When I was young, I shaved my legs every day; EVERY day. Spring, Summer, Autumn, AND Winter; every day. The media told me that having smooth, moisturized, soft legs was an important part of being pretty – and as a teenager and young person I bought into it. I believed the myth of beauty society fed me.
As I came into adulthood, I still shaved – though not with the same frequency. I spent a great deal of my time as a young adult sick and in pain… pretty just wasn’t as important when you hurt so bad that you can’t get up and down stairs without dissolving into tears. But I still shaved and moisturized. It was part of being a girl. We couldn’t have people thinking I actually grew hair on my legs.
Then I became a Mom. And yes, even then I shaved my legs. By then it was just one of those chores you do. Going swimming? Better shave. Wearing shorts or a skirt? Better shave. Just part of the self-grooming routine. Something I didn’t think about. Something I did in a rather robotic fashion, another member of the trained masses.
I want my daughter to grow up knowing these things are choices – even if we don’t always feel they are. Not all Women shave. In some parts of the world it would seem odd to do so. My daughter believed this until she was three. Then one day she laughed, astonished, at the ridiculous notion that a Woman could choose not to shave. That was the day I stopped shaving my legs.
Lily-Ann has other Women in her life who are non-shavers, my sister for one. But clearly this was something she needed to see with more frequency. It may seem like a small thing, but I needed her to know that we have a choice. We don’t have to shave. We don’t have to buy into the view of beauty that the media is selling, we can choose something different.
I may be the odd Woman out here in North America, sporting hairy legs all year long – without shame and, quite frankly, with a little pride. And yes, it may seem like a strange thing to take a stand on… but I couldn’t let my daughter grow up thinking she has no choice, that she has to go along with whatever ideals society sets before her.
She has options and choices. We all do.
Sure, I could have kept on shaving – but she shocked me out of it. Sometimes, that’s what we need. Something to shock us out of that robotic state we get lulled into. Something to bring us back into personhood. A sudden splash of cold water, a bucketfull dumped on us while we lay half asleep, lounging in the sun. Something to remind us we’re alive, and we have the right to make these seemingly small, seemingly insignificant, choices for ourselves. And sometimes, those small choices end up being some of the biggest.
As of yesterday afternoon, my Power of SHe project has made it’s way onto facebook. This? This is your official invitation.
For those of you who’ve been following this blog for some time know all about the Power of SHe, for those who don’t, here’s the press bio for my little art instillation: The Power of SHe is about how we, as self-identified Women, define ourselves in light of how society and the media seek to define and confine us.
I’ve been working on the Power of SHe for some time now. It’s been exhibited twice, and continues to grow. I believe it is a very important body of work, and something we desperately need. So I hope you’ll join us as the journey continues. The more the merrier. Let’s force a shift from art project to movement. We can make change happen!
Tonight I have to direct you towards another url. As I’ve already chronicled this particular misadventure on my photography website. I do promise though, the many photographs of our frosty day are well worth the visit. I know you’ll laugh as much as we did as we battled the environment to get these important shots.
And a big thank you to Jamie for not only volunteering as my assistant today, but for capturing the entire thing with her iPhone. LMAO
We are now one week away from our trip to WDW. Time to get all the detail work done in preparation for TEN DAYS away. Time to pack, and see if there’s anything else we need to pick up before going. Time to write up info sheets on each member of our animal family for Riki and Kate (who will be staying here, and watching over them all). Time to buy food and meds, enough to last all the dogs/cat/parrot. Time to prepare games, and activities, and toys for two days of sitting around in airports. Time to decide on our budget, and to get some American money. Time to decide what things will have priority and what will be an “if we can work it out” thing. Time to get everything in order. Time to finish sewing, time to put away other projects, time to admit I didn’t get everything done that I’d hoped to… time to start getting excited as our trip is really just around the corner.
I’ve never been to Disney World, but I did go to Disneyland when I was nine – with Gramma, Grampa Bear, and Devan. And I’ll be honest, with my memory issues I don’t remember hardly any of it. I wish I did. I was old enough that I should remember it… but there really are so few moments that made it into my emotional memory that it’s barely a blip. That makes me sad. This trip though? Even with my terrible memory, I’m sure will be one I keep with me for the rest of my days.
While the girl was at school this afternoon, Damon and I headed out to visit with Karla – our travel agent. We talked over a few things. And she put my mind at ease over a couple things I was unsure of. After hanging out in her office for about an hour and a half I really do feel set to go. Now it’s just a matter of getting all the little details arranged, then we’ll be off.
So, with that on my mind, here’s my challenge shot for today:
With the challenge being “reflection” I could have gone a few different directions… I thought about taking another snapshot of Kid Kid – and talking about how our children reflect what we put into them. But then I thought about the huge number of photos I already have on this blog of her. LOL So it occurred to me (after changing into my pjs) that I could go completely literal. So I grabbed the mirror that belonged to my paternal Grandmother, who passed when I was too young to really know her, and photographed the reflection of it’s reflection. I love this little mirror. It feels like I’ve always had it, and I always feel beautiful when I look into it – even with pjs, chipped nail polish, and damp hair.
