Thursday, June 30, 2011

Free-Lovin' Paganism: The Unknown Pros

A few weeks ago, one of my coworkers (let's call him Mac), who is a single parent to two boys around the same age as bug, was having a parental melt-down.

He asked me (and a few others there) how he was supposed to answer one of the most feared questions a parent can get:

It's never too young to have "The Talk"... or is it?
"Where do babies come from?"

Poor Mac. He had no clue. But I was there to guide him through it. And the other parents there agreed with me.

"Just tell them what they want to know."

"So I should tell them that the daddy puts his %$#@&* in the woman's %$#@&*?"

"Well, you should use biological terms if you are going to talk about that. But I wouldn't go that far at their age unless they ask specific questions."

"So I should tell them that the daddy puts his %$#@&* in the woman's %$#@&*?"

Subjects that should NOT be made into a pop-up book...

It was a rather cyclical discussion. I kinda think that Mac just wanted to keep saying cuss-words and "dirty" words. He's a touch on the juvenile side.

It naturally reminded me of the time(s) that bug had asked the same question. He became more curious during my pregnancy with ladybug, but he'd asked about it before, also.

I have always used biological terms when talking about the body to bug. He still argues that it's "scrotum" and nothing to do with "balls" or "sacs." It makes me laugh when Stormcrow gets caught in that particular discussion.

On the other hand, bug gets the answers to his questions without me stumbling around for an appropriate response. I just give him the bare minimum of information to answer the specific question he asked, using scientific words, which he already knows. No muss, no fuss!

So, how did Mac do? I'm not sure really, but I make fun of him all the time about his whole "So I should tell them that the daddy puts his %$#@&* in the woman's %$#@&*?" silliness.
Mommy says I'm getting a brother or sister for Christmas!

All's Fair in Love and Parenting

Children are hell on their parents' relationship.

Today, I read about how the number of people choosing to be childless is going up and up, and more couples with children are regretting having them, claiming less happiness in their marriages, and even getting divorced because of the kids.

I was feeling a bit proud of myself, because despite this, I'm pretty happy with my life and my relationship.
Not that we don't have these moments...

Then, a coworker told me that she usually fights with her husband every time they go on a trip or plan to have visitors. And I thought, we don't fight like that.

She said it was because they both expect the other person to do things and get upset when it doesn't get done.

I tell Stormcrow exactly what I expect all the time. I do not expect him to know what I want... If I want it, I say so.

What does that say about me as a pagan, a parent and a woman?

Well, it says that I know myself. It says that I'm not under the impression that I am or should be a second-class citizen. I don't expect to be taken care of, child-like, by someone who "knows better." I have courage to be who I am, without hedging that based on what other people think I should be. I don't have to compromise myself. I can lead without all the whiny, manipulative games that seem so prevalent in our society.

But the thing that makes me most happy about this, is that my daughter will have a strong female role-model. My son will see woman through a filter of his experience with me.

If my children become able to accept females as being just as capable of leading the family unit, if they learn to see strong women as being as normal as strong men, if they gain the experience of a male-figure who doesn't depend on his ability to control to be the source of his manliness, then I will have accomplished so much more than I had ever dared to hope.

Oh, and na na-na na-na naaaa! I have a better relationship than my coworker...

Cat say Pfftt!

Yeah, I went there, too.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Power is Mine (and Yours)!

This evening, at supper (honey chicken, stuffing and honey-cinnamon roasted radishes!), bug informed me that he could use his x-ray eyes to see that ladybug had a broken heart. To fix it, he offered to give her some of his heart-healing power, which he did by holding his hand over her chest and making a laser-y, swish-y noise.
Fear my powers of cuteness and latex!

I, being the on-the-ball, pagan parent who takes advantage of every learning opportunity, jumped on that wave and surfed it.

So, I told bug that that was called "energy transfer," which, as I expected (this isn't my first rodeo, after all), got him curious. He asked about it and we talked about how people can give each other some of their power, or energy, and how that can help people do things, or change how they feel, or heal.

Strangely,  bug looks just like this after 6 candy bars.
Then I showed bug how I give energy, and he giggled a lot. Stormcrow showed bug how he could siphon energy off people.

Then, reality crashed down: "THAT's all the power you have, mama?" Talk about a blow to the ego...

We talked about how not many people believe in powers and how that keeps us from being able to have bigger powers.

Do I think he got it? Kinda-ish.

Now you know; and knowing... Hey! I'm not in G.I.Joe!

But it's a good start, if I do say so myself.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Daycare Woes and Bloodshed

I like my daycare, make no mistake about that. They are nice, with lots of kids for my children to play with, and decent meals served three times a day (plus snacks).

But I sometimes want to smack them. Particularly the helpers.Now, I'm sure they are nice enough people, but sometimes they do something that sets my blood boiling.

