pegkerr: (Delia)
My church has a lovely custom which we have performed the past several years in order to celebrate the children we have seen grow up in the church who are about to graduate from high school. A knotted fleece blanket is made for each grad in their high school colors, and they are draped over the rail at the front of the church through the entire service. At the end of the service, the students, each wearing a corsage, are called up, and they are joined by their families, Sunday school teachers, confirmation leaders, and any other caring adult who has gotten to know them over the years who wishes to come up, too.

Delia's school doesn't really have colors--it's a very small charter school--but their mascot is the dragon, and they are very LGBTQ friendly, and so the rainbow is welcome there. The church found exactly the right fabric to honor her ("my blanket is the awesomest!" she said). At the end of the prayers of blessing and sending forth, the parents and other adults who love the child drape the child in his or her blanket.

Out in the Narthex, a gift bag is set up for each grad, with a description of their plans for the coming year taped to the front (where they plan to go to college or trade school; what they want to study). The congregation is encouraged to write caring notes which are slipped into each of the balloon-decorated bags, and then everyone celebrates with cupcakes.

When we were walking out to the car, it brought another memory flooding back, which I wrote in my journal in 2005 here. This is the crucial paragraph, a description of a moment when I looked at her when she was almost nine years old:
I looked at her, really looked, as we approached the car. The balloons bobbed over her head, blobs of bright and happy color bouncing on the breeze. She had a Blizzard in her hand, a treat that she loves. She wore her dearly beloved flip-flops, and a lilac blouse, and a pair of stained and battered shorts that spoke of hours in the sun, playing. And I was suddenly proud that I could give her that moment, and all the other moments we have given her. She was out for Dairy Queen with her family. We were giving her a life, a childhood full of balloons. I hope she will look back on this moment someday and agree that yes, it was good. As a parent who loves my girls with a passion and tries really really hard, it helps to know that sometimes (at least once in a while) I manage to do some things right.
I showed the entry to Delia recently. She looked at me today as we approached the car, again with balloons bobbing over her head, and she said aloud just what I was thinking: "a childhood, with balloons!" Now her childhood is ending, again with balloons, and a lovely ritual to remind her that no matter where she goes on her journey from here, our love and our prayers go with her.

May 18, 2014

May 18, 2014
pegkerr: (Default)
The girls have always been fascinated with the idea of fairies. Fiona particularly used to spend hours when she was a little girl creating fairy houses and furniture in her special place by the front porch.

I have blown off gardening this year entirely due to my crazy work schedule and the trials I'll be involved with. I knew I would simply have no time, and so my yard is pathetic. No flowering plants on the porch for the first time EVER, no geraniums in planters in front of the front door. My lawn is full of weeds.

But I did stop in the garden store once, thinking to get a flowering lobelia in a hanging pot that I traditionally hang by the back door--but instead I saw a display of fairy gardens, and so I asked the girls if they wanted to create one. They were enchanted by the idea. We spent several hours, seriously weighing pros and cons of the various things they had for sale--they wanted SO much to get it right that it took them forever to make up their minds, and so all were rather cross by the time we got home.

But Fiona set it up, and although she occasionally forgets to water it, so the baby's breath looks rather parched, on the whole it has taken shape nicely. I am sure if there are any fairies in the neighborhood (and Fiona, I suspect, secretly is convinced that there are) they would find this a lovely haven.

Fairy Garden - June 2013

Fairy Garden - June 2013

Fairy Garden - bench and well

Fairy Garden - well (For perspective, that watering can in front of the well is about the size of a thimble.)

This is one of those special things you see as a parent occasionally, where something they had as children continues to enrich their lives as adults.

Isn't it beautiful?
pegkerr: (Default)
This is really well done. And funny.

pegkerr: (Fiona)
Fiona: "All my friends are soooo jealous and want you and Dad for parents."

Me (blankly): "Why?"

Fiona: "Because you're so cool. Do you have any idea how much nerd cred you give me? You've got a house full of books, tons of them autographed by people they read. You've been a guest at Convergence. You give me fanfiction recommendations and Dad knows all the great TV shows. And you've had Neil Gaiman in your home."

I give my daughter nerd cred?

I'm so proud.
pegkerr: (Delia 2012)
Delia sent an email message to some of her loved ones that read in part:
So, I've been thinking a lot about my birthday, what it means to me, and what I want. This year however, I don't really want the expensive camera, or the latest apple product or the newest cricut machine. I don't think I want material things this year.

