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And what is life?

toilet paper and WC

Illustration: Vyacheslav Shilov

Conclusions

Hope Silver (www.hopesilver.ru)

– Life is a gift, – said the wrapping paper.

– Life is imagination, – pronounced the writing paper, confidently.

– Life is a rainbow! – exclaimed the colored paper.

– Life is current events, – reported the newspaper.

– Life is s[…], – concluded the toilet paper, gloomily.

(SILVER, Hope / Nadezhda Serebrennikova. Curious Things. Berkeley – CA-USA, 2015).

 

Different points of view, different perceptions, different conclusions. Different roles in life. Hope prevails, however. Nothing, no matter how determinist it seems to be, is definitive.

My daughter offered a new end to the story and to the melancholic toilet paper. Run out of other stuff, she filled with pieces of toilet paper the cute toys she was crocheting.

The lesson applies to the writing paper and the colored one, and is useful to the wrapping paper e the newspaper, after the present has been opened and the news has been read:

Life – with art – is fulfillment.

Crocheted unicorn and donut

An unicorn and a donut made of wool by my little girl

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You can also see:

The origami angel

From daughter to mother

This post in Portuguese: E a vida, o que é?

 

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Letter to my children

Dear Kids:

If, in the next year…

… we have to spend a sleepless night, may we enjoy the rare opportunity to watch the sun rising.

…we have to deal with a health problem, may we learn to understand our body signs.

…we cry, may the tears come like the rain that fertilizes dreams.

… we get angry, may we comprehend the immense creative power of that energy, when channeled.

… we are forced to stop, may we know how to wait, like the seed that is never late and is never early to germinate.

… we find obstacles, may we take pride in feeling like students doing a test for an advanced level.

… we have a loss, may we discover strength in faith.

… we face unmannered people, may we remember Francis of Assisi and be instruments of Peace.

… we are instruments of Peace, may dreams, health, happiness, friendship, creativity, patience, victory, earnings and harmony come in addition.

… and may the year be good.

hand with an hourglass

Image: Desktop Nexus

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You can also see:

The origami angel

This post in Portuguese: Carta a meus filhos

Juggling mother? No, thanks

juggling mother

Image: Journal Times – Tim Ludwig / The Wichita Eagle / MCT)

The term “the juggled life” suggests an existence characterized by ceaseless activity, awareness, and concentration, in which the real “trick” lies in maintaining the illusion of effortlessness.

[…] The consequences for successful juggling are even worse than the consequences of doing it poorly. The better at it you are, the harder and longer you will work. The more accomplished your performance, the more invisible your efforts become.

(MAUSHART, Susan. “The Mask of Motherhood – how becoming a mother changes our lives and why we never talk about it.” Penguin Books)

I work at the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil (House of Representatives), in the Social Communication sector. On March 31st, 2011, as part of the celebration for International Women’s Month, the talk show “Woman and her plurality of roles” was presented. The image for publicity was a sequence of illustrations with the same woman in several situations: as a manager, a mother, an athlete, a housewife and so on.

At that time, I had posted on Facebook my discomfort about that image: “not due to the plurality itself, because it can be enriching, but due to the insisting concept that presents the multitasking and perfect woman in all roles. It’s even said it’s an innate feminine brain attribute, meant as natural, with no question. To me, that “pedestal” just leads to a fragmented, exhausting and frustrating life.”

Woman and her plurality of rolesThe comments were nice! From the idea that everybody can be manifold, both men and women; the verification that we can assume a tiring madness even when we are aware we don’t need it. And the will of being only “me”, without any role…

My friend Vera Morgado, the event presenter, suggested me to open that reflection in the debate.

My question to the debaters was:

“So much is said about the juggling woman. But the juggler has the plates in the air. She doesn’t appropriate the plates. She doesn’t prioritize any of them in order to avoid them to drop. When a plate falls down, it’s she who breaks. And when she handles the plates, the show is over and nobody pays attention anymore. How can we get rid of this metaphor?”

The answers were very interesting!

The actress Elisa Lucinda talked about the danger for us, when we confound our personality with the tasks we do. She also asked us to not suffer with the dropped plate: “after all, there’s the saying ‘The rings go away, the fingers stay’ (in English, the saying is “Better lose the saddle than the horse.”). I say: ‘the breastpins go away, the breasts stay’.”

The psychologist Carmita Abdo said that we should take advantage of our feminine multitasking features in our own benefit, aggregating, pacifying, for our personal progress.

And the deputy (representative) Janete Pietá summarized, in just one phrase, everything that now I’m looking for:

“Better than being a juggler is being the circus owner.

It’s being the CEO of ourselves.”

white mug

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You can also see:

Only mothers are happy – Marusia speaks

Mothers in animated feature films, TV series and cartoons 3: why do we identify ourselves with them and see them as references?

This post in Portuguese: Mãe Malabarista? Não, obrigada

Advice I love

girls dressed as fairies

By Anne Guedes

Pregnant women and first-time mothers (and even the third-time mothers like me) are target for rains of advice. Sometimes, many interventions, from many sources and such varied contents can really cause confusion. But now I want to talk about “winning” advice, the ones that made and keep making the difference to me and I wish to share: advice I love.

From my sister Maria: “Don’t wait for your belly to grow to rub moisturizer.”

The skin must be previously prepared and hydrated, already in the beginning of the pregnancy, when the belly still hasn’t grown yet. So, you prevent sensibility and weakness that origin strias and stains on the skin. Actually, moisturizing is always important, for pregnant and non-pregnant women; we deserve this daily ritual.

