Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Opening night ...

Well, the house is MOSTLY clean-ish ... It could be a lot worse.

Mom C will watch the kids tonight (and bring them to the performance). My mom will watch them (and the performance) tomorrow night. Then a couple of gals in the ward will be taking on babysitting duties. Closing night, the kids will be up at Mom C's with some cousins ... then Michael and I will swing on up, nab them, bring them home, put them to bed ... and clean Michael up.

A client (older man) referred to Michael's facial hair as "cute."
Yeah ... he got some flack from everyone about that.
Just the word choice cracks me up.

I got some more sleep yesterday ... woke up before my alarm and couldn't fall back asleep. Oh well.
Going to make at least one dinner ... maybe prep some more. We'll see how awesome/motivated I get.

I really almost wish that it were already around 5 PM so that I could just get this performance STARTED.
That's the fun of opening night ... and, well, the fun of EVERY performance. Opening night, though ... that's when we have the biggest jitters.

Bubbles' doctor visit went fine. She's been declared "perfect." Her skull is almost totally fused closed, the big kid. She got three immunizations ... she took them well enough. A little crying, but once I held her she calmed down. She's got a large head circumference. Nothing freakish. Her doctor proclaimed that it's just "full of brains" ... along with being a beautiful child.

She did flirt with the few people in the waiting room. She had the play table all to herself ... and enjoyed crawling under the chairs.

Every so often she (along with Bruise and Bucket) will do something and I'll see, just for an instant, a glimpse of the adult she's growing into. And ... it strikes me.
At the same time, I'm glad that they're going to be such good-looking adults.


I'm still stuck on thinking about the whole situation at Steubenville ... It's just so wrong.
These kids there need adults to be leaders and teachers -- to teach what is and is not proper behavior, how to follow laws, how to treat each other -- regardless of one's sport status or gender or whatever.

I've started, from a young age, teaching my brood about their bodies. We've always used the terms "penis" and "vagina," partly because that's what they ARE ... and partly because children who can use the proper terms are less likely to be victimized.

I've also worked to teach them about treating others well. And that you don't touch other people's private parts or let others touch yours (with a few exceptions -- your spouse, your doctor as needed, things like that).

I also have felt the need to impress upon them that if they (or someone they know) is acted upon by another person who does something to them without permission, it is NOT their fault. The person acting upon them made a decision that impacted them. THAT person, not the victim/survivor is to blame.

I'm just getting REALLY FED UP with things that need to change. Like a person who says that we need to teach people not to rape deserves to have horrible things happen to her for saying such a crazy, outlandish idea.

I am more offended that these nay-sayers seem to feel that it's the default of men TO rape.
I am surrounded by wonderful men who would be aghast at the idea that all women, everywhere, should live in constant fear of all men turning into base creatures that have no choice but to force themselves upon others.

I'm just going to come out and say it: THIS IS STUPID. IT'S RUBBISH. IT'S BULL.

And I'm going to take a deep breath, flex my hands out of fists, and just hope and pray that things will get better.

And, until it does, I'm teaching my children to deal with what might happen ... though I really wish I never felt a need to. I'd love for them to be able to go out into the world without worrying about what someone might do. I wish I didn't have to instill a core of steel into their sweet, innocent hearts.

But I do.
Because some parents and leaders aren't doing their jobs.
Because some people are not in control of themselves.
Because some people don't care.
And that sucks. A lot.

So I will teach my kids to respect themselves. To respect others. To be brave and take a stand if they see anyone needing help. To know how to call 911. To know that they can tell Michael and me anything and that we will still love them. To stand up to "friends" ... and even their true friends, if need be. To protect themselves. To protect others. To stand up and give a voice to those who can't or don't know how to protect themselves. To know they can always turn to others for help, especially their Heavenly Father who is always with them ... because Michael and I can't always be there ourselves. To respect the privacy and needs of other people. To serve others.

And other things ... like what "consent" really is (if someone cannot say "no," then assume that it IS "no." You have to ensure they ARE saying ... and continuing to say "yes."). What masculinity really is and is not. That femininity is not purely submissive. The purpose of our bodies (i.e., the sacred power of procreation ... which, understanding that, helps to respect our bodies and others' bodies).

There are times when I can tell that I'm getting through ... like how Bruise knows that women have breasts (and men have nipples too) because we're mammals ... and their primary purpose is to feed babies. The kids know that they'll someday make babies with their future spouses ... and that they shouldn't do that before they're legally and lawfully married. As a sign of respect for both their spouse and themselves. They know that "penis," "vagina," and even "testicles" are real words ... not jokes or something to giggle at whenever they hear the words.

I have a lot of work ahead of me ... and I'm so scared sometimes at what might happen to them. Some news stories out there are so, so awful ... things happening to little babies and young children, people who can't even defend themselves against the strength and cunning of some wicked, depraved adults out there.

What can you really do?
Teach them as best as you can.
Make sure they know that they can always come to you, that they can ask you anything.
Pray for them, even fasting for them.
Love them as best as you can.
Letting them know, through word and deed, that you have their back, you WILL protect them.

If there's anything else ... well, I'll try to learn it so that I can do it.

Because, well, if I screw this up ... would I ever really forgive myself?

Truly, if my kids EVER took part in something like what happened in Stuebenville ... or stood by while something like that happened ... I would, honestly, believe that I had FAILED my children and my community as a parent.

And, if they were at such a party and stood up against the tide of peer pressure, protecting another person? Even if they were arrested for being there, I'd throw them a freaking PARTY ... and I'd invite the arresting officers (since they were doing their job. And I support that). Cake and sparkling cider for everyone, because my child(ren) did what was right. And I want the world to know that I am celebrating that fact!

There's enough glorifying the crimes and their perpetrators.
I say that we start celebrating the heroes in the world ...  Let's start showing appreciation and honor for people who are working to change the bad.

Let's bring it.

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