What We Did Yesterday:
Chickadee was quieter than usual Monday afternoon, but it wasn’t until dinner time until I found out that another little girl in her class “can’t be friends anymore” because Chickadee isn’t a Christian.
Le sigh. I knew this day would come eventually. But 2nd grade? Really?
What kind of asshole parent has their 8 year old so indoctrinated that they won’t play with kids that don’t do religion with Jesus? Totally not WWJD, the hypocrites. Can’t blame the little girl though, its the parents–what a smallness of spirit and an insecurity of the heart they must have.
Chickadee said the little girl asked her if she “could just pretend (to be Christian” to which Chickadee responded with “If I have to pretend to be something I’m not for you to be my friend, then you really aren’t my friend.” When I asked what about it (being sad), she said, “Yes, but Mo-om, I have to follow my Jiminy Cricket” (meaning her conscience).
As a parent, I’m elated that my child is independent enough to stand up for herself…and I’m just a little bit heartbroken that not only is she losing a friend over this, but that a parent would put their child in a position to have to give up a friend because they are different. That’s not how we have raised our children (but I can’t take all the credit–Chickadee is the kind of kid that takes on learning sign language in order to make friends with a little girl with a cochlear implant). I can’t even fathom parenting that would seek to separate children from making friends on the basis of being different–what makes us beautiful is what makes us different. And luckily that is not how most of her friends have been raised, since we are fortunate enough to live in a fairly diverse community (for the South).
But still. This rankles. And since I was concerned that this could become a problem for the rest of the school year, I spoke with her teacher after school on Tuesday to (as I put it to my mom) “to inform her of the situation, in case it became a problem”.
I think her teacher was more upset than I was. As far as her teacher is concerned, not wanting to be someone’s friend because they belong to a different religion is “no different than choosing not to be someone’s friend because of their skin color” (and patently unacceptable in her classroom). And, as far as the school is concerned, religion is something you talk about at home, not with your classmates.* Chickadee informed me after school today that her class “got talked to” about those two concepts….
One of the challenges of Pagan parenting (or any parenting that isn’t in line with social norms) is helping foster the sort of confidence that lets a child stand up to their peers while maintaining an integrity to themselves (a second challenge was keeping Daddy from going nuclear over the threat to his precious pixie punk princess).
I can only hope that in the years to come she retains this ability–she is going to need it on many more fronts than this one.
*This is an approach that I understand, and can appreciate, if only because I can respect that it is easier (with all of the other crap schools and teachers have to deal with) to just not encourage it. Although, I strongly think that schools should teach about world religions as a matter of fact, as part of world cultures, geography, history, and literature (the key words being teach , about, and fact)…something which is actually quite legal when done well , even in a public school setting. Religious literacy is a crucial piece of cultural literacy and failing to teach about the basic facts of religions is a failing of our society. With that having been said, I’m fairly sure that many US students would be failed (and I don’t mean in terms of grades) if if their schools did teach world religions (and I’m pretty sure this is a vicious cycle of ignorance).
In our family practice, we call the elements by “their S names”–Sea, Sky, Stone, and Spark. Sea because of its role in the water cycle and because it is a a significant part of our bioregion. Stone because it is another name for “rock” (the rock cycle!) and because it is the origin of sand and soil. Sky because its is mostly air, and the interaction between the different states of air here and there drive our weather and climate. And Spark because, IMO what has traditionally been called “fire” is really energy (and by energy, I mean solar energy, heat energy, chemical reaction energy, gravitational energy, electrical energy, etc). While Sea, Stone, and Sky can act and be acted upon, Spark is truly the only active element–Spark drives the waves and tides, the winds and currents, erosion and plate tectonics.
But, when we think about the qualities of the elements and how we can incorporate them into ourselves, many of the tradition (and not so traditional) associations and correspondences still hold true. Many of the not-at-all-traditional sources of these associations and correspondences can be quite enjoyable and instructive as well…
…which is why Avatar: The Last Air Bender (the cartoon, not the movie) is part of our “video grimoire” as Chickadee calls it.
(because who wouldn’t want to be a bender?)
Uncle Iroh: Fire is the element of power the people of the fire nation have desire and will and the energy to achieve what they want.
Earth is the element of substance the people of the earth kingdom are diverse and strong, they are persistent and enduring.
Air is the element of freedom. The air nomads detached themselves from worldly concerns and found peace and freedom. Also, they apparently had pretty good senses of humor.
Water is the element of change. The people of the water tribe are capable of adapting to many things. They have a deep sense of community and love that holds them together through anything.
Prince Zucho: Why are you telling me these things?
Uncle Iroh: It is important to draw wisdom from many different places. If we take it from only one place, it becomes rigid and stale. Understanding others, the other elements and the other nations will help you become whole.
from Avatar: The Last Airbender; Season 2, episode 9, around the 13 minute mark
Sharkbait: Mom, what’s a pair of socks?
Sharkbait: a PAIR OF SOCKS!
Me: You need a pair of socks? You have some on your feet! Why do you need more socks?
Sharkbait: NO mom, a PAIR-A-SOCKS! What IS it?!?
Me (with a total blank look): I have no idea what you are talking about. Socks are the things we put on our feet to keep them warm. A pair of socks are two socks that match…hopefully.
Sharkbait (looking exasperated): Duh! That’s not the pair-a-socks I’m talking about.
