Yeah, he looks pretty awe-inspiring in that cape made from an old bedsheet, with the symbol based off a tattoo. Those star-studded cuffs are pretty tough, and that mask is sure to intimidate the fiercest villain.
All in all, he’s a pretty super-looking super. I’ll give you that.
But let us not forget that he has a mother who devoted several hours of her life to creating that super look. And a father who found and cut out that super symbol. Let us not forget that, people. It takes devoted parents to create super people.
Last night, Micah and I were catching up on “Modern Family.” It was the episode where Claire and Cam want to buy a house to flip and Claire is complaining to Cam about how she wants to get a job so she can contribute just a little to their family finances and they can travel and give back to the community and stuff. And then she pauses and says, “There’s also this pair of boots.”
Cam, in total solidarity with her on this one, says, “Of course. There’s always a pair of boots.”
There was a moment of silence between Micah and I before I said, “They are so spot on.” And we laughed because, really, they were SO SPOT ON.
Just last week I decided that the outfit I was wearing to church could really benefit from a pair of knee-high black boots. And wouldn’t it be nice if I could just get a job, something consistent that I could work at a few hours a week and get paid so I can get those boots?
Actually, it’s been a long time that I’ve been thinking that. I mean, that was always part of the plan. I write, I freelance, I get stuff published, I get paid. (Not necessarily buy some boots, but whatever.)
But while I’ve been doing a lot of writing, there hasn’t been much freelancing and definitely not so much “getting paid.”
And I’ve had enough of that. I’m ready to move forward. I’ve been thinking about freelance copywriting, or finding a place to link up Mother Runner to, or scrapping Mother Runner altogether and putting all my energies into freelancing. I talked to my friends who are into writing and blogging and I started coming up with some alternative plans.
This week, something came up. It’s been a long time in coming, and I owe a lot to my friend Mara of A Blog About Love, but I got a job. Starting next week I’ll be writing for Babble.com’s Health and Fitness channel. I’ll be posting 5 times a week about health and fitness related issues. It’s going to be a lot like what I’ve been doing on Mother Runner for the past 2 1/2 years, only now I’ll be getting paid for it.
It sounds like a good fit, and I’m looking forward to getting started and seeing where it all leads. Besides that new pair of boots, of course.
Did your wildest dreams involve watching the cutest baby in the world clomping around on her solid but unsteady hands and knees for approximately 5 seconds before being distracted by the tastiest little black Firebird China ever produced?
Well then, your wildest dreams have come true!
(Sorry your dreams have to be narrated by me. Total buzzkill.)
A friend of mine asked me a few weeks ago for my thoughts on being an LDS woman. I mulled it over for several days before responding and came up with what I’ve written below. I shared it with Micah as well and he suggested I post it here. The day or two after that, Micah’s mom e-mailed me a video of Sheri Dew’s thoughts on being a woman in the church, which resonated with me as well. Feel free to share your own thoughts if you’d like. I’d love to hear them.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this since I got your e-mail, and I must say that I don’t know if I have anything to offer, but I will share my thoughts anyway. They may be somewhat incomplete and not answer your questions entirely, so if you have more questions let me know. It has been good to think about this and to take the time to put it into writing.
I think the trickiest thing for me is separating what is inherent in our society and what is specific to the church. If I say that the church is to blame for me not having a career in journalism, for being weighed down by my kids, being stuck at home wiping other people’s bums and noses, then I have my head in the sand. Women EVERYWHERE are struggling with that. Unless they have careers, and then they are feeling guilty for not being home with their kidlets. So that’s obviously a societal problem as well and I can’t “blame” the church. Instead, I can take a more “eternal” perspective by saying that this isn’t going to last forever. My kids are going to learn to wipe their own bums, they won’t need constant supervision, I’ll be “free” to do other things in a decade or so and at that point I will have learned a lot of empathy, time management, organizational techniques, and people skills. I’ll also have developed some sort of relationship with God because sometimes He’s the only “adult” I have to communicate with throughout the day.
If I say that the reason I’m not given the priesthood, or asked to be a Bishop or Stake President is because the church is a pigheaded patriarchy, then I am ignoring the fact that the church has a history of being very respectful and supportive of women. Women do have a voice, they have an organization, they are able to serve and give and support as much as the menfolk, just in a different way. Which is great because women generally have a different skill set than men and I am grateful to have that recognized and supported, rather than to feel like we’re continually trying to put square pegs in round holes.
I personally have never felt “lesser” because I don’t have the priesthood. I am fine not standing in the circle when my babies are blessed because I think it is important that Micah have things that only he can do for them. I don’t want to infringe on his relationship with his children, and while we both bless their lives in many ways every day, I have the opportunity to be there continuously and to give them small blessings throughout the day. Knowing that Micah is able to bless them in other, more specific and sometimes powerful ways takes some of the burden off of my shoulders and I am grateful for that.
However, there are things that have been a problem for me lately. I often feel like I cannot say no to things, which is a form of powerlessness. A couple of months ago someone in the RS presidency e-mailed me to ask if I knew that one of my VT sisters, who is inactive, had been left by her husband and now has 4 kids to raise by herself. I didn’t know, and I felt extremely overwhelmed and inadequate to address the needs of a sister who is going through so much. I contemplated asking for a different assignment because I feel that I’m already trying to do too much with my family (mostly with Simon’s homeschool), and not doing a very good job at anything. But when I asked Micah about it, he seemed shocked that I would consider such a thing and managed to talk me out of it.
