Sticking it to ’em

April 17, 2012 at 3:35 am (Community, Faith, Interfaith, Politics) (, , , )

God bless the whole world no exceptions

Possibly the best bumper sticker ever. Probably the driver of this car should take over the writing of this blog. And get a car wash.


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Sandal Shopping and Raising Strong Daughters

April 16, 2012 at 2:37 am (Kids) (, , , )

The unseasonably warm weather continues here in the Upper Midwest. Or maybe it’s now seasonal, I don’t know. One Easter not too long ago we actually had so much snow we made snowbunnies instead of snowmen and this year the week after Easter we’re strolling to church in sundresses and last year’s sandals. (Yeah, yeah, I know Easter moves around, but I’m pretty sure Easter was around the same date this year as it was the Spring of the Snowbunny. Anyway, I’m not writing about global warming, I’m writing about feminism. Stop distracting me.)

After mass we walked over to our local shoe store to replace the shredded, too-small sandals pinching the feet of our three children. Our youngest found sandals, our son found sandals, even Sam found sandals, but our tween, alas, did not. There were a couple of outrĂ© pairs that she tried on, but she made the shocking discovery that the gladiator sandals were uncomfortable…all those straps! And the other pair had buckles and zips and all sorts of bells and whistles that would make them pretty inconvenient for running around outside all summer long, flipping them off at the beach for wading, flipping them on again for the sandy walk home.

Disappointed that everyone else had found something, Riley talked me into walking over to the mall to see what we could find there, but it was the same story. Flip-flops, which I won’t buy for her, despite living in them myself, (“Do as I say, not as I do! It’s too late for my hopeless feet, cherish yours!”) sandals with heels, nothing that was cute and comfortable at the same time. Nothing that you could play an impromptu game of baseball in. Nothing you could wear both to church and to the park. Nothing any good for a normal, active nine year old girl who has become ever-so-slightly picky about what she wears.

“Why can’t we find anything?” my insatiable questioner asked, following that up with “Why are there plenty of sandals that you can run around in for boys, but not for girls?” leading her to the inevitable answer, “Well, I guess it’s more important for boys to be able to run around than girls.”

I may or may not have stopped my daughter dead in her tracks for a lecture right there in the middle of the mall.

“Hold it right there,” I said in my best scolding mom voice. “Why on earth would it be more important for boys to be able to run and jump and play than girls?”


“Listen,” I continued. “I am sorry to tell you that there are some people who think, STILL! that the most important thing about women is how they look. More important than how strong they are, how smart they are or what kind of person they are on the inside. You may find it hard to believe, but that is the kind of thinking that leads people to make shoes that are cute but uncomfortable. We do not accept that. We know that while it is important to present yourself well, it is much more important that you should be as smart as you can be, as strong as you can be, and as good a person as you can be. Therefore, we reject these dumb shoes that you can’t run and jump in, and will keep looking for sandals that are both cute and comfy.”

I wish I could tell you that right at the culmination of my speech, as the music was reaching its zenith, the clouds parted, the sun shone down and the Lord’s voice spoke, “these are my beloved sandals with which I am well-pleased. Buy them!” and we walked home poorer but happier, but that didn’t happen. We couldn’t find a single solitary ever-loving thing. So Riley wore her ratty old sandals to play in all afternoon, and I found a couple of good options on Zappos. We’ll give them the baseball test when they arrive later this week.

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April 4, 2012 at 6:43 pm (Faith, Kids) (, , , , )

Today is the last day of school before spring break. I can hear my preschooler thudding around upstairs with her pal as I write this, and the other two will be done in a couple of hours, after which we have eleven blessed days before it’s back to the daily grind. (“There’s just too much school,” my oldest sobbed to me one morning this week. “It’s every day and it’s just too much.” They’re due for a vacation, for sure.)

We don’t have any solid plans for our next week. The hubs has oodles of vacation time banked up but is too busy to use it, so there goes our brief flirtation with a last-minute trip to the land of the Mouse and all his merchandise, aka Disney. I’ll maybe take a day trip or two with another family we’re close to, (water park? big city museums?) but I don’t have any firm plans yet.

One thing I’m going to try to do is to keep tomorrow and Friday…um, holy. I was trying to explain this to my kids one night as they peppered me with suggestions about where we should spend our vacation. “There’s a lot of church this weekend,” I reminded them. “There are churches all over,” they told me. “I’m singing at three of the masses,” was my comeback. “And I don’t think Thursday and Friday count as vacation days.” They wanted to know what I meant. “Well, why don’t you have school those days?” I asked. “Because it’s Holy Thursday and Holy Friday,” my six year old said. “Good Friday,” I corrected him. “That’s right. I guess I just think we ought to do something that reflects the reason you’re not in school those days.”

Here’s my plan. Tomorrow we’re going to go to an outdoor Stations of the Cross that is nearby, and then Friday kind of takes care of itself, with that big old service right in the middle of the day. I don’t know, it just sort of seems like the least we can do.

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