Wouldn't it be something if we could just lose labels? Instead of being "this" or "that" (fill in the blank because there are A LOT of them), we could just Be. Period. We live in a world of labels. We label each other. We label ourselves. We often connect our identity to external labels and external circumstances. Sometimes those labels are needed and useful. But, more often than not, societal labels are harmful. They are used to describe race, sexuality, political views, geographic origin, religion, socioeconomic status, fashion, ability, and more.
Labels can divide. Labels can exclude. Labels can polarize.
Yes, it is a simple-minded approach to a complex worldly problem. But how freeing. I truly do not want to be defined by such labels. I do not fit perfectly into the box that these labels imply. My kids do not fit labels. And I suspect, neither do you....
Yesterday, I saw an article in a local newspaper that used the words "Down Toddler" in the title. The article itself was good, but I am very disappointed with the title! Down Toddler? Seriously?
Years ago I learned that [in English] you should reduce unnecessary prepositional phrases in writing. Too many prepositional phrases can overcomplicate a sentence and obscure the main subject. I'm not sure why I remember this rule so vividly, but it has stuck with me all these years. (If you are a grammar nerd like me, there is more information on prepositional phrases at the end of the article).
I point it out because this particular grammatical rule may have played a role in the writer's word choice. Of course, this is all speculation but "Down toddler" may have seemed more to the point than "Toddler with Down Syndrome". It certainly kept the title short.
What the author failed to realize was that she labele...
Meal planning -- it's the thing that I watched from a distance for a long while, but until recently never worked up enough ambition or energy to take it on. It felt complicated to me. More overwhelming than helpful.
And yet, I wanted to make dinner-preparation time an easier, happier time. Because, let's face it, it's a difficult time of day for us. Isn't it for all families? The kids are hangry (hungry and angry) fighting over anything and everything, the baby is not content to be put down, the hubs isn't home from work yet, and all I want to do is sneak away to a dark closet where it is quiet and eat a box of oreos. But instead, I am searching the fridge, cupboards, and freezer for what's on hand and what can quickly be thrown together to nourish my family amidst the chaos.
I wanted to feel organized. Scratch that . . . I needed it.
I have a lot of books currently stacked on my nightstand. This is my personal library. My present reading list. All of these books have been purchased or given to me in the last year, with the exception of two that I dusted off from my book shelve downstairs. These are the books that I have recently read, am presently reading, reference often, or plan to read soon.
*Not shown is the e-book ("The Parent's Guide to Down Syndrome" by Jen Jacob and Mardra Siccora) and numerous library books that have also been part of this stack over the last several months.
Some of these books are for learning. Others for encouragement. Laughter. Knowing I'm not alone. Being challenged. And, still others are for pure enjoyment. To simply get lost in a thick plot with delightful twists and intriguing characters.
But what does this big stack of books say about me?