Friday, June 29, 2007

First time listener, big new fan

So today I had a lofty topic of liking different types of people because I am reading Sidney poitier's book "The Measure Of A Man", and I can relate to it. Yes, I know I amnot a man, I am not from the Bahamas, I am not over 70, and a whole host of other things that Sidney Poitier IS. But we are both human, parents, and a whole host of other things we DO have in common. And that was my intellectual point.
However, today, Jamie, a co-worker, introduced me to YouTube. My wee little mind is blown!!! Did I write how the internet amazed me? YouTube has music, tv, etc. and you can hear the song (and sing a long if you choose like we did) AND you can watch a video to go with. A picture on the screen with moving images. I found songs in there I hadn't heard in ages including stuff by Jay and The Americans, Nils Lofgren, the BeeGees, and George Harrison. I am truly amazed by this thing we call modern technology. It makes me wonder what us humans will think up next. Where can we go from here? I can't wait to find out. If they can get Barry Gibb in those tight white pants, life size in my house via holagram, I will be a happy camper.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pretty Woman

It isn't often I quote a movie, primarily because I can never remember anything verbatim. But in the last week or so I seem to be having the same conversation with many, many different people. Must be that time of year. Basically, like Julia Roberts said in response to Richard Gere in the movie "Pretty Woman", when asked about her low self-esteem despite being told she was good, she replied that it was easier to believe the bad things. Is that not so true? Last Saturday my friend Jennifer and I had a little spat that went something like this:
Jennifer: Dena, you are a good person.
Dena: No I am not, you are.
Jenniefer: No I am , not you are.
Dena: No I am not, you are.
We sounded like Ted Bundy and Charles Manson fighting over who was more evil. But everyone I talked to seems to ahve the hardest time believing the best about themselves, myself included and I don't know why that is. I have tough standards for my friends-my first reaction is to think everyone is suspicious, and then let you prove yourself to me. It saves a lot of heartache on my end, but makes me choosy, so if I am communicating with you in any way, feel honored.
But no matter how many times someone says I am smart, pretty, worhtwhile, etc., etc. my first reaction is that they must be a crack smoker. I am WORTHY of those qualities, but I still have to work my way to them. It gives me goals, and keeps me from feeling like complete idiot, but it makes me wonder about myself. Why do I nedd constant validation? Why do so many other good people I know need the same thing? Why are we so friggin' tough on ourselves? I don't have the answer to that. Maybe God likes us to see us strive harder than we think capable? Maybe it is HIS way of keeping us humble? Or maybe we need to take the stick out of our ass and relax? I will keep pondering this question but I would like to see what others say, if you want to answer. Why are we so quick to beleive the worst about ourselves, but not the best? Or am I the only one who thinks this? If that is the case, it is sure lonely at the top! Ha ha-I know I am not the only one, but what does the rest of the world think, if it thinks anything?

Monday, June 25, 2007

2 months of blogging

So two months or into this blogging and I think I am liking it. In an egotistical way, I think of myself as a writer more now. True, no money in it, and I am not listing it as an occupation, but still, I sit and think about what I want to write so that counts for something, right? I have discovered what I love more is reading what other's wrote. Maybe it is because I am nosy by nature, or that I love knowing how my friends are doing, but keeping tabs on other people makes me feel like we are close, even if physically we are far away.
Slow that I am, it still amazes me that we do all this with computers. Let me get out my corn-cob pipe and talk about "the good olds"- I still remember the first time I saw the internet. Aaron and Dave were Computer Science majors, and over one night to bash Rush Limbaugh, Aaraon insisted I needed to see this new thing that everyone would soon be getting into. I believe he said it would revolutionize computer use. Forward thinker that I was, all I could say was "Who would want to shop like that"? So much for my ESP. But Aaraon was right and here I am using the internet to chat, look up information, and just generally waste time. Computers will never replace human contact, but thanks to the magic of technology, I am keeping in touch with people miles and miles and miles and miles away.
So after two or so months of doing this blogging thing, I realized what the name of my blog should be and am changing it yet again.
What it means: Mrs. Kravitz was the nosy neighbor on the old tv series "Bewitched". At one of my old jobs, anytime I needed to pass on info. none of my business, I would call for a Mrs. Kravitz moment. Beleive me, a lot of my blog stuff is not important stuff.
Sweet and Sour is part of my philosophy of life. People always want to re-live a time in their life-high school, college, when they were first married, their children were young, they were young, etc. But few times in our life are all happy, or all sad for that matter. Even in my darkest days, I have some good memories. So that is what life is constantly like for me-a mix of sweet and sour. (Remember, I hate winter, but love Christmas.)
I feel that the name of the blog reflects my personality and not some pre-made expressions created by others.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Theif At Heart

