Saturday, March 17, 2012

What I Like

This blog post was inspired by my long walk through my neighborhood with Bella today. The flowers are exploding in color, and it was almost hot. I like that and it made me think about what else I like...

  1. Music that has really full harmony. It fills my head and gives me goosebumps.
  2. A book that I can't put down. Especially if it makes me cry.
  3. My dog, Bella - she really, really loves me and that makes me happy.
  4. When my kitty Spike bites me on the chin.
  5. When the girls get together and laugh.
  6. Quirky movies like Lars and the Real Girl, Stranger than Fiction and Home for the Holidays. I'd love some suggestions for others!
  7. Driving. I have always loved to drive.
  8. Mowing the lawn. I was so excited when my father finally let me mow the lawn. I still like to do it.
  9. The cold side of the pillow.
  10. Sleeping in.
  11. Writing.
  12. Hugs.
There are lots of other things I like, but these are the ones that bubbled to the top today. Take some time to think about what you like and put it in the comments. It can make you happy - I promise!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Nature Versus Nurture

A high school classmate of mine recently posted a comment about bullying on our class FaceBook wall. This was prompted by the recent school shooting in Ohio. As the comments continued to roll in, it was pointed out that neither of the shooter’s parents was present in his life and he was being raised by his grandmother. From there, a number of comments were made about his choice to shoot his classmates being a “parenting” issue.

The “nature versus nurture” argument is one that I’ve pondered quite a bit. I wouldn’t say that parenting isn’t a strong determining factor in how a kid behaves, but I don’t think it’s the only determining factor. I’m lucky - I’m blessed with great children. But their father and I certainly can’t take all of the credit for that. God, through genetics, gave them generally kind, happy, responsible personalities, and other than being the donor of half of those genes, I didn’t have much to do with that.

Let’s look at a very simplified example.

Sara’s room is generally a disaster – my husband might tell you that’s a poor parenting issue on my part, and I’ll take some responsibility for it because my feeling is that it’s her space and I can just close the door. But if you look at it genetically, she comes by it honestly. Her room is about as messy as mine was when I was her age. That’s only my fault because I made the egg that made her. Parenting-wise, I could, and do, encourage/nag/threaten her to clean up her room, but in the end her nature is to be messy.

My children don’t get into big trouble – or at least they haven’t gotten into big trouble. They’re empathetic and kind, they’re sometimes a little bit mean, they get mad, they are happy – they’re normal people.  I know other parents who share my values, love their kids as much as I love mine and are at least as involved in their children’s lives as Rick and I are in ours. If their child makes a bad choice and gets in trouble, is that a parenting issue? I don’t think so.

My point is that it’s easy to point a finger at the parents and say, “You should have known” or “If you were a better parent your child wouldn’t have made that choice,” but it’s not always a fair accusation. I made some terrible choices when I was younger. My parents taught me right from wrong. I knew what they expected of me. The wrong choices were mine and mine alone and certainly not the fault of poor parenting. Rick and I have taught our children right from wrong, and they know exactly what we expect from them. But God forbid, if they make a choice to do something terrible, I’ll feel awful, but I will also know it’s not because we didn’t parent them well.

God gave us an immense responsibility by giving us children to nurture and raise. I’m not saying that this responsibility isn’t valuable and important in determining who a child grows into. But God also gave us, and our children, free will. As they get into their teenage years and beyond, they have more opportunities to make their own choices. And if they choose wrong versus right, like I did a few times, it’s their choice. Hopefully good parenting will at least teach them to take responsibility for their own actions and make it right. But again, it’s their choice.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Never Will I

I’m always looking for things to write about. Once I find something, I continually write the blog post in my head until I get somewhere I can actually type it out. This evening I was looking at a website called On the page are the numbers 1-346 and as you scroll over the number a prompt pops up. There were lots of interesting ones, and a good daily exercise for me will be to have someone give me a number and I have to use that prompt.

Today though, I just scrolled through at random until I found something that floated my boat. The prompt is “50 things you’ll never do.” A couple of weeks ago I wrote the things that I want to do for my mid-life crisis so I thought that a list of things I’ll never do might be interesting to put together. So here it is and just an FYI, I’ve avoided obvious things that are either impossible or illegal. Oh, and I could only come up with 10 before it was time for me to go to bed. So shoot me.

  1. Get an animal from anywhere except a rescue organization. Unless a cute, sweet stray follows me home and adopts me like Jenny did.
  2. Drink gin again. I got really sick a long time ago after drinking far too much gin. Now I can hardly type the word without feeling queasy.
  3. Have another baby. God already gave me the two greatest children I could have ever asked for. Plus, I really need my sleep.
  4. Drive a tractor trailer. They’re too darn big and they scare me. I can’t imagine how someone learns how to drive one of those things.
  5. Shoot a hand gun again. I shot at a target with one a couple of years ago and it freaked me out. I’ve shot a rifle and a shot gun before with no problem, but it seems to me that the only purpose for a hand gun is to shoot people. It felt evil.
  6. Go to a boxing match.
  7. Let the single black hair that grows on my chin go unplucked. Enough said.
  8. Eat a beating frog heart. Andrew Zimmern did that on his Bizarre Foods television show and it made me almost as queasy as the thought of gin does.
  9. Sara wants me to include that I’d never punch her. Duh.
  10. Like Duke basketball. Sorry JP.