2016: A Recap of a Hard Year Filled with Good Lessons

happy new year 2017It’s been years since that tingling sensation coursed through fingers, belly, and toes as the seconds of the year twinkled out of existence. There’s a moment when we hang liminally floating somewhere between today and tomorrow, this year and the next. For such a short time that moment, pregnant with possibility, envelops the entire room with love and joy and excitement. I don’t like the Christmas season, but New Year’s Eve makes it all worth it. There’s a ritual. A rite. A cleansing of time, and sin, and action. Chronology’s reset button is pushed when the clock strikes 12.

10, 9… We’re inside The Ancient Order of Hibernians’ local chapter reception facility. The building was once a church, and then a library, and now holds some of my most important people. I’m wearing a tea length, fluffy black tutu, and a loose-knit gold-platinum sweater. The air is humid with the heat of dancing. My cousin, Sean, is counting on the microphone. I’ve always made resolutions in the New Year, but this time I’m too scared, too apprehensive. I wonder if something will destroy us–if a comet will burst through stained glass windows and end the year with our lives, but the counting continues.

…8, 7…my stomach fills with butterflies, my most immediate family, my parents, my brother, my husband and children, instinctively draw up into a circle to be close in the last seconds.

The obstacles of the year flash through my mind. There was a bout of unemployment for the only don't give up new year 2017income earner in our home, just weeks after I’d been rear ended picking my daughter up from her last day of school before break. We struggled with unemployment issues, health insurance, illness, and injury. We watched our bank account drain, and fought to keep from incurring insufficient fund fees which only served to hasten the inevitable. Depression’s shadowy cloak draped over us, shutting out light, and turning even the smallest tasks sisyphean. We watched a lot of Netflix. There was that time while my Grandmother was dying, I found myself squeezing 48 hours of work into five days just to afford the airfare to my Goddaughter’s Quinceanero in North Carolina, barely sleeping, barely eating, wondering if I would make it. There is the haze of June.

6,5,4…I grab for my daughter, lock eyes with my husband. It is going to happen. We are about to survive the absolute worst year I can ever remember.

In February my closest uncle died suddenly, and tragically young. My family swarmed to North Carolina, stunned and bleary-eyed. In March my 93 year-old Grandmother began a terrifying transition to the other side. Every few weeks a hospitalization stole her out of her assisted living facility, triggering impulsive cluster visits from out-of-state family members. At any moment there could be an air mattress in the living room. In June she passed, surrounded by family, and everyone let out a breath of relief and despair. In the background the election season was ramping up to its dramatic crescendo, and what I’d hoped would be a light at the end of the tunnel, a woman President to guide us into a New Year, went from Spielburg to Shyamalan in a matter of hours.

3…

But it wasn’t all bad was it?

2…

It was hard, but it was about to be over, which means we made it, didn’t we? There were warmer moments during our February pilgrimage to North Carolina. At the hotel there was a sleepover trio, made up of myself, an older, and a younger cousin. There was bean salad, too much wine, tears, laughter, and who can forget rolly pollie O-lllieeee? There was the decision to honor my uncle by wearing comic book characters on our clothes (I wore my awesome Avenger leggings), and an ensuing trip twenty deep to Kohls. There were tears, yes, but there was so much more wasn’t there? As unpredictable as the Spring had been, the injections of family visits were uplifting, and heartwarming weren’t they? Even when my Grandmother left us, wasn’t the gathering of us all one of the highlights of our year? Wasn’t it amazing to be together like that?

And sure, there were obstacles, but the unemployment ended, the struggles subsided, I even debuted a ten minute play at an amazing event in Harlem, NY, Colors of Community. Even the election results, while frightening, had awoken a beast inside me. I am more aware. I am more committed to getting involved, serving my readers, and using my gift to help change the world. Oh, yeah, and did I mention that I’d opened an Etsy shop? It was in that final second of 2016 that I realized that while the year was one of the worst in memory, it was one where I ++ adulted all over the place.

