Monday, August 14, 2006


Kendrie -- Day 242 Off-Treatment

Blaine -- Count down has begun; 29 days until we find out how well the radiation worked.

A few months ago, I bought the new Pink CD. Brayden promptly fell in love with the song “Stupid Girl”, and while I agree with the overall message of the song -- no need to be a bimbo, be proud to be smart -- there was still no way she was going to listen to the unedited version due to the language and sexual content. (Me? Yes. I not only listen to it, I sing it at the top of my lungs with the volume turned up and the windows rolled down …. but only when the kids are NOT with me in the car.)

So I was browsing iTunes a while back and noticed there was a “clean” version of the song available to download, and I decided to make a copy for Brayden. Then I thought, why not make her an entire cd of songs with positive messages for girls? Messages about being intelligent, and independent, and ambitious, and not letting other people pigeon-hole you. Not letting other people tell you what to think or how to feel or making you feel bad about yourself. I didn’t want anything anti-male, or bitchy. Nothing sappy about how “I can’t go on without you” or “You’re the reason my life is worth living” either. I realize she’s coming to an age where peer pressure will come into play more often, and where the warped body images shoved down her throat by the media will most likely influence her self-esteem. I mean, you *see* those girls dancing in the music videos or dressing like hookers, and you start to think it’s normal. She loves music and I thought this might be a clever way to slip some of my principles in without her noticing. Yep, I’m nothing if not sneaky.

I solicited song suggestions from my friends (the most oft-suggested song? R.E.S.P.E.C.T. by Aretha Franklin) and spent a few hours searching iTunes before making my selections. I was looking for music FOR girls, BY girls, ABOUT girls, that would promote the ideals of self-confidence, strength, and assurance in oneself. One song linked to another, which gave me the idea for another, and before I knew it I had twenty songs ready to go. As I was burning the cd, I realized that many of the songs applied to Kendrie as well, and especially to her battle with cancer. Songs about overcoming obstacles and challenges, being strong and true to yourself, and about finding happiness no matter your situation, so I decided to burn her a copy as well. Then I thought, hey, *I* like the songs as well, so I’d make a copy for myself. (By golly, I’m getting my money’s worth out of this music! Sneaky AND cheap, that’s me!)

When I picked the kids up from school that afternoon I had the cd playing in the van. Brayden immediately noticed and I told her I had burned her a copy. Then I got the expected, “That’s no fair!” from Kendrie, until I told her I had made her a copy, too. Then Kellen wanted to know if I made him a copy. Um, well, you see, son, these are songs FOR girls, BY girls, ABOUT girls (voice trailing off) …………. So Kellen is now the proud new owner of the following songs, just to name a few off the disk:

She’s a Butterfly

Happy Girl


Just a Girl

Miss Independent

Super Girl

And best of all: I Don’t Need You To Tell Me I’m Pretty

And he loves them, ha!

Of course, I was eager to promote the underlying messages to him, as well. His self-image matters, too, right? It's ok for him to be in touch with his feminine side, isn't it? He and I were alone in the van this weekend and the song “Unwritten” was on. The gist of the song is that you have your whole life ahead of you, nothing is carved in stone and you can write the story of your life yourself. So I’m thinking yes, I can skew this to a male perspective, this song isn’t very girly, and he and I have the following conversation:

Me: Do you understand what she means in this song when she says your life is unwritten?

Kellen: Um, no.

Me: Well, it’s about how you are the person to make your decisions in life and you should try to make good ones. How everyone's life starts out unwritten, but if you write something down, you can make it happen for yourself.

Kellen: No, that's not true. If someone wrote down that they were going to be attacked by an alligator doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.

Me: Well, no, of course not. But it means things aren’t carved in stone and you can change things for yourself.

Kellen: Who carves in stone? Stones are hard. I don’t think you can really carve in them.

Me: It’s just a figure of speech. It means that no one can tell you what to do or how to act. That YOU decide to be a good person and you can be. Do you know what I mean by a good person?

Kellen: Yeah, ninjas are good. I want to be a ninja. Do you think I can be a ninja when I grow up?

(Sigh) You know what? Forget it. Forget all the lofty standards I’m trying to share. I don't think he even HAS a feminine side. Let’s just turn up the volume, roll down the windows, and sing.

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