Naked ParentingAfter 13 years of parenting I think it's safe to say that we have tried every form of discipline at one time or another. Spanking, time-out, loss of privileges, lecturing, grounding, screaming and cursing like a raving lunatic. Yep. All of it.
Now we are in the land of teenagers and all bets are off! Attitudes abound, hormones surge, and their poor underdeveloped brains are doing all they can to hold on. And mom is doing all she can to
Cue moment of genius.
A few days ago, I was sharing with Tim a dream I'd had in which I was stark naked under a sky full of stars and utterly at peace with the world. (The fact that I was walking through the Wake Forest library parking lot makes it kinda weird but...what? It was already weird? Oh.) Anyway, I was suddenly aware that the boisterous bubbling of rough-housing and tom-foolery previously emanating from the living room had dropped to a deafening silence. The older kids were staring at me in absolute horror, instantly subdued by the mere mention of my unhidden form.
A surge of power tingled in my gut as their weakness was revealed. Ah, but how to exploit this fear to my advantage? (picture narrowing of eyes and rubbing of hands in a sinister way) At breakfast, I announced my plan:
"The next time I get any crap from you people -eye-rolling, back-talking, sorry attitudes, disrespect or disobedience of any kind- I will immediately begin removing articles of clothing. That's right. The better behaved you are the more covered I will remain. The worse behaved you are and let's just say you better hope I'm dressing in layers these days or you will suffer the consequences both now and in your nightmares for years to come."
How's it working? Well, Tim, for one, admits this is the first time ever that he's actually hoping for disobedient children. It doesn't work on the littles, of course, because they have no sense of shame over nakedness. Mine, theirs, anyones. Oh, and Nathan still talks back, he just does it with his eyes closed. So, it's not fool-proof but one must embrace a bit of foolishness when parenting anyway, right? =)
New YearI didn't make a list of New Year's resolutions. The word resolve has negative connotation for me. Maybe not for you but for me. The things in my life that fall under "resolve" are typically things I've decided are unchangeable, unfixable, unmovable. I'm resolved to deal with (fill in the blank with some crappy situation). Resolutions feel more about what must be given up/dealt with for the next year. I did make a list though. I think of it more as a list of reminders than resolutions. My list of reminders is about the things I want to gear up for in the next year. Things I want to remember to do or remember to stop doing because they are important or necessary for my own good, for my own health, for my own pleasure. Here are a few of them.
I'm reminding myself to
- fall asleep reading a good book
- never just drink coffee -always enjoy it!
- get 5 stars on every Just Dance song
- "O" often (with Tim whenever possible ;-))
I'm reminding myself to stop
- measuring myself by what I can't do
- holding on to old relationships and old wounds
- feeling guilty/embarrassed for being poor
Necking (aka the psychology of hair)No, no, it's not what you think.
I cut my hair. Actually, I've been cutting my hair for about four months now. I wanted drastic change. Drastic came in several stages. It's short. Very short. Short enough that I can feel the cold wind tingling on the back of my neck and that Tim has to shave the little baby scragglies for me.
A friend asked "Is this the first time you've had it this short?" and "do you feel different?" The easy answers are no and yes. But the real answer is not that simple. I had my hair cut (meaning paid someone to do it) this short once before. (not counting childhood) It was 1995. Tim and I had been married about a year. I believe there are only two pictures in existence. I hated it. Ha-ted-it! I cried almost every night for weeks because I looked like a boy.
Fast forward 18 years to me in my bathroom hacking away at my own hair and loving it. Lov-ing-it! Why such a contrast? Because I had no idea who I was back then. I had no idea that the essence of femininity, beauty, confidence, sexuality were not isolated by social norms, celebrity glam magazines, or other people's expectations.
It also has a lot to do with this woman whom I've never met and her honest account of her dreads-to-shaved head journey. And this woman who many already know is one of my personal heroes for her amazing, no b.s., what you see is what you get music, style, life. (If you missed her performance at the American Music Awards, oh my crapness, you must youtube it.)
It's about understanding that whatever beauty I posses only exists if I believe it, see it, accept it. If you think I'm beautiful, well, that's nice. If you do not think I'm beautiful, well, that's nice, too, but either way it's just not about you. The only person on this planet who truly has to be satisfied with me is me; even on the days when there are bags under my eyes or the scale is telling me that second (or third) piece of cheesecake was a bad idea or the image in the mirror doesn't look anything like a Victoria Secret model. And seriously, that kind of self-acceptance is hard-enough. Who the hell has energy to care what everyone else thinks?
So, here is the summary: I do not feel different because I cut my hair. I cut my hair because I feel different. And I love it!