Usually, it is something like talking to my son like he's a two-year-old idiot or a fourteen-year-old pain-in-the-butt. Since he's a four-year-old pickle (ie, normal, rambunctious pre-schooler), that really pisses me off.

Now, I understand that the boy-child can rub anyone the wrong way after a handful of hours. He is loud, persistent, demanding, and rather whiny. But when someone starts telling him that they don't expect him to have a "good attitude" or "good behavior" from the minute he arrives, I just want to slap some fear of the Mother Goddess into them.

Big knife, dead body... end of story
Seriously... Kali... Dark Mother... She'll smack you into next week, just to get your attention!

So, in the words of Stormcrow: "back up offa my baby, muh-fuh, or I WILL cut you!"

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bugging over Church

My mother likes to take the kids to church. She knows I'm pagan; she knows we are raising the kids in the pagan beliefs.

Now this is more like it...
Now, it isn't the church part that bugs me. It's the way she behaves towards the kids regarding church. She expects the almost 5 year old to sit quietly for an hour.

Seriously?!? Have you MET my kids? There is no quiet; there is no sitting. I can barely get them through sitting at the table for supper. And they have something to do in that situation. But just sit there and listen for an hour? I don't THINK so...

I love babies... when they are asleep!
I'm sure that my mother's heart is in the right place. However, expecting such unrealistic behavior is just silly. And she gets mad and PUNISHES them for misbehaving and (wait for it) embarrassing her. (She should read this.) Just to get this out there, my mother has a very low threshold for embarrassment... the drop of a hat will make her feel looked at and ashamed. It might drive me a bit nuts.

I told her she shouldn't punish them for not behaving in a way they are not expected to behave any other time. I told her she may want to EXPLAIN in DETAIL what is expected of them when they are in church. I also told her it may be ridiculous to expect kids that young to behave the way she wants them to in church (and this isn't something that is only with my kids either... see?).

Her reaction? "You don't want me to take the kids to church because you don't believe in it."


He's quiet cuz she threatened to tell His Father!
Yeah, there's a bit of a point to that, but just a wee-bitty-bit. I let my kids learn about all religions and experience whatever religious experiences they show an interest in. I don't care if they go to Sunday school, church, synagogue, temple, whatever. I draw the line at forcing them to do something they are not ready for (such as, wait for it, sitting quietly for an hour being talked at), or anything that I see as mental/emotional manipulation. But I have nothing against the Christian/Catholic beliefs... I just don't agree with them.

I also think that the (fairly modern) belief that young children should go to church is ridiculous. As late as the 30s and 40s, many churches expected any child under about age 6 to stay home... BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T SIT STILL!!!

"Hey, this is important for your spiritual development.""I wanna play!!"
And you certainly shouldn't PUNISH someone for not being able to meet expectations that are, at least, uncommon skills for that person's capabilities. That would be like telling me to run a mile - like run for a whole mile - and getting mad at me cuz I'm a fat girl and passed out after 3/4 of a mile. It's just not right, ya know?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Blogging on Blogging: How multi-tasking is the only way to travel

I am currently on the radio.

I am sitting at my desk, connected to Pagan-Musings radio blog as one of the weekly co-hosts, along with Phil Kessler. We are celebrating two years of being on the "air". Woot!

We have been on all this time, with kids and cats, technical issues and technological progress. And what a ride!

The following is a real-time run-down of what we are talking about:
We are talking about The Witches' Hour ezine, as well as our past guests and musical artists, such as Kaedrich Olsen, Damh the Bard, Paradiso and Rasamayi, Wendy Rule, Spiral Dance. We also have a call-in guest, Zaracon from Pagans Tonight.

We are also talking about plans for the future, both near and far: guest Lady Amythyst Raine who wrote Tarot: A Witch's Journey, and when I am moving to Lincoln, NE for the continued saga of Pangaia Metaphysical Store, the site and the facebook page. We are also discussing future-guest Oberon Zell and his projects, The Church of All Worlds (CAW) and Green Egg Magazine, Dorothy Morrison, and Patrick McCollum.

Phil and Z are teasing me about something they know about and won't tell me... Grrrr! Phil has a new project coming up, a pagan news program associated with Pagan-Musings and the sister programs, Musica Pagani and Selections from the Mess.

In discussing music, we have to mention that we carry some of this music on the webstore. We are also going to be bringing on Stormcrow to discuss the magical properties of various woods, which he uses to make wands for Pangaia.

Also our second-half of the show is a more serious subject, discussing the legal situation with Patrick McCollum and the religious rights of pagans in prison systems. Here is the press release he made regarding his continued efforts; and an article about the situation, Pagan Values: Why Prisoners Matter.

One of the wonderful things about a live show is the hecklers/spammers. Having open call-ins and/or an open chat room means that sometimes we'll have a caller talk about something totally inappropriate, or chatters posting about fundie Christian stuff, or posting porno links... *sighs* Idjits!

Friday, June 24, 2011

You're Eating... What?!?

