When your children want to know the gory details…

(Original Post July 2015)

 

So I found myself caught between a rock and a hard place (sorry for the cliché) the other night.

My daughter wanted to know if I was a rebel when I was younger.

Maybe it was the deer in the headlights expression that gave it away, but she knew immediately that I was not always the straight-laced, button-down, Christian woman that I am today.

Don’t get me wrong, I was always the one who everyone’s parents trusted, including my own. And for good reason.  For the most part, I stayed out of trouble, rarely broke the rules (I was usually too scared) or at least was smart enough not to get caught. But my daughter wanted the dirt, the gory details.

At first I told her that if she could guess something that I had done, that I would fess up. She couldn’t really come up with anything, to my relief, but she was relentless.

So what’s a parent to do? Make up something? No, that’s not my style. I’m too honest for that. I mean, really…honesty has always been my enemy.

This was a dilemma. If I told her a rebellious story she may use it against me further down the line. You know, throw my words back at me…”But YOU did it!” That would be bad. Or she could go the other way…”Just because YOU never did it doesn’t mean that I can’t do it!”

There really was no way to get out of the messy situation. It was a teachable moment…for both of us. So I thought of something forgivable, and told her a brief story from my rebellious youth. It was entertaining and not something she could really duplicate, so I was safe there. No one in the story got hurt. I told her how I learned a lesson and why it wasn’t a good idea to begin with.

Discernment…that’s what I learned. I learned that it isn’t so bad to tell my kids the gory details of my past mistakes, as long as I keep them in my past, and as long as my kids can learn a lesson from them. I think I’ll be ready for the next time one of them asks about my history, and I’ll keep the gore to a minimum. I’d like to keep my straight-laced, button-down reputation intact.

I’m just glad I got to live my teenage years BEFORE the internet.

Do you tell your kids about your gory details?

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The memories are still in the camera

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I have years of memories stuck in my digital camera – yes, I said camera, not smartphone. #oldschool

We have all kinds of photo albums filled with pictures of my first born (born 2002) but hardly any of my second born (born 2006), because that’s when we got the digital camera, and photography changed.

I used to take pictures and then got them “developed” (remember those days?), and then spent hours writing on the backs of them and putting them into photo albums. I never got into “scrapbooking,” in part, because I never had the patience, and also because when my kids were little, I didn’t have the funds. So I bought the cheap photo albums and filled them with memories.

My kids still pull them out every once in a while to look through them, much to the chagrin of my youngest because he notices the glaring disparity between equal space in the albums. I’m know, it’s a terrible thing that happens to families with more than one child.

Needless to say, I am WAY BEHIND on getting pictures printed out. I’ve also heard the complaints from grandmothers who used to get pictures sent to them on a regular basis. And one grandmother (my mom) who isn’t computer literate can’t even see what’s posted on Facebook.

In an attempt to right my wrong, I managed to put together a yearbook (last year), of sorts, on Shutterfly but never got it printed. The problem is that I’m so far behind, the yearbook is from 2013-2014! And that’s only because I had to start somewhere. Trust me, there are gaping holes in our photographic family history between the years 2007-2013 that may never be repaired. #thelostyears

So when I got a coupon from Shutterfly offering 50% off of photo books and 101 free prints I jumped at the offer! Now, at least years 2013-2015 will be covered. Maybe after Christmas this year, I’ll manage to organize and print 2016, and then from there I’ll have to work backwards from 2013. It seems an impossible task, but I’m up for the challenge. #newyearsresolution

Am I the only one who still prefers photo ALBUMS? I think I just don’t completely trust technology – I like to be able to hold the printed photo in my hand. Of course I also prefer reading PAPER BOOKS instead of eBooks, so it could be just me.

 

*By the way, I’m not affiliated with Shutterfly.

How Do Your Clothes Make You Feel?

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Somewhere around 2010, I saw Rhea Perlman in an Off-Broadway play called “Love, Loss and What I Wore.” Based on the book by Ilene Beckerman, it had a rotating cast and was a collection of stories by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron.

It brilliantly showed the correlation we women have to occasions in our lives, both good and bad and how we can recall what we were wearing at the time. #clothesmakethewoman

Fashion has never been one of my strong suits. I’m a t-shirt and jeans girl, much to the chagrin of my husband. So to draw parallels between my clothes and love and loss is sort of a blur.

But a few stand out in my mind.

