Painting heart-cries, word by word

Things That Might Revoke My 90s Kid Card April 22, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — verbosevictoria @ 10:22 am

It’s true and I can still totally do it, head swivel and all, baby.



You know those lists of things that go, “You know you’re a 90s Kid if you remember…” and then comes a parade of cartoons, toys, and fashion choices that make you chortle in reminiscent glee?

Well, I get a little nervous at times that if my fellow 90s Kids could read my mind, they might take away my slap-bracelet license. Here are some things I did NOT get into as a 90s Kid:



–Saved by the Bell, Friends, Dawson’s Creek

Who will get mad at who THIS week?!

They all seemed so predictable and so boring to me. If I didn’t care who was going steady at my school, why the heck would I care about made up people’s fake relationships when they didn’t even, I dunno, fight mythical beasts or save the world on the side?



–N*sync, Backstreet Boys, Hanson, Spice Girls, Avril Lavigne, etc, etc ad nauseum

As ridiculous as this was, I gotta give Justin Timberlake props. He did grow out of the ramen-noodle hair and make some cool stuff.

I knew girls who would literally scream and start crying when they heard one of the songs by their favorite artist come on the radio. I have never understood this. Besides, I was too busy appreciating the music of the 50s, 60s, and 70s (including musicals) to be bothered with Top 40 radio. That’s right. I was a hipster before it was a thing.



–Banana clips and “baby tees”

This is what banana clips are.

This is what they are supposed to do. BUT IT IS LIES, I TELL YOU. LIES.


Banana clips just can’t handle this curly mane. They always broke. And baby tees just made me feel like my bottom half was huuuuge for some reason. Besides, my parents would have killed me.



–Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Ren and Stimpy, Beevis and Butthead

Yes. Yes I am. And that one episode they showed us in school when I was in 7th grade STILL BOTHERS ME.

I have always had an aversion for ugliness as entertainment. I don’t find it quirky. I find it disturbing.



–Books by R.L. Stine (such as the Goosebumps series)

I kind of wanted to read them because other kids liked them a lot, but I just couldn’t do it. This was the nicest cover I could find.

Furthermore, I hate being freaked out. Especially by my own imagination.



–Power Rangers

I still cringe. Even now.

It was just…TOO cheesy. This coming from a girl who loved the show “Clarissa Explains It All”


So does this make me a traitor to my generation’s pop culture? Possibly.

I do redeem myself with slap bracelets, side pony tails, Walkman AND portable CD player, a little Weezer and Five Iron Frenzy, pogs, All That, Doug, and a brief celebrity crush on Kevin Zegers (from the Air Bud movie).

What are the iconic experiences of your childhood days? Reminiscing is such a joy. 😀


Putting “Good Job” to Death April 15, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — verbosevictoria @ 10:57 pm
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Quite unintentionally, I have become a pretty decent fan of Matt Walsh and his thoughts which he publishes at Today he posted about motherhood, and more specifically, why it is not THE (exclusionary) toughest job in the world.

The man enjoys conflict. This he readily admits.

Even so, his full post makes some hard-hitting points about the perceptions of parenthood in the United States at the moment. I appreciated the clarification that he does not detract from the difficulties and full-time commitment required in being a mother. The point about fatherhood being just as challenging as motherhood had me nodding. I nearly cheered when he touched on the dismissive attitude our culture has towards fathers in general and how debilitating that is for the entire concept of family.

But what prompted me to make a dash for my laptop keyboard was this little sentence tucked into a concluding paragraph: “One day maybe we’ll realize that parenting is designed…to be work — not a job at all, really — that is best accomplished through the harmony of husband and wife.”

Consider this. There are times—many, many times—when I am insecure about whether I am successfully fulfilling the role of mother for my children. In those moments, my wonderful husband and the amazing daddy for our children tells me, “Hon’, you’re doing a great job.” And I am a little relieved, a little disbelieving, and a little mollified that it’s probably just a skewed perspective in my head.

Now, what if the conversation ran like this:
Me: Ahh! I feel as though I’m doing a terrible job at being these poor kids’ mother! I keep making mistakes that will probably send them to lifelong counseling and I can’t DO it all with the house and the blahblahblah…freaking out…blahblah.

Husband: My dear, what you do with our children is wonderful work.

Me: *crickets* Um… Well. That is true. Regardless of how I see my abilities, it’s the kind of work that’s always worth my best. I can’t argue with or doubt that. Silly to freak out, really.

Okay, so in reality, I’m not that quick to turn my hissy fits around to rational thought. But truly, the difference between “you’re doing a great job” and “the work you’re given is great” could be the paradigm shift I need as a parent. The shift in focus is from my qualities and performance as a mom to the REASON I am doing it.

What does Galatians 6 say? “Let us not grow weary in doing good…” (vs. 9)

Hear me out because I’m learning this as I’m typing, which means I’m sharing and not teaching. I may not have this figured out yet. When it comes to the concept of hard work, I get very whiny very quickly, historically. It is something I am having to learn as an adult, having never received the joy in it as a kid or teenager.

In the past, I’ve always felt a little exhausted after reading that verse in Galatians. Maybe even falsely guilty. I do get weary of always having to choose those hard, self-sacrificing, never ending good things.

But what if I was looking at it backwards? What if it is talking about good work, not good jobs? What if work is something objectively good or bad? You can do a bad job in a good work, can’t you? That doesn’t change the nature of the work. Charity organizations are doing good work. But a badly trained CEO may run the organization into bankruptcy. Badly done job, but still within the category of good work.

Being Mom to my five kids who are home schooled and therefore hardly ever out of my minute-to-minute life can be exhausting, of course. (As can being Dad to those five kids after working a rough job every day, Mr. Walsh.) But do I really have a right to call the work of motherhood dreary? Motherhood as a calling, a kind of work, is objectively good. So rather than appealing to my husband out of my insecurities, what if I simply asked for a reminder of the truth?

I could stop being insecure about my mistakes as a mother—not stop improving, but stop beating myself up over my imperfections—and instead…

Instead, I could focus on the work.

I might raise my voice when I promised I wouldn’t, but the work of motherhood is worth an apology and doing better next time.

I might mess up dinner for my family, but the work of motherhood is worth gratitude and sometimes laughing at myself.

I might ignore my daughter’s many, many, many requests to bake something with me on a busy Saturday afternoon, but motherhood is worth listening to the pang in my heart and handing her an apron on Monday morning.

I’m not sure if I’m conveying what I saw in this difference between a job and good work, but hopefully the glimmer of truth in there has caught your eye enough to mine the rest of it yourself. There is something precious here. I intend to keep digging.