Well, I'm likely to hurt someone's feeling with this post, so I'll start by saying ... if you're happy go for it and disregard this post. For those of you who agree that putting these humungous bows/head bands on bald babies is ugly I'll be preaching to the choir.
I see more and more baby girls with hideous, oversized bows on their bald heads and it looks awful. Personally, I much prefer the natural look with a lovely dress or blouse or t-shirt that show the world I have a girl.
However, on that note, when my daughter, Sarah, was a baby - and long before these ghastly bows were available - I dressed her in the most adorable girly dresses only to have some moron ask, "What's HIS name?"
I'd calmly reply, "Sarah."
The moron's response, "That's a funny name for a boy."
Now, I'm sure no mother whose daughter is sporting one of those bows is faced with the problem I encountered ... but honestly, I'd prefer having to tell someone my child is a girl than have her look like a Christmas package gone wrong.
OK, I'm finished here ... hate me if you must ... but remember, it's YOUR child ... and MY opinion.
It has been said I'm crazy for letting my grandchildren have glitter. People have told me there is no way they'd let anyone have glitter in their house because they find glitter for months to come. I have a different opinion ...
Once the Christmas ornaments were painted - yes, even my three year-old granddaughter, Cady, was allowed to paint and once all was painted, the glitter was made available ... to all. A sprinkle here, a sprinkle there ... oops ... glitter on the table ... double oops ... glitter on the floor. I assured the grandchildren all was OK and a little glitter spill was no biggie. The smile on their faces melted my heart ... by the time they were finished making their ornaments from the tops of bean cans I had saved, they had found a special place for cotton balls, glitter, popsicle sticks, pictures from old Christmas cards and magazines, and plenty of acrylic paint. They had a blast. Then, before they were allowed to play the Wii, we had clean up time. Thank goodness for my granddaughter, Claire, who is thirteen and my grandson, Aidan who is almost eight ... they were real troopers and did a wonderful job organizing all the craft supplies.
They've all gone home now ... and as I dust mopped the dining room floor, I smiled ... moving the dust mop from one side to the other, the glitter stayed put. I told my husband we'd have to vacuum and damp mop tomorrow to get all the glitter up. He agreed.
As I straightened up the rest of the house, every room was glittery ... the playroom, the bathroom faucet handles, doorknobs, chairs, and even our German Shepherd sported some glitter on her ear. It warmed my heart ... such a small price to pay for a grandchild's smile.
Black Friday separates the boys from the men ... the girls from the women ... as I watch the craziness begin ... shortly after sharing thanks for all we have with a delicious meal, family, friends ... the lines begin to form to do what? Yes, get more stuff. And just what is all this 'stuff' for anyway? As I watch the ads on television, the radio, flashing across my computer, magazines, newspapers (ah, yeah ... did you receive a Thursday newspaper? I picked mine off the lawn - it wouldn't even fit in my newspaper box! - I chalked it up to my exercise for the day), flyers, and everywhere I turned taunt me to 'buy this, buy that.' I have to ask myself, "What in the hell is all the fuss? OK, it's good for the economy, but is it good for our wallets and budgets?" Then I realized many people 'worry' about paying it all back later ... really? I've got news ... much of what you haven't paid for yet will be lost, broken, or forgotten. Is it really worth it? I think not and that's where the separation begins.
There are those who step back and make thoughtful purchases and those who just buy. I ask each of you ... take a moment and think about what you really intend to do and what makes you do it. I remember one year after a big move right around Christmas time when I gave a family member (and many others) a Mason jar with all the ingredients for spice cookies with a recipe attached - one friend (a neighbor) made the cookies the next day and invited us to her home for cookies and tea) but a family member actually complained. Now how's that for Christmas spirit ... this person was not only not gracious, she was downright bitchy about it. Fine, I said ... I be happy to keep it and you can have your candle back. Geez. Later I found out they were unable to pay their light bill and called ME to help them. Really? Ah, no. That same person - some months later - said she needed help paying their mortgage. We were in a pretty good spot and I handed her a check for $100 ... my husband asked me about it when he was balancing our checkbook and that check hadn't cleared. I called her to see why she hadn't cashed the check and was informed she had lost it. Then she asked for a replacement check. Ah, no. Sorry. Stupid people make me nuts ... but as my mother says, '... it must be her first time here.'
When did toddlers take over the world? My toddlers worked for me ... it was never the other way around! I didn't negotiate. I didn't cut any deals. And I certainly was never told what to do or when to do it. I was the grown-up.