I had three completely unrelated things to share seeing how I needed to post a photo for challenge days 18, 19, and 20… but then I realized I could very honestly share a project the three of us worked on today and have it fit for all three topics. Yeah, it may be a bit of a cheat – but it’s not a huge one, especially considering I did grab snapshots on both Friday and Saturday, even if I’ve decided to only share a series of images from today. LOL
But first? First I have to share a really quick little story that is super cute and totally warmed my heart.
On Friday I was over at my parents place – watching everyone so Mom could go with Dad to an out of town gig. When Marie, my sister (whom Lily-Ann is named after), got home she came upstairs as usual then asked for my attention. I stopped working on supper and looked over at her: “Yes Marie?”
And with that she held up the index finger on her right hand as if to say just one second. Then she bent WAY down to where little Thor (one of my puppies from the Avenger litter whom is now my Dad’s puppy) was standing, and gave him a little pat. She then stood back up. “Moby.”
My sister, who has never been much of a pet person and who does her best to just ignore the other two dogs in the household, gave me a great big grin and an enthusiastic thumbs up. To which I replied “Awwww…. Marie! I’m so glad you like him. He’s a cute little guy, isn’t he?” She nodded in approval, which made me feel awfully wonderful.
Okay… now onto my challenge photos.
So, I need to share for something I bought, sweet, and someone I love. Well… here are the girl and her Dad working together to put up the last couple of shelves in her room (which he and I started putting up while she was out with my sister Riki earlier today). I think this series of pictures covers all three challenge topics pretty darn well.
Rogers, who we are registering as Aes Sidhe Captain America, left us to go live with his forever family. Of course, they have a thirty day trial period to ensure things work out first, but I’m confident in this placement. I really do think he’s a perfect fit for them… and the picture they sent me earlier this evening – of him all snuggled in for a snooze under his new Daddy’s chin, the two of them laying together on the couch – just further cemented it.
It’s always a weird few days after someone leaves. Whether it’s a puppy going to their forever home, or a client dog who is returning home after being a part of our pack for several months… when someone leaves the entire dynamic of the house shifts. And that’s happening here now.
So… onto today’s challenge: “in your bag”.
My bag used to be a purse. Because I used to be a girl. Now I’m a mom, and more fierce than any girl… Grrrl, gurl, or Woman works for me. And my bag is not a purse… it really is a bag. And instead of a compact, lip colour, and moisturizer I carry a spare pair of pajamas for the kid, snacks, reusable bags, cloth pads, and cute princess and fairy bandages.
A person’s bag (if they carry one) can reveal a lot about that person. You really do get a real quick glimpse into their life and the things that are important to them. Amidst the papers and bits of “stuff” one just naturally accumulates (that needs to be cleared out every so often) are bits of treasure and parts of a life well lived, or wasted, depending on your point of view.
Tomorrow? “Something you’re reading”. After that? “Happiness”. Something that having all the right things in your bag can help ensure… at least when you have a little one about.
I had full intention of sharing a little of our daily routine today, just as the January photo a day challenge demands… however, our routine wasn’t routine. In fact, our routine simply WASN’T.
Early this morning I got a phone call from my sister. She wanted to take Lily-Ann out for breakfast and then for a walk down by the river. The girl has been aching for some time with her auntie, and I was more than happy to make things work. So the girl and I jumped out of bed, she picked out some clothes (I sent her back to pick out something different – a summer dress just doesn’t work for a walk in the snow), got dressed, threw on her outerwear, and she was ready to go!
So what did I do with my kid-free morning? I worked on a tutu her pre-k EA had commissioned.
Last year I made a purple, plum, and black tutu for Rhonda’s Halloween costume. She was a wicked fairy. It turned out wonderfully. I made it extra long and super wild. It ended up being such a big hit that she keeps it at school to wear every so often, just for fun (and has even lent it to some of the other staff – both male and female). Well, last month she asked me to make another one for her… this one with a water theme. And I have to say, it’s turned out beautifully!
It was the most complex tutu I’ve done to date, with five different colours of tulle. All various shades of blue, including one earthy blue that was covered in sparkle. I alternated lights and darks so that while Rhonda walks it will look like ocean waves, cresting and flowing – light to dark. It’s a very elegant tutu.
Lily-Ann and I dropped it off for her at school on our way to Lily-Ann’s classroom. Rhonda was just thrilled, and I’m sooo glad. Damon even overheard her raving about her tutus when he went to pick the girl up after school – which made me feel pretty good.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll be a little more successful with the challenge topic. After all, with such an open topic I’m sure the bigger problem with be narrowing it down.
Quiet like the dawn crashing upon the rocky shore of darkness.
Full of noise, full of life. A roar of silence.
Too loud to speak.
In all things I am.
I exist. Sentient.
Feeling, knowing, being. Thunderous. Mute.
Heaving towards stillness, the permanent precipice, the denouement.
Beauty in knowing acceptance. Birthing terminus.
The rocky shore of darkness as the light creeps quietly away.
Waiting to be reborn.
Me, spewing my bad poetry on an unsuspecting readership. It had to be done. Sorry all. Just one of those days/nights.