Monday, November 30, 2015

Raise them to know that there are no gender barriers or roles...

... and they can do anything they want to do in life.
- James Guerry

The day I decided what Witchling's name would be I set her up a gmail account. Now, I realize that maybe it was a little early, I was barely 20 weeks pregnant, but after losing my mother and everything that she'd touched I have become a little manic about making sure Witchling knows as much about me as is safe to share. 

She doesn't need to know about, well... basically anything from age 18 to 22.

I want her to know how I think, what my opinions are on different things, and some of the things I think are important to know. Plus I know me and a baby book just really wasn't going to happen. With the email I can send her thoughts, her accomplishments and milestones, things I want to make sure she knows if I'm not around. So I started a numbered list of things I wanted to make sure she knew, and that's where we come to the point of today's post.

Yesterday I read an article on a mommy site that was a letter from a mother to her daughter detailing all the important things to remember as the girl grew into a woman. I have read several of these lists, and many of them I copied and send to Witchling in her email. This one though? I disagreed mightily with most of the things this woman felt were important. Her list made her seem shallow and bitchy and I certainly did not send Witchling a copy. 

I (politely I swear) disagreed with the author on the mommy blog's Facebook page and replied to some of my Mommy Mafia's comments on the whole thing. Imagine my surprise when the author, her husband, and her friends flooded the comments section with rude and spiteful comments, including one by the illustrious author herself telling the lot of us to fuck off. 


Suddenly the comments were disappearing left and right and we all found ourselves banned. 

Yes dear reader, I have been banned from yet another Facebook page. Apparently I am just not appropriate for public consumption.

So what are some of the things I want my daughter to know?

1. It's always okay to ask for help if you don't know how to do something. It's never okay to make fun of someone who is asking for help when they don't know how to do something. Be patient, and never act like helping someone learn something new, even if it is simple, is a chore or a burden. Always remember that nearly everything you know (including how to poop in the toilet) had to be taught to you by someone. 

2. If you kill people with kindness there is less of a mess to clean up afterwards.You alone are responsible for your thoughts and your actions. How you treat people, doesn't matter if they are good or bad, reflects on YOUR karma, no one else's. 

3. Embrace your past. All of it. Every victory, every defeat, every hurdle, every loss, every joy, every painful mistake, every lesson. If one single thing were different you would not be the person you have become, or the person you are meant to be. 

4. The keys to life are compassion, empathy, and being open-minded. There will be people that do things differently, it's fantastic how many different ways there are to accomplish the same task. There will be people who think that their way is the right way or the only way, don't be one of those people, they are so focused on proving their superiority to others that they miss all the wonderful things those people are doing. Make no mistake, always stand up for yourself and your ideals, but never try to force them upon someone else, it never ends well and everyone loses. 

5. Never be quick to pass judgment, you have no idea what type of day, week, month, year, stress, disability, mental or physical illness, abuse, loss, grief, suffering, etc. that person is going through. 

6. Be kind to those who are unkind to you, but don't let yourself be a doormat. Being kind doesn't have to mean you take what they dish out and ask for seconds. Be kind enough to let them go if they are a bad influence, be kind enough to tell the truth, be kind enough say nothing, be kind enough to let them take responsibility for their own actions. 

7. Know that no one is happy all the time, including you, and that's okay, it makes happiness all the more valuable. Let them/yourself feel their/your feelings, don't dismiss them as trivial or unimportant, there is a reason for those feelings. Don't lose yourself to them though, it's a hard road to come back, and that's experience speaking. 

8. You cannot control how other people act, what they do, or how they treat you. You can only control how you act, what you do, and how you respond to their treatment of you. 

9. Rudeness is NEVER acceptable. Ever. I don't care if you're having the worst day of your life and your entire meal order was wrong, you be polite and use the manners I have every intention of raising you with. 

10. Own nightgowns. Seriously. They are freeing and make you feel a little bit lady-like. 

11. Know there are people you will have to cut ties with, it's okay. It will hurt, and it's hard, but sometimes it's your only option. 

12. Know that sometimes people will cut ties with you, it's okay. It hurts, and it's hard, but have compassion for whatever issue they are working through that makes them feel it's their only option. 

13. Life's hard. You will fail sometimes, but it is only a tragedy if you learn nothing from your failures. No one is perfect, if we were chances are we wouldn't be here. 

