Tag Archives: parents

Parents Kissing Kids, Too Sexual?

20 Sep

I found an article on my Facebook feed warning parents not to kiss their children on the lips because the child may perceive that as sexual or romantic in nature because Mommy and Daddy do it.

To that, I have to ask…why the hell do we have to over-sexualize everything?

Children do not have this perception of sexuality that adults do. When a child masturbates, it is simply because it feels good – the same type of good like the sun hitting your face or your feet on the grass. When a child sees Mommy and Daddy kissing, they don’t have this philosophical inner dialogue about the emotional and physical constitution of the kiss. They see two people loving each other. So when Mommy kisses her son or daughter on the mouth, she knows that Mommy loves her, and Mommy knows that she loves her back.

As fate would have it, I also have personal experience to support this.

When I was about 5, I got “in trouble” with my teacher because I kissed a little boy in my class. My parents are both amazing people, so they completely dismissed the teacher’s concern. Why? Simply because I was showing affection toward him, just like I did my parents.

I can also speak from experience that as you discover your sexuality, you do become aware that you are kissing your parents on their lips, and you naturally gravitate toward a newer, more “acceptable” place – the cheek. The lips then become reserved for lovers. (I will hold that in moments of sweet innocence, we sometimes will revert back to that youthful kiss on the lips.)

I question this psychologists relationship with her parents, too. I have a relationship that if I go home, at the age of 25, and find one or both of my parents laying down watching TV in their bed, I will still crawl into bed with them and snuggle. I’d even say that I’m a very needy 25-year-old child, as I’m constantly asking my parents for hugs. I wouldn’t be surprised if she thinks this behavior odd, too.

Do you think we over-sexualize things? Is it acceptable to kiss parents on the lips? Is it confusing? 

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A Bologna Sandwich

6 Jan

Sometimes, when you’re grieving, that’s all it takes.

Only a few days after my dad passed away, my mom made lunch for everyone. It just so happened that she was making fried bologna sandwiches, a childhood favorite of mine. If you haven’t had it, try it! It’s pretty damned good.

I put my sandwich together, held it in one hand and went to grab a plate. I looked down at it for a second, looked up at my mom and all I had to say was “This reminds me of Dad” to start to well up with tears. It’s true though, he was always the one who made them for lunch.

To stop myself from completely crying, I had to go so far as to set the sandwich down. I told me mom “The last thing I need to do is cry over a damn bologna sandwich”.

My father’s death was expected. And at least for me, it isn’t the day to day monotony that makes me sad or overwhelms me, or even talking about it – it’s the little things that unexpectedly pop up that you aren’t prepared for that upset me. A song, a trinket, a memory…a sandwich. That is really all it takes.

But I’m doing okay.

Dear Dad [Rest in Peace]

26 Dec

DSC00466

Dear Dad,

I called you dad, pa, daddy, Roberto, papa. You called me Michelleeanna, Annie, hot rod…Anner Nanner.

You’ve been the best father that a girl could hope for, and you’ve been with me through every moment of my life, big or small. As we go through your belongings, we find things that bring back the best memories…memories I’ll cherish the rest of my life. You may be gone in body, now, but you’ll never be gone in spirit.

The day of my wedding, you’ll be there.
The day I finally buy a house, you’ll be there.
The day I graduate with my next degree…you’ll be there.

You live on in me and my sister, our mother, and your grand children.

I find solace knowing that you are finally at peace, and that your pain has ended. You fought a good fight, Dad, and I knew that no matter the outcome, the day you told me I’m going to fight this damn cancer  that everything would be okay. And I know that as much as I love you, and I admire you that you love me and are proud of me.

Everything I’ve done until this day, and everything I’ll do in the future is to make you and Mom proud of me. You are such a major part of who I are, and who I’ve become. You’re the fire to my phoenix.

I know that you held on as long as you did for us, to make sure we were ready and that we would be okay once you were gone. Thank you for that. I know it was a hard, long struggle. I know you were worried. But we will be okay. I got to spend one last Christmas with my papa, even if you were only hanging on by a thread, even if you couldn’t sit with us next to the Christmas tree…I got to sing Christmas carols to you, and buy you one last Christmas present, and for that I’ll be forever grateful.

I’ll miss you. I love you.

