Tuesday, December 9, 2008

All Present And Accounted For

The Spirit of giving. What is it exactly? Whether we give out of expectation, obligation, to avoid guilt, or for the pure joy of it, we give because not to, would feel worse.


What is a thoughtful gift anyway? I would say, it usually has the recipients wants and wishes fore most in mind, though haven't we all received a present that seemed to speak more about the person giving the gift? More times than not, the "gift" is something they themselves valued and wanted to share with us. These are the gifts that are sometimes presented with the prefacing statement "I know it's nothing you've ever expressed an interest in, but I love loved it and just
know you will too."

Ideally, gift giving is a compromise between the values of both giver and recipient. It provides a wonderful opportunity to step outside ourselves, and really see and consider each others' desires and interests. But it is difficult to give a gift we ourselves find little value, and perhaps that is a contributing factor to this more egocentric type of gift giving.
One might question whether that type of present even qualifies as a gift. Though the motivation seems pure, they loved the item and want it to bring as much joy to our life as it did to their own, do these kinds of gifts truly have us in mind?

When ever I went shopping with the girls to help them find presents for their Dad, they would pick out Etch a Sketches, glitter pens, kitties, all the things they valued and would love to get as presents. I would constantly have to remind them that that they should think of what Daddy might find useful or appreciate. I wonder how often we fall back into that kid like mentality, of giving what we ourselves would like to receive.

Interesting how in the end, it can be the receiver of one of these types of presents who is the one to give the true gift, by receiving gracefully the unexpected and undesired item.

It is after all the thought that counts.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A bra does not a woman make

What I want to know is, when did people get so strangely obsessed with their daughters' breasts?

I have been hearing from my daughter since the 2nd grade, and seen with my own eyes, little girls, not even near actual puberty wearing sport bras and training bras. I have overheard mothers talking, asking each other whether their daughter was developing yet. These are mothers of young girls 7, 8 years old, and though some girls do develop at a very young age, most don't even begin to start till they are at least 10 years old. Having said that, most of the 10 year old girls I see at my daughter's school do NOT need a bra though most seem to have them. Through conversation with my daughter's friends over the years I have been left with the distinct impression that the girls don't like wearing them and that they were told they needed them by their parents. One said it was so her nipples wouldn't show when she was cold. WHHHAAAT???? Like, little boys' nipples don't stick out when they get cold? Do we make them wear bras? So I ask what is going on here?

Dumbfounded I have had conversations with my daughter's teachers and they agree with me, that these kids are no where near puberty. Most felt that the parents were mistaking their daughters' extra body fat as developing breasts. If that is the requirement for wearing a bra then many of the boys in elementary school could qualify. So my daughter, still very much a girl, is starting to feel freakish for not needing one. Why is everyone in such a rush to sexualize these still young girls.

So off to the store we will go to get a bra she doesn't need. I am truly incensed by it all.

I wholeheartedly agree with this post on shopping for girls bras. Anyone with young daughters should take a look at what's in store for you when your girls reach that special age.