Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Sweetest Thing

Never foresaw this moment in all my years of Dave Matthew's groupie-ing, but somehow this seemed like the perfect soundtrack to my morning work sesh with little man playing under the table at my feet,

And of course he loves it. How could he not, the mama's boy? Anyway, we totally listened to this in labor...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Aloha means I love you

Loving this party hosted over at Betty Beguiles, providing me with the opportunity to reflect back on (nearly!) 2 years of marriage and the fabulous, sun-drenched fortnight that started it all.

Yep, we went to Hawaii. All.out. Our philosophy was, we're only gonna do this honeymoon once, might as well do it right. Even to the detriment of our wedding budget. And my relationship with my mother, which did eventually recover despite the presence of faux silver plastic cutlery on our reception tables. Ahem. Let's just say we had bigger plans for our teeny budget.

I must say our wedding was still lovely and elegant and sacramental and all the good things one hopes for when looking back on the big day... but let's be honest folks; we got married to go on the honeymoon. Period. (Well, and to build a family and help one another to Heaven, etcetera... but first, the glorious honeymoon.)

My dear husband spent months beforehand scouring the internets for deals. After being laughed at by not a few travel agents upon mention of his budget for a 2 week tropical fete, he decided to go it alone, armed only with his trusty Orbitz faretracker and an iron will.

Exhausted by his efforts

And boy oh boy did he hit a home run. We stayed in a little mother-in-law apartment attached to a gorgeous villa on the Big Island of Hawaii (my completely unbiased favorite of the chain), with the dormant Mauna Loa volcano serving as our front yard and the sapphire expanse of the Pacific Ocean as the view from our lanai.

It. was. awesome.

We did everything we wanted to do plus a few things we hadn't known we wanted to do ... and we stayed on budget. And we had pa-lenty of downtime, let me tell you...

When you're young and carefree and have time (but not money) to burn, those timeshare presentations can yield some worthy rewards for the stouthearted. Let's just say we paid next to nothing for a snorkel cruise, royal luau and rental gear after enduring a mere 4.5 hours of full-court press retail interrogation. In our opinion, totally worth it.

Upon arriving at our island home, we were woefully informed by the Thrifty rental agent that our reserved Seabring convertible (or some other equally embarrassing luxury sedan) was no longer available, and that there was another convertible on the lot we could have and he was so, so sorry...

We weren't.

So cherry-red Mustang convertible keys in hand, we set off for our first adventure as husband and wife - a giddy-fying reality that I revealed to each and every person with whom we came in contact, whether they wanted to know or not.

We went to Mass outdoors on Thanksgiving day and heard the crash of the surf during pauses in the homily. We ate sushi on top of an active lava flow and watched liquid magma pour into the sea. We hiked through Jurassic Park and only narrowly avoided being eaten by dinos. We body-boarded on the most beautiful strip of beach this side of heaven, we snorkled with sea turtles and trigger fish, we drank lots and lots of fruity drinks and gained back all our stress and diet-induced pre-nuptial  weight lost ... and we fell more deeply in love.

Because we had eachother to wake up to every day. Because God had finally answered our prayers and our vocational discernment. And because the answer was a person, more real and more wonderful than we could have imagined.

Aloha. We'll be back, be it 10 years or 10 kids from now...

And I sure as hell won't be working this bikini.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Aborted Fetal Cell Lines

Had to share this fabulous resource with ya'll - first time I've seen a comprehensive list of those vaccines (including manufacturer info) which have been formulated using one of two aborted fetal cell lines.  Check out this fabulous site for info to help you as parents make informed, ethical and moral decisions about your children's health.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dads Who Fight

I got my oil changed today. For the record, in the almost 2 years I've been married, I believe I've spent more time inside the lobby of a Grease Monkey than in the previous 26 years combined. Needless to say, my better half believes in 'preventative maintenance,' something not a one of my siblings were aware of, I believe, until the year 2009. (My daddy taught us a lotta things right, but this weren't one of 'em)

Anywho, Grease Monkey... home of the 1.2 million dollar oil change which boasts a 'complimentary' tire fill up and crushed-Goldfish-cracker-and-raisin-removal. As I wait for my gleaming sports car to be polished to a high sheen, my little man cruising around a filthy coffee table gnawing at old issues of "Field and Stream" and "Allure" (what kind of place are they RUNNING here?), a friendly Mexican dude strikes up a conversation with me.

