It’s A Beautiful Day

Days like this have a strange effect on me.  It’s beautiful: about sixty five degrees, bright, breezy.  The pretty little weeds that look like tiny flowers are all over the grass.  Birds are chirping loudly in the trees.  Weather like this, days like this, make me feel energized and uplifted.

photo credit: jennahsgarden.com/

photo credit: jennahsgarden.com

And yet they also make me feel nostalgic and strangely bitter-sweet.  The sights, the sounds, the feel and smell of the breeze drifting in my open window– are all like ghosts of my childhood, sneaking into the house of my mind through my five senses.  It’s subtle, because there’s not necessarily any one specific memory.  It’s more like a general and pervasive mood.  And it’s slightly depressing.

There’s some truth in the saying “You can’t go home again.”  I’ve thought about it before; in terms of my family, I can never go back to being that little girl that didn’t know that Uncle Jimmy* was an alcoholic or that Uncle Mark* used to beat Aunt Maggie up.  I can’t go back to being the little girl that picked violets in my grandmother’s huge backyard; that house was sold many, many years ago and my grandma died last May.

I’ll be 32 next month and sometimes I feel like my college and high school days were just yesterday.  Today I was outside watching my toddler run around in the grass.

It’s scary.  I blinked and got “old.”  What if I blink again and my daughter is grown up?  Blink once more and I’m old and about to die?  Maudlin thoughts like these remind me of my preteen days.  These thoughts are like a throwback to the confused kid I used to be, the one who stood looking out the window, with a vague feeling of seemingly no origin, a feeling of “something’s not right”– It was a time when my thoughts were often ruled by a nameless anxiety I didn’t understand.  I was preoccupied with the passage of time and how untenable it was.

And though I’m medicated and therefore better at being the master of my anxieties and fears, rather than the slave, it’s still something I think about.  And days like this seem to bring those feelings back in a very nonspecific, formless sport of way, almost more like an association than a complete thought.

But no amount of worrying or melancholy will change these things.  Time passes, things change, people grow old and die.  The best I can do is live every moment and live in the moment.  And today is a beautiful moment to live.

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Quick, cover your eyes! Boobs!

Unless you’re living under a rock (and the way the world is going down the shitter, believe me, I’d understand if you were,) then you’ve probably at least glimpsed the ‘controversial’ Time Magazine cover of the mother breastfeeding her toddler.  The impression I get is that America is pretty much the only place where this seems to really piss some people off.  One reason may be that most of America seems to elevate breasts’ sexual function above their biological one.  In other parts of the world, not only is nursing normal, but so called “attachment parenting” is a way of life.

I nursed my daughter for 20 months (for you mathematically challenged folks, she was almost two) and believe it or not, I heard some pressure to “switch her to formula,” etc, etc.  When I nursed around others, I often covered up as much for their comfort as for my own modesty.  That said, that was a personal choice.  All of those things were personal choices, based on mine and my child’s needs, from the decision to nurse, to when and how to do it, and when to stop.  If you don’t like or agree with someone else’s style of parenting, the cool thing about living in this country is, hey, you don’t have to do it!

I really don’t understand why people in this country feel the need to beat others about the head with their own morals, social mores, and opinions.  I read comments regarding that magazine cover to the effect that the child would later on be scarred and embarrassed when their friends inevitably saw the cover.  Really?  Scarred?  Because I see and even know some people who ignore their kids, emotionally batter them, belittle them, overfeed them, smoke around them in enclosed spaces, get drunk around them, foist them off on others, have ugly fights with their spouses around them, and use them as ammunition in their spousal fights…   If the worst thing that happens to that kid is an embarrassing photo, then he’ll be okay, I think.   I’d worry more about the airbrushed tits and ass the kid has to see on every other magazine cover, billboard, and advertisement every day, all the time.

And for you people that think that the photo or the practice of extended nursing is perverse… grow up.  Get your mind out of the gutter.  Consider therapy even, if ‘boobies’ embarrass you so badly.   

I could say a lot of things about this cover, these ideas, but they’d probably all be things you have read before in one form or another.  So I’ll content myself with reiterating a theme you may have noticed courses through a lot of my articles.  People need to mind their own damn business.  Stop trying to make decisions for other people.

Additionally, some brilliant soul came up with this version of the Time cover that really hits me on an emotional level.  ~sniff~