It's a simple question; a question that no matter the answer, the belief system, the mindset, the taste-buds of your particular family are already firmly in place, lined up all in a row in the fridge right now. Too late to change your mind now (or is it?). Whether it's to Refresh, or going for The Real Thing, the choice is a cold, clear illumination of a side -- and perhaps one that was chosen for us long ago.
Trivial as it may sound, my little mama inside me has been busy sweeping my mind this morning -- multitasking of course, while sipping on coffee, thinking about everything I have to do today, all while aimlessly gazing through the eucalyptus branches meeting me with a ray of sunshine. It's my daily coffee clutch, my morning mediation with the world, my minute or two of solitude that seems to some days come with ease, while upon others, it reluctantly goes along with me kicking and screaming all the way.
In G world today, my thoughts are tangled up with other people's children.
Wondering, what on God's great earth are other people's babies being taught about America this morning? And suffice it to say, it is creating quite a stir.
Perhaps it is lumping in the highlights of an upcoming expose on Elin Nordegren, who will be glossing the front cover of People magazine coming up this Friday, fresh off the presses. Word is leaking out about how she feels, "the embarrassment" of going "through hell" with absolutely no choice whatsoever...with all of us just watching...making snide commentary...jumping to conclusions...exaggerating truth, or worse, not speaking truth at all. Gossip girl meets locker room boy, all through the links and beyond.
The town can talk, can't we -- and no longer does it take a day's ride on a train or buggy (just ask Bob Schieffer, for "ignorance travels fast on the Internet"-- and furious, you know, "with fear and rage", just ask Katie Couric).
So, the thing is, getting back to this morning -- other people's babies hear everything, and nothing, through the eyes of their mama or papa all the way home, along with what the rest of world is telling them -- all with no filter, no chance for edit, no opportunity for all sides to present themselves, just full on open mic... overflowing and non-stop.
My fear is, just what are the children being told about America, in the homes that have -- with great assumption indeed -- a wildly different experience from my own; what about the children born into a side having been chosen for them -- Pepsi or Coke -- unlike mine; what about the babies who do not know or recognize the America that I know and love, and in turn teach my girl?
As you may remember from the last week or so, I refreshed myself with a long, lost book, Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Initially daunted by the realization that her immediate experience dates back to the fifties, raising her children at a time when things were soooooooooo different, I am struck by her thoughts remaining true to this day...and so much like my own.
"For life today in America is based on the premise of ever-widening circles of contact and communication. It involves not only family demands, but community demands, national demands, international demands on the good citizen, through social and cultural pressures, through newspapers, magazines, radio programs, political drives, charitable appeals, and so on. My mind reels with it." (oh my, you have no idea, Annie...)Going on to say,
"This is not the life of simplicity but the life of multiplicity that the wise men warn us of. It leads not to unification but to fragmentation. It does not bring grace; it destroys the soul, And this is not only true of my life, I am forced to conclude; it is the life of millions of women in America. I stress America, because today, the American woman more than any other has the privilege of choosing such a life."Nineteen Fifty Five, people. Nineteen Fifty Five.
The uncanny resemblance to life's lessons, through hopes and dreams, experiential and emotional, unveiling the universal story of coming of age and coming into one's own, as a women -- to find our true center alone -- is exactly that which Elizabeth Gilbert, of Eat Pray Love, came to recognize in her life; and fortunately for us, managed to share it recently on film (so much faster that way, no?).
But just how many mamas are in the midst of simply overreacting right now, today; this is what seems to be one of my main concerns right now...
how many are listening just to Katie or Bob, or even, Daisy (a memory of yesterday's lament)?
how many are telling their children, America is a land of hatred, bigotry, prejudice and racism?
how many are saying to their babies, this land is not made for you and me?
how many are not taking a moment to still that quiet voice inside their heart, to get to the root of the broader experiences and the bevy of sweeping emotions that are causing such a stir, breaking our spirit, for one to another to our children?
The moment to breathe is right now; we don't have a second to wait.
Returning to the promise we made as individuals at the very birth of this country, this is what it is all about; what is being mercilessly trampled upon is not only the hearts and minds of our children, who will ultimately become the next generation in charge -- but the simple value of knowing thy self, healing thy self, making way for thy self and thy family, all by our self, alone.
What these days should look like then, is every family coming into one's own, for the good of the community and the whole -- through assimilation; not diversification and divide. We must find a way to excavate the common ground and live in peace with one another, otherwise the good of America will be buried and lost forever.
But above all, what we teach our children right here, and right now, will be what they know for themselves; it will be what they believe -- of America; it will be what carries them into rebuilding America out of the legacy of ruin we have left them.
Elin, by all appearances thus far, is a mama choosing to take the high road; she is consciously choosing not to drag Tiger and her children through what we would probably all like to see -- a pure, unadulterated lambasting of HIS truth and consequences, out in the open for all of us to watch, for he deserves it right (no, really, I don't...just trying to capture -- and lower myself for a second -- to the tabloid logic. for ratings, you know... didn't really work, huh?)
What is the real truth about America?
How can we expect to raise children to be able to find their true center when we, generally speaking, can't find our own?
As a country, we lean just right from center in most every issue under the sun; just wouldn't know it by listening to the mainstream media or the rhetoric played on the loudspeakers over and over again.
Turn down the noise and listen to that which lies deep inside you; I have every faith in the world, mamas and papas everywhere, of every creed, color and country, would be able to come up with at least a few life's lessons in common that are well worth sharing to our children, and ultimately with the rest of the world we wish to make.
Call it a moment to refresh yourself.
Call it a moment to get back to the real thing.
Whatever -- ring aling aling, America is calling; and it's for made for YOU, and only you, to answer the call the best way you know how. Be polite, be courteous, listen heartily, and speak softly and remember -- the children are just in the other room; and you know what that means, they hear everything.
Do the right thing, teach your children to sing, forget all the bling, ring a ding ding, and
Make it a Good Day, G
It's Coca-Cola all the way baby.
Pure refreshment, a real treat, is a click and a sip away on Dear America. Kid you not, one of the best little coca-cola videos out there.