It occurred to me that not once in the entire week did I hear any male leader talk about his smokin’ hot wife. Nor even an Obama-esque gaffe about being “cute” or “good-looking.” And that’s because this obsessive male Christian mentality can’t exist where women are speaking and preaching and leading in the same roles as men, mutually submitted to Christ and each other. Such an environment literally chokes out these misogynistic habits or at least exposes them for exactly what they are – objectifying and dehumanizing to women. And make no mistake, that’s what this is, because as soon as a woman is thought of as a thing – a thing like a “smokin’ hot Christian wife” – she becomes less of a person.
I told Aden the truth that all of us are Real. And that there’s room in the Real pool for more than just one mama.
Your birthmom is your Real mom, Aden. She grew you inside of her own flesh, and she gave you the gift of life, which is something I couldn’t do for you. Nothing will change that or take it away from you or her. That’s Real life. Her story will always be part of yours. And stories are things we get to keep forever.
And I’m your Real mom, too. I get to love you and parent you every day.
We have our own moms, who worked full-time and were totally and completely available to us, or stay-at-home-moms, like mine, who were closed off and guarded. And we had the reverse. And we complained about them in therapy and said, “If they were only home more” or “If they would just have gotten a life of their own” and we are just plain wrong. So let’s just get one thing clear right now: Being truly present for our children has nothing to do with how much we are actually with them. In fact, I’d like to think that we’re more in tune with them when we have the opportunity to focus on just ourselves. Emotional availability requires action and effort, being comfortable with our own ego and self-esteem. And giving them a place where they feel safe, wanted and important.
The masterminds who came up with this trick.
Now, we’re pretty smart people. We know that college choice shouldn’t be made on the basis of rankings in the popular press, or the opinions of the neighbors. Yet we’d been so mesmerized by the constant drumbeat about college prestige that we found ourselves wondering: is a “top tier” school always a better one? And didn’t our hard-working, talented daughter deserve the “best”?
The first president I voted for was George W. Bush. My dad dropped me off at the polling station and I marched into the Rhea County Courthouse to cast my vote for life. While President Bush endorsed the 2005 Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, which I supported, he also championed a pre-emptive war in Iraq that costs hundreds of thousands of lives. His presidency did not make much of a dent in the abortion rate, and even though he appointed conservative judges, Roe vs. Wade remained intact. By the time W finished his second term, I had graduated from college, come to terms with the fact that the criminalization of abortion is highly unlikely no matter the party in power, expanded my definition of “pro-life” to include Iraqi children and prisoners of war, and experienced first-hand some of the major problems with America’s healthcare system, which along with poverty and education issues, contributes to the troubling abortion rate in the U.S. I remained pro-life idealistically, but for the first time, voted for a pro-choice president, hoping that the reforms I wanted to see in the healthcare, the economy, immigration, education, and for the socioeconomically disadvantaged would function pragmatically to reduce abortions. A couple of my conservative friends called me a baby killer. Several questioned my salvation.
Of course, she was right. I knew it. Nothing should ever get in the way of children’s safety. I would have to find the courage to ask some hard questions. And if that meant some play dates would be canceled, or some families would be insulted, or my own sons would call me a “meanie,” so be it. Yet, I was still at a loss of exactly how to go about the conversations. Gun-safety play date etiquette wasn’t exactly a topic I’d seen covered in parenting books. Locking guns seemed easy and obvious — it was talking about it that felt daunting.
The more we do to ensure that all children have similar cognitively stimulating early childhood experiences, the less we will have to worry about failing schools. This in turn will enable us to let our schools focus on teaching the skills — how to solve complex problems, how to think critically and how to collaborate — essential to a growing economy and a lively democracy.
Pictures of the Gone World | Girl’s Gone Child A disclaimer for those of you who plan to raise children in the playground of your youth: Beware the boulevard of broken heels and broken hearts. Ghosts forever lurk in storefronts and sidewalk cracks and songs on the radio. Take the long way to school. Listen to CDs. What It’s Like Shopping at Forever 21 | Buzzfeed You try on the dress in your normal size, but it was made for teens who don’t have hips, so you feel like: But there’s NO WAY you’re waiting in that dressing-room line again: Women Who Run Are Horrible Fat Wildebeests, Says Swole Bro Trainer | Jezebel
Uhh. Okay, SO. Running is known to have tons of proven benefits for women—particularly emotionally and psychologically, but there are also also physical bonuses (like the decrease of minor physical complaints) —and it’s also often the most cost-efficient option of exercise out there. Not everyone can afford a gym membership or $17 yoga classes, but damn near everyone can find some sneakers and a track. But Kiefer’s derisive emphasis on how much Bitches Be Eating and then Bitches Be Complaining About Their Thighs makes it pretty clear that it’s all about the shallowest elements of working out. No Fatties. Women. Eating. Without counting calories. Because food is awesome. THE DEVASTATION.
Special controversy-themed episode, featuring guest Elizabeth Esther. If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element.