Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Why I Love the Disney Corporation

I know there are plenty of people out there who think that Disney is an evil empire, selling their princess propaganda and that whole "happiest place on Earth" business to our unsuspecting children. But I, for one, wholeheartedly LOVE Disney for a couple of reasons.

Exhibit A:

For the first time ever, Arden sat still for 30 minutes and watched this entire video. Unless you know Arden, you can't fully appreciate that sentence.

Exhibit B:

So, have you read Hans Christian Anderson's "The Little Mermaid" lately? Claire found it at the Library last week and couldn't wait for me to read it to her. It's been awhile, but how could I have forgotten that in the non-Disney version of this story, the Little Mermaid doesn't marry the prince and is instructed to kill him or else turn into sea foam? As you can imagine, I had a bit of a hard time explaining to Claire why her beloved Ariel was wielding a knife over a sleeping Prince Eric and his new bride.

As one who is still scarred by "The Little Matchgirl," I will take the Disney version of these so-called fairy tales any day.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Next Stop, Comedy Central

Claire told her first joke today:
"There was a bug on a sack. Why was the bug on the sack? The sack was closed and he could never get out."

Her second joke:
"Knock knock who's there?"
hysterical laughter from her buddy Isaac

Her third joke:
"Knock knock who's there lemon head!"
more hysterical laughter from Isaac

As you can see, she has a very sophisticated sense of humor.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tiny Dancer

Last week, Claire had a dress rehearsal and pictures for her upcoming recital. To say she's excited is a bit of an understatement. She can't wait to be on stage and "have everyone watching me and then they'll bring me flowers and clap and yell 'whoo-hoo' when I'm done dancing!"

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Last year, I posted my favorite quote on motherhood. I still love it, so I think it bears repeating.

"Every mother has the breathtaking privilege of sharing with God in the creation of a new life. She helps bring into existence a soul that will endure for all eternity."
--Father James Kelly

I've been thinking a lot about the awesome responsibility we have raising our kids. Not just the nurturing, the disciplining, the educating, the giggling-tickling-dancing-til-you-fall-down-ness of it, but the real gravity of helping shape another person into someone who, hopefully, is a much better version of the parents whose DNA they share. It's by far the most important thing we'll ever do. To paraphrase Jackie Kennedy, if you screw up raising your kids, nothing else you do matters very much.

Honestly, if you think about it too much, it will scare the pants off you.

When Claire was just minutes old and the nurse handed me my swaddled bundle of baby, I stared into the murky blueness of her newborn eyes and wondered how in the world a being so fresh from God was now my own. It was almost too much and I very easily could have gone into full freak out mode. But then Claire began crying and I began mothering.

And that's the way it's been for the last four years. Some days I question every parenting decision I make. Did she watch too much TV today? Was I too tough on her? Did I let her get away with too much? Did they have enough fun? I cringe when I see too much of myself in them. Other days, I marvel at the grace and goodness of a God who has given me two beautiful, lively girls who bring out the best in me. But always, I wonder: am I doing this right?

Maybe we don't have to know what we're doing all the time. Maybe that's impossible. Maybe the best we can do is hit our knees and pray that it's enough. For that moment, for that kid, that what we're doing, that our best efforts, are enough.

Friday, May 2, 2008

She May Never Be a Music Critic

Yesterday, as the girls and I were running some errands, Miley Cyrus's new song came on the radio (SIDENOTE: I sort of love this song, which I realize is weird because it's totally teeny-bopper music and kind of vapid, plus we're supposed to hate Miley now after her strange pseudo-topless/backless photo shoot and what kind of parent lets their minor daughter pose like that, etc...I still find it infectious). Where was I? Right, the song. So Claire recognizes it instantly and gets all excited because it's Miley Cyrus! On our radio! How did the radio know that we love Miley/Hannah Montana/I'm so confused which one is she??

After the song was over (Don't sing, Mom! I want to sing...she's just being Miley...), Claire said, "Mom. That was Miley Cyrus. She's a very good singer."

"Hmmm," I agreed.

"She's a really good singer, just like Elvis but he died. And John Lemon--he died too. But I like Elvis and John Lemon but I like Miley the most. She's the best one."

I'm guessing this will be the first and only time that Miley Cyrus is compared to either Elvis Presley or John Lennon and comes out the winner.