If you have read my blog from June 21 ("35 Candles"), you will know that last Tuesday I was at the new Forest Center in Tillamook. It is a very neat facility, filled with all aspects of forest management. In one display, they have a tree where the bark opens like a door to see what lives there. They have a forest firefighter tent, with tools for beating forest fires. They have a replica of a pioneer home with information on how the logging industry was, and still is, an economic tool for the area. Outside there are trails, long and short, that talk about the woodland area. Some of the trails hook up with a neighboring campground, but the shorter ones travel through a replanted area complete with info. signs.
The true highlight for me was the fire tower. This thing is at least two stories tall and when you get to the top, they have the quarters of a fire watcher. In the 1930's and 40's, this was one way they spotted forest fires, posting people up high and having them report signs of fire via radio. Of course, true to modern times, everything was nailed down. The lid to the pot was glue'd down, as was all the dishes, radio equipment, etc. But the view is neat, and even Asa climbed to the top, setting the stage for some great napping time on the way home. My joy was complete until I saw the books. Two old books to reflect the time, one was a Zane Grey/Gray? and the other was a story to go with the Blondie and Dagwood comic strip (still running in The Oregonian). Of course I picked up the books and looked at them-I am an addict. But let's talk about how disappointed I was that the books WERE NOT NAILED DOWN. Are they so unimportant? Of so little value? I have seen toilet paper restricted and locked up, so books are less than what we wipe our butts with? I wanted to steal the books just to show that someone out there found them worthy, but the Girl Scout in me felt guilty just thinking about it. Maybe I should be grateful they think book lovers aren't thieves, but what I really want to do is go attach the books to the bunk with a wire so they at leat seem to have the same economic value of a stew pot lid.
WIth or without the books, the center is great and worth a visit if you are in the area.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

35 candles

I wasn't going to mention my birthday, but I realize I have issues. I turned 35, and to all of you who are older and think I am whining, you would be right. But 35 is hard. True, my boobs have been sagging since I was in my late 20's (welcome to the world of a large chest), and the boys never really looked my way anyhow (book loving, make-up free, opinionated girls are NEVER in hot demand). But it is hard to think that IF a cute boy looked my way, he would probably think "there goes some old lady and her baby". It sucks! Once upon a time I colored my hair for a different color of blond. Now, I am happy with any blond and trying to hide the grey. I never wore high heels much, but I sure miss the days of wearing any tennis shoe I could find. Now, if the arches don't support my feet I can kiss my knees good-bye. Sigh.
But there is a silver lining-let me tell you what I did for my birthday.
Tuesday, my mom took me to the new forest center in the Tillamook National Forest. Not only did she drive, which as much as gas is was probably the most expensive gift I got, but she paid my admission fee and we had a great time seeing the exhibits and wandering their trails. Even Asa had fun, even if he never noticed the Tiger Lily flowers still in bloom.
Wednesday, D-Day, my husband let me choose the activity and we went to the Discovery Center in The Dalles, ate lunch at Baldwin Saloon, and stopped at Multnomah Falls on the way home. We even walked to the first bridge, .2 miles up. Asa walked the whole way too and giggled everytime a dog passed us, and he loved the ice cream that daddy shared with him.
Friday, I am going out with friends from work where I will have some calorie ladden drink.
I realized driving home yesterday, with my son snoring in the back and my husband pretending to show interest in what I like, it had been a great day. With the windows down on a sunny day I could smell the fresh air and wildflowers of the forest. I could see my son, covered with ice cream, look all fat and pleased (all babies SHOULD look fat so that is a good thing). And my husband was loving enough to miss the OSU baseball game to spend the day the way I wanted. I realized then, one great thing about getting older, is that we learn to appreciate the gifts that really matter. I still want things, but I want things like my baby's smile and giggles, sunny days with my husband that last forever, and the memories of happy days. Knowing that my friends were thinking of me, even if I never heard from them, is a gift I wouldn't trade for anything. Watching Nick feed Asa the Beggar ice cream is priceless. That I know that, takes the twinge off of getting older. What life lessons will I learn as I age even more?
I am not happy with 35, but obviously what do you do? Lord knows I want to make 36, 37, etc. so tommorrow I will go out with work, drink enough to be happy but not enough to get in trouble and feel like a rebel because I will ignore the calories floating to my butt.
Oh how we change, thank goodness. I didn't get a single gift I could unwrap, but I feel like I got a lot for my birthday. Thanks to everyone.

