Blogs

Jackie VanCampen
On December 11, 2011, my 13-year old daughter will be embarking on a journey that may forever change her life. As she steps forward and jumps off that cliff, her wings will open and she will take flight.

From afar I will be watching to see how much of my guidance she has absorbed up to this point. And from afar I will continue to do my best to guide her, letting go of the attachment of how it should all be.

My 13-year old is embarking on a journey of new discoveries, new relationships, new culture, new country, and new life style. As she chooses to make this move, a part of me just wants to hold on tight and embrace her with the strength of a mother bear, not wanting to let go of her cub. Then there’s the spiritual, wise side of me that knows I need to let her go and allow her the opportunity to create the most special relationship with her father who loves her just as much.

Tonight as I tucked her in and caressed her back, like I have done almost every night for the last thirteen years, I became deeply present to how much I am going to miss her. How much her sisters and stepdad are going to miss her, and how much her friends, grandparents, uncles, and aunts will miss her as well. We will all have our own emotions and opinions to deal with, and yet, we will come to appreciate how much she has changed our lives.

Will this move be a long one? We will have to wait and see. Someone had asked me the question, what if she decided to stay and make her life there? That’s something I will have to deal with if it comes to pass. For now, I’m just focused on making this transition graceful and somewhat easy for her and for everyone else whose lives will be deeply impacted by this change. As for me, I will probably be crying every time I hear Adele’s Someone Like You or Nikki Minaj’s Super Bass, and every time I see a soccer game, a friend of hers, when her sisters ask about her, or when I enter her room.

Life will be very different and I trust that distance will bring us closer together. Thank goodness for Skype!
Tara Kennedy-Kline
At the shock and amazement of my teen aged neighbor, I admitted it: “I did NOT own a pair of heels until I was 17 years old”. When I told her this tale of woe, all she could muster was a horrified, WHY?!

I’ll tell you why! Because MY PARENTS WOULDN’T BUY THEM FOR ME!!!!

Heels were, in my parent’s opinion, for grown women and “dancers”. And I was neither. Therefore, since I didn’t have an income or means to get to the store by myself…I was kind of relegated to my parent’s final word on my wardrobe.

I’m sure if she were alive today there would have been some additions to Mom’s list of "things decent children do not wear", things like Short Shorts with the word “Juicy” written across the bottom, g-strings, see through blouses and push up bras, jeans with holes ripped in them BEFORE you buy them (particularly if the hole allows the entire butt cheek to hang out) and pants that fall down around the ankles…

It wouldn’t have even been an issue of us seeing things in the store and Mom giving in, you know why? Because Mom had the wallet and the car and the AUTHORITY to say no!

But before you start picturing Ma Walton here, understand that my mom was no pilgrim. She was a trendy, chic, sexy, fashion conscious woman who just happened to understand the difference between adults and children, even as it related to clothing.

But the best part is, our parent’s rules and views influenced our opinions and desires as kids too…imagine that! When I was a young girl hanging out at the mall or the pool, if one of the other girls would walk in with torn off jean shorts that showed her buttcheeks, the first thing the rest of us would think was “awwww, that poor girl needs a nice new pair of shorts”. If a classmate walked up to us with a push up bra on (in our day it would have been “stuffed”) we would have pretended to sneeze and ask for a tissue and then tell her to get over herself and be natural.

I don’t understand what has happened to our world. Where have all the adults gone? We need to find them…and when we do, they could start a movement that would be so incredibly powerful that it would wipe these pedophile fashionistas and lude, crude clothing lines for kids right off the planet! They could call this concept “authority” and any adult could use it!

All we would have to do is say “I don’t approve of that item and I am not willing to spend money on it.” And that would have to be the end of it. Because chances are, a 7 year old isn’t going to go out and get a job to pay for that push up bra…and if she tried to get a job, an adult would have to hire her.

So here's my campaign: I’ll step up…I’ll lead the quest for Adult Authority! My promise to you is this: When I see a parent at the store with their crying preschoolers who is begging for a corsette, or whining tweenager who is having a tantrum over "juicy" daisy dukes, I’ll be the whisper in your ear that says "you can beat this! You are the ADULT...don't give in." I'll even give you a tissue and a pat on the back.

If we use our power of authority for the good of our children, we can all sleep well knowing that justice has been served and one more little girl has been saved from the evils of the uberwedgie and the burdon of an underwire and our boys can finally say NO to butt crack!
Adam Dolgin
Now, take a deep breath, calm your mind, and listen to the story I am about to tell. It's about a little girl, only a few months old, who has been kidnapped and taken to the parking lot of a nearby mall. The kidnappers, two women in their late twenties/early thirties, drunk on power, unable to listen to reason, drag this little girl from the backseat of a minivan in to the mall. Inside, they make her do unspeakable things - they take her to a shoe store; a cosmetics counter; they even make her watch as they try on dresses... for fun. And then, if they hadn't destroyed enough of her innocence already, they inflict their final insult; their most heinous of horrific acts; their most evil of underhanded atrocities- they get her ears pierced...



Now imagine a little girl covered in the stench of THEIR rubbing alcohol, her EARLOBES covered in her BLOOD, and her face streaming, raining droplets of her own tears. Can you see it- her quivering lip holding back the screams? Can you see it- her blood red face holding back the tears? Can you see it? Can you see her face- this little girl covered in blood, and tears, and well-meaning intentions? Can you see her? Now imagine she's YOUR daughter...


(I love that movie)!


