Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fools gold, An analogy of finding the truth.

Not church camp but Girls Scout Camp, and not camp with my troop. This was 'look through the catalog and pick the one that interests you' camp. I got to pick a week that would involve a sock hop AND horse back riding. In the heat of the deep south and pine needles, I'd camp away from my family.

It would be a solid week away from home Saturday to Saturday. With teenage counselors who I was SURE knew more about life than anyone else possibly could!

We loaded the hatchback and the whole family went to drop me off, even my Dad home from his grueling work as an airplane mechanic.  As we walked the grounds of the camp I saw something glimmer off the path. It looked like gold.  I moved dirt aside:

OH MY GOSH, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, ohmygosh

My Dad was up farther ahead by now headed to my canvas sided wood floor mega tent assigned randomly.
I gripped the gold in my hand. This was a good sign. It was going to be a good week. I would make friends, have fun, get a nice horse, sleep well, not get bit by bugs, this gold in my hand was a sign! A very, very good sign.

I ran to show off my find, handed it to Dad-
To which my dad said upon inspection of my very cool discovery,

"That is fool's gold.

Its not real gold."

My heart sank.

"Its still cool though, that is a big chunk of it."


Folding clothes lost in thought the other day I reflected on that week at camp - mean girls, a horse that went wild, donning the fantastic homemade poodle skirt my Me-Maw had made by hand and the other girls laughed at it; Because it was so "fancy" (it was better than their skirts), the fake tummy aches and time in the camp infirmary...

Would camp have really been better if that had actually been a hunk of real gold?
Do I regret that camp excursion?
What if I had not found out the real nature of that shiny rock till much later?

And I came to the conclusion that I am glad for ALL those experiences. The rough week at camp with the fool's gold sitting on the floor under my cot.

Those experience shaped who I am.

I am grateful for them.

But still, I value truth.

The difficult journey of learning to appreciate elements for what they really are, not just what you want them to be. That week of camp didn't depend on me finding anything along the path.

This mineral's metallic luster and pale brass-yellow hue have earned it the nickname fool's gold because of its superficial resemblance to gold.

** This post was really about religion.

Monday, May 06, 2013

We can be mean. When done anonymously it is worse.

This post gave me the little nudge to do what I have been planning to do for months now: 

Write you, my readers an apology and tell you a story. Now which first? story or apology?
I suppose an apology:

I like to write. 

So I write.

Sometimes its funny, most of the time its boring. But all of the time its me, and guess what? I am a human being. I think judgmental things, I say stupid things and then sometimes the stars align and I write stupid judgmental things. And amazingly enough, my thoughts and opinions are constantly changing. Just because I wrote it yesterday does not mean I subscribe to that belief today. 
BUT... I do write from the heart. I appreciate discussion (even argument) if through that we all become more well rounded. I have often felt over my life in groups of women, that we are so much more capable of intellectual discussion than our chit chat over baby sleep habits, husband nit picking and self body shaming makes us out to be.  I have made up for that on my blog, apparently to the detriment of my friends. For that I am sorry.

In order to get over the initial blank screen of a beginning post I write to one person and one person only: ME. The me that was afraid to nurse in public. The me that had early breastfeeding sabotaged by pediatricians. The me that weaned my first born at nine months old because it was a little strange to nurse such an "old" baby and work full time. The me that had FOUR BAD HOSPITAL births because I was afraid of birth without drugs. The me that had TWO AMAZING homebirths without said drugs. The me that used to spank that now tries not to, the me that raved about babywise and now practices attachment parenting. The me that fed rice cereal to a three month old and now lets my seven month old feed herself.  The me that hated her body. 

I am sorry if what I wrote was so inflammatory that it hurt women and specifically other mothers deeply. This job IS HARD. Its about more than afternoon crafts and eating habits. If my bloviating on parenting topics hurt your heart please at least consider my attempts to assure you I am sorry. 

Now if it makes you so mad you want to hurt me, then consider this:

In a nutshell: This blog is my blog. If it bothers you I have a very simple idea- Don't read it! If you want to engage in a discussion about it: comment, email or call me. 

Don't send me an anonymous letter by snail mail.

Now for a little story. January 25th I was laying on my bed breastfeeding my youngest daughter when my oldest daughter came running upstairs crying hysterically, holding a letter in her hand. She thought it was maybe a letter from her teacher or something and had read this letter directed at me full of irk and vitriol.
And she was beside herself in tears, she didn't want me to see it, wanted to protect me from reading the words. It took a long time to calm her down, distract her with other thoughts and activities and get to read myself, and this is what I read:

No return address, no signature. So for over three months now I have had to wonder in every conversation, with every person "did you send me that letter?"  Is it you? Is is her? I am not quite as angry about the letter itself as I am about the anonymous aspect. 

It is cowardly and rude and makes me want to say this

I had to calm my daughters fears that not everyone is this thoughtless. And there is always worth in sharing your thoughts even if it causes something like this letter.

There is no tidy end to this post. I still don't know who it was. I don't think about it much anymore. It was months ago.

I have this fantastic job as a Childbirth educator for Birth Boot Camp now and I get to teach couples about how to have an amazing birth, how to breastfeed, the joys of attachment parenting. I have an outlet for my thoughts. Has the letter inhibited my writing here? Maybe a little, but its ok, blogging, like life waxes and wanes. The letter did help push me into finalizing another BIG decision so for that I am tremendously grateful.

If it was you and want to clear the air....

you know my address.