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Archive for February, 2008

What’s in a name?

I’ve been looking for good baby names lately. After reading Freakonomics in our book discussion group, I’ve become hyper aware of names and what possibly that could mean to the said child. Also, when you’ve been teaching for over a decade, there are names that go on your ‘NEVER NAME MY CHILD AFTER THAT DEMON SPAWN’.

So taking that into consideration, I’ve been doing some research. I’ve found some interesting articles about names. Like did you know Danes had to get names approved by the government before they could name their child if it isn’t on the preapproved list? And who knew you could hire ‘consulting company’ to help name your baby? Or the fact there’s a articles online about ‘brand naming’ your child? And how much thought must be give on finding a name that won’t get the boy beaten up in grade school. And of course ‘weird celebrity baby names’.

Names so far…love Olivia but it’s this generation’s “Jennifer”. (Have I mentioned how much I disliked being one of 4 other Jennifers in my grade school classes? No exaggeration.) Leilana…tropical, Lily, Jillian, Annaliese, Holly…I think I’m more going towards ‘traditional’ than trendy. I had a long list of baby names…and every one of them got popular. So I’m doing a 180.

For boys? Caleb…I know, I know. SO popular now. Noah? Beckett? (love this…B, not so much)

I kind of like having the girl’s name start with a J…and the boy start with a B.

Must think on this some more.

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No, I am not pregnant. But IF I WERE TO HAVE A CHILD/REN, and he/they gave me attitude, this is a possible letter I might write:

 

We are SO glad you are a part of our family. It wouldn’t be complete without you!

Do you know how much we longed for you? How much we wanted to be the best parents in the world to you? Give you everything you need to reach your full potential?

Mommy and Daddy are willing to sacrifice everything for you.

You were a little stubborn before you were born…even before you were conceived. (You get that from your daddy.) We had to go to a special doctor…in our rickety ol’ car because we couldn’t afford both a new car AND a chance to get you. (We had to buy 7 duct tape rolls to hold the car together…but we did it because we loved you so much! And another story…but I digress.)

THEN I was in labor for 39 hours. Because I loved you so, I did it without any drugs. No. Not for my preciously little one. I endured unimaginable pain because it meant having you safe and sound.

And the bloating, swelling, sleepless nights…when you would NOT go to sleep because you had awful gas. (You get that from your daddy again.)

Don’t forget the stretch marks. I don’t mind them, dear. I consider them my badge of honor of being your mommy.

After all that, you won’t do one teensy little thing for me?

Go clean your room before I make you read the blog I wrote about trying to get you.

With all my love,

Your MOTHER

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Story #3: I don’t know where I read this…maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not. But it illustrates an aspect of Life quite well, I think.

Before the advent of high falutin’ gadgets to keep produce, meat, and fish fresh, trying to transport “Live Maine Lobsters” was more wish than actual fact. By the time they arrived at their destination, most of them had perished from fear, boredom…whatever. (I do not understand lobster psychology so I am venturing a guess here.)

Many things were tried…and failed. Until one day, they decided to put a small shark in the tank with the lobsters. Wouldn’t you know it? Every lobster arrived alive! Why? The lobsters were so preoccupied with staying away from the shark that they forgot to be scared or bored.

The moral of the story? Everybody needs a shark in their life. And every now and then, you need to be a shark to someone else.

B told me he has never been…and couldn’t foresee a time when he would be bored with me. Isn’t he sweet? 🙂

No, I’m not perfect…but I can be aggravating, cause you to scratch your head nonpluss, or laugh out loud at the silliness of it all. I’m his shark…sometimes he’s mine. J

How boring would life be to swimming in the lobster tank of life just waiting for the inevitable? If you are missing one or the other…get one…or several! Whether they challenge you physically, spiritually, or mentally, you will always be engaged…and alive!

Yes, you do need quiet times, too. Just not ALL THE TIME.

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Story #2
You are going to learn a deep, dark secret of mine: I’m a Star Trek geek! This is one of my favorite fable…and very well told by Chakotay:

A scorpion was wandering along the bank of the river, wondering how to get to the other side. Suddenly he saw a fox. He asked the fox to take him across the river.
The fox said, “No. If I do that, you’ll sting me and I’ll drown.”
The scorpion assured him, “If I did that, we’d both drown.”
The fox thought about it and finally agreed. So the scorpion climbed up on his back and the fox began to swim. But halfway across the river, the scorpion stung him.
As the poison filled his veins, the fox turned to the scorpion and said, “Why did you do that? Now you’ll drown too.”
“I couldn’t help it,” said the scorpion. “It’s my nature.”

Chakotay (Star Trek Voyager)

Adapted from a fable where sometimes the fox is a frog or a turtle…or other creature trusting something they shouldn’t.

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I’ve found that I ‘short cut’ stories by telling the people around me a set of fables, and then later referring to them as the “chicken story” or saying “He’s a scorpion.” etc. As I am writing more about my life and my thoughts here, I need to set the foundation of ‘common stories’ so anybody reading understands what these stories are without having to explain every time. So the next few posts will be little “bedtime stories.” I am sure I will be adding to the menagerie as I hear more. But for now my top 3:

The Chicken Story

There was a girl who would watch her mother prepare a whole chicken for dinner:

Her mother would take the chicken and cut it down the middle with a big knife. She’d put one side in a deep dish, season it, and place it in the oven. The other half, she would just throw away. The girl never thought much of it. It was the way it always was.

This went on for years. Until one day, the adult daughter asked her mother, “Mom, why do you cut the chicken in half and use only one side and throw away the other?”

The mother shrugged, “Well, that’s how my mother cooked her chicken. I’d watched her prepare it like that so I followed her way.” The answer left the daughter unsatisfied.

One day, the daughter went to visit her grandmother. She asked her why she cooked her chicken the way she did.

The grandmother answered, “When I was younger, we didn’t have a big house with a big kitchen. We definitely didn’t have a refrigerator or an icebox. So when we were fortunate enough to get a whole chicken, I’d cut it in half because we had a dish just big enough for a half a chicken. I didn’t keep the other half because, we couldn’t refrigerate it. And one thing about chicken: they go bad very quickly in hot weather. That’s why I only used half.”

Generally, traditions are good…and they were started for a reason…generally. But don’t do the same thing just because ”that’s the way we’ve always done it”.

 

Schools have a lot of chicken stories…teachers/professors with their lesson plans, the campus Greek system with things people do just because, building bonfires that have killed classmates just because we’ve always done it this way and you’re not going to stop me. Religious institutions are full of expectations and rituals that you may not understand. (Instead of undermining your faith, your questions may deepen it…or at least give you a renewed appreciation. Or it might have the opposite affect. But you’ll be THINKING.)

If you are okay with it, and it’s not hurting anyone…fine. Like opening presents Christmas Eve rather than Christmas morning.

Don’t let The Man hold you down…or tell you how to think. J

God gave you a mind…use it.

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