affection v. aggression

when she was 7, a boy pushed her on the playground
she fell headfirst into the dirt and came up with a mouthful of gravel and lines of blood chasing each other down her legs
when she told her teacher what happened, she laughed and said ‘boys will be boys honey don’t let it bother you
he probably just thinks you’re cute’
but the thing is,
when you tell a little girl who has rocks in her teeth and scabs on her knees that hurt and attention are the same
you teach her that boys show their affection through aggression
and she grows into a young woman who constantly mistakes the two
because no one ever taught her the difference
‘boys will be boys’
turns into
‘that’s how he shows his love’
and bruises start to feel like the imprint of lips
she goes to school with a busted mouth in high school and says she was hit with a basketball instead of his fist
the one adult she tells scolds her
‘you know he loses his temper easily
why the hell did you have to provoke him?’
so she shrinks
folds into herself, flinches every time a man raises his voice
by the time she’s 16 she’s learned her job well
be quiet, be soft, be easy
don’t give him a reason
but for all her efforts, he still finds one
‘boys will be boys’ rings in her head
‘boys will be boys
he doesn’t mean it
he can’t help it’
she’s 7 years old on the playground again
with a mouth full of rocks and blood that tastes like copper love
because boys will be boys baby don’t you know
that’s just how he shows he cares
she’s 18 now and they’re drunk
in the split second it takes for her words to enter his ears they’re ruined
like a glass heirloom being dropped between the hands of generations
she meant them to open his arms but they curl his fists and suddenly his hands are on her and her head hits the wall and all of the goddamn words in the world couldn’t save them in this moment
she touches the bruise the next day
boys will be boys
aggression, affection, violence, love
how does she separate them when she learned so early that they’re inextricably bound, tangled in a constant tug-of-war
she draws tally marks on her walls ratios of kisses to bruises
one entire side of her bedroom turns purple, one entire side of her body
boys will be boys will be boys will be boys
when she’s 20, a boy touches her hips and she jumps
he asks her who the hell taught her to be scared like that and she wants to laugh
doesn’t he know that boys will be boys?
it took her 13 years to unlearn that lesson from the playground
so I guess what I’m trying to say is
i will talk until my voice is hoarse so that my little sister understands that aggression and affection are two entirely separate things
baby they exist in difference universes
my niece can’t even speak yet but I think I’ll start with her now
don’t ever accept the excuse that boys will be boys
don’t ever let him put his hands on you like that
if you see hate blazing in his eyes don’t you ever confuse it with love
baby love won’t hurt when it comes
you won’t have to hide it under long sleeves during the summer
and
the only reason he should ever reach out his hand
is to hold yours

Fortesa Latifi – Boys Will Be Boys
(And Why That Is The Stupidest Thing You Could Ever Say To A Little Girl)

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okla-hom-a?

MDW to OKC, i touched down in the rain and immediately missed Chicago. i reminded myself that in 6 hours i would be holding my babies and therefore the rain and the muck would not matter. i retrieved my bag and met my mother, which for the first time in my life i felt awkward around. like i was missing something, like i was the misplaced person. it has been 3 months since i left Oklahoma. a heart full of dreams and hopes that Chicago may bring the change i was seeking. being back in Oklahoma with this new perspective, is like i’ve just had my eyes checked and given new sight.

the ride to my mother’s house consisted of me trying not to complain about the drive, the traffic and the dull mucky weather. so i lead with all the cool things i discovered in Chicago. the train, the sights, the museums, the music, the people, the river, the sound of the train, my doorman… anything to distract me from this feeling out not fitting in.

i assumed that things would be different, i prepared for that. i did not prepare for them to be the same. the same awkward moments between my family, this unspoken stranger-ish feeling to which i had not missed the last couple of months. the same anxious behavior my mother exhibits when my father comes home and she goes into “i-have-to-be-cleaning-something”. the same disinterestedness that possessed me to want to leave is still here. i did not prepare for that.

the surroundings, be it all familiar are not home to me. i feel displaced. i’m not sure if Chicago is home, but I know this house, in Oklahoma is not home. i’m not sure that since i have seen something with such potential that i can remain happy in this place with no acceptance.

