Music Shapes Minds and Hearts

,A week month or so ago, Jennifer @ Momma Made It Look Easy asked a question on Facebook:

“Let’s talk song lyrics. What do you do about sexually suggestive song lyrics when they come on the radio? For example, Flo Rida’s new song Whistle, Katy Perry’s Peacock, DEV’s Dancing in the Dark. Do you change the station? Tell your kids they can’t listen because it is inappropriate? Does that open up the door for more questions? How do you explain it is inappropriate? Or do you just hope that they don’t figure out the meaning or start singing it in the produce aisle at the grocery store?

I started by trying to listen to the link to a video that Jennifer had provided.  Oops.  That’s not one I would even listen to with the kids in the room. By the time I scrambled to stop it, 24 seconds had passed.  Plenty of time.

Whistle, indeed.  It was an oral sex tutorial.

My simple answer: I turn it off.

Is anything that simple?  When your children are small, maybe you can turn it off and if they protest, say,”What?  Oh.  I wasn’t paying attention to the song. I’m just trying to find a station with the weather on.”

Not here.  Not anymore.

When I was a kid, we listened to the radio, a lot.  My husband’s favorite freakish gift of mine is that I have a nearly complete catalog of 1970s pop lyrics in my head, accessible at any time.  Off the top of my head, I can list several that are about  intercourse, oral sex, or masturbation–all hits on the Adult Contemprary Top 40 before 1985.

 I went around singing whatever was on. I wonder what boys thought.  I wonder what random men in public places thought.  I don’t wonder much.  Neither, do I wonder, now that I am an adult, familiar with idiom and euphemism, what men think, when my daughters sing along to the greatest hits of their time.

Periodically, I take the lyric of a song and parce it out for my daughters. They hate this.

Yet, I’ve noticed, if they are listening to the AC station regularly, they become even more oppositional, even more self-centered, and begin to dress with less regard to fashion or self-respect.

Some songs have to do with suicide, stalking, infidelity or one night stands. The middle ground is selfish, self-centeredness and inflated ego, mixed with tales of co-dependency and a search for meaning in mediocrity.

We become what our hearts meditate on.

It’s a parent’s privilege, not only to guard their children from too much information too soon, but also to grow those people’s hearts into unselfish, hard-working, imaginative, healthy adults.

Trouble is, the radio station is marketing to young adults aged 18-24, and they like it dirty.

The strategy that works best in our home is a full toolbox:

–Ask them to turn it off.

–If it’s my option, I turn it off.

–If it’s somewhere that the radio doesn’t belong to us– a)distract,  b)re-direct, or c)leave the area.

— “Please don’t sing that song. I know it’s just a catchy tune, but it says two things and one of them is not nice.”

“What, Mommy?”

“You don’t need to know.  You just have to trust me.”

Just like God says to me, when He asks me to relinquish something mediocre for an excellent promise I will not receive until much later.

Writer’s Workshop: Back In Time

1.) Recycle a favorite post from July of any year that you have been blogging.  This post is actually from the ‘now defunct’ adoption blog, with updates per the ones that are accomplished.

There are 100 things I’d like to do before I celebrate my 100th birthday.  Well, quite number more than that, and the fun stuff more than once.  But you know…I have to digress in some direction(the jury is still out on whether I need some meds for the ADD)  [In 2012,I have not one, but two doctors opinions.  It’s not ADD.  I’m just annoying]  .  Since encouraged to take a moment to contemplate the future’s starlit canvas ( what?), here is the list of things so I have it written down in a place I might be able to find it to mark things off.

