children

The Age of Attraction

What is happening? I was recently discussing sexuality, which I think isn't discussed enough, with some friends.  We were talking about vaginas and the power of owning your sexuality.  The discussion led to the fact that shame is prevalent whether we admit it or not, in relation to sex and sexual expression.  There are so many rules, roles, assumptions that it is difficult to know what we actually want.  Admitting what we like, where we are in our sexuality and what we think about it is something that is shunned aggressively.  We are, after all, a society that will fine someone for flashing a nipple (at the same time we cover our children's eyes from seeing the .00005 seconds that it was shown) but watch news footage about 26 people, many of them children, being gunned down.

Like the universe works, I perused Facebook where a friend posted an article about a 6-year-old being in love with a character from Glee.  Sexuality seemed to be in the air tonight.  The 6-year-old is a boy and the character on Glee is a boy.  The article goes on to discuss how the mother and father love their son and have no problem if he is gay or isn't.  I think that it is great that parents will love their son even if he is gay, I just look forward to the day we don't have to announce that parents will love their kids even if they are gay.

So, after reading this I then scrolled down to the comments and stopped at one that touched on several things in regards to the article.  First they were not pleased with a 6-year-old watching Glee, then with the idea that a 6-year-old was obsessed about anything especially liking someone.  Third that, even at 11, that would be too young to have attraction.  Ok, I had to breathe after reading this, and after having had the conversation about shame that had happened earlier in the evening.  I know that attraction is as natural as breathing.  If you are a part of a family you (hopefully) see love, coupledom, partnership.  Children mimic adults.  It is how they learn to talk, walk, think, behave, love.  How in the world are they too young to be attracted?  I liked boys and girls for as long as I can remember and I certainly had attractions to all manner of things before the age of 6.  I liked certain colors, foods, music, and people.  The idea that attraction has an age is a funny, funny thing.  Babies are attracted to certain colors and sounds.  We are attracted to love and repelled by hate.  When we see something that resonates with us we are drawn to it.  This is being human.  The idea that we would want to discourage this natural way in others due to them being younger than we think they should be to have the feelings that they actually are having is ridiculous (yes, I am totally judging).

As a parent you may be nervous, because of your own hangups and judgments, around the truth of your child being inherently sexual.  I mean, the damn person was made while you were having sex.  How in the hell can we not be SEXUAL.  What is the problem people???  Let's take our heads out of our asses and start discussing sex, sexuality, love, desire, attraction in a way that doesn't make it shameful, scary, wrong, or inappropriate.

Here is a story that I love to share:  My sister is a massage therapist.  Her son, Miles, used to love to be massaged and loved to give massages, and he was very good at it as well.  There is nothing better than little hands on your shoulders massaging away your worries.  So sweet.  Anyway, during a massage she was giving him he asked if she could massage his penis.  Instead of getting all weird (which I think many of us would) she told him that she wouldn't because that was his to massage.  She let him know that he could massage it in private and that no one else was allowed to until he really wanted them to.  Or some such lovely message like that (I am sure my sister would correct the verbiage).  Either way, the message was clear:  She didn't make him feel that what he asked for was wrong, bad, inappropriate.  She used that moment to let him know the boundaries of his body.

Let's stop being craycray and start empowering one another in love.  Can we do this please???

xo

a

Some Thoughts on Death

Hello there, I believe that death is not unnatural.  I believe that it is the most natural thing that exists, right next to life.  People die just about every second.  People are birthed at a similar rate.  I don't know how helpful it is to tell everyone that death is unnatural or that for someone to die at one age or another is not "right."  It is as if life is a promise and not a gift or experience.  It is as if we still, after all of this time, don't get how fragile this human experience is.  We have this tendency to decide that life is only valuable after being lived a certain amount of time.  That if you haven't grown up, or had your own children, a job, sex, etc. that death shouldn't touch you.  Now, let me clarify for those who may be freaking the f*ck out.  I don't believe we need to kill one another regardless of how natural death is (and the same goes for killing animals).  I just don't believe death is unnatural and I believe that we could help the healing process for all involved in losing loved ones (that would be all of us at some point) if we changed the language around it.

When we are told that death is wrong and that a mother should never lose her child we set all the mothers who will lose their children (and that is a large number of people, babies and children die all the time!) to feel a hell of a lot worse than if we let them know that, yes, death can come to your baby because your baby is a human being and once that baby exists it can cease to exist.  If we stop looking at death as this horrible, horrible thing and look at it as a part of the process of life we may not feel like we were cheated out of something that we were never promised.  We may be able to feel a little less victimized by the death and be able to actually deal with the means by which (especially when a child has been murdered).

