Thursday, November 24, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Sometimes, platitudes just don't cut it.
Sometimes, the best thing is to just be quiet and listen. And pray. And care.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Good, good stuff. If good information was already out there, they didn't reinvent the wheel. Useful ideas were included and referenced on almost every page. Topics included chores, stewardship, money, weapons and respecting women, among many others.I can not recommend this book enough. If it seems like you have all of the boy raising info that you need, you don’t. You really should consider checking this book out as well. I have learned so many new strategies and ways of looking at situations, and I have always considered myself well read on the subject. I think that is why it has taken me so long to read the entire book. It isn’t the ‘read and digest in one setting’ kind of book. I’ve had to ponder it and apply it on a regular basis. As I read Raising Real Men, I was reminded of the importance of what it is that I am called to do.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
I went to see the first Twilight movie when it was released a few years ago because so many of the girls in my 3rd grade class had mentioned that they were going to see it and that they had read the book. I saw it, and wasn't very impressed with it. The movie was kind of boring and the main girl seemed in need of some major anti-depressants. You see, she had just moved in with her father in the rainiest, cloudiest city in the continental US. This was very important to the story, since this setting was necessary for the family of vampires that lived there. She and one of the vampires were immediately attracted to each other (well, he really wanted to suck her blood out and had to stay away from her so he wouldn't attack her), and thus began this strange relationship. Added to this was an old friendship with a Native American boy that turns out to be a werewolf in book/movie 2.
I wasn't pulled into the whole Twilight phenomenon based on that movie. I left the theater wondering about the pull it seemed to be having on the girls I knew, so I did what any good seeker of knowledge would do--I checked out Wikipedia. There I got the scoop of what the series was about, and figured I knew enough to be able to have a decent conversation about it with my girls should the need ever arise.
Then, the next year, I was given free tickets to the midnight showing of the second installment of the movie. Those type of events are always interesting from a sociological standpoint, so I went. It was one of the most interesting things I had seen in a long time. The theater was packed, way before midnight, but not by young girls. It was mainly women like me--middle-aged with children of various ages. However, there was one big difference. These ladies were taking this thing very seriously. There were Team Edward (the vampire) and Team Jacob (the werewolf) shout-outs and T-shirts, and the excitement about this series could be felt in the air. I watched another slightly less mediocre movie, and decided there must be something I was missing, because the movies surely couldn't be responsible for that level of devotion.
So, I checked those books out from the library, and did a little reading. And of course, like most movies that are made from books, the books were better. I could see the appeal to women. But, reading as a mom and a teacher of girls, I began to become very concerned. Here's why. Bella (the main character) becomes obsessed with Edward. Literally. To the point that she does very dangerous and foolish things when they break up and Edward leaves town. She even considers suicide if she can't be with him. He attempts suicide in a (vampire) way when he thinks Bella has died and he doesn't want to continue to exist if she isn't alive. She lies to her parents. She is attracted to both Edward and Jacob at various times. She is very physically aggressive with Edward (more so in the books than in the movies), and thinks his ideas about sex (no sex unless they are married) are very outdated and frustrating. He can't help it--he was changed into a vampire in the early 1900s, after all, when such ideas were the norm. My girls have mentioned several times how romantic it is that Edwards sneaks into Bella's room every night to watch her sleep. Romantic--no. Creepy and stalkery--definitely.
Which brings me to tonight's midnight opening of part one of the final installment. (Yes, they learned how to milk that cash cow from Harry Potter). Bella and Edward finally get married. Yes, they have waited until now to have sex--no thanks to Bella. And they definitely have sex, in a strange, violent, vampire-y way. Since this was a relatively small part of the book, I am guessing that this part was embellished a lot for the movie. And this concerns me. It is one thing for grown women to choose to see this. I think it is quite another for younger girls to see this without it having been filtered/monitored/viewed first by their parents. All early indications are that the honeymoon scenes will be pretty graphic, even for a PG-13 movie. If my Facebook news feed is any indication, lots of my now 6th grade girls will be there tonight, or definitely by tomorrow afternoon at least, with their mother's full permission and approval.
The battle lines have been drawn. My girls are definitely Team Edward. Or Team Jacob. But they have chosen sides and their hearts are engaged. The bottom line is that they love the love story, and many (of my girls at least) are craving love and acceptance and romance, and are looking for it anywhere they can get it, even in a movie. I just hope they don't come away from this particular movie with more confusion about true love and romance, or a convoluted sense of what it means to be a girl/woman/wife/mother. I hope they have parents that are willing to have the tough conversations and not romanticize this fictional series themselves. It has the potential to be a great means of starting a dialogue about boundaries and feelings and obsession. It is even OK to just say no to this particular movie at this particular time. It may not be the most popular decision some mommas have ever made, but it could possibly be one of the most important ones.
Am I being overly dramatic or overprotective? Possibly. But I do know this -- there is definitely a battle going on out there, and it is more that just between Edward and Jacob.