Perhaps the problem stems from 'away-from-home' mothers who feel guilty leaving their children with others. As a former family home day care provider (for seven years) I know only too well how difficult it can be to leave your children behind. I opted to take a different route. I had a husband (yeah, that would be husband #1) who wasn't exactly successful - at least not in what today's world deems successful and I refused to work outside the home until our children were in school. So, we learned to live within our means which meant going without a good bit ... without what? I hear you ask ... vacations, a second car or even a new one, campers, designer clothing, etc. What we did have is freshly baked breads, homemade soups, story time and craft time, plenty of play time ... we built forts out of couch cushions and played hide n' seek, we took long walks gathering treasures to make door wreaths, centerpieces, and crafts. We made our own Christmas cards and birthday cards, we wrote thank you notes and walked to the library. We visited neighbors, especially those who were unable to get out much, and we volunteered in our community.
Today as I look around, I see whiny, demanding kids tugging at parents begging for attention. I see them getting pushed aside while that parents either chats with a friend or talks on a cell phone (which is a whole new rant) ... today's children seem to have the upper hand in today's family ... now, before you click the CONTACT ME button and tell me how wonderful you and your family are, if this does not apply to you, don't own it. There are wonderful families out there and wonderful kids - I even know a few - and I'm thrilled if you are one of those families. But, let's not stop there ... share your talents with those less fortunate or less able. Our future depends on it ... and it takes a village.
To continue my rant of yesterday ... the benefits of yoga ... for me are simple and are summed up rather nicely on many websites. Of course, you can find just about anything, whether pro or con ... so you make your own decision.
OK, I'm finished except to say thank you to those who think yoga is something I need to fear ... you can put your concerns to rest, and not that I need to respond to your fears at all, I will say this to all those naysayers out there ... those who live in fear ... I can assure you ... yoga, for me, is a simple and delightful way to stay fit, clear my mind, and enjoy time with myself - it's how I stay grounded. I refuse to live in fear of anything and no one will take me down that path. Live and let live ... it is what it is ... be and let be ... I am what I am.
Recently I posted some pictures of My Peaceful Place ... and was rather disturbed by an email my husband received warning us ... OK, me of the evils of my yoga practice. The person a sent link for a New York Times article on the dangers of yoga, to which I could only ask, "Aren't all activites dangerous if done either before one is ready for it or done incorrectly?" Of course. Next.
The writer also sited the .. here comes the ohhhh, scary stuff ... spiritual dangers. Really ... wow. Perhaps this person is so deep in their own religion that they see danger whenever someone does something of which they are not familiar. Me? Oh, I research ... I learn ... I survive ... lookie here ... I'm still here ... no devil has whisked me away into the place where naughty yogis land. Good grief. Get real. What is it that sends Christians (or anyone) into terror mode when yoga is mentioned? Is Eastern style of meditation so scary that people feel warranted to warn other of the dangers? The person who elicited this warning cited another website, and book, about an ill-fated guru ...a wayward child perhaps ... don't we all have one of those in our family closet! The book cited, Death of a Guru: A Remarkable True Story of one Man's Search for Truth is just that ... ONE MAN'S SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH. This is HIS life, HIS experience. Period.
For the record, my yoga practice is simply a time where I can focus on my breathing to clear my head of CRAP I hear all day long. It's a peaceful time ... it's not satanic, or demonic, or evil. It's just BREATHING. Good grief. And, so far as my yoga positions ... well, let's start with my reasons for doing yoga ... I enjoy it. It's relaxing. It keeps these ol' muscles flexible and second ... well, let's stop there ... for now.
Maybe it's because I'm in my sixties ... or maybe I'm right, but have you noticed the volume of chatter going on at the stores right now? Not only is there the incessant chatter of the people - but that doesn't really bother me unless they're arguing at which point I'm likely to ask them to excuse themselves - but the canned music, intercom announcements of specials, commercials being blasted on overhead monitors, more music here, different music there, press this, push that, listen to this, buy that, kids in carts demanding this and that, parents telling them to shut up or they'll never get anything again (really? .... hmmm) ... geez, shut up already! My experience today confirmed my desire to shop online or locally at small mom/pop shops - I'll gladly pay the extra price for something if everyone will just shut up! OK, I'm done.
Yeah, I know ... it's Chrismas ... or is it ... no, it's not even Thanksgiving. I refuse to partake in the madness at this time.
However, here's something that made me smile ... and always does:
Who Am I?
I am what I am ... nothing more, nothing less. It's not that I know more than anyone else ... it's just that I've lived longer than a good many and have experienced life. I am a people watcher, a listener. I don't judge ... we all have a journey ... thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you.