I also have a calling in the scouts right now that I really dislike because I feel excluded from the actual Scouting program and I’m only called on to do the tedious paperwork. There really isn’t any reason I can’t do it, but I think that if I were actually asked to participate in the Scouting activities, I would feel a lot differently about it. I’m not sure if I’m not asked because I am a woman or if there is another reason for it, so I’m not going to lay “blame” on that. But it is a little maddening that I feel like I can’t ask them to give me a different assignment, one that doesn’t feel like a secretarial role.
So there’s that.
But that is within the bureaucracy. I understand that in order to serve and help as many people as possible in their own, specific needs, I may have to give up some of my personal comfort and scrub the toilets every now and then, so to speak. I also understand that I covenanted to give my time and energy to the church and that there was no stipulation about doing the “fun” things or receiving any recognition for it, or even receiving any blessings from it aside from a greater tolerance for tedium (and, of course, the blessing of relief that comes when they finally release me).
If we look at the gospel itself, and its teachings, I don’t feel that inequality or angst or whatever. I think that as I have become a wife and a mother, I have felt a lot more support from those around me in the church. I have always felt that the men of the church, or at least my husband and his friends, have been very supportive and understanding of the fact that being a mom is hard and thankless. I see them making time for their wives to go out and have fun together, or volunteering to watch kids so that the wives can put together a baby shower or good-bye party. I know some who have arranged baby-sitting swaps so their wives, who are struggling in some way, can attend meetings they normally wouldn’t be able to go to.
I feel that the men I know in the church are aware that there are a lot things that women are better suited for than they are. I feel like they are more willing to look at things from a woman’s perspective and to take that perspective as a valid one. I think it says lot about our church that women are allowed to teach and preach from the pulpit. I don’t really buy into the “men have the priesthood because women have motherhood” argument because men also have fatherhood. I also don’t really believe that men have the priesthood because they are not as angelic as women so they “need” it more. I think we are given different challenges in this life and for some women that challenge may be not having the priesthood, for others it may be same-sex attraction or infertility or illness or whatever (maybe I’m totally off-base making that comparison, but I’m trying to say that for a lot of people, being a woman in the church is not a challenge, even when they can see and understand why it is a challenge for others). But I think the Lord will provide answers and peace to us individually as we ask Him for those things.
We got all sorts of crazy with our Valentining this year. Homemade Valentine cards, handwritten notes from me (+ chocolate!), a mad scramble to get to the post office on Monday so our Valentines would arrive on time.
And we had a good time doing it. Valentines, as with so many other things, is a lot of fun with kids – especially ones with opinions and abilities. The boys gave me a long list of people they wanted to send Valentines to, and Micah and I went to work coming up with something that wouldn’t be too difficult for them and that they would be excited about helping with. We went with a Cut the Rope/Omnom theme and the boys loved it.
For my part, I was pretty proud of myself for coming up with some age/interest appropriate Valentines for the boys, and even more pleased that they came together in just a few minutes but are so very laden with meaning and abstraction (the card is supposed to resemble a pb&j sandwich, a touch I point out because Micah didn’t notice it and so it might be a little too abstract).
Elsa didn’t get a Valentine from me this year. Micah did get her a new pair of leggings which are super cute and I am totally jealous of. But I’m not sure she’s going to get one next year either, after her up-until-2:30am-screaming antics. Crazy girl.
In my life I have been told — with unfeigned, totally sincere surprise — that I am 1. Pretty 2. Funny 3. Fun to hangout with. By people I have known for a long time. And they had just realized it about me. After years.
I don’t even know how to deal with that. I guess I’m good at … putting my worst foot forward? Maintaining an air of boringness? Tricking people into writing me off?
So, in case you didn’t quite know what to think of me, I’m pretty, I’m funny, and, goshdarnit, I’m fun to hangout with. Just so you’re not surprised later on.
I’m glad we can get that out in the open.
And I’m not telling you this to “encourage positive feedback.” I just think it is funny. Maybe you can relate?
As we put the boys to bed the other night and left them in their bunks, Simon issued me a command: “Now, Mom,” he said, “try to open the Lantern Box.”
“Will do,” I said, thinking that I might play a few levels of Cut the Rope just before I went to bed, gather a few more stars so that in the morning, he could finish off the job himself and have the joy of watching the lock on the box disappear and 25 new levels of feeding Omnom open up to him.
But just a few minutes later Simon’s voice carried through the door, “Mom? Are you working on it? Have you gotten any more stars?”
He asked a few more times before I realized that he wasn’t going to bed until I had made some progress. So I quickly wrapped up my post on Mother Runner and sat down with my phone so I could make my child’s dreams come true.
It took Micah and I another half hour or so, trading off levels before we reached the magical number of stars to open the box. Simon was still awake. He’d insisted we give him progress reports every few minutes. Micah let him out of his room and brought him in for the unlocking of the box. The boy played four levels in quick succession, getting all three stars in each of them. Then he handed the phone back to me and went to bed.
However, that was just one more step in the progress of his obsession. For the past couple of days we’ve been working hard to get all the stars in all the boxes. Last night as I rocked Elsa to sleep, Micah finished up getting all the stars in the Valentine’s Box, the last of the five boxes in season 1.
So that season is done. But then I looked at the five boxes in season 2, and the four boxes in season 3. We have seven more boxes with plenty of stars to earn. Omnom’s going to eat a lot of candy in the next little while. And I’m just going to go with it. It quality family bonding time. It’s good for us to work toward a goal together. It’s good to support Simon in his interest. It’s good to learn persistence and patience. Even in the name of feeding a little green monster on a tiny screen a piece of candy.