I am an amateur. My first cake was my baby’s 1st birthday 4 years ago, but I think I’ve grown a bit for doing 1, now 2, a year. I don’t even have a picture of his first one; it must have been that good. Anyway, his 2nd year, he was really into… Blue’s Clues!
I impressed myself with this one : ). Nevermind that I spelled “birthday” wrong. And then we have Lilly’s first: When she was born, I was obsessed with all the cute forest friends and I still am. These little guys I cricuted out while Tony made the cake. (yep, he really did!) The icing melted on the way to the party; I learn something new every day. And this year for Jackson was a Toy Story theme: and there you have it. I haven’t a clue what Lilly’s will be this year.
Going on 6 years together and we’ve never celebrated v-day. Don’t want to and we’re in agreement its inconsequential. What is romantic about a forced celebration of love? Everyone else is celebrating that one day; how can it be unique for you and your beloved? My main problem with it is this: if you think that you do well by your significant other on this holiday, how well are you loving them every other day of the year? Is love a grand gesture here and there, or is it a daily rhythm? Does compulsory gifting truly show love? Really?
And then we were making Valentine’s for Jackson’s church party and I was trying to explain why we were doing this and I realized I had no idea, so I looked it up. It’s unclear why its recognized as Valentine’s Day; one Valentine performed outlawed marriages, another sent love notes while imprisoned. Each were martyred, enter sainthood, enter consumerism and there you have it. The more interesting fact is that it replaced the pagan tradition of Lupercalia, a fertility festival on Feb. 15th, which is obviously the reason the holiday is in existence. (I did not do extensive research on this. I only visited history.com, so if I’m leaving something vital out, my apologies.) All things you can’t explain to a 3 year old, so we’ll just keep it at, “You get to have a fun party!”
All this to say, love each other well everyday and be content with the little things. And don’t mistake grandiosity for love.
Given this week’s shooting in CT, everyone, obviously, has their own response. Firstly, my heart goes out to those families of the victims and to those who survived. There are no words. And while we are all grief-stricken, I have heard much criticism about people who are talking about gun control (from either side) and those who choose homeschooling because of instances like these. The criticism being mostly that now is not the time to talk about it. I say, what better time than when it’s staring you in the face and you need to decide how you feel? As my husband pointed out, these things are becoming so frequent that we will have to continue to remain silent, because when is there ever a good time? Also, we as a people need to make changes to prevent such horror from reoccurring.
I speak now, not so much on the gun issue, but on the issue of school. We had already decided to homeschool before this tragedy and after reading some comments against it, I want to get my reasoning out there.
Our decision was reached over a couple of years and a couple of concentrated months. I started to realize that I had real problems with turning my kids over to the school system at age five because it is our cultural norm. I choose to leave the work field to raise my children, why is my role diminished when they reach that magical age? Why, suddenly, is a stranger better equipped to teach my child about life and learning than I am? Why should I spend less time daily with my children because they need to be in government institution? Why do we wonder about the breakdown of families when we don’t actually see our children most of the day, not even including any time they are in extracurricular activities? One comment I read was from a professional educator whose main concern from her parental perspective was spending all that time with her own kids. Why are we having children if we don’t want to spend time with them? Her next biggest concern was socialization. You tell me why it’s normal to spend all day socializing only with your peers. And I would argue that many parents are not pleased with their kid’s attitudes and behaviors. Perhaps if children weren’t forced into the socialization of a public institution, we would not be so disappointed, older generations wouldn’t wonder what has happened to the younger.
I will end with this, for this conversation, even with myself, is far from over. The Sandy Hook shootings did not cause me to choose homeschooling; I thank God that he already led us to this decision. I know many will say that homeschooling is not a possibility for them, but we have already made many sacrifices for me to be home with our kids and we’ll continue to do so to keep our family strong through their school years. I urge you to look for changes you can make in your own life or schedule to keep your children closer and not only when faced with a tragedy.