Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fifth Concerto

See if you can tell what book I have been rereading…

I want my girls to have balance.  I will be disappointed if they do not feel compassion and mercy for others, but I do not want them to feel that simple need is a basis for giving.  If my daughters come to believe that having a need entitles a person to their compassion then they are in danger of expecting others to do for them what they could do (with a little hard work) for themselves.
The daily wisdom of this should show in how I parent and live.  I should strive to model: a willing and joyful work ethic; frequent exercise of my mind in solving problems (not always running to a “helpful” YouTube video); an absolute trust in God to carry me through (but never to “make it easy” for me).  I need to model applying myself to helping others help themselves, but not at the expense of that person’s chance to provide for them self.  Perhaps this last one is done in giving a person the education, opportunity, and space to use their own mind and own hard work.  As much as I can see these things all at work in how I teach childbirth and my services as a doula…I fail all the time as a parent.  It is hardest to be my best for the people I love the most.
I want my daughters to learn to use their minds, not just their bodies as our “grocery store check-out line” culture would have them believe.  I do not worship Capitalism, Intelligence, or Humanity.  I worship a God who created me out of love.  He created me with a capacity to love others.  He fashioned my mind for complex thoughts.  I am created in His image; capable of wisdom and the ability to act on it.
I do not want my daughters to feel limited by their gender nor do I want them to feel a cultural compulsion to shed their feminine nature to be “productive” or to have value.  I do not want my daughters to get socialized by the Disney/Hollywood/Bestseller List notion of romance and emotional love.  I hope my daughters can view screens (TV, internet, video games) as a tool to be used in moderation, not as an escape or addiction that slowly drains them of the desire and ability to think.
My daughters are beautiful, confident, intelligent, and capable young ladies; not because I am a wonderful mother (more in spite of my parenting) but because God created them this way.  I have the task to be my best and to encourage, reward, and discipline in such a way as to nurture and grow these traits into their adulthood.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Twilight Tuesday 8 (A Grand Destiny)

In the Twilight series, Bella is an ordinary girl, with brown hair and a tendency to bump into things and fall.  Of course, young girls want to be Bella!  You can be desirable in all these ordinary ways and find out that you aren’t so ordinary after all.  Bella was born to be an eternally beautiful, filthy rich, globe trotting vampire with a husband who is just as obsessed with her as she is with him.  We want to be surprised one day that our days of mundane life have paid off in such a way too!  She didn’t have to study for years to get these things.  She didn’t have to work for it or gain life experience for years before it was an option.  All Bella had to do was be a “good” average person; she moves to her dad’s house as a kindness to her mother, though her mother doesn’t know it, and finds the fulfillment for her life. 
            What Edward can offer your daughter is eternal youth and devastating good-looks.  She will become hotter than a super model without having to diet and work out.  Edward has endless time, money, and energy to offer for the adventure.  He is older and more mature despite his youthful appearance.  He is the ultimate sugar daddy without the weird Oedipal/Electra complex. 
            The exciting action of this series isn’t simply how a vegetarian vampire or a reluctant werewolf woos a young human girl with “no natural instinct for self-preservation.”  There are numerous times when lives are at stake (no pun intended).   In the Twilight series, Heroism means to dodge danger with no fear to yourself but a complete focus on others’ lives.  Selfishness is not a quality tolerated well by characters in these books.  But what gives meaning to the characters’ lives is primarily based in their relationships (this is at its heart, a romance series).