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    Not Today





    If I look I'm not sure that I could face you.
    Not again. not today. not today…

     

    September 11th. So much changed in these twelve years, and yet… here we are standing - again - on the brink of more war. This knot in my stomach - stubbornly unforgetful when the calendar turns to 9-11 - I can't help but think back.

     

    I want this day to pass peacefully; I want that my children will never experience a day like that day.

     

    Love & peace, for those taken on that day, and those left behind.

     

    video: REM - Final Straw

    …love will be my strongest weapon.
    I do believe that I am not alone.
    For this fear will not destroy me.

    ~REM

     

     

    Posted: Sep 10 2013, 23:58 by kelly | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |
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    A Good Childhood





    Parenting is like finally getting big enough to be the boss of the playground. Only, no one can agree on which game to play, and someone always ends up with a scraped knee or the wind knocked out of them. And when it's time to run home - tired, hungry, cold, at the end of the day - there's no one there to make the hot cocoa. Except you.

     

    So you do it. Because you should. But maybe more because you want be certain the deposits going into those tiny memory banks in our charge - each day, each MOMENT of experiences - are mostly the good kind. Shiny coins. Memories they'll want to revisit years from now.

     

    Because you know - even when it frightens you to think about it - children are ALWAYS WATCHING and ALWAYS LEARNING. No pressure, Mom, Dad. It's only childhood.

     

    Childhood. In running through this redux of childhood we are gifted with as parents, I've made mistakes. I've wrestled endlessly with my own childhood. I've bitten back words nearly said to my kids; words that WERE said to me in childhood, that I've heard so loudly in my brain at essential trying parenting moments I have to pause and look around a moment to be sure I was actually successful in the biting. The sharp echoes of these words said - and unsaid are a reminder. To be aware. Mindful of not clobbering my children with my own childhood. They have the right to their own experience and don't need my hair shirt.

     

    It's one of the most difficult parts of parenting -  shedding that rough sweater of negative childhood experience in order that you don't pass that insufferable legacy along to your kids.

     

    That sweater. Most of the time, in spite of my best efforts to remove it, it somehow manages to remain tied to me. Sometimes tight - though I can work at the knot enough to loosen it, yet, I know it's still there… ready to resume scratching should I hit a snag in this parenting gig. An ever-present repugnant irritant. Yet, I don't always mind it. See… it pushes me onwards  - to keep working and evolving in an effort to free myself - so that my children don't end up lugging around a sweater of their own.

     

    Again, no pressure.

     

    But in all of my imperfection, misnavigation, and sweater-wrangling, my children still cling to me. Though they push me away stormily, run from me with fierce speed, throw their cruddiest words at me, they also run to me - gushing with love, forgiveness, joy, expectation. They follow me when I lead, believe me when I speak, even if I don't know just where I'm going. They move me on.

     

    And then. They inadvertently demonstrate something I've been trying desperately to teach; they give me confidence that I'm sailing this ship rightly, and the knot around my middle loosens even more. I breathe and hear the clink of another shiny coin. A growing reflection in my child's eye of a good childhood

     

    When our children can pass on a legacy of content, satisfaction, and joy to their own children - without struggling to find that within themselves - I'll know that I did okay. 

    Posted: Feb 28 2013, 14:22 by kelly | Comments (5) RSS comment feed |
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    Breastfeeding in Public - Madonna Style!





    I’m a long-time fan of Madonna. In the 80's, I'm pretty sure I wanted to BE the queen of pop. The first outfit I bought with my own money? White roll-down mini skirt with grommets, and orange shirt with roll-up mesh sleeves. One of the very first CDs I owned was the soundtrack to Dick Tracy (please don't tell any of this to my indie-alterna-grunge self of the 90's, she might die a little bit). Anyhow, Madonna’s already a legend in my book: independent, self-assured, ambitious, spirited, doesn't give a hoot about what anyone thinks of her. So, where's this post going, you ask?

    Well, her new album is being released in a couple of days, so I decided to check out the video for the first single, to get a taste of where her music has gone this time and... jaw drop. Because?

    Breastfeeding. Madonna, breastfeeding. In her video! "Squeeeeeeee!!", says the lactivist in me.  

