Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hubby's Crackberry

If there were ever two polar opposites, it's me and my husband, Blair.

When our twelve-year-old television broke down and died last month, I jumped for joy because we were rid of the television. He jumped for joy because he was finally going to get an updated version (after a few weeks, I finally gave in. There were six boys at the house and no video games--what a horror!)

I still have to be shown how to save a file on the computer. He does video and audio editing, and can talk "geek speak" like nobody's business.

I love nature. He loves technology.

It's like the country mouse and the city mouse fell in love and had seven little mice!!

So, maybe it's just me, but I find his strange addiction to his blackberry (or as it is more commonly refered to as "crackberry") strange and disturbing. He's always receiving messages, delivering messages, texting, or chatting. Is it just me or is it necessary to constantly remain connected? I think the more connection we have with the outside world, the more disconnect we have within. The more we stress the need to constantly communicate with others, the fewer opportunities we have to communicate with ourselves. But, like I said, maybe it's just me. That's why I wanted to post this. What do you think? Are people today too "connected?"

Of course, in his defense, he does keep up with my schedule and get me where I need to be when I need to be there. If it were up to me, I would still be happily writing in my legal pads with my black and white television with the rabbit ear antennae collecting dust in the corner.

Let me know what you think!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Who knows best??

My daughter, Klara, has been begging me to take dance lesson. She will be turning four in a couple of weeks, so I finally gave in. She started taking dance lessons last week, and is in hog heaven!! However, I can't help but get a bit irked as a mom sitting out in the lobby.

There are always some moms who try to get their kids involved in activities before they are emotionally ready, and, of course, some of those kids are in Klara's dance class. I've seen them games, story time, art class. Our society constantly drives it into our heads that the sooner our kids get out of our arms and into organized activities, the better. Not true. After going down this road several times with several of my kids, I have finally learned that our children will let us know when they are ready. Before then, we are just making our children and ourselves miserable for nothing. Who needs to add more stress to their lives??

I was talking with one of the moms at Klara's dance class. Her child was crying and beating on the door trying to get to her mom. Her mom, obviously frustrated, finally got her daughter and mumbled, "I don't know why I let my sister guilt me into doing this!"
I commented, "Guilt? You listened to guilt? Nothing good can come out of that!" Meanwhile, my 14-year-old daughter, Kelsey, was trying hard to shrink into the chair and disappear (she knows me very well).
She explained that her sister made her feel guilty that her 3-yr-old daughter was not involved in anything. I asked her who knew her daughter better, her or her sister? Motherhood is one of those jobs in which it can be very tempting to listen to the "experts" instead of your gut. I don't consider myself an expert, even though I have been labeled that on several occasion. I am always learning. Every day holds a new lesson. But I know who the best teacher is--the spirit within me.

Listen up to that "ancient mother" voice inside. She knows best. After you listen to her, then listen to your children. They have a lot to teach us as well. But when it all comes down to it, the soccer gear is stashed away, and the tutus are stuffed in the dress-up clothes bin, remember this--you are your own expert.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Kids and Coffee...what do you think?

As most of you know, I'm pretty much a health nut. Fortunately for me, there has been a lot of good news recently about coffee--antioxidants galore! I love coffee, and I've always had the philosophy that enjoying coffee every now and then is fine. The problem with coffee is that if you need it more than you want it, then you're looking at an addiction.

But what about kids and coffee? I started thinking about this topic is today when we enjoyed a family outing at the park. My 11-year-old son, Kyler, came up to me and said, "Mom, could you hold my white chocolate mocha so I could go down the slide?'

The incongruency of it all made me laugh. Here was my kid with one foot in the adult world sipping a mocha and the other foot in childhood wanting to play at the park. Every now and then, I will let my tweens and teens enjoy a cup of coffee. Like their mom, they LOVE the stuff! The rule is they can't have more than three cups in a week, so there is no danger of developing an addiction (and no matter how you want to put it, needing caffeine is an addiction).

But I want to hear what you think. Do you drink coffee? Do you let your kids enjoy coffee? What's the scoop? Let me know!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Kid Nation? Crazy Nation!

Sorry, but I won't stoop to watching "Kid Nation." The idea of it goes against every fiber in my being. You see, I'm still from the old school of thought that believes that kids are supposed to have a guide in life, a wise sage to help them navigate life's waters. But that's me, not Hollywood.

Kids are not meant to be entertainment. Just like it nauseates me to see a parent belittle a child to get people to laugh, it makes me sick thinking that our nation has stooped to putting children in a setting without supervision to get television ratings. Children are a gift to be cared for and nurtured. They are sweet spirits, meant to be protected and gaurded. What would make anyone believe that it was right or good, or for that fact, entertaining, to take away supervision? And who are these parents that would go along with it?? I won't even let my teenager go to the mall alone!

Actually, unsupervised kids is not a new concept. I see little kids alone at the bus stop when I go out in the morning to exercise. They come home to empty houses after school. Tweens and teens are constantly hanging out together without any adults in sight. Personally, I have had to be the "bad guy" on several occasions when I refused to let my older kids be dropped off someplace with friends. Why is this nation obsessed with pushing our kids out of the nest?

We are parents for a reason, and having children is a huge responsibility--not just when they are tiny babies, but through the whole childhood process, going into the tween and teen years. Actually, this is often a chapter of life when they need parental supervision the most. Just because we live in a society that condones a nation of unsupervised kids, doesn't mean that we need to go along with the deception.

Children need us. That's why we are the parents and they are the kids. And it's not always to keep them out of trouble. Think bigger and broader. Children need us to help them make wise choices. They need us to talk with them about everything, and about nothing. They need our voice and, even more importantly, our ears. And every now and then, a window will open in their hearts, just wide enough to let in a moral truth. We need to be there when this happens.

Forget about a television show. We're already becoming a nation without adult supervision! And if anything is ever going to change, it's going to start in the home.