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Archive for March, 2008

Though I’m not especially religious now, I was raised all-American Christian. I searched for Easter eggs under bushes in April, giggled with delight at my stuffed stocking on Christmas morning, and ate good BBQ on the 4th of July. These are good traditions. Right?

Whenever I hang out with friends from a different country, whether European or Southeast Asian, I love hearing about their family traditions. And, for some reason, I always feel a little shallow, like they have richer, thicker traditions– events and activities that truly mean something. Something more than a box of chocolate (yum!) or gifts, gifts, gifts.

However, I find myself raising my children with the same traditions I wastree.jpeg raised with (of course!), even though it feels quite thoughtless and meaningless to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good egg hunt (but I won’t, no matter how much they beg, go to the mall to sit on the Easter Bunnies lap), and I love how Christmas brings the family together. But I want more for them. I want to infuse meaning into tradition without the religion that I was raised with but can no longer sincerely pass on to them. How do you do that?

This is an idea that I have: It isn’t so much a tradition as a regular activity that I hope will influence they way my children grow up thinking. When they get a little older, I think I’m going to have an RRR chart. For every time they Reduce consumption, they get 3 “points”, for every time they Re-Use, they get 2 “points”, and for every time they Recycle, they get 1 “point”. Then, whoever has the most points by the end of the week gets to pick their favorite food for dinner.

I have heard of another idea that I like. A family has a special plate, and every evening at dinner, the special plate gets rotated around the table to a new person. Family members then say one good thing the special plate person did that day. Warm fuzzies via special plates.

I share these ideas because I am searching for meaningful traditions for my family, and would love to hear about more from others. Tradition begins now.

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Sunshine is in kindergarten and is just beginning to get really excited about writing and reading. Every day she comes home with another book she wrote or a card she wrote for me. It is so exciting to see this development. I mean, this is going to change her life! I remember (and am reminded with my two younger ones) each developmental step and how bittersweet they are: peeing on a potty the first time, moving from the crib to a bed, getting dressed by herself, her fist day of kindergarten, and first wiggly tooth. I’m always so proud, but the feelings are tinged with sadness.

But reading and writing is just plain exciting. I got to experience my first bed time tonight of her reading me a book, however slowly, instead of me reading her one. She gets such joy from being able to understand the words. Equally as cool is reading her words, seeing them as she hears them and tries to figure out how to spell them.

Speaking of which, I will leave you with this puzzler. Let me know if you can decipher my kindergartener’s code.

tiernan.jpg

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At the risk of sounding like I have swallowed all the stay home mommy pills in the jar, I have to talk about the Tyra Banks Show. (At least I’m not at home ironing hubby’s clothes while children run and scream around my legs while watching daytime TV. Even better, I left the kids home with hubby, who also doesn’t iron his clothes– or mine, for that matter. No ironing happening here, for anyone, thank you.) ANYWAY, children with hubby, I went to the gym, jumped slothed myself onto the treadmill, plugged myself into the TV, and there was Tyra.

First of all, WTF? I though Tyra was a model that bashed want-to-be models. Now she has a talk show? Go girl. I wish I that sort of hutspa. But does she have any children? So there is Tyra, all healthy are real looking, on the TV applying light pink lip gloss to some woman with her maybe 10 year old daughter standing next to her. Hmmm. I’m interested enough to not change the channel for another minute. (Dirty Dancing is on the movie channel!)

So there is this woman, wearing a red dress with a wide black belt, hair all done up, and light pink lip gloss on. Tyra turns to the little girl, and says, “What do you think of your mommy now. Doesn’t she look so much better?” My jaw hits the ground. The little girl says, “Yes, she looks so much better. Now I’m not embarrassed to be with her anymore.” And she starts CRYING. Okay? So, if this is staged, than that’s effed up. If it’s not staged, that is even more effed up.

Don’t get me wrong, my daughter is only six, and I could totally see her (though certainly not on a stage in front of a kazillion people) saying how beautiful I looked, and maybe even crying– if I were wearing sparkly earings. BUT, to promote the idea to your child that it takes a red dress with high heels (hello! never going to wear these bad boys to a play date!) and light pink lip gloss to make a woman beautiful is sick!

In my humble opinion.

Really, aren’t we pass that?

If Tyra wants to tell all us mommies how to look younger, more beautiful, more model-like, then fine. Bring it on. But to include the whole I’m-not-good-enough-for-my-daughter-because-I-wear-teddy-bear-sweaters, bad jeans, and loafers thing is just weird and wrong.

So that is my daytime TV rant. May it never have to happen again.

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