The Wilder Life: August 2015
08/04/2015 08:58AM ● Published by Aimee Cormier
Gallery: The Wilder Life's Amanda Harris [1 Image] Click any image to expand.
By Amanda Harris
Welcome to The Wilder Life. In 2011 William Wilder Bedgood came roaring into the world making this girl a mother and forever changing the way I look at life, love and all that matters. I’m a style editor, mother to a wild and wonderful 3-year-old and a maker of gluten free roux. Join us each month at The Wilder Life for adventures in motherhood in Acadiana.
In the few short years since I gave birth, I have learned there are no perfect mothers, perfect children or perfect lives. And so, I have learned perhaps one of the most valuable lessons of all: that imperfection is not failure. It is my hope that The Wilder Life is a reminder that parenthood is not a test. It’s a road paved with peanut butter, Desitin and tears. It’s falling down over and over, but getting up anyway. It’s unmatched socks, sleepless nights and the kind of love that softens your heart, breaks it and heals it all at once.
The Kids Are Gonna’ Be All Right
Are they? Are they really going to be all right? In the midst of Facebook’s war of never-ending opinions and soapboxes, my favorite post is this one, “What’s Right With America?” I’m not trying to rain on your rainbow parade or silver lining your apocalyptic cloud, but life is all about perspective. One simple story I’ve clung to on many dark nights is this: Two women in prison looking through bars – one saw dirt and the other saw stars.
Whatever your beliefs are right now – America is a beautiful place to be. Quit shaking your head. I know what I’m talking about, because I’m here and I’m living it.
The truth is that our lives always have been a series of choices no matter where we live or what the law of the land may be. Every choice, every word has a consequence. Even when consequences change, we each still have a choice about what we do with our lives. And that’s what’s right with America.
Do I worry about the world Wilder will grow up in? No. Gasp. I don’t because I know that no matter what this world has to offer and no matter what the world tells us, he will have a choice. I know that his worth and his future are in the hands of but one — Jesus Christ.
There was a time when Christians were thrown into lion dens and arenas for sport. There was a time my African American friends would never have been considered a friend or be allowed to sit next to me in a restaurant. There was a time I wouldn’t have been able to vote. Or when my divorce would have ended in stoning or being ostracized from the church. That being gay meant being a modern day leper.
It’s not that I don’t care about the future of this country. It’s that I know the thing most of you know, but have likely forgot. The thing about life is this – it goes on until you die. And every single day is in the hands of the Lord. He never says, “Oops, didn’t see that one coming.” We have free will.
Should every person fight for what they believe? Yes. Here is what sticks in my craw, the wringing of hands and lamenting when someone doesn’t get their way followed by the “but, what if, what if, what if?” Recent events are not the cause for concern. The fingerprints of hate, the thoughts residing in people’s hearts have always been there. It’s as though recent events served as a fingerprint dust revealing what always lived within the people we thought we knew so well.
I increasingly hear others say that we are not allowed to have personal opinions. And that’s a lie. A culture of overexposure and social media has given us a platform and a sense of urgency to announce our personal beliefs on everything from confederate flags and a gay marriage to who has the best king cake (Keller’s, obvi and if you say otherwise, you’re dead to me.)
Life unfolds like a series of dominos. The catch? We only get to see the one domino in front of us. Do the right thing and let the rest fall where they may. If I were to worry for these kids, what would that worry be? It would be that we live in a culture saturated in disingenuous people; worthless “heroes” and leaders who exploit beliefs for political gain, both sides, and that the next generation would be blind to it. Good news, we’re here to teach them better. It would be concern that the sexualization of our daughters has reached critical mass and that our boys will think this is normal. Good news, we’re here to teach them better. It would be that the world has taught us that to disagree with someone in one area is to hate them in every area. Good news, we’re here to teach them better. It would be that there is no balance between rights, beliefs and personal choice. Good news, we’re here to teach them better.
So, what’s right with America? We have so much freedom we don’t know what to do with it. We have so much clean drinking water we put it in fountains and just give it away. We can have as many kids as we want. Apply for the jobs that we want. Worship and sing and praise as we see fit. Send our kids to school for like, a dozen years … for free. We can wring our hands and lament and I can stand in my front yard and read Psalm 62 out loud whenever I want. I haven’t done that, but don’t put it past me on a rough day.
The thing about America is that we are young. Maybe a teenager. Maybe a quarter life crisis. Things were not perfect before last week. They are not perfect now. We live in a broken country, because we’re comprised of broken people. It’s my prayer that in Wilder’s generation #lovewins is a true representation of the world he lives in. That people spend more time being bold, but compassionate. That his generation does more than write posts about what’s wrong with this country. That his generation would find a way to correct the things we aren’t getting right today — to live with both acceptance and passion.