This very party is a tradition born from the desires of my Mothers (my Mom and her sisters) to seduce their young adult children to celebrate with them, instead of venturing off to night clubs or Time Square or whatever it is people do on New Year’s Eve. As one of the 23 middle children (we’re 26 altogether) my Mothers have between them, I was in my 30s before the New Year’s parties faded away out of existence. Throwing a small dinner party is no easy task; a party for upwards of 50 people is even harder, and when those teenagers began starting families of their own attendance dwindled. You never realize what you’re missing until its gone. My cousins and I had decided to take the torch lit by our parents before us, and there we were, standing in the middle of it, celebrating the way we always should…together. That’s when I realized the message 2016 had been trying to teach me all along.

Together.

1! I’m not sure I even hear the last number before I launch into my husband’s awaiting arms. Our lips lock. Our arms squeeze. “We did it!” I cry as I let the tears fall (that’s what waterproof make-up is for).

“It’s over.” He says. “Finally.”

The relief cascades from head to toe like a blanket pulled from my sweating, suffocating body. I could breathe again. Understanding sweeps through me too, like wind taking up the sails of thought. There were moments I thought I wouldn’t make it, but now, in the infancy of 2017 I can see the vast expanse of the past year not as one of hardship, but as one of learning.

new year 2017 meThis year there will be no grandiose resolutions. I don’t want a new me, this year taught me that I’m not so bad. I can withstand. I can overcome. I can grow. I’m not trying to reinvent myself from scratch.  I want a better me that is still me. Instead I will focus on what I’ve learned, and work to make those lessons matter. I will focus on not wasting the pain and suffering that comes with growing up. I won’t proclaim this will be the best year ever, because the truth is, there’s no way to control the time. The only thing we can ever control is our relationship to that time, and this year the intention I’m setting is to love, act from the heart, and fight for my voice.

This year I won’t let failure derail me. I will let it educate me.

I won’t let sadness turn me to ice. I will honor it.

I will make the commitment to respect my life, and to ensure my actions do too.

Most of all, I won’t do it alone anymore. I will spend more faith and time in my family. I will share my love with my friends. I will serve my readers with my gifts.

How about you? What will you do differently with your 2017?

 

 

 

Dear Writer

IMG_4994Dear Writer,

I see you there, hovering by the door, uncertain if this letter is for you.  If you heard your name, even if it’s only in the smallest corner of your secrets; come in, make yourself comfortable.  You are welcome here.

There, now. That’s better.  Take a load off.  You don’t have to carry all the baggage here.

I know you may not feel like it right now, but I want to tell you something very important, and I need you to pay very close attention. Are you ready?

I believe in you.

You are divine.

You are worthy.

If there is something inside you. A story. A script. A poem. A novel. Please share it. I so want to read it. If it is your soul on a page– it is everything I’ve ever wanted.

I know this journey is hard. I know it is confusing. I know that you battle your self-doubt and the doubt of those around you. It isn’t easy when the people you love the most dismiss your goals as pipe dreams, delusions, fantasies. It isn’t easy getting rejection after rejection. It isn’t easy when you’re curled on the bathroom floor wondering who you would be without your pen. I know.

Don’t give up.

If you have to come back here, every time you doubt yourself, so you can be reminded of how amazing you are–do that. If you have to stand in the mirror and repeat “I am divine. I am worthy. I am a writer.”–do that. If you have to cry, or yell, or scream–do that. Do whatever it takes.

But do not give up.

Because you are a creator. A world depends on you. A universe of your imagination is waiting to be shared, and I am waiting to discover it.

At the end of the day, you are the one who decides whether or not you are a writer…and I think you’ve already chosen.

So, write, dear Writer. Answer the call of your soul.

I will be waiting to discover you.

Love,

T.R. Patmore

My Bullet Journal Journey

It happened one insomniac night, as I was browsing Pinterest absently searching for nothing. You guys, those of you who knew about this, have totally been holding out on me. Bullet Journals are the analog answer to all of those organizational apps I’ve downloaded and used for five minutes. The giant bonus is that I finally get to use all my absent doodling in a way that actually helps me get things done.