My Prom Dress – it was designed and handmade by my sister-in-law. It was an original, and I felt fabulous in it. Turquoise satin, one shoulder toga sort of design, only much more sleek and sexy. But still appropriate for a 17-year old.It was a fun and memorable night, and to this day, I still talk to many of the people that were there. Sadly, the dress won’t be passed down…I spilled champagne down the front of it, and never had it cleaned. (I was under age, and shouldn’t have been drinking).

My Wedding Dress – probably the heaviest dress I’ve ever worn. It was not my first choice. I had envisioned a short sleeved, lace bodice with pearls down the back, with a round neckline and an a-line sort of skirt that dusted the floor. What I got was a long-sleeved, poofy-shouldered, sweatheart-neckline, with a full skirt that wasn’t hemmed short enough so I had to sort of kick my feet to keep from stepping on the skirt and tripping as I walked down the aisle. Someone convinced me to “go big” and “wear something I wouldn’t normally wear.” My favorite part of the dress was the veil and the hanky that I handmade from pieces of my mother’s wedding gown that I couldn’t wear because it had yellowed over time. But the day was beautiful, and awkward, and I got to marry my best friend.

My two pairs of Chemin de Fer jeans – One pair was kelly green and the other was a pair of purple, bell-bottom sailor pants. Don’t judge…it was 1978. I begged for weeks for those jeans. I still can’t believe my mother actually gave in. I wore those jeans like a badge of honor. I think the only reason I got them was because they were probably marked down.

My black suede over-the-knee, lace-up-the-back boots from Wild Pair – I had to put them on layaway so I could pay for them myself with my first job at Blue Chip Cookies. I may still have those in a closet somewhere. I wore them everywhere. They made me feel “edgy.”

A Hospital Gown – I know…it’s a weird one. But it’s what I was wearing my kids were born. It’s what I have on in the pictures of two of the happiest occasions in my life.

So, how about you? Does fashion cause you to reminisce? Was it a dress, or a hat, or a pair of shoes?

The Soundtrack of Your Life

Remember the 80s and making “mix tapes” for that special someone? It took hours to craft the perfect combination of songs that would remind them of good times together.

Or sometimes there was a mix tape made of horribly angry or depressing songs that you made for yourself, that you’d play over and over and think about the love you lost. It was cathartic and cleansing.

If you had to put together a soundtrack for your life now, what would be on it? Would it be anything like the old tapes of long ago, or would it have changed dramatically?

Would it be filled with deep, meaningful lyrics, or would it be flashback hits that would make your kids cringe?

Would you let anyone listen to it, or would it be intensely personal and only you would understand why it was there?

What would your soundtrack say about you?

When your children want to know the gory details…

So I found myself caught between a rock and a hard place (sorry for the cliché) the other night.

My daughter wanted to know if I was a rebel when I was younger.

Maybe it was the deer in the headlights expression that gave it away, but she knew immediately that I was not always the straight-laced, button-down, Christian woman that I am today.

Don’t get me wrong, I was always the one who everyone’s parents trusted, including my own. And for good reason.  For the most part, I stayed out of trouble, rarely broke the rules (I was usually too scared) or at least was smart enough not to get caught. But my daughter wanted the dirt, the gory details.

At first I told her that if she could guess something that I had done, that I would fess up. She couldn’t really come up with anything, to my relief, but she was relentless.

So what’s a parent to do? Make up something? No, that’s not my style. I’m too honest for that. I mean, really…honesty has always been my enemy.

This was a dilemma. If I told her a rebellious story she may use it against me further down the line. You know, throw my words back at me…”But YOU did it!” That would be bad. Or she could go the other way…”Just because YOU never did it doesn’t mean that I can’t do it!”

There really was no way to get out of the messy situation. It was a teachable moment…for both of us. So I thought of something forgivable, and told her a brief story from my rebellious youth. It was entertaining and not something she could really duplicate, so I was safe there. No one in the story got hurt. I told her how I learned a lesson and why it wasn’t a good idea to begin with.

Discernment…that’s what I learned. I learned that it isn’t so bad to tell my kids the gory details of my past mistakes, as long as I keep them in my past, and as long as my kids can learn a lesson from them. I think I’ll be ready for the next time one of them asks about my history, and I’ll keep the gore to a minimum. I’d like to keep my straight-laced, button-down reputation intact.

I’m just glad I got to live my teenage years BEFORE the internet.