Sunday, January 22, 2017

Do As I Say

Well, it's been quite a week in our country.  I have to say that I'm always a sucker for the inaugural festivities which are steeped in tradition and wrapped up with all of the formality.  I guess we've gotten pretty casual in our modern day living and it's just so refreshing to see such formal customs in a time when so much pageantry has been tossed out the window.  It's good to see ladies wearing gloves and hats on this side of the pond.  It's just nice to watch us being all "la de dah" every now and then. 

In all the noise of the significant week, I couldn't help but also think about how we, mothers, teach our daughters to be kind.  We tell them to keep quiet if they can't say anything nice.  We remind them to treat others the way they would want to be treated.  To be considerate of other people's feelings.  To not be a mean girl.  To never exclude anyone purposely.  We tell them to think before they speak.  We teach them that they're not always right.  We warn them that everyone will not always agree with everything they say or do or believe but to treat them all with respect.  That they will win some and lose some and to do both graciously.  We tell them to be careful on social media.  That things they post never really go away and can have far reaching effects.

I was wondering what they've been thinking about us, grown up women, I mean, if they've been paying any attention at all to the current news especially surrounding the inauguration.  Twitter.  Facebook "news" stories.  Commentators.  Media buzz.  Talk shows.   

What would we do if our daughters acted like some of the women we've heard from this week?  I tried to imagine if my daughter got on social media and made fun of someone's dress choice at a school dance?  If, in her inflated self-importance and fashion sense, she posted a picture of the girl in the "homemade" dress along with some derogatory comments in order to get laughs and likes for her clever wit and brutal honesty. I don't know your style of parenting but Blair would have likely needed to have my hand surgically removed from the first place on her body on which it found to land.  Likely, her derrière.  And I don't even want to think about ever seeing her on TV holding some of those vulgar signs I've seen lately. 

There are a lot of things we, women, don't need more of in this world.  Having other women tell us who is worthy or disgraceful or enlightened or capable or unacceptable or fashionable or elegant or qualified or close-minded or anything else, well, I'd have to put that as #1 on the list.  Nothing worth doing is ever easy and because of its long tangle of emotional ties, deeply caring nature, and sprawling stretch of responsibilities, being a woman has never and will never be easy.  We certainly don't need to be making it any harder for each other with hurtful and hateful words. 
  
I'm certainly not a perfect mother but I hope one thing has been evident to Blair as she's grown up around me.  I hope that she's learned that being a woman is a magnificent privilege.  It's not a burden or a chore.  It's not an obstacle or a constraint or a weight that is cumbersome.  It's never a disadvantage or something to resent.  It is a blessing.  It's a joy.  It's a benefit. 

With it comes the ability to love and connect and bond deeply.  It's the desire to communicate and express emotions.  It's wanting to be held and wanting to hold.  It's the joy of being treasured and the opportunity to leave a legacy.  It's not being afraid to cry.  It loves hard and works hard and finds it so hard to let go.  It's the privilege of being the first bond a child forms.  And it's loyal until the last breath.  It's seated at the very heart of the family.  Its influence spans generations and plays at the heartstrings long after it's gone.  It's the place where comfort is sought and always found.  It's beaming with pride and rejoicing with others. It reaches out and wants to make friends.  It craves companionship and loves and gives and nurtures with all its might.                    

Sometimes, it's hard, though.  It's sleepless and expensive and pulls from every end.  It's a lot of things to think about.  It's having a head full of stuff to remember.  It can bring feelings of inadequacy and doubt and some second guessing.  It takes a lot of organization to keep it all running smoothly.  It's feeling happy one moment and having a hissy fit the next.  Sometimes, it can't explain how it feels.  It's unpredictable and full of changes along the way.  It can even rip your heart out and kick it around a few times.  It can launch tears down the cheek and lay burdens on the mind.  Some days, it may require too much energy to get it all done.  It's guilt and wanting everything to be just right.  It's external pressure and even more internal pressure.  It's the worst pain you've ever experienced.....but the warmest warmth you've ever felt.  There's no doubt that the work of a woman isn't for the faint of heart but the compensation.....out of this world. 

I love being a woman.  A daughter.  A sister.  A wife.  A mother.  An aunt. A niece. A girlfriend.

Girls, if you've been watching us, grown up women, and are scratching your heads, forgive our terrible example.  A true lady doesn't treat other people with condescension.  She doesn't exclude or mock those who believe differently from her.  She never gets laughs at the expense of others.  A lady isn't vulgar or rude or mean-spirited.  She doesn't try to achieve power with bullying or intimidation or threats. 

And a lady always considers it a blessing to be a woman.


Y'all have a good start to the week!   

           

     



21 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind words, Susan.

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    1. Thank you, sweet Jeannie. Love hearing from you.

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    1. Thanks for your encouragement, Tam. Appreciate it so much.

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    1. Thanks for your encouragement, April.

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  5. Excellent post, I hope in days to come, we all will find common ground in our fracture country.
    I hope the storms didn't come your way.
    Kathleen in Az

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    1. Yes, I hope we can heal. So much division and it's so sad to see.

      We weren't affected by the storms but there was a lot of devastation not too far from here. Just awful. Thanks for checking!

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  6. All that except for the fact that women make 60 cents on the dollar compared to men and I guarantee you that they do way more work.

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    1. I'm sure in some cases that is true! Can't argue that point. I like to think that's getting better, though, and that we're moving in the right direction.

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  7. So beautifully put, Joni! Thank you!

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    1. Thank you, Deanna, for your encouragement. :)

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  8. Well said! This needs to go viral!

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    1. Thank you, Alyson. You're very kind.

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  9. You are spot on! My sweet mama must have given you her spirit, too. She would NOT have put up with or acknowledged this mess we saw last weekend... I viewed 2 minutes of it and said- turn it off! I am done- and done with those "celebraties" that think they know so much... keep it coming, my friend! God is watching....

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    1. Oh, BJ....so much going on that goes against everything we believe. So maddening to see how far we've descended.

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  10. Thank God us southern raised boys as we became men had lovely graceful women as you describe to choose as lifemates. All those protestors needed southern "mammas" to teach them the joy of being women. agh.

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    1. Southern Mamas are awfully passionate about teaching their girls how to "act right", aren't they? Hahaha. God, please bless the efforts of Mamas everywhere!

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