Sensory Overload

Pumpkins and pink items.  Everywhere I go there they are. Pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin coffee, pop tarts, bagels, waffles, oatmeal, marshmallow, beer, potato chips and even vodka.   Virtually anything you could imagine now available in pumpkin flavor or scent, most for a limited time of course.  People everywhere are gorging themselves all in the name of the season.

Even the Pumpkins are pink!
Even the Pumpkins are pink!

When not bombarded with all things orange and pumpkin, my eyes are overwhelmed with all things pink.  Walks and rallies, sports events at all levels and all products imaginable marketed in pink for Breast Cancer awareness month.  Watching football this week is giving me a bit of a headache with the pink shoes, gloves and towels flying around. Don’t misunderstand, I think it is wonderful that everyone is raising money to hopefully one day put an end to Breast Cancer. But let’s be honest here, would the NFL be repainting lines in bright pink if it was not profitable?

All hype aside, maybe you do not have the extra money to buy that cute pink whatever.  Maybe things are too tight to send anything in the envelope this time around. What you could do is something much more impactful, maybe pick up a phone and call a woman who you love and ask if they have had a mammogram recently.  This week I shared my own bilateral prophylactic mastectomy story with 3 of the women I work with.  Two of those women have breast cancer in their own families.  I encouraged them to be proactive talk to their doctors and possibly get tested for the BRCA gene.  I wasn’t even wearing anything pink.

The more things change……

As a child during the summer we had not scheduled plans.  No camp, no arranged sporting activities and no focus on much of anything educational.  My mother was a single parent and would head off to work early leaving us much to our own devices for the day.  We each had chores that we were responsible for but outside of those we would play.   How wonderful right?  The ability to freely run the neighborhood playing carefree.  Be home in time for dinner.  We played at this house and that, we ran through the open field and the woods and would take the trail to the baseball field.  None of these areas were anywhere in sight of my house nor did anyone ever think about the need to have constant sight on us.  It was the same for most kids that we knew.

Sadly, the times have changed.  It is just not safe to run so free.  Pull up a map of registered sex offenders in your area and wonder how you could ever let your kids out of there locked bedrooms let alone the house.

Someday’s I would prefer to just hold them tight and pretend the world does not exist.  Of course that would not be healthy for anyone.  Instead I am trying to raise my girls to be strong and healthy physically and mentally. Our summer has been full.  Soccer, basketball and karate camps to keep the girls sharp physically.  Library visits to keep little minds wondering and questioning.  We went today and picked up a new round of books.  Megan grabbed the 3rd in the Sister’s Grimm series along with three others.  My first-born is plowing through 2-3 books a week, my mother would have been so proud!  I have not completed 2-3 books in the last 20 years.  I just love to watch her as she reads, as if I can actually see her mind processing what it is taking in, just amazing! Today we also took time to work on some math lessons, for Madi time telling and money and for Meg geometry.

I remember when my mother would make comments about how things had changed from when she was a young girl.  We usually tuned her out or chuckled at some of the stories.  Now I am the one saying it to my children and the laughs come from the loves of my life.  Someday they will stand in my shoes, I can only imagine what things will look like then!