It is so maddening to me that we don't discuss death.  It is so damaging to all who will lose their children, that we haven't had the conversations prior so that there is space to talk about it, so that after the ones who will not see their children grow up don't feel so alone in their grief.  So they can discuss their experience of death openly and get support around it.  Death isn't contagious, it is promised.  Death isn't bad, it just is.  We all will go through it.  We all will lose someone.  We have to, at some point, stop behaving as though ignoring it will make it go away.  Talk about it and sex.  The two things that we either make naughty or wrong are the things that are often used to cause the most pain.  Think about it.  When we categorize things as bad they become those things for us.  When you change the way you see things the things you see change.  It is true.  We are powerful enough to stop being victims.

Now taking someone's life is a completely different discussion.  Why, how, when, what?  All of those things need to be dialogued about as well… I will say that it cracks me up (in a not so funny way) to see everyone so up in arms (pun intended) about violence in a country that was built on violence, that uses violence to solve all issues and perpetuates it every way that it can.  If we wanted peace we wouldn't support war.  If we wanted peace we would never flip someone off and curse them out.  If we wanted peace we would be peaceful.  Period.  Start with yourself.  Start with your own heart.  Start with how you treat yourself and see how that changes the world.

xo

a

Imagine That!

Howdy! How often do you use your imagination?  What for and when?  Do you remember when you lived in a world that was designed by your imagination.  If you do, how did it make you feel?

As children we were able to quickly get to one feeling or another by using our imagination.  Our imaginations were the highest quality, like a brand new car.  Over time the imagination gets gunked up with "reality" and "shoulds" just as a car gets gunked up with wear and tear.  At some point the ability to imagine things becomes limited, with restraints put on our thoughts by well-meaning individuals that had the same thing happen to them at some point in their lives as well.  The thing is our imaginations weren't only to produce fun and endless hours of playtime.  Just as a baby tiger plays with its siblings and then, when an adult, uses the skills learned while playing as a cub to hunt, we have an imagination as a child to learn how to use our imaginations as adults to create our world.

If you aren't a daydreaming type of person anymore (because we all were on some level) why not take some time each day to imagine your ideal world.  As you begin to wake up your imagination you may find that your world begins to shift.  You may find more reasons to smile.  Imagination, like anything else, can be made stronger, like anything else.  Encourage others to use their imagination as well.  You may find that the way you solve problems changes.  You may find that the way you see yourself shifts as well.

Happy Imagining!

xo

a

Of Moms & Children

Hi there, I was talking to my oldest brother today when he asked me if I thought about having kids.  We hadn't talked about this before so it was a welcome discussion.  He has 5 lovely children that are seriously the smartest and cutest and most awesome kids!  I let him know that I have no desire to actually be pregnant but could see myself adopting in the future.  The only way I would really want to adopt is if I am in a relationship where that makes sense and I am not the primary parent, in all honesty.  The conversation reminded me of the number of times I had been asked if I wanted kids.  I have looked forward to getting older so that the questions would go from excitement to (after I gave my age) sadness and pity and then just silence.  I have been asked by strangers about my childless life.  Once in a grocery store a woman talked about her children and I listened.  We laughed about something having to do with parenting when she asked me if I had children.  When I told her no she looked shocked and asked why not.  I told her, "Why ruin happiness."  I believe I offended her, which was not my goal.  My goal was to let her know that I was happy with where I was, which happened to be without children.

Children are amazing.  Parenting is amazing.  It is also hard, thankless in so many ways, and not for everyone.  I truly believe we would do more good than not talking people out of having kids instead of talking them into it.  It is a lifelong career that can cause your hair to gray and give you ulcers.  Yes, children are blessings from the lord jesus christ our savior… but they are also not for everyone.  Seriously.  I have often been told, because I am great with kids, that I would make a terrific mom.  Being a great-aunt does not a great mom make.  Let's be honest.  I work out multiple times a day.  I am gone for long hours at a time.  I don't have a set schedule for food (though I need to) and I travel at the drop of a hat.  Oh, I like living like this.  So people say about my life as it is now that it would have to change.  And I say, no thank you.  I am glad to be able to move about when I want to move about.  I love taking naps when I need to and not having to be at the behest of anyone else, no matter how much I adore them.  What I would gain, from my perspective, is not tempting enough to give up what I have.

Knowing what you want is important.  Owning what you want is more so.  I know that I LOVE kids and they LOVE me.  I also love to see them head home to their parents.  I remember that my biological clock ticked once or twice in my life.  Both times I observed the tick tock and let the feeling run its course.  It passed pretty quick and I went on about my life.  It is amazing how strong our biology is.  I support parents and love that there are people willing to give up so much to raise the little buggers and, in turn, get so much back.  I believe that parents need support.  I believe that the children are our future, etc., etc.  I also believe that I am here to do something else; parenting a child is not my calling at the moment.  I believe I am doing what I am supposed to and, as I support those who are called to raise children, I welcome support around my decision not to.

Enjoy where we all are, respect each other's decision to be there and live your life (if you want to) :)

xo

a