Friday, June 26, 2015

Love Wins

If you are an American, you know where you were today. Because today is the day that the Supreme Court decided that marriage is a civil right, that should belong to all persons, regardless of sexual orientation.

In other words:

We're All Gettin' Gay Married!

Okay, okay. It might just mean we're all married now. Like we have been, some of us. Like we should be if we want. But whatever.

As with any controversial decision, people have opinions. Strong ones. I do too. See, one of my children has come out to me in the last year. I have debated how much I wish to say on my blog and Facebook. As much as the child in question has wanted me to be open, I have hesitated. Not because I'm not proud. I'm so incredibly proud. But only because I didn't feel like my child's sexuality was mine to share. It's not my story.

That said, parenting my child, is my story. And today I can look at the future and know that whomever my children wish to marry, they will be allowed to do so. And I hope they do. Honestly, when my kid came out, my reaction was, "Find someone who loves you, and likes me, and I would love grandkids, but no pressure. You do what's right for you." Which, by the way is what I tell them all. What I have told them all since they were tiny. I really want my kids to find people who love them, and like me. I figure if they like me, I'll be invited to things.

And, today, my friends who have incredibly beautiful families, can now be recognized as such in all 50 states. I'm over the moon, excited about this!

My Facebook Page looks like a rainbow exploded. It's a virtual Pride parade with nothing but joy. I have been brought to happy tears over and over and over again.

Then I saw what Scott Walker (Republican Governor of Wisconsin) had to say:

“I believe this Supreme Court decision is a grave mistake. Five unelected judges have taken it upon themselves to redefine the institution of marriage, an institution that the author of this decision acknowledges ‘has been with us for millennia.’ In 2006 I, like millions of Americans, voted to amend our state constitution to protect the institution of marriage from exactly this type of judicial activism. The states are the proper place for these decisions to be made, and as we have seen repeatedly over the last few days, we will need a conservative president who will appoint men and women to the Court who will faithfully interpret the Constitution and laws of our land without injecting their own political agendas. As a result of this decision, the only alternative left for the American people is to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage.

 “Recognizing that our Founders made our Constitution difficult to amend, I am reminded that it was first amended to protect our ‘First Freedom’ – the free exercise of religion. The First Amendment does not simply protect a narrow ‘right to worship,’ but provides broad protection to individuals and institutions to worship and act in accordance with their religious beliefs. In fact, the Wisconsin constitution explicitly protects the rights of conscience of our citizens. I can assure all Wisconsinites concerned about the impact of today’s decision that your conscience rights will be protected, and the government will not coerce you to act against your religious beliefs.  
 “I call on the president and all governors to join me in reassuring millions of Americans that the government will not force them to participate in activities that violate their deeply held religious beliefs. No one wants to live in a country where the government coerces people to act in opposition to their conscience. We will continue to fight for the freedoms of all Americans.”
This is my response:

Dear Scott Walker,

While I'd like to just say that you're a gigantic tool and be done with it, I actually have more.

The truth is, your faith isn't under any threat whatsoever. The legal understanding of marriage has changed many times in the millennia you mention. Hence why my father paid no dowry, I am not my husband's property, and I am his only wife.

Your religious understanding of matrimony will not change at all. Or it least it doesn't have to. No law will force it to. Saying so is ignorant, and deceitful. It is the state, not the church, that provides legal marriage, and therefore it is a civil right that has no bearing on your religion.

Since state marriage has no say over your church, why should your church have so much say over state marriage? Isn't that the whole point of the 1st Amendment?

Mr. Walker this ruling won't change what your church will or may teach about our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. And while I will fight for your right to believe what you want, I have to express sadness and disgust that another generation of gay kids are going to churches where they will learn that there is something wrong with them.

So, while I will fight for your right to believe what you wish, I promise you I will raise a loud voice with other LGBTQ people and Allies, calling those children to a community that will love an accept them for who they are. 

