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Archive for March, 2007

Recently, The Princess and a friend (let’s call her Lulu) were dressing for the party of the year, Lulu asked me to hand her something from her purse.  It was at that moment I realized the true meaning of TMI.  Hiding right there in plain sight was a condom, innocently paperclipped to a bright red buisness card from the local health department declaring “CONFIDENTIAL CARE FOR SEXUALLY ACTIVE TEENS”.  At that moment, I was struck speechless for one of the few times in my life. 

A reality slap is what I received when peering in to Lulu’s purse and thanks to God is what I said, for it was not The Princess’s purse.  Processing the information was sending my brain in to a maternal meltdown, as I think of this young girl as another daughter.  The Princess and I have an extremely open relationship where we talk openly about sex, relationships, feelings, responsibility and all of the pressures facing a teen girl in the world today.   The Princess had shared with me that Lulu had two separate pregnancy scares in the past year.  In both incidents Lulu’s parents were the last to know.    

As a parent, my heart goes out to teenagers presented with the weighty issues of sex, contraception and teen pregnancy.  Eager for independence, most of these young adults lack the support systems to deal with the social, health and personal implications of becoming sexually active and the accompanying responsibility.  In a perfect world, teenage girls would not become mothers before their time, either through abstinence or contraceptive use, making obsolete decisions about adoption, marriage or abortion.  Sadly, there are many teens that upon taking the risk to address these issues with parents will encounter judgment, rejection, condemnation and lectures. 

Since the aforementioned perfect world does not exist, what are these teens to do?  For many, their support system becomes the state.  Each state has individual laws governing minors’ access to contraceptive services and abortion.  Teenagers lacking support systems or parents who will openly discuss these issues are left to services provided by the government.  Providing they reside in states permitting access to contraceptive services without parental notification or approval.  

Do I want children to depend on our government for guidance on these issues?  No.  Am I glad governmental care is available when children lack a support system?  Yes.  Do I want to see an end to abortion?  Yes.  Am I willing to advocate for laws to restrict access to contraception or abortion for minors? No.  My faith informs me that pre-marital sex is a sin and all life is equally precious.  But with great heaviness of heart, I’ve come to agree that it’s destructive and ineffective to block access to these services legislatively. 

Presented with this situation, I pray The King and I would respond with unconditional love, guidance, reassurance and support for whatever The Princess would need.  If my daughter was taking contraceptives, I would want to know.  If my daughter was pregnant, I would want to know.  Perhaps I would want her to keep the child or choose adoption, though those would not be my decisions to make.  Greater than my desire to know would be my prayer that she was safe and receiving competent medical advice, including counseling on all options. 

Some may say I am Pro-Choice, others may say I Pro-Life.  What I know to be true is I am Pro-Princess, for she is my child.

A note for Lulu:  I am proud to know you.  You chose responsibility.  You Go Girl!

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IN MEMORY OF LIFE

Several weekends past The Princess attended a Sweet 16 party a few miles from our home.  Having the house to ourselves The King and I did what you ask?  We watched TV.  Our favorite show was interrupted with “Breaking News”.  There had been a fatal car crash involving four teenagers not more than two miles from our home.   Terror struck my heart, I immediately rang The Princess’s cell phone.  Those were the longest three rings of my life.  She answered, happy, healthy and dancing the night away.  Instantly, I felt both relieved and ashamed!  How was it possible that I could be so elated that it was someone else’s child had perished in that auto accident? 

The accident summary: Four teens in one car struck another car traveling in the opposite direction, three teens died in the crash and occupants in the other car were seriously injured. The teen driver lived. The driver was not drinking.  He took an unfamiliar curve a bit faster than was advised and swerved at the wrong moment into the other lane.

What do you say to these parents?  What do you say to classmates and friends of all four teens?  The devastation and heartbreak of the parents of the teens that died would be inconceivable to me as a mother.  Neither, can I begin to imagine the isolation and guilt the teen driver who survived would endure.  A suggestion, one word, REMEMBER.

Everyone will grieve the loss of these three young lives, we should all remember that they lived.  REMEMBER that one told the funniest jokes at lunch, REMEMBER one could spell any word in the dictionary, REMEMBER one could thought they could dance and proved it in the parking lot one day after class, and REMEMBER that one was always the first to lend a hand. 

Four REMEMBERS, right?  REMEMBER that although three lives were lost that night, one life remains with us and he needs us to REMEMBER that he is human.  REMEMBER TO FORGIVE.

Content borrowed from conversation with The Princess.

