LifeDay

Abortion.
Yikes!  It’s not something we usually like to think about or read about or parent about but stick with me, because I’m going in a positive direction with this, for sure.  I’m a crazy libertarian so I won’t be beating you over the head with my religion stick or drilling women’s liberation chants down your throat.  My libertarian human rights perspective on this is to allow you to do and be and choose for yourself with reckless abandon… right up until it takes that right away from another human.  In that way, Abortion is something I chat with my children about on the daily without their even knowing it.  SOOOO… I have a small challenge for you that could get us BIG RESULTS.

Today is an especially spectacular day in our house because it is my son Wesley’s 12th LifeDay.  That begs the obvious question, what’s a “LifeDay”?  Simply put, your LifeDay is (#EarMuffs!!!) the day you were conceived.  YIKES AGAIN!  We don’t talk about THAT event with CHILDREN, right?  In fact, we’d rather pretend we allow a magical gargantuan bird careening through the air with a random tiny human swinging from its beak to fly into our living room and expect us to take a liking to the crying bundle of “joy” and care for it for the rest of our lives.  Let’s be real though if we’re okay with that fairytale, I’d definitely like to add that this stork delivery also packs an instruction book on how to keep this human alive and not screw him up too badly, but apparently that’s a bridge too far.  Seriously though, we talk about conception in our house all the time and we celebrate it!  The antiquated “I’ll tell you when you’re older” parenting is just not compatible with modern life.  If you don’t give them answers to their natural curiosities, Alexa will.

There we were, sitting on the couch, my son, Wesley, my daughter, Juliette, and Everett and I.  Everett was in my belly and just getting to the point where Wes and Jules could press their hands up to his playpin and feel him drumming away for his audience.  This got them brimming with questions.  Is he ALIVE?  Can he hear us?   Who is he?  What does he look like?  Does he like trucks?  Does he want to play with me?  I can’t WAIT to go on adventures with him!!
I wanted to give Wes and Jules a sense of their little brother’s personhood NOW, not after I gave birth to him.  So, in true parenting fashion, I made something up on the spot.  We calculated Wesley’s “LifeDay”, and mine and Juliette’s and of course the little drummer/tapdancing gymnast in my belly and anyone else they were curious about.  I know what you are thinking, but it doesn’t have to be the exact date, it’s the act of celebrating it that matters.  The LifeDay concept has become a celebrated realization of SELF in our household.  IRL Translation:  “I’m fantastic and this is the day I became me.  Lucky you!”  Unlike a birthday, It’s not about mommy’s harrowing tale of childbirth or the random set of syllables your parents came up with to call you for all eternity, or even which side of the family you got your dashing good looks from.  Your LifeDays are about YOU.  We all know that our little ego-maniac children eat that up with a spoon!!   So we commemorate each of our family members’ LifeDay every year by doing something FUN together and making a memory.  They thoroughly enjoy our #LifeDay tradition.  There is, in fact, no cooler feeling than when someone tells me that one of my babies told them it was their LifeDay that day and they couldn’t wait for the family adventure we were going to take to celebrate!  #BestFeelingEVER!!

Back to adulting.  My plan is to use my kids’ LifeDay as a familiar touchstone for introducing “the birds and the bees” later and all that that entails.  I don’t know about you, but I KNOW that in this modern world, I need as much help as possible with figuring out how to gracefully ease my kids’ brains into understanding what sex is about.  And while I’m at it, I also have to try to stay one step ahead of the kids at the lunchtable so that they get these revelations from ME and not Mikey the all-knowing and incredibly loquacious third grader whose high school brother has lavished him with a fount of “knowledge”.  So, if I’m the one doling out the info, the goal is to do my best to give my kids this deeply personal ownership of their personhood’s conception with their LifeDay celebration.  I hope it will help them understand where life comes from and how to respect it.  I think that celebrating life from its beginning gives my kids a solid foundation for how important their life is, and eventually, hopefully, the importance of the lives of others.  By taking advantage of the self-important nature of our kids’ thoughts and their world, we can help them understand the HUGE concept of the beginning of life in a way that makes the most sense to them (without them needing to bleach their eyes with the thought of the nitty gritty of their parents procreation victory).    My kids know and will excitedly tell you, “MY LifeDay was the beginning of ME and I am the person that began that day!”

Every year when Wesley and Juliette and Everett wake up on their LifeDay I read this poem (picture below) to remind them of how awesome they are and how great it is to be alive.   I feel called to bring this message of gratitude and honor of life to anyone who will hear it.  I think that if we keep sharing this idea with parents and grandparents and aunts and anyone who is an influencer of the next generation, then we can make a true impact on the culture of our world.  I told you I was thinking BIG with this!!

