Friday, July 12, 2013

Your Intentions Don't Mean Squat


The more time I spend getting ready for the baby to arrive the more I remember from when my son was a baby. How his baby laugh sounded (like a dirty old man), when he first smiled (in a hotel we stayed at on our way to TX while I sang him the ABC's song), where we gave him his baths, how he looked when he was napping, how he took to new foods. Then there are the not so pleasant memories. A week of nothing but crying with me at my wits end calling my husband at work and begging him to come home, my days spent without him while he was in the NICU, passing him across the table in a restaurant resulting in my drink being spilled all over me and everything else while we joked/ cried that we could be a walking advertisement for birth control and condoms, and other people.

Yeah my biggest upset from my son's time as an infant definitely came from other people. If you have children you may understand where I'm coming from and if you don't well, let me illuminate you. Yes there was the mountain of unsolicited advice that irritated the hell out of me.. He's dressed too warm, he's dressed too light, why isn't he wearing a hat? But through all of that I was able to just grin and bear it and most of the time use the pediatrician as my excuse. That really wasn't the worst of it though, for some reason people forget that babies are people. Everyone, most without even asking, would touch him, pet his head, grab at his hands and feet, want to hold him, and I'm not talking about family members here, no. Complete strangers would come up to us in the grocery store and start fawning all over him almost as if me and my husband weren't there. Would those same people even dare to do that to an adult? My guess is no, and if you try to fend them off even politely they look at you like you are the worst human being in the world. I don't know who these people are, I have no obligation to allow them to place their more likely than not germ infested hands all over my newborn simply because they think he's cute.

Of course that doesn't even cover the rude or inappropriate remarks I had to endure. While clothes shopping an elderly woman looked me up and down with a look of pure disgust and proceeded to tell me she hoped I was a good mother to deserve a baby as cute as mine. Then there was the time my husband and I were in a thrift store and our son was crying. We were simply talking to him trying to calm him down and I believe I said "I know, it's been a long day. First the Dr's office, then the grocery store and now we're here don't worry after this we're going home" and another elderly women piped up in a judgmental tone "I hope you fed him during all of that" Who gave them permission to pass judgment and comment on my life, or even listen in on and involve themselves in a private conversation I was having with my family, simply because we had a baby in tow.

Lately all of this seems especially relevant because it doesn't seem to end. He's 5 now and people still think it's okay to approach us and have full conversations with my son, without ever addressing me or my husband. Am I the only one that finds this inappropriate? Just because he's small and young does not mean he doesn't have the right to personal space. We have an elderly couple that lives downstairs with the wife being the worst offender of this and I've tried to be polite but there comes a time when enough is enough. Last week she asked if she could give him some cookies, I told her no, he had a snack with him and it was almost 4 o' clock, we'd be having dinner in an hour. She ignored me and asked again, so my husband spoke up and said no thank you he's all set. Then a third time she asked yet again, "What you don't want him to have any cookies" again we told her no and throughout all of this my son who was the subject of the discussion was trying to get past us to get in the house and showed absolutely no interest in what she was offering. After firmly telling her no for a third time she waited until she thought we were out of earshot before she said "well maybe he's too good for them". I'm sorry but are we bound by law to allow strange people to give my son sugar?? Is it wrong that I don't want him filling up on junk food an hour before dinner especially when he just had a bowl full of blueberries as a snack. I really don't think so. She sees him coming up the stairs and she clicks her tongue at him like she's trying to get the attention of an animal. Or there was the time she asked him to dance for her and "shake his fanny". How can she not see that as vastly inappropriate??

All I ever hear from other people are that their intentions are good, I shouldn't let it bother me because they mean well. Why are their intentions more important that my or my family's comfort level, or my son's personal space? They aren't and honestly I do not believe that they have good intentions. They have self-serving intentions. Their advances are wildly unwelcome which I make very clear and they ignore me and proceed anyways. All they care about is being entertained by a cute child.

For those out there that behave this way I have a message for you. No child no matter how cute, or how small, or how delightfully innocent owes you a damned thing. Not hugs, not conversation, not high-fives, not a performance. You do not have the right to force them into a relationship with you simply because you have deemed it okay. Also touching, especially with infants, is dangerous because they have barely-there immune systems and even if you are not sick because you have the immune system of an adult you may be carrying some type of virus on your hands that you are not even aware of. Never touch a child you are not related to in public and no, asking does not make it okay because that is inappropriate and an invasion of privacy too. If you really feel the need to make some kind of connection smile and wave then move on with your life.

