(cont)


While waiting for sleep last night, I continued my thoughts from yesterday’s post and decided I’d expand a bit.

See, while I agree with one of the responses that ‘balance is to be found in everything….’ I don’t really want to see a little bit of everything in my kiddos. I don’t see the need for them to balance out lessons in giving and simplicity, with spending significant time or money on tomorrow’s pop icon or on trashy toys made by heartbroken children on the other side of the world. And,  I’m alright if they don’t want to balance out sexual innocence with some participation in oral sex before they even enter junior high (yes, it’s happening. My word.). And no,I don’t think I’ll encourage large pieces of their school days to be given over to the ‘fillers’ of which current teachers express such fondness. See, there’s balance, but then there’s also the fact that we are not always obligated to ‘balance out’ the good with something lesser.

I don’t think it’s about romanticizing one particular time or experience, it’s about looking at our world, our roles, and our children as a whole; both within our current culture, and above it. It’s about recognizing the flaws of then so we can better recognize the issues of now. It’s about raising ourselves and our children to be intuitive enough to be aware of the undercurrents and influences within our culture, and confident enough to live uniquely within it.

Within these thoughts, I recognize that many of the current expressions, individuals, and experiences within our time are not inherently bad. Pop stars, sure, cute. They sing, they dance, we can all have a good time. But when our adolescents begin to look to those same stars for their moral and developmental cues, well, then it’s not quite so clear. Likewise, Hollywood can draw one into the creativity of story and character and imagination, but it also presents a very fictional picture of body image, finances, and sexuality. In the same way, food culture, while offering greater convenience and the opportunity for large populations to live within urban centers, is also filling our young people with transfats, simple carbs, and a host of preservatives and distorted food-like materials.

I really do believe that our young people (and us too of course, but for now I’m looking at the kids), can have it better, if we see it.

What I want to look towards as a parent; for myself and my children:
– Presenting them with models of integrity, courage, generosity, art, and overall good character, as they witness and consider the abundant models of everything else around them. Heroes and models and people who can be looked to across time and culture.
– Providing food options which are both tasty and good for them (ie. Not simply what tastes good in the moment.)
–  Guiding these boys towards maturity, before they venture into practicing sexuality beyond their time (though of course I recognize that they will be considering aspects of and expressing development of, as part of this maturation).
– Freedom for messy learning. These kids, my husband, myself, my peers, we’re all going to make choices which we don’t agree on or which aren’t the best, but we need to give each other that support and freedom to do so. In this way, we can actually believe in the things we decide on in the end.
– Expect that we will all read in our home; for learning, for necessity, for family, and for the sheer pleasure.
– Encourage the arts, and express appreciation for the arrays of expression 😉
– Live with a home which extends to the outdoors. Appreciate the seasons, the growth, and creatures, the air, and the connected opportunities.
– Incorporate the lessons and habits of these gypsy years into our coming years. Less belongings. Open hands. Willing feet. Slim finances.

As usual, I’m out of time and these very dear boys are in need of their mama. Hopefully some of this makes sense.

 

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Comments
7 Responses to “(cont)”
  1. Delynne says:

    i like this.
    it reminds me of what oz says, something to the effect of living conservatively, thinking liberally.

  2. Kristin says:

    “balance out the good with something less” .. i really like the way you worded that. I think it’s important to filter things out for our children and give them a strong foundation, and if that is considered “sheltered” and “conservative”, i guess that I am sheltering my children. What is so sad is that little boys and girls my sons age (6 years old) are coming home from school talking about thier boyfriends and girlfriends and talking about kissing.. even kids his age are grapling with thier sexuality… UMMM NO THANK YOU.. this is not just harmless “oh they are just kids”… KIDS DO ARE NOT MEANT TO THINK ABOUT HAVING A SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP. URG! sorry.. didn’t mean to go off there… what i mean to say is I agree with you and have many of the same desires for my boys.

  3. Kmarie says:

    Dea:
    Did you mean my comment? Just in case…( Cause I think it is the only comment so I hope that this is not an assumption:)
    I did not say balance is to be found in everything. I said, “Anything without balance feels like a spiralled confusing mess. If you focus on balance in your life you will find more balance around you to some degree.” To some degree. We can encourage and support and we can each search out all the good and balance that:) Because then our life for our children will be more balanced. And that bit of wisdom was not my own unfortunately – it was given to me by a few more older people.
    Focusing on not getting to stressed or judgemental at other’s choices (like pop stars- they have their apparent struggles but so do I. They also give much. For instance Beiber gave a lot to Haitai when as a teenager he could have gotten away with not. I guess we can focus on the positives like that when our children are exposed ) and focusing on our own choices. Anyway, that is what I meant from that simple statement. The rest of the comment implied exactly what you are saying in this post. On most levels I completely agree.