So here’s my ask… I want to challenge you to celebrate your children’s LifeDay with them.  Please.  Share the LifeDay concept with the children and adults in your life and celebrate life so fragile and fleeting and the wonder that paints our journey.  I would LOVE to hear your thoughts and stories about Celebrating LifeDays and see if we can make this thing soar higher than a mythical avian baby delivery service!

From my LifeDay I became ME BoujAche.jpg

Although this poem is copyrighted, I do own a sublimation, vinyl and embroidery business so I can print it for you onto anything from a mug to metal wall art to wooden wall art with any background you’d like so that you can have something tangible to remind you to CELEBRATE LifeDays.  These make beautiful parents-to-be gifts with an ultrasound in the background (I can change the picture to anything you’d like).  Samples of these will be posted soon!  Email me at MA@BoujAche.com for more details.

This poem is protected under US Copyright TXu 2-052-824  ©2017 Marianne Renee Abell
“From my LifeDay I became ME” is subject to US and International Copyright laws. Reproduction and distribution without consent of Marianne Abell and BoujAche Chronicles are prohibited.

Are Army Brats the Best Defenders of Your 2A Rights?

What do our Army Brats have to do with the second Amendment? Well, did you know that our constant shuffling of American troops is unique among militaries across the globe? Yep, we have THE Army Brats. In most countries, their military units are geographically cohesive. In other countries, when you go to enlist and your buddy from down the street goes with you, you will be assigned together, to the unit from your area. You won’t need to leave home while you are in the service unless you are deployed. Once again, together, with your buddy and you will stay with that unit for the duration of your career. As a U. S. Army wife of nearly 15 years and mother of three Army Brats, that sounds positively DREAMY. My children would live a normal life (minus deployments) without wondering who they were going to say goodbye to next and whether their new school would have a spot for them on the soccer team. I wouldn’t live with minimalistic modular furniture, just in case we have to go back overseas and our next living room is once again the size of a shoebox. My garage wouldn’t be stacked to the ceiling with labeled footlockers and rubbermaid totes that can be put on a truck at a moment’s notice with the least amount of breakage. I wouldn’t begin to know what it was LIKE to walk into a PTO meeting alone and feel like my strange voice would never be heard by these parents who have adorable kindergarten memories of the other parents’ children in the room. I wouldn’t trip over myself unpacking my house to perfection in 2 weeks because taking 6 months like a normal human would be a quarter of our time at every duty station spent in boxes! HEAVEN!! My husband wouldn’t deploy with a different group of battle buddies every time he went down range and his 15 years in, would have helped him to personally get to know each of the people he serves with and their families. MAN! That life sounds AMAZING! Sigh.

Instead, we do the Army tango. We switch to a new unit every 2 years (three if you are lucky and get stationed overseas). Not only are we switching, but so is everyone around us. There are constant “Hail and Farewells” to take part in (the traditional Army ‘hello-and-goodbye’ party). We try to do one every other month or so to welcome and say “see you later” to troops and families going in and out of the unit. So this makes sure that EVERY army unit is made up of people from all walks of life from all over the country and in some cases the world. This gives our troops a brotherhood based on their patriotism, not their hometown pride. GENIUS. That patriotism binds them on the battlefield against foreign enemies. But what does it do in the case of, God-forbid, Martial Law and domestic unrest and what does all of this have to do with our constitution?

The 2A (Second Amendment) to our constitution states:

A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

The Army my husband serves in is IMHO the greatest and most well-trained fighting force the world has ever known. Yet, it intentionally yields it’s power to our right to a well-regulated militia by forfeiting the home field advantage! Armies are the windows to the soul of a nation. If you were going to form a militia, it would naturally be made of local concerned citizens coming together to defend their family and friends against a bloated and tyrannical government. They would have a solid sense of community and cohesive hometown pride that the incoming federal troops could not muster no matter how well-trained they are. THIS is what the 2A (Second Amendment) is about, allowing the little guy to stand as the last line of defense for our precious American exceptionalism that is our FREEDOM. The very fact that you are thinking in your head that a militia isn’t necessary in modern America is proof of that exceptionalism and our need to protect that privilege. The framers didn’t make it unconstitutional to ban U.S. citizens from access to firearms for use in hunting, nor in home defense, nor even in self-defense. The 2A is ONLY and fiercely worded to assure that our right to protect our liberty from tyranny by whatever means necessary SHALL NOT be infringed. This much we’ve heard a million times. The eloquent part that makes me so damn proud to be an American Army wife are these lesser-known humble painstaking steps that our country goes to in intricate honor of our liberty.

So, thank an Army Brat today for sacrificing for your right to keep and bear arms. If you need me I’ll be in the garage adding second amendment labels to our bins to remind me in my brink-of-insanity-moments of Army wife-ing that it’s all worth it. Please share this with someone who may need some of my 2A bin labels.