Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Good, the Bad, and the Curious (Links for the Week!)

Here's what I've been reading this week that made me smile (The Good), cry (The Bad), and think (The Curious).

The Good

I read two different pieces that in very different ways made me think about the beauty of mother's bodies. This slideshow shows pictures of women's post-baby bodies, and they are beautiful. Then this Offbeat Families post presents a woman who is dancing burlesque while 8 months pregnant.

I just recently discovered Brain, Child. It is wonderful, and you should read it. In particular, you should read this beautiful article about a sighted toddler with two blind parents:
Langston knows my husband and I can’t see. That we are both blind. He never points at things and always attempts to verbally describe something to us. He knows that if he wants to show us something he can’t describe, he needs to bring it to us or us to the site. He even manages to show us where our dog threw up without having us touch it directly or touching it himself. “Mess,” he says in disgust, “mess, mess!”
And, while I'm busy gushing over how much I'm loving Brain, Child, check out this other article from them from a mother who took her daughter to a heavy metal battle of the bands:
I wait five minutes then walk over to the boys. “You in the band?” I ask and they stop talking to stare at me. I am in white jeans and a blue button-up blouse. The boy with the ring in his nose and spider web tattoo on the corner of his eye looks at me. “We are,” he says, and he smiles, his voice normal like my son’s voice. I don’t know what I expected. “Meet the members of Indecent Exposure,” he says. “I’m Tack, this is Freeze, and that’s Jebs.” I reach out my hand for a handshake, notice the skull ring on Tack’s middle finger. I wonder how I would feel if Sophia brought one of these boys home for dinner.
I'm not completely convinced, but I do have to admit that hearing that Ken Hoinsky (the author of that Kickstarter assault book proposal) has set up meetings with anti-assault activists to help ensure that his book does not promote any non-consensual advances. I really, really want to believe that this is genuine and that this guy just really didn't get it but is trying to figure it out.

Doing sign language interpretation to Wu-Tang:

Technically, Stephen Colbert's tribute to his mom made me both smile and cry, but it definitely belongs among the Good.

Sometimes you need a reminder of how amazing the world is:

The Bad

I am not squeamish about bugs. I catch spiders and put them outside. I have a live-and-let-live philosophy towards most crawly things. The exception, though, is wasps, which creep me out something fierce. I am pretty sure I will have nightmares after watching this video about a "prehistoric" wasp nest in Central Florida. That sound!

A 12-year-old girl was kicked off her football team for making her male playmates have "impure" thoughts, though apparently none of them actually voiced or acted on said thoughts. It sounds like the only ones thinking of anything "impure" are the horrible administrators who made this decision. The rest of them are just kids playing football. 

What in the world is George Zimmerman's lawyer doing?!

An 8-year-old girl was clearly preyed upon by a murderous predator who knew exactly what he was doing. Her mother obviously shouldn't have let her walk to the front of a Wal-Mart with him for hamburgers, since that was the moment he used to kidnap and murder her. However, I would urge people to truly think of how many tiny decisions they've made could have ended tragically but didn't. It's easy to blame this mother, but we need to find some compassion. 

The Curious

PhD in Parenting has an interesting post on some survey results for how Canadians and Americans see men as "masters" of the household.

This xoJane piece about pumping breast milk while covering a music festival made me remember (and not miss!) my own pumping days. Like this author, I often found that I was more embarrassed about asking for pumping accommodations than anyone I asked ever seemed to be.

Here are some reflections on the meaning of failure:
The sad thing is, when the flash bulbs do pop and fade, you are left, in the pulsing after-light, with a keen sense of how unhappy people can be with what they have achieved in life. Perfectly successful people. With perfectly good lives. And you come to appreciate the ones who have figured all that shit out.
A nurse reports on the most common regrets she hears from dying patients.

This Atlantic article posits that poor students not taking advantage of Ivy League colleges is squashing the American Dream.

That's what I've been reading. What about you?

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