Don’t Be That Tree

The final entry in my week of guest bloggers is my friend Amy from Funny is Family.  I can’t think of a better person to lead this to the finish line!

I’m not sure how exactly I found her blog.  I think I was looking for some humorous family blogs for inspiration and happened upon hers.  I was hooked.  Her sense of humor and the way that she interacts with her family really spoke to me, and I have been a fan ever since!  Since I started following her she has become “famous”, being published in not one but TWO blogging compilations!  I’d like to think it was all because I started reading her blog.  Right? 

This post really fits in with the fall theme too, isn’t she smart like that? 

don't be that tree1One of my favorite things about living in Connecticut is watching the leaves change color in the fall. The phenomenon is gorgeous, and an entire industry is built here in New England upon “leaf peepers,” or people travel for the express purpose of viewing the fall foliage.

My favorite trees are the ones whose leaves turn a deep red color, but I love the yellows and the oranges, too. I adore the clean green tree that clings to its original hue when its neighbors are changing color all around, and the way the infrequent evergreens shine after all of the reds, yellows, and oranges have fallen to the ground.

The very best time is when every tree is a different shade; when they look different, and they are making the shift to winter trees on their own time.

I see people in the same way. I love when those around me act as individuals, allowing their leaves to be whatever color they are meant to be. How boring would it be if we were all green trees? If we all grew at the same rate, and lost our leaves at the same time?

All I want for my kids is for them to be safe, healthy, and themselves. I adore my kids’ quirks, and I hope they wear their uniqueness with confidence always. I struggle with the desire to conform, because sometimes it feels good to slip into the shadows, unnoticed. I find myself mimicking behaviors, or believing something if I hear it enough, or even trying to write like someone else if I read too much of their work. In these cases, I am not being true to myself, and I have to take a step back and find my center again.

Parents: Let your kids be their own tree. They aren’t a bonsai tree for you to clip and mold into exactly what you want them to be. Also, follow my tree metaphor to its obvious conclusion, won’t you?

I’m not saying conformity is always bad. Following social norms makes for a peaceful society, and we can’t all do whatever we want. Sometimes a line of matching trees looks nice. Uniformity has its own beauty, and I can appreciate that. Sports teams would look strange if they didn’t match. Soldiers present a united and powerful front when they look the same. To me, that’s different than letting our individual freak flags fly when we can.

Like people, I’m thankful for trees that look different. I appreciate trees that bloom in the spring or stay green all year long. I see beauty in trees with white, flaky bark or thick, rough bark. I appreciate trees that will bend with the wind and trees that are sturdy enough to hold a six-year-old or even a tree house.

Be your own tree. Lose your leaves when it’s your time. Don’t worry if you’re blooming at a different time than all of your other tree friends. Stand tall on a mountain or stoop gracefully over a river. Grow quietly in a backyard or wildly in a forest. Be whatever tree you are meant to be, and don’t stay green just because everyone else is.

Don’t be that tree.

Amy and her husband made two kids, a four-year-old girl and a six-year-old boy. She does not consider herself a housewife, as she owns no pearls and only one apron. Amy is a Huffington Post and Families In the Loop blogger, has been featured on BlogHer, Aiming Low, Mamapedia, Scary Mommy, Bonbon Break, Mamalode, and In The Powder Room, and is a contributor to the books, “You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth”, and  I Just Want to Pee Alone. You can find Amy laughing at the absurdity of parenting on FacebookTwitter, and Google+, and pinning things she’ll never do on Pinterest. She writes embarrassing stories about her family and herself at FunnyIsFamily.com.

autumn-leavesThank you so much for joining us for this fall’s Week of Guest Bloggers!  In case you missed anything, I’ll have a round-up of all the wonderful posts I had this weekend!

Ready for Fall

I’m ready for fall.  I’m ready for leaves changing color, weather cool enough to wear sweatshirts, and being able to put away the tank tops and shorts for a while.  But what I’m really getting antsy for is Fall TV.  Does that mean I need to get a life?

This has nothing to do with fall TV, but when I think of TV I think of this…

We don’t watch a lot of “new” TV in our house that isn’t sports or PBS.  My husband and I have a few shows that we regularly watch.  In his current mostly unconscious state, my husband doesn’t view a lot of TV shows anyway.

Let me state right now that we shun almost all things that are even remotely reality TV. If you want to quit reading my blog forever right this moment, I understand.  A couple of exceptions have occurred to this rule.  We watched “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” when it was first on, mainly because it reminded me of college (hey I was a music major, you figure it out.)  I watched one season of “America’s Got Talent”, simply for the fact that one of my good friends from school made the finals.  Then I lost interest in it after that.  We also viewed quite a bit of “Iron Chef America” when it was on at dinnertime, but it’s never been something we make it a point to watch regularly.  We have several episodes of “Restaurant Impossible” on our DVR.  Not sure if we’re ever going to watch them, at least not together.