The reality of this ruling is that another person having civil rights infringes upon yours, not at all. You trying to make your religious law the law of the land, however, is definitely a violation of my first amendment rights. In addition, government telling two consenting adults that they can't enter into a contract with one another should really disturb your conservative sensibilities. And not allowing a family legal recognition and protection under the law violates the family values you claim to hold.

This ruling today was a blow for freedom, a blow against religious tyranny, and a victory for families everywhere.

Oh, and Mr. Walker, you are a gigantic tool. Watching you and your kind fight this, is like watching the segregationists on schoolhouse steps, swearing that white and black children will never learn together. You, like them, are a fleeting piece of bigoted history, I can only watch your political death gasps and smile. You, like them, will fade into history and be remembered for exactly what you are.

I can't wait.

(And a special thank you to my husband for reading and finding the typos I missed)

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Friday, June 05, 2015

I'm Coming Back

You have neither whined, nor complained. This makes you, my wonderful readers, either better than my children, or too busy yourselves to take me to task for my absence.

Maybe both.

But I will be coming back!

The last two months as school has wrapped up and I have become busier in almost every aspect of my life (can you believe they've elected me Vice President of our PTO?) I have not had time to write here. And since I didn't want to be half assed about it, I just decided to set this blog aside, hoping it would wait for me.

It did. Or at least maybe it did. Hello? Anyone out there still?

But today is the last day of school. Reagan is graduating from High School on Monday. And there is so much to talk about!

So, I am coming back. And I hope you'll still come by and see what I have to say.

I promise, if it's not "worth it" exactly, I will at least find a funny story or two. Promise.


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Thursday, April 02, 2015

9 Reasons I *Will* Make My Kids Share

Over on Scary Mommy, I read an article entitled 9 Reasons Why I Won't Make My Kids Share.

I was pretty interested in reading the author's thoughts. I still have things to learn, and am open to new ideas about this whole parenting experiment.

But I have to tell you, I found her reasoning largely unconvincing and somewhat shortsighted. I understood some of where she was coming from, but felt like she painted an incomplete portrait of childhood and life in general.

At one point she likens sharing to having a barista tell you, an adult, to give your laptop to someone else to play with.


I think it's much more like when I go to the gym and jump on the treadmill. If there is someone waiting, I need to limit my time on that treadmill to 20 minutes. Sure, I could be a total jackass and stay on, and screw all of those other people. But I'm not.

And I'd rather my kids weren't either.

So, I thought I'd answer the post.

Here are my 9 Reasons I Will Make My Kids Share:

1. Because playing with toys is not like baking a cake. Toys in our house are often communal property, since buying one for every child would be prohibitively expensive. It's fair that they shouldn't be allowed to monopolize something that other people would like a turn with.

2. Because they're not the center of the universe. With the exception of the computer, my kids rarely get sucked into an activity that someone then wants. What happens far more often is that child 2 goes to play with something that has been abandoned by child 1, and child 1 upon realizing that said toy is now desired by someone else, now has to have it back. Because now it's the best toy ever.

I would really like them to understand that they're not always going to get what they want.

3. Because teaching them to share isn't throwing them under the bus. It's parenting them. I hope my kids love playing with toys that expand their imagination, and encourage their creativity. But I also want them to be able to consider the feelings of others.

4. Because it's normal. We absolutely do share as adults. I share my food, my home, my car, my bed, my bathroom (though my husband might argue that I monopolize it), and so much more with the crazy people who live in my house, and that dude I promised to spend my life with.

Yes, we share. From gym equipment, to taking turns at the checkout counter, to zipper merging on the freeway, sharing is a vital life skill.

5. Because I am interested in fair. The world is not fair, and it won't be. But they can be. We can try our best. It can be a value we strive for. Because we recognize when it isn't fair, and I don't want my children just to accept injustice as a fact of life. I want my children to always work to correct it.

6. Because teaching them to take turns and share, gives me the opportunity to teach about choices and consequences. If you choose to take something without asking, or if you choose not to let someone have a turn with something special that they'd like to play with, there are logical and natural consequences.

