I am not the first person to put to use the song from 1979 to talk about how Facebook impacts blogging, so I’m not being very creative here. But I do think it’s true. Not that I’ve ever been a blogging star. Not even close. But I know I used to share little snippets about my kids on my blog. And pictures! I posted pictures of my kids!
And now? Well, today I wanted to go back to my blog-every-day plan, but I don’t have much in the way of thoughts floating through my head this morning. But I did have some Adventures in Ruthie I thought I could share. But then I realized I already shared all about them on Facebook. And since I only have a handful–or two–of friends who read my blog, and most, if not all, are my Facebook friends, what’s the point? Well, except I do have that friend out there who is engaging in a Facebook freeze during Lent. Actually, I have two friends on a Facebook freeze. So, they might like to hear about today’s Adventures in Ruthie.
And maybe I should consider a Facebook break of my own . . . yes. I will consider it . . .
So, now I’m at a crossroads: Share the Ruthie story? or ramble on about the value of Facebook? dilemma, dilemma . . . My title implies a Facebook reflection, but my mood says To Heck with the implications of my title.
Let’s go with Ruthie today. And maybe Facebook tomorrow. But I’m not making any promises. Because I’m not so adept at keeping them. Particularly of the blogging variety.
Anyway . . . So, Ruthie. We went to the little grocery store in our little town yesterday. While we were climbing back into the minivan, Ruth noticed a teenaged girl wearing pajama bottoms.
Ruthie was quick to point it out: “Mama! That girl! She’s wearing pajama bottoms! to the grocery store!!”
Knowing full well that this moment could be a defining moment for my reluctant-to-wear-clothes daughter, I brushed passed her observation with a detached, “Uh-huh.” Conversation closed. Success.
This morning. I announced to Ruthie that we would run out to the store before school today, to buy some bubble stuff and sidewalk chalk in honor of spring’s arrival. Seemingly out of nowhere–certainly out of nowhere for me, having completely forgotten yesterday’s teen attire–Ruth asks, “Mama? Are you allllloowwed to wear pajama pants to the store?”
Clearly Ruth had not forgotten the jammy-clad adolescent from yesterday.
“Well, Ruth. . . . (think! think! think!) . . . people are allowed to wear pajama pants to the store. There’s no law against it.” (Notice the generic use of the word, “people.” Yes? I am in no way suggesting that Ruth is allowed to wear pajama pants to the store.)
“Well,” replies Ruth. “Am I allowed to wear pajama pants to the store?”
think. think. think. . . . If I say yes today, am I prepared to say yes every day? If I say yes today, am I prepared to have Ruth wear pajama pants everywhere she goes for the next 13 years? If I say no today, am I prepared to have an extended argument with Ruth over the injustice of one person being allowed to wear pajama pants to the store, while another person is not? Am I prepared to really dig my heels in and allow this to become a knock-down, drag-out, “Just because I’m the Mama and I say so!!” event with her? Over pajama bottoms?!!!
No. No I am not.
“Sure, Ruth. You’re allowed to wear pajama bottoms to the store we’re going to today.”
And then Ruth and I proceeded to have the most pleasant trip to the store we ever have had. She cooperated. She looked but did not beg. There was no screaming, no whining. Only a perfectly polite, kind, and gentle girl on a lovely morning shopping trip with her mom. Fighting the pajama bottoms would have created an entirely different atmosphere, and likely would have resulted in a grumpy-pants mission for bubbles and sidewalk chalk.
Not. worth. it.
It’s hard. It’s hard to know which hills are worth dying on, which are worth surrendering. So it is with parenting, so it is with the Church. I could blow this out into a full-on sermon, but I won’t. But it does make me think about the Church’s convictions. About why we maintain them. About how important it is for us to reflect on why, exactly, we are holding on to them. Are they clearly commanded or required by Scripture? Or have we been holding on to some cultural norm that wormed its way into our Christian tradition? Those are tough questions. And, really, the ones I’d like to wrestle with long-term.
But for now? I’m glad that my “major” crisis this morning involved a cute little 4yo girl and her pajamas, and wasn’t a really difficult decision at all. A cute 4yo going to the grocery store and to Dollar General, having the time of her life with her mama? Who cares what she’s wearing?
Well. I care. Only in so far as it was super cute. When I reminded Ruthie that yesterday’s teen was wearing pajama bottoms, but just a regular tee-shirt, I was thinking I could de-jammify her look, making her a bit more inconspicuous, or not quite so obviously pajama-clad. She’d been wearing a pink fleece top with a kitty on it. Ruth, upon remembering the teen’s regular shirt, picked out her own tee-shirt to go with her pajama pants. I’ll let you be the judge of whether the change helped subdue her be-jammied look.