The Opinion Revolution

“Sweetheart, what would you like for breakfast?”
“Class, what is your opinion about this?”
“Baby, what do you want to do today?”

The opinion revolution. Society teaches parents to let kids think for themselves. “Raise a thinker.” No. “Raise a spoiled brat that can not think.”

Ask my seven year old daughter every single morning what she wants for breakfast and, if it were an option, she would pick donuts.

What is the classes opinion about why the sun waxes and wanes? Quite frankly, It doesn’t really matter.

What does a child want to do today? It almost never includes doing homework or making their bed.

Let’s talk Science. A brain is not fully developed until around the age of 19. A child IS NOT CAPABLE OF THINKING WISELY! A child can only learn to imitate. “Mom serves me eggs and fruit for breakfast, I learn to make healthy choices.”

Then, when the child grows up, they have learned to do things that are good for their bodies, things that are kind, things that need to be done INSTEAD of the perspective of ME, ME, ME. What do I need to eat vs. what do I want to eat? Exercising because I need to vs. watching tv because I want to. Reading because I will learn vs. yada yada…

Ok. Ok. Getting labeled meanest mom of the year here. More explanation: children start out completely dependent on parents. They don’t make any decisions. They rely completely on caretaker. Put milk in the bottle, not coke. (And sidetracking here. I believe baby crying needs to be held and cuddled and taught security vs. scheduling nap time. There is a long discussion there, just want to say that that is not what I am saying. I may have just lost the men in that women talk). However, as children grow, they become more independent and begin to learn to make decisions. “Would you like milk, water, or juice?”

And I have to put the precursor on this touchy subject. NO JUDGING! I hope in life to form opinions. Strong opinions to apply to my life. But, I never want to go about telling everyone, or anyone, what they are doing wrong! (The danger of writing!). Madison may be eating skittles because she never eats candy and it is her birthday or we are having dinner with Mimi, or whatever and not because I let her do whatever she wants to do.

Wow! This is taking a short blog post to say what takes a book to explain. Children need to constantly be told two things every second of every day:
1. I LOVE YOU!
And 2. You CAN NOT do whatever you want BECAUSE I LOVE YOU!

To the parents who sue McDonalds for being unhealthy, to the teachers whose rooms are controlled by the students, to the legislators who want to outlaw candy, to the authors that say to let kids make their own decisions: it is the job of the parents to teach children what is right and what is wrong! So, do it. …please

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Can I Be a Mommy?

My beautiful niece, Kate, was 6 years old when my daughter was born. She rode with her parents the twelve hour drive from the mountains of Tennessee to the birthplace of my baby in Sunny Florida. She held that precious life in her arms for the first time. Although we were all gathered around her, Kate was in her own world with her own dreams. “I want a baby!” six year old Kate whispered to herself. I turned to my husband and proclaimed, “That was me.”

It was true. I wanted a baby for as long as I can remember. I was that six year old playing baby dolls and dreaming of the day I would be a mother. My whole entire childhood, one day I wanted to grow up and be a mommy. Years later, I was married to the man of my dreams, we started talking about that wonderful possibility, maybe all my dreams could come true and I could be a mother. Well, the story of Beautiful Life with Cancer tells of my health record of cancer and Addison’s Disease. We had more to consider than the normal contemplations. So, we sat in the specialist’s office and asked that ever loaded question, “Could I be a mommy?” The answer was wonderful and horrible. I was told that I could try but that I probably could not get pregnant and that, even if I did, I probably could not keep the baby.

God always knew the answer. Ten months later, my life dream came true. I held the most amazing little miracle in my arms. I was a mom. I was everything. My entire world changed forever. There is nothing I can say to tell you how much I love that little girl, it is of God. That love is more than of this earth. I held her baby cheek up to mine and miracles do exist. I care for her daily and dreams do come true.

Making her bed means I have a little girl that sleeps in it. Watching her grow is a gift from the God of the Universe. Cuddling with her on the couch while seven year old Madison reads an Animal Encyclopedia is what I thought could never be. And being the mom to clean up her messes, teaching her how to spell her name, and planning her birthday parties, I now see, is about so much more than me and my dreams and desires. This little girl is God’s child and she is about to change the whole entire world! She is so much bigger than me!

Randomly, my sweet girl will look up at me and proclaim, “You are the best mom in the world.” Taking the moment seriously, I always answer, “I am not but I love you more than any mommy ever loved her baby.” I am not perfect. I am so far from who I want to be as a mother, however, I have always, and I will always love my girl no matter what! There is nothing she can do to earn my love and there is nothing she can do to make me stop loving her. She is mine and that is everything.

Thank you Jesus that, that not only am I a mommy, but that I am Madison’s Mommy!

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Trick or Treat. Smell my feet.

We’ve been counting down the days, purchased the costumes, not just for the seven year old but Mommy and Daddy also. There are lights and orange and black garland around the front door. Three carved pumpkins will finally glow. The plastic pumpkin filled with candy and Halloween shaped pretzels is so large it always draws comments. Lights and another pumpkin around the mantle. Pumpkins here. Pumpkins there. Apple pie, trail mix, and cupcakes on the table awaiting guests. Cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents will soon be here. Following will be a party at Emi’s. Costume contests are taken seriously. There will be a cash prize. A bonfire and s’mores. Not only is the American tradition a perfect Fall night, it welcomes in the official holiday season. Take your mark. Get set. Trick or treat. Smell my feet. Have fun! And be safe!