I pull a Sanford, clutching my heart and crying out, "It's coming! Maple syrup is coming!"

I have to explain not only where a food is from, but how I managed to get it in the middle of Nebraska.

I mentioned to my coworkers that early exposure to a wide variety of foods may lead to fewer allergies as an adult. They looked me dead in the face and told me my kids would never have allergies.

When my family goes out to eat, if we eat "fast food", we all end up with digestive issues.

My name is Kalisara, and I am a food-aholic. (Hi, Kalisara!) I am a foodie (NUDIE-FOODIE!). I have made it my life's work to try most edibles from this planet. I'm on a mission from gahd: find the perfect food-gasm (gahd = Eros/Dionysus), and I love my work.

We have no less than five different kinds of cheese at any given moment, none of them being plastic (American) cheese. One of them is always sheep's cheese. As a family, we have consumed approximately 75 lbs of llama meat. The last snack food I purchased was dried Yacon fruit, which the kids ate most of it. We grind wheat to make flour. We use olive oil, sesame oil and real unsalted butter nearly every day.

I have infected my entire family with this joy of eating (insert Merril Streep replying to the question "What is it you really like to do?" in a falsetto brittish accent "EAT!").

This means that bug the bug the boy-child has never had a true picky-eating experience in his life. Upon going to a grillout at a natural-foods, half-vegetarian family, bug ate a little bit of all the salads, as well as a nice burger. The other young child there screamed until his microwavable mac'n'cheese was plopped in front of him.

Ladybug is following, having consumed an entire half-bowl of chicken enchilada soup just this evening. She eats all forms of meat, veggies, breads, seasonings, fruit... anything that fits in her mouth is consumed.

Stormcrow has slimmed down in the nearly one-year since he moved in, and he's lost about 40 pounds without dieting or exercising.

I think there are a lot of reasons to enjoy eating, the least of which is nutrition. There is nothing like putting home-cooked food into one's mouth and rolling one's eyes with sheer orgasmic pleasure.

Plus, enjoyment of food increases the amount of magical energy one gets from one's consumption.

And you forgot this was a PAGAN parenting blog... : P

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Starting up again... and again...



My son calls for his dad at least once every 5 minutes for the entire time he is within vocal distance of him. This drives "Stormcrow" nuts! Bats! Up the wall!

I have a different perspective: first, at least the boy-child leaves me alone most of the time. Second, being removed from the situation, I get to swoop in and solve the problem. And I do. I pop right into the situation and tell everyone what needs to be done in order for life to continue in a happy direction.

The problem arises, then: Stormcrow wants the situation to be taken care of with maximum speed, but he doesn't necessarily look at how that will progress in the future.

For example, how do you solve the not-going-to-bed-until-I-get-"x"? Give the boy-child "x". And then boy-child will believe that asking for something will get him a bed-time deferment. I can see that giving the boy-child a granola bar will lead to bed-time snacks EVERY NIGHT. But Stormcrow needs a reminder.

I am also struck by the fact that my relationship is a bit gender-switched. This leads me to think that it really doesn't matter who does what aspect of parenting, so long as all of the parenting is somehow done.

So, here I sit, watching Stormcrow answer the boy-child's summons while rocking the baby-girl to sleep.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Left Turn, No Blinker

There are two ways to approach having children: a) they will fit into your pre-existing life, and b) your life does a 180, loop-the-loop, barrel roll, screetching halt, speedy reverse with drifting...

Anyone who thinks that they can go with A is in for a shock. It just doesn't work that way.

Children are like bank robbers who get trapped with the bank CEO, surrounded by SWAT. They are desperate to get their own way and somewhat delusional that they might actually do so. Any negotiation with the hostage takers will only result in encouraging their behavior. DO NOT NEGOTIATE. They will NOT release your life to it's previous existence.

For pagans, this is even more so the case. We used to go to ritual, engage in various activities for achieving altered states, some form of "free lovin", a little bit of nudity, playing with fire and bladed weapons, staying up all night, dancing around fires...

Now? Supper is at 6, pj's and books at 7, and bedtime is 8, and the goddess split the skull of anyone who dares to disturb that most sacred of rituals.

Where solstice used to be a revelry of unprecedented Bacchanalia, it now consists of barely getting the kids outside before the sun sets (cuz you disrupted the sacred ritual, silly!), trying to light a fire in the firepit with wet firewood (cuz it's been raining for a week and you were just happy that all the family was indoors - forget worrying about the wood!), while using free limbs (arms, legs, head) to keep the kids from sticking their "helpful" fingers into the flames, then trying to make up a story about the sun on the spot (cuz you certainly haven't had any time to PREPARE) and having it interrupted every 30 seconds by questions you may or may not know the answer to until you don't know which way is up.

But it's all worth it because every family member joined in waving goodbye to the setting sun and that seems far more spiritual than turning in a circle to address each of the cardinal directions.

Happy Solstice (late, of course)!!