Welcome Home?

31 Days to Happy Children

This new year I know that something has got to give with these boys. A change is mandatory. No more whining, fighting, bickering, yelling, arguing. NOPE!

It’s going to be organized, formatted, understood and smoother.

To help me on this I am going through 31 Days to Happier Children I am uber excited about it!

I will be sharing my successes, struggles and all-in-all happenings through this journey.

Here’s to sharing and finding joy within this life.

Stacey

Foiled. Again. (dun dun dun…)

Chandler did not sleep well last night. I blame the melatonin – you see Chandler takes things for one reason and the result is the complete opposite!

Ex.

Benadryl – Makes him hyper.

Pain meds (he’s had 2 surgeries) – Hyper.

Motrin – Nothing, not even pain relief.

Prescription Antihistamine – Migraines

Laughing gas – Tired. Not laughing.

Last night he woke at 12:30am. Remained awake until 5am.

Not gonna lie, I cried. Begged, pleaded, bargained, promised, prayed, and then when I got done talking to God through tears, fell asleep only to be woken up by Tanner saying he could not sleep with Chandler bugging him and keeping him up. (at 3am)

After I kicked them both out of my bed, cried some more and went back to sleep – I woke up this morning with Chandler sleeping sideways and kicking me at 4:45am.

UGH! I want the ease of last nights going to sleep and the peace of every other night him staying asleep NOT IN MY BED.

Have I mentioned I HATE BEDTIME, no? I hate bedtime!

Sleep has never been his strength

Chandler does not sleep. He has not been a good sleeper since birth. When he was an infant, he was nurse get to sleep I would lay him in his bed get to the door and he would wake up. This went on ALL night long. I would cry for hours each night while nursing him praying he would sleep. I spoke with doctors, specialists, God, friends; nothing helped. Even when medicated from surgury recovery he only slept for an hour then he was up and fine like nothing happened. This went on and one and still goes on to this day.

He fights sleep.

I tried melatonin when he was a baby – nothing. Sleeping tablets – nothing. Charts, rewards, gifts for weeks on good bedtime – nothing. Screaming, yelling, threats, grounding – nothing.

UNTIL TONIGHT…..

3mg of Melatonin and “I’m really tired mom, just one book tonight!!!”

Holy CRAP… do you know the dance I danced at 7:54pm when he went to sleep ON HIS OWN. No bargining, begging, pleading, crying (me not him) arguing, yelling, screaming (him not me), praying (well I did prayers of praise)! It was glorious! If it happens again tomorrow I will be thrilled.

Happy Birthday my Channy!

7 Years ago today Chandler Jackson Root came into the world kicking and screaming and fighting it the whole way, but from the second they placed him on my chest I was addicted. Even through the nightmare that was colic and sleep issues (he woke up every 20 mins every night since birth until age 2) that aside, he is the most creatively wonderful, fabulously kind, with a passion for Christ and God that is unmatchable.

Things I love about Chandler:

1.  He is so creative. I love the way art calms him. He always draws a little   coif on his characters.

2.   He dances and sings with ease and whimsy and most importantly…       without a care of those around him.

3.  He has a heart for his friends. Those who are hurting and sad. He tries   so hard to love those around him. I love when he says “I love you too” or       come and sits on my lap and says “I just wanted a hug.” He has always         been my snuggle butt.

4. He has fashion sense. He loves to be stylish, he tells me all the time that looking good is important. All though he does loves to wear underarmour and skinny jeans with dinosaur teeth necklaces… I love that!

5.  He wants to be just like his older brother.

6. He saved me.

7.  He will leave water classes all over the house, half drank and thinks that only new water is good.  – I love this quirk.

8. I look forward to this year on our way to 8.

Chandler Facts:

* He is allergic to peanuts, treenuts, eggs, red yellow and orange food dyes.

* He loves music.

* He loves fossils, archeology, sharks, anything ocean, and road trips.

*  His favorite book is A Bad Case of  Stripes by David Shannon

* When is has a meltdown from hypoglycemia we call it the Schmedricks.

* He set a goal to read the whole Bible this year. On his own. Priceless.

