Fostering

I’ve come to some realizations about me, my life, and my future over the past couple years, most of them more recently found than others. I’ve come to accept that I may not get married or have children one day, but that my career is what I want the most and that marriage, or at least a ‘nonlegal’ marriage since marriage recognized by any legal system can take away more benefits than it can give (mostly monetary), is second but still sorely wanted as I crave companionship. I also have realized I might as well just admit some things to myself and fall full in. But I won’t yet because I’m stubborn and have issues. What I have realized, though, is that children aren’t a ‘need’ as some sort of long lasting relationship and career are. Yes, I want kids. Yes, I want to help children. But if it doesn’t happen? I’ll probably be sad and wonder ‘what if’, like with all things, but it won’t be something constantly at the forefront of my mind, only every now and then since I would intend to lead a full life anyhow. But, with that in mind, I’ve always known I have at least wanted to adopt one child of my hopeful two because 1) who wants to go through labor twice and 2) I want to help at least one child who lacks a family.

With this in the back of my mind, I had read something today that only briefly mentioned fostering due to it being relevant to the topic, but that had my think “Hey, if I don’t have kids, I could always foster some until they find a family.” And that sounds like a pretty good deal to me. When I’m better off, I won’t have to worry too much about the monetary cost of having children and fostering more or less would mean that the cost would be even less. I would make a difference in some kid’s life and, while it is vastly different from being a parent, I will still get at least a similar experience.

I still would like to have at least one child if fate would allow ti to be so, but if I can’t…there are other options. So if I can’t have a child because I have no one to have one with or if I am too old by that point that I physically cannot or some other reason, I could at least foster children. Like I said, I would so love to have one of my own little terror, but so long as I can help a child, not jsut with my hopeful career, I’ll be happy. So long as I can love and be loved by a child, I’ll be happy.

Yes, I know, ‘technically’ I shouldn’t worry about children or husbands at my age, I guess, but I like to know where I stand and to have all my ducks in a row before I do anything. So now I know that by the time I’m where I can have a family financially (unless something happens before then, because who knows) I won’t be to concerned with being legally married and I’ll be happy with foster children. Basically I won’t be too surprised if I end up with a really unorthodox family. But I’ll take it or a more ‘normal’ set up, because my heart will be filled with love in either case. More love than it already is.

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The State of Children’s Clothes

Today I was walking through JC Penney, one of the stops on my search for a minifridge, and I saw a dress that caused me to pause. It was red, lacy, think maybe a high-low cut skirt. It was cute, something I would wear. Then I realized something; I was in the girls’ section, not even the juniors. Look over to the boys’ across the way and their clothes look age appropriate, the girls’…well, it all caused my to cringe.

A while ago I had read something comparing some short that are meant for a young girl and ones meant for a young boy, the boy’s most definitely longer and more age appropriate. The girl’s shorts were…well, they wouldn’t meet the ‘usual’ fingertip rule. The change happened after the children would get out of toddler clothes and, suddenly, girl’s shorts get shorter, and their dresses get to look more ‘grown up’. The clothes are meant for a figure the girls would not have as of yet, let alone a certain maturity. The clothes, even the non-dresses, clearly are not meant for playing, climbing, getting dirty. You know, things kids do. It looked as if, if you wanted to afford the young girl a chance to get dirty without ruining her nice clothes, you’d have to buy her what is counted as boys’ clothes. Now, I could get into the whole argument about segregating certain clothing articles, but I won’t because that’s a whole other thing. What I’m looking at as of the moment is how girls tend to, recently, have clothes that make them seem more grown up.

Often times people wonder why kids dress like they do now, mostly girls mind you (though sagging pants is awful for guys of any age, too), and why these girls try to pretend they are grown. When I was young, of course I liked to pretend I was older, but I still dressed like a kid. I had pants that weren’t tight, t-shirts, running shoes that may have lit up, and so on. Basically, besides the preferred colors and cartoon characters, my brother and I dressed the same. There were differences, of course, like I had some clothes (based on what selections were available, mind you) that were bejeweled, more often pink, and generally ‘lighter’ more ‘feminine’ colors. My brother had no such choices, not that he wanted those clothes, but still. There was still sex segregation, but none of my clothes, or dresses, look like they are made now.

