Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My Own Hero's Journey: Motherhood (fighting culture)

I often bemoan the "lowest common denominator" mentality of my family. I feel I spend my life compromising and lowering my standards to get along with my husband and sons. I don't know if it's a male/female thing but I have a strong dislike of video games and they all love them. And, because the oldest one is almost 17, he can play games and watch movies that are not appropriate for younger children but often, the 13 year old and even sometimes the 5 year old wind up seeing them anyway. I was so careful, when Declan was young, to shelter him from harmful media and junk. But I had to work and my parents watched him and he watched network TV at their house and before I knew it, he was well-versed in "Power Rangers". And then we started homeschooling and he was younger than the other kids and didn't know how to make friends and they were all collecting "Pokemon" cards and so I bought him his first set. It's been a downward spiral of giving in to popular culture since then. Carmac has been exposed to waaaay more media and much more mature viewing than Declan or Zed ever were until Declan hit 12 or 13. It's so hard to shelter the youngest who has older siblings.

Oftentimes I think about how I would like to be challenged to be a better person by my family. I feel like I have these aspirations to a more wholesome life and to living in a more spiritually centered way but that I always have to compromise myself and my beliefs to keep some amount of peace in our home. This morning, as my husband (doing his best "Andy Griffith" impersonation) talked with one of our sons about his apparent "malingering", I thought of parenting as a hero's journey. This is the spiritual path. This is the path I am on; the only one for me. My challenge is to take this life and make it a spiritually centered one. I am the one who has to find the Light in the darkness of first person shooter games (not allowed in our house but sometimes snuck in anyway) and Swedish "death" metal (music). My job is to be aware of the fact that I am the hero in this journey and I have to find the high road. I am here to prepare my children for their own journeys.
(this is by artist Ryan Dunlavey: http://dunlavey.deviantart.com/ )

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