Monday, June 11, 2012

Hitting the Jackpotty.

I've been researching "best potty chairs" for my two-year-old daughter. I'm aware that I may be taking this whole "Things I need to Google" business too far, but whatever. I will not settle for a sub par potty for my baby. She has a delicate constitution.

I thought I'd go with the tasteful, mod lines of an all white Baby Bjorn potty chair. It would give our bathroom the pseudo-European flair that most parents with too much money and not enough quality time covet.

Or I could stick with my heritage. I could respect the long-held values and traditions of my Scottish mother's genes. This family heritage reminds me to value what's most important in life: a biting sense of humor, a deep-held irreverence, an inability to hold liquor, a complete disregard for restraint and good taste, and an unholy love of slot machines.

The Jack Potty from Safety 1st rewards your little gambler for making a "deposit" with bright lights and enthusiastic sounds. Not unlike the the siren call of Vegas, your child will be inexplicably drawn the bathroom over and over again. Because who among us isn't motivated to take a dump beneath flashing lights and a triumphant jubilee.

I can just see us opening the bathroom door and finding little Grace perched on the Jack Potty, cocktail in hand, cigarette dangling from her pouty lip, perhaps a National Enquirer resting on her lap.

Yes, baby. You're a big girl now.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

What's in a Name?

My daughter Grace with the Buddha.

I have a new post on my Buddhism blog, Buddha Mama Sans Drama. In it, I discuss the Precept-Taking Ceremony at my temple and the giving of Buddhist names. Just as I was posting this here, it dawned on me that we have two aptly named people in the photograph. 

The Buddha's name means "One who is awake." And we have a child named "Grace." It might seem odd that a Buddhist would name her child Grace, but I've always been attracted to the concept. I love the idea that the gift of love is given to us whether we deserve it or not. This seems a universal and beautiful idea to me, not specific to any religion or lack thereof.

When I was pregnant with my son, I listened to Sinead O'Connor's "Amazing Grace" almost every day in my car. Frequently, I was bawling. I was scared. I wasn't married and wasn't sure I could do this on my own potentially. There were some people in my life who didn't think keeping the baby was the right decision. But my gut told me that it was. 

I did feel as though I had been "lost" for much of my life and the certainty I discovered in my child was home. I had been "found." I could clearly see that this child was a gift. It was also clear to me that grace is love bestowed on all living creatures regardless of their circumstances, their morality, or anything else you might happen to think about them. We are all blessed with love. It is the human condition. 

This is what I believe. This is my faith. And I know that both of my children are the greatest gifts I ever received. Though I never felt I deserved them, I am grateful to have them. Amazing grace, you see.

Together they are Max and Grace. And I think of them as Maximum Grace. That is what they are to me.

Well, this link to another blog turned into a post itself. Read about the Precept-Taking Ceremony I saw this weekend here: What's in a (Buddhist) Name?