Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Our Vile Bodies

I have read several good articles recently about various topics of interest to women. Aside from the general nature of the articles the topics were dissimilar. However, I noticed a general tendency in all towards affirmation of the beauty of a woman's body despite the messages society bombards us with about what we should look like to be happy. I think I have my parents and wonderful friends/community and finally my husband to thank in large part that I hardly relate to feeling the need to conform to such ideas. I don't mean to say that I have never wished for a more beautiful face or body or bemoaned the fact that I was awkward-looking. I spent my share of time in the mirror trying to see at what angle my cheeks would look less chubby. But I never remember - however high or low I figured myself on the scale of outward beauty - taking that impression as reflective of or the source of my worth as a human being. I had no idea how much I had to be thankful for that! I still don't have a perfect attitude towards my body keeping in mind the balance of its fallen nature with a chance for redemption but at least I don't feel as though I have too much other baggage to lay down before working on a proper attitude about it.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

Water

It was HOT today! I'm sure the topic already figured in my posts last summer but when heatwaves hit I cannot be thankful enough for the basement apartment I usually bemoan. Although the humidity seems to be right up there in the 90s, at least the temperature seems to remain at a fairly comfortable level. When we do venture outside it's usually connected with some sort of water-play. These pictures were from some of the frequent play-breaks while the boys were washing the car a few days ago.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Today's fishing spot

James caught this one today.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Typical Summer pattern

On free evenings and weekends: the boys fish and explore, Walter sleeps and plays, I read and take pictures. It's just about perfect.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

keep calm and raise a toddler

"How could you do that?" "There's no reason to act that way!" "Just calm down and try again." These and other words to a similar tune are more than just occasionally popping into my running dialogue with my two-year-old these days. He, understandably, gets frustrated on a fairly frequent basis and I must say is usually good at trying to act well as we try to give him the tools he needs to respond to frustrating circumstances. He may be good for a two-year-old but he's still a two-year-old. And struggling to put one's own boots on is the toddler's daily battle just as struggling to keep the household running is the parent's. It may seem easy for an adult to control her overt emotions past the point that a toddler can but saying something along the lines of "there's no reason to act like that" doesn't help and is putting on blinders to reality. There certainly is a reason that a toddler is acting one way or another. In some ways this is one of the times in life when acting out is most easily explained. Not to ignore the idea of original sin's place in misbehaviour, but I shall only attempt to deal with the outer factors here to hold my focus. Often, in our household, the variables that add up to my child's meltdown are more in my control than my toddler's. Has he had enough sleep? Has he eaten recently/properly? Have I asked him to push his comfort zone with meeting a lot of strangers in an unknown place? Have I kept him going from one place/event to another several days in a row? (Ha! These last two make me sound like a socialite). But most importantly in my experience is: how have I been acting? Not only does my boy model my speech and behaviour, he also is quite sensitive to moods and actions that I unconsciously display every day. As I exasperatedly raise my voice to tell him to calm down, my words echo back at me. Yes, dealing with a toddler's frustrated response to his frustrations is one of the most frustrating things I've ever experienced but I am the adult in the situation. I am supposed to have perspective, faith, experience, a sense of humor, self-control, and a time-strengthened character to help with holding my cool. Then one day I find myself yelling. How could I do that? There is no justification to act that way. But as I realize this I know that, calming down, I can try again...and again, and again... And the character-building continues.