    Now yes, okay, it's not a REAL baby, and yeah, she tosses the baby like a football at the end, and alright, the song isn't that great, nor is the rest of the video (though, dang, her legs look fabulous!), but still, all that aside, there is Madonna in the video, not once, but TWICE, breastfeeding "in public". So, Madonna. I still think you rock; but even more so now.

    If you want to see the video for yourself... 

    Posted: Mar 21 2012, 22:18 by kelly | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |
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    Thirty-Six





    When I was born, Gerald Ford was president. John Denver, James Taylor, Barry Manilow, and the Bee Gees were standards on the radio. A gallon of gas cost $.44. [Feel free to pick your jaw up off of the floor now. I can wait.] The Vietnam War officially ended. Jaws was the most popular film of the year. The VHS tape (now obsolete) was introduced and Bill Gates created Microsoft.

    Me. Today. On my 36th Birthday
    Turning thirty-six insists that I’ve officially moved into the “next age bracket”. This means that when I fill out forms, I’m no longer grouped in with the 20-somethings (see Wiki: US Census - Middle Age). I’m starting to be called Ma’am instead of Miss. The gray hairs which I’ve been sporting for the last 10 years are starting to accumulate (which, to be frank, I actually like, and am doing nothing about, so take that, Time). The “oldies” station on the radio plays 80’s music now. But I’m not complaining; I loved eighties music.
    This year was awesome. I started running. Back on April 12th, I got up off my bum, and got on the treadmill. (I only lasted about ¼ mile). I got up the next day and did it again (& the next day...). Next week, (almost exactly 6 months after starting running), I will be running a 10k event! I’m feeling healthier than I have in a long time. I’m reading much more often again. I travelled a lot this year with my family. I’m writing on my blog with greater frequency (and I think people might actually be reading it? Anyone? Anyone? Beuller…). Adam and I have gone to see real movies in the theatre recently. AND? I started back roller skating! So my 36th year was a darned good one.
    But, here’s the thing. I’ve noticed that my hollywood contemporaries are aging, and… I don’t recognize the new ones. The 20-somethings of the world look so young to me. The teenagers I see in are babies. Heck, my own children will BOTH be teenagers in less than 6 years. What…WHAT?! Jane’s Addiction is about to release a new album and I remember when their first one came out. My friend from college said about the new album, “I may have to get that for my Geriatric Lollapalooza mix”. Which… Exactly. (Sigh.) See, Kurt Cobain has been nearly 20 years gone, but when I listen to Nevermind, it sounds fresh to me! Time is passing, things are aging, but I’m still feeling young, and my memories of youth are still bright.
    I don’t have a problem with aging, really (really, really). Age really is just a number, blah-di-blah. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit the passing of time weirds me out just a little. My kids (no longer babies) have never not known a cell phone (my youngest hasn’t ever not known a smart phone), and have no idea what it’s like to carry change around for a payphone. What’s a payphone, Mom? We sold the last of our VHS tapes at a garage sale this year, and we converted our CD collection to digital six years ago. My mother’s generation? They went to the moon. My generation? They’ve discontinued NASA and downgraded Pluto from planet status. Time passes, things change, time continues on, etc., etc....
    I’ve got a lot of time left. (89 years, actually, since I plan on seeing the next century.) So I guess I’d better get used the fact that my kids are currently better on computers than I was in high school. It’s just the way it is. I embrace the passing of time as each moment shows me something new. So, hello middle age (ha!)… what can you show me?
    Posted: Oct 07 2011, 15:22 by kelly | Comments (5) RSS comment feed |
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    Deep Peace





    On this September 11th, I wish deep peace to everyone on our earth.

    Libera singing one of my favorite sacred chorale songs (it's beautiful, take a moment to listen):



    Deep peace of the running wave to you
    Deep peace of the flowing air to you
    Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
    Deep peace of the shining stars to you
    Deep peace of the gentle night to you
    Moon and stars pour their healing light on you
    Deep peace of Christ the light of the world to you
    Deep peace of Christ to you

    ~Gaelic Blessing (John Rutter)

    Posted: Sep 11 2011, 20:34 by kelly | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |
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