Chickadee (looking up from her book): Mom, he means a pair-of-DOCKS.
Me: A pair-of-do…. Oh! A PARADOX!!!
Sharkbait: That’s what I said mom! A Pair-a-socks! What is it?
Nevermind that I seriously wondered where my kids heard the word paradox, we busted out the dictionary (via google) and looked it up. One of these days I should get a print dictionary…the kids should probably learn how to use one. Anyhow, the definition wasn’t terribly useful for a 6 year old. Luckily his sister came to the rescue with her encyclopedia-like knowlege of Disney movies, which led to an intense discussion of how we should be like paradoxes.
I’ve always had a bit of a problem with the concept of balance as a spiritual or emotional goal. Balance, to me, seemed too much like trying to stand on the middle of a see-saw, putting a litte of this here, a little of that there. For a while, I tried out the idea of equilibrium. At first glance it seems like another word for balance, but when applied to math and science means something else–“An equilibrium of a dynamical system is a value of the state variables where the state variables do not change.” Equilibruim (chemical) basically says that there is X amount of product A and Y amount of product B reacting together to form Z amount of product C until it hits a sort of sweet spot of constant amounts of A, B, and C (and meanwhile, inside the solution its still active, with A and B combining to form C and C splitting up for form A and B). But that seemed too complicated, and still…not quite right.
Kids though, exhibit moments of brillance and are often good at cutting through the BS.
We should be like a pair of socks.
We should be paradoxes.
And we have now added an adapted version of the Mulan song to their little BoS/Grimoire.
Sound and silence
Dark and light
One alone is not enough
You need both together
Moon and sun
Lesson Number One
Like a rock
You must be hard!
Like an Oak
You must stand firm!
Like my blade
Like a cloud,
Bend in the wind
Like a turtle
Know in peace that
It’s ok to be afraid
One alone is not enough
You need both together
Moon and sun
Lesson number one!
(Adapted from the song “Lesson Number One” from Mulan II)
I’m drinking tea… (is anyone surprised?) Peppermint and lemon balm
…and listening to music.
Why my daughter wants to learn to play the violin:
Get your munchkins to listen to Vivaldi, by listening to Frozen:
Same guys, different song, gorgeous video (Kung Fu Panda meets Chopin):
I’m pissed off about the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision. It does not bode well for the religious freedom of individuals when businesses are allowed to have religion. Lets play this out to its natural conclusion…
Except that apparently only the Catholic example isn’t too “loony” for the conservative (Catholic) justices on the court (read Justice Ginsburg’s dissent for a short list of when the court has gone against the sincere beliefs of individuals). Which leaves me to determine one of two things, the 5 men that came to this conclusion don’t think reproduction is something women have the right to control or they think corporations are more important than people (or some combination of the two).
Businesses are not people. Businesses do not have religions, people do. People are people. People have “natural” rights (that’s a topic for another day), not businesses. And your rights as an individual stop where mine start. If your religion tells you to do X and not to do Y…then you do X and don’t do Y. You don’t force your employees into a position where they are economically compelled to do X and not do Y in your stead. If you can’t handle the division between you as an individual and your business as a secular and profit-generating legal entity, start a religious non-profit or get the hell out of business.
And now, for something completely different… It looks like the worst of Hurricane Arthur will be out to sea when it works its way up to us tomorrow…
Awesome quote (having mentioned Poseidon) I just ran across:
You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?
~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom
6 Posts I really think you should read:
Soap Crayon Munchkin Magic
2 tablespoons water (or herbal infusion)
~1 cup soap flakes
30-40 drops of foor coloring
Blend til smooth and paste-like. Fill an ice cube tray or in soap molds and let dry several days.
Choose colors and herbs (if you choose the infusion route) for different purposes…lavender and lavender for peaceful sleep, pink and rose for healing a sad heart, yellow and sunflower for Sun magic. If you want, you can even charge the water before hand using a appropriate crystal as well.
Use the crayons on your tub or shower walls to mark vigils, pictures, phrases, etc for ritual baths or shower meditations to bring healing, blessing, etc.
Why I love honey (Part I):
I admit, this is gonna read like a one-woman infomercial, lol.
Honey is deliciously drinkable! In the summer, forget energy drinks, add a teaspoon or two of honey and a splash of lemon or lime juice, and a dash of lite salt (check for contraindications before using lite salt, which can be replaced by sea salt in these sorts of recipes, though you’ll be missing out on the potassium then) to your bottle of water.
Big-batch Honey Lemonade:
1/2 c honey
1/2 teaspoon lite salt
1/4 c lemon juice
7 1/2 c water
Mix. Makes 8 8 oz servings at 60 cal per serving, 17 g carbohydrates, 16 g sugar, 72 mg sodium, and 85 mg potassium. (Very Tasty Recipe from the National Honey Board)
Honey is bake-able! If you are interested in baking with honey as a replacement for sugar, there are a couple of tricks to keep in mind: Reduce the liquid by 1/4 c for each cup of honey used, add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees. Use less honey than sugar that the recipe calls for–usually no more than half. Honey is sweeter than sugar, so you don’t need as much….though replacement requires some experimentation. (If you are diabetic, keep in mind that honey is still a “sugar”…)
Also, honey is cosmetic! Honey is medicinal! Honey is magical! But I’ll get to these another time…