I like comedies.  I really don’t watch anything else, except for a few older few sci-fi shows.  Maybe I’m just too ADD for dramas.  I like to laugh.  And by golly I’m ready for some new episodes of my favorites.  I’ve checked out a couple of the new shows that have already premiered.  I don’t know what to think.  They’re ok, I guess.  I know you can’t really judge a show by its pilot episode, but so far I’m not really sure if I’ll keep watching or not.

My husband’s and my favorite show on TV right now is “The Big Bang Theory”, in case you haven’t figured that out from reading this blog.  We understand a lot of stuff they reference on the show because we’re geeks.  It really adds to it when my husband will pause the show to read the formula written on some board, and he is able to explain it to me (he took Quantum Physics for fun you know).   My other favorite is “Modern Family”, but last season I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had.  I guess it really depended on the episode.  I adore Cam-I had some friends who are just like him.  We both really enjoy “The Middle”, because it’s very much like our family.  My husband is a geek version of Mike Heck, and our son is very much like Brick.  We are middle class people barely making it, much like the people on the show.  It’s mean sometimes but oh it’s FUNNY!

Some shows just have to ruin it for their fans.  We used to love “Bones”.  It is funny and witty and well written.  The characters are great, we are big fans of Hodgins- who else do you know who gets excited about fecal matter?  However, when Emily Deschanel became pregnant in real life they decided to write it into the show, but they went about it all wrong.  They had her get together with her partner.  Nooooo!  There goes all the will they or won’t they fun!  That very rarely works on a show.  We still watch, but it’s just not as enjoyable.

The only show that started last season that we really liked was “Whitney”.  She is one of Evil Genius’s favorite comedians.  The show is like a really warped version of “Friends”.  It’s very different from other shows-I know a lot of people DON’T like it, but I am very happy it’s coming back.  We tried to like “The New Girl”, because we love Zooey.  Some of it is very funny-the Thanksgiving episode was hilarious and we still refer to it.  But we finally came to the conclusion that somebody just decided to turn Zooey loose and let her get as crazy as she wanted.  As much as we wanted to like it, we quit watching it.

“Family Guy” is truly unique.  It really takes a certain type of humor to like that show.  My husband loves it.  I really like it, but there are some things that just plain go too far-which is exactly Seth McFarlane’s intent.  There are some episodes that I love to pieces, and some that are more disturbing than they should be.  We don’t watch it like we watch the other shows, but we do catch it when it’s on.  On that note, I must admit to laughing hysterically at “Robot Chicken”, but that show is so disturbing… yet some of it is sooooo funny.

The one show that I keep forgetting about that is really funny is “Raising Hope”.  I forget it’s on.  I even have the DVR set up to tape it, and I forget to watch it.  Then I’ll have a night with nothing to do and will watch every episode and laugh my butt off.

I have mentioned quite often that we are both geeks, as referenced in Embracing Geekdom.  We both love Sci-Fi, and are big fans of Star Trek.  There isn’t really a show on that is that genre that we watch at the moment.  We have watched “Being Human” (the American version).  Our interest in that show comes and goes.  We really like the characters, we just don’t always like where it’s going.  I’m not a huge fan of the really dark gloom and doom shows that tend to be on.  I watched the new “V” series for quite a while, then it just got depressing.  I wasn’t really surprised they cancelled it.  “Heroes” was good enough to keep my interest for quite awhile, but when Evil Genius got bored of it, I just quit watching.  It was just too dark and depressing.  I like to laugh!  Maybe those dark and gloomy shows tap into my anxieties a bit too much.  I like to look forward to what is going to happen.

I secretly view “Parenthood” each week on nights my husband is gone or in bed.  I get a little irritated at some of the stuff on it, like why does Lauren Graham play the same character in every show she’s in? But I genuinely like it.  The reason I view this alone is this:  if Evil Genius sees I’m going to watch it, he’ll watch it too.  And then he’ll make fun of it, because there might be some warm and human stuff going on.  We can’t have that in our house.  Or he’ll ask 5,000 questions about who is who, what has happened, why that happened, and THEN make fun of it.  No, I don’t go there any more.  I’ll save it for when I can watch it sans mockery.  It’s as close as I get to a soap opera, and I hate soap operas.

Our favorite shows in the whole wide world besides the ones I’ve mentioned are “Friends” and “MASH”.  If there is an episode on, chances are we’ve seen it.  Most episodes of Friends we can recite.  Is that sad?  I don’t think a day has gone by in our house that we don’t quote an episode of that show, unless we are sick.  We own seasons 1-7 of it.  Someday I hope to own them all.

Do you watch much TV?  Good for you if you don’t, you’re more strict than I am.  What shows are you looking forward to this fall?