Could you find some way to send me wisdom? I respect and admire each and every one of you, and I would love just a little piece of the wisdom that you all have. You are all such great people who have loved me no matter what, even when I made mistakes or I didn't believe you when you would say "I love you".

I know that this is a really different request from my past birthday wishes but I have some ideas in case you're stumped. Just know however that I want to know even more than what I ask here. Tell me and teach me things that I haven't even thought of.

...

These are just some of the things I think about when I'm wondering how you're doing and how you have lived such great inspiring lives. Your lives may not have been easy to start off with, and they may not be easy now, but you are satisfied with them. That is what I'm most envious of, your pure spirit, loving nature and wisdom that has let you all be satisfied with your lives, even at the worst of times.

Even though this might be confusing, I hope you understand somehow or someway. If you send me some wisdom in the mail, could you have it on it's own piece of paper? I want to collect these from all of my heros and inspirations and keep them together, for me to look at when I feel lost in life or simply miss you guys. Oh, and don't be afraid to decorate it!

I love you all!
This is what I wrote and included with her birthday card:
For Delia, on the occasion of your sixteenth birthday
With love, from Mom and Dad

1. You don't have to have everything figured out all at once.
You have a lifetime to discover who you are. We have no doubt that who you are becoming will be a wonderful person, but some parts may take years to figure out, whether it's what you want to do for your career, or who you want to love, or what you believe about God, or politics, or ethics, or all the other big life questions. Be patient with the process, because no one is keeping score. The journey is part of the process.

2. Be kind to yourself.
You are worthy of being loved. You are worthy of respect, even if you screw up and make mistakes. And you WILL make mistakes, because you are human. Frankly, if you DIDN'T make mistakes, you'd be kind of insufferable. Love your own body, show it respect, and treat it well.

3. Be kind to others.
Or if you can't be kind (because you just don't click with someone, or your values don't mesh with them, or they've hurt you), be wary and put your energy into protecting your boundaries, rather than being needlessly cruel.

4. Make sure that others are kind to you.
Don't let others treat you badly. Remember the rule we raised you with: when you say, 'Please stop' the other person has to stop. If they don't, you don't need them in your life. You have the right to expect that respect.

5. Be open to experience.
Be brave, without being reckless. Try new things. Be open to new people. We think that your inner creativity will probably make you a natural at this, but remember to keep renewing your commitment to this as you grow older. It's natural to fall into patterns and to go with what's easy. Strive to keep from falling into ruts.

6. Ask for help if you need it.
You will acquire mentors throughout your life. You have already shown your wisdom by asking for wisdom for your birthday. Keep doing that. Keep an eye out for people whose lives you admire and pick their brains. People are usually delighted to be asked for their expertise. If you realize that you are in a situation where you are over your head, or you feel trapped or you're being abused, and you need help ask for it. Don't let pride stop you.

7. Be open to love.
Love can hurt, but it is also the source of some of life's greatest joys. Sometimes it takes work, and that can be kind of a pain, but it's worth putting in the work. It won't be perfect. No one can effortlessly intuit what you need, and sometimes you have to tell them. Sometimes loving someone else doesn't mean feeling love, but it's an act of will. Your mommy and daddy come down strongly on the side of, 'Love is worth it.' You are worth it. Never doubt it.
pegkerr: (Default)
I had all sorts of good intentions about this weekend, mostly involving cleaning up the yard and the house. But the heat and humidity has sapped away all of my forward momentum, and I don't think I'm going to do any of it. I've really had difficulty the past couple days. We don't have central air, and Rob hasn't put the window air conditioner into our bedroom window yet. I'm having difficulty breathing, and I get dizzy standing up. I had real trouble standing up for the hymns in church today. There is a pollution/ozone warning in Minneapolis right now, so maybe that's it. It's truly inhuman in Fiona's room (my old office), the hottest room in the house. Rob and I have decided to get her a window air conditioner. Fiona's been having trouble sleeping, and her appetite has all but disappeared. Which is not good, as her appetite is small anyway.

