First, her caution regarding comments. I cannot top it, and long to adopt it:
"I love to get interesting and relevant comments. Comments from morons are mocked and then deleted."
Second, at the top of the page:
"This is what a feminist writes like:"
So, when she asks:
I think the Moms/Mommies/Mamas in the blogosphere spend more than enough time admitting our shortcomings and not nearly enough time celebrating our strong points. So, I'm suggesting that on Mother's Day, or the day after, or at least some time in May, you take a moment and make a list of three things that you do well as a mother and either post it in the comments here or in your own blog.
Oh...that wasn't a question or suggestion really...that was an order, since I was tagged....
Here are my three things:
1) I have worked hard to keep a good photgraphic record of Josie's childhood, thousands of images - and very very very few of them are posed. My own childhood photos are comprised mostly of me standing miserably in some holiday outfit, frozen like a deer in the headlights. Vacation photos of me, standing awkwardly in front of the ocean or at a photo-op in an amusement park, tell me nothing of how I appeared to my mother or father. There is nothing to tell me of my experience with day-to-day life, just my own faulty memory or my mom's, which is even worse. So, if I have twenty-three images of Josephine exploring a log on the beach, or sitting in a chair in the back yard with a snail crawling on her leg, I can hopefully show her that days often passed just like that. That she often had messy hair, and could play with bugs for hours, and that she almost always was running ahead of me - or away from me. And there are things that I imagine will always be, and I want to show her that too. She almost never is still, and that her body and motions are expressive and amazing; and she is always more beautiful when she's not smiling with some cheesy manufactured grin. And that to me, my parenting was more about the mess, and the process than the result. It's important to me that she knows thatt the moments of watching her climb and explore were as wonderful as her moments on top of it all. Also, that I hopefully knew when to put down the camera - that as much as I am the architect, and the observer of her life - that I was involved in it too.
2) I often engineer miracles. I don't always have to, because Josephine is gifted in a way I've never seen in another. Her wishes come true, often without my help - but sometimes with. For example, when we went on a vacation to the Jersey Shore, and on the way we asked her what she wanted most from it, she said she wanted to see dolphins, pet a shark and meet a real deer. So, what happened? She and Steve walked out to the beach one morning, and dolphins appeared and did dolphin things just for them, with no one around. A whole tail-dancing, flipping dolphin show. We didn't have to buy those $30 tickets on the dolphin-watching boat tour after all. And there was also a boardwalk aquarium, and it had a shark petting tank. But when on the way we stopped at a state park where there was a deer feeding station, and there were none - we were sad.
Then, when staying in the last hotel just hours from home, I saw in the brochure bin an advertisement for a small roadside zoo that used as an illustration a cartoon of a child feeding a deer, and as it was only twenty minutes out of the way, we went.
And so Josephine not only got to meet a real deer,
She got to feed an albino doe with a bottle.
And sometimes, Fairy Raccoons appear in our trees, seemingly out of nowhere. I don't remember stuff like that happening to me as a kid - but then, I can't prove that because my mother did not provide me with any photographic evidence.
3) I think like a kid. When Josephine sees a pile of sticks from our neighbour's cherry tree, and knows we have big marshmallows (a rare treat, and I don't even remember how I came to buy them), and asks if we could have a campfire in the back yard "some day"; and I'm just lighting the barbecue to cook dinner, well then, I can figure out that roasting a couple of marshmallows before dinner is going to be one of the highlights of her day. So we do. Even though she's had all her allotted treats for the day, even though dinner's cooking, even though I could say no - I like the idea of making today better, than promising some ethereal "some day". The teachers at her daycare know that if she comes home dirty or painty, I won't complain because it means she had fun. I don't care that she didn't bring home a foam ladybug like the other kids because she wanted to play house instead - that's some excellent rebelling there, kid. Foam ladybugs won't matter down the road - learning to assert what you want to do will. Aside from a few toys and books that I'd like her to really care for, all of her other toys are to be explored and enjoyed. Stuffies go in the bath with her if she wants them to, because they can just get washed and then go in the dryer. Bugs and rocks and dirt are just nature's toys. And if she wants to be referred to as Bambi's Daddy for days at a time, fine. So, things like yogurt and cereal in an ice cream cone with sprinkles for breakfast, or story records after dinner, dancing after dinner at a deer party, lots of climbing and stuff are all part of the childhood she's designing for herself - I'm only letting it unfold.
I like that her world is still full of innocence, and fun, and imagination and that her heart is still wide open. I'd like to keep it that way, but I can't always engineer that to keep happening - I can often only understand, and encourage.