From my friend Luciana: “The baby sucks with craving even in the first nursing.”

I had some idea about the difficulties of breastfeeding, mainly in the beginning, but I thought they were due to the nursing frequency, and not because of the suction intensity or the baby’s latch. Luciana’s statement was great and helped me not to be surprised.

From my sister Maria: “Everything goes away.”

In the post-partum, when we feel in the middle of a hurricane, with thousands of hormones under our skin, new incumbencies and never seen before emotions, we can be inclined to doubt that truth. However, if we allow ourselves to accept it, it makes us free. Everything goes away. And goes away fast.

From my friend Daniela, when I was expecting my second child: “When the baby is born, your oldest son will look very big.”

It is correct and valuable. My oldest son was only 2 years old when my daughter was born, but he looked like a giant in comparison to the new-born. The danger, wisely warned by Daniela, is acting as if he were grown-up and mature. The advice was great, to not demand postures and behaviors above his age. After all, he was a baby too, with needs, facing the absolutely new circumstance of his sister’s arrival, with whom he would have to share his parents’ attention.

From my brother Junior: “Children have happiness expiration times.”

Being aware of this wise tip avoids a lot of annoyances. When the “happiness expiration time” is up, it means it’s time to go home and rest. Insisting on doing anything else leads to suffering the consequences of an angry child, who will do everything to drive us crazy, and then the tour loses its purpose. It’s important to remember that, when you take kids to a “grown-up people event”, without activities that include or entertain them, their expiration time is shorter. It partially explains the fits in supermarkets and shopping centers.

From my kids’ pediatrician (who was my own pediatrician, too): “Hug your children.”

Shantala, massage during the bath, the need of being held in the lap, skin-to-skin contact: these things are largely recommended for babies. However, the fondling becomes rare as soon as the child begins to get big. Touching is not only for babies! 8, 9 year-old children, teenagers, even adults need a hug, being taken in the parents’ arms. This is therapeutic, prophylactic. Healing.

From my mother: “If you want to, you can keep your activities, you can work. But it’s very important staying home on your kids’ sleeping time.”

Sleeping time is sacred and has different representations in children’s minds – representations of tenderness, affection, shelter. It’s worth trying it.

And you? Do you have a “winning” advice?

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This post in Portuguese: “Conselhos que amei”

A short and bald guy – Marusia speaks

You had never imagined that the greatest love of your life would be a short and bald guy.” I didn’t like this wordplay. It’s not because I don’t have a “sense of humor”. I just think the ad is not funny.

I am not talking about “politically correct” things, that are, by the way, hypocrisy or, at least, a bore, to me. I’m talking about the perpetuating of some prejudices only to not “miss an opportunity to joke”.

To avoid somebody saying I’m grumpy, I’m going to transcribe a tweet I saw, also about babies and baldness – that’s really good:

Isabelly (5 years old), with her vast and curly hair,  observed the photos taken when she was a baby, virtually bald, and shoot: “Mom, was I born man?”

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You can also see:

Love is…

This post in Portuguese: Baixinho e careca – Marusia fala

Love is…

Visited site: http://fansofkimcasali.multiply.com/photos

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Who said that the models of perfection are only related to mothers? Fathers also have to carry them…

love is birth

Love is… staying beside her while the baby is being born. (Kim Casali)

 
Love is newborn

Love is… holding the new-born carefully. (Kim Casali)

 
  
love is newborn and father

Love is… believing that the first son takes after the father. (Kim Casali)

 
love is crying

Love is… getting up when the baby cries. (Kim Casali)

 
love is pride

Love is… being proud of your child. (Kim Casali)

 
love is playing

Love is… letting the kid play and jump on your belly early in the morning. (Kim Casali)

 
love is happiness

Love is… sharing the happiness that the baby brings. (Kim Casali)

 
love is diapers

Love is… changing diapers and… washing them. (Kim Casali)

 
love is difficulty

Love is… saying “our kid”, even when he/she is too difficult. (Kim Casali)

 
love is... jealousy

Love is… not being jealous when she pays attention to the children. (Kim Casali)

 
love is breakfast

Love is… making breakfast while she prepares the children to go out.

 
love is rest

Love is… tidying up the house for mommy to rest. (Kim Casali)

 
love is beauty

Love is… saying she is beautiful even when she is a mess. (Kim Casali)

 
love is flirting

Love is… flirting with your wife even after the sixth child. (Kim Casali)

 
Free translation of the texts from the “Amar é…” sticker album, published in 1980 in Brazil.

In 1980, Abril Publishing (Brazil) launched the first version of the “Amar é…” sticker album (Love is… – copyright: United Feature Syndicate). It was a huge success.

The naked couple was created by the New Zealander artist Kim Grove Casali. They illustrated the love notes Kim sent to her boyfriend (later her husband) Robert Casali, in the Sixties. In the Seventies, the drawings got a permanent space in the Los Angeles Time newspaper and conquered the world, shown in cartoons, cards and stickers.

I collected the stickers of the “Love is…” album. I was 8. I couldn’t complete it, but I have kept it.

Today, I found a curious thing. When children appear on the stickers, in most cases the message is addressed to the father: changing (and washing) diapers, getting up at night, playing… If we consider that the cards are from the 1960’s, Kim was a revolutionary woman!!! At the same time, a realist one: the father in the cartoons doesn’t deny he is annoyed with some of the new chores! hahaha

HOW CUTE!!!!

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You can also see:

Are your kids as mine?

This post in Portuguese: Amar é…

 

 

New-born

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”

(Rajneesh)