BatWoman, Cinthia Milner,

To My Granddaughters: Go Be BatWoman!

My darling grandgirls: Go be BatWoman.

Let’s start with boys. It ain’t about the boys.

We live in an age where women have more freedom than they likely have ever had, and sadly, I’m watching girls (ages 18-21), make idiots of themselves over your uncle. These are college girls that are old enough to know better. I asked one girl if she’d ever heard of feminism. And, I don’t mean the kind of feminism that promotes freedom of sex for everybody and their brother.

I mean feminism where women learn to treat themselves with respect, and to invest in themselves.

I’ll quote my dad (your Biggie) here: “Don’t worry if the boy is going to choose you. Are you going to choose him?”

Your personalities are developing, and I’m watching you become these ultra-cool girls (one day women) with specific characteristics that make you, you. But, I’ve seen it happen a billion times. Around age 12, you’ll disappear, and what will take your place is a boy-crazed girl who will do whatever it takes to get the boys to notice her. That disappearing act, it lasts a really long time. Sometimes a few years, sometimes decades, sometimes forever. And, it’s hard to make a comeback from that. So, fight for yourself. Fight for your quirky, smart, silly, lovely selves to stay present and open to the world.

Don’t disappear.

You’re beautiful, smart, amazing and wonderfully made girls. Go be BatWoman!

That’s enough about the men.

go be batwoman

 

Now for the women in your lives. Pick great women to follow as role models and keep good girlfriends close.

Preferably women who have suffered and survived. Because you will suffer yourselves, that’s a given, and you’ll need the inspiration to keep going. But more importantly, pick women who are humble. Arrogance, pride, haughtiness–the whole diva mentality our culture promotes–it suits no one. Skip the Kardashians, and look to women like your mom, or my mom (Maurme).  Aim to be like them. Aim high.

I chose a woman at my church. She decided she would be silent no more. Women would participate in church. The pastor (male) agreed. They chose a Sunday and she served communion that day. Almost all the men ignored her. They would not receive communion from her–a woman. Twenty years later, I serve communion hand-in-hand with the men in my church, thanks to her. I never forget the road she forged for women in my tiny church.

See, that church is tiny. That community is tiny. That meant her friends and neighbors shunned her. But, she stood up anyway.

It isn’t always on a world level. It’s generally in your small world of friends and family, and girls that is hard.

And since I brought up Maurme, follow her example and cultivate good friends. She had such wonderful friends, and her life was so full because of them. Follow her example, and be a good friend. Choose your friends wisely. Don’t go for popularity, go for sincere. Go for the girl who’s got your back. Go for the girl you can call at 2 a.m. Go for the girl who doesn’t ditch you because she has a date. Go for the girl who would never utter the words, “I don’t have a lot of girlfriends because I really prefer a man’s company.” That girl. That girl is poison. Translated, all that means is, I like to flirt with men and prefer their attentions over trying to be a real friend. Avoid her. She’s the one who will seduce your boyfriend or husband. If you find a real friend, be a real friend to her. Be known for being a good friend.

You will need your girlfriends. Keep them close. Keep each other close. Never abandon your sisters.

go be batwoman

Find your passion.

Find something you love, and let that be your work. God created us for work. God gave us talents and skills. So, discover your’s, develop them, and use them. And, do not let dream-dashers destroy your dreams. There are so many dream-dashers in the world. Mostly, they’re people whose own dreams were dashed, and so now, they dash other’s dreams. Just skip telling those people anything about your dreams. You’ll end up second-guessing yourself. Instead surround yourself with cheerleaders. And, don’t forget to be a cheerleader for somebody. There is a center in the universe, and as much as you are the center of my universe, you are not the center of THE universe. Remember that.

You have an obligation that is hand-in-hand with your dreams. To help others.

There is a world out there, with women who don’t have what you have. They can’t study, drive, vote, own property, they are property. Remember while pursuing your dreams to find a way to help them pursue their’s.

And by the way, it’s okay to fail at your dreams, but it is not okay to never try.

Go be BatWoman.

Okay, I did a little man bashing, but really let’s do some real talk about men.

Let’s talk about the ones who are already a part of your life. How fortunate are you to have your dad? He adores you. He will protect you and guide you. Let him while he can. And, don’t forget the other men who love you, and will always be there to support you. Your uncles, your grandpas. Our society likes to make men look pretty stupid. Any sitcom will teach you that, but the men in your lives are awesome. You’ve been blessed with some of the best. Call on them for help when you need it. Anything from fixing your car, to making you laugh. They love you so dearly.

And then, when and if you’re ready for a relationship, remember how they treated you and expect no less.