CRAZYBELOVED ONE HUNDRED THINGS I WANT TO DO BEFORE I TURN ONE HUNDRED

  1.     Be debt free–all debt: credit cards,
  2.     Home
  3.     Auto. Did it, paid one off.  Bought a new one on Monday.
  4.     Save to pay for College,
  5.     Weddings
  6.      And retirement.
  7.      Be finished with this house, by renovation or evacuation.
  8.      Participate in the Neighborhood Christmas Tour of Historic Homes.  I volunteered, again.  Got my fill.
  9.     Find a vacation rental we can return to year after year…we are thinking Outer Banks.
  10.     Be well-read instead of just a reader.
  11.     Finish the story that lives on my shoulder and never skips a day of asking to be written.
  12.     Publish.
  13.     Become known for my hospitality (don’t think Martha, think iced tea in mason jars and laughing until 3 a.m; not moving from the dining room to the living room because it might break the spell).
  14.     Learn to like feta or some other objectionable trendy food.
  15.     Become a REALLY good cook.  Not a gourmet chef.  A Good Cook.
  16.     Own a little neighborhood coffee shop.
  17.      Enter the Pillsbury Bake-off.*
  18.     Figure out a way to share with others in a way that meets needs that are beyond shelter and food.
  19.     Get consistent with my nutrition and exercise.There are not really days off in life.
  20.     Lose 10 more pounds. Change this to twenty.
  21.      Be organized. Real life, finished singing the same old tune, once and for all.
  22.      Have a house that appears to have been decorated with any amount of deliberateness.
  23.      Have 15 minutes of fame for something pleasant.  Not for being a stupid idiot.
  24.      Be a good listener.
  25.      Visit the following: Grand Canyon.
  26.      Philadelphia
  27.      Washington D.C.
  28.      Alaska
  29.      Mount Rushmore
  30.      Kenya
  31.      Spontaneously jump into the car and take off for the beach.
  32.      Get an slr and learn how to use it*
  33.      Kick a bad habit– TV, caffeine, sugar.
  34.      Go geocaching*
  35.      Farm (you know, a garden and a goat and some hens)
  36.      Dress Fabulously
  37.      Have a “signature scent”.
  38.      School my kids to graduation. To the option to go to a really good college.  If they choose.
  39.      Get through this “teen” stage with my girls and move through to a fun healthy relationship.
  40.      Be the mom who has the fun ideas and executes them simply and economically.
  41.      Be the good grandma.
  42.      Have enormous great holiday celebrations.
  43.      Meet some of my favorite bloggers in person*  Met Shell, at Blissdom; sent by Jennifer.  Found a ton of new faves.
  44.      See some important relationships healed on both sides.
  45.      Invite my cousins, SILS, and nieces & nephews to come visit and have them come or want to come.
  46.      Get a cabin in the mountains for Christmas
  47.      Be the family with season passes for the good stuff (not the living history museum).
  48.      Have the courage and wit to stand up for the right so well that people are persuaded without being angry first.
  49.      Learn to scuba dive (from Lance who promised it to us for a wedding gift).
  50.      Learn to climb rocks.
  51.      Get proficient at some sort of textile related craft.*
  52.      Dance in the rain, again.
  53.      Take Mickey to see the Yankees.
  54.      Buy him a(nother) ’65 Mustang.
  55.      Be better at my job.
  56.      Hang out with the Fergusons, again.  Did it.  Last Mother’s Day…Already time to put it back on the list.
  57.      Win something big.
  58.      Own an RV.
  59.      And the big @#$ truck to pull it with.
  60.      See a miracle.
  61.      Visit Boston.
  62.      Know someone who eventually becomes REALLY famous.(Every Oklahoman who knew Mary Hart when she was on Dannysday.)
  63.      Help my kids search their heritage when the time comes.
  64.     Go snowskiing.
  65.     Spend Christmas in New England.
  66.     Do something that would make my aunts and cousins proud.
  67.     Raise beautiful flowers.
  68.     Keep a journal.
  69.     Have another transcendant friend.
  70.     Be really old and have people asking what the secret is and saying crazy stuff like eating bacon, smoking tiparillos, going without sunscreen, drinking a shot of cheap tequila every time I go #2.  Or whatever.
  71.     Build a home in the plan of either the 83rd street house or my Grandmother’s house.
  72.     Not skydive. So far so good.
  73.     Watch the sunset over a rocky shoreline, drinking wine, while my flat stomach peeks out the bottom of my camisole over the comfortable expensive jeans.
  74.     Visit all the amusement parks so my husband can ride all the roller coasters(I like a day at the park, but don’t particularly care for coasters.  Mickey and Diva E’s joy would be enough).
  75.    De-clutter my house.
  76.    Learn to speak Chinese
  77.    Stand-up at an Open Mic Night
  78.    Enter a Chili Cook-Off.
  79.    Win.
  80.    Love.
  81.    Help.
  82.    Sing.
  83.     Rejoice.
  84.     Be a cause for rejoicing.
  85.     Encourage others.
  86.     Teach my kids the same.
  87.     Teach my kids our family history and theirs.
  88.     Get the Thank Yous out in a timely fashion.
  89.     Get a niece from China. 
  90.     Move the washer and dryer downstairs to the right spot.
  91.     Have a collection of something interesting (-er than coffee mugs and cookbooks).
  92.     Have good hair and skin (please God, one time before I die).
  93.     Not end my 15 minutes of fame by being a stupid idiot.
  94.     Never EVER meet Tom Cruise (or Angelina Jolie or Kate Gosselin or Meredith Viera or Nicole Kidman).  Right on schedule.
  95.     Be prepared in case of an emergency.
  96.    Get a boy’s room ready with a cowboy theme.
  97.    Finish raising the funds for this adoption.
  98.    Pack well.
  99.    Fly to China.
  100.    BRING MY SON HOME!!!!