I've had some wonderful talks with Fiona over the past couple of days. We went to a coffee shop to escape the heat for a couple house and talked, and then came home and talked some more. She really has grown up enormously in the past year and discovered a lot of things about herself. We've talked about all sorts of things: money, her plan of study at school, her hopes to take a semester abroad, ideas for majors, fanfiction, alcohol use among her peers, writing and anxiety, her friendships, our family dynamics, politics, personal ethics, self discovery, her memories of growing up, and our family traditions she wants to carry on to her own family some day, and more. I'm so very proud of her. She's quite worried about the future (starting with the immediate future, as in, OMG, will I find a job this summer??) I'm trying to be as sympathetic as I can without increasing her stress by pressuring her; that would be absolutely unhelpful. But she's suffering a lot of anxiety about student debt, and I can't blame her. God, it would terrify me, too. I wish I could do more to help; I wish we had saved more for college. But we really couldn't do any more than we did. I still feel damn guilty, though. I've been sending her links to some of the Occupy Student movement, which is doing a lot of political work on student debt. I've been checking in with her regarding how she's handling the transition home. She says that we've drawn a good balance on treating her more like an adult (some of her friends are actually jealous, as they've had rougher transitions going home for the summer); I've said she's made it easy because she really is a good kid about checking in, keeping up apprised of her plans. She's been suffering friend withdrawal.

Delia is doing pretty well at the moment. School's out for the summer, and she has a week before she starts her summer job. She went out garage saling with the new boyfriend of the moment yesterday, and then spent some time at the local lake beach. She had a new friend sleep over last night that she met at this local teenage program she's just got involved with, Treehouse. They cut and dyed her hair last night. The cut is a sort of artsy angled cut (a little ragged since her friend did it, but she's pleased with it). She chose not a wild color, as I would have assumed she would, but a sort of chestnut brown, quite like my hair color actually. I approve. I figure that Delia's essential inner restlessness will drive her to experiment with a lot of different identities, and as an experiment, hair dye is a pretty mild one! (There was one unfortunate incident: a streak of dye that landed on some wood paneling in the bathroom which they didn't spot it and clean it up quickly before it set. Oh well. It's been our house for twenty years, and of course there is going to be occasional collateral damage.)
pegkerr: (Fiona and Delia)
Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester filmed his daughter once a week from birth to age twelve and made this 2 minute 45 second video by splicing bits of them together.




Yes. They grow up so fast.
pegkerr: (Default)
and what it indicates about good parenting.

It ends:

"And finally, the most important lesson of all: Get the Fun Pass.
It is a way better deal."

Read the article here.

Edited to add: Here's another interesting article with more indepth information about George Monroy, Caine's father, and his approach to parenting.
pegkerr: (Default)
HOW IS IT that I did not know that this beloved book had been made into a Broadway musical? I ran across the link to this song, and I really really like it. What a great song about a young girl brimming with life and hope, on the cusp of adulthood. Mothers, take note. Will probably investigate and buy the soundtrack tonight.

Fiona and Delia? This one's for you.

Love,

Your mother




("I just want to... cure disease and write a symphony and win the Nobel Prize like other girls.")
pegkerr: (A light in dark places LOTR)
Maybe it's giving up a writing career and then giving up karate and not knowing what, exactly, will replace it.

Maybe it's that, after thirty plus years of daily faithfulness, I no longer write in my paper journal.

Maybe it's the unseen daily struggle, the stuff that Elinor Dashwood does not think seemly to hash in this online journal. It takes up what feels like maybe seventy, eighty percent of my brain space, and yet so much of it I do not feel at liberty to disclose (it involves other people's stories rather than my own, and why would I want to vent about such dreary, depressing stuff anyway, and oh, Peg, aren't you just sick of the self-absorption of it all?) And so this journal has been quiet.

I keep thinking of "To Room Nineteen" by Doris Lessing. I'm definitely feeling haunted by it. Don't misunderstand me: I'm not saying that I'm feeling suicidal or anything; I'm definitely not. But the similarity of that protagonist's situation to my own situation niggles at me, like a tiny yet fierce sliver under the skin. The children have grown and are moving into independence, and now...what? She sits in a room, silent, with nothing to say, trying to find her way back to herself.

What happens if she can't?

There have been so few comments on my posts lately. Is it because I'm disappearing, because I truly have nothing left worth saying?

I need a new purpose. I don't know what it is yet. There has to be some point to my life from this point on other than falling into silence.

It would help if I didn't have to deal with all this other crap in my life, that weighs me down, burdens and exhausts me emotionally.

But I suppose wishing for that is pointless.
pegkerr: (Default)
I kidnapped Fiona tonight so that I could take her out to see The Lion King 3-D.

