Friday, May 28, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Finding the Little Girl We Lost
Last week, I saw this video of the little girl declaring her love of life, family and herself and felt compelled to blog about it because I think we all come into the world with this same kind of potential for exuberance and positivity but too often, somewhere along the line, it leeches out of us--especially girls. Her enthusiastic display shows none of the inhibition, concern for what others (boys or girls) may think, fear of rejection (from boys or girls) or ridicule (from boys or girls) that eats away at the psyches and souls of girls. Sadly we become so preoccupied with whether or not people like us, whether we are acceptable that we totally forget what WE like—and that we should always begin with our very own selves.
About ten years ago, I came across a batch of childhood photographs of me. There were three pictures in particular that struck me. The little girl captured in each of those fragile, cracked black and white photos was so unrepentantly herself, so sure of her place in the world—albeit that that world was a small patch of sorta-farm in rural North Carolina—that I decided I wanted to keep her around. The photographs are of me at two, three and four years old and I had each tiny picture, restored as best I could, then blown up, matted and framed and hung them on the wall in my bedroom.
It’s difficult to photograph a photograph, but here they are
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Sure Signs You're Becoming Your Mother- RE-POST
And forgetting what you got up expressly to do—that’s something our mothers did, and we’d roll our eyes and think, “Dag, what’s wrong with her?” Except now it’s you, and you don’t know when that happened and you swear you just need a vacation. . . Do not stress. This is part of a natural evolution. The good news—It’s out of the closet, so we’re not losing our minds in silence. Forgetfulness, along with the sudden appearance of a soul patch and the disappearance of our waistlines, indicate that whether we have children or not, we are in the process of morphing into our mothers.
For those of you under thirty, this will be like trying to interpret ancient cave drawings. Interesting to look at, but totally meaningless in your world. Be patient—your day is coming. If you’re past the big three-o but not yet forty, you'll smirk and say "that will never happen to me!" Between forty and fifty more of these than you want to admit will apply. And beyond the half century mark, you will find great comfort and satisfaction in the realization that you're not the only one!
So when you wake up in the middle of the night, gasping for breath because you suddenly realize.... Aaaargh! I'm Becoming My Mother!!! Try to stay calm. Do not tear your hair out---it's probably thinning anyway.(Of course, now there's Rogaine.)
But this is not the end of the world (It happened to your own mother and her mother and her mother and...), just the beginning of a new era!
Here's a prayer to see you through.
...Grant me the serenity to accept the things I can't change (not that I haven't tried), the strength to run screaming from the things I can and the wisdom to keep laughing, because nobody likes a joyless old heifer.
And here are some signposts along the way. We started this list way back when we were writing Far From the Tree and just found it in the abyss that is the “Future Projects” file in our computer.
We’ll be posting more on what we’re calling Mother Mondays. Here goes:
1) What you want instead of a vodka shot is a nice cup of herb tea.
2) The "s" word you use to describe shoes is “sensible”, not “sexy”.
3) The furry food in your refrigerator really disgusts you.
4) You hear yourself say, "How can anybody dance to this?"
5) It's that special night, the one you've been planning for, but you wear galoshes a storm coat, muffler and hat with that slinky little black dress because, after all, it is snowing.
6) It's midnight on Saturday night and what you really want to do is go home to bed...to sleep.
7) Your knees announce that you're going to sit down.
8) The little girl you used to baby sit is on her second divorce.
9) You take that big slice of Bermuda onion off the burger because the indigestion it will cause won't be worth it.
10) Even the thought of brushing your teeth in cold water causes pain.
11) You change the sheets every week, on schedule.
12) You can't stand fingerprints and toothpaste spatters on the bathroom fixtures.
13) You actually look forward to family gatherings and remember that Uncle Joe's second wife Ida can only hear out of one ear.
14) Being regular isn't the opposite of being 'late', so the Correctol is in the medicine chest right there next to the Midol.
15) Fiber does not refer to linen or silk.
16) Small children call you "Ma'am".
17) Young adults call you "Ma'am".
18) The oldies station no longer plays music from the decade when you slow danced in the basement.
19) Kids don’t know there was an original version of that song.
20) You understand that Scotch tape is not an acceptable substitute for a needle and thread.
21) You're walking down the street, you see someone’s reflection in a store window and think, “Gee, she looks so much like my Mother.” You’re horrified to realize it’s you.
22) You look at a picture of yourself as a child and see your daughter.
23) You look at a baby picture of you with your mother and realize you look now like she did then.
24) Lingerie becomes underwear and it’s no longer optional—it has advanced engineering
25) Your flannel nightie is your favorite.
26) You keep bed socks in the same drawer as your pajamas because your feet are always cold at night.
27) You wear pants because they keep your knees warm (see # 7).
28) You carry paper towels in your pocketbook to mop up after “power surges.”
29) You buy extra-calcium everything.
30) Retro clothes don’t make you look hip. They make you look like you’re wearing your old clothes
31) You diligently write reminder notes—then forget where the hell you put them.
32) You hear yourself say, "My goodness!" instead of #$%&*! the way you used to.
33) You keep extra birthday cards on hand and actually mail them so they arrive on time.
34) You smile smugly when kids say, "What do you know?"
35) There's always something to eat in your refrigerator and you cooked it.
36) You can only eat cereal or toast after 10 PM if you plan to get any sleep.
37) The thought of cold pizza for breakfast is revolting.
38) You finally admit the photo isn’t blurry—your eyesight is, then give up and get the glasses (but they’ve got to be cute).
39) Your glasses hang from a chain around your neck because it’s the only way you can find them.
40) You remove the clothes from the dryer at the end of the cycle instead of using it like an extra dresser drawer.