Now wouldn’t it be fun to pass your list to the person on your right and help make each others lists happen?

 

This is my first time to choose a Mama Kat prompt to write on.  It is a load of fun. [I try to link up often.  It’s still fun.]

I am linking this post to Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop, still.

 

 

*some of these need to give credit to Jennifer @ Momma Made It Look Easy.  These are the ones I might not have remembered if I hadn’t read her list.  Any other duplication is because we seem to look forward to some similar things.

Can You Take It?

 Today I took The Mom Pledge.  Having seen the badge at many of my favorite blogs, I intended to do it some time ago, but waited in order to think about the words of the pledge and make sure I could say it and feel that I was up to the standard.

Mom Enough, if you please.

The TIME cover story from last week with the bare chested woman, was divisive.  Suddenly, moms were comparing themselves to a standard they were unaware or didn’t care about the week before.  And it made them angry.

The Mom Pledge is about moms standing together in a world that is poised to pit us one against the other.  Gathering around to encourage one another, to help each other, and to hear each other.

Not to criticize others.  Not to try to change them.

To gain information and pour out our souls.  And to behave as nicely as you would as a guest in that persons home.

At least, that’s my take.

You are invited to take the pledge too.

BWS tips button

 

 

If It Were That Simple; Everyone Would Do It

Anyone who’s known my blog for awhile may have noticed I don’t mention parents, in-laws or extended family.  I always affirm others in those relationships, but haven’t shared my own story.

Lately, I have felt prompted about simple obedience.  No matter that the world around me is having a full on revolution of selfish self-seeking rude violent lawlessness.  What leads to happiness is what always has.

“Trust and Obey, for there’s no other way to be happy…”

Elisabeth Eliot, once teaching on finding rest, said,”The happiest students on any college campus are the athletes and musicians, because they have voluntarily come under discipline.”

We’ve had a lot of change going on.  Change can bring discomfort.  If you want to know about trusting God, I can’t tell you, because the minute we got a little money in the house, I started having trouble listening to Him.  I know what I ought to do.  I would prefer to do something else.  So, I am living the philosophy that I have always hated most

“It’s easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.”

Um, no.  It isn’t.

At any rate, along with EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE UNIVERSE, the topic of extended family relationships began to nag at me.  What is my role? Do I want to lose them forever?

Two years ago, my dad’s stepdaughter publicly eviscerated me on facebook.  I promptly called him to say I didn’t say anything that warranted that response and in the course of the conversation said, “I understand that you may have found your second family and might not need a relationship with me, but…”

And while I paused to search for the right words to ask that I not be bawled out by people who don’t know me for things I have never expressed or implied, he said, “Yep.”