What the heck is a Bullet Journal?

“Bullet Journal was developed by Ryder Carroll, a digital product designer living in Brooklyn, NY. Through many years of trial and error, the system has evolved into the ideas presented here. He sees this as an evolving, adaptable platform meant to be shared and self curated as you determine what works best for you.” – Bulletjournal.com/about

The Bullet Journal is a notebook. Plain and simple. It’s a technique to use a notebook as an accounting of your life, be it a to-do list, a task list, a dream board, or a note taking system. You can use any notebook you wanbujot, and all the colors of the rainbow. It’s a completely customized DIY journal system, and all you really need is a notebook and pen.

I recommend it to almost anyone, but especially hands-on creatives, non-linear thinkers, and people who are interested in keeping themselves steeped in creativity. Students could definitely benefit from using this in place of the school supplied agenda, which is usually full of pages they never look at.

How does it work?index

The first thing you’re going to do is create an Index page. This is how you’ll keep track of important notes you’ve taken, lists you’ve made, pages that are different then your regular daily entries. As you can see I messed up with my index by adding my daily pages. Don’t do that. It’s redundant. Unless you want to. It’s your book. In my first Bullet Journal I left far too many pages blank for the index, the recommended amount is 4 pages. If you need more you can use the back. That’s the beauty of this system. It’s whatever you need it to be.

The main benefit of the BuJo technique is the organization of your writing through the use of signifier bullets. For the first few BuJos you might want to create a Legend of these symbols. I used a library card insert and pocket I’d had left from some crafting I’d done a while back, and glued it into the front cover. In the future BuJos I can just glue in a new pocket, and move the card.

A portable BuJo Legend makes it easy to migrate to new notebooks

A portable BuJo Legend makes it easy to migrate to new notebooks

I also like to leave a few pages in the front of every journal I use to add a few quotes I love. Warning, my doodling is amateur level at best.

quotes

 

 

 

 

 

As for the ensuing pages…well that’s up to you. I find layouts while browsing the web, and especially Pinterest. There is a universe of avid Bullet Journal Junkies, or BuJo-holics who love to share their new interesting layouts, and applications of the BuJo technique.  These usually fall into three categories:

  • Planner Pages:
    • monthly calendar

      favesongs

      A list page of favorite songs…can you pick your top five songs? That’s the hardest part for me.

    • weekly calendar
    • meal planner
    • workout planner
    • garden planner
  • Tracker Pages:
    • water consumption
    • mood
    • spending
    • saving
    • baby milestones
    • new habits
    • gratitude
    • holiday gift ideas
  • List Pages
    • recipes to try
    • movies to watch
    • favorite songs
    • books to read
    • books I read
    • birthdays
    • funny things my toddler said

I’ve been using this method since this beginning of the year, and it’s really working for me. In fact, I now use 3 different Bullet Journals. One for my writing/inspiration,

Just write the names of the books on their spines.

one for daily personal home/life/kids planning, and a small budget BuJo, to track expenses, spending, etc.

My writing journal is part scrapbook, part diary, and part journal. I save mementos using adhesive pockets I’ve gotten at the craft store, journaling cards, washi tape, and stickers. I’ve even got a Fuji Instax to capture moments I want in my BuJo. It’s a bit of an addiction now, to tell you the truth. What I love, however, is how I’m wasting a lot less time endless scrolling social media–which is one of my biggest time sucks. I’ve got more lists in this one too, since I use list making, as a lead into writing, because it stimulates my memory recall. I like to put recipes in this journal, because my daily one is smaller in size, and I use them up faster. My master meal list won’t be too hard to migrate, as I write individual recipes on library cards. I use a monthly calendar layout in this journal, although my goal is to add weekly spreads soon. The idea is to track my writing, set goals, and have the ability to review what I’ve accomplished.

