Back to school is stressful. But it is joyous. There are tears, but there’s also celebration. But that’s kind of like life right?
We all have a lot to forget when it comes to assessing children and ourselves. Good and bad are archaic terms that don’t really have a place when it comes mental, emotional, and educational wellness. When we let go of our neurotypical way of thinking and allow ourselves to see that there are many sides to the same coin, then we can be totally inclusive with our thoughts and understanding. And maybe a little bit nicer to ourselves.
I had set the alarm to go off thirty minutes earlier that morning. I’ve never been one to sleep hard, so I chose a light twinkling sound that would be … Continue reading Diverging
Let’s take a break from the heavy hitting posts and talk about the fact that the Conjure and Coffee Crew has made it through the first week of school. I … Continue reading One Week Down
I was getting a jump on cooking dinner when I got a notification that I had a new email. Normally, I would glance at my lock screen to see … Continue reading Declined: A (Self)Love Story
After days of conversation and hours of introspection, my husband and I have decided that on our son’s thirteenth birthday we’re giving him a necklace. Unlike the “chains” that so many others boast about this necklace will be a locket. Inside that locket will be a picture of me.
More than just a lovely picture of his forever smiling mother, this locket will be a promise between my son and I. It will be a promise that from the day he receives it to the day he says “I do”, he will love no other woman as much as he loves me. This necklace will be a physical representation of the connection between us. And it will always remind him that no matter what, Mother knows what’s best for him. Every time he wants to make a decision on what to do, he’ll feel the necklace around his neck and will think of me and consider what I’d say in the matter.
What? Is that too Norman Bates for you?
If the concept of that Mommy Dearest necklace makes your skin crawl, then so should the idea of a daddy-daughter purity ring.
Purity rings, also known as promise or chastity rings, are typically given to a young girl in the Evangelical community as a commitment to chastity. A fashionable part of the abstinence-only sex education club, the purity ring is like a wedding ring but in a creepy incestual sort of way. Typically silver and simple, some of the rings have witty little mottos stamped into the metal while some feature a cross wrapped in a lazy sort of swoop way around the finger. Diamonds or their lower cost alternatives are also frequently used.
Instead of being between two consenting adults starting their lives as a wedded couple, the purity ring is typically between father and daughter. It signifies that the daughter will remain chaste until she marries. Since “purity” is all that is clean and beautiful in their world, the ring will help keep the girl on the straight and narrow. It’s a giant bubble of Godliness that protects her from the filth of premarital sex and the temptations of the secular world. Because of course, a young woman’s worth is totally dependant on how “pure” she is. Who needs brains, talent, or personality when you can say you’re morally unsullied?
Two of the high profile organizations responsible for the popularization of the purity ring in America are the True Love Waits* movement and Silver Ring Thing* movement. The mission’s statement on the Silver Ring Thing (abbreviated as SRT, cause abbreviated are cool) reads:
“To inspire sexual wholeness in this generation through the power of the Gospel.”
It goes on to explain a little bit more:
“Silver Ring Thing is a radical response to culture’s view of love and relationships. Our events inspire teens to defy the meet-up, hook-up, break-up culture of today and discover true life found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. This goes way beyond just ‘purity’ to embrace our identity and pursue a lifestyle that brings honor and glory to God.”
Sounds like some party people right? Part of the allure of groups like this is that they make their message seem hip. Most utilize a concert like atmosphere that rivals most rock bands. Some use comedians and celebrity testimonials to influence their audience. More than that, they understand how the teenage brain works.
Peer acceptance is a key element to a young person’s development. If you’ve known a young person for any amount of time, you’re well aware of how important being accepted is to them. So for this movement to prey upon youths desire to fit in is as genius as it is disturbing.
While young people who make pacts to lose their virginity is a topic for countless exposes, tv shows, and movies, the reverse is not true. The market for hive minded purity was largely untapped. That was until these movements began their “Purity is cool! God is rad!” message. Based on the way young people work, the message went viral. Not because it was actually believed but because it was believed in mass.
The creepiness factor of a father, mother, or organization stomping on a child’s bodily integrity is huge. Forcing a child to take a vow on what they do with their body is troublingly archaic. It’s a practice of eliminating the sovereignty of a child before they can fully understand the meaning. While the common joke is to call followers of religions sheep, that’s exactly what this causes. The children grow up not understanding that their body is their own. This causes a dependence upon a hierarchy that puts the child on the bottom with parents and the church standing tall above them.
The practice of purity rings is troublesome. It’s a restrictive, oppressive act that teaches children they are not in control of the only thing they truly have, their bodies. It is no wonder that we struggle with body autonomy in this country if this practice is so commonplace. So much time was spent wondering how to control what children do with their bodies, no one thought if they should.