"Is he the only one?" pointing towards Joey.

I awkwardly put my hand over my still covert midsection and say something really eloquent like, 'uh, next one is en route.' ( I just don't know how to answer that question gracefully yet!)

"Another boy?" prompted my new friend.

"Uh, well, it's too soon to tell, heh heh, we'll see." (damn I'm awkward)

"Hope it's a boy... girls are muy loco. Impossible with a girl!"

I shook my head emphatically, not because I agreed with him that all females were, indeed, very crazy, but because I myself was once a teenager from hell and, judging from his age and appearance, I had a hunch he was currently in the trenches with a high-school daughter.

"My daughter, she wants to go to the quinceaneras, wear the skinny jeans that come down and show her belly, everything... she tells me all the time 'I hate you,' 'Why can't I do what my friends are doing?' 'What are you doing in my room?' I tell her I'm her father, it's MY room... I'm just lending it to you."

He sat back, looking satisfied, before continuing.

"Last week I told her, ask me again on Saturday night about quinceaneras ... and I'll give you a reason why you can't go."

He went on to explain that she had come to him again that past Saturday evening, begging to be let out with her friends to celebrate this traditional 'rite of passage' with her friends and their families. Telling her to grab her jacket, he led her out to his truck and told her to hop in before driving her out to the abandoned warehouse district where he knew the festivities were being held. As they pulled up they could hear techno music spilling out into the night, and drunk party-goers were stumbling all over the dark parking lot. 

Turning to his daughter, the father asked her what she saw, and she was silent. 

"You see those men?" he asked her, "Those are men 30, 35 years old... they've been drinking, I don't know who they are... Do you know what happens to you if I let you go someplace like this? You get raped. Or worse. And even if I come and find you, it might be too late. Is that what you want?"

He looked pained as he recounted the story, and I have to admit to being simultaneously impressed with his parenting technique and terrified of eventually parenting a daughter, God-willing.

I told him she was lucky, that more girls needed to have dads looking out for him, and he nodded solemnly. 

And then he said the weirdest thing.

Leaning forward, he confided, "I don't want, you know virgins or something, but I want her to be happy, to wait... to find not just a 'nice guy,' not just get pregnant. I tell her 'you come to me when you are ready, I'll get you a Pill, whatever."

Dumbfounded, I collected my thoughts while he got up to pay at the counter. He turned and continued talking to me as the cashier rang him up.

Clearing my throat, I volunteered the information that, you know, those hormonal pills are really bad for young girl's bodies, to which he nodded in agreement.

We barely had time for another couple sentences before he was out the door, but as he left he told me good luck with my little guy, and I told him to keep his little girl safe...and I wondered if I had said enough.

Here was this perfect stranger, pouring his heart out to me about holding his children to a higher standard than the culture around them and protecting them from harm, and then he went and admitted to being willing to enable her physical, psychological and moral decline 'when she was ready'...

How did we get here? How was this man - by all appearances , a real man in a sea of little boys just playing at parental authority - willing to equip his young daughter with the very means by which she could destroy her life?

How deeply ingrained the contraceptive mentality has become in our culture. 30 years ago no father in his right mind would have discussed enabling his adolescent daughter's sexual activity to a perfect stranger in an auto care lobby. But times, they sure are 'a changing. 

And not for the better, in this department.

It's no wonder young people are so confused and so easily led down the primrose path in the sexual sphere - their parents are no more knowledgeable in this area then they themselves are - and how should they be.

We have swallowed a monstrous lie in the form of a little Pill. And even while bemoaning the general state of moral decline in our society, we quietly condone it by handing our children the necessary equipment to screw up their lives and hearts... often losing them in the process.

St. Joseph, patron of fathers, patron of chastity, pray for us.