ has become thinner and thinner until now, when you see pictures of the models, they are so thin as to look wasted, no breasts, no hips, just thin.
Granted, there are some people who are naturally thin. My friend Rose is a solid size 2, tipping the scales at a robust 100 pounds soaking wet, and yet she eats like a horse. She’s just really small. So I’m not saying all thin women are a slave to the fashion industry, but I’d be willing to bet that most of them are.
Then there are the rest of us. The average women, the athletic ones with muscles, the zaftig ones with our generous upholstery, those of us who are told constantly by The Industry that we are Inferior or Flawed or Lazy or whatever, because we aren’t squeezing into their size 4 mold…I don’t know. I’m tired of hearing it.
So that’s why I’m on the prowl for concepts and cultural tidbits that feed the idea that zaftig is a good thing. Whether it’s advertisements or linguistic bites, keep your eyes open for things that encourage the concept of Real Beauty. Is there a saying in your family? Do you remember hearing something from your grandparents, or you picked up on your 1976 trek through Morocco…post it here, and I’ll put up a page compiling it all.
Oh, this glamourous life… April 27, 2007Posted by rootie2t in Uncategorized.
That’s me, a Lady Who Lunches. Yeah. PB&J usually. Sometimes leftovers. I have a friend I sometimes have lunch with, and the only food in town that she trusts is at El Sombrero. Since I am the wife of her husband’s boss, I suppose I could pull rank and insist on something a little less cheesy, but I really like her and I’d rather she be comfortable and happy than miserable with a panini.
We finally got around to getting a paper shredder, and I’ve spent the last hour shredding years worth of documents. You know, phone bills from 2002, that sort of thing. That’s certainly glamorous, tho noisy. I think I need a Personal Assistant to do these menial tasks, for as a Lady Who Lunches, my valuable time is better spent at Dillard’s, getting angry that Ralph Lauren only goes up to size 14.
One morning chore (which I frequently “forget”) is to poop scoop on the patio, for our hounds have delicate hienies which are low to the ground and tickled by the (uncut, I must get some gas) grass. So they poo on the patio. Kudos to Pedigree Dog Food, as it makes for hard, easily swept up turds. I wonder if it would work on the kids. Even tho Pedigree is one of the offending advertizers who make out like every kitchen is 900 sq feet and furnished by Restoration Hardware. They make hard poo, and that is good enough for me.
Tonight I am required to entertain the wife of a potential hire. I have to do it tomorrow, as well. I’ve met her before, as her husband worked with SD at a former company, so I know what to expect. Tonight, dinner at the country club, which is a scant 200 yards up the fairway from our house, so SD and I can walk, which means we can also have more than 1 gin and tonic, because the grass is soft on the fairway, and no harm will come from falling over in it.
That’s another thing…it sounds so…I dunno…posh, that we live 200 yards from the clubhouse and our backyard is the fairway of the 10th hole. Believe me, it sounds alot nicer on paper (mixed metaphor, anyone?). It’s nice, don’t get me wrong, but our house was built in 1967 and our yard is full of 56 pine trees with drop pinecones year round and frequently hurl branches at the cat. So it’s not like we live in one of these new red brick jobs with the multi-layered roofline and jacuzzi tub. But if you want to imagine that’s how it is, I won’t stop you.
I just realized I should have shredded the paper on the patio. There is a royal mess on the already gross carpet, and the vacuum cleaner is on vacation. Maybe if I spray it with bacon grease the dogs will eat it. Maybe if I spray the whole carpet they’ll clean it. It could work!