* Call it shitty writing, but I’m not linking to the organizations mentioned in the text above. You’re welcome to Google them on your own. I don’t want to support them by sending any traffic their way. After cruising their pages for information, I feel mighty dirty.
I get to blog early today because BOTH BABIES ARE SLEEPING AT THE SAME TIME.
This is like the planets aligning on the day you win the lottery. It just doesn’t happen. So, Im trying to make the most of it. Today’s challenge theme is ’20 facts about you’. Let’s knock this out:
- I hate watermelon and watermelon flavored items. I don’t care what you say, I find it gross. Me not eating watermelon means there’s more for you guys, so you really should thank me.
- I also hate onions. Its a texture thing, not a taste thing.
- I am missing the following body parts: tonsils, adenoids, appendix, wisdom teeth and the nails on both of my big toes.
- I’ve had three surgeries on my right knee. It’s still a fucking mess.
- I’m afraid of ants.
- I’m lactose intolerant. It makes me sad.
- I’ve lived on both sides of America and in Germany.
- It took me three tries to get my driving license when I was in high school. A few years later, it would take me three times to get my DOD sponsor driving license when we lived in Germany.
- I’m afraid of clowns thanks to Tim Curry and Stephen King.
- I’ve spent years trying to overcome a horrible Southern accent. If I’m tired or have been in my cups, it comes roaring out.
- I like sewing. I’m not great, but I’ve made a few things I’m proud of.
- I had to take a multi hour long break here because the babies woke up and I had to go pick up the other one and then dinner and showers and etc,etc. So this fact is that no time of my waking hours is really my time. Im devoted to this wild bunch of misfits.
- I struggle with depression and anxiety on a daily basis.
- I’m a reformed nail biter.
- My husband and I met at a thrift store.
- Pizza is life. Glorious, glorious pizza.
- My first dogs name was Tippy.
- I have a slight fear of prescription medicine. My mother abused pills when I was a kid and it really left a mark on me. I’m even hesitant to take OTC pain relievers.
- Other than my nerdy fandoms (Supernatural,Doctor Who,Star Trek, etc) Im also a fan of auto racing, professional wrestling, MMA, and football.
- I’ve made it to 20! This might be the most I’ve talked about myself in along time. So I will try to end it with something good. When I was a kid I wanted to run away to Nashville and become a singer/songwriter. But I can’t sing and never learned to play guitar. That never really panned out.
Now you know a shit ton more about me than you did before!
Ok, let’s do this!
I’ve never been good at introductions, so let’s just hit the basics.
I’m Angela. I’m in my early 30s and I’m allergic to penicillin. I’m a long time nerd and weirdo. One of my feet is slightly bigger than the other and I’m right handed. I’m the opposite of a perfectionist. I’m a “eh,thats good enough”ist. I like to craft. Sewing is what I’m focusing on right now. I really love to sew, even if my projects are hit or miss. I also really love photography. Like sewing, its still hit or miss for me, but Im getting better. I lost my desire to create anything for a while and am slowly regaining it. I’m doing a photography challenge on Facebook that’s made me fall in love with my camera again. It’s pretty awesome. While writing this, I’m drinking a PBR and watching The Twilight Zone. I’m sure that says something about me as a person.
I’ve been married for almost 11 years to my best friend who I will affectionately call Mr. L. We got married pretty young and have done some pretty incredible things. The most incredible are our four children.
Az was our first son and oldest child. He was born in Washington State on a cold day. When he was born, I became a different, better person. He was super smart and super sweet. I use the word was because he passed away November 2011, a week before my birthday. It was totally unforseen and unexpected. Every single day, every hour, I still hurt and long for him. He was my first best friend. He was a gift to the world. He still is.
Jo our little Bean Boy. He is quickly approaching his 8th birthday. He’s hilarious and kind and just a little high strung. He has ADHD and is currently in second grade. School has been hard for him, but I totally think that things are starting to look up. He loves making things out of clay and video games, just like his daddy.
Des is our little quiet giant. He is three and likes to play pretend. He really likes to play pretend. His current favorite thing is to make a story up using his fingers as people. He has beautiful blue eyes. His current favorite things is the new car seat we upgraded him to. He practically begs to go “bye bye” so he can ride in it.
And the baby is Miss Mar. She is our surprise baby. We didn’t plan on her showing up, or being a her for the matter, but she did. And although she is sassy and loud, she is amazing. Sometimes I can’t believe she’s real. She loves kitties and likes to burp. She likes to help and is constantly underfoot. She’s our own little Arya Underfoot.
My orgin story is kind of shitty. I had an abusive, narcissistic mother and an apathetic father. I was the scapegoat of the family. I’ve been no contact with them for a long time. I’m still working through mess that was left by that life. I will probably hit on that whole mess later.
I don’t know what else to say! I feel like I’ve said so much without saying anything. Talking about myself has always felt weird. At least I’ve completed Day 1 of this challenge. Self high five for that!