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The Good News is here! Tom Cruise has been prophesied to spread the Gospel of the Hubbardites.  This is phenomenal, the ultimate marketing tool for recruitment of future Thetans.  Nonsense?  Never one to pass judgment on another’s status as a potential deity,  I submit to you Tom Cruise’s resume for his “Christ-like” anointing:

  1. In Cocktail he acquired the skills necessary to turn water in to wine.
  2. His role in Mission Impossible proves he can stop evil forces.
  3. Minority Report established he can predict our future.
  4. The Firm supports his ability to be tempted and resist sin.
  5. Interview With A Vampire is a testimony to his eternal life.
  6. Rain Man is evidence he protects the meek.
  7. He has the pulpit and happy dance down.
  8. Many already worship him.

Yeah right, from a truly spiritual standpoint I can honestly say he will never complete me.  He may be destined to lead his flock away to their Mother Ship, I know I can hardly wait for War of the Worlds II.  If the Messiah spirit is embodied in Tom Cruise, I am most certainly destined for hell.

Just so no one believes I am a close-minded individual, I am willing to overlook the lack of a virgin birth and multiples divorces.  I will reconsider my position if Cruise will give up all his worldly possessions, walk on water and resurrect himself after his crucifixion.

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A friend emailed me this medical study that indicates breast cancer risk is higher for women that perform no housework than those who do.  I have a few issues with this study:

  1. The sampling of women who actually do not perform housework would be too small for scientific evaluation. 
  2. Does breast cancer know if you exercise regularly but have a cleaning person tackle your housework?
  3. With these results breast cancer should be epidemic in men.
  4. Who sponsored this study?  Surely it was the manufacturers of cleaning products and vacuum cleaners, with the full support of the male population.
  5. Am I now to believe I may smoke and drink all I want as long as I make certain the house is spic and span?
  6. Has anyone checked the breast cancer rates of maids?

I have surmised that a British scientist didn’t want to do dishes and told his wife, “it’s not that I’m lazy, I just don’t want you to die.”  

Hire me a maid, I risk it!

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The Princess recently briefed me on the Teen Buzz ringtone, I believe I have been living under a rock since this has been available for quite some time now.  This tone was originally intended to deter teens from specific areas, but was altered in to a ringtone that was tolerable to teens and cannot be heard by most adults over legal drinking age.   

Did Teen Buzz designers think this through?  Where would this work, a school for the blind?  Well, not for text messages, maybe calls.  Teachers will still be able to see the teen with phone in hand and most phones have vibrate.  You get the idea.

Now for my idea.  Having trouble getting your teenager’s attention?  I have the perfect weapon (sorry, I meant resource to facilitate communication with your child).  Parents Unite!  We all download the original tone in to a remote, the same tone that compels The Princess to cover her ears.  This is where I will make millions.  With conditioned reflex we will no longer need to repeatedly nag our teens (thanks Pavlov).

  • Finish homework?  BUZZ
  • Empty the dishwasher?  BUZZ
  • Take out the trash?  BUZZ
  • Feed the dogs?  BUZZ

Dream of the possibilities…you will only have to ask once.  Think of the benefits, when you pass a Hollister or American Eagle store…BUZZ.  Parents will learn what it means to have disposable income again.

Okay, so we don’t really want Stepford Children, but it would be nice from time to time.   I really like the Oscar worthy eye rolls, sighs and “I heard you the first time Mom” comments.  Really.  Pinky swear.

P.S.  I can hear the tone, The King cannot. 

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The Princess, who believes I know nothing, understand nothing and possess an IQ lower than a turtle actually surprised me during the Christmas holidays by asking for my advice with her love interest at the time.  We will call him “Stupid Boy” as not to confuse him with the current Duke of Honda. 

Apparently rumors abound at high school that Stupid Boy was courting another fair maiden right under The Princess’s nose.  Her question to The Wise Queen (me):  “Mom, all my friends are reporting Stupid Boy is making time with another girl; he says he would never do that and I should trust him … who do I believe?”  I nearly passed out in my own kitchen, did this mini-adult who thinks I was born in the Stone Age actually ask for my opinion?

I will admit terror struck in my heart, I had longed for her advice requests in the past.  What if I messed this one up?  My chosen profession in Human Resources had prepared me for this day.  I resisted the urge to squash Stupid Boy in The Princess’s mind and gave her politically correct options combined with a woman’s common sense.

MY ADVICE:  Since you have consulted Stupid Boy for his response then consider the source and motivation of the rumors, ask yourself what is your gut telling you and if it looks like a duck, walks like duck and quacks like a duck….well, you get the idea.  By the way, Stupid Boy walked in our front door at that precise moment, I smiled innocently, The Princess did not.

If nothing else, The Princess has mastered networking in your environment. She has more contacts than political lobbyist in Washington, all who are willing to call her with the latest tidbit of information on AS HIGH SCHOOL TURNS and the felonious deeds of  Stupid Boy.  The Princess’s cell phone vibrated continuously one evening, apparently a major undercover operation was underway at the High School with The Princess orchestrating from a local restaurant.  Stupid Boy was located at Christmas play with fair maiden in question,  aforementioned network was covering his actions with cell phone cameras, text messages and observation.  Who would have ever thought modern technology would assist a teenage girl in a life lesson?

