Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Look At What You Have"

Today is Ash Wednesday and we started out our day with ashes for the whole family.  Due to scheduling (unavoidable demands and work) we weren't able to actually attend a service, so a clergy colleague of mine swung by and did the honors...

"remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return".

And, as I reflect on Ash Wednesday and the act of incorporating our child into this ritual, I find myself thinking about something I said to him at dinner on Tuesday.  In his frantic reaching and whining for the ketchup bottle he failed to notice that he already had some ketchup on his plate.

And, in that moment of frustration I sternly said to him

"look at what you have, not what you don't have!"

He quieted at my tone and as the words left my mouth I realized that part of teaching him about a theology of abundance, about holding things loosely, giving generously and living gently is teaching him to appreciate and value what he is.  So, whether it's the WHOLE jar of peanut butter or a small swirl of ketchup, I will be repeating these words as a refrain, "look at what you have, not what you don't have!"

And, perhaps that's my takeaway for Ash Wednesday this year--giving thanks for what we have and the gift that is rather than worrying about what isn't.

So, this Lent I will be working on looking at what I have, letting go of what I don't have and remembering that this is all temporary anyway.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Mama Lake

So, I've written recently about the amazing connections I've made with other moms here.  One of those connections has given arise to a new blogging/friend circle and I dove right in to the metaphorical lake!  I hope that if you get a chance you'll visit us at The Mama Lake

The moms who are writing all come from very different backgrounds and represent a range of perspectives and personality!  We all have toddlers and we all live in the same area, now.

So, check us out, and refer your we grow things will change and develop, but there are some amazing posts up already!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Doorway

It was february but felt like march, the kind of march where early crocuses might creep in and defy the threat of snow to come.  

 The air was thick with a cool drizzle and the sky the color of spilt milk.  Bits of gray snow squelched beneath our boots, melted into the grass and pooled on the sidewalk.  A dreary day, but hopeful as the rain not snow misted into our hair and our noses grew rosy from the chill.  

And, perhaps it was this sense of hope--a sense of potential unbidden and unlooked for--that caused us to look.  To look and see it.  The door.  The door in the tree in Deming park.  

It was an odd little door.  About a foot high, with a latch, nestled securely and hinged properly into what looked to be a tall maple.

To be continued...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Nap Strike

On a less profoundly depressing note--or perhaps only profoundly depressing to me--my 21 month old has decided that he is FAR too busy to nap.  At the appointed hour I put him in his crib and rather than falling asleep he chats and sings to himself for a couple of HOURS.

This has led to the dreaded "overtired state" which has then led to him being awake and crying for hours in the middle of the night.  At this point in parenting, I know "this too shall pass" and that his nap will return and sleep will someday resume.

But, I want him to sleep today.  And, tonight.

What other "phases" have you wished to rush through with your own child?  And, if you have any magical nap tips for toddlers feel free to pass them on!

Friday, February 10, 2012


As described in my last post, there is an amendment to the state constitution being voted on next November that would (if passed) expressly forbid same sex marriage (which isn't legal here, nor would it be legal if the amendment didn't pass) in the state of Minnesota.

The fact that this is up for vote makes me indescribably sad, particularly of late.  Because, what I hadn't considered (as a mom of an almost (gasp!) two year old) is that for GLBT families in Minnesota with older children there is going to be a LOT of explaining to do.

How do you explain to a 7 year old why your family is being attacked on television?  How do you give a middle schooler strength to not only stand up to remarks that denigrate his/her family but also the words to advocate for themselves as well?  How do you help your 3 or 4 year old understand that just because his friend at preschool said "you can't have two moms" that he most certainly can (and does)?

We don't watch television at our house (and before you go thinking that we are all high and mighty about this one, we have netflix and and our entire family is mildly addicted to "Kipper"--crap, the theme song is stuck in my head...again) and we only do NPR in the car (and I'm hoping that my darling boy did not comprehend the BBC report on the strife in Syria).  So, exposure in our house will be relatively minimal.  But, I know we are relatively unusual in this--and my heart breaks knowing the visual and auditory assaults that will be afflicting families (of all sorts) in our state.

The fact that so many of us are gearing up to be emotionally assaulted in the months to come, the fact that so many are giving up evenings and days with their children to advocate against this amendment, the fact that in order to protect our own children we have to jump through the hoops and pay the price of lawyers to give us the rights that straight (appearing) families have just by virtue of a marriage license...all of these things are stressors for GLBT families.  And, it's hard.  And, it's sad. And, it's not fair.  And...

It sucks.

Because, at the end of the day, in our house--we REALLY care about children.  And, as I read the words of parents already seeking ways in which to cushion their children from attacks on their families, I am devastated that children are going to be harmed as we adults try (and fail) to treat each other with love, compassion and dignity.

Thank God he's still young enough to be shielded from the hate...