Tomboy Gift List

With less than six days until Christmas you might be scratching your head trying to figure out what to give the spirited child in your life. Look no further than Crossing Arrows http://www.crossing-arrows.com. We have got you covered.

Product Plug Alert: The first item that we would like to suggest for the child in your life that is difficult to shop for is our graphic tees. They are made of soft material with unique sayings that will speak to the inner child in all of us. They can be found at our website www.crossing-arrows.com x-masThe next gift that would suit any unique kid is the book Iggy Peck Architect.iggy-peck

The third gift to feed the imagination of a child is a make your own robot activity.

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Another gift that is great for the rough-and-tumble little human is Rowan Christian Jeans the entire line can be found on our website http://www.crossing-arrows.com

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We hope that this has been helpful. When in doubt, give a gift that will nurture the imagination of the littles in your life. After all, that is the best gift you can give.

Wishing you a happy and healthy Holiday Season.

Warmest Wishes, Crossing Arrows

A Letter to a Very Special Birth Mother

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I believe all birth mothers are special and selfless and so many go through life without being praised for choosing life for their babies.  I hesitated sharing this letter because I am naturally a very private person, but I feel it is important to share my letter to Pamela for two reasons: to praise her for her selflessness and to encourage others to give praise to all birth mothers.  So often in an adoption case, the birth mother is left without support and I am hopeful that this letter will reach more birth mother’s who need to be told that they are the ones who deserve the praise.

An open letter to Allie’s, birth mother…my sister, Pamela.

Pamela,

I have delayed writing you (six years to be exact) out of fear, pride and quite honestly no words can do justice to what I wanted to express to you.  I’ll never forget sitting in the red booth in Long John Silver’s when you asked me to adopt Allie.  I thought you were so brave and courageous.  I choked back the tears because that moment was all about YOU.  All about the sacrifice you were making for Allie.  A sacrifice to ensure she would be given everything that was robbed from you in your life.  I’ll never forget every thought and emotion that was flooding my mind in that moment, and I can only imagine what was going through yours.

I knew the moment you asked me to adopt Allie that she would be so loved.  That she would be so talented and smart and beautiful.  Despite all the uncertainties that existed throughout your pregnancy, I was certain of one thing…God was in control.  God had taken a very uncertain situation and blessed us all in ways we couldn’t have imagined.  I am still so amazed.

Honestly, I was not prepared for all the emotions I experienced when she was born on that cold, snowy January day.  She was perfect in every imaginable way with her dark skin, coal black hair and black eyes.  I remember looking at her and thinking she was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.  She was so perfect and you took such good care of her throughout your pregnancy.  I remember sobbing when the doctor’s first handed her to me.  I sobbed because she was a miracle and because she was more perfect than I could have ever dreamed.  But I was also sobbing because you chose life for Allie.  I sobbed because you were the one who went through nine months of pregnancy, you were the one who delivered Allie in surgery and cried out in pain because the doctor had not administered enough medicine.  I sobbed because I got to go home with Allie while you were at your home recovering from delivery.  I sobbed because I knew that you weren’t prepared for the love you had for Allie, but you knew that life with mental illness and drug addiction was no life for her.  Nothing could have prepared me for that day.  It was magical and sad for me as I know it was for you.

I can’t tell you the number of nights I sat awake feeding Allie and crying because I was looking into the eyes of such an incredible baby and I knew you were in your bed experiencing separation and loneliness.  I cried because I knew just how much you loved Allie, as any mother would, and I simply couldn’t imagine being as selfless as you.  I’ve been given so much praise over the years for adopting Allie and for loving her so deeply, but the one that should be praised is YOU.  You chose life for Allie.  You sat aside your own desires of raising Allie to give her stability and a life of opportunity.  You, Pamela, are to be praised.  You are so selfless and I can never thank you enough for choosing me. 

I promise to love her fiercely every day.  I promise to support her and be patient with her.  I promise to encourage her and be her biggest fan…just as I know you would, had you been given the opportunity.  I promise that she will know and understand the FULL story.  Her story and your story.  I promise that as she gets older and better comprehends the full story, that she will admire you for your decision.  That she will praise you and be so proud of you.

I’ll forever be indebted to you.  Never forget the sacrifice you made for Allie.  I love you PK!

 

Just Keeping It Real!

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If you’re a parent, then you’ve probably noticed the gender stereotyping that exists in children’s clothing.  More parents are starting to talk about it.  More children are also taking notice.  My five-year-old did and she noticed almost three years ago; she was upset because the girls section didn’t have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles underwear for her and they didn’t have Superhero options in girl’s graphic tees.  She was put out by it at such a young age.  It was then that she decided she wanted to shop in the boy’s section…especially considering boy clothes allowed her to express herself better.  Allie was born naturally athletic and she has a strong personality with a lot of confidence; little girl’s clothes just didn’t offer her what she wanted.  This is where I came in.

For two-and-a-half years I received a lot of praise from people who thought it was wonderful that we let her choose to wear what she wanted; that we allowed her to be her own individual.  However, we had a few people in our life that didn’t love the fact that a little girl wore boy clothes.  I started hearing of other spirited girls (aka tomboys) who didn’t want to wear girl clothes because girl clothes were too girly or only focused on pink and princesses.  I heard of parents not allowing their girls to wear boy clothes in public and then allowed them to change into boy clothes when they got home and I thought, this shouldn’t be a struggle for parents.  We have enough struggles.  We have battles we fight ever day…especially with strong-willed, spirited children; why battle them with clothing.  So, I decided it was time to do something about it and Crossing Arrows was born.