I couldn’t find the dress I had seen, but this one I’m adding below is just as bad.

Girl Dress

It’s labeled for girls ages 7-16. Now, 16 isn’t that bad, but 7? What seven year old needs to/wants to dress like they’re about to go to a business meeting? The belt, too, looks like it’s meant to accentuate hips, which most seven year old do not have. Some do, yes, but not most. Though, I will admit, the belt is just a nice tie-in when it comes to the top and bottom halves of the dress. I’m not sure on the ruffles at the top, but that could just be me, I know. The bottom half, that on the other hand, is looking to be tight. Most seven year old girls are still hyper little balls of energy. How the hell is that skirt going to allow for much movement? I think I may be right in saying that it won’t. It looks nice, don’t get me wrong, if it came in my size I would probably wear it. But that’s the thing. I shouldn’t want to wear what is meant for little girls.

There seems to be more of a blending between older and younger girl clothes recently. Ones meant for women my age generally accentuate certain areas of the body, which can be nice if you want that. Whereas girl’s clothes used to be more along the liens of what boy’s clothes look like; meant for running around, getting dirty, rather shapeless to fit in with the fact girls do not have curves until after puberty. (And, if you’re like me, you have little, subtle curves that take a bit to reveal.) But, now, girl’s clothes seem to fall more inline with what society deems ‘appropriate’ for older women; not running around, no dirt, no playing with worms, no climbing trees. And, if you do those things, you probably have to do some work to find clothes that would work for that or, as dreaded by most little girls who think boys are ‘icky’, wandering into the boy’s section. I hated simply standing in the boy’s section when I was little, and if that mentality carries over to now, well, that makes things difficult.

It really makes one wonder about our current thoughts of girl’s, and with all the attention on how women are decided upon based on their looks more often than not…it’s a bit disheartening to see this early sexualization of children. Especially little girls. We have dress codes that, in some, explicitly state that the dress code is meant so that boys will not be distracted. Because guys can’t handle their base desires, and girls are clearly responsible if someone decides to lay an unwanted hand, or more, on them. But how can one expect a girl to follow these rather awful rules (a running joke amongst my friends, guys and girls, in public middle and high school was ‘ooh, girl, look at that sexy shoulder. Gotta get me some’ just to give some perspective if the clothes are made to show off what most girls below the age of 13 do not have? yes, I am aware girls are maturing, physically faster due to various possibilities, but that doesn’t mean they have to dress ‘older’. If I had a daughter, you can bet I’d learn how to make clothes or drag her to the boy’s aisle if I didn’t find anything that seemed appropriate.

Basically, how these little adult ideologies are trickling down to children’s clothes is a little disheartening. I want to walk past clothes meant for a seven year old and think ‘cute, adorable’, not ‘if they had that in my size…’

Millennials

    So maybe I’m procrastinating a little, tiny bit, but I want to get this out there before it leaves my head. First, I’ll start with a  bit of introduction; Millennials, Generation Y, the Me/We Generation, the Net Generation, along with so many other names is the name for the group of people born between 1980 and the early 2000’s. It’s a broad group, but so are the other groupings, such as Generation X, the Silent Generation, and the Baby Boomers. Granted, these groupings tend to be more based in America, but it still, I think, can apply to other countries because of the characteristics given.