You must understand: for a period of perhaps three years, Fiona was OBSESSED with the Lion King. Perhaps it was because we started her watching videos relatively late in her childhood, so when she finally saw a movie like that it made a huge impact on her imagination. Our particularly special custom was that we woke her up with the soundtrack every morning. That is more profound than you may realise: each morning, she was awakened by Lebo M's joyful cry to the sun, followed by the hushed counterpoint, echoing across the African savannah:

Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba [Here comes a lion, Father]
Sithi uhm ingonyama [Oh yes, it's a lion]

Nants ingonyama bagithi baba
Sithi uhhmm ingonyama
Ingonyama

Siyo Nqoba [We're going to conquer]
Ingonyama
Ingonyama nengw' enamabala [A lion and a leopard come to this open place]


And then a solemn, swelling incantation followed, calling her to life, to wakefulness, assuring her that life has pattern, meaning, order. Circle of Life makes me think of youth, family, right beginnings.

Then, as the sleepiness ebbed away and we wrestled her into her clothes, the bouncy, optimistic strains of "I Just Can't Wait to Be King," started up, a cheerful ditty brimming with anticipation and good humor. That was a great way to encourage her to look forward to a new day.

It was wonderful to see the movie again, and fun to experience it in 3D. Unlike many standard movies that have 3D added, animated movies work very nicely in 3D. Since the colors are so rich and saturated, you don't have that murky sense that plagues some. It was wonderful to share it with her again.

I think that by beginning the mornings of her childhood with these songs, we gave her a very great gift.


pegkerr: (Delia)
Delia has decided not to be confirmed.

She agonized and went back and forth a lot on this in her inimitable Delia manner, but finally made the final decision last Wednesday night. I'm sad about it, but not surprised. Rob is not a church goer at all, although he was amenable to both girls being baptized. I have always believed it's a child's own decision, and I would never force her to do this if she didn't want to, and she doesn't. She says she simply doesn't believe. I admitted there are times that I have difficulty believing myself.

From now on, I'll be going to church alone. It's a lot lonelier way to do it. It's one reason I wished my sisters and my parents and I lived closer to each other (we're about a half hour apart), so that we could attend the same church. For most of my life going to church has meant going with family. Of course, that day would have come someday only, and now it's just a little earlier. But she may never have that as a part of her life. Of course, that may change. Either way, I will she will always be in my prayers.
pegkerr: (Fiona)
We're gradually checking off the tasks still needing to be done before Fiona moves into the dorm on Saturday. Last night, Rob got the new mouse working on her new laptop, and then I walked her through the process of reconciling her bank statements on the newly installed Quicken software. "Keep up with it diligently, every month," I warned her. "As long as you are making your entries on Quicken and using Mint, you'll be keeping good tabs on your money. And you're not going to have much of it, so heaven knows you need to be keeping a close watch."

We've really been sweating since she hadn't heard anything back on any of the jobs for which she's applied (work study) and she NEEDS a job because she doesn't have any other way to pay for books and expenses. But she finally got word back from one, the public safety (escort) office, and she has an interview today. Keep your fingers crossed for her.

After we were done with the Quicken, I gave her her nightly backrub, painfully aware that this would be one of the last times for this little ritual, which has become increasingly precious to me over the past year. "I'm really going to miss this," I told her. She smiled sleepily.

"I'm going to miss you so much. I'm going to miss your mad eyebrow arching skillz. I'm going to miss your wry sense of humor." I kneaded the strong muscles in her back, feeling the tension release, and I moved lower to work on her thighs and calves. "I'm going to miss the way you always forget and clunk your head on the back of your chair at the dinner table." She laughed. "I'm going to miss having someone else in the house who listens to wizard rock. I'm going to miss seeing you sitting around curled up in a chair, with your nose in a book. I'm going to miss the way you throw Buffy quotations into every conversation. I'm going to miss sitting with my arm around you during church. I'm going to miss the way you look just pole-axed in the morning because your brain isn't booted up quite yet. I'm going to miss taking you to karate. I'm going to miss writing up little stories about you on Livejournal. I'm going to miss your kindness to your little sister." I thought for a moment and tweaked her ear. "I'm not going to miss yelling at you for not taking out the garbage."

She smiled again.

"Or the way you keep putting the water pitcher back into the refrigerator empty." I felt a wave of sentiment wash over me. "I think back on that first long talk I had with you in the hospital, the day after you were born. I wish I had a tape recording of it, so I could listen to it again. And so you could listen to it with me." That memory is unbelievably special to me, that afternoon when I looked down into her ageless, elfin eyes and told her that I would do the best possible job I could being her mommy, but I would undoubtedly screw up sometimes, and I hoped she would forgive me. I remember the conversation we had at her tenth birthday party, when that memory came up again.

