Thursday, October 27, 2011

As my crazy girl heads closer to her ninth birthday, it is weighing heavily on me what this year brought on for me when I was her age...puberty.  I come from a long line of women who develop early into womanhood; lucky us.  During my nine year old experience, my mother decided that it was a good idea to have "the talk."  You know exactly what I'm talking about too.  The birds and the bees, her monthly visitor, and the physical changes of womanhood.
To say that I am freaked out about doing this is an understatement.  I mean, what a freaking responsibility.  So, I've spent some time hashing out the memory of my mom sitting me down and taking out a book entitled Period.  What a trip!  There were drawings of little girls with sanitary napkins and tampons with awkward illustrated girls of all shapes, sizes, and colors.  Gotta love it.  So, I endured the discussion, but I was grateful for it, especially a year later when my visitor invaded.
I've been reading stuff on how to go about having this talk, and I'm still nervous as you know what.  One book suggested I have this tete a tete with a gift basket of women's products and sundry items.  My kid might stick them on her head and make a craft out of it.  I fear that she'll think it's something to bedazzle and a tampon as material for a mobile.  Who am I kidding?  I'm in a bind.
It is with this fear and trepidation that I ask for prayer as I prepare to have this conversation with my baby girl.  Yes, MY BABY GIRL.
I called my mom today and explained that it's probably time to do this thing.  She seemed as freaked out as I, and my husband was barely verbal when I brought the subject up after the kids went to bed the other night, which is just weird.
Alex is a little girl.  She's smart, but she doesn't go there from what I see.  Just the other day she asked me if I would like to join her I.H.J.B Club.  Yup, that stands for I hate Justin Beiber.  Sorry, Justin.  My kid just ain't buyin' it, and according to her, she has no idea why Selena Gomez would want to date him.  She's super cool in our house.  It's not that she's unaware of boys; I spy secret crushes, but this conversation changes the game.  Ick.
All the literature says you have to have this talk between the ages of 8-10, and especially with our family history, I feel backed into a corner.
Moms out there, how have you done this?  What worked?  I want to hear all about it.
I strive to make this a positive, God-centered talk about how she was created and how beautiful she is and this is, but it's not easy.  I'll take all the advice I can get.
Much love,

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fear of Bumper Stickers

I know this is going to sound weird, but I have a strange new fear of anything that sticks to a car such as a bumper sticker, magnet, or decal.  I can remember, back when I was a kid, it became popular to slam that "My kid is an honor roll student at such and such Elementary School!" sticker on one's bumper.  The "un-honor roll" parents' aversion to those stickers was palpable as the un-bumper sticker moms and dads would poke fun at them like no one's business.
Needless to say, you don't see those honor roll stickers out there anymore.  I think people realized it was like saying, "My kid is awesome, and I'm an awesome parent, and you suck."
But my new fear began a few years ago when Alex started kindergarten, and I thumped the magnet for her school on my minivan.  I would roll up into my school's parking lot, where I teach, and feel awkward every day because here I am teaching at a public school (which I love, by the way), and my daughter is going to a private school.  I felt like it was an invitation for fight club at any given moment:  How could I do that?  Are you stuck up?  Is public school not good enough for you?
As a side note, Alex doesn't go to public school for any of those questioning accusations.  We take it year by year and evaluate what our pocket books can stretch to and most importantly, what's best for Alex.  She loves where she goes to school, so we haven't moved her yet.
I digress...
Putting that magnet made me feel vulnerable.  I had to answer for that to anyone who saw it.  The other conflict was that there were some days where I wasn't a 100% fan of her school, which every parent goes through from day to day no matter where their kid goes to school.  I felt guilty being the rolling billboard on days that were challenging for me.
OK, example #2:  Alex's swim club car magnet.  Alex joined the local swim club a few years ago too.  I slapped that magnet on as well.  Again, I had my own parental challenges with that on particular days and felt like it wasn't permanent that she was going to do it forever.
So, I'm car magnet/bumper sticker free now.  I don't know, maybe it takes a certain confidence and comfort level with your life to be able to carry them off well.  Obviously I don't have that, so I'm not hating on anyone who rolls with various medallions.  Our life changes a lot and often.  We're still figuring things out and maybe that's why I fear the bumper sticker:  it's so freaking permanent.  It feels like writing with a Sharpie that will never come off.
Sometimes as I'm cruising I see really good one: there was one that said, "Normal isn't working for you?" and the "t" was a cross.  I LOVED that.  I also love the Africa/Ethiopia decals with the heart in them, but those make me feel that I'm leaving my biological daughter out.  I know this sounds crazy.  I have issues; I know this.
So for now, I will admire some of your "stickers," and I may smirk from time to time at some of them, but I guess that's what makes life interesting and fun.  They certainly make me think about stuff.  Oh well!