Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Who are you?

The typical fill in the blank Family Tree does NOT work for my family.  For a Cordova family tree I'd have to start from scratch and build my own.  Here's why:

I was raised by my Father from the time I was 9 months old.  My Mom was a part of my life, but my Dad had custody of my brother and I.  We visited our Mom on some weekends and spent some holidays with her. As we grew older we went to her house less and less due both to the 1 1/2 hour drive from our home and preferring to spend time with friends/doing our own activities.

When I was about 8 years old my Dad met the woman who would become my step-mom.  She has a daughter that I consider my sister.  My Dad and step-mom were together for a very long time but have now been separated for a couple years.

My older kids are at the age where they are trying to fit everyone in the mold.  We have had many discussions  regarding who people are and how they fit in the family.  My 6 year old daughter is especially interested in whose "belly I grew in".  She has come to understand that I grew in Gradma Sandi's belly and that Grandma Sheri came into my life when I was older and helped raise me.  She knows that Uncle Merle also grew in Grandma Sandi's belly, but that Auntie Stef grew in Grandma Sheri's.

I think they now have a pretty clear idea of how we all fit together.  I am always sure to remind them that I know our family is big, and sometimes it can be confusing to keep straight, but all they really need to remember is that everyone loves them.

So long as they never call a Grandma by the wrong name I think we'll be okay.

A controlling mother, a missing daughter, and a family who is 
desperate for love. This post was inspired by the the psychological thriller Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas. Join From Left to Write on September 19 as we discuss Mother, Mother.  As a member, I received a free copy of the book for review purposes.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Barbie Who?


I'll start off by saying that Barbie is NOT allowed in my house.

When I was young I loved playing with Barbie and her friends.  Not as much as babies and reading, but she was definitely next in line.  I could easily spend hours dressing her up, making her hair pretty, and acting out scenarios.  I didn't even need, much less have, the dream house or a car for her.  Just gobs of clothes and shoes.

So why don't I allow my girls/children this same enjoyment?  I honestly don't know.  Whereas I do think Barbie style dolls give a false sense of what a girl should strive to look like, it's not enough to make me hate her altogether.  I believe real life shapes how a child grows up, not make believe.  

Maybe it's just the idea of another toy with tiny parts everywhere that I am so against.  We already have an incredible amount of tiny LEGO blocks filling the house, plus Polly Pockets and Littlest Pet Shop pieces.  The last thing I want to add is miniature high heels for the baby to choke on.

Fortunately, I haven't yet had to tell my kids no to Barbie.  Even though my 6 year old daughter knows of her from reading books and play dates she has yet to ask for one.  Thank goodness!  She, like me, loves her baby dolls and reading, plus LEGOs.  The 18 month old clearly has no clue such a toy exists, she too is a baby doll lover.  And I'm happy to report, given I dislike Barbie, that my 9 year old son has never shown interest in her.  Whew!

Disclaimer:  If you read this and think it would be funny to buy my child a Barbie please know it will either go directly in the donate/re-gift pile or trash.

This post was inspired by the memoir Raising My Rainbow by Lori Duron describing her journey raising a gender creative son.  Join From Left to Write on September 5th as we discuss Raising My Rainbow.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

I found the book very interesting and would recommend it to all parents.  I don't agree with all the steps/conclusions she has made with regards to her son, but I do highly respect her for being willing to stand up for her son and love him for who he is.  Lori gave an interview on the Today show that can be found here.