Category Archives: About Parenting…

Don’t Un-Friend. Stand Together!

There’s a lot of chitter-chatter online about the protests that are breaking out in many major cities across our vast nation. And, I’ll admit, burning flags does seem a tad extreme… not to mention the “Not My President” signs. After all, Trump won fair and square, right?!

Love Trumps Hate, San Francisco Pride Parade 2016

For those of us who didn’t vote for Trump, we are still licking our wounds and pulling our jaws up from the astonishment that a person in America could use the type of hate language he used and still be supported by half of our country.

Half.

Another whole article will be written about how the Dems didn’t do their jobs to earn the mid-America vote. The message has been received and things must change. We hear you loud and clear. For today, I’m focused on something else…

I have friends, good friends, who are Trump supporters. I sincerely pray that this issue will not divide the love and relationships we share. I don’t want to be un-friended. These people have been by my side through health issues, financial issues, family struggles… they show up to events for my kids, attend milestone celebrations, and are a safe and loving community. Simply stated, I want to grow old laughing and cutting it up just like we’ve done for many years.

hires

I’m trying really hard not to succumb to pack mentality. I know that participating in a losing battle of “we vs. they” will end badly for everyone. There has to be common ground. And pretending nothing is happening and avoiding the elephant in the room isn’t going to do anyone any good.

There’s so much to consider. Let’s face it, a blog post is too short to attempt any great feat. So, I’ll focus on two issues that have pulled at my heartstrings today.

First, our children have seen a man elected as President who said horrific things about almost every minority group. Unapologetically. We are told that we shouldn’t be upset about the Trump comments and how they affect our children because we can’t rely on the government to raise our kids.

Second, the protests. Are the protestors overreacting? “Eventually, they’ll have to stand down, right? I mean, how bad can it be?!” This has become the question of the day.

Regarding the kids… It’s true, our government cannot be held responsible for raising our children. It’s up to us to raise our kids and teach them right from wrong. That being said, when the newly elected leader of the most powerful country in the world is not held to task over his comments (we all know what they were) it shows our children that it’s ok to make fun of groups of people who are different (and perceived less) than us.

Freedom of speech concept

By taking no action, we become bullying bystanders like the kids on the playground who didn’t throw rocks but watched the whole thing happen. Not acceptable. Because it’s our responsibility to raise our kids WE MUST STAND UP AGAINST THE HATE RHETORIC whether it’s about Mexicans, Muslims, Fat People, Women, African Americans, LGBT, Special Needs, or any other segment of human beings who are different from us.

History teaches us that bad things happen if we don’t speak up for those who are pushed to the margins.

Living in a place of BOTH/AND is the only safe space…

Our government cannot raise our kids AND we have a responsibility to call out unacceptable and dangerous comments and actions when we know they are happening. Turning a blind eye on what we watched unfold is not an acceptable go-forward strategy.

As the days, weeks, and months unfold, please consider listening with a close ear to the words spoken by the leaders of our county. Whether or not you voted for Trump, we can agree to stand up and speak out against hate rhetoric. Our children are watching and are learning, from us, how to play in the sandbox.

Now, on to the protests…

These aren’t just small groups of confused individuals without a real cause. These are citizens who represent the other half of America who fear that a Trump presidency will impact their freedom of speech; equal pay for equal work; women’s health rights; environmental issues; LGBT; and basic human rights for every race, gender, and religion at the collective table of the United States of America.

Trump promised to be President to all people. However, before tossing the protesting out as malarkey, please consider what Donald J. Trump did within a week of the election…

He appointed a known white supremacist and leader of the alt-right movement, Steve Bannon, to be his chief strategist and senior counselor. Don’t take my word for it, please research it for yourself:

Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/11/13/trump-to-name-priebus-chief-staff-bannon-senior-counselor.html

NPR: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/11/13/501937200/trump-taps-reince-priebus-as-chief-of-staff-steve-bannon-as-chief-strategist

Think Progress: https://thinkprogress.org/trump-chief-strategist-ad23b5c166f6#.3z28yr5at

If you are still reading… Thanks for not giving up on me yet.

WHY WOULD A HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL NEWLY-ELECTED PRESIDENT-ELECT MAKE THIS ANNOUNCEMENT WITHIN ONE WEEK OF HIS ELECTION?

What message is this sending?

Can you see now why there is protesting in the streets, folks? The fear is real. When people of color and diverse backgrounds hear that a white supremacist has been appointed, their fears become a reality. This is scary. Whether or not you voted for Trump is no longer the issue. And, we cannot be bystanders and simply watch hate unfold.

Please try to understand why people are gathering to collectively share their concerns in a public forum. Public demonstration has lead to many great changes over the course of our American history, and folks are acting within their constitutional right to let their opinions be known. (Granted, there is a huge difference between peaceful protest and dangerous rioting. The latter is unacceptable and should not be tolerated or encouraged. At the time of this writing, riots were the exception, not the norm.)

Please pay attention to what is going on in Trump’s cabinet and let your representatives know that this is an atrocity. At this point, he is actually fueling the anger and legitimizing the fear that so many in our country are taking to the streets in protest.

Good people on all sides of the political spectrum must find common ground. We can debate guns and abortion later… but for today, I think we can agree that we must take a stand against hate and let our collective concerns be known.

Standing up for unity in a divided nation.

Don't boo. Vote.