I am so thankful for this kid. I love everything about being his mom. Thank you God for blessing me with this wonderfully amazing and challenging Chandler. I can’t wait to see what his life brings.

So…

I have been absent from this site from some time partly because I hated the world and all who live in it, and partly because my worldly  hatred caused me to write things that only Debbie Downer would enjoy.  Not saying that all that has changed, but I now only have a small hatred for the world and some of its inhabitants, but I have gained a much bigger love for where I am being asked to grow. (you know, bloom where planted)

Here’s where I, we, us are:

We are living at my parents as the University was not too pleased at me living under the radar in student housing considering I graduated in December, so we vacated our grand apartment and moved into a 2 story brick with a pool. I admit, at first I was so bitter that lemons and limes looked like gumdrops. Now I have let go a little and realized that we are here for a reason, I hate not being able to do my own thing and wander like I want, eat after 10pm and sit with my doggie watching House Hunters INternational. BUT… I have lost 10 lbs, go to bed at 10pm instead of 4am and the pool is nice.

On the job front, I have applied everywhere from Target to The Richards Group and not had much luck (although I did meet with The Richards Group and loved it, although they did not love me as much as I did them). I want to work like nobodies bidness and think I am a catch in the work world, plus, that whole degree thing I now have. (ta daaaaa) I have passion and heart and grace and humbleness so I know it is just around the corner.

Dating. Hmmm, well that is a void, but I have hopes that a perfect man is being molded just for me. I have placed an order, but it seems to be taking longer than anticipated. I’ll wait.

So… there’s your update on us, me, I.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed getting here.

Perspective.

I was reminded last night/today that I have been blessed with wild, unpredictable, free spirited and genuinely kind and loving kids. With that comes unpredictablity, wild and zany times. Tanner is the most caring, supportive, and loyal child in the world. Chandler, whew, is wild, unpredictable, loud, creative and all over the place all the time. 

BUT, I would never, ever change them or change what they do on a daily bases. 

I need to change the way I am parenting. I need to seek opportunity to be better and more aware of what the wild man is doing. 

Thank you God for opening my eyes to their need. Thank you for using this small wonder to create a big shift in my heart. I can do better than this. We as a family will be better because of this.

I HATE BEDTIME

Chandler Refuses to Sleep ∞ 

He has done this since birth. He would play this evil little game with me. He would get to sleep, and after I layed him in the crib adn walked to the door, he would walk up. And he would do this over and over and over. All night long,  sleep in 20 min. spats. Yeah, it was not cute. If left to “cry it out” he could cry for hours and hours. He has played this game for 5 years. Seriously!

He never goes to bed before midnight, he wakes up at 7am, he is going to drive me insane. 

I joke but honestly… I am crying inside, screaming and yelling inside. Pleading, begging and aching for this child to go bed like every other child at 830pm, quietly and nicely. Please God just let him GO TO BED.

Any thoughts, comments, suggestions, critisim… click below.

Junior Jet Setters

I remember when I was a kid parents would send there children on flights alone. The flight attendant would check on them periodically, they would get escorted on and off the flight and someone with a rather large sign would be waiting when they got off. I never flew this way, thought about it when trouble came around and I was the cause (well fine I will just run away). It was a simple less fearful way to think then. (circa 90’s)

I don’t hear or see that much. Parents letting their children fly alone, I mean teenagers maybe but not kids like when I was a kid. Why? Did we becoming a fearing world after some incidents, do we fear humanity, or in general are we more cautious??

The Ooops Factor

things that i have been up to lately fit nicley into the “oops factor” or maybe more of the “what the fungus are you thinking” factor…

  • i have been missing class
  • i have not been really focused on my work
  • i have not been a Christ follower, i have been a Me follower
  • reading the Bible…what, what is that
  • i feel like crap~!!

So MONDAY IS A BRAND NEW DAY!

i plan to:
  • GET MY BUTT TO CLASS (every class)
  • DO EVERY ASSIGNMENT WELL
  • SPEND TIME IN THE WORD
  • WORK ON MYSELF (walking helps, running is better)
  • BE OPEN AND HONEST ABOUT FAULTS AND SEEKING ACCOUNTABILITY
  • STOP MAKING EXCUSES
  • BE FOCUSED ON THE MEANS AND THE END…i want to be self sufficient and stop being a dependent on those around me. 