That is not all I have, some things are too long, others too personal, but that gives you a good idea of the kind of things I think are important to impart to the next generation. If we spend more time teaching our children to care about everyone, including themselves, we don't have to worry about thinking we need to tell our daughters other women will try to tear her apart. 

Last bit of advice? Wear sunscreen.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Red Cup Drama

We're barely out of the first week of November and already it has begun, the cries of the "persecuted" Christians over the "War on Christmas." What triggered this tirade so early in the season, before we've even been through a well-deserved turkey tryptophan coma? A red cup.

Yup, you read that right.

A little red cup.

Now unless you've been living under a rock for the last couple of days I'm sure you've seen the rant by "preacher" Joshua Feuerstein about how Starbucks has joined the fight against Christmas by removing all of the snowmen, reindeer, snowflakes, and ornaments from the holiday cups they release each year. Never mind they still sell advent calendars and "Christmas blend" coffee, it's the cups that mean war.

So who is this guy that looks so much like the guy from King of Queens I find can no longer watch reruns? Well, turns out he's a sneaky little bugger. I'll let SemDem tell you here or you can watch CultofDusty's video for an idea of the type of person we're dealing with. Overall he seems like a special kind of con-man that preys on prayers, and those are the worst in my book.

Being the mouthy person I am I felt like I needed to comment on his post.
You make me sad. That sounds silly, I recognize that, but it's the truth. You make my heart hurt.
I am not a Christian, I'm completely okay admitting that, but America was built on the idea of religious freedom. I would fight for your right to worship your God just as vehemently as I would fight for my own rights. If I believed there was an actual war on Christians I would stand next to you to help defend you, even though I've been threatened with violence many times by so called "Christians," even though I know you would never stand with me if the roles were reversed. The thing is you are so self absorbed and so sure of your own righteousness that you don't care that you share the holiday season with other faiths. You are so sure that your way is the only way that you are willing to make someone practicing their own faith into a slight against yours. That's not how the world works, that's not how America is supposed to work. You do not have to agree with my religious outlook, you do not have to convert to my faith, you don't even have to like me as a person, all you have to do is accept that I have the same rights, I am an American and free to worship as I wish.
Your war against Starbucks is sad, and I hope that as you fight to keep "Christ" in "Christmas" you behave as if you have "Christ" in your "Christian" heart. I only mention it because the hatred filling up your Facebook pages makes you appear as if you've forgotten His message.
Later, I found out his wife had posted something supporting him on her page, so I went and left this same comment, with a little more added just for her,
I'll share what I posted on your husband's page. I think applies equally here but in a different context. I understand your wish for our country to have laws that reflect your morals as a Christian, but you forget that our nation was founded for all people. We can be a moral nation, a nation that sets out to do the best for its citizens, without being a Christian nation. To try to push your religion onto other people in an area of the country that has always been meant to be secular is disheartening for those of us who feel ourselves called to a different path.
And because it bothers me I'd just like to point out political correctness isn't about limiting your free speech or pandering to those you claim are easily offended. It's about reminding people with a limited, narrow world view that there are so many different, beautiful, wonderful cultures that make up out nation and they deserve the same rights and recognition. 
Now I didn't expect to change their hearts or their minds, people that are angry will always be angry. They seem to look for things to find offensive, but I wanted to see if we could open a dialog, really talk about the situation.

I can hear you laughing.

Josh never replied to my comments, but she did, in a way. She deleted my comments and banned me from posting on her page.

Yup. One more Facebook page to add to the banned list.

I feel sorry for her. How insecure you do you have to be in your own faith that you have to not only delete comments with opposing viewpoints but outright ban the person from commenting again. I can see if I had been hateful, rude, tactless, or ugly, but I really tried to be polite and respectful. She didn't have to comment back, she didn't have to leave my comment posted, and she had every right to ban me for absolutely no reason. It's Facebook, it is not that serious. I'm not mad about it, I just find it funny and a little sad.

It makes me sad that the Christians that seem the most vocal are people like Josh, shouting into a phone camera and spewing rage and lies, people like my VPCP dad and step-mom filling their Facebook wall with hate and bigotry, or people that have disproportionately angry reactions to anyone that dares tell them "Happy Holidays."

Not all Christians are hateful. Not all Christians are close minded bigots. Not all Christians are incapable of realizing they share the world with other people, other cultures, other faiths, and that that's okay.

Not all Christians are assholes, and as we get closer to the 8th level of hell that is the holiday season I will endeavor to remind myself of that fact.