I always think it’s interesting how – or when – certain moments strike my awareness. I spent all weekend half-thinking about writing this TToT in the back of my mind, but never quite sat to do it. It’s not that I don’t have much for which I’m thankful, it’s that every time I tried to come up…Continue Reading “An Awareness of Smaller Moments – #10Thankful”

There’s an African proverb that tells us it takes a whole village to raise a child.

I often wonder, though, do we really raise our children as a village? Do we look out for them throughout their lives and protect them – and one another – as a village? When I read the headlines every day, I am reminded that all too often we do not. And I wonder, when did we stop living and acting as a village?

When my Husband and I told my Grandparents that we were pregnant, they were thrilled, of course. One of the things my Grandmother said to me that day – with no malice whatsoever – was “Good luck. I would not want to raise a child today. It’s a whole different world.”

My Grandparents were no lightweights when it came to raising children. They raised their children through the 50s, 60s, 70s, and into the 80s. By the time Zilla arrived, they had already been helping to raise grandchildren and great grandchildren for nearly 40 years besides. They had probably seen just about everything.

I remember thinking, “Holy crap! What have we gotten ourselves into?”

Kids are different today than they were when my Mom and her siblings were kids. They are different than we were as kids. They’re even different than they were a short 10 years ago. But while that is true, it’s not really the kids that makes raising children today so terrifying. It’s the rest of the world.

Decades ago, it really did take a village to raise a child – and the village did its job. Everybody knew everybody else and if your neighbor’s mother told you to straighten up and fly right, it was just as good as hearing it from your own. When you did something stupid, your parents knew about it before you walked in the back door because the other parents called them and told them, not because they wanted to ruin your life, but because they wanted to protect it. They did it because they cared. To me, that’s not nosy or presumptuous. That’s a community raising its children together.

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But now? I often wonder if people care about anyone but themselves. I know, I know – that sounds terribly cynical. And I know that there are people do care. I have friends and family who do look out for one another’s kids, who aren’t afraid to speak up when they smell trouble, who aren’t afraid to have an opinion. But as a society? We have become so afraid of being criticized or sued for taking an interest in someone else’s well-being that we have isolated ourselves to the point of destruction.

Continue Reading "Will the Village Protect My Daughter?"

I am so ready for this school year to be over.

I kind of thought when I left the classroom that I wouldn’t feel so stressed about this time of year.  I figured without final exams, end-of-the-year textbook collections, and the rest of the things teachers have to do in June, I’d have no worries. I was wrong. Know why? My second-grader decided she was done and over it two weeks ago where school is concerned. That’s why. So here I am, Distracto-Mom, trying to get Distracto-Kid to the finish line when, frankly, I’m kind of done and over second grade, too. I feel like the kid in the back seat of the car on a long trip: Are we there yet? But when you’re the one who has to drive and you feel that way? Even worse.

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Let’s get on with it already…

I think that’s probably a good sign, though, despite the angst and drama of pushing pulling fighting dragging through this end. We’re ready to move on, get a fresh perspective and a new routine. It’s time to see what’s next.

So let’s talk about all things new and fresh this week, shall we?

Continue Reading "#10Thankful – Are We There Yet?"

Fragmented. That’s the best word I can come up with to describe my week.

It’s been one long stretch of a whole lot of jumbled pieces and small bits of time, none of which have added up to much of anything. But of course, if I sit long enough and think about it, I know I will realize that there is something in there. Perhaps we’ll get there by the end of this post. I have to be honest, though, and say I really don’t feel much like thankful-in tonight.

It’s not that I don’t feel thankful for so many things. I definitely do. And I’m not sad or bothered by anything. I’m just…mentally fatigued. All that fragmenting this week has left this girl exhausted.

So let’s see what we can come up with…

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Continue Reading "#10Thankful – Fragmented"

I sense that great things are about to happen.

No, really. I wish I could explain why, but I can’t. I just know that things are somehow falling into place as they should.

I’m late again this week – very late – but that’s OK because once again we have been out living. I can’t think of a better way to fuel my writing than by living. How about you? I’d love to give you a fabulously written intro here, but it’s quite late and the link-up is going to close soon, so I’m opting for expediency.

I’d also love to tell you I grabbed a fabulous photo somewhere this week, but I didn’t, so maybe you’ll allow me to share this one – pulled it from some pics from our visits to our CSA farm last summer and added it as a new header. After the rainy and chilly weather here over the last couple of weeks, I’m so looking forward to more days like this!

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So let’s get down to thankful…

Continue Reading "#10Thankful – Things of Significance"

This has been a weird and crazy week.

For starters, our parenting efforts have included addressing the topics of clubs that include only certain people and exclude others, balls (yes, that kind), menstrual periods, why some men might prefer to dress as women, and why poems about knife-wielding gummy bears are not appropriate material for the recess yard (or anywhere else, really).

Ho. Ly. Cow.

 

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All of these topics came up in relatively ordinary context. And yet none of these is really ordinary, if you think about it. All require very thoughtful and sensitive explanation. But can we talk about how we managed to get hit with all of this in one week? Seriously, Universe? Too much.

And that doesn’t even touch anything else that happened!

So I’m going to get right to the thankful part before I lose my mind. Here we go…

Continue Reading "TToT – A Week of Weird"