about Blogs book exercise mamalougues contact Image Map

Thursday, March 28, 2013

We should be very afraid

If the Supreme Court passes the law to allow same sex couples in our country the right to marry, what kind of message is it going to send to my four sons?
I tremble at the thought, that they may learn that every single human has rights and that we are equal. My oldest son gets upset that he needs glasses and his brothers don't. Rather than telling him God doesn't make mistakes, I will need to make a disclaimer and speak really fast like car dealerships commercials.
*Unless you fall in love with someone who happens to be the same sex as you. If this is the case I cannot guarantee that God didn't make a mistake, he must have, because he wanted to make your life hard, and make it impossible for you to support the person you love financially or legally because the law says it is wrong. If this is the case, then surely, you are a mistake.
Maybe I am part of a new generation of parenting that wants my children to respect everyone and everything. You would think this would be the popular opinion. Especially in an age where innocent young lives are being taken tragically because someone didn't honor their right to live.
This issue is more about love than it is hate. My oldest son loves Minecraft, I don't. My second son loves origami, I don't. My third son is obsessed with the Lion King, I'm not. My fourth loves to run, I hate it. I admire their differences and passions. I revel in their uniqueness, and if you ask me, they are all perfect. And, if any one of my sons falls in love with a man, my feeling won't change.
In grade school I remember reading about Rosa Parks and for the longest time I couldn't figure out what the big deal was that she sat at the front of the bus. Why not? I thought. I had no concept of discrimination because I went to school with African American kids, in fact one of them even tutored me in math and I quickly discovered she was gifted in that subject. As I got older I figured out the significance of Rosa Parks' actions. I'm proud of my parents for not making color an issue growing up. I discovered on my own that the majority opinion back then was wrong, especially in the notion that white people were superior intellectually or otherwise.

Some day I hope my boys read about Edith Windsor with the same bewilderment. A woman who loved and took care of her significant other, had a legal marriage, yet when her partner died, she had no right to her estate because their marriage wasn't upheld. I hope they will look upon this time as a time when we just didn't know better. I hope they will be as proud I am of my parents for not making who you love an issue. However today, I can't say the majority opinion is wrong, because the majority opinion is wise to this issue.

As Maya Angelo said, "When you know better, you do better."

What I didn't see growing up is how hard it was for my parents to put earmuff on my ears to the hush the sounds of racism and discrimination. They did a pretty good job. I'm finding it to be difficult. Especially with the subject of same sex marriage. Unfortunately, even at church I have to counter balance any inkling that they may hear that marriage is only sacred if it is between a man and a woman. How can I explain that when most of their friends parents are divorced and they have seen first hand the suffering their cousins are experiencing from the end of my sisters marriage?

I would like to think that my husband and I are doing what every parent does for their child. And that is, raise them on a solid foundation based on unconditional love and respect for not only themselves, but humanity. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
So yes, we should be very afraid. Just as my previous generations were of black and white couples, or people of different races becoming lawyers, doctors, teachers and scientists. If the Supreme Court views everyone's rights equally think of what might happen . In twenty years my children may discover that 2013 was the year that we evolved as a nation and had finally learned the lesson that hate is capable of one thing, and that is to deplete ones mind of thinking intelligently.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Damn I'm good

A friend of mine messaged me that she was upset about how she ate too much ice cream last night and that she feels horrible about it.  The messaging continued and I realized that it wasn't about how much ate, but  more about her frustration.  She wasn't seeing her body changing despite her diligence with the gym and clean (most of the time) eating.  I then responded with, maybe you are perfect as you are and you don't need to change.
Just call me Dr. Phil. I have one line motivating zingers all the time. Sometimes they even surprise me.  I am the go to girl with a lot of my friends when they need to be reminded , in a funny, yet strait forward way to snap out of it.
I was speaking with *Jane ( names have been changed for their privacy) ;)  she is having some issues in the guy department.  Now, I haven't actually dated in over 13 years, but I reminded her that some guys are looking for more than one night stands and the right one will love her for all the reasons I do. She just needs to let her guard down for two seconds and let him see what I see. .... well mostly, some of her thoughts are better off said between us. (Trust me).
Of course I use this with the boys too. Lately I have been trying to explain that other people's opinions don't matter. Just because someone says something about you does not make it the truth. Followed by my favorite phrase,  " If someone called you an airplane, does that mean you could fly?"
I am really really good at picking people up or just celebrating when they are already up. Like a friend of mine inviting me to lunch so I could be one of the first ones she told she was pregnant. I was so very excited for her.  But with this high, also came an extreme low when a few weeks later she miscarried. Despite my moments of saying the perfect thing, there just isn't anything I could say in this case, I just listened.
As I have gotten older, I have tried to find the good in people, despite it being hard at times.  It is so  easy to find things in other people that you don't like. There is something beautiful in just about everyone but you have to pay attention. In some people, beauty can be as hard as finding Waldo. But it's there, somewhere. For example.  I have the privilege in seeing an ex-boyfriend  of mine on facebook recycle and renew girlfriends that all look similar to me.  And when I say similar, I mean to my 19 year old self, and they seem to remain that age too.  The beauty in him is that he is consistent.  The beauty in the situation, is that I didn't end up with him.
Sometimes people are so ugly, on the inside that it oozes to the outside and I have to decide to not associate with them, unless I have to...lets say, to earn a pay check.
I will toot my own horn and say that once I become friends with someone, I will try to make them feel better, not worse about themselves. The problem arises when I don't have anyone to turn to when I need it.
Not at the fault of any of my friends, who would be there for me in a heartbeat. But completely at the fault of my own.  I don't like to share things that are not positive.
I am the anti-cheerleader in my head.
Most of the time the reason I give good advice is because it is the opposite of what I tell myself.  My friend who over ate and I told she didn't need to change? I tell myself that its pointless and that despite how hard I work, I will never look the way I want to.   My friend who is dating and puts an invisible fence around herself? I'm married and still do that for fear that if Don sees all of my crazy at once, rather in small doses, he may not love me as much.
The ex-boyfriend? The pictures I see of him with his girlfriend de jour remind me of what a a horrible choice I made and how I wasted valubale time with him, and even more crying about it.
My friend who had a miscarriage and I didn't say anything. Well, that is because I wouldn't dare verbalize what I told myself when I had them for fear she would run and jump off a bridge. I tell my boys that other people's  opinions don't matter and it is how you feel about yourself  that really does. And although I believe that when it refers to them, it somehow becomes null and void in reference to me.
Will I ever be as good to myself as I am to others?
I'm trying. I need to believe that a friendship is give and take, and my friends are probably wondering why I only share happy things. It is certainly not because I don't have struggles, they are just going on in my head. 
Until then all I can do is celebrate the good things that happen with my friends and try and remember that good things that happen for me are no accident, but just a reflection of the good intentions I give to each of them. All the love that I have I give to my friends and family, but maybe in the future I can spare a little to keep to myself. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Brown Decade