My daily BuJo is where I plan meals, keep track of events & activities, track my daily mood, and keep lists of books I want to read, as well as the ones I’ve finally gotten to. Shopping lists, appointments, and to-do lists are what makes up each individual day’s entry. I don’t always write in it each day, but I’m not losing out on pages because of it. Sometimes all I do is scribble the date along the top, and scratch out washipagessome bullets, but other days I’m inspired to get a little more creative.

One of my favorite BuJo hacks is to run a long slice of washi tape on the edge of the pages that are important to me. When I do this with different color washis, I can’t find the page more easily. Some people go as far as to index the color/pattern washi they use, which makes tons of sense, but I’m too lazy for that.

 

Drawbacks of BuJo

There are some cons, of course. For example, set-up is time consuming, and at the outset that seems pretty daunting, but I’ll confess that the more I see the awesome BuJos other people on social media are making, the more I enjoy the time I spend. In fact, just setting up my daily header has become part of my daily routine. I find that forcing myself into a creative endeavor, that is justifiably useful, helps warm up my brain. The more time I invest in the journal, the more committed I am to using it. So much so, that because I’m using a daily tracker for my reading, writing, an

IMG_4259

My daily header for May the Fourth…getting creative is fun.

d cooking I’ve tripled the amount of time I used to spend on each. I also like that the journal is always new, because I have a lot of trouble getting bored with a novelty. There’s also an issue of what to do with a notebook once it’s full. For me, my journalling, my writing, my notebooks are part of my identity. I keep a giant plastic storage container just for my old notebooks, and I’m not joking when I tell you that they are willed to my daughter. When I’m gone, they will be my legacy to her.

Another con is that it can become consumptive. I’ve definitely increased my store of washi tape and stencils since I’ve been doing this. I guess this is a balance you’ll need to find too. The way I see it, just the fact that it’s making me more effective, makes it worth a few bucks in washi tape.

I’ve got lots of plans for new Bullet Journals too. My next one will be filled with words of wisdom, memories, and lists to give my daughter when she moves out.

Do you Bullet Journal? Share your favorite BuJo hacks, tips, and tricks here!

 

 

Write on…through the pain

“2016 is going to be a good year.” I said it in the last hours of last year. So many awful things happened in 2015, that I just knew this coming year would be amazing. I imagined all the good that would happen. I wold finish my novel, we would save tons of money, and maybe we’d take another awesome family vacation–this time somewhere more relaxing.

keepwritingI couldn’t have been more wrong. Almost immediately 2016 issued forth a wave of worse case scenarios, and the hits just keep on coming. This has been the year of endurance. Like a marathon runner I simply try to keep my pace steady, breathe, and have faith that I’m going to feel that sense of relief when the finish line crosses under my feet.

It isn’t all bad though. I have an amazing family whose first instinct is to pull in close like a crochet stitch when the string of urgency is tugged. Some of the worst moments, have yielded some of the most beautiful too, reminding me, like a Pixar movie, that not all darkness is sad.

My pen, too, has been on a roll. Thankfully writing is a helpful tool to manage anxiety, which seems to rear its ugly head more often lately. Just putting words on paper, even if its to make a list of all the ways I feel awful, is the only thing to relieve the stress. Other times, magic happens.

Last week, in a moment of desperation I resolved to finish a scene I’ve been struggling with. I fought the resolution for most of the day, finding all kinds of distractions. The house got cleaner. The laundry got folded. Social media sunk tentacles into me. Finally I stared down the clock, and offered myself twenty minutes of writing, as an alternative compromise to quitting for the day. Twenty minutes turned into two hours, and at the end of it, my scene was complete. It was a tortured victory, but it worked.

Being a writer means having to fight your demons, and embrace them all at the same time. We have no one but ourselves to overcome, and only a finite amount of time in which to accomplish it. While it might seem like we should give ourselves time to deal with the obstacles life deals us; the truth is that we are writers. The way we deal with things is to write.dory

So the next time the mountain seems too high, or your world seems to be collapsing all around you, instead of pushing it away. Pick up your pen, and write on through the pain. The worst that could happen is that you write a bit of drivel. On the other hand, what you write could be exactly what you’d be missing.

