On the Road Again: This Time, at Home on Deranged

photo credit: Pink Storm Cloud via photopin (license)
photo credit: Pink Storm Cloud via photopin (license)

GUEST POST GRAPHICAll this talk about beauty in women lately … it’s knocked things like pizza and baseball right off the radar lately here on the CD.

Today is more of the beautiful same. I”m at Home on Deranged today. Melissa Swedoski asked me right after the Super Bowl about those #LikeAGirl ads. Heady stuff. If you haven’t seen it, check it out.

Then go to Home on Deranged and check out my guest post. Stick around, too. If you haven’t read Melissa’s blog yet,  you should. She’s like me, a survivor of the newspaper industry, and always has kick-ass giveaways going on.

See you there! [Here’s the link]

girl quote

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Giving Thanks for Colorful Ideas, Sidewalk Chalk and Generous Hearts

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HMP

It’s cool to buy Valentine’s Day candy on clearance in March, and eat it in April. Did you know that?

And, according to Tamara of Tamara Like Camera fame, those Halloween socks are good to go, any time of year.

Get this: It’s also fine to give thanks now. Well, any time of year. Reading Gina from A 4 Star Life reminded me of that.

So I’m going to get in a little, before Easter.

Continue reading “Giving Thanks for Colorful Ideas, Sidewalk Chalk and Generous Hearts”

Parenthood, in 6 Words

photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc
photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc

Parenthood.

It exhilarates, exhausts, disgusts, and lifts us like nothing else possibly could.

How would you sum up the journey in six words? Inspired by Hemingway’s assertion that a story can be told in six words, I asked that to parents around me – at soccer practice, in the blog world, even at the grocery store.

Here are 55 responses … from the anxious to the delirious to the simply joyous, all honest, all from the heart.

1. “Having my heart outside my body.”

Hannah H.

2. “Fulfilling, enduring, exhausting, challenging, thrilling, proud.”

Andrea P.

3. “The most humbling experience in life.”

Matt C.

photo credit: demandaj via photopin cc
photo credit: demandaj via photopin cc

4. “The craziest ride of your life.”

Brittany R.

5. “Heart, bigger. Brain, hurts. Arms, full.”

Alison, author of Writing, Wishing blog

6. “Best job you’ll do for free.”

Amanda P.

7. “My greatest love, joy and anxiety!”

Tara G.

8. “Love, care, teach, manners and values.”

Lamar H., author of Inspirational Basketball blog

9. “One crazy rollercoaster of a bootcamp.”

Erica W.

photo credit: Lotus Carroll via photopin cc
photo credit: Lotus Carroll via photopin cc

10. “Parenthood is elation, exhaustion, heartbreak; repeat.”

Lesley M.

11. “A life turned upside down instantly.”

Christine Carter, author of Mom Cafeblog

12. “Life with kids is beautiful chaos.”

Erica G.

13. “Exhausting sacrifice which brings innumerable blessings.”

Kris B.

14. “Joyful, painful, most rewarding hard work.”

Jennifer H., author of Living in Graceland blog

15. “Days go slow, years go fast.”

Rebecca C., author of The Unsteady Path blog

16. “What the heck was I thinking?”

Kelly S.

17. Never ending, mostly joy-filled adventure.”

Lori C.

18. “Best thing ever happened to me.”

Janet C.

19. “How blessed I am by God!”

Donna H.

cocktail20. “Hand me a very large cocktail.”

Megan M.

21. Selfless, frustrating and rewarding learning experience.”

Beth. H.

22. Love, frustration, anger, humiliation, ache, angst.”

Leslie P.

23. Leaving a legacy by changing diapers.”

Laura O., author of Mommy-Miracles blog

24. “Parents are very loving leaders.”

Rebecca Scarberry, Author of YA novella, “Messages From Henry”
(pigeon hero)

25. “Love, with a side of chaos.”

Ashley T.

26. “Sometimes you just have to laugh.”

Jillian L.

27. “Hurt him and I’ll cut you.”

Renee J., author of “Renée Schuls-Jacobson” blog

28. “What could possibly happen again today?”

Holly Homer, author of June Cleaver Nirvana blog

29. “Extraordinarily humbling, challenging, rewarding lifetime commitment.”

Debbie H.

30. “It’s the most wonderful experience ever!”

Jamie J., author of Kreyv blog.

31. “Instantaneous love combined with eternal worry.”

Lacey E.

32. “Tangible selfless love, an unexpected gift.”

Mandrile Y., author of the Polished Before Shined blog

33. “Most precious gift I could receive.”

Kimberly S.

34. “Learning and growing every single day.”

Tricia, author of Raising Humans blog

35. “The hardest but most fulfilling job.”

Deanna M.

36. “One of the hardest jobs ever.”

Chelsea W., author of MS Mummy of Two blog

37. “Always Be there for your kids.”

Kevin D., author of Sports Dad Hub blog

38. “Rewarding, ever changing, maddening yet satisfying.”

Rhonda S.

39. “The craziest rollercoaster you’ll ever ride.”

Renae Christine, author of Rich Mom Daily blog

40. “Buckle up, and enjoy the ride.”

Kimbra, author of Mommy’s Rambles blog

photo credit: rAmmoRRison via photopin cc
photo credit: rAmmoRRison via photopin cc

41. “Motherhood called me. Leave a message.”

Jen, author of Life on the Sonny Side blog

42. “Re-evaluating what is important in life.”

Tina S., author of One Mom’s Battle blog

43. “Chaos reigns in some sane insanity.”

Teri B., author of Snarkfest blog

44. “The hardest job you’ll ever love.”