I'm seriously thinking of getting a "no touching" sign for the new babies carrier, not that I'm sure that it would do any good to deter people but that's not going to stop me from trying. I don't care how bitchy and anti-social I seem to the outside world. I'm not going to undermine, my or my sons or new baby's comfort level, personal and space and safety simply to keep a complete stranger happy. My children have the right to be treated as human beings, not performing animals.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Weeks end

Well it's Monday and that means the weekend is over, not that that really means all that much to me yet. I'm a stay at home mother which basically means I get no weekends but pretty soon they'll start to mean something. Adrian (the munchkin) starts school in September. AHHH when the hell did that happen??? Not only him but the hubby is going back to school himself in September, he's going to be a math teacher. With all of that plus a baby on the way things are going to be getting a little busy around here so we're using this summer to get in as much fun family time as we possible can.

Saturday night we watched Warm Bodies (not with the munchkin of course) and I have to say it was officially the best Zombie movie I have ever seen. It wasn't until we got about 1/2 way through it that I realized it was meant to be a take on Romeo and Juliet. I love being able to link a classic work of art or literature with something modern especially when it's not immediately obvious.

Sunday was busy busy busy, getting housework done, getting breakfast, getting to the bank before it closed, dropping off rent, going grocery shopping, getting lunch, and going to the beach before finally crashing back at home for dinner and a marathon of Star Trek (the one with Scott Bakula).

On a personal note I've been reading like crazy, I've finished 4 books in the past week, and I'm trying to find time to get back into meditation. Staying relaxed is good for the baby and all that and for me there's nothing more relaxing then getting lost in meditation, even if it's only for 5 minutes.

So what's going on with you dear readers, any exciting stories of your weekend? What have you read or watched? What do you do to unwind?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy 4th!

Happy belated 4th of July to everyone in America and for everyone else I hope you had an awesome Thursday!

Wednesday I went in for my early detection ultrasound, not really because we're worried but more because I wanted another chance to look at the baby. Well apparently whoever scheduled my appointment goofed and had me come on a week earlier than I needed to. They still did the ultrasound (yay!) and not only that but I go back in a week for another ultrasound! Talk about your happy accidents. Labs were all good, baby looks perfect, and I still haven't gained any weight. All in all I have to say it was a pretty successful appointment.

Yesterday we got to go see some fireworks. I love any good excuse to stay up late laying in the grass with my family but to get a fireworks display on top of it really puts the icing on the cake. The munchkin got spoiled with stuffed animals. Specifically a giant frog, a medium sized red dragon (which I'm a little jealous of I'll admit) and a little sting ray so he was pretty ecstatic. I got to share some fried dough with cinnamon sugar with the hubby which I haven't had in years. All in all it was a pretty perfect two days and it's not even the weekend yet.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

We're Having A Baby!

Not the clearest picture I know but
there's the little gummy bear in all
it's glory
I'm so excited I could bust! We've known for a little over 6 weeks but I wanted to wait until I was almost in my second trimester to go public. Obviously close friends and family know but honestly I was so shocked when I first found out that it just didn't seem real.

We weren't trying for a baby and had actually planned on waiting until my husband graduated from college and we could buy a house. Then one passion filled night without precaution (Beltane in case you were wondering) and surprise, surprise we're expecting!

Munchkin #1 finds the whole thing funny for some reason and keeps asking when they're going to take the baby out of my tummy. We've assured him that the baby will be there for his birthday party and the sweet and wonderful kid actually went through his stuffed animals and picked one out to give to the baby. Sometimes the selflessness of children astounds me. Although he did assure me that he would not be sharing his bunny and Steve. Those are his two bedtime pals.

Anyways you can expect a whole lot of Pagan Pregnancy and Pagan Parenting posts over the months to come. At least until the end of January (that's about the time I'm due) which makes this pregnancy all the more exciting because he or she will be born right around Imbolc, a Sabbat that I absolutely love!

Friday, June 28, 2013

I'm Not Mad At Hollywood

It seems to me there are a lot of Witches out there who get their panties in a bunch every time Pagans or Witches are mentioned in a negative light in Hollywood. Don't get me wrong I have had my moments too. Yelling at this or that documentary for depicting us as silly or crazy and handpicking the cream of the crop nuts to represent us. You know what I'm talking about, some joker in bondage wear and black lipstick named Astaroth talking about sacred energies and the curses he has to protect himself from; sitting in a circle slicing his hand open with all two of his equally ridiculous friends, some black book in his lap in the middle of his moms basement with a million black candles and a red pentacle drawn on the floor.