New Year, New Resolutions on Just My Inkblot

New LifeHappy New Year to all of you out there in internet-land. I really want to thank you all for taking the time to read my little blog here. I’m incredibly humbled that you would even be interested in reading about little ol’ me.

I don’t know about you, but 2015 really sucked for me. There were some incredible moments, like traveling to Jamaica for my first vacation in seven years, but overall the entire year was incredibly stressful. 2015 seemed to have an understanding of its own mortality, inflicting more and more turmoil as its days wound down. Just when I thought there would be a moments peace and enjoyment, on my way to picking up my baby dragon from her last day of school before winter break, stopped at the very left turn just forty-five seconds from the spot where I park the car, a vehicle slammed into me from behind–dude was clearly not looking at the street #distracteddrivinghurtspeople.  Thankfully I didn’t suffer any broken limbs, and all my internal organs seem to be intact, but I’m not out of the woods just yet. Crossing fingers that’s its just soft tissue damage, but most signs point to some kind of disc issue in my spine.

Its funny how we expect ourselves to hit the ground running in the New Year, as if suddenly, from one day to the next, a reset button can be pressed. Well, not this year. Of course, a Mercury Retrograde began five days in, so there’s all that mess to deal with too. Actually, if you think about it, the beginning of the year isn’t a time for starting new things. It’s a time for reflecting about the old ones, and formulating a new one. If there’s anything I’ve learned this year, its that the most successful people set goals, and plan to achieve them. These last few weeks as 2015 ended, and 2016 was born, I’ve been reflecting, recovering, recouperating, and trying to make resolutions that I can plan to achieve, instead of fail to plan for, and I’d like to share them with you.

new-year-resolutions

T.R. Patmore’s 2016 Resolutions:

  1. Stop proofreading social media. Because autocorrect, and it’s just not very nice. I realized this after posting a link about the correct usage of “who” and “whom” on my local police department’s Facebook post, that I’m really getting out of hand. Besides, I’m not going to get people to enjoy, or even commit to using appropriate grammar via humiliation.
  2. Read More. I tend to deny myself the pleasure of reading, because I see it as a recreational activity, when, in order to be a writer I must also be a reader. As part of a commitment to writing professionally, I need to change the old thought pattern, and recognize my need to grow.
  3. Spend more one-on-one time with my kids. I know this isn’t a writing resolution, but the solution I’ve come up with in order to accomplish this is.
    1. For my Teen Dragon, we are embarking on a reader dialogue journal, wherein we read a book, and respond to it. Using the bullet journaling method (we’ll talk more about that later), we’ll set a weekly reading/responding schedule. I can’t tell you how excited I am for this. I feel like I’m getting a pen pal, and we’re going to be writing about books! The biggest bonus, is that this journal will go a long way to build a bond between us, and establish a mutual trust. This is probably the most important thing I can give my son. Our first book will be The 13 Clocks, by James Thurber. Who knows…maybe I’ll even let him write a review here on the blog? What do you think?
    2. For the Little Dragon, I bought a Mother/Daughter conversation Journal. just between us. This one has questions for each of us to answer, prompts for drawing pictures, and blank pages for free-writing. This will not only help her practice reading and writing, but this also has that bonding bonus. I so badly want for her to understand, and trust me, so our relationship can stay as strong as it is now. Especially since she’s already starting to experience the world of Mean Girls, I need her to trust me, and develop a strong sense of confidence.
      1. Also I intend to read books with her. We’re starting with one of my childhood fave’s Charlotte’s Web.
  4. Write more effectively. Part of novel writing, for me, has been a struggle in learning how to organize my thoughts. If only I could just download the story out of my brain.
    1. This year I’m going to employ the writing journal I’d been using since last year, but organize my thoughts and ideas through the bullet journal (also called the doodle journal) technique–a system of list making using organizational marks, and creative layout design. I’ll be writing more substantially about the process in a future post.
      1. I intend to create a schedule for writing, blogging, and managing my responsibilities at home.
      2. I intend to create a system of reinforcement in order to incentivize my progress.
      3. I intend to balance my “other” artistic endeavors in an appropriate proportion to my professional ones. Which basically means stop sewing stuff when I should be writing.
  5. This year, I will finish my first draft of my novel. No explanation necessary.