Monday, June 18, 2007


It was Father's Day yesterday. I have the same feelings I have for Father's Day that I have for Mother's Day-not positive. Hey, at least I am equal. But on that same vein I wrote about my mom, and for those of you who don't know me (because my blog is oh so popular and read by EVERYONE), I don't want you to think I am dad-less. I have a dad, and he is one of a kind.
My dad loves my sister and I. Don't misinterpret anything you are about to read. My dad did not know what to do with daughters and to his credit, he gave it a his best try. I love that most about him above anything else. A lot of men in his position, when faced with girl children, simply did nothing. I have friends with that kind of dad. But my dad went in like a bull , bluffing his way through stuffed animals, barbies, and puberty. (To this day, I do not like to mention the word "period" in front of my dad-even when talking about punctuation. Only the good Lord knows why.) He took us hiking, to the movies (although "Coal Miner's Daughter" was not the best choice), and attended all our piano recitals. He took a beer trick-or-treating, threw pine cones and sticks at us to make us walk faster, and played so hard with us I have scars (physical, not emotional) from some of our exploits. His stories are legendary-his first hunting experience when he set a tree stump on fire, the time he used the butt therometer in his mouth one of the few times I remember him being sick, and how when neighbor asked if dad was following the latest tennis finals, dad replied he was sorry but he didn't follow golf. And these "play" qualities have stuck with him to this day. He is still fun and willing to do crazy things. When emergency crew pulled him out the lake after he jumped off the houseboat, mom replied if they had to do that sort of thing often? Sure they replied, but with young guys not old ones. I hope my dad stays that way, because it is antoher of his greatest qualities.


The Diet Buster

Okay, I broke my "lifestyle change" promise last Friday night. Remember my goal to not eat late at night OR sit on my fat butt? Well, both happened. But let me set the scene so you ahve some pity for me.
Part One-My son goes to bed late. His bed time is 9:30-ish for multiple reasons and while this works well for our family, it means that it is often 10:00p before I get to take a break. (I also get to sleep in so no complaints.)
Part Two-Friday night was MHCC Graduation and I worked it. However, like most graduations it was long and slow and I needed to be home by 9:00p, so I left in time to put Asa to bed. Imagine my surprise when I got home and he was out. Apparently my son has a better social life than I do, having been invited over to Grandma and Grandpa Najdek's. I was a little disappointed to come home early for nothing but when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade.
The Scene-It is 8:50p, I have no kid, husband is already asleep. I turned on "Murder, She Wrote", grabbed my book, made a Warm Delight Brownie, and had a glass of whole milk. I felt like a teenager at a dance club, breaking all the rules and getting to do what I wanted that early! I also ignored the thought of the brownie slowly moving to my hips-it was my night to run wild. This is a far cry as to how I use to spend my Friday nights, or how I even hoped to spend my Friday nights. In fact, in my youth, I NEVER would have even admitted to spending a Friday night like that unless it included a suprises visit from Patrick Swawze. (You can do the most boring ANYTHING and it would be okay with him.) Now, years later, I am praying and crossing my fingers it happens again, brownie, fat hips, and all.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Gulp-OJ is kind right

