Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pretty Enough Without My Earrings

The other morning my daughter was getting ready for school and asked if she could stick small sparkly stickers on her ears like earrings. "Sure I said"

So she did, her hair was in a ponytail and she went to look in the mirror to check out her new bling.

She came back moments later and said "I don't think I'm going to ever get my ears pierced."

"How come?" I asked.

"Well I have long hair so you wouldn't be able to see them and I'm pretty enough without them."

I'm pretty enough without them.

That statement caught me off guard for a minute.

How lucky, I thought, that she has that moment, where she is pretty enough and at least, at this time, has self-awareness of it. I think we probably all start out like that. Pretty enough. And I wonder when it is that we decide that we are no longer pretty enough.  Is it school when we learn to compare oursleves to others? Hurtful things said by relatives? That first boy (or girl) who doesn't look our way?

How many times is our concept of ourselves (physical or otherwise.) determined by someone else?
When I was 30 I decided I was going to be pretty. I had never been pretty before. Oh sure, I've had moments of cuteness, occasional bouts with sexy, a handful full of good hair days. But by and large, I'm an average looking gal. At 30 I decided to try on pretty. I just decided one day. And it worked. I felt pretty. And other people responded to me like I was pretty in ways that I had not previously noticed. I owned pretty for that time.

Nothing about me changed except for my feelings about myself.

Flash forward to 40. I've kind of forgotten that time. I haven't thought about it in a while anyway.

Maybe I'll decide once again that I'm pretty enough without my earrings.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Reading at 40 vs 19

Yesterday Jeannine and I were talking on the phone and dissecting something we are both familiar with this year-Our last (in my case, my only) child going off to full day school. 

When our babies were born, 3 of them with 18 months in-between each, we spent a lot of time together. One of my favorites things that I did when I was a SAHM was to go to Jeannine's house. She would welcome me in, with a cup of coffee and we would stand in her kitchen for a few minutes and chat. We'd then retreat to the living room where the kids played, fought with each other, wet their diapers, ate cut up banana and then we made lunch. After lunch, depending on the season, we would sit on her porch or tour her garden or have more coffee in the living room. Those were very good days.  Sometimes the days and years seemed so long. Like those babies would be babies forever.
And last week, it was just OVER. just like that. Our little girls are eating lunch in their school cafeterias now. And we were discussing this. And something I said reminded her of something she's reading and she said "Oh I have a book for you, it's about JUST this very thing." and rather than wait for her to finish the book, I downloaded it to my nook because, well, because I could.

And she was right. Right there in that book was another woman's experince mothering a daughter. (The book, Traveling with Pomegranates, by Sue Monk Kidd & Ann Kidd Taylor, is actually about a woman with a grown daughter.) But the essence of it, those feelings, were the same, being that I am both a mother and a daugter.

Which got me to thinking. I read a lot. I was an English major in college, mostly, I think, because I love to read.

But I wonder if the  the things that I read in college would have more weight with me today. Make more of a mark, garner more meaning.  (Except perhaps for Healthcliff in Wuthering Heights. Healthcliff my romantichero, I might tell to just GET OVER HIMSELF ALREADY. I think if I read Wuthering Heights for the first time at 40, that I might see him as the self-absorbed jerk that he is. Some things, I guess, are better left for the young...)

I could have read about Sue Monk Kidd and her daugher before I had a daughter and I would understand how she felt. But would I have felt what she felt? I don't know. Maybe literaure is better, the more life you have lived. I think people should take literature classes when they are 40 rather than 19.  I think that is why so many people (mostly women)  join books clubs. Maybe I should join a book club. Maybe I should just keep reading books with Jeannine. Maybe when I am 80, all these books will have a greater meaning still.

And if you are wondering, Jeannine and I are fine and are going to have a grown-up day on Monday. Coffee without interruptions. Perhaps a yoga class. Lunch that does not involve grilled cheese or peanut butter.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Parenting Observations

Get Your Geek On

I think maybe we're doing our daughter a disservice. Tonight after dinner she asked if she could "PLEASE PLEASE stay up until 8 to watch Antiques Road Show."  (This may be from the lack of Cable TV here.)

Mind you, we don't really watch that, though I do think it's pretty interesting when I catch an episode. The disservice that I'm talking about is that we're turning this child into a walking talking GEEK!!!! Because we looked it up online and there are about 14 seasons of that show. She can watch Antiques Roadshow for the next 2 years if she wants to. She and her daddy sat on the "antique" church pew for ambiance (I AM NOT KIDDING YOU) and the two of them ooed and aahed over paintings and vases. 

Enjoy the Ride

If you know me, you know I like to ride. In the car. Talking to someone about something. Most often with Leighanne. Or rocking out to something I love myself. I've been listeing to a lot of the Zac Brown Band lately. So today we were almost home from Wegmans when one of my favorite songs came on and that little something was in the back singing her little heart out. So much so that she asked me to drive past the house so she could hear the song. Again and Again.   Another little gas gulzzler born.

Tooth Fairy

Excuse the picture, my crush on The Rock is showing
 The tooth fairy is coming to our home soon. And  I don't really know the rules. In my day, there was money ($1) under the pillow. It was pretty exciting.  But now... Well, kids get all kinds of things (not just money.)  and all kinds of cash.  For instance, I think $5 might be ok but I only have one child. I KNOW there are other people giving $1-that doesn't seem fair now does it? And then this evening she asked me "When you were little was there only one tooth fairy or a lot." I said there was only one. But what do I know, maybe other parents are out there telling stories about legions of fairies building teeth cities or something... (hey that would be a cute story!)   

This is why I don't like pretend things in real life..Like Santa. I don't get all creative with pretend things. That damn Elf on the Shelf completely took me by surprise and there I was trying to come up with a plausible reason why we had no elf watching over her. "Well honey, Mommy was late to the party on that one, having not been to Barnes and Noble early enough."

Moms out there who are doing all this extra crap around these pretend entities, I just want you to know that you are simply ruining it for the rest of us.

Someone please put out a memo on $ protocol for the tooth fairy and I'll just follow it.....

Monday, September 5, 2011

Nature Bites

So last weekend my husband ran into the house from the yard, yelling. He stopped in the kitchen and  proceeded to drop his pants.

You would not believe what he had in there.

2 Bees flew out of his shorts! He had been stung numerous times in the leg, butt and arm. I shook out his shorts and handed them to him. Apparently I missed one and an angry bee gave him one last sting and flew out of his shorts while he was wearing them. His stings swelled up terribly and hurt for days.

He had been gathering kindling for a campfire across from my compost pile when the bees attacked him. They flew out of a hole in the ground! Mean little bees.

Today I was in the kitchen and I was freezing some of the bounty from my mom's 400 + tomato producing garden (I'm still a little bent about my tomatoes. My mother, on the other hand, has taken to calling her neighbors to see if she can hoist these red gems off on others, she has so many) and had a bunch of tomato guts to take to the compost pile. I didn't think it was a big deal, so I threw them in there and just like that, one stung me in the arm. In that sensative part where your arm bends. When it first happened you could see it all swollen and there were these spidery legs branching out from it where you could see the killer bee venom spreading into my system. Dramatic, right?

Hours later and the damn thing still hurts.

I'll live, but my husband has decided he should get something to kill the bees in the compost. Problem is I've been working on that pile for like 4 years now.... Wouldn't bee killer be like some kind of compost napalm?

I suppose I could start a pile elsewhere...

I used to think it would be neat to keep bees for honey. I'm rethinking that.

I've been so at odds with nature lately....