I’d love to hear about your writing resolutions, and how you intend to achieve them. Leave me a comment below. Start the conversation, or join in.

 

Stop Trying to Make Teenagers Sexy!

No sooner had my children been dropped off at school, then the Halloween paraphernalia had overtaken all the back to school supplies (No slacking in the retail industry). Yesterday I received my first spam from a Halloween costume shop. Of course I clicked it. I love to see the new costume additions every year, and come up with ideas of my own. While I was browsing, however, I found myself faced with a pretty horrific reality.

Lindsay Lohan, in one of her most iconic performances in the movie, Mean Girls, said it best,

“Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”

I’m incredibly disheartened by the way Halloween costume stores are contributing to the sexualization of our young girls. Teenagers are still children. Many of them don’t even have breasts, but at Spirit Halloween a “Teen” costume means exposing more skin than an adult costume.

Take a look at Exhibit A: The Teen Supergirl Costume

Now have a gander at Exhibit B: The Adult Supergirl Costume.

adultsupergirlNotice anything different? Apparently Spirit Halloween thinks a Teen should be in a sexier, more revealing, more sexualized outfit than her grownup, age-of-consent, counterpart. Oh, and flatter hair.

I wondered if this was a trend, so I browsed through a few other costume websites, and found these:

sexy teen demon

At least they aren’t using teen models to model these clothes.

 

 

This particular costume completely disrespects all of our Female soldiers who fight so hard to gain equal respect in the eyes of the country they serve. I’m not sure what kind of military this store thinks we have, but in our country women and men wear the SAME uniform.

 

 

 

 

I'm not even sure why this exists. Teen Playboy Bunny? That's child pornography, isn't it?

I’m not even sure why this exists. Teen Playboy Bunny? That’s child pornography, isn’t it?

 

 

I know it might sound prudish, especially if you knew me in my party girl days, and I’m sure it has something to do with my way-too-beautiful six year-old, who will one day grow up into a dangerously gorgeous teen, but I’m a little grossed out when I see teenaged girls depicted as sex symbols. To me, TEENAGED GIRLS AREN’T SEXY.

Allow me to clarify a few things:

  • While Eighteen, and Nineteen year-olds are consenting legal adults, they do not make up the majority of teenagers. Teenagers, as a group, are made up of Thirteens, Fourteens, Fifteens, Sixteens, and Seventeens. I may be able to swallow marketing sexier outfits to the Eighteen and Nineteen year old segment of Teens, but it’s absolutely disgusting to swathe them all in the same Teen category for that kind of advertising. I suggest marketing geniuses put their brains to work to come up with some other clever age categorization for Teen Adults, so that they can effectively reach their demographic. If you read the reviews on the Teen Supergirl outfit, that costume isn’t even made for a “small teen body”. So maybe the term: Pre-adult might suit the eighteen to twenty crowd a little better. Some other suggestions include: Senior Teen, Adulteen, or Almostgrown.
  • I believe the human form is beautiful, and not something to be ashamed of. This is not an argument about hiding the body away under blankets. My daughter actually wears a two-piece bathing suit, although I’m not thrilled that all I could find was something that exposed her stomach, but that serves a practical purpose. One-piece bathing suits make potty time desperate. I encourage my daughter, and all women, for that matter, to love their bodies, and to embrace their own beauty. I try to do the same.
  • This isn’t a conversation about slut-shaming either. How an adult woman choose to dress is absolutely her own prerogative, and whether she likes it or not, she does have to deal with the consequences of her choices. The truth is that the male gaze sexualizes women no matter what they wear. Our gender is constantly besieged with uninvited commentary about our appearance, whether we are gorgeous, ugly, fat, skinny, or anywhere in between.
  • I don’t believe that there is anything a person can wear that invites rape.