Leslie B., author of Time Out For Mom blog

45. “Parenthood is a fantastic rollercoaster ride.”

Brigitte M., writer for Fragrant Man blog

46. “Hardest and best job in life.”

Danielle D.

47. “Keep an eye out; don’t hover.”

Michelle N., author of A Dish of Daily Life blog

48. “Colorful, crazy world of unconditional love.”

Rosey A., author of Mail 4 Rosey blog

50. “Watching your heart walk outside yourself.”

Mehgan B.

photo credit: thejbird via photopin cc
photo credit: thejbird via photopin cc

51. “My life is better with kids.”

Frugie, author of Frugalista Blog

52. “Relentless pressure released by random hugs.”

Cindy R., author of The Reedster Speaks blog

53. “Parenthood is what gives me perspective.”

Jen B., author of Another Jennifer blog

54. “The most beautiful and terrifying adventure!”

Grace, author of Arms Wide Open blog

55. “The biggest, hardest, greatest job ever.”

Sheri Lynch, co-host of “The Bob and Sheri Show

56. “Your reward is becoming a grandparent!”

Pamela K., author of “A Renaissance Woman” blog

57. “First 20 years are the hardest.”

Laurie, author of “The Trophy Mom” blog

58. “Teaches unconditional love and abundant patience.”

Stacy J., author of Stacy Uncorked blog

59. “Teach them compassion and financial survival.”*

Jesse W., author of Do Your Job blog

60. “Gives me plenty to blog about!”

Eli P., author of Coach Daddy blog

What would your six-word sentence read? And which of these do you most associate with?

*-Jesse later added, “I ran out of words, but I would have added: “and then kick them the f*** out of your house.” 🙂 🙂

Sometimes, Even a Fierce Feminist Needs a Day Off To Make A Friend

photo credit: ShellyS via photopin cc
photo credit: ShellyS via photopin cc

I should have hugged her tighter. I should have kissed her face and wiped away her tears.

I know this.

But those boys, they needed schoolin’.

I should have remembered that there will always be boys like that.

On some sunny Saturdays, or even cloudy Saturdays or Thursdays, even the mightiest little feminists can take a day off.

In some instances, it’s better to make a friend of the girl next to you than to teach a boy a lesson he’ll probably forget tomorrow.

###

If there’s a game, Grace wants in.

The state soccer association brought their show to Mint Hill, and invited kids of all ages to play small-sided games. Small-sided games are the essence of my teaching. They get kids out in small numbers on small fields working together to solve soccer problems.

Grace’s group included two girls, two small boys, and two mortal-enemy boys.

I remember these boys from my childhood. They – we – fought tooth-and-nail, lost sight of the fact that anyone else existed on the field, and tore at each other like two hungry allosaurs. All with bad attitudes, red faces and hair plastered to our faces.

These boys pushed and elbowed their way to every ball, fighting even over who got to throw the ball in after it sailed out of bounds.

The coaches looked away as the boys tussled, then barked instructions when the ball returned to play. Grace sized up her opportunity, and challenged one boy for the ball along the far sideline. Their kicks collided, and the ball shot upward between their faces.

Closer to Grace’s, apparently.

The ball struck her on the nose, and the boy peeled away with it. I watched Grace give a half-hearted pursuit. She blinked away tears, then stopped running to wipe them. Before I knew it, she was running off the field toward me, face in full cry.

I haven’t seen this side of her in a long time – not on a soccer field, anyway.

The kids turned to watch this new girl run to her daddy. The field coach – now suddenly invested in the action – peered at her behind reflective sunglasses, shook his head and grumbled, “play with whatcha got.”

To him, she was just another girl who couldn’t hack it.

As Grace leaned into me and wiped tears on my shoulder, I gently nudged her back out. My heart wanted to put this baby on my lap the rest of the day.

The part of me where the coach and feminist resides wanted her to go out and kick that boy’s ass – not in a Chuck Norris way, but in a Mia Hamm Nike commercial, “anything you can do I can do better” kind of way.

But she was having none of it, Grace.

The kids on the field went on watching the dueling boys fight for all of humanity, while the two small boys let grass and clouds and passersby distract them. The other little girl, now wholeheartedly uninterested in the game around her, kept peeking behind her shoulder at Grace and me.

Tears dried and pride restored, Grace wiped her face and returned to the field.

She stood alongside the other girl and they watched the sweaty boys tear at each other while no coaches noticed. They watched the wayward shots on goal bounce out of bounds again and again, giggled when the boys slid at each other’s feet and bickered about the insignificant score.

And just like that, it was over.

Grace and the girl walked side by side, smiling and laughing, off the field. The posed for pictures with the state soccer banner, turned in their practice vests, and couldn’t get out of the cleats and shin guards fast enough. Soccer gear abandoned on the ground, they turned cartwheels and ran off together to play anything but soccer.

Was this a blow to the work of Abigail Adams, this apparent succession of power by Grace, the ponytailed proliferator of girl power?

Would Catharina Ahlgren write with dismay the tale of the day the girl gave up?

Would English physician and feminist Elizabeth Garrett Anderson consider this a lost day?

###

I should have hugged Grace harder, wiped away her tears, maybe even walked away with her, practice vest left on the bench. Not every field is a battleground. Not every sweaty-headed boy an infidel. Not every clash of gender a Hamburger Hill in need of capture.

Some sunny Saturdays, or sunny Thursdays or even a cloudy one, a girl, no matter how much girl power she packs, just needs a hug and a kiss from dad, a few tears sopped up on his shirt, and a new friend made.

Even Lovisa Ahrburg took a day off from the cause and made a friend, I can only imagine.