These Are The Days

Smart ~ Writer ~ Mom

Month: August 2014 (page 1 of 2)

Tight Shot … Wide Shot

One of the new friends I met at BlogHer14 was the wonderful Ashley Garrett, also known as “Baddest Mother Ever.” Can I just say how much I love the title of her blog? She clarifies it, too, by saying she’s not the “worst” mother … just the “baddest” mother.

Awesome.

Anyway, she had a great post called “Tight Shot Wide Shot” the other day that made me stop and think about how much is shared on social media. Whether it’s a gorgeous plate of food on Instagram or something super-crafty that appears (in perfect form of course) on Pinterest or just what we normally post on Twitter or Facebook, we *all* tend to put our best foot forward by posting things that make us look like we have our shit together.

When we all know that we all most certainly do not.

OK, fine. Maybe it’s just me. But still, I loved the way she framed her post. She posted a “tight” shot of something up close that was really interesting and fascinating. And then she posted the “wide” shot that showed the real picture. I’m all for real-ness, here. No Photoshop for me, baby.

So here’s my tight shot:

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The top of my little one’s dresser. A lovely white lamp with delicate flowers on the pink-trimmed shade. And her equally as delightful princess jewelry box. Ah, sugar and spice and everything nice, right?

Now here’s the wide shot:

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SWEET.

HOLY.

MOSES.

In this one shot I see her (pink) Strawberry Shortcake baseball bat, her (pink) guitar, her (pink) sleeping bag and various (pink) items of clothing. Sense a color theme here?

As fun as this was for me, on a more serious note it’s forcing me to think about how I see things. And also how I choose to show pictures. Does everything always have to be perfect? Flawless? Uncluttered? Pinterest-worthy?

Good stuff, Baddest Mother Ever. Thank you.

Bang Bang Bang … Dead.

Yesterday, a nine-year old girl accidentally shot her gun instructor as he was teaching her how to handle an Uzi. 

Let’s deconstruct that sentence. 

YESTERDAY. As in, the day before today, this young girl woke up and was brought to a gun lesson. She wore a pink vest and a pink headset. How adorable!  And her instructor woke up, had breakfast, probably coffee, got dressed and headed off for what would be his last day on Earth.

A NINE YEAR OLD GIRL. It really doesn’t matter if this was a boy or girl, so I probably could have omitted the word “girl” from this sentence. But no matter, the part I’m most interested in is her age. Nine years old. A fourth grader, I’m guessing. Now clearly this is the ideal age to learn how to handle an Uzi, right? What with all the daily pressures of being nine, it only seems to right to arm this young one with a military-style weapon to protect her from the bully cutting in the lunch line, the cheerleader who beats her out for the top spot and her kid brother who probably teases her. Seems logical to me. Shall we continue?

ACCIDENTALLY. Ok, no sarcasm here. She certainly did not shoot her instructor deliberately. However any idiot knows that guns are powerful. And as it turns out, they have a powerful recoil that an inexperienced person FOR EXAMPLE A NINE YEAR OLD CHILD would be unaware of and incapable of handling. Thus, when she shot the weapon, the recoil caused her to lose control of the Uzi. Good Lord. Look at what I just wrote. A young girl “lost control of the Uzi.” Jesus.

SHOT HER GUN INSTRUCTOR. Call me old-fashioned, but why in the hell does a nine-year old need a gun instructor? Please. I’m begging you. Please tell me. Because obviously I am a slacker parent. My kid is 10 and the only weapons she’s ever wielded were squirt guns and Nerf guns. Clearly, I am not concerned about keeping up with the Joneses, here. And for the record, and for this little girl’s sanity and future therapy sessions – she did not shoot him. To me, shooting implies intent. She was put in a situation that she was not ready to handle. And no disrespect to the deceased, but the responsibility lies fully and entirely with the instructor and with her parents. Just think of how traumatized this little girl will be FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE. But yay guns! Right?

AS HE WAS TEACHING HER TO HANDLE AN UZI. Pardon my language here, but why in the holy fuck does ANYONE other than the military need to know how to handle an Uzi? I am dead serious here. Please. Tell me. Because if you can give me a legitimate reason as to why nine-year olds need to know this piece of information, I shall run to the nearest gun range and sign my kid up. Scratch that. I shall sign both of my girls up – they are 10 and 3. Hey, it’s never too early to learn the ways of weaponry, is what I say.

White Privilege

I remembered this post from one of my all-time favorite bloggers, Kristen Howerton, from her blog “Rage Against the Minivan.” She wrote this back in May, but it is worth sharing in light of all that has happened in the last week.

“White privilege doesn’t mean what you think it means”

I know that the issue is much larger (sadly) than what is going on right now in Ferguson, but today, in the wake of increased tensions I’m praying for peace in Ferguson.

Five Minute Friday: Tell

I went to the BlogHer14 conference in San Jose a few weeks ago and if there’s one resounding message I heard over and over again was “tell your story.”

In fact, that’s the whole point of blogging, right? To tell your story. Or use it as a platform to tell someone else’s story. The world is more connected now than ever before. We can tweet or post or email or pin something from our phones, while shopping or while hanging at the beach. We can communicate instantly, but do we lose something along the way? I think that’s what I like most about blogging. It allows me a small space to slow down and really think about what I want to share, what I want to say, what I want to tell.

Do you find yourself thinking in blog posts? I do. A thought will cross my mind and I’ll think “oh man, that’s a story I need to tell on my blog.” And nine times out of ten, I do.

This week, in particular, I’ve found that I’ve done less telling and more sharing and amplifying the messages of my friends and colleagues in the black community. I’ve been doing more listening and less telling – why? Because the story of what’s happening in Missouri is not my personal story to tell. However, what I’ve come to realize is that as an American, as a human being, the broader story of racial justice and human rights is indeed my story to tell. And so I will.

Hope or Fear? Which Do You Choose?

“Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space. Invite one to stay.” – Dr. Maya Angelou

Lots of images coming out of Ferguson tonight. Still a lot of work to be done.

But tonight, there seems to be a bit of hope.

 

 

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