However this doesn't seem to be what everyone else is getting mad at. They're mad at Paranormal Activity, and Hansel and Gretel, and every other goofy, fictional movie that gets churned out that dares to have a stereotypical representation of the "wicked witch". I get it, it's frustrating, it's insulting, hell it isn't even original but there is a simple solution. Don't go, don't watch, don't contribute. Most of the time these movies aren't that good anyways. I get just as frustrated watching or reading something that depicts us in a less than realistic light but I choose not to devote energy to it, or give it even more publicity by screaming from the rooftops how terrible and insulting it is.

Let's be honest, if we were really that upset about misrepresentation we'd be boycotting shows like Buffy, and Charmed, and The Gates, and The Vampire Diaries or any other show that depicts us as having otherworldly or inhuman powers, or has us interacting with demons, or other fictional characters that aren't represented in our personal faith (Witches of Eastwick anyone.. which I love by the way). It has nothing to do with being upset over misrepresentation.

Just like any other group we don't like things that make us look ugly. The fact however is not everything is beautiful, not everything is sweet, and not all Witch's are good people. We've all met one or two bad apples. If someone is ignorant and pig-headed enough to believe that the stuff they see in these fictional movies is true than they already had a biased opinion in the first place and nothing they could have been told would change that.

So lighten up, have a sense of humor and stop devoting your energy to things that make you unhappy. Better yet take all of that energy and pour it into a force for good, write a novel, or direct your own  film. There are plenty of low-budget, art house, independent films out there, what's stopping you. If you have the energy to get angry you have the energy to get creative. Show the world your vision, who you really believe Pagans to be.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Parenting After A Tragedy

After Sunday I told myself that I had spoken my last piece on the Sandy Hook tragedy and I just couldn't and wouldn't think on it anymore. I grieved for them, I was angry for them, I hugged my son, and I prayed for them. Everyone on facebook posts a message for them at least once a day and I just can't handle it anymore, thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach. Then something happened yesterday that made me more sick.

I have a teenage cousin who was complaining because it now takes her twice as long to get to her lunch room and by the time she gets there lunch is half over due to a rule that everyone is only allowed to enter through the front door. Then someone who goes to school with her commented "Gee thanks, school shooters". They're teenagers, they don't have children of their own and they don't know how to process the violence. I was in 9th grade when the twin towers were struck and as upset as everyone was I just couldn't bring myself to feel the devastation everyone else did. I just didn't see how it affected me. So I get it, I understand their apathy, but it worries me.

I know she's a good kid, and I'm sure her friend is too but I had to stop myself from berating them online and remind myself it's not my place. How dare they bitch about an inconvenient lunch schedule when they're safe, when they get to go home to their families every night. Now it makes me wonder, should we say something? Should we force empathy, and sympathy on them? Should we force them to think outside of their selfish bubble to the world around them? Would it make them better adults if they learned to care more a little earlier? Or should we let them just feel what they feel selfish or not, and develop complex caring emotions in their own time? My son's only a preschooler but one day I'll have to deal with these types of parenting dilemmas. So what are your thoughts, Should sympathy, and empathy be taught, or developed with age and experience?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Saturnalia

I have a lovely little Pagan Calendar app on my phone that tells me all about important Pagan dates. I thought I'd share what it has to say for today and also let you know that this app is free in the google app market.

Summary: Saturnalia
Calendar: Roman
Date: December 17th Every year

Description: Saturnalia is the feast at which the Romans commemorated the dedication of the temple of the god Saturn, which took place on 17 December. Over the years, it expanded to a whole week, up to 23 December. The Saturnalia was a large and important public festival in Rome. It involved the conventional sacrifices, a couch (lectisternium) set out in front of the temple of Saturn and the untying of the ropes that bound the statue of Saturn during the rest of the year. Besides the public rites there were a series of holidays and customs celebrated privately. The celebrations included a school holiday, the making and giving of small presents (saturnalia et sigillaricia) and a special market (sigillaria). Gambling was allowed for all, even slaves; however, although it was officially condoned only during this period, one should not assume that it was rare or much remarked upon during the rest of the year. It was a time to eat, drink, and be merry. The toga was not worn, but rather the synthesis, i.e. colorful, informal "dinner clothes"; and the pileus (freedman's hat) was worn but everyone. Slaves were exempt from punishment, and treated their masters with disrespect. The slaves celebrated a banquet: before, with, or served by the masters. A Saturnalicius princeps was elected master of ceremonies for the proceedings. Saturnalia became one of the most popular Roman festivals which led to more tomfoolery, marked chiefly by having masters and slaves ostensibly switch places. The banquet, for example, would often be prepared by the slaves, and they would prepare their masters' dinner as well. It was license within careful boundaries; it reversed the social order without subverting it. The customary greeting for the occasion is a "io, Saturnalia!" io (pronounced "yo") being a Latin interjection related to "ho" (as in "Ho, praise to Saturn").

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