Sunday, May 27, 2012

18 months of Honey Badgering

Dear, sweet, feisty Honey Badger, a.k.a. Tenacious E, a.k.a. my youngest daughter --

You are 18 months old today.  In the past 6 months you have learned quite a few new words - head, cheek, eye, knee, toe, mama, and daddy just to name a few. Every time you see a baby you say BABY BABY BABY just to make sure everyone knows there's a baby in the vicinity - in photos or commercials or real life (and anyone who is under the age of about 3, apparently, is a baby by your measure).

You are only now beginning to sleep through the night - occasionally waking up for a snack around 10 or so but generally sleeping from about 8 pm to about 5:30 a.m..  You nap as poorly as your siblings always did, but you are not the same as them.

Lilly didn't climb.  Carter climbed, but not like you.  You climb like George Leigh Mallory: because it is there.  You climb the chairs, the table, any bookshelves or stairs.  I've found you dumping out bins and boxes so you can climb them.  Every nook and cranny is a foothold.  No shelf is too high.  Nothing is safe.

(In fact, as I write this, you climbed a chair and pushed a half dozen books off the book shelf.)

Some days you scream so loudly, Honey Badger, that I wonder how long it will be before the neighbors call CPS.  Every tiny perceived wrong, from not being held when you want to be held to being told no, is met with ear-piercing shrieks and what we now refer to as Floor Fits, where you throw yourself onto your back and throw a classic kicking/screaming tantrum.

And as with your tenacity, I have to remind myself that these qualities, too, will one day be positive attributes  that make any parent proud.  No chair or table or bookshelf or box is without its use - or without some secret hidden foothold.  You are adept at employing the Tim Gunn mentality: you make it work. You're not afraid to try things and you're not afraid to speak your mind. Even if your mind is, you know, 18 months old and super angry just because that moth just flew away and you wanted it here.

We have a long road ahead of us, my dear, before those qualities stop being OHSOTOTALLYCRAZYMAKING and start being really, really awesome.  In the meantime, I'll hang on tight.  And buy some earplugs.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I keep meaning to link to this:

My friend Erica is doing an amazing blog on prayer and she was moved to write a piece that spun off of my Poodlehead/Poodlehead Redux posts.  She's an excellent writer and this is worth sharing, so here it is!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The one in which I discuss North Carolina rationally:

Nope.  Still can't do it. Still too hurt.  Still angry.

And above all else?  Still hurt.

Still too angry and hurt to write about changing a state's constitution to specifically deny a group of people their rights- about watching the map of American change from the early 90s (wherein there was NO legislation regarding same-sex unions) to a map covered in mostly negative legislation banning same-sex marriage or unions via law and sometimes even Constitutional amendment.  I can't even begin to share the disappointment and pain I feel knowing that several of my friends are supporters of such actions - some of whom would deny that right on behalf of a loving God.

I told my friend Ryan last Tuesday that I thought the map was changing because people are afraid of the inevitability of it all - this is the last vestige of clinging to an intolerant past.  I hope that I am right.  A recent article I heard on NPR discussed the changing face of the nation - 2/3 of people over 60 believe in gay marriage bans whereas 2/3 of people under 40 do not.  Eventually the younger generation will come through and clean up the legislative mess of the older generations, I guess.  But it won't be without work.

Next week my state is set to begin a special session to discuss some 30 pieces of legislation that were tabled because ONE man wanted to prevent a vote (that is rumored will pass) on civil unions - SO important was it to him to prevent this legislation from being voted on that he acted in the direct opposition of his constituency and their needs to kill it with stupid procedural tricks.  Governor Hickenlooper, when announcing his intention to call for a special session, described a call from his friend - a friend that said "If not now, when?"

If not now, when indeed.  A few days after Hickenlooper's press conference, our President made history by being the first sitting President to support gay marriage.  If not now? When?

When?  Now. It's time to take back the map.

Monday, May 7, 2012

On The Budge who is almost six and

loves like we all wish we could love.  With abandon. With his whole heart and mind and soul from the tippety tips of the hair on his head all the way down to the dirt under his fingernails. The Budge is awesome. He is amazing.  He's like a normal person turned up to 11 and captured in a 4 foot high body. If you took a pinch of honey badger and tossed in the sound phones used to make when left off the hook and then shook it all up with a bottle of honey you'd get something resembling The Budge.  He's a light-saber and zombie junkie who wears white socks in the garden (no shoes! too restricting!).  He's a defender of bugs and a tamer of moths.

Oh and being nice to bugs and valuing life and gardening.  Can they fit that all in one sign?

Last week in the wake of the day, he crawled into my lap and wept because a year ago he found a cocoon in the garden and he opened it to find a not-quite-ready-for-the-world moth.  This year his classroom raised Painted Lady butterflies - so he watched the entire life cycle from egg to caterpillar to butterfly.  The day they let him go was the day he was overcome by sadness, sobbing in my lap about a year-ago bug death.

I explained to him that it was okay.  That when we know better we do better.  And we will do better.

I don't know how I managed to have a son who came out so amazing - who loves and honors the world - who wants desperately to practice empathy in a a culture that expects less from him.

I've worried and I've written about worrying about raising my daughters in this culture - about body image and feeling good about themselves and being smart and pretty and geeky.  But I also worry - a lot - about raising a boy that will grow into the loving and empathetic young man I would love to set out upon the world.

Again I am lost in this wilderness of parenting, fumbling through a world where other children mock my son's courageous dressing (he once spent a year in a rainbow silk cape but now he prefers tuxedos and top hats) or try to squash the bugs he so values.
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