Monday, August 11, 2014

Currently . . . Vol. 6

Joining Jenna from A Mama Collective and Olivia at To the Heights for Currently.

Thinking about: Princesses. Clare is 150% girl. She loves princesses and pink and sparkle. She loves to dance like a ballerina. When she is awake and at home, she is almost always wearing a tutu and a sparkly headband. If she had her way, she would wear dresses every day. I love all of that about her. She brings a smile to my face so often throughout the day. I find that it's a balance, though. As much as I want to encourage her to be who she is -- who God made her to be -- with all of her unique tastes, talents, and interests, I also have two competing concerns.

Firstly, I don't want it to turn into an excessively commercial love. It's easy to get caught up in buying all the princess stuff (thanks, marketing team at Disney), and that focus on material goods is not the kind of family culture we are trying to create. I don't have issues with princesses or Disney in and of themselves. I just don't want it to take on a life of its own. I want it to just be a little girl being a little girl.

Second, it preys on my fears of a long-term, slippery slope into "princess culture." As women, indeed as humans, we are drawn to beauty. Famously, St. Thomas Aquinas uses that as the basis of one of his proofs of God's existence. For a little girl, pink princess sparkle ribbon is just that -- an expression of beauty. Princess culture, on the other hand, raises it to the good. It is a ditzy materialism that we see in so many celebrities who get too much exposure during their flirt with fame. I want more for my sweet girl than that. And I know that, in all likelihood, all too soon, she'll grow out of it and move on to the next passion, as kids are wont to do. But it impresses upon me the weight of parenting a girl in these times where "respect for women" too often means objectifying them more.

But how sweet is that: headband, dress, "tutu"?!?

Reading: I finally read Something Other Than God this weekend. Like everyone else on the (Catholic blogging) planet, I was totally captivated and couldn't put the book down until I had read the whole thing (at least it felt that way). Heck, I even knew the ending and still couldn't wait to find out what happened.

Making: Crock Pot pot roast for dinner tonight. It is one of Clare's favorites, and (not) coincidentally, today is the feast of St. Clare. In our house, you get to pick what we eat for your birthday, your name day, and your baptism day -- and since the kids are still too little to actually pick, I help them out. ;-) In all sincerity, she loves pot roast, and especially loves the "carry-ots." St. Clare, pray for us.

Loving: I'm sure a lot of Facebook users have seen the "challenge" to list three positives each day for five days. My cousin challenged me last week, and what a kick in the rear it has been. Charles is on a classically terrible rotation right now, and identifying three concrete positives each day has really helped me see how blessed I am, even when the waters seem rough.

Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary: On Friday night, we were able to sit around the table as a family of four for the first time. Peter was in a good mood and played happily in the high chair (and maybe eyed our lasagna, too!), not flailing in our laps/arms, not in the bouncy seat, not asleep. He felt integrated into the family, and it felt complete and right.

You know you have an older sister when you are given a pink cup and purple bird to play with.

Praying: for peace, especially in the Middle East, and for the safety of refugees and those persecuted, particularly in Iraq.

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  1. I think gentle reminders on how the princess outfit is just that, an outfit. It doesn't make her who she is. What matters is what's on the inside, her personality, and how she treats other peoples. Pretty deep thinking mama. I love it!

  2. I was just like your daughter as a little girl, and I think my mom did a great job of encouraging play time and make believe. Whenever I complained about wanting the newest stuff, my mom would just encourage me to use my imagination. I think that really helped curbed the materialism.

  3. Isn't Something Other Than God fantastic?! I couldn't put it down either :)

    So glad I found your blog through the Currently link up!

  4. Did my comment work?? It disappeared!

  5. Oh man -- okay, I was saying thank you to you for your eloquent thoughts and words on raising daughters in this culture. I appreciate the reminder to keep it in the forefront of my mind when speaking to and about my girls. ~Jenna // A Mama Collective

    1. Thank you so much!! (Mysteriously disappearing comment aside.)


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