Gentlemen, where I come from, when a man puts his foot down his wife listens- or at least humors him. It's time to Fodder Up! Today's topic: allowing your wife to pierce your Baby's sensitive little ears. You may not win this battle, but at least you can educate yourself so you know what you're getting yourself, and your baby, in to.


Pros and Cons of Infant Ear Piercing:


You know why you don't want your wife to pierce your babies earlobes, but like most guys, so far, you're losing the war. My suggestion: fight fire with fire (in other words, let a woman, or a website for women, talk her out of it).

* http://www.livestrong.com/article/29589-pros-cons-pierced-ears/
* http://www.steadyhealth.com/articles/Ear_Piercing_by_infants__Pros_and_cons_a27 2.html
* http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1378848/should_you_pierce_your_babys_ears.html


The Debates:


Yes. There's no point in explaining your thoughts on the matter to your determined spouse. It will fall on deaf (pierced) ears. So, if the pros and cons don't seem to do the trick, a good debate never hurts...

* http://debatewise.org/debates/100-should-baby-ear-piercing-be-banned
* http://www.babyzone.com/baby/nurturing/photos_pierce_baby_ears
* http://www.mypregnancybaby.com/ear-piercing-babies/

The Video:


Like a desperate man trying to pluck at the heartstrings of the women that he loves, when all else fails... cry like a baby. If you're lucky, your wife will be so embarrassed that she'll drag both you and your child out of the salon and you will live to fight another day.

Video: (To Show Your Wife)

* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRtRgJv4bKg&feature=related
* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=822wLxXW48c&feature=related
* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9mC_yyJYRQ&feature=related

Gentlemen, good luck! You'll need it...
Tara Kennedy-Kline
I was NOT a very "tiny" pregnant woman...I'm talking rest the plate on your belly to eat (standing up) kind of big. People had a lot of fun with it, except for my husband who thought it was ridiculous, and I rather enjoyed that time myself. It was truly a ton of fun having the attention and service of everyone who crossed your path. People would literally go out of their way to help me while I was growing my kids INSIDE my body; and I guess you could say that was where the delusion of "The Village" of parents began for me.
Chris and I looked very young for our age back then ( I swear, once you have kids, you begin to age in dog years) So when we would take our babies out in public, many times we would get the "angry eyes" stares, the all too common "tisk, tisk, tisk" as we pushed our baby stroller through the mall. Occasionally we would even hear groups of people (mostly women) express their inappropriate judgments out loud for all to hear. "Babies having babies! That's the problem with the world today! And OUR taxes are paying for it!" Keep in mind...I was 28! Certainly no baby!
What made it even harder for me was the obvious lack of support due to my assumed age. Heaven forbid I would leave my baby cry for 2 minutes while I looked for a place to sit down and feed him while pushing a stroller, searching a diaper bag for a blanket and juggling the bags of stuff I had bought. And don't even THINK about asking someone for help! One woman literally told me "You should have realized how hard this would be before you got knocked up!"
And that's where I began to realize, The Village doesn't exist anymore.
Still, my dream of support and a "sisterhood of mothers' wouldn't die completely, yet. It continued throughout my boy’s toddler and preschool years. I would join mom's clubs only to find that "play date" would have been more appropriately titled "bitch session" and trips to the playground were more like WWF competitions where everyone was picking on each other and fighting for control over the sandbox...and I'm not talking about the kids!
I guess I had an unrealistic vision of what this was all supposed to look like...I believed that things were like they used to be when I was little. If my mom had to use the restroom, or change a siblings diaper, or wash sand out of someone's eyes...the other mothers were right there to lend a hand. They would just step in and take over...it was seamless and it was acceptable...and it worked! So when did everyone become so against it?
Once my boys reached school age, I thought things would have to get better, right? If nothing else, there's always school spirit and a sense of community within a school district. At least that's how it was on TV and in the movies...so I just felt it THAT is where I would find my Village.
So I joined the PTA! That's where the REAL motherhood congregates...in my dreams we would plan dances and book sales, we would have Sunday brunches where we would plan field trips and count box tops. We would offer each other unconditional support and advice and it would be everything I dreamed of through those lonely pre-school years. Yeah.....no. Enough said.
That was the last straw...My dreams were officially dashed. I decided then and there that someone had nuked any villages that existed when I was a kid and there was no chance of rebuilding because the foundation was destroyed. So I holed myself up in my own little world and became "cordial mom". You know who I am. I'm the one who will do what you need me to do if it makes things better for the kids, I spend the whole time interacting with the kids...and then I go home.
It's not that I'm being rude; I just don't have time for anything else. I don't have time for girl chat at the playground because I'm too busy driving to stuff since no one car pools anymore. I don't have time to stay and help clean up after the assembly because I have to be home for my kindergartener to get off the bus because there are no block parents anymore. I won't be coming to your moms club meetings because I'm too tired of chasing my kids around making sure they don't do anything "wrong" and I have better things to do than judge the parenting of every other mom who's not there.
But more importantly, I'm really busy with reconstruction right now...
I've decided to rebuild The Village. I've taken a stand for the sisterhood...
So if your kid falls off his chair, and your hands are full...I'll help him up, sister.
If your baby drops his bottle and your on the phone and don't notice...oops! I'll get that for you sister.
If you need someone to sit by the pool and watch your child while you go change another one's blow-out diaper...take your time! I'm not going anywhere sister!
I'm here to offer a hand when you're struggling, suggestions without judgment when you ask and support when you need it. 'Cuz that's how sisters roll in My "Village".
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