29 February 2012

Round One With The Shovel

The Universe had the good foresight to ignore my plea for snow last December. For that I am truly grateful since Ryan conveniently broke his arm just in time for shoveling season. So far it hasn't been too bad. An inch here or there just makes for a nice workout to start my day with.

Until today. We woke up to a foot of snow and counting. Naturally it's not the light, fluffy kind. No it's the wet, heavy kind. After I cleared a path to the garage and did about a third of the driveway I got a break. Our neighbor with the burly snow blower asked if I didn't mind if he lent a hand.

I didn't mind.

While he cleared the rest of the driveway and the sidewalk, I dug out the steps, freed the front door, and tackled the 5 ft. pile of dense snow on the corner deposited by the snow plow this morning. Another neighbor with a big plow attachment on his truck pulled over to see if he too could help out. Snow brings out good things in people.

We live on a snow mobile trail and for the first time this winter I have heard them drive by. They're noisy. Lola had a snow day today, and is playing with the little girl from across the street. I am watching the snow continue to fall from the cosiness of my bedroom while I massage my shoulders and mentally prepare for round two.

01 February 2012

Miss Representation

I ran into the trailer for the documentary Miss Representation this morning on Facebook. It was posted by a blog I follow. The movie “explores the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America, and challenges the media's limited portrayal of what it means to be a powerful woman.” (IMDb, 2011)

It’s important stuff. You should go watch it. Go. Now. I’ll wait.

It makes you want do something, doesn’t it? It did for me anyway. So I shared it on my Facebook page, and visited www.missrepresentation.org and pledged I will do anything I can to change the message that is being sent out to little girls and boys today. It’s not much, but it’s something.

What got me thinking were the comments on the original Facebook post by Little Acorn Learning, a Waldorf inspired blog. They boiled down to turning off the TV permanently, not allowing children access to computers, no video games, no cell phones, nothing. While I do understand this knee-jerk reaction, to me it is sticking your head in the sand.

There is no way we will be able to keep our children from the media, and the media from our children. Unless you go off the grid and never return, chances are your child will watch TV or play on a computer at some point. If it’s not at your own house, it’s at school, at a friend’s house, in a waiting room, in a restaurant, in a store. It is extremely hard to avoid.

We do not raise strong, confident, and respectful women and men by ignoring the topic. This approach is very popular with some but teenagers still get pregnant and people still get infected with HIV. Time has proven again and again that the ostrich method simply doesn’t work.

Instead we need to be aware of what we watch, what we say, what we do. We need to talk with our children about what they watch, what they say, what they do. This is how we raise children that are not interested in the current message because they know how limited it is.

So this is me, creating awareness. Please pass it on and help me change the message that is sent to our kids. Thank you.

I’ll get off my soap box now.