I smiled down at her and smoothed the soft skin on her back. She recognized our unspoken signal that the back rub was over and then turned on her side to snuggle close to me and nuzzle me with her nose. That cuddle and nuzzle, I've always joked, is my reward for doing the backrub. "I feel a lot better about you being ready to leave than I did at the beginning of the summer."

She nodded. "That book you got me really helped. I found it useful, and I'm not even the target audience."

"I also think of that Livejournal post I did a few years ago," I replied, "where I asked people for advice about what we would need to teach you before you left home. We've managed to check a lot of those things off of the list, haven't we?"

"Yeah. But don't forget, you still will have some chances left to try to civilize me," she joked.

I looked down into her beloved face, with those same elfin eyes, and I brimmed over with pride and love. "We gave you a good childhood, didn't we, honey?"

She smiled her beautiful smile at me. "Yeah. You did."

I reached over and hugged her. "I love you so much," I mumbled into her shoulder. "I'm so incredibly proud of you.

You're going to be just fine."
pegkerr: (Loving books)
I get the Writer's Almanac email from Minnesota Public Radio every day. Yesterday's included these two paragraphs about Louise Erdrich, and my immediate reaction was yes oh yes indeed yes:
She said, "We have a lot of books in our house. They are our primary decorative motif—books in piles on the coffee table, framed book covers, books sorted into stacks on every available surface, and of course books on shelves along most walls. Besides the visible books, there are the boxes waiting in the wings, the basement books, the garage books, the storage locker books. They are a sort of insulation, soundproofing some walls. They function as furniture, they prop up sagging fixtures and disguised by quilts function as tables. The quantities and types of books are fluid, arriving like hysterical cousins in overnight shipping envelopes only to languish near the overflowing mail bench. Advance Reading Copies collect at beside, to be dutifully examined—to ignore them and read Henry James or Barbara Pym instead becomes a guilty pleasure. I can't imagine home without an overflow of books. The point of books is to have way too many but to always feel you never have enough, or the right one at the right moment, but then sometimes to find you'd longed to fall asleep reading The Aspern Papers, and there it is."

She said, "By having children, I've both sabotaged and saved myself as a writer. [...] With a child you certainly can't be a Bruce Chatwin or a Hemingway, living the adventurer-writer life. No running with the bulls at Pamplona. If you value your relationships with your children, you can't write about them. You have to make up other, less convincing children. There is also one's inclination to be charming instead of presenting a grittier truth about the world. But then, having children has also made me this particular writer. Without my children, I'd have written with less fervor; I wouldn't understand life in the same way. I'd write fewer comic scenes, which are the most challenging. I'd probably have become obsessively self-absorbed, or slacked off. Maybe I'd have become an alcoholic. Many of the writers I love most were alcoholics. I've made my choice, I sometimes think: Wonderful children instead of hard liquor."
pegkerr: (Fiona and Delia)
From Lois McMaster Bujold's The Vor Game:
[after Miles Vorkosigan made a difficult, strategic decision to disobey a possible criminal order from his superior officer and ended up getting cashiered out of his military command, he has to go home and face his father, Aral Vorkosigan, the regent of Barrayar] Miles looked up at his father. "Did ... I do the right thing, sir? Last night?"

"Yes," said the count simply. "A right thing. Perhaps not the best of all possible right things. Three days from now you may think of a cleverer tactic, but you were the man on the ground at the time. I try not to second-guess my field commanders."
That is what parenting has been like lately. You think when you bring this darling angelic baby home from the hospital, that if you can just figure out how to keep this darling angelic baby from squalling her lungs out and sleep all the way through the night, your troubles will be over. But it's not like that. Your challenges become greater as the child grows older, and wouldn't you know it, there is no owner's manual. There is no one to tell you, when you have to make difficult decisions for your child, that you are doing the right thing. That has sometimes been extremely hard for me, even perhaps the hardest thing of all about being a parent. But it's comforting to reflect, when I'm deep in the trenches of parenthood, making the tough decisions that get me reviled by this child that I love, that I can do a right thing. Not the definitive right thing, because perhaps there just isn't one.

This week, I'm hanging onto that all that I can.

Edited to add: Dagnabbit, why aren't any of the Vorkosigan books available for the Nook?
pegkerr: (Fiona and Delia)
Has been one of the worst I've ever gone through as a parent.

Supermom

Jan. 4th, 2011 09:58 am
pegkerr: (Default)
I was a super mom yesterday.

