Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fall Happenings

Marin turns 6 years old. The letter pizza tradition continues!

Red headed children look good with pumpkins

When you are six, there is a lot to think about

going on a hayride, and getting all four of us in a picture

which way do we go? follow to toddler, they know everything

friends visit from Colorado, the girls are inseparable

of course I had to make them matching shirts

goofy kids

kids love acorns

going to the museum

we let them stay up really late and watch a movie

Rainbow fish comes out of the pages of the story and in pumpkin form! Literacy pumpkin contest at school

Laura Ingalls shows up on campus for tick-or-treating

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Raising a Girl

checking the garden after school
 We have a little girl, and while my last few posts have been about our boy, I have had parenting a girl on my mind these days. She's going to be six on Friday and she started Kindergarten this year, so there seems to be a lot of growing going on.

walking home from the pool
 Parenting a girl seems more difficult these days. We have been reading Laura Ingalls (as always) and Ma and Pa Ingalls raised four girls, so I like to take tips from each book. In the book we are currently reading, Little Town on the Prairie, Laura is 15 years old and her little sister Carrie is 10 years old. Throughout the book Carrie is called a small child, young child, little girl. She is not called a "tween". Let me pause here to say I HATE the term "tween". In case anyone cares its not a developmental phase, its a term tagged on to kids by clothing and marketing companies. Its not like some professor studying 10-12 year olds one day made up the term to fit a stage of development. No its a marketing scheme to get parents and kids to buy more things. Its the same for the term "toddler". This also is not a child development term but a label pinned on 2 and 3 year olds by clothing companies. 

Going back to Laura and Carrie. While Carrie is still considered a small child, she has great responsibilities and purpose in her family. She has a lot of chores to help the household run smoothly, and yet she is called a child. I want this for my girl, to be able to feel like a small child when she is small, and yet be able to grow into more responsibility and feel some sense of growing and purpose.

Michelle Obama comes to town
We took the kids to see Michelle Obama speak at the university (as you can tell we sat behind her, but oh well we still got to see her). We went because we wanted to hear her speak, I went because I love presidential wives, and we went because we wanted Marin to see a woman involved in the political sphere. It takes a lot of bravery to be Michelle Obama. Speaking in front of a stadium full of people, knowing that because of who her husband is people might want to hurt her, her husband and her children (there were security guards and secret agents all over the place). It takes a lot of courage to stand up for what you believe in, because someone will always disagree and very few people have been taught civil discourse. It takes compassion to work so hard, often away from your home and children, for people who don't always appreciate what you do and how hard your job is. Our calling in life might not always be easy, in fact it usually is not. Our girl can learn these things from being exposed to women who take their calling seriously, whatever that calling might be, and however that calling changes through their life. Getting to be a little girl who is not rushed into adulthood will help her understand these sorts of things. Being a little girl who is not rushed into adulthood will give her time to figure out who she is and what her calling might be.

being brave on the water slide
Growing up takes time, lots of water and sunshine and patience and a few ant bites. When Carrie Ingalls was 10 years old she was still called a child, I hope we encourage our girl to feel comfortable being a child. I know there will be outside pressure to grow up, but maybe at home she will let her hair down wear dresses and lay on the floor laughing with her baby brother, while they pretend to be bumblebees.