Monday, May 30, 2011

My Kids

My kids reach(ed) 2 big goals in the matter of days...hmmmm....maybe it is 3 big goals. 2 of these goals make me SO sad....and also make me so proud. The third just makes me proud...but then, does it make me a bit sad. You must remember, I am a woman. Conflicting emotions are just what we are!!

The first of these goals was already was met yesterday by my daughter. She went and turned 12. Oh how emotional this gets, though not as emotional as it will be a year from now when she turns 13!! But, that's just it....she turns 13 in one year. This is her last year in her preteen years and once she becomes a teenager, it will be no time at all before she is an ADULT!! I could SWEAR I was just at the hospital just months ago having her. Now, she is almost as tall as me....growing more and more beautiful daily.....and dang it, she is 12!!! On the flip side of this coin, she is also an incredible 12 year old. Oh, she has her issues, she is a girl and thus has a wide range of emotions she is learning to control. But, she is such a sweet, tender girl who loves life and her family and is sensitive to God's voice. It is hard not to be filled with pride alongside the sorrow at how fast she has grown up.

Which leads me to goal number 2...and this one is a doozy. On Thursday, my son will COMPLETE KINDERGARTEN. Oh, my son. I love him SO much and I admittedly baby him. Try as I do, though, he is growing up faster than I can keep up with. He finishes Kindergarten (his school does not do Kindergarten graduation....a VERY sore point with me) on Thursday, but already seems ready to conquer the world. He is so incredibly smart, that when tested, he is already ready for 2nd grade!!! This has it's good points....he can read and figure things out for himself. BUT, he is MY BABY!!! I want him to need me more. I want him to rely on me more. Lucky for me, that while he is incredibly smart, he is also incredibly lovable and loves to curl up in my arms and snuggle with his mommy. He still tells me that he loves me as big as space. He also tells me how he can't wait for 1st grade....SUCKER. AND, we had a family picture taken for soccer and I was ASTOUNDED at how TALL he was next to all of us....his baby fat is practically gone.......I WANT MY BABY BACK!!!!!!!! But, he is a very good kid and he makes me proud daily!!

Which leads me to number 3. Sierra will have completed her first year of homeschooling on Thursday (or Friday). It was a successful venture with no regrets from us or her. She is succeeding beyond my wildest dreams with homeschooling and is mature enough to know that she needed to get out of the environment she was in. There is a bittersweet moment, though, as she will be done with elementary and intermediate education and will move on to....gulp....Jr. High. Now, I do not need to worry about the influences of school with Jr. High, since she will be home. BUT, it is still a milestone that she has moved on to one of her big stepping stone to independence. My daughter is a Jr. Higher!! WHAT!!!!!!!!

I have amazing kids. They are so sweet and wonderful and smart. I am proud of them everyday. Time does fly WAY too fast. I wish it would just slow down a bit. I love the feel of Daniel's smooth, soft cheeks when we kiss or snuggle together. I love the easy feeling of camaraderie between Sierra and I when those teenage hormones have not kicked in yet and boys aren't quite knocking on her door (though they do knock on her facebook door). Time could slow down a bit more, though. I would like to enjoy those moments in time when my kids are kids. But time will not slow down and I must roll with the punches. I must cheer my son on when he very proudly leaves his school on Thursday, officially done with Kindergarten. I must hug my daughter close and tell her how proud I am of her and all she has done in her 12 years of life. I must hold my head high, though my inner self would like to cling still to the pig tails my daughter wore and the wrap around glasses Daniel wore.

So with that, I bid adieu! Don't feel sorry for me....I am sure tomorrow I will wake up in a different state of mind....I am woman, after all.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Where's the line?

I have posted many posts on my thoughts on media in the form of music, movies, and TV. The other night, I had a talk with my daughter about the movies her friends get to watch and how she wishes she could be "normal". This sparked a conversation with Matt and I about what has become "normal" and if "normal" was good...or maybe I have become a prude, not only in what I allow her to watch, but also in what I allow myself to watch.