BatWoman, Uncle and Niece, Cinthia Milner

Uncle and Niece

Finally, hold tight to Jesus. People will tell you he’s not real. But, your YaYa has been holding tight to him since she was 32, and she knows, he is real. Listen, sweeties. Life won’t be all candy and sisters, and Frozen and Star Wars and all the things you love. You will suffer and be broken.

Remember this, my darlings, your YaYa prayed for that very day when your suffering comes. She prayed that you would stand firm, and stand up under it. She prayed for that day while you were still in your Mama’s womb. Not that you would be protected from suffering, but that you would be fierce under it. You have strength you do not yet know about it, but it is there. Access it, and then give the glory to God. He has promised never to leave you, never to forsake you. Believe it.

Now go be BatWoman.

YaYa

 

cinthia milner, transplanted and still blooming, golf

Why I’m Considering Golf

It’s Wednesday. I write about gardening on Wednesdays. But this week, I will focus on golf.

I’ve never liked golf. Here’s a few reasons why:

  • My childhood was spent waiting on golfers. Have you ever waited on golfers?.They always play an extra nine, no matter what time the dinner reservations are.
  • Silly shoes.
  • Hate the shirts.
  • Too much equipment.
  • No one gets to talk. (Spend an entire 5 hours together and never get to speak. Huh?)
  • I wish they’d go organic on the golf course.
  • It’s just a ball.

So, why am I considering taking up golf? Turning in my Felco’s for Hello Kitty’s Complete set of clubs?

At Mom’s memorial, the only real memory I have is of my granddaughters (their smiles were the best), and the golfers. Tons of golfers came through the receiving line. They were part of Mom’s weekly golf group(s). She played every week (several times a week) at a local municipal golf course with a ladies’ group (and other groups that included the men).

These people were ancient. I mean like 92, 87, 95. Most of them still playing the game. They were vital, happy, energetic folks who didn’t seem to realize they were old. One after the other offered their condolences for my loss, while telling me about their last golf game with Mom. Those games always ended in dinner or a late lunch out, accompanied by lots of laughter.

My College Son said, “Mom, golf is the fountain of youth. You might want to consider it.”

He is so right.

I always wondered what my mother’s secret was. How did a woman, who lived alone, who worked until the day she died (literally, she was getting ready for work), whose children could have been so much nicer to her (speaking for myself here), have so much excitement for life? Golf.

My mother adored the game. She was so thrilled when she played a good game, that I generally got a call to tell me about it. And, nothing made her happier than a day dedicated to 18 holes. Traveling 2 hours away to a course for the day just made it better, because then the entire day was about the game. Pure heaven for her.

I never understood her passion, but I listened as she talked about the “Dirty Dozen” (one of her golf groups), or the “Hilly Dilly” (no clue). She was like a kid. She watched the game on tv, talked about incessantly, and played it every chance she got. This made gift buying for Mom super easy.

I’m learning what the phrase, “Getting old is not for sissies,” really means. I thought it referred to the bodily aches and pains that accompany aging. That factors in, but what it really means is that with aging comes loss. My pre-50 years were full of friends and family I so dearly love, but as I passed the mid-mark, I started to lose many of them. This year I’ve lost a brother-in-law, father to my nieces, and now my mom, my best friend and role model. It isn’t my body that aches but my heart. Both parents are gone, my ex-mother-in-law, my brother-in-law, and many friends. And, the years ahead bring promise of more loss, more dear souls in heaven, and less here. Dang right aging is not for sissies, and my mom was a lot of things, but sissy did not describe her.

She was determined, stubborn, strong-willed, independent, passionate, creative and kind. And, after my dad died, instead of shutting down, she played golf. While my sisters and I were busy building our families in the years following Daddy’s death, she was playing golf. She was enjoying the game, the camaraderie, the outdoors, the competitiveness, the beautiful courses, the friends, the dinners. She was re-building her life on a golf course. She had played some with my Dad, who also adored the game, but really she played after he died. Maybe that was a good way for her to grieve.

Mom’s golf buddies were tearful and sad about losing her, but their eyes still had mischief and delight in them. They were quick to laugh and quick to tell stories of their golfing adventures. I watched 92 year old eyes twinkle and 85 year old smiles erupt like children, as they recalled one adventure after another. I may be wrong, but it appears that more happens on a golf course than a game. It appears that friendships are forged, adventures are the day’s fare, life is lived, and for 18 holes, old age is kept at bay.

Truly, I could consider worse.

Mom

Mom, a good day of golf; she had a 42 on the front 9. One of her best scores.