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© 2016, The Musing Maven, all rights reserved.

Our Kids Are Watching At Christmas

Claire Davis. Another victim in a senseless shooting…

Our heart breaks as we ponder what the family is experiencing during this difficult time. Amidst loss and pain, they are forced into funeral preparations just days before Christmas. Packages are now filled with haunting memories that will, no doubt, resurface every Christmas for the rest of their lives. No amount of tinsel and holly will masque this grim reality.

As bystanders, questions resonate into our collective consciousness: Who could do this? What was the shooter thinking? Why did he do it? How could such an atrocity take place? Could this have been avoided?

Unfortunately, no amount of rationalizing, judging or questioning will bring Claire Davis back.

Our community is paralyzed by another act of violence. There’s no way to make sense out of the senseless. A young, beautiful, vibrant, caring, smart and thriving flame blown out. Extinguished. Vanished.

Flame

And yet, Claire Davis leaves a reminder that in a world of perceived darkness, hatred, fear and loss – there is a beauty, peace, love and kindness. In the midst of grim stories making headlines, it’s touching to see a community, nation and world rally and send love to Claire’s family during this horrific time.

The Davis family has taken a huge blow, and yet they released a statement of appreciation for the heart-warming embrace from those near and far. While they mourn, they feel an overwhelming sense of love. That part of the story is beautiful.

According to what I’ve read, the shooter snapped as a result of being ousted by the high school debate team. Evidently, he decided the best way to cope was to go all G.I. Joe one afternoon.

I guess my takeaway, if there is one, is to do an internal audit in my life. Am I teaching my kids how to deal with adversity? Do they realize that they won’t always receive a medal for simply participating? Will they be able to cope if they are demoted or fired? Will they have the tenacity and work ethic to push through hard times at college, work, marriage, parenting and life in general?

As parents, we have a limited time to teach these lessons. For the Davis family, that time was cut short.

I believe that everyone is capable of snapping at some level. For that reason, it is so important that we share our hearts authentically with our kids. We must teach them that it’s okay to fail. We must love them even when their dark sides rear their ugly heads. We must teach them that light always shines after darkness. Most importantly they need to know that they hold a source of light within them… even in the darkest moments.

Flame of Hope

Our kids may not have the name “Karl Pierson” and their passion may not be debate. However, they feel pressure to perform on the soccer field, TCAP (state testing), in popularity contests and the other “debate clubs” that we create for them.

As a community, it seems that instead of pointing a collective finger outward, perhaps it’s time to look inward. Hug a little firmer. Love a little deeper. Forgive a little more.

Most of us will never experience the grief that the Davis family is going through. However, we can’t help but question if or when a shooter will take the life of our child. For that reason, today is a great day to spread some love, joy, kindness, patience, tolerance, peace and acceptance to this kids in our life.

They are watching and they need us.

Looking outside

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© 2013, The Musing Maven, all rights reserved.

The Best Christmas Ever!

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning

As soon as our eyes opened, our toes hit the cold floor. We ran to see what bounty Santa had left for us. Cookie crumbs on an old porcelain dish sat next to an empty glass of milk — proof that the bearded miracle-worker had visited our home. And, to our relief, the container of leafy lettuce and carrots had been licked clean… our special gift to the reindeer who worked so hard to travel the globe in a single night.

"On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer, on Vixon..."

“On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer, on Vixen…”

While Christmas carols played in the background, we took a deep cleansing breath and allowed the the smell of cinnamon rolls to arouse our holiday senses. Beneath the ornately decorated pine sat an array of boxes with ribbons and bows. Over our shoulder we could see that Saint Nick also filled our stockings to the brim with magical goodness.

Stockings
Santa knew that more than anything we wanted the newest game system on the market. While many of our friends had enjoyed the latest technology over the past 24 months, we were eager to finally have one of our own. Unlike the older generations, this particular system could track our movements and was more interactive. It arrived with the promise of  broadening our universe – and our play time!

Granted, the present had a meticulously hand-written tag from Santa to our kids. Being an enlightened old fellow, he knew that the kids wanted the ground-breaking Wii system more than anything. However, we felt entitled… after all, my husband and I were hard working adults with adult stress like a mortgage, car payments, jobs and all the other grown up responsibilities that come with parenting 2 children.

We begged the kids to let us use their fresh out-of-the-box Wii system. Our first order of business was Guitar Hero. I stepped up to the drums while my hubby strapped on the bass guitar. After fumbling through a series of hair band tunes from the 80’s, we settled in on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”

Rock on!

Rock on!

Oh the adrenaline rush! With our Christmas-morning bedhead and festive PJ’s, we rocked the house. The kids were patient with us, for the most part. However, after about 3 hours of shushing them into the other room, my daughter – 9 at the time – stepped in front of the television to get our attention. With her hands on her hips she announced that it was time for us to allow someone under the age of 35 to play with the Wii.

What a killjoy…. She’s the most grounded one in our house. Her common sense will serve her well in this world.

With this intense proclamation, my hubby and I realized that it was probably time to start the Christmas clean up, fix some lunch, and allow the kids to play with their Christmas present.

Yup, this is one of my favorite Christmas memories. We nailed it for sure! That Wii got more play over the years than any other gift has since.

No matter what, we’ll always have Christmas 2008!

May the joy of giving come back to you in spades this holiday season!
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© 2013, The Musing Maven, all rights reserved.