Sunday, March 18, 2012

Corrections, etc.

Hm, maybe I sounded too harsh about the kid-thing yesterday. Lets correct this by saying: all kids have their own personalities, and sometimes that will change your ideas about parenting. However, when certain things are really important to you, you can make them a priority and don't let other people tell you that it's impossible. There, much better.

All of my images of parenting come from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Obviously I have no idea what I'm talking about.

The gala was fun. It was the big fundraiser for Catholic Charities, so we were glad to go. I got home much later than anticipated because my exam started an hour and forty minutes late (no kidding), so my nap ended up being only about 40 minutes long and when I awoke, I was in no mood to get dressed up. But I did it. I sat on my floor listening to Disney songs and carefully applying make-up. I do love seeing Tom in a tux, and feeling like I wasn't a total scrub next to him. Since I had been out of town and had to take the car (we only have one), a friend in the parish offered to lend us one since she and her husband have three cars. Great! We said. We had no idea which one they would give us, or even what three cars they owned. This is what they pulled up in:

Or something like this. It's a Lexus coupe, that's all I know. 

Uh, what? Yep, that's what they were lending Tom in the absence of our rinky-dink 8 years old sedan. So needless to say, this is what we drove to the gala, feeling like we were very different people indeed. I rarely wear that much makeup or underwear that has that much elastic, and I'm pretty sure Tom enjoyed driving a race car. It was also nice to not feel a bit funny when we pulled up to the valet at the Ritz, where the event was being held; at least we weren't as inconspicuous as usual! 

The event was as lovely as one would expect. The thing that boggled my mind the most, though, was the live auction. Dinner with the Bishop? $8k! 10 day cruise on the biggest cruise ship? $21k! The only thing we thought about bidding on was the week long trip to Ireland, including airfare. It went for $6k, which was an incredible deal, considering all that it included. However, we decided that we would much rather use that money towards other, more practical student loans! The amount of money that people could just spend, right then, on the spot was incredible. I know that my town is full of rich people, but when confronted with these off-the-cuff decisions, it really surprises me. In the other room, there was a silent auction, where items like a 90-foot yacht were being auctioned starting at $5k. 

These are the circles we often move in simply because of Tom's work; we meet wealthy people in the church, and they invite us to events like these. We enjoy them, but I always wonder a bit afterwards - just how many rich people are there? Tom and I consider very thoroughly whether or not to turn on the A/C, because it will cost money. The man I was sitting next to just donated over a million dollars to have a building named after him. Whoa. I do not envy these people, it just seems odd to me. I cannot conceive of having that kind of freedom...or responsibility. I am sure that is why God has chosen not to give it to me. 

I hope you all enjoyed your St. Patty's Day, and are having lovely Sunday. 


  1. One theory I've had about parenting for quite a while is basically rooted in moderation (about things that are not inherently harmful... I don't think absorbing evil in moderation is a good thing!).

    I had friends growing up who had super strict rules about "junk food" and all sort of other hot button issues. And when there parents were in the room they didn't do have those things. And when the parents left the room they were like miniature glutton gorging, with hidden stashes of candy in secret spots around their room. As someone who's mom offered healthy food most of the time, with occasional treats, I watched in awe. It was rather disturbing.

    I'm sure there must be kids that wouldn't do that. But I never saw the harm in an occasional treat, so that's what we've chosen.

    You're absolutely right that it's totally possible to give up things and do without them (I was a strict vegetarian for a decade!). And maybe if people are doing it for the right reasons it would be better imparted to their children (in my friends' case I think the mom had an eating disorder and she was worried about her already super skinny children {ages 4-12} gaining weight).

    The key I've found (for myself) is not to be too hard on myself when I find my opinions changing with time and experience. I laugh now when I see a lot of parenting advice in magazines ("Parenting" magazine is especially good for a giggle). And I read them like they were the Bible pre-Sadie!

  2. Oh I forgot to add:

    I love the car and that you guys got to borrow it!

    That must have been so much fun! I hope you took pictures!

  3. Looks like you survived the weekend. Glad you guys had a good time. I'm with Cam on raising kids.

  4. I think moderation works for most things, but some parents (like mine) decide other things are not good for their children and take them away entirely (like TV). That's a judgment call, and with most things that aren't a necessary part of life, I don't think it's harmful for kids.

    When restrictions are made not out of love for your children but because you have some sort of problem yourself, then yeah, they usually pick up on that and go crazy. I definitely found TV fascinating during high school, when I went to friends houses. But I was yelling things like "have you guys seen this show Full House? It's HILARIOUS!!" Cause the only thing on after school are reruns! Most of the edgier TV shows I said "ew, that's vapid" and walked away.

    I think my major point is that a lot of parents don't even try to avoid things that they believe are bad for their kids because they believe that they can't. They think, well when you're a parent, this is just what happens to your life! But that doesn't have to be true. Parents should make good educated decisions about how to raise their children and not feel cowed into changing just because most other people don't parent that way.

    So I think we agree...with different emphases!


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