Protecting Our Girls!

img_8284  Sexual Assault stories are once again the hot topic! Here are some of my thoughts!

This is more than just a women’s issue. Women don’t come forward with sexual assaults or harassments because it’s just easier not to. We risk being completely vilified, shamed, blamed and judged by the clothes we wear, the alcohol we drink, by a flirtatious conversation we had or a bad choice we made in the past.

What we can do besides shout or angrily express our thoughts on the injustice is use this as an opportunity to start open and ongoing communication with our children about boundaries. It’s not enough just to educate our daughters not to get themselves into situations alone, to watch their drinks when they’re out at a party or club and why society would blame them for wearing a certain outfit etc. We also have to teach our son’s. As a mother of two boys I know this is important. I also know they receive mixed messages from girls. I’ve read their texts and messages myself. Some are aggressive and read like a paragraph from an adult magazine. Regardless, my boys are responsible for their behavior and choices.

Therefore, it’s not just one conversation we need to have. It starts when they are really young. When they’re in the playground interacting with the girls on the swings or in the sandbox. It continues with how the boys behave at recess, in gym class and at lunchtime, in high school, online, at the mall etc. I like to think I’ve been somewhat successful in this matter. As my boys were growing up every opportunity I had and still have I discuss with them boundaries and consent and what that meant and means at certain times in their life. From not getting physical when you want the toy she has, not snapping her preteen bra strap and not taking advantage of a girl who may have had too much to drink just to name a few examples. I’ve gone over countless scenarios to ask what they would do and what they should and shouldn’t do. I’ve also made sure they are very aware of what consent is. Maybe, sometimes in great, uncomfortable detail. Sometimes they’re embarrassed. And sometimes they don’t want to hear it.

As a woman I feel the need for them to be taught respect for these boundaries in a loving and detailed, specific manner continually and it’s my responsibility to do so. They know they can ask me anything too. As a mother I’m also educating them and protecting them from any situation they may find themselves in so they make the right choice to treat another human being kindly and respectfully. And of course, so they don’t end up facing a wrath of a court room or worse, the wrath of their mother. We need to educate our sons because this is not just a woman’s issue.

Welcome!

Cause you never think the last time’s going to be the last time – you think there will be more. You think you have forever, but you don’t” – Grey’s Anatomy

My mother died at 62. My father died at 54. I just turned 50. If we average out our life expectancies based on our parents lives that gives me just eight more years to live. Eight short years to start living and doing and not regretting! Eight years to take an active role. Eight more years to do things for me and make choices for me.

About me? Who am I? Good question? As I look through countless bloggers to get ideas on ways to answer that question I read lots of “I’m a wife, mother, daughter, sister etc” Although these are worthy titles and I am these things- I don’t feel they would completely describe who I am.

After purging my spare room I came across some old film I had nearly forgotten about that I had converted to DVD. It was from 1959. What’s fascinating is most of my family members in the film have passed on. I’m fortunate enough to be in possession of many photos dating back to the early 1900s of my family. Yes, going through scrapbooks of memories is always nice but having live action video to watch is a treasure! You can see faces light up with smiles and laughter! Catching a glimpse of these personalities from another time is truly priceless! This is one reason I started this blog along with amping up all my other social media accounts to document my journey.

Another reason is to leave a history for my family to discover and catch a glimpse of my stories from my childhood and beyond. If the universe graces me with longer than my parents had then I have a responsibilty to make the most of my time and leave a legacy my children and their children can be proud of! The 5 words that flipped the switch for me and is etched in my mind “You are going to die” Maybe not in eight years but I have One life and it’s mine to live!

Please feel free to join me and I’ll try to keep it interesting!!