He didn’t clarify and ended the conversation by saying he’d talk to me in a few days.

I never heard his voice again.

And no one else’s in the family either.

Based on the thinking of the last couple of weeks, which coincide exactly with the original event, I moved forward, tentatively; with an email to the cousin closest to me in age. My cousin responded to my email by saying:

“I don’t know about it, or want to take sides.   I just think it is sad for all involved.”

If they don’t know, how can they think it’s sad.  Isn’t it taking sides to not hear both and not speak to the person whose side you haven’t heard?

To my blame, writing this has made me realize, if I’ve been having a hard time listening to God, I shouldn’t initiate processes without His approval.  Will all things work together for good?  Sure.  Did it have to be this way? No. This is uncomfortable.  I can explain my side, but if they didn’t care about it last week, it’s difficult to imagine they’d change now.  I don’t feel ashamed of the way I have handled it up to now. The Bible does say, “Seek peace and pursue it.”  It doesn’t follow up with, “because it’s your job to make it happen.”

I don’t have to be the one to pursue God, My Father.  He pursues me, crazy, rebellious, black sheep that I am. And all I have to do to seek peace is obey Him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Magic

The office Christmas party?  Dull, but no one showed their girdle. Big boss had walked in the office with a big smile on his face the day before and I had just cut him a look (not the right thing to do at all, but I had just drawn my hands out of a stranger’s commode.  My rubber glove had torn, so the toilet water had touched my hand and by the time stupid boss guy flashed his giant grin, I was in no mood to pretend “it’s all good”.).  I thought I could sort of tell he and his wife were treating me differently, but whatever.  I can only re-iterate that we aren’t really friends(I have spent more time with the tellers at my bank this year).  He feels there has to be a party and we feel compelled to attend.  Fortunately, the other partner hosted with her new husband.  The food was great, they had a gift for each household (beyond the ornament exchange)and Mickey and I brought home the gag gift, per usual.  On the way there, we realized we had forgotten to pay the mortgage, so I never really entered in, anyway.

Anyway.

Yeah, still procrastinating on the Santa thing with the boy.  He is keeping his mouth shut after his sister who cares not about anyone else’s feelings hollered, “There’s no Santa,” at him. I think he thinks she is wrong.  He and I need to discuss it.  We were out the other day and there was an instrumental recording playing and Mickey asked me what the song was… It was ” I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”.  He got a look on his face like “Eeew, how completely inappropriate.”

In the meantime, I am beginning to doubt my stance.  Occasionally, that little inner voice has whispered, “You hate fun,” since I posted in September about my kids making their own fun, then about not Trick or Treating; I have more an more often seen myself from the outside looking in.  It looks like we haven’t had much fun with the kids or each other or anything else.

In spite of all this, Christmas is coming anyway.

Somehow, friends have come alongside.  We could not have done anything without their help.  There will be presents under the tree.  We are total charity cases this year, but God has reminded me that He sees.  His people are His hands and His feet.  It is irritating to be humbled.  It is humbling finding out who cares most about you and who either doesn’t care enough to know or knows and doesn’t care enough to just squeeze a hand.

By His grace:
-bills are current.
-there will be something under the tree.
-stockings will be filled.
-Mickey is still employed. (They haven’t done the holiday firing. Yet.)
-friends have gathered around to encourage us.
-there is plenty of food in the kitchen.

Amongst all the emotion and the fight for fun…  I realized that last week marked the anniversary of Mickey’s mother’s death, 2 years ago.  6 years ago, this week, my grandma and great-grandma passed away within 27 hours.  Gah, no wonder we struggle to enjoy the season.  So that is filed away.

This afternoon, we are going to “Market Square” to the Holiday Ice Skating place and a friend and I will visit while our children skate.  See.  I am fun.

The girls got to go Swing Dancing with college friends on Monday night.  See? Fun!!! Right?

I don’t know what tomorrow holds.  But I can’t prove that Santa didn’t put me back in front of Jesus again this year.

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