    For Millennials, there is much written, and it’s not always positive. We’re called lazy and disrespectful and many other things, when, yes, it does apply tot eh children born in the early 2000’s, that I will agree to. But the rest of us? Those of us out of high school? In college? Running our own businesses? Not so much. The lazy, well, that I can’t argue against, but the lazy does push us to be more innovative in how to do things with limited work; the disrespectful is what I’m arguing. Children are…well, form what I’ve seen, aren’t so wonderful. There’s a few who are adorable and actually act like children, but then there are the others. At least up to high school freshman, they look like mini-adults, in a bad way. The girls mostly seem to dress with way too little clothing for their age, and the guys mostly look like mini douche bags. Children are supposed to be adorable, not scary.

    But when you get to the respect aspect, I will say some children do need to learn what a spanking is. My parents, while they rarely had to and usually did timeouts rather, they weren’t afraid to do that. The scariest thing in my childhood was, “Wait until your father gets home” and I would straighten up immediately, my brother as well, which in turn didn’t have our mom telling our dad. Except for once or twice, I think. I know to not backtalk my parents, even as an adult, since that is disrespectful, and my parents don’t deserve that. But children now…they seem to be of the belief that their parents are at their beck and call. No, no they aren’t. They are there to raise you into functioning adults; though if a child thinks their parent is to obey them, then that’s probably the parent’s fault. Which in turn creates a ‘rude’ generation.

    I am polite. I do not respect people until they earn it, it is not freely given, but I am polite. Up until you make me not be polite, which is usually hard to do. A friend and I (who is now dubbed JP) were talking about this very thing not too long, which is what is pushing me to write on this really; that and one of my classes is about Millennials. The thought that we both could agree on is that people our age and up are respectful, the rest…not so much. As much as I hate that they count as part of our generation, they are. I think there ought to be a sharp divide, give those children some other name, but there isn’t.

    I’m not saying all younger children are awful, because they’re not. But the vast majority, at least from what I have seen? They are. It scares me for what our future is to be since, after twenty or so years, those children will be the ones in charge of everything. Like I said, not all the children are awful, and maybe it’s because of where I live, but…it’s still a scary thought. And when people are asked to say what they think about Millennials? It’s probably going to be derived form those children and their behavior, which is where I believe the stereotype of us being rude comes from. There are many, many good things written about us as well, but with that stigma attached? I’m not sure if I could be completely proud to associate as a Millennial; maybe I could just slip back to Generation X?

    Yes, I’m spoiled to a certain extent, as my parents wanted to give me and my brother what they didn’t have. But I know to clean up after myself, I know I shouldn’t mouth off to people in higher positions (though I would anyway if they piss me off), I know that I have to deal with the consequences of my actions. And I sure as hell know that nothing is going to be given to me on a silver platter, that I have to work for it or I’m going to be stuck no place good. I know the value of money and, while from time to time I’m given to indulgence against logic, I still know not to use it all. Really, that’s the extent of my being spoiled; the fact I’m liable to use money when I probably shouldn’t instead of saving.

    JP mentioned she works at a summer camp and a child who she asked to clean up his own mess said, “I don’t pick up trash.”

    He was in fourth grade. Let that sink in a moment.

    But maybe if people start looking to those my age and above there’ll be a more positive light shown on this grouping. Don’t focus on the little ones who need to learn a thing or two yet, but rather those of us who are actually grown and classify as adults.

Put Yourself Out There

    So, between feeling like an awful friend/selfish for really no reason, plotting who to drag tot eh beach with me so I go at least once this summer, feeling like the stereotypical broke college student, making plans with a friend for next Sunday, and eyeing the frozen margarita in the freezer; a weird topic popped in my head all thanks to available phone backgrounds. I was contemplating to update my phone screen, so, naturally, I went looking on Zedge and somehow has updated a bunch of things involving ‘love is…’ and inserting little drawings and words and all that stuff. It’s adorable, really, but that got me to thinking about something one of my friends has said to me before; you need to put yourself out there.

    What the hell is that to mean?