Let me get one thing straight-OJ Simpson is not my favortite person. I don't hate him, but I don't remember his glory days of football-he will be forever a "Love Boat" guest star to me and that kind of sums him up for me. But I read a comment of his that got me thinking. He said that on the day Paris Hilton went to jail, NASA sent up a space shuttle and most people have no idea how many astronauts were on that shuttle because Hilton took up all the press. His point was that our prioirites on what is news are screwed up. Okay, give OJ credit-if anyone knows about headlines it is that guy.
(And as a side note, in my forensic science studies I read about the case from BOTH the Defense side and Prosecution side (not the media side). Everyone agrees the evidence was tainted. Defense says on purpose, Prosecution said because of poor evidence control. Either way, his guilt or innocence will never be known now).
I agree with OJ: the things we consider news worthy are pretty poor sometimes. I have seen headlines that say one star is sleeping with another, or they gained weight, or they actually prefer chocolate to vanilla, or they got lost in their backyard, or at 10 bedrooms they still need a guest house because the main house is to small-whatever dumb and stupid things famous people do, or say, gets put on the front page like it will create world peace. How many times do I have to hear that wine is only good for you in moderation and that fresh vegetables are better for you than potato chips? Dan Quayle trying to spell Poh-Ta-Toe took up almost a month worth of news-get the guy a dictionary and move on. Or the people that got robbed, in the city, in the middle of the night, when they left their car doors UNLOCKED. All of them seemed shocked that this could happen to them. Another article on how dumb Americans smell good seems to trickle up every few months too. Yes-we smell good. Isn't that important to know?
The sad thing-this is nothing new. People like to say the media is going downhill but you can''t go downhill when you started at the bottom. Anyone out there remember William Randolph Hearst, now known for some off his famous descedents like Patty Hearst of the kidnapping in the early 1970's and his mansion in San Simeon, Ca. He was known to make news up on a slow day and both Luella Parspns and Hedda Hopper, gossip columnists in the 40's, 50's, and 60's would freely make up lies about Hollywood Stars that had pissed them off. So much for "the truth will set you free".
Media actually is kind of like grandparents: on a good day they are friend and on a bad day they are foe. On a good day they are the best entertainment I have ever had. On a bad day, they feed my kid nothing but crap. I for one, don't care about Paris Hilton. Money to burn, no life skills, and ugly to boot-I kind of feel sorry for her, but only kind of.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Home Schooling

Right off the bat, let me say I am sorry to Katie. I hope she doesn't get upset that I am apologizing publicly, but I think she deserves it. Asa and I went over for a visit and she very excitedly showed me her classroom that she had created for her son, whom she has decided to home school in the Fall. As she is showing me all these neat things, all I could do is sit there and think "what about the home schoolers who should be in public school?". Hey, nothing says friendship like acting like a turd. The reality is, as much as I love Katie, she has no control over every home schooled kid in America. It is like someone coming up to me and smacking me for Ted Bundy-we both lived in the Pacific NW and we are both of Caucasian descendents. Like he is my fault. So Katie, I am very sorry that I acted so shabbily AND that I subconciously blamed you for every bad home school experience I have ever seen.
See, here is my problem with Home Schooling: absolutely nothing. I have seen a lot of bright students come out of home schooling and I have seen students who were not successful in a public school totally shine in their own environment. Home Schooling has provided a positive and valubale need for a lot of kids. Unfortunately, Home Schooling has also been infiltrated by alternative lifestyle creeps, religious zealots, and kids to lazy to attend regular school (although in defense of that they were to lazy to graduate from the Home School Program either-yes, Alina, that was Missy). I have read interviews from people who openly say they don't want their kids in public school because they don't want them with "those people". Those people as in minorities? People who think different? People who think of cats as children? I have heard people say they disapprove of teaching their children certain facts of life, teachers are too permissive, schools to violent, and students where sexy clothing. And I can't disaggree with any of that. I have seen students wearing less clothing than what my underwear covers. But is pulling out kids to shield them the right idea? Representing a false world of rainbows and sunshine every day certainly doesn't leave them with many coping skills. But above all else, not one of the "crazies" mentioned the number one reason for home-schooling: it benefitted their child. And that is what we should all be thinking of: what is best for my child. How does s/he learn best?
Besides, a number one teacher in a child's life is and always will be their parents. No teacher spends as much time as I do with my son and I am totally irreplaceable. Even now he is watchng me to figure out how to react in the world. It's like having my own stalker. When I try all the new foods on my plate, so does he. When I read a book, so does he. Like the song goes, "no they can't take that away from me" and it doesn't matter if Attila the Hun is his first grade teacher.
Will I send him to public school? I don't know. It will depend on what he needs and what I can offer him. But public school is not the temple of hell as some people like to paint it. I like the thought that my son might meet people different then him. I like the idea that he will have another adult role model, good or bad, in which to find out how life can be. But if he needs are not met, then public school is not the place for him.
Katie will do great next year. Her son will have a quality education experience based on what Katie knows he needs. And I am confident that Ethan will become one of the home schoolers I see here at work-A bright, well-adjusted, extremely thoughtful student prepared for college. And I want the whole world to know that I think that, and that Katie will create the same environment for her daughter. And for every nut job that would rain on MY PARADE, so that I end up rianing on Katie's, nuts to you. I will no longer let you effect me like that. Sorry Katie.

