My Perspective: Do I Deserve to be an American?

American

 

“Hey buddy, what have you been learning at preschool,” I inquire during the trip home from school.

 

“Oh, we learn bout Merica,” he states matter of factly.

 

“Did you learn the Pledge of Allegiance,” of course the moment the question came out of my mouth I knew the answer.

 

Of course they didn’t learn the Pledge of Allegiance, because no one says it anymore. You know because of GOD and religion and schools and some other politically correct BS.

 

As I drove home, I tried to recite it in my head and for a few moments I stopped and stuttered before finally finishing it.

 

Seriously?

 

It was Independence Day and my kids had no clue about The Pledge of Allegiance and I could barely recite it.

 

Which got me thinking…Do I really deserve to be an American?

 

Sure I was born here.

 

I at one time {aka the dark ages} said the Pledge of Allegiance every day.

 

We hang an American flag out front of our house on Flag Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day.

 

We stand and remove our hats for the National Anthem.

 

But if push came to shove and I had to take the US Citizenship test would I pass?

 

Here are a few questions…

 

America 3

America 2

How Many Amendments

 

And the answer would be a Definitive NO.

 

It’s quite pathetic really. I an American preach the American Dream the land of bounty and democracy, freedom to the people and yet I have no FREAKING idea who some of the people are running our government, what the branches do and how the heck it all works.

 

Perhaps I’ve been subjected to too many X-Files episodes with government conspiracy theories, or maybe I’m just old and can’t remember my Civics lessons {Sorry Mr. Linderman}

 

Whatever it is, I’m embarrassed.

 

I’m embarrassed that my children don’t know the Pledge of Allegiance, that they don’t know the words to the National Anthem {granted they are 4 and 7}.

 

Their American education will be up to me {the American poser}, because they will never learn it in school. I’m sure it doesn’t fit into the Common Core curriculum.

 

How on earth can the future of America, be in the hands of children who have no concept. It’s scary and sad.

 

Frankly, the country needs to change.

 

We take so much for granted. Our children have no clue how our freedom was won, and what we do to protect it and honor it. In fact, all they see, more often than not are news stories on how messed up it all is. How money and greed rule the world and influences our nation.

 

The moment Little Red and I arrive home,  I hop on the internet and show both boys the words to the Pledge of Allegiance and I teach them how to stand with your hand of your heart.

 

Then together we said…

 

I pledge Allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one nation under God, indivisible,
with Liberty and Justice for all.

 

It’s a beginning.

 

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My Perspective: Angry Won’t Win

My Perspective Angry Wont Win

It was a gorgeous last Saturday.

 

The sun was shining, the temperature finally represented the month on the calendar and we were ready throw a party. We just needed a few last minute items from the store, because you can’t have a birthday party without ice cream.

 

E and I walked hand in hand, laughing and talking about his party. Once we entered the store our smiles quickly faded.

 

We stood at the entrance and watched in horror as a mother beat her child in the produce section. I’m not sure how many times she slapped him, because I lost count. The store was silent, but for the sounds of her hand making contact with skin and his screams. As the three year old crumpled to the floor crying, his mother yanked him up by the back of his pants and put him back on his feet.

 

I felt like I had just been slapped. Did that really just happen in my hometown grocery store? What is this world coming too?

 

E cuddled closer to me, scared and confused by the entire situation. He even started getting teary-eyed. Immediately I leaned down and hugged him to me. “I feel sad for that little boy,” he said. “Me too baby,” I replied, holding him even tighter.

 

Sadness and anger swept through me as I watched everyone else just go on about their business, even myself. We all did nothing, but watch the horror unfold. Not one of us came to that little boy’s rescue.

 

As E and I continued through the store we had to stop right next to the little boy, his mother and someone whom I’m assuming was his grandmother. The little boy was still crying, tears streaming down his cheeks all while his grandmother berated him, calling him a cry baby and telling him to shut the “f” up.

 

I want to say something to scream at her just like she was screaming at him. But I couldn’t, because I was scared. First of all the woman was a mountain – 6 feet tall, and probably 200 pounds, and if she had that much rage in her heart what would she do to me or my son? I couldn’t risk it, and there wasn’t enough violence to call the police {which made me even madder and sadder}.

 

Choking back tears, I turned to walk away, but not before I saw something miraculous. Out of all the people standing there – store clerks, mothers, fathers and others it was a little old lady who finally intervened.

