May 13, 2012
Oh, Mama. Today I’ve cried, like, 47 times today about different stuff related to Mother’s Day. #1 My mom lives far away from me now, so I can’t take a weekend trip to see her except maybe a couple of times a year. #2 My kid isn’t with me; one of the consequences of divorce is that the dad’s weekend doesn’t always correspond to the times I really want to have my kid around me. #3 Thinking about my friends who have lost their moms is heart-breaking. And on and on and on.
So, then I just had to do something to get on with the day and honor the nurturing and creativity and love that I witness in the moms around me before I ended up eating a whole tub of ice cream pre-noon. I turn to gardening, music, and activism in my times of sorrow and need. And lo! I ran across this image while listening to my new Bessie Smith (one of my mom’s favorites) record:
Sweet, right? Especially in the wake of mainstream Time Magazine’s recent discovery of the Great Mommy Debate, I find it important to reiterate that, at least for me, activism and nurturing both come from a place of love. Both are about making some thing, place, life, or idea as strong as possible. Both are about investing time and energy into fixing what may have been broken. This applies to activism in local politics as well as to foster parenting, to caring for your own dog as well as volunteering with homeless dogs. Neither nurturing or activism are necessarily natural, nor are they easy or profitable. But we do them anyway.
Change is inevitable. Whether the change from your labor is lightning fast, like your baby going into Junior High, or slow like Oklahoma’s enfranchisement of women; change is a sure thing. Whether your mom lives next door to you or in a high-rise retirement center in Dallas, Texas, she thinks about you every day. Whether your child made you breakfast in bed this morning or it’s her weekend with her father, your mothering doesn’t stop. Head up. If your mom isn’t here, I’m sorry. I’m thinking about you today. Know that she left you all of her strength.
So, this is a pep-talk. Continue on with poise and confidence and a kick-ass spirit, folks. You are probably loved and appreciated, and even if you aren’t, the GoodLord knows you’re not alone.
August 28, 2010
“I wish someone would have told me that our job as mothers is not to take emotional pain away from our children but to hold them through it.”
I like that advice. I read it in a recent blog post on Feministing (which, eh-hem, was quite slanted in its leaving out dads…it’s okay…it happens). And then I decided to come up with some advices all by myself, cuz some of my friends are starting to raise kids, like 5 – 10 years after me because I was pregnant and momming before it was cool Heehee. Just kidding. Here goes:
1. Still do what you love. No matter what. It will show your kid how to make oneself happy and not have to rely on others for thrills.
2. Eat good food. It’s good for you, daddy. And you can’t take care of other people if you only have processed, chemical-ridden, nasty junk running through your veins.
3. Read to your kid. Duh.
4. Read them books you think are well-written and smart. Think about what you read them before you read it to them. Because if they like it, they are gonna want to hear you read it EVERY. DAMN. DAY.
5. Ask your kid questions. Serious and difficult and philosophical ones. Like “Do you believe in a god? Many gods? Which ones?Why or why not?” And “Have you ever wondered where your thoughts come from?” And “What did you dream about last night? What do you think dreams mean, if anything?”
6. Get ready to answer those questions yourself. Honestly. And in words that we all understand.
7. When your kid asks you a question that seriously perplexes you, don’t be afraid to tell her that you don’t know. Uncertainty is certain, mommy.
8. Under no circumstances should you produce more than 8. And I must admit here that I think 3 is pushin’ it.
9. Encourage her to be smart and kind. Encourage him to be the same.
10. If you want to make sure your kid hates you, buy them more toys and games and gadgets and what-nots and disposable bullshit than you had as a child. This will also ensure that your kid will hate herself, and everyone you meet will think both you and your kid are total assholes. The same goes for when you become a grandparent. Spoiling is not cute. It’s annoying.
What about you, moms and dads? Any advice for the future parents of the world? Also, I would love to hear from those of you that don’t have kids, what do you think about parenting?
It takes a village, ya know,
March 19, 2010
…shall not be extinguished by the welcome Spring.
Warmer weather means goodbye to the vintage blouse… but my love for it will return when the leaves turn in Autumn. The vintage (read: garage sale or thrift store) blouse has been a fashion staple of mine over the past few cool, wintry months. I love the vintage blouse for its affordability and sturdiness, and because I don’t have to contribute to sweatshop labor-made clothing or the feverish culture of BUY NEW STUFF! And I looooove thinking of who wore the blouse before me, especially when I find one at an estate sale in some midtown Tulsa mansion. But most of all because they make you look so coooool and instantly classy!
However, because the vintage blouses that I own are usually made out of polyester, they get a bit toasty and sometimes downright sweaty, and they do not make for breathable warm weather wear.
So, I move on to greener fashion pastures, full of tank tops and jean shorts, skirts and v-necks, summery dresses and leggings. And flip-flops! Goodbye cool class, hello river trash!
I love you, Spring.
January 25, 2010
I want to thank everyone who takes time to read this blog and any other crazy $#!% I write. I have so enjoyed the discussions, the passion, the beauty, the perspectives, the opportunities, and the collaboration that has come from Progress on the Prairie. Many of you regular readers and commenters have become dear, dear friends with whom I am now comfortable engaging, thinking, disagreeing, etc. Many of you have always been dear, dear friends. Some of you are just stuck with me because we are related Anyway, in order to show my appreciation, I am going to start doing a giveaway every now and then. I figure if you take time to read and share with me, you should get something more than my half-witted opinion in return, right? The inaugural prize is a cozy, fun scarf I made as a tribute to proud Okies and those who love them!
Love handmade stuff? Love Okies? Love this scarf? Love Progress on the Prairie? Love children or puppies or beer or rock ‘n roll? Then you should enter the first ever Progress on the Prairie giveaway!!! How do I enter?, you may ask. It’s easy- just leave a comment in the comment section of this blog post, and be sure to include an email address where I can reach you. I will randomly select a winner on Monday, February 1st, 2010.
Thanks again, my friends; you really and truly make my life better!