Many families in my generation and the next generation down have turned their backs on the way we were raised–when children were to be seen and not heard. Parenting culture was different. Expectations were different. We began to respect these little people and recognize them as humans rather than property. We gave them more freedom to be children and develop at their own pace. We allowed them to have a voice.
But some of us didn’t do a stellar job at transitioning them into being respectful and compassionate young adults that could do what they were told WHEN they were told to do it and the WAY they were told to do it. We quite accidentally created very entitled kids…
Girly was placed in our home at 12 days old. From birth, she had very little human contact and there are a lot of reasons for this–but it was what it was. I didn’t grasp how “big” that was. Twelve days didn’t seem like a long time.
As an ignorant adoptive parent who didn’t know what I didn’t know, I have since learned an awful lot. And one of the things that I learned a lot about (and continue to learn about) is race. My now-7yo daughter started teaching me that as an infant in ways I never expected. Continue reading She is brown…→
Many of you reading are from a broad range of faiths (or no faith). And a subset of you have various ways of regarding Jesus and the Bible–be it sacred or spiritual or support. My own family is Quaker and most people look at us as Bible-based, Jesus-following Buddhists (although they don’t generally know enough about Buddhism to know that we are more aligned with Christianity than Buddhism).
I had the opportunity to do a guest blog for a friend of mine on her series about Advent. I chose to write about “Life After Christmas” and how we can carry Jesus with us into the New Year. It’s a topic I feel very strongly about:
Our family tries very hard to walk the path of Jesus as a lifestyle. We try to carry Christ with us in each step. I am blessed to have a husband who walks with me in this journey and when one of us hesitates to offer love or service, the other is quick to redirect with a gentle “What would you want someone to do if we were in those shoes?”. I had a shirt at one point that said “Live in a way such that people who know you but don’t know Jesus will know Jesus because they know you”. And that’s what we did.
For the rest, you’ll have to click on over to Claire’s blog, Radically Broken and read my post “The Love of Ignorance”. While you’re there, you might as well check out the prior days of December with a cup of tea and an afternoon to think deeply on some of the topics and let them help you mold your coming year. As for myself–I’ll be posting more here soon enough!
I ache today. Usually, the Solstice is a really special day for us: it’s the day we get our Christmas tree. This year we are on the road and late today we should be headed to New Orleans. But let me tell you about today because it is beautiful… Continue reading Day 22: Winter Solstice (or Yule)→
There is so, so, so much going on in December. When I first thought up this activity, I choose a specific book. As I went through and reworked the activities, this took a new direction and suddenly–there were just SO. MANY. things to read about in December. Continue reading Day 15: Read a Book Related to December→
We are now just over 5 years into our relocation from the Northeast to the Midwest. And the void I feel most strongly year after year is our family’s loss of service to the community.
There are many here who feel we (or at least I) DO serve the community. Two years ago when I put out the message that we needed at least 1 of 3 weeks of babysitting coverage daily to avoid Husbeau taking unpaid time off, I was overwhelmed with all 3 weeks being covered in less than 48 hours. Many said “How could you be surprised? You’re always doing for others.”
So, we applied to have BigGuy be part of a classical model-based, Christian co-op next year. It’s one day/week for science, a combined history-literature class, art and performing arts. However, this has sparked two calls of concern from friends that have been asked to be references…
This is really not articulating the full breadth of my feelings on this issue. Not even close. And probably not as well-connected or easy to follow as I wish. I’m just going to put it out there and hope someone gives me the benefit of the doubt that my intentions are good and my fear and hurt about this are real and that I am trying to do something good with it all.
Background: I am white. I spent several years of my childhood being the only white kid in my neighborhood. In Kindergarten, I was walked to the school door by the crossing guard because otherwise the black kids chased me and pulled my hair and hit me because I “didn’t belong there”. We moved, and although the demographics of my school changed, the makeup of my little area of town was still predominantly black. I was thankfully accepted there and I know this is largely the result of quickly making friends with the tallest (and wisest) black girl there… by way of having the same bicycle and her thinking I stole it. Thankfully, her bicycle was quickly within view and the crisis averted. She sheltered me from a lot of nastiness. Having come from experiencing that nastiness first-hand, I remain grateful 35 years later for her ushering me into being accepted in that community. Continue reading At the intersection of “privilege” and “minority”→
Because BigGuy is a 5th grader, it’s his last year of Cub Scouts. There are a contingent of people back home who can’t believe we would involve ourselves with Scouts because of their historically explicit rejection of homosexuals. Policies have changed about the acceptance of Scouts that are homosexual but I have not kept up on whether that trickled into leadership. Continue reading To be or not to be a Boy Scout→
So, when we moved from NJ to IL, one of the things that overwhelmed us was that the majority of people we met were Christian. For a long time, our family identified as Christians and as a result, we felt weird but in kind of a good way: we were no longer the minority. There were TWO Christian radio stations here and I quickly programmed them into the radio. They were usually on in the car. I didn’t have to worry about songs with themes of hooking up, getting drunk or dollah dollah billz, yo. To be fair, even my beloved ’70s songs often left us in a pickle. I have a really hard time with my fiery Latina’s favorite song being “Brown Sugar” by The Rolling Stones. Ugh…
When we got here, BigGuy was 6-1/2 and Girly was 18mo old.
Our time and experiences here have forced us to better define our beliefs and we realized, we really WEREN’T Christians. We are Bible-based people that use Jesus as the role model for sure. We believe that the crucifixion and resurrection took place, but after all of that–we differ from Christians. The major line in the sand making us non-Chrisitians is that we do not tie our salvation to Jesus. There are other places we differ. We don’t see God as a human image. We don’t dwell on heaven and hell. We believe that all people are inherently good. We’re not really big on holidays because every day is a gift. There are some other differences, but those are the big ones. That makes us (for all intents and purposes) Quakers. Our labeling has changed to better reflect the beliefs we have always had.
But at some point, BigGuy started realizing that much of what we heard on K-Love was not aligned to our belief set. *sigh* Maturity.
I’m not sure how it happened, but BigGuy took to seeking alternate radio selections unbeknownst to me. The radio was often on in the basement while they played. I simply had no clue that the station had changed somewhere along the lines. Until we were out somewhere and my kids were happily singing along to some mainstream pop song–much to my surprise. Suddenly, BigGuy was asking for a specific station in the car… and I was thrown into the world of music-with-horrible-values. Not ALL of it, but a LOT of it.
A few days ago, while in Minnesota, our dear friend was lamenting about the music her kids heard on the bus and my husband chimed right in (he apparently hears more of this with the kids than I do… no clue how or why). He saw her “I’m so fancy” and raised it an “I’m all about the bass, ’bout the bass”.
I don’t homeschool my kids to shelter them. Seriously–I don’t. But I do think there’s a maturity level needed to understand some of the concepts sung about in ALL songs. Some just create a subconscious comfort level with concepts I’m not going to be happy about. This goes both for Christian music and secular music.
Needless to say, I’m now creating a playlist of songs that I think are okay for where my kids current maturity level is at. That’s not necessarily “clean” music. It is music that might include some questionable stuff, but stuff I feel like we can have meaningful conversation about. At minimum, understanding-of-the-concepts conversation. And after seeing this video today of Meghan Trainor with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots doing “All About the Bass” with classroom instruments–I sought out the lyrics. Outside of men needing more booty to cling to at night (a concept I feel I can explain to both kids), I was really loving this song’s sentiment that women can have curves and not be “fat”. Plus, I always love a white girl that can carry a song with some soul and rhythm.