Michele Minehart

words & yoga

Category: if only

Learning our words

Mr. M entered that frustrating stage of toddlerhood where the language input is a vast playland, but the verbal output is excruciatingly minimal. “Ungh” and “eeeeehhhhhh!” apparently have two separate meanings but those meanings can evolve based on circumstance. Understanding early toddler language is worse than learning English as a second language. Using sign language as a bridge is helpful, but overall I feel as if I should be able to list “translator” on my resume following the job of raising non-verbal humans.

A while back, one of the children came home complaining that a boy at school had been kicking during meeting time. We talked about the appropriate course of action – asking politely to stop, getting the teacher to help. In this case, both of those avenues had been pursued. “Why would he hurt us?” they asked.

Well, I said, sometimes kids need something and they don’t know how to ask. Sometimes they don’t even know what they need, they just feel like someone needs to give them something, so they use whatever is available. Sometimes that means people hit or use unkind words, or don’t use words at all.


I wish these were isolated incidents. Yet life seems to be about learning our needs and how to express them in a way that actually fulfills them. How often do I crave connection and try to find it in the bag of Peanut M&Ms? Or seek approval through making loud and inconsiderate comments? What I’m asking for is love, but I never use those words.

What if we began to see all of the ways in which people simply don’t use the proper words? The rude person behind us in the checkout line. The irate driver in the lane behind us. The explosive father. The overly-involved mother of the playgroup. The disengaged husband. The drunk neighbor.*

We’re all seeking something and often it takes a lifetime to figure out both what it is and how to ask it of others. Our frustration grows as they don’t respond appropriately, giving us more milk instead of green beans, but we only have the sign for “more” and “more” of what remains a mystery.

Back in the day, my partner-in-crime, Kristy, would reach a point of stress and frustration and turn to me and say, “what I need for you to do for me is…” and she laid out exactly what was expected of me. Sometimes it was “5 minutes of quiet” or “carry this box to the other room.” Imagine if we all utilized this skill? Mommy, what I need for you to do for me is give me a hug. Dear, what I need for you to do for me is keep the kids for 2 hours so I can remember my personhood outside of their existence. Church friend, what I need for you to do for me is express you’ve forgiven me in a way that I can move on without always feeling I “owe” you.

Let us learn our words.  Let us be patient with those who don’t know them yet. And let us teach others how to use them.

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Shave me the effort

My sister once told me if she could choose any time and place to visit, it would be my Grandma Mary’s farm growing up. She had some great stories. Like when she rode home with her older sister, Glenna, after play practice and Glenna was “sweet on” the boy driving (note: I believe they were in a horse and buggy) and that boy put his arm around Glenna. Incredulous, as soon as they got home, Grandma Mary told her dad. When she went upstairs to dress for bed, Glenna came in her room to tell her, “don’t you dare tell dad that boy put his arm around me!” And apparently Grandma Mary just nodded and ducked under the covers.

Who wouldn’t want to see that play out? Or at least ride in a horse and buggy and watch the play. Or see Glenna’s face when the boy made his move.

Sports fans probably choose to experience events like watching Jackie Robinson get his first hit in the MLB. History buffs might return to some defining moment of a great war. (I’d love to hear in the comments what moment you would choose).

I would go back to the very first person who decided to take a razor to her legs. I would bust into her bathroom before that Schick got too close and beg for a second thought. This decision has the power to change the image of beauty and it will require a lot of time spent in the shower, I would say.

Why do we think we're better off shaving?

Thanks Betsssy for capturing this moment originally as not many put pictures of shaving legs up for a CC license.

At some point in our collective history women had hair on their legs. They accepted it as part of the curse and blessing of being a homo sapiens, along with walking upright and opposable thumbs. And then some woman, probably not in her most glorious of moments, thought, “if we take the hair off these legs, they’ll be smooth.” Why did she consider this as an option? What led her to this silky smooth discovery? What, exactly, was the problem hairiness, like all the other mammals?

Little did she know what would happen just two days (or, as is the case for some of us, 2 hours) later. STUBBLE. Oh, you can always let it grow back. <- LIE. The itching. She didn’t account for the itching.

Not to mention the nicks and cuts involved. I remember the day of my junior prom laying on the floor with my foot elevated on the couch because I had gashed my ankle to the point of gushing. I have yet to shave around the area where the foot bone connects to the shin bone without drawing blood. One would think that after 15 years of practice that I would improve my technique.

It gets worse. Years later, this misdemeanor evolves into “the brazilian.”. (WHAT THE?! Seriously people, what kind of person under the guise of genius inflicts such pain on other people? I’ve not undergone such a procedure but I can’t even write about the idea without wincing).

A quick googling will give you all kinds of interesting reading on the great shave, but does not provide me a date and place to stop this atrocity  when a time-traveling Delorian arrives at my door.  Until the interwebs produce more accurate research, I will stand with this gal in blaming the fashion industry. First, they sell us new and more revealing dresses, then they sell us a pink razor to make the look more appealing.

While we’re on the topic, then, I would like to call on the carpet the pointless act of making ourselves more tan and painting the nails of our extremities.  Now a few niche markets make bazillions by  inducing upon me time-sucking and sometimes painful tasks.

Sometimes, it really is a lot of work to be so beautiful, isn’t it?

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you know when you’re working too much

A clear indicator that a work-home balance needs made: you get a random Tuesday at home with the kiddos and you have a list the length of your arm of how you’d like to spend it:

1. Stay in jammies as long as possible.
2. Go shopping for their daddy’s birthday present
3. (Happen upon some jeans for mommy)
4. Hit up Goodwill
5. Stop by samozrejme to secretly get Miss M’s birthday present without her seeing it.  
6. Hit up Chik-fil-a for a morning play session. Maybe see if AB and her growing bunch want to join.
7. Get the makings to sew something
8. Paint the master bathroom. It’s been 3 months now. Seriously. 
9. Research something to write that isn’t just my blog
10. Plan a few summer mini-trips. 
11. Bake grain- / gluten-free muffins
12. Put a roast in the crock pot because I hate roast but I’m going to book club tonight!
13. Clean and generally get things around for a birthday party this weekend
14. Laundry. Well, I think I’d rather ignore laundry. This would go on my “I have a free day so I should get it done” list. 
15. Watch my baby take off on her crawling skills. 
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