    I have a dear friend who has her children immersed in pop culture and cultural eating. And they are good kids. Morally upright and good. Could it be better? It always can. Are the parents failing? They are very aware in other areas and they do their best. Do I expect more from them? Should I? When I have flaws in my life should I be upset at how they are conducting theirs? When they are doing their best one step at a time?

    I think all your ideals are true and good. In fact I hold true to all of them. And live out all to the best of my ability. But there are many good ways to live a life. There are many Godly choices and until heaven we will not cover them all at all the time.

    You are very analytical and insightful. I love that about you. We don’t always agree obviously but I don’t really care about that. The world would be very boring if we all were the same and did not express various faces of the mysterious complicated God. I need to say what I believe and you need to say what you believe. Without any ill will or malice. Whatever I say on here – I say to others and I also am always saying it in a very loving gentle tone. ( Including now) I am naturally an advice giver and balancer. I can’t help it. Sometimes it’s a gift and many other times I get it really wrong. But I am ok with being flawed and if I ever insult you let me know personally because I would love to promptly apologize. Because you matter more than the issues.

    ‘Relationship always before issues.'( My counsellor put that on a big white sheet for me- ha ha.) I am not perfect. Thank God we each have our own brain to think it through and do what is true in our walk with God. That will play out differently in each person. All that to say- it’s fine that you disagreed. Although I did not like being quoted in a wrong way- but that happens in computer world.

    In the first place I loved your 2nd last post- I just wanted you to also breathe and enjoy in between all that thinking…Because it takes one to know one.:) I think on all these things and get overwhelmed and it has helped when others say to just relax and enjoy as well:) It always takes someone to give that perspective as well and I appreciate it so much. I wanted to give you the same gift but I guess it came across wrong if it kept you up:) And for that I am so sorry…Anyway- thanks for the challenge. I hope you know my love always comes with my words. I pray for you and I have a deep connection of soul to you. You are a unique soul that cannot be replaced. I really do love you and the way your brain works:)

    • Dea' says:

      Thanks K’ 🙂 Ha, and no, YOU didn’t keep me up (or your comment), just my own continued wandering thoughts 🙂 I’m not really looking at anyone else’s lives or kids with this, just my own hopes and concerns. I understand and agree that each family chooses their focus and I never have any right to be upset with that and think that they are failing. My examples were more just general concepts to share thought. (Ex. I don’t know anything about Justin B, just the hype, but he happened to be handy for a generalized example of pop culture). These days I don’t have the time or mental clarity to really dive into the details or respond as I would like to, so I often go with one snippet and then kind of (randomly!) go from there. Your comments are always filled with balance and encouragement which I’m sure everyone reading appreciates, and one of these days I’ll get back to interacting more fully with them. I hope I didn’t make you sad or disheartened with my response or post. I’m so sorry! I appreciate the interaction and know others do as well 🙂 Best to you friend!

  4. Kmarie says:

    P.S.
    In case you did not read this one- I just want to show you that I am fully aware of the flaws in myself. Please read if you have not come across it:)

    http://acquiringbalance.blogspot.com/2011/02/pursuing-deep-and-redeeming.html

    Perhaps then you will understand where I am coming from within my comments. I sometimes make the assumption that people understand where my heart is coming from.

  5. Kmarie says:

    Oh I just read your comment. Thanks. BIG SIGH OF RELIEF. So much so I could cry. I was really afraid I insulted you. Ha – ok good. I feel much better. Thanks for getting back to me.
    Oh my goodness- now I can go about the day without this tightening in my chest. I hate it when I hurt people. So glad that was not the case. I have not been able to shake it since an hour ago ( Talk about me needing balance:) Ha ha. But anyway, now I feel like I can go about my day without that tight ‘I did something wrong feeling’.
    What a relief.
    Love you too.

  6. mel says:

    Dee,

    I echo those desires friend (with fear and trembling)
    Love you!

    Mel

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