Monday, June 11, 2007


There are many things that make me realize I am a geek. The books I like, the activities I like (read the blogs on the Rose Festival), and the fact that I was more excited about meeting obscure authors than famous musicians. But this weekend, seemed to be the epitome of geekiness. The float riding-in the Portland area, only my mom was excited for me (others outside Portland where excited though). And then, right after the parade we headed to the beach to see Paul Anka. For those of you not familiar with his work, he had a few big hits in the late 50's, early 60's with "Diana" and "Put Your Head On My Shoulder". He also is a songwriter and he is the one who wrote "My Way" for Frank Sinatra and "She's a Lady" for Tom Jones, among other hits. It was a good time, and I love intimate little venues for concerts where you can see the musicians and feel a personal connection with the entertainment. However, I am pretty sure I was the youngest person, or at least one of the ten youngest people there. In fact the lady next to mom was not only impressed that I was willing to go to humor my mom, but that I knew some fo his songs and liked others from his generation or before, like Neil Sedaka, Dean Martin, and Nat King Cole. I also realized I wasn't in Kansas anymore when I went to the bathroom. We saw Paul Anka at the Chinook Winds Casino- a haven for the 50 plus crowd. In the restroom stalls it says "please do not flush personal control undergarments". Okay, that took me a minute because I am thinking ha-ha, who would flush their underwear. Then I realize they are talking about items like "Depends" which are fine and important, but made me think that maybe I need to hang out with a younger crowd. After the concert we go out to the main gambling hall so mom can play the slots just a little. Holy cow-the smokers. I felt like an old fart trying to stay out of the blue smoke and definitely felt a role reversal as I made faces at the "rebels" lighting up who were older than my mom. I can't imagine smoke on dentures tastes all that good.
All in all, we had a great weekend. The parade, the concert, and some time at the outlet stores the next morning felt like the perfect getaway for the mom of a 19 month old, although Asa did come with. Long live geeks.

Riding on a float

What a dream come true! I rode on a Rose Parade float! Saturday morning I got down to the Memorial Coliseum, and promptly went the wrong way. I found the rest of my group by accident or luck, you be the judge. However, due to going the wrong way, I saw some of the equestrian units so it wasn't a total loss. We waited in this room with other float riders until an employee of Studio Concepts (Gene, this time) came in, said time to go, and we went out to our float, got on, and rode. All roads behind the colisuem are closed and each "unit" has it's own area so horses are in one spot, floats in another, bands in a seperate area, and then just like a stoplight, some one gives your "unit" area the right to merge. So we started outside, went through the colisuem, and out the other side. Being on the float and looking out at the crowd is not the experience I thought it would be. I thought I would feel like a rock star. I didn't. And riding in the rain saps your enthusiasm. Even the parade watchers looked a little dim. But I was surprised at how much I felt like a a part of the community. Portland is no New York City, but we are big enough NOT to know everyone. Crusing through town, having everyone stare at me, you realize that all of us, parade rider and parade watcher are participating on making the Rose Festival a community event that is special for us all. It would have been more special had it been sunny but that is how Oregon is and we all knew it. My other complaint wsa the damn flag I had to hold. It was tall enough that we had to watch ALL wires above, traffic lights and signs, and the branches of trees. A couple times I would have been knocked off had I not been belted in, and Christine's flag got caught on a construction sign and ripped. But all in all, it was worth it and I feel extremely fortunate that I had this small dream come true. If I get another opportunity to be in the parade, I will be there!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Rose Parade part

I am giddy-I am going to be in the Rose Parade. It is a long story, and if you have never done floats these people will mean nothing to you, but Kendra came to my mom and said she needed 5 people to ride on the Royal Rosarian float as a page. Preferably kids with one adult to supervise. Hello, who supervises kids well? The costume is gross-it looks like something Santa's elves rejected. But I would ride the float in a dog turd costume if I had too. Parade is usually on tv in the morning in this area, AND in the evening so you have two chances to watch plus we will take a ton of pictures. This is why I am a geek-I would rather do this than meet Tom Cruise!

Monday, June 04, 2007

The First Week of June

It is that time of year again-Float Week! In the Portland, Oregon area, we are in the midst of the Rose Festival and with the Grand Floral Parade this Saturday, they are working feverishly to get the floats ready for the parade. In the "olden days", when I had no husband or child, I would have been down there everyday, or as much as possible, working on the floats. It boggles my mind that I have been doing floats now for over 20 years. The first year we went down I was 11 years old and we showed up the the last Friday night just to see what it was all about. Liking what we saw, we came back the next year and we have returned almost every year since. My Junior year in high school I remember feeling sad that next year, my Senior year, would mean my last year at floats. None of the Seniors ever came back so I figured there was some rule out there preventing them. Obvisouly I was wrong.