Give ’em hell, Dad

Rest in Peace
12.26.14
2:19 pm

When “Alone” Doesn’t Begin to Cover It: Being the “Balanced” One

2 Dec

Over Thanksgiving, I was once again reminded of my role in the family: the balanced one. I don’t know how I got stuck with that title, but it appears I have no choice. My sister and my mother can’t seem to stand each other. One owes the other, and one can’t see that she’ll never be repaid. They are both anxious and nervous, and can’t seem to talk to one another even on the eve of my fathers death.

So Mom comes to me to cry about everything because my sister isn’t talking to her. My sister comes to me to cry about everything because she isn’t talking to my mom. No one seems to be able to remain calm but me.

Balance.

Being the balanced one means I don’t get a lot of time to be unbalanced, which sometimes I so desperately need. I have to be balanced, because if I become unhinged like everyone else, the world plummets into chaos. And I can’t handle chaos.

It’s lonely when you’re balanced.

My mother told me something on the phone the other day that I just can’t seem to shake. I know it’s true, and I know that means I’ll be alone. She told me, when talking about the grief counselor that hospice sends over once a week, that herself, my sister, and I will each need someone to be our rock on that day, and that my mom doesn’t think she will be able to do it.

I haven’t heard such a truthful statement.

And on that day, I will be the loneliest, most alone person on the planet. My mom has the grief counselor, my sister has her husband, and me…well…

I have no one.

But I’m the balanced one. And the balanced one must remain balanced, so naturally I will use logic to assess my emotions, that my emotions are valid, that death is necessary and predictable, and that having no one is a result of being balanced. Because only the balanced one can be okay without someone else to balance for them.

And on that day, I fear nothing more than my entire family becoming unhinged and estranged from one another, simply because the person who made the balanced person balance, is gone.

Faith: A Desperate Man’s Prayer

23 Aug

As I’ve grown older, I’ve almost completely stopped telling people about major events in my life that might garner some sort of sympathy. This is one of those times, but I find that it would be out of character if I didn’t make a point out of life events. It’s kind of my thing.

So, I regret to inform you that my dad has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer.

I don’t know the type or the prognosis or really much of anything, but my mom says that, while the doctor didn’t say much, it sounds like its terminal. If she is correct, she also didn’t give me a time frame to consider.

I’ve only actually disclosed this to 3 friends, and it was because I knew they wouldn’t have much to say on the matter. No amount of “I’m so sorry” will do anything. Nothing. My situation is not unique. And knowing that my friends are “there for me” doesn’t really do anything for me either (the only thing that might make me feel better is having a man in my life, but oh well).

Death is a fact of life, and I plan to treat is as thus.

It’s almost like a clean slate when you might be dying. You can do whatever you want. Even be reckless if you so desire. Maybe its even liberating.

But, of course, I don’t want to lose my father. I assumed I had at least 10 more years with him, but remarkably, I’ve been preparing myself for the loss of my parents since I was a small child. One night when I was probably 6, I woke up from a nightmare that both my parents had died. I told my mom, through tears, about the dream. She comforted me about this plan God had that one day, he will save the world and people will live forever again as they were once meant to.

I held onto that for years.

Unlike the rest of my family, I have not held onto that faith in a higher power. There are moments when I wish that if I prayed a miracle would happen, and being agnostic makes it even more difficult. And that is how I feel about faith in religion. Desperation. So I hold my faith in science and medicine, as I should. There have been remarkable advancements in cancer treatment, and I think that even if God did exist, he would have given us these tools for us to use.

While I hope that something amazing happens and his cancer goes into remission, I hope, too, that my father is proud of me. The two things I wanted my dad to still be here for were to walk me down the aisle of my wedding, and to see me graduate from vet school. Unfortunately, I’m not close to accomplishing either of those things and I do feel some degree of failure because of that, but deep down I know he is very proud of me (all I really have to do is ask and he’ll boast).

I love him very much, and I hope that if it’s time, I’ll at least be able to get the most knowledge I can out of him before then. Because goodness knows, I feel like I call him every other day asking him how to change or fix or make things.

That Time I Got a Purity Ring

22 Mar

Okay, so not really.

But, the purity ring thing has came full circle again, and is getting media attention as “sweeping the nation”. Well, news flash, news reporters: it’s been around for quite a while and is not nearly as new or spreading as dramatically as you’d like us to believe.

A friend of mine posted a link to an article about it, which you can find here.

If you don’t want to read the article, and have no idea what a purity ball is, then I’ll break it down for you.

A purity ball is a ceremony through a young girl’s (think 12) church, in which she pledges to abstain from any physical contact (I don’t know about hugging, but kissing, definitely) until after she is married. At least in some ceremonies, the girls wear white wedding-like dresses and they dance with their fathers. In the article, the father becomes the “boyfriend” and pledges to protect the girls virginity/purity until she is married.