Went to work. Earned income.
Stopped at bank. Took out money to give to husband since he is not earning income or unemployment.
Came home. Made nutritious dinner (chicken, brown rice, fruit salad: apples, oranges, pomagranate seeds).
Counseled Delia on a school problem and helped her brainstorm a strategy for addressing it.
Went to sparring with Fiona. Hit people. Hit pads. Did abs workout.
Came home. Assisted Delia with homework project.
Then shortly before 10:00 pm, just as I was sitting down with a sigh of relief with my new Barnes & Noble Nook, Fiona came to me and said, "I just remembered: there's a book that would be perfect for my IB Extended Essay [the mega-important paper that is due on Friday; she's doing it on the Woman Warrior in fantasy fiction.] I heard the author speaking at Portus and I thought that what she said about the book would be spot-on for my project. I just remembered it now. How can I get the book in time to use it for my paper?"

I suppressed a groan. "Fiona, why are you telling me this now instead of a month ago?"

"I forgot it was being published. But it would be so perfect..."

I looked up the book online. It would be perfect. I checked the Hennepin County library system. They didn't have it. I checked the U of MN library system. They had it, but it was in the St. Paul library, and I don't have check out privileges anyway.

"Maybe there's an e-book edition?" We checked. It wasn't available for the Barnes & Noble Nook. But it was available for the Kindle.

Damn.

I thought. My parents have a Kindle. But 10:00 p.m....they'd be in bed already. Then I thought of my sister Betsy, who I knew had one, too. I gave Fiona a look. "I could call Betsy, and see if she'd load it and then drive out there to pick it up." I winced. "Tonight. You owe me."

"I know." She gave me a doe-eyed look. "Please?"

So I called and spoke to Betsy's husband, Greg. It turned out they would be willing to download the book and loan the Kindle (Fiona had $20 to pay them). They were just about to drive downtown to drop their son off for a bus ride to Chicago. So Fiona and I drove downtown and met Betsy, who gave us the Kindle. Fiona started reading it on the drive home and said, yes, it was perfect.

So I get karmic Mommy points galore. Fiona has already announced on Facebook that her Mom's the best.
pegkerr: (Default)
Fiona and her boyfriend Mitch went to a play at her high school last night. While they were there, freezing rain began to fall. We got a call from her fifteen minutes before her curfew, informing us that they were fine and the car was mostly fine, but they had slithered into a snowbank on their way down a hill.

I was impressed and appreciative that she had called right away to let us know they were going to be delayed. I was even more impressed that Mitch then called his dad and told him he didn't think he wanted to risk driving any further, and could his dad come and pick him up?

A friend following shortly behind stopped and helped lever them out of the snowbank, and then brought Fiona home. Mitch's dad, unfortunately, got into a three car-tap-the-bumper incident on the way to pick up Mitch, but everything seemed fine, no harm done...until a 17 year old girl who was going much too fast for the conditions plowed into their rear end as they were all out exchanging insurance information. Bummer.

Mitch called shortly afterwards to make sure that Fiona made it home safely. As Mitch's dad and I discussed in church this morning, we were all impressed with the good judgment they displayed last night.
pegkerr: (Default)
Calling in sick. And then spending the day dealing with daughter repeatedly vomiting, because she's even sicker.

It could have been worse. At least she managed to reach the bucket every time.
pegkerr: (Default)
I think I've blogged about Operation Beautiful before. Here's a great way the message has spread, empowering high school girls.

Apparently, inspired by a mentor who mentioned Operation Beautiful to them, five high school girls attending Colleyville Heritage High School in Texas decided to form a club Redefining Beautiful: One Girl at a Time. It's pretty simple: on Tuesdays, the girls wear the club T-shirts and no makeup. It's spread to over 200 girls at the school, and now girls at other schools and even around the world are taking note.
The formation of the club at Colleyville and the wide interest in it at other schools is reflective of the growing dissatisfaction many have with the message spread by TV, magazines and the Internet that girls have to look a certain way to be attractive, said Suzanne McGahey, the club's faculty adviser.

"It is definitely a response to that ... I think the girls wanted to send a positive message that you can be beautiful no matter what the circumstances," McGahey said. "It's about empowerment and self-affirmation for younger girls."

The girls wear sky-blue T-shirts with their club logo on Tuesdays. As a show of support, boys at the school will soon wear dark-gray Ts with purple lettering that says "Give me that girl" on the front and "That's the you I like best" on the back. (link)
As the mother of two high school girls (who don't wear makeup, actually) I really like this story.

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