Things that make me smile

Sand between my toes
Birds chirping outside my window
Cool breeze
Light hearted tease
“Good morning love”
Blessings from up above
A full moon
Flowers in bloom
Snuggles in the morning
Cuddling when it’s storming
Laughter during the day
Music that makes me sway
Saying I love you
Hearing I love you too
Kisses from the fantastic 4
Picnics on the living room floor
Playing Old Maid
Watching sports my children play
Holding someone special’s hand
Listening to the David Whiteman band
Dancing until I can’t anymore
Forehead kisses
Cooking with friends
Laughing and remembering when
The perfect cake
The cupcakes I make
Listening to my children pray
Reading and writing
The end of a good day

Gender Bias

In one of my classes last semester we had a chapter on gender bias (gb). The purpose of discussing or learning about the topic is to create an awareness and change the behavior if necessary. I readily admit I do have some biases but I’m always willing to look at them and reevaluate my stance. Just for clarification, gb is when you have a prejudice or unreasonable expectations of one gender. One example I used was if there are heavy objects to move and if there were an equal number of women and men present, I expect the men to move the objects. That expectation is the bias. I also expect my sons to hold doors open for females. I remember having a conversation with my daughter about unloading groceries from the car. The three boys were proving their strength by taking the heaviest items out and saying, “look at me; I’m strong!” The honey girl got upset because I told her not to lift the heavy items to allow her brother to get those things. She couldn’t understand why she couldn’t prove her strength. I said, “boys need to prove they are strong and valiant.” She didn’t quite get it but she acquiesced. I didn’t think my biases were too extreme.
Fast forward to last week. Honey girl has become the resident mender of all bruises as well as the daily temperature taker for the little boys. Long story shortened, one had a fever last week now they insist on having their temperature taken daily in the morning and at night. My immediate and natural response was to call her the nurse. The teenager decided to grace us with his presence one day while the nurse was bandaging a knee. He asked the question, why can’t I pretend to be a doctor to get some practice for my veterinarian office I plan to have one day. Hit the rewind button. He immediately identified himself as a doctor. I identified her as a nurse. My biases were coming out in the pretend titles I was giving. Now, for the record she is just as smart and studious as her older brother. It wasn’t a matter of capability it was my unknown bias. It never occurred to me to refer to her as a doctor.
The other night I was reading the second chapter of Exodus out loud to the children. We came upon the verse about throwing all the baby boys into the river. I asked the question why the boys? My thought as to keep them from creating additional children or families later in life. They would end up with a generation of girls who would either marry Egyptians or never marry. The teenager said they killed the boys to keep them from growing up and creating a powerful army and taking over. Now I’m not sure if that is classified as bias or different views but my thought went to creating families and his to strength and valor.
Are all biases the same whether intentional or not? I’m asking myself what areas am I passing my gender biases on to my kids and how much of it is innate? The stud has made it perfectly clear that pink and baking are for girls. He wants no part of either. He will come and assist in the kitchen if I give direct orders. He will drink out of a pink cup if that’s all I’m offering on his sister’s birthday but it is under protest. I didn’t teach him that. He has drawn his own conclusion even after seeing his dad and older brothers baking and not hearing them complaining about the one day of pink.
Gender bias, what are yours? What if anything are you doing to change them or at least acknowledge them?

Flags at half staff


Every time I see the flags at half staff my heart aches for the loss it represents. This week has been tough week. My eyes are drawn to the flags. I can count them on my way to and from work. I don’t try to divert eyes even though I know when the flag is coming up. I choose to allow myself to feel the pain and mourn with my fellow mourners.
There is not a life that was lost this week in Boston or West that didn’t touch someone else. They each had a mother and father. Maybe they were a friend,  brother, sister, cousin, aunt, uncle, mom, dad or grandparent.
My heart and prayers go out to each of them.

The Enabler vs The Supporter

What is the difference between a person who enables and one who supports? Can they be one in the same? When I think of an enabler, I immediately have a negative connotation. I haven’t done any official research but in my mind and experience, enabler goes hand in hand with someone who helps another person with bad habits. Supporter is someone who is there for you and assists with getting you through a tough time. But again I ask, can they be one in the same at the same time?

Push through, ride it out the other side is victory
Let it ride, take a break, what difference will one more make
You can do it! I believe in you
I understand you don’t have it in your right now
You have been through a lot, keep your head up, you can do this
You have been through a lot, nobody expects you to exceed at everything
Life is hard but tomorrow is a new day
I know it’s not easy why don’t you take a break

It seems we need both in our lives depending on the situation. Sometimes we need someone to hold our hands and look the other way when we are not at our best and cannot find the energy to go on. Other times we need a relentless person in our lives that will push or pull us towards the goal.

The sound

Did you say something?
I thought I heard your voice
Or was that that frustration yelling?
Maybe I was hearing things
Wait! There it is again.
It sounds like the moan of overwhelmed
Or was it the sound of giving up?
Sometimes I get those confused
I definitely heard a cry for help
Where is it coming from?
It’s getting closer
And louder
Full of emotions
Full of pain
Void of hope
I hear the sounds clearly now
But I don’t know what to do