copyright bowchicabowmom.blogger

My husband and I have officially closed a decade long chapter of diapers.  It all began in March 2003 in a dimly lit room on the 4th floor of Memorial Hospital. I should have been sleeping, but I was still on a birthing high. Not from the joy, more from the drugs. That extra dose of pain killers they put in my IV sent me to crazy town. Spewing memorable quotes like "He has a butt chin" and "I can't believe I  pooped on your hand".
I heard my husband call for the nurse in a panic thinking that our new son had expelled his intestines in his diaper, only to be educated that the black tar was not his guts but a natural occurrence for newborns.
That is how Don was given his first glimpse into an education that little did we know, would continue for the next ten years.  At two different times we had two in diapers.  With this last one, the 2 for 2 was brief (pun intended).  But diapers continued for the next  2 years 10 months.
With our last one, he is the closest thing to a self trained toilet user that we have ever known.  His brother was his accomplice in toilet bootlegging before we even knew about it.
He would have been trained months ago but when we embarked on our road trip to Florida he had the I felt it  would be the WORST time for under-roo enforcement.
I haven't spoken about this road trip until now and it is still very difficult to relive.

As we were in the mountains with cars surrounding ours Mount Oscar erupted. Apparently he had the stomach bug that had infested his school. In an effort to save something (I'm still not sure what because his clothes and car seat were ruined) I used my hands as a bucket as he vomited repeatadly into them and I threw the puke outside the window.  All from reaching backwards from the passenger seat  at 75 MPH. His brothers provided the commentary and the only thing that shut them up was when some of the vomit I tossed out the window sprayed their back window.  When he was finally finished (or so we thought) I turned around and  tried to clean my hands with McDonald's napkins which have the absorbancy of sand paper.  What we hadn't discovered was that he was erupting from the other end too.
We rode in silence until reaching the first available truck stop which also happened to sell fireworks.  I poured a Gatorade on the window in an unsuccessful attempt to clean it off. The sorry excuse for a truck stop only had 2 one person restrooms.  When I emerged from the bathroom holding a pale naked toddler I looked like I had been to battle with a port-a-potty.   We are all still suffering from post traumatic stress after, what has now been named the Brown County incident, mostly in part to the 3 sippy cups of Nestquik he had just consumed, to be honest I don't even know what state were in. Thankfully we only had 16 more hours to go.

I digress.

Here we are exactly 10 years later and I can finally omit diapers from my weekly shopping list.  If a two year old can act embarrassed of his family he certainly does when we break into the potty song when he using the toilet.  Its similar to a birthday at the Olive Garden. Word spreads quickly that someone is on the potty and once we confirm success the family breaks out in unison to the Potty-song. Its now a vintage song that  Don and I made up with our first son. It has 3 verses and when sung correctly, has operatic moments.  I will admit the excitement around Oscar's success had dissipated amongst his brothers, but Don and I are still front and center singing with gusto. Some people reward with M&M's we reward with a performance (jazz hands included).
I think that is why I have seen Oscar trying to sneak in to do his business unannounced. He is trying to avoid the production. He has even been known to have flushed, washed his hands before we even were on the second verse.

So that's it.  To think, I was only 25 when we began this journey.  I didn't know then, that I was not the only one who is capable of pooping in another person's hand.  I didn't know how many hours I would sit on a bathroom floor reading the entire Elmo potty series at least three times.  I didn't know that the character on their underwear would determine their success. I didn't know that I would risk a speeding ticket in order to get to a clean toilet in time. I didn't know that two adults would act like complete lunatics in an effort to avoid changing a dirty diaper.

I also didn't realize until now that our relentless effort resulted in my baby being capable of doing one more thing, on a growing list of things he can do without the help me.  In fact, all the time we spent reading in the bathroom has resulted in his ability to read without me too.

I spent so much time encouraging independence that I failed to realize that now, just a little bit,  I may miss his dependency.  But until his daddy, or his brothers have the stomach to be a hand bucket on the highway, I know I will always be needed for that job, and unless its in college, one I will do so....happily.