It’s not just happening with our teens either. Here is a costume I found for a TWEEN costume. Whilst the costume itself isn’t overtly sexy, the way the model is posed suggests that we should think it is.

TWEENsexypose

The more I think about it, the more I realize that we are barraged with images of young girls in provocative clothing all the time. Competitive dance teams come to mind quickly. Think back to all the ten year-olds you’re seeing in crop tops on television, or just watch an episode of Dance Moms; Cheerleaders in way too short skirts; Or just plain commercial advertising. A bra top on a little girl is probably the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of. What are they even covering up? When did we start ascribing the characteristics of a woman to small children? When did it become okay to think of children in sexual terms?

My biggest beef is that we are allowing our children to imitate the costumes worn by adults. The word “sexy” isn’t being used overtly, but the silhouettes, hemlines, necklines, and shirt lengths are either the exact replicas of sexy clothing, or are actually sexier–just in youth sizes. Just the concept of sizing clothing intended to be sexy as 3T, or youth XS is so far beyond the capability of my understanding. I mean, think of the number of people who had to give their approval on those decisions. How did that conversation even happen?

“Hey boss, what do you think of the sexy nurse in teen size?”

“I like it.”

“Great, how about Exotic Dancer?”

“Make the skirt a little shorter, and the neckline lower, and make it in tween size too. Those twelve year-olds are gonna eat this stuff up!”

I think dressing kids up like mini-adults is kind of adorable, myself, but there are certain boundaries I subconsciously apply. For example, a little kid in tiny fatigues–adorable; a little kid in little scrubs–super cute; a little kid in a little suit–cute overload! When my Little was a toddler I created a mini version of an Audrey Hepburn a la Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and it’s still my favorite picture. However, when we start putting little kids in over the knee boots, or nipple tassels…things start getting creepy, and that doesn’t just apply to toddlers. That’s because the word sexy comes from the word sex–which is an act which should be reserved for adults only. When we even start to think about children in terms of sex, well, I don’t know about you, but I get that I’m-about-to-vomit feeling mixed with red hot rage. Tweenaged girls, and even young teen girls really don’t belong caught up in the midst of conversations about objectifying the female form. I don’t think anyone belongs there, but as adult women we are more prepared to fight these battles than our children are. Maybe by the time they get to our age, we’ll have defeated gender discrimination, but since we haven’t done it yet, how about we stop allowing our children to make the decisions in our homes, and say “no” to the sexy referee, huh?

This Halloween, let’s please encourage our children to stay children for as long as they can. Soon enough our daughters will be facing the same demeaning catcalls, and leering gazes of lecherous men.

We don’t have to rush it, do we?

 

 

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Not Sorry

not sorryI like flavored coffee.
Chocolate raspberry is my favorite.
I drink it with sugar, and extra cream even though I know the best flavors are appreciated most with neither.
I’m not sorry. It’s who I am.

I still clap my hands when I get excited
even though I’m an adult, and adults aren’t supposed to act like that.
A trailer of my favorite book turned movie;
visits from my brothers;
listening to her read to me;
hearing that he’s happy to live here;
my nieces and nephews.
Sometimes I jump up and down.
Sometimes I squeal.
I’m not sorry. It’s who I am.

I still believe in fairies.
Sometimes I think I am one.
I love princess tales, and barbie dolls, even though I know that people think both are bad.
I would paint the whole world pink.
I love flowy skirts, and satin gloves.
I would wear a tiara every day if I could.
Although I’d probably be wearing yoga pants when I did.
I’m not sorry. It’s who I am.

I talk a lot.
Too much.
I just have so much to say.
I have so many stories.
They take time to tell.
I still want someone to listen, even though I know that most people don’t have enough time to do it.
I’m not sorry. It’s who I am.

I believe in love,
and romance,
and magic.
I’m not sorry. It’s who I am.

I cry when I’m:
angry,
sad,
happy,
lonely.
I’m not sorry. It’s who I am.

I’m not sorry for who I am,
but I am sorry
that you don’t like what you’ve read.