"ignore the story. see the soul. remember to love. you will never regret it" --- Seane Corn

"ignore the story. see the soul. remember to love. you will never regret it" --- Seane Corn
it's a jungle out there

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lent schment

OK. So the Lent thing isn't working for me. And it's only been, like, 12 hours.

Jack read my giving up for lent list and said no way mom you can't do that you're gonna burn in hell
Jack, honey,there is no hell
Yes there is. If you make a promise to god and you break it, you'll burn in hell. And there's no way you can keep that promise for the next 46 days I'm not sure where he received his religious training but it wasn't from me
Jack, I don't think it works that way
Still mom, you can't break a promise to god


Mia had a rough morning. She didn't do her homework last night which is fine with me. I don't torture my kids into doing what they're supposed to do... but I remind them there are consequences to their decisions. And they don't like to get yelled at by the teacher or get bad grades, so usually that's enough of a motivator.

But Mia is so in the moment. So impulsive. She does what she wants, when she wants to do it. Which is also fine with me, except she has an ISSUE with the consequences part.

She's also a perfectionist. In her own way.

So many a morning it's a challenge for her to get dressed. She has more clothes than all of us put together, but none of them are ever quite right. On top of it, she's so damn tall and skinny it's hard to find clothes that fit her. AND they have to look right. Cause she's a girl. And already she's concerned with what the other girls will say about what she's wearing. She likes the look of skinny jeans but she's too skinny and the waist never feels right. She likes the feel of comfy drawstring pants but says the other girls will say she's wearing pajamas. She's that kid that if ONE negative comment is made it's the end of the world and ruins her entire day. And when she gets all worked up and anxious she says mommy it's gonna be a bad day. I can feel it.

This morning we had both wardrobe trauma and homework trauma. She was beside herself. And I was challenged to stay calm. not sure I was successful but maybe i hid it ok. I remember being her age and feeling so aggravated and frustrated and screwed by some of the homework. And I was right. Some homework sucks. And she gets aggravated and frustrated and feels screwed. And she's right too. Why does she have to draw 6 household objects and name their shapes. 1.draw a door 2.write the door is in the shape of a rectangle. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME??? That's just ridiculous and a waste of time. She talked with Ty about the vertex, the vertices, and the face of objects. I didn't know what they were talking about. I suggested vertexes, she insisted vertices. OK. But when she's given stupid homework she gets confused because it's so stupid. I was exactly the same way. And when she has to draw something like a door, she can't just draw a rectangle with a little circle for a doorknob. She has to draw all the glass panes, and the molding, and the wood grain. Cause that's the way she is. That's how I was too.


So this morning I tried to talk her off the stupid homework ledge. I wasn't too successful. I tried agreeing with her, to encourage her independent thinking and assure her that this stupid homework was really not important in the grand scheme of her life. It didn't work. Cause she still wants to please, and doesn't want to get in trouble, and wants to be a "good girl", but it's really hard for her to be that "good girl". She doesn't follow the rules. She doesn't sit quietly. She's chatty. And social. And bored.

It sucks for her. Cause it's hard for her to follow school rules. And her inability to stay inside the box is going to end up defining her. and not in a good way. She may not be able to redefine herself until she's in a position to make her own choices and position herself outside the box. Or at least in a box that fits better.



I was raised in an Episcopal box. I enjoy the ritual, but I don't do well with absolutes. Or negativity. That whole thing about only being saved by Jesus because we humans are flawed and sinful and there's no way out except through Him just doesn't sit right with me. I need some wiggle room. I need to be let off the hook. I need things to be inclusive and malleable and fluid. And not judgemental. We are all works in progress.

I dig the Holy Spirit thing, though

I need to believe in something comfy and safe and attainable. that doesn't mean easy. And forgiving and patient. Maybe that's why I'm drawn in by my itty bitty knowledge of Hinduism. I love the magic and color and spectacle. I also love the take what you like and leave the rest attitude. and no I'm not a fan of caste systems. I like the natural xanax of Buddhism. Being in the moment is a pretty good way to prevent anxiety. Not easy, but good and true. And lord knows nothing is permanent. Good stuff or bad stuff. It's all transient.
this too shall pass.

So maybe I can mix and match Ganesha and Buddha and the Holy Spirit the way Mia mixes and matches her outfits.

Whatever gets me through the night, right?

And helps me leave frustration aggravation and impatience behind.


  1. Michelle,
    I am totally with you on taking what works and mixing it all together to come up with something that works personally for you. I always say it's not important what car you drive on the journey, just make the damn trip.

    Love you.

  2. Please- let me know when you find the perfect combination to not only get you through the night but the morning as well.
    Poor Mia! And having had a daughter or two like that, let me add, "Poor Mama!"

  3. Homework can go suck the big one around here too. Graham gets way too much, and right now he LOVES school, so I'm not going to make him miserable about homework. Half the time, he doesn't do it and I don't care.

    Have you tried the Tao? It is the only thing that makes sense to me.

  4. mix and match for sure. I think you're doing fantastic.

  5. I'm all about the Holy Spirit too. That, I can wrap my arms around (oddly enough).

    Oh, girls are challenging. I hear. I still feel how it felt to be an adolescent girl, and it's hard.

  6. You have to mix it up... a single set of beliefs just can't work for everyone.

  7. Beautifully articulated. Clearly, this woman is a WRITER.
    Love, love.

  8. There are consequences to our actions.

    I love you writing and your and your family's dilemmas:)

  9. I think the thing I don't like about Lent is the focus on the negative. I didn't grow up giving anything up for Lent- we recognized the Lenten season but it was at church and not much else (Missouri Synod Lutheran).

    And I still don't. I guess it's like resolutions for me... I just don't do it.

    But if I did... I state my goal and strive for it positively instead of negatively. Instead of stopping bein impatient, my focus would be on finding more patience. I prefer to seek to find instead of to give up.

  10. When we were kids I remember being told we should give something up for Lent & take the money we would have spend on that thing & donate it to "the needy." I could never quantify what I gave up. I wasn't that good at budgeting.

    The last time I gave something up for lent (16-17 years ago?) it was shaving, makeup, jewelry . . . I didn't know why, but that's what came to me. So I gave those things up.

    Come Easter, what I learned was that I felt really pretty once I shaved & wore makeup & earrings.

  11. Your Mia and my Oliver (sounds like a song!) sound a lot alike, so my sympathies or, rather, empathy, is with you. And I'm with Ms. Moon -- when you find the perfect combination for how to live, let me know!

  12. Exactly. On the lent, religion and homework thing.
    When I was teaching, I used to feel so bad for the kids about some of the stupid stuff the other teachers made them do. At least I tried to have homework that was obviously useful, and if not I would explain it. I think the pupils appreciated that.
    I broke lent with a beer when I was about fourteen. It was accidental (I forgot), but afterwards I thought that was the coolest thing ever.

  13. I hear you. And my heart goes out to Mia. I hate, hate, hate it when teachers give busywork; what is the point, except power and control B.S. I never give stupid stuff like that.


so... wadaya think?

Your fairy is called Columbine Icedancer
She is a bone chilling bringer of justice for the vulnerable.
She lives in mushroom fields and quiet meadows.
She is only seen when the bees swarm and the crickets chirrup.
She wears lilac and purple like columbine flowers. She has icy blue butterfly wings.