    I know it might not seem to much fit to that whole ‘love is’ thing, but it does to me in a weird way. But, okay, some background on that thing a friend told me: I had happened to mention how I seem forever single, since it was fitting to the conversation at the time, and this friend piped up and told me I need to put myself out there. I have no idea what he meant, and he got a confused look from me. I never got the elaboration, but…that doesn’t stop me form wondering. One of friends, who happens to be the one who told me this, is rather honest and sweet, if a bit of a flirt, and has told me a few times that I look ‘cute’, as have some girl friends of mine. 

    As soon as I was told that, I started thinking about it and I have been since a long while since, well, I’d like to do the whole love and family thing someday, especially the former, and not have the cat-lady future I am fearing. I’ve only dated so many guys as I can count on one hand without using all my fingers, so clearly I’ve done something right. I’ve also had a couple guys ask me out who I…well I didn’t say no, I jsut never answered because I’m bad with saying no to people; but I didn’t see the attraction with them and didn’t want to waste my time which could be spent on other things. Maybe I’m picky and that’s my problem? Don’t know. 

    All I do know is that, if I happen to like a guy, I might dress up a little more, put some more effort into me morning routine, and my strangely naturally semi-flirty personality really comes out, but when I purposely try to flirt it’s a train-wreck to be perfectly honest. Though that’s besides the point. The point is, I do try, when I like someone…else…eh…don’t’ see the point in wasting time and energy. Perhaps that is what was meant when my friend had said I need to put myself out there, that I need to use more effort daily? That sounds a lot of work, though, which makes me almost decide to just deal with the cat-lady future.

    But, well, I hope. There’s a reason I feel attracted to Europe, maybe whoever is going to be stuck with me is over there someplace? Or maybe near my college? No clue.

    This reminds me of something else vaguely related. In a sociology class of mine, we had to go and write on a timeline where we hope to be at certain ages. I had finishing my master’s somewhere around 28-30, marriage maybe somewhere around 32 (assuming nothing happens before that or after, of course), and children probably not until I’m ‘mid-life’ aka 35. And everyone else had their children and marriage waaay earlier. Everyone else thought it was odd that someone would put children so far down the line when, really, I’m being realistic. My mom didn’t have me until she was 40 and my dad was 34, granted my dad was married twice before and already had a kid with his second wife before he met my mom, but still. I’m being realistic. Even if I meet someone and get married before my guessed age, I’m probably going to put off children until I have a steady job and am settled in my life; I don’t want to have to worry about money and such since, let’s be honest, to be able to support yourself and children, even one, you need money. Especially when college comes along. I simply don’t want to have any possible children I may or may not have to have to worry about what I’ve had to worry about growing up. 

    But what I’m more wondering on is why do people aim to do things so soon? Now, for the women, I guess it makes a hint more sense since that’s the ‘norm’, for women to have children earlier. Granted with women working now, it is slowly changing so that the norm is more what my goal is; family later in life. Even with the change, I was still the odd man out and it didn’t stop people form questioning the why. They all seemed to think that children and a significant other would be easily done early in life, that going to school while having that wouldn’t be too difficult, or that simply working and doing that is easy. It’s really not. Most couples that are married young, have children young, end up divorcing because of all the stress and so many other factors. Yes, some couples make it and that is wonderful, but the chances aren’t exactly on the couple’s side. I know, I’m being pessimistic, but from what I know, that’s how it tends to work. Now, a 20-something person and someone closer to, or in, their 30’s is not what I’m talking about, since that could go either way depending on various things; I’m focusing on people who could basically be high school sweethearts, since they’re both at the same point in their life and who aren’t mentally older. 

    Perhaps my pessimistic attitude is what keeps me giving off the ‘I’m putting myself out here’ vibe I apparently lack, or because the whole ‘settling down’ thing is no where in my short-term goals. If it happens in the short term, it does, if not, it doesn’t. I still won’t ever understand people’s want to do these things right away instead of waiting, considering how lifespans are longer than they were a hundred years ago, but if it’s what works for them, who am I to judge? But maybe one day I’ll understand exactly what putting yourself out there means and why people wish for things to be so soon. Maybe one day.