Sunday, January 22, 2017

What I Want my Daughters to Know about Being a Woman.

My Facebook feed has been blowing up with friends posting about the Women's March and protesting the Women's march and showing pictures of the Women's March.  People sharing the good stuff and the bad stuff. People posting about rioters and people posting about peaceful demonstration. 

I saw friend after friend post picture after picture, post after post, story after story. Stories about people excluding pro-lifers and stories about pro-lifers going anyway. 

Yesterday, as I was running errands I drove past some marchers in my own city. And they all seemed to be protesting different issues. Some were definitely pro-choice. Some wanted affordable health care for everyone. Some didn't like our current president's nominee for secretary of education. Some just didn't like our current president.

Elsewhere in this same city, a local March for Life was occurring. I believe in both women's rights and the right to life for all people. I suppose you could call me a pro-life feminist. 

 I have four daughters. I'm trying to raise them to be strong women.   

This is what I want them to know about being a woman.

This is what we all wore today to Mass.  Go see Rosie for more My Sunday Best.
Women are beautiful creatures made in the image of God. So are men. Women deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. So do men. Your body is a beautiful thing with the ability to create life. Use it wisely. Use it well. Sex makes babies. All the birth control in the world doesn't stop that basic, biological fact. The smart thing to do is to not have sex with anyone who isn't 100% committed to you and to any children that may result from that sexual encounter. This is why the church teaches that sex is for marriage only. I hope and pray that you follow that church teaching. But, if you don't. If something happens, or someone hurts you and you get pregnant unexpectedly, I hope you realize that life is precious.  All life is precious. And no matter what happens, ending a life, even an unborn life, is not the answer. There are many people out there willing to help you. Your parents will always help you and there are many other loving souls more than willing to lend a helping hand. Seek them out. 

It's a sad fact of life than men hurt women sometimes. Men have been known to abuse and rape and kill and abandon women. This is why we take precautions when we go places, especially at night. Be very, very picky about which men you choose to date and hang out with and marry. Don't put up with anyone treating your poorly. Ask any woman who has ever been hurt by a man. It's better to be alone than to be in a bad relationship. Thankfully, there are lots of good men out there. They are worth waiting for and seeking out. 

Take responsibility for yourself and take care of your self. Just because something was an accident or not your fault doesn't mean that you still don't have to deal with the consequences. Sometimes bad things happen and there was nothing we could have done to prevent it. But sometimes taking precautions is also wise. This is why we wear seat-belts and driver slower in the snow. Be very careful about alcohol. Many women get hurt when excessive alcohol consumption is involved. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and ability to make sound judgment. Use alcohol wisely and never abuse it. Nonetheless. if someone does hurt you (even if you made a poor choice) know that it's not your fault, it's never your fault and we will always help you through it. 

Maybe someday you will have children. Or maybe you will desperately want a child, but be unable to have one. Or maybe you will have a child, but be unable to produce milk for that child. Sometimes our bodies don't work the way we want them to. Sometimes we think we are too fat or too thin or too short or too tall or we don't like our hair or skin or hips or arms. Society tells us that every woman should look one particular way. That is a lie. Love your body. It is beautiful. Take care of it. Feed it well. Eat your vegetables. Keep active and exercise. Treat your body with respect.

Being a woman is a wonderful thing. Be proud of your womanhood.I don't know what you will choose to do with your life, but I know it will be wonderful. Maybe you will have a great career as a doctor or lawyer or engineer or business owner or teacher. Maybe you will decide to stay home with your children. Maybe you will work part-time. Maybe during some parts of your life you will work outside the home and other times you will stay home. Maybe you will have a religious vocation and join an order or nuns. All those options are good options. Just do whatever God is calling you to do.  Pray a lot. You have a smart mind. Feed it well with good books and good media and avoid that which is trash or brings you down and encourages things that are wrong.

It's wonderful to be a woman. Sometimes women hurt other women. Surround yourself with friends that will lift you up, not drag you down. Never change to be like someone else or change so that someone else will like you. Be kind to others...always. Think before opening your mouth. Your words can hurt other people. Use them wisely. Never hurt another person for your own personal gain. Always try to do the right thing and know that you are loved. God loves you. Your father and I love you. Your siblings love you. Your extended family loves you. 

So, last of all.

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

That time I was out at 1:30 AM on New Year's Eve.

So...last night I was out past midnight for the first time since 1998 or so when I partied like it was 1999 at the Youth 2000 New Year's Eve Retreat. Anyone else remember those?
Ben and I had gone out for dinner to celebrate our anniversary but were home at a respectable 8:30 PM. Because we had a tired baby with us and a babysitting teen at home and I turn into a pumpkin at 10:00 PM.
In a series of unfortunate events involving the garage door having been left open and a well-meaning child putting the dog outside, our dog got out. Once we realized he was gone (about 10-20 minutes later), we scoured the neighborhood, but he was nowhere to be found. Which was odd, because he wasn't gone long and is not the type of dog to run away.
Anyway, I come home and somehow stumble upon the Lost Dogs of Our Fair City Facebook page and sure enough...there is a picture of our George. Someone had posted that they picked him at the corner of X street and Y street and dropped him off at animal control. What just happens to be at the corned of X street and Y street you may be asking? Why it's OUR HOUSE! So, he was sorta dog-napped, but not really.
Anyway, I go to bed at my usual time of 9:30 (intending to contact animal control when they open again on Tuesday) because I need my beauty sleep. Well around midnight, I was rather rudely awakened by fireworks going on right outside my house. At 12:15, my phone rang. Now phone calls at 12:15 AM are never good things, so I answer with much trepidation.
It is the animal control officer letting me know that they have our dog and she will be there until 2 AM if I want to pick him up that night. Otherwise, they won't be open again until Tuesday.. Um okay. Because apparently Animal Control works on New Year's Eve, but not New Year's Day or the day after.
Since I am such an animal-loving softy and I wanted to make my kids happy by surprising them and having our dog back in the morning, I ventured out on New Year's Eve at 12:30 AM, leaving the rest of the household in peaceful slumber, praying all the time that I wouldn't get hit by a drunk driver and killed, leaving my poor husband to raise 5 children alone.
Spoiler alert: I made it there and back safely. No drunk drivers. I did pass a lot of drunk walkers though, while passing through downtown.
When I get to animal control (which I only found thanks to the modern miracle of GPS enabled smartphones) I am unable to find the doorbell to ring the Animal Control officer anywhere. So, I called, and called and called and called and called, while walking around the building and doors looking for the doorbell, Finally the officer comes to the door, I get our dog back and make it home safely.
In an even more fortunate incident, I had renewed our dog license just last week when I got a notice that our cat license needed to be renewed. We never received a notice about the dog, so it had been expired since around October, but I renewed it just in time and they even waived the reclaim fee.
On top of that, animal control also made him a spiffy dog tag with his name and our address on it, so all's well that ends well.
And even though I only got a few hours of sleep last night, I still managed to wake up with my usual cheery disposition and pretty myself up and head off to Mass. Since, I'm blogging anyway, I figured I might as well link up with Rosie for My Sunday Best..

Aren't Elsa's leggings the best!!
(Most of my clothes are from Schoola. My new favorite online thrift shop. If you use my link and this is your first time shopping, you get $10.)
And I want documentation of that one time I was up at 1;30 AM on New Year's Eve. Hopefully it won't happen again for another 18 years.

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