 

She intervened the way little old ladies do – by doting on little kids. “Awww, it’s ok little guy,” she cooed to the boy. “It’s ok.”

 

For a moment I braced myself as the grandmother turned toward her readying myself for the worst. “You want him? You can have him,” she shouted.

 

Seriously?

 

You know an hour later I had the perfect comeback to that statement, but at the time nothing …

 

I wanted to tell her that I would take him. That I had friends who have lost babies and can’t have babies, and have so many babies, but would take another, because that little boy deserved better.

 

He deserved a freaking chance – a chance to know love, kind words and a life without violence.

 

But I didn’t I just stood there silent, and held my son.

**

The next day, I needed to go to Wal-Mart. Seriously NOT my favorite place to go, but it’s close to the house and I needed a cake mix and some eggs to make cupcakes.

 

Quickly I grabbed all my groceries and made my way to the checkout.

 

As I approached the line, a man was standing just outside the lane talking with his wife, debating which line to choose. I totally understand this as the Wal-Mart checkout is often the abyss and you can spend hours lost in one line.

 

No biggie.

 

Eventually they choose. Picking the line I was standing in. They put their purchase on the conveyor belt, but continue blocking the lane. I attempt to make my way around them and up to the checkout so I can set my purchases on the conveyor belt behind his. At which point, he gets in my face yelling at me. He starts going on and on about how there are people in front of me and I just need to wait my turn.

 

Now…any other time I probably would have kept my mouth shut, and moved to another line, but…after what happened a day earlier there was NO way I was going to let another angry person bully me.

 

So I politely said, “Oh, I’m not cutting in line. I just want to put my stuff on the counter.”

 

Silence and stink eye.

 

He continues stink eyeing me all throughout his purchase.

 

And when he was done I told him to enjoy his movie and have a nice day.

 

At which point he yelled “FU, kiss my a$$.”

 

Awesome, but at least I said and did something.

**

After the two incidents my heart is just broken by the world in which we live.

 

Why are people so ANGRY?

 

Is the economy?

 

Is it stress?

 

Or are they just angry people and will never change?

 

I don’t know the answers, but I do know one thing if you are going to be a bully and an ahole you better expect that I WILL be standing up for myself and others. I’m done letting angry win in this world.

My Perspective: In Defense of the Selfie

In Defense of the Selfie #365feministselfie via Redhead Reverie

“Oh, this is cool,” I think to myself as I whip out my phone, hit the camera button, extend my arm out as far as it will go and click the button.

 

SNAP.

 

I just took a selfie.

 

In defense of the Selfie via Redhead Reverie

 

One of officially hundreds I’ve taken since the invention of the smart phone.  “Only narcissists and teenage girls take selfies you know,” joked a friend.

 

And at that moment I got mad. REALLY mad.

 

Selfies get such a bad rap… see horrible video

 

 

But thanks to the selfie I’m part of my family again.

 

In the Pre-selfie years according to iPhoto and the pictures that hung on my walls I didn’t exist.

 

I was the invisible mom.

 

I would lug my big camera to the playground, farmers market, Kindermusik class and snap photos of the littles, their little smiles lighting up my heart and my camera lens.

Clear Lake 2012

 

Later at home I’d download the joyful images of my family, stuffing as many photo files as I could onto the already crowded hard drive of my computer. I grew sad as I watched moments on file that I wasn’t and couldn’t be a part of. In the eyes of the photo documentary my children were orphans, their mother absent from their lives, not playing, not smiling, nothing. There was no evidence I even existed.

 

I was there but behind the lens instead of in front of it.

 

There but not REALLY there.

 

My husband, who is also in this predicament isn’t as upset. He HATES to have his photo taken, so his absence was voluntary.

 

Mine however, was not.

 

I wanted to be in those photos with them not because I’m a narcissist, but because sometimes I want to make a funny face for the camera too.

 Crazy Town

 

The thing is it wasn’t just photos of me with my children it was all photos, at what point do we as moms think we don’t deserve some camera time? The lens is used to capture beauty, laughter and joy.

 

I have all those things and I can make a mean duck face too.

 Duck Face

 

So, I’m advocating for the selfies, get out there and stop being invisible.

 

Make yourself be seen and heard.

 

You are a mom, show it.

 

You are a triathlete, show it.

 

You wore something other than sweat pants, show it.

 

You are beautiful, SHOW it.

 

I’m participating in the #365feministselfie project and you should too.

 

It’s time to be seen.

 

**

Learn more about the #365feministselfie here.

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