Sunday, October 24, 2010

Growing up heroes

I just found this Web site, Growing Up Heroes.

It's awesome.

And so simple.

Superheroes. Pictures of real people dressed up as superheroes, long ago, when they were kids. There is such a fun, vintage feel to this site.

I mean, look at this. How great is this Ewok picture?

And this?

Love it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I smell MEAT

We stopped at Hy-Vee after school yesterday and driving through the parking lot, Rye said, "I smell something."

I looked around. Yes, he smelled meat on the grill. I told him that.

"Oh," he said, "what kind?"

Sausages, hot dogs and ribs, I told him.

"But what animal is it?" he said. And I was proud.

"Pigs," I said.


I could tell he was thinking about this, about the fact that people eat animals.

As we got out of the car, he asked, "But not all animals are killed, right? Some animals get to just live, right, Mom?"

I told him that, yes, some animals like cows and pigs and chickens get to just live but that most of them are raised to become food.

We passed the giant grill with the racks of ribs and fat sausages sizzling. We both looked and then went on our way. What else can we do?

We will never, ever live in a world where animals are not killed for meat. I know this. My wish, though, is that we could get to a place where those animals are treated humanely, where they are not raised in pens too small to walk, where they are not overfed and pumped with hormones, where they do not live in their own feces, where they are not tortured.

I don't think that's a lot to ask.

I didn't tell my 5-year-old all that. For now, I'm OK with the fact that he understands why we don't eat meat. Simply, in his mind, because we don't think it's a nice thing to eat animals.

It feels like heresy sometimes in the heart of the Midwest, in an agricultural stronghold like Nebraska, to oppose eating meat. But it also feels like the right thing.

So that is the path we will continue on.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This morning's moment

I was eating Frosted Mini-Wheats, legs crossed on the living room floor this morning, while Paige danced to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on TV and Rye sat nearby on the couch.

It was the time between the rush to get everyone ready for the day and the rush to get out the door.

Rye said, "Grandma Hazel is 91."

I have no idea what made him think of this at that moment. Perhaps, Mickey and friends had just counted by 10s to 100.

I nodded that yes, she is 91.

He said, "She says she's getting old. She already is old!"

I called her just Hazel. He questioned that. "Hazel?"

Her name is Hazel, I explained. He furrowed his brow. "Oh, I thought it was Grandma Hazel."

Well, you call her that, baby, I said, because she is a grandma. She's Daddy's grandma. She's your great-grandma."

And then it was silent for half a minute.

Rye said, "Do you have a great-grandma, Mom?"

And isn't this sad? I had to think about who that would even be.

"No," I said. "I don't."

I don't even know my grandma.

And so I'm thankful again this morning that my babies have extended family who love them, that my son has a great-grandma who he's seen and hugged and knows, that he has grandparents who care.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Today's wisdom

"I saw that pain is part of beauty - that inside of all that music, all that love, all the moonlight and sunlight, are shafts of pain, and we are meant to bear it all."

-- "The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder" by Rebecca Wells

In this scene, the girl's mother is dancing in the moonlight with her husband and her children. She is frail and just about all the way broken. Her hair has fallen out and her breasts have been ... removed.

Though it is January, she is barefoot. So that her feet can touch the cold ground, so that she can feel alive.

Pain and all.

One last time.

Perhaps the pain that is all too true in this life makes the good times, the beautiful, pure and true times, all the sweeter.

That is my wish.

Thursday, October 7, 2010