What are you not being honest about? The truth will set you free~! 

Through the Looking Glass

Scott Rogers spoke at Lifechurch.tv last weekend about how we look at our Everlasting Father through the eyes of what we see our earthly father as. I have pondered on this for the last couple of days to see how this fits into my relationship with both God and my dad.

I have looked at God through production and consequences. I have seen God as accepting me on the grounds of the my actions, if I mess up he punishes, if I do well he is not impressed, if I do better, I could have done something better than that. God loves me as long as I perform. When I fail he is quick to punish and correct.

BUT…

God does not LOVE this way.

He is quick to love, slow to speak, and fast to embrace. He is not a God of circumstance, or punishment, or a love based on behavior. He loves me (us) no matter what we do. He may allow consequence to correct, but He still loves us.

Knowing this I decided to remove the dad goggles and look at God for what He and who He is. It will take time but you can too. Remove the lens to which to see Him and allow Him to penetrate you heart. Find His embrace and let Him love you.

This week I was sure that I would not pass this semester therefore I would not have aide and be able to continue working on my degree where I am at. God showed me that “Yes you did mess up, and you dont’ deserve to have a second chance, BUT, because I love you I will show you grace and mercy and you may continue what you are doing” He corrected me and showed me Grace. Something only HE could do. I am so thankful for His mercy and His Love.

When you take of the dad Goggles, what God do you see? Have you the courage to do so.

Prayer Works, Duh!

I have been praying and praying for a opportunity to meet other Christ Followers here at campus and today God showed up in the form of a classmate at the mailbox. She invited me to her lifegroup and actually is on my team on the Saturday experience at LifeChurch.tv HOW COOL is that! Thank you Jesus…more Glory to you!

On the way to GLORY!

Larry, who you watch in this video died 2 weeks after this was shown in church.

I ask you what are you doing to leave a legacy, a glory, a life behind that will live on after you go home. What are you chasing that does not matter? What treasures are you storing today that will not matter tomorrow? Are you living so that others may see Christ in your life?

BE THE BLESSING…

I don’t know any more about theology than a jack rabbit does about ping-pong but I’m on the way to glory” – Billy Sunday

go back go back go back…back to where you were! 

If you have children then you have most likely heard this song. It is from Blues Clues and they sing it when they have lost something.

I have lost the innocent way in which I perceive the world in which I surround myself. I have forgotten that I am blessed with the Gift of Too Much. I was walking back from the ever famous Caf tonight with the kiddos and remembered that they are soo awesome! I have been so stressed out with classes that I have been very short with them. Tonight in the dark and crisp air I saw the kids as kids. I saw that they are so wonderful and I had lost that loving feeling. I promised myself to take time to remember that they are kids. Kids who need and deserve a mother who is excited to be their mother.

So if you too have lost something, go back go back go back…go back to where you were!

The Storm Brewith…

In yesterdays discussion of the Great Depression one of my classmates stated that political leaders are arguing poverty from a state of abundance, I argue that they can not come up with a workable solution because they are apart of the problem. We have the resources to stop hunger, give jobs and help those go from surviving to thriving. But when America spends roughly 2 billion a year on ice cream what are the odds that we actually will.

We live in abundance. We eat out most of our meals, go to coffee houses and consume multitudes of resources. We argue about prices at the pump but refuse to walk, we get mad if the cable goes out and we (GASP) can not watch Greys. When on the other side of the world children are taught how to survive the food shortages in times of “abundance” by learning to fast for weeks at a time, for the simple reason to be able to survive when “abundance” is null. When we are airing stories on the evening news about how pastors live in “abundance” while the rest of their congregation live in normalcy is crazy. When did we become consumed with abundance?

I admit I sit here writing this looking at programs that were waiting for me on my Tivo, and warm and very fed. So, I admit I am part of the problem. What am I going to do about, like you I will be disgusted for a hour or two pass this on to someone through email and by tomorrow morning forget about it. Go on living and enjoying the abundance of life and feel sorry for those who don’t have the luxury of it, pray for them and move on….

or will I?

Honestly is this you too?