The Princess arrived at the Christmas play (she did not have the Christmas spirit).  She was secreted into the building and back stage by network, akin to Navy Seals entering a hostile nation.  Stupid Boy was caught in the act and banished to a foreign land never to be heard from again.

Although she did not ponder upon my sage, wise, intelligent advice very long; she did find her own solution to her problem. Her advice: see it with your own eyes Mom, that will do it everytime!

The King believes Stupid Boy should be sent to gallows for daring to fool his Princess in this shameless manner and all males, not of the Ponderosa lineage, should be obilerated from the earth until his Princess has graduated from college.

Note to the Duke of Honda (current love interest of The Princess):   

You may want to committ to memory logistical and tactical mistakes made by aforementioned “Stupid Boy” for reference, the NETWORK is always available for impromptu sting operations.

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IN MY BACKYARD

This is my first official post.  You have been warned!  Let me set the scene for you a couple of weekends back.   Friday night, 10:30pm and The Royal Canines (Mr. Frodo & Jake Man) begin barking.  Since we live in the country this is not a strange incident.  All manner of wildlife will peak the interest of The Royal Canines, but this bark was a warning that Satan has been unleashed in our backyard. 

The King is asleep and must rise at 4am for work, this is not my current concern since this is the man who would have slept through Hurricane Hugo, had I not awaken him to move to the basement.  My view from the kitchen bay window shows The Royal Canines up on the back fence obviously trying to scare the Jesus in to something that was about to invade their Ponderosa.  This goes on for 10 minutes and the third Royal Canine (Mr. Rat Dog who lives a privileged life inside our home) joins the ruckus.  It even attracts the attention of The Princess who dares to break from her two connections to the outside world, the Internet and cell phone, to help me investigate.

Beyond our backyard fence lies a pond on the neighbor’s property, this is about 60 feet from my bedroom windows.  You can see that sleep will not be forthcoming anytime soon.  The Princess and I spy from the back door window that two men are walking around the pond carrying a lantern near the ground.  Have they lost something?  Is this really an effective time to look for something?  Are they unsavory characters?  Not to fear The Princess has her current love The Duke of Honda on the cell phone for our protection.  We continue watching for a few minutes until we decide that they are watching us in our PJs watching them from the back door.

In my motherly wisdom, I deem that they will find the lost item or give up soon…all will be well and The Royal Canines will sleep soon.  Let me admit, I was wrong.  Not only did they not leave, but they were joined by two more men driving trucks, delivering equipment of some sort to aid in their search.  

In the almost two decades I have lived here never has this body of water attracted this much attention.  This melee with The Royal Canines continues for two more fun filled hours.  Sleep was not to be for The Queen tonight, did I mention The King had yet to stir from his chamber?  Added to spirit of the hunt was a million powered spotlight that lit up the bedroom as if the Coast Guard was searching for a lost boat.  This is an exciting night on the Ponderosa.

Finally, The King is stirred from his chamber (due to a nature call, not the incessant barking) and receives the report of nefarious activities behind the house.  We advised HRH that the men have lost something and are using what looks like poles to find the missing item.   The King decrees that the men are frog gigging.

Excuse me?  Although I grew up in California, I know of this concept.  I have never participated, but am aware of the general idea of this southern pasttime.   During summer we have lots of visits from frogs and their sounds add to the Southern atmosphere from our porch.  To my knowledge, no one has ever hunted amphibians in this pond for almost twenty years.  Why has this pond now drawn the attention of four grown men?  The Princess and I decide the following:

  • Our neighbor is bringing back a lost art?
  • The frogs have experienced a population explosion?
  • Neighbor was hungry at midnight and out of meat?
  • Deer hunting season ended a few months ago and the men are bored?

Believe me when I tell you, the last one is most likely the instigating factor for hunt for amphibians sixty feet from my bedroom window.  Since I am unfamiliar with the actual practice of frog gigging, I researched the particulars.  Basically, you drive to a body of water armed with a flashlight and frog gig.  Sneaking up on unsuspecting amphibians, you blind the frog with the flashlight and the plunge the business end of the gig into to the unsuspecting frog.  The frog’s fate is then sealed. 

So my question to the amphibian hunters sneaking around my back fence, how do two hundred pounds of barking Royal Canines add to your covert activities?  Not to be deterred these men have returned two other nights in the past few weeks to repeat this process. 

Pray for me, as The King is sleeping through the night.  Pray that the neighbor does not commence some sort of commercial amphibian safari from the pond as extra income.

My advice to the amphibian hunters, bring dog treats to The Royal Canines and The Queen may bring you cake!

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