What began this conversation is Sierra wanting to see more of the genre known as the "chick flick". So many of her friends post on facebook how they saw this movie or that movie and Sierra will ask me about these movies. One in particular she inquired about was the movie, "The Notebook". Most women would consider this movie among the top chick flick movies made...and when you watch it you do get caught up in the romance of it all. You have an elderly couple living in a nursing facility because the wife has dimentia. The husband loves his wife so much that everyday he reads to her the story of their love, hoping to spark a glimmer of who she once was.

The love story itself is full of passion and love and really is a heart tugger as we, as women, lean in to watch the romantic story unfold. Sounds good....seems like a no-brainer to let my 11 year old daughter watch this story of devotion, right? Well, there is the part of the story where they first meet and fall in love when she is a mere 17 years old. There is the scene where, at this tender age of 17 that Allie and Noah go into an old, abandoned mansion and decide to consumate their relationship....and in a very graphic way. They are seperated by her parents who view the relationship to be uneven (she comes from high class blood while he is but a farmer's son) as well as too fast for their 17 year old daughter. Years later, she falls in love with a soldier who is of the right blood and they become engaged. She discovers, though, that Noah has loved her all along, had restored that mansion to it's former glory and had written her 365 letters (none of which she had ever received). Upon knowing all this, another scene like the above scene unfolds...almost as graphic...and this time she is an adult, but an adult who is engaged to another man.

I am curious. How is this not ok for my daughter, but ok for me to watch? What is the point of a movie?? We watch movies and tv to "escape" our world and live in another world. So, what happens if I escape into a movie where 2 people who fall in love, yes, but do so in such a way as this. Does it make me wish for a fantasy love story like this one which is hardly the love story God would have for me?? What does it do to me and my adult mind and heart? And what impression does it leave for my daughter??

Matt and I, several years ago, fell in love with this show called Chuck. It was a silly show about a normal guy who finds himself in an abnormal (and fantastical) situation of having a spy computer downloaded into his brain. What ensues is hysterical fun as he and 2 agents assigned to him take on the spy world with crazy gadgets, the hilarity of a character who is out of his element but loving the idea of being a spy. However, it did not take long for the show to go DOWNHILL. Sadly, like so many other shows, there was a love interest which turned to the female beginning to be on screen in bra and panties and her and Chuck beginning a relationship that is all the sudden them living together. The focus shifted from the hilarity of Chuck flubbing it up on spy missions to the love interest and the hurdles in that. It got raunchier and raunchier and we finally (we waited too long) had to put a stop to watching it.

So, ask yourself. Is there a show you do not want your kids to watch, but you watch? Why don't you want your kids to watch it? When you get to that reason, could this reason be the same reason that you YOURSELF should not watch that show or movie??

One such show that comes to mind is Grey's Anatomy. I heard so many women oooing and aaaaing over it so I decided to try it. WOW!! The ammount of sex in this show was astounding...casual sex....people cheating on spouses....etc. This fits that category...I would NOT want Sierra to watch this show. I would not want her to cause I would not want her to think that this was an ok way to live. I should not watch this show. I should not allow myself to see these images that are too deprave for my daughter to see.

So, we had to sit and have this conversation with Sierra. We had to talk to her about how we want more for her than the world wants. We do not want her watching these glorified lifestyles that are present in these movies and begin to think...what's wrong with that. And, we also want her to know it is not double sided. We do not allow ourselves to watch these shows either. We are not perfect...we are not holier than thou. We do not watch Christian movies and shows exclusively. BUT, we do try to filter what we do watch...sometimes, the filter malfunctions and something slips by. We have to be diligent in our efforts.

Today, I took Friday Night Lights off of the DVR list. I should have done it years ago. Matt, also, removed Saturday Night Live from his list. It is a constantly moving filter that we have to evaluate and re-evaluate.