Over the past two months, my granddaughter, Lucy, who has loved music almost from the day she was born, has fallen in love with the 2017 Beauty and the Beast movie. Asking to watch it almost every time she sees me—she knows I most likely will acquiesce—it was my sheer delight when for Christmas, Jerry and I gave her a wifi-enabled microphone that allows her to sing along to the music from the movie. To top it off, we also gave her a Barbie-sized, Belle. No matter what Lucy is doing, when she hears the music, she stops and begins to sing. (As a tickled-pink grandmother, I just know she is a prodigy. After all, she’s only two.) You can watch a video of it here.
But it did make me stop and think. Why is it, that almost every little girl envisions herself as a princess or as a bride in white waiting for Prince Charming? Even those, at an early age who are slapped down by circumstances in their life which buries the dream so deep it seems to disappear, still at some point have had some glimmer of it.
On the flip side, why is it that almost every little boy holds the fantasy of coming in to save the day? Whether it’s Luke Skywalker bursting on the scene in the X-Wing Starfighter, or Captain America bulking up with scientifically made muscles to right the wrong and defend the weak, this scenario is ingrained deep within.
Even though we define and pocket those images as fairytales, I think, one reason why they are treasured in the hearts of children is that they actually point to the truth. And as adults, whether or not we admit it, that ideal which children hold onto, is what we genuinely ache for also. We want someone to ride in and make the world a better place. We want a kinder, gentler day-to-day. We want the pain, suffering, and tears to go away. We want death to be no more. Continue reading
The first birthday party I ever went to was for a little black girl in my kindergarten class. Too young and tender to know there was a difference—that I was not black or that she was not white—we were friends. It was not until my dad retired from the Air Force three years later and we went to live in the South that I had my first taste otherwise. For it was there I saw bathrooms and water fountains for whites only, and it was there, four years later I saw a cross burning in the front yard of my very dear friend, Alonso Berry. To this day I don’t understand why those things were. I remember being sad, for none of this made, or for that matter makes, any sense to me. Continue reading
Why do we do it? Seriously, why do we heap boulders of expectation—because that’s truly what they are—on ourselves every January 1? Maybe it’s the lights, decorations, and happiness that goes hand-in-hand with Christmas. Our spirits rise and we think, “This is it. This is the year.” Hurrah! With gusto, we jump on the bandwagon of starting afresh and being improved. New gym memberships soar. The larder is emptied of food that is not healthy and is re-stocked with the latest and best-for-you ingredients. And with a Teddy Roosevelt “Huzzah!” we go charging into the sunset with the grandiose ideals of being a better person with a better body and a mindset filled with kinder and more gentle thoughts. Continue reading
Have you ever been in the middle of doing something, actually something you want or feel you really need to do, and the phone, urgent email, or knock at the back door brings your agenda to a screeching halt? It’s the “Oh man!” moment where, all in one increment of time, feelings of excitement, disappointment, and guilt, converge in a tangle of emotions to be sorted through later. It’s the realization that completing what’s in front of you now needs to take a back seat to what has come up and that your line up of the calendar day is not as important as you thought. Continue reading
I think it started even before I had children, when my friend, Alice, who had three teenage children of her own, told me all she wanted for them was to raise them to be nice people. She wasn’t aiming them for success as a doctor, lawyer, or Indian Chief—as the singsong jump rope rhyme from childhood went—but what she really wanted was for them to be kind, caring, and responsible adults. Tucking that away because what she said resonated deeply within, and pulling it up to think on it a time or two when my own were toddlers, then tweens, I began to form in my mind what it was that I wanted for my children. Success in terms of financial wealth or status took more and more of a backseat and like my friend, Alice, what became “front and center” for me was for them to be caring and loving. Going one step further though, I wanted them to be Godly people.
Have you ever had one of those weeks where you felt like you were…
Swimming upstream…like a salmon.
Slogging through a mud-up-to-your-waist swamp wearing cement
Sliding helplessly down the swirling drain… as burdens
overwhelm and are about to pull you under.