After 20 years of gluing on seeds, dried flowers, and leaves, you pick up a few pointers:
*Third level scaffolding can be HOT! Warm air rises and you can feel the difference.
*Coconut is awesome to work with because it makes your hands soft and nice smelling. Strawflower sucks because it is pokey.
*The speed of your work is less important than how well you do your job. Having to do a patch
job saves no time.
*God Bless Elmer's glue.
*Scaffolding guys have great muscles.
*Flowers can make anything look better.
*When they say clothes you can get dirty, they mean clothes you can get dirty. We laugh at people in white.
*It is fun making something beautiful.

For those of you familiar with the floats, this year we are working on the Sister City float for Kaohsuing with Alice. It is a huge dragon on a flat bed so it looks like no water vials. I worked on the eyes, nose, and face, which was all onion seed, poppy seed, red and white coconut, cornmeal, and lentils. Who ever did the eyes didn't paper mache them so the lentils were a pain but the rest went on pretty easy. And the best thing-we are located in the big barn right by Dryland so lots of conversations with Sue and John. Sue loves Disneyland too! We have also seen Mrs. S at the Anhesier float (the horses in the front o fthe big barn), sisters Lynette and Juacita, Leslie, Dmitiri, and Kendra. And yesterday I won a prize in the decorator's raffle-4 free tickets to a baseball game or a soccer game at PGE Park. I was hoping for a gift certificate to my electric bill since they just raised their rates but it was better than winning an airplane hat.
Next year, I cross my fingers that I can do floats again. I love it, and I cannot explain why.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Another new name

I am chancing my blog name AGAIN. Dena's Corner did still not seem like the right fit, and so I thought about it on the drive to Katie's, and the drive back. That was 6 hours of thinkin'-a lot for me.
So the new name reflects more about what I want to say and how I view the world. Life is a gift and truly wonderful, in addition to all the lucky things I have. I have a safe, warm place to sleep, food at my finger tips, and fun things to do in my leisure time-and leisure time is a gift in itself. We don't have to go far to find people who not only have very little, but worry for their safety constantly.
Those of you who grew up in the '80's may remember the movie with the same title that starred Andrew McCarthy and Mary Stuart Masterson, but there was also a song from the '50's or '60's with the same title and that is where I got it from.

Being Competitvie

Asa and I just returned from a few days at my friend Katie's. We had a glorious time playing with her kids and soaking in some much deserved sunshine (thanks Katie!!). But we had an interesting moment one morning that I keep thinking about. After a late night of talking, and an early morning of energetic kids, Katie and I were kind of zoning on the couch when 2 year old Emma came to us with a book and pointed out the colors, as my son walked by saying "mine, mine" (thanks grandma). I was excited for Emma, and Katie commented that her kids were both really good about their colors at that an early age. And then she looked at Asa and said, "Oh, but I am sure he will know his colors soon too." It was sweet of her to say that, but she didn't have too. However, I understand why she did. Mom's seem to be so competitive when it comes to our children. I have actually heard conversations that went something like this:

Mom 1: "My 2 year old daughter is potty trained."

Mom 2: "Oh, well my 2 1/2 year old son is potty trained too AND he can dress himself."

Mom 3: "Oh yeah. Well, my 3 year old son is potty trained, can dress himself, AND sew his own clothes."

It seems lik we have to prove to everyone we are not raising the village idiot. Everytime another article comes out on what is best for kids, moms across the world howl at how wrong it is. Day care kids more articulate? Stay at home mom's cite all the books they read to their children. Day care kids more violent? Day care mom's starting listing everytime their kids say please. Home schooling? Must be a hippy. Sending your kids to public school? You must not care about their well-being. Of all the demographic groups there are, moms should be the most supportive of each other and yet we are the quickest to tear each other down and apart. Why? Maybe because the pressure is so great to create the most perfect human being? Because we don't know until our child is 25 if we did good or not? Because parenting is so hard we are afraid to be wrong? The only two questions we should be asking ourselves is A) What's best for my child and B) What's best for my family? and they are the two questions I hear least. I find it disheartening.
Asa and I are going to Katie's again the first couple days of July. By then, Ethan and Emma might be able to count to 10 in 20 different languages and recite the Gettysburg Address backwards and in French. I will be extremely proud of them. And if Asa is still running around saying "mine, mine" (again, thanks grandma), I will still love him and be just as proud. I want my son to grow up to be a good man and even if he never finds the cure for cancer, and if the most he ever accomplishes is "just being a good daddy", that will be fine by me.