We have big plans…plans of creating a line of clothing for these spirited girls that say no to gender stereotypes.  We have plans of growing a community for parents; one that allows them to laugh and cry and discuss the raw truth of parenting.  A community where we are real; a community that discusses the victories and the challenges of parenting.  We have no room for the parents who only tout the good and happy moments that make parenting seem so easy out of wanting to maintain a certain image…it’s not easy, so why should we fake it.  AND in addition to the awesome clothing line we are designing and the community for parents, we are going to kick some major butt in the philanthropy space.  We are going to take our passion for child advocacy and give hunger, abuse, neglect and sickness the big middle finger and we are going to give abundantly to organizations who support the cause for child advocacy and we are going to create a foundation that speaks up for those who cannot speak for themselves (children) and we are going to make their lives better.  We would by lying if we said we knew what this journey had in store, but I can PROMISE you this…we will not rest, we will not sleep and we will not stop until we master our mission.  Not just figure it out, but master it.

Okay, now that we got that out there…please join us in our journey.  We want and NEED your support.  Whether that is being an ambassador for us, telling your friends and family about our clothing brand, parenting community and our mission for giving back, or whether that is getting on our Kickstarter and getting your hands on our graphic tees and other designs by becoming a contributor.  We will be so grateful for your willingness to help us build our strong foundation and we will forever be grateful for your support!

Visit our Kickstarter campaign here to learn more about Crossing Arrows!  We would love feedback too and forgive me for rambling in the video.  I hadn’t had enough coffee yet when I filmed that.  😉

Passionately,  Tricia – Founder/CEO

Out of The Mouths of Babes

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If you’re a parent, I hope you can relate in some small way, to the account I am about to share with you.  If you aren’t a parent but hope to become one someday, you may want to look away because as my good friend, Hannah said, “hearing that story kinda made my uterus shrivel to the size of a raisin.”  Enjoy.

I was anxiously boarding the plane sporting a Spider-Man bag, a computer bag, a large and very hot coffee, and the sign of a headache approaching.  Following me onto the plane were my girls who were all very tired, slightly moody and not feeling so well from a fun and busy couple of days.  We were heading home and we resembled that of hangry zombies because we were all too tired to even eat.  We had all just popped a Dramamine, because of a terrible bout of motion sickness that I had experienced just four days prior.  I was hopeful that the Dramamine would hold the power of two things: to keep us from getting motion sickness (because apparently, it is hereditary as Grace can’t be in any moving form of transportation for more than twenty minutes without throwing up) and sleep.  I wanted us all to sleep on the two-and-a-half-hour flight home.  The last thing I needed was a bunch of grumpy girls and a pile of work awaiting my arrival home.

We made it comfortably to our seats with Allie taking the window seat in hopes that if she didn’t sleep, the window would keep her somewhat entertained because if you don’t know Allie…well, she thinks she must be entertained by someone or something always.  The window seat also kept her slightly contained because she knows no stranger.

As I got settled in my seat, I felt somewhat victorious.  I had managed to get my girls in their seats without an argument, without spilled coffee and without Allie feeling the need to jump into the cockpit to push every imaginable button that caught her attention in a magnificent way when the pilot said hello to her.  Right as I was taking a deep breath with closed eyes and a brief imaginary victory dance, I was catapulted out of my moment of silence by the following words that escaped my five-year-old’s mouth… “Do you ever brush your teeth?”

The following moments were like that scene in the movies when a lifetime of memories and thoughts flash across the screen within a few seconds.  Every imaginable thought came to my mind.  Some of which were…for the love of all things holy please tell me she isn’t speaking to the person I felt sink into their seat next to me; please tell me she IS talking to the imaginary friend I was unaware of; please for the love of my sanity tell me she isn’t speaking to another human being.

And then it happened…I opened my eyes and felt myself die…slowly and quietly.  DEAD.  Well I wasn’t dead, but I wanted to be when I opened my eyes and saw a woman sitting next to me with a look of horror and embarrassment on her face.  This sweet, kind and gracious woman wasn’t blessed with the best teeth and my unfiltered daughter felt the need to point that out in front of everyone around us.  I. WAS. HUMILIATED.  In that moment, I didn’t know if I was supposed to apologize profusely to the woman, give Allie the evil eye that let her know I disapproved of her question, give her a life lesson, quietly, on how God makes each of us different and some things we say to people hurt them and it’s better left unsaid, or to get out of my seat waving the flag of defeat as I ask someone to see to it my daughters’ get home safely as I find a hole to crawl into…I was at a loss.

So, what did I do?  Well, I looked at the woman and apologized profusely, then I gave Allie the evil eye that let her know I disapproved of her question and proceeded to give her a life lesson, quietly, on how God makes each of us different and some things we say to people hurt them and it’s better left unsaid.

Where in the heck is the parenting manual when you need one?  Page 1256 titled, “What to Do When Your Child Says Something Humiliating to a Stranger.”  Yeah, well, no manual exists.  There should be a parental boot camp that we all must go through prior to becoming a parent.  You know, a facility where we experience getting thrown up on when we are standing close to a toilet, where we walk through a mine field of Lego’s and where we are face to face with a stranger, moments after our children said something to them that is humiliating.  Sometimes this parental journey is beautiful and magical and gives us the warm fuzzies and other times the journey causes slow proverbial deaths and it makes us question our ability to properly raise these little humans. So, cheers to the parents who have experienced slow proverbial deaths.  Cheers to parents who take this journey knowing there is not a manual.  And if you are the person on the receiving end of these unfiltered little beings who speak whatever comes to their curious minds, please don’t take it personal.  I believe one of their jobs is to keep their parents humble.

I would like to report that Allie and this kind woman became instant best friends and spoke the entire flight home; Allie without so much as taking a breath.