Here is what I like about this idea:

1. Young girls are deciding that they are too young to engage in very mature physical relationships
2. Fathers are involved in their daughter’s lives
3. You get an awesome ring and get to wear a pretty dress
4. You get to dance with your dad, and dads are pretty awesome too
5. These families are maintaining innocence in a world that wants children to grow up really, really quickly

Here is what I find completely irrelevant:

1. Fathers are deemed their “boyfriends”
2. The ceremonies resemble marriage ceremonies in any way (including the white dress)

And here is what is wrong with this:

1. Many girls are likely not choosing that they wish to remain “pure” until marriage
2. Male purity ceremonies aren’t receiving as much attention (though they exist)
3. By abstaining from any form of physical contact, girls are missing out on very important social milestones in their lives

Now I’m going to break it down a little further for you, because depending on your views on this, you are probably outraged that I don’t find it creepy that fathers are called boyfriends and they go through marriage-like ceremonies. Actually, you probably find me creepy now. Oh well, read on.

The reason I consider the irrelevant things irrelevant, are because they are. Every little girl wants to marry her dad, because her dad is her world when she is little. And its sweet. We should hold onto that innocence, especially when children seem to be wanting to grow up younger and younger. As for the wedding-like ceremonies, all ceremonies in the church involve girls in pretty white dresses and boys in suits. I was baptized in a white dress. Girls wear white dresses at Quinceaneras. Get over it, it doesn’t matter – but it does go to show that even though we say we aren’t stuck in this rut of social norms that we areOf course…I do feel like most church ceremonies are cult-like, and that really freaks me out, but that’s a thought for another blog.

Maybe I’m a little less creepy now? Anyway, in any circle that has a lot of push and influence, you are often not provided the resources to make your own choices. You are given one decision, that everyone you know makes, and you can only assume that is the only way because you know nothing else. This means that, unfortunately, most of these girls are probably only told that there is one right way, and that this is it, so they aren’t making their own choices.

I also find it immensely entertaining hearing banter about this being yet another way to “control women”. Sure, it probably is, but I want you to consider why male purity ceremonies aren’t receiving as much attention. Is it because we say “good…those boys need to keep it in their pants!” because hello…double standard. We can’t be mad that we are trying to control women, and not be equally as mad that we are trying to control men. We should be mad that they exist, not that they exist for women. We should be mad that male purity ceremonies aren’t getting news coverage. I think that may be the reason that we aren’t giving male purity ceremonies the same attention…but that’s just speculation. I don’t actually know.

And finally, when you can’t kiss until you get married, this is what happens:

And nobody wants to be part of that. God, it’s like a car-wreck. Can’t. Look. Away. AH.

It’s also like saying that once you kiss someone, we are all just too heathen to abstain from having massive orgies…or even just normal, missionary sex with someone you really care about.

Those orgies. Whew.

What do you think of purity ceremonies? Do you find it creepy? Do you think the good outweigh the bad, or vice versa? 

Overprotective Parents

14 Aug

I wouldn’t generally consider my parents overprotective, but growing up with overprotective parents is much different than having overprotective parents as an adult.

I’ve always been a very independent person, and my parents have always acknowledged that and respected it. So when they pull the we’re worried about you card all of a sudden, it kind of catches me off-guard.

Not that I don’t think they worry about me. I know they do, but when they try to interfere with what I’m doing, that’s when it gets weird.

I’m planning a trip in September that involves 4 nights/5 days of hiking and camping, and I’m doing it alone. Apparently my mom and dad don’t like that idea, because when I called my mom a couple of days ago, she requested that I sleep in hotels instead.

They don’t want me to camp alone. It’s understandable why someone would worry, but I can’t afford 4 hotels. They can’t afford 4 hotels. I just don’t understand how they can expect this.

In one hand, my parents are basically offering to pay for 3 nights of hotels for me. On the other hand, I was kind of excited to camp for 3 nights. It’s really bothering me, and I don’t know what to do or how to handle it. My parents have never interfered with plans like this before. I can’t help but feeling like they don’t understand that I have no one to go with (which is kind of embarrassing to admit); I don’t think I know anyone who would actually make an effort to go with me.

Should I give in to my parents request and sleep in hotels instead of camping? Should I just camp, and how do I tell them to get over their worrying? Ever had a situation where your parents/friends/significant others do things way out of character? How did you handle it?