If you grab it out of someone's hands, that's rude, and you don't get it at all. If you are refusing to take turns and share with someone, then later, when you want them to share with you, they won't want to.

7. Because sharing and taking turns can actually help them learn vital negotiation skills and set boundaries. This isn't bullshit, either. I have watched my kids negotiate how long they will have with a given item, and work it out between them, only coming to me to set a timer for them. That is a beautiful thing.

8. Because while they might still learn to cooperate, sharing isn't always about cooperation, per se. It can be, but sometimes it's just about seeing that everyone has a chance, and that everyone's needs are met.

Besides, these little lessons, are good practice for later, when they really don't want to get off the treadmill at the gym. Or you know, go to school.

9. Because I definitely want to create nicer people. I believe that sometimes kids have to learn that the answer is "no" and that they can't have it right now. But sharing isn't about taking away from one and giving to another.  It's about making sure they both get a chance to play with something.

It's about teaching them that sometimes they have to wait, and sometimes they have to stop.  Because taking turns and sharing requires both of those things. And while it might require a little more work than just throwing one's hands up and saying that sharing isn't important at all, I think it's worth it.

There are different ways to look at everything. And I don't have all the answers. But thank you for considering my perspective. And if you like it, please consider clicking the banner below to register a vote for my blog. It takes just a second, and you can do it every day. You're the best.
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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Tiger Cubs Go To The Fire Station

It sounds like a nice story, doesn't it? Like a childrens book, beautifully illustrated with information about fire safety, and helpful firefighters.

But this was about a dozen 6 and 7 year old boys.  The blog post really should be entitled The Tiger Cubs Go To The Fire Station And Chaos Ensued.

Knowing what Quinn is like with the other Scouts, I went over some ground rules with him before we even got there. Even with said ground rules established, he still needed reminders during the trip.

I don't know if other parents took the time to do the same, but it sure didn't seem like it.

Which, really, may just be the pull of insanity that grips a bunch of little boys like that. Or maybe dads don't always think of that as often as moms do. I'm not sure.

I know their Den Leader didn't go over any rules. Maybe the thought hasn't occurred to him, and I should bring it up. He's a great Den Leader, but with that many kids, you just have to make sure everyone is on the same page.

We let them run around a bit outside, first. I had hoped it would release some of their energy.

No luck.

Inside, the noise level was unbelievable.

If I were to assign a numeric value to each boys volume, I'd say each was at a 4 out of ten. Just all by themselves.

But if you put 3 boys together, each at a 4 volume, you don't end up with 12 volume. You end up with 36 volume.

The accumlative effect of them is mind boggling.

Still, the tour was wonderful. The boys were, well, little boys.

They explained to the firemen how their own equipment worked. Because they might not know. They're only firemen. Not educated young men like our Sweet Scouts.

They told the firemen that they should be allowed to slide down the poles, as they'd slid down way taller ones before. And they've never been hurt. Kids don't understand words like "liability" and "City policy."

They asked important questions like "Has there ever been a fire in the firestation?" and "Has there ever been a fire on the firetruck?" which begs the question, what kind of firemen do they think we have here? Not very good ones, if they're setting their own fire station and vehicles on fire!

There was a little hitting, some not listening, more trying to impress the firefighters with their vast 6 and 7 year old knowledge of fire.  And there was so much chaos of boys this way and that way, and utterly refusing for the most part to just shut their sweet little yaps.

Then there was a call, and that was it, the tour was over. Our brave heroes had to go off and do something bravely heroic. Honestly, I think they might have been secretly thrilled. The sirens couldn't be as loud as the kids.

I'm still awfully glad I got to go. It's so much fun to watch the kids take it all in. Quinn even said that after becoming a baseball player, he might like to be a firefighter, and a police officer, oh, and a doctor.

He has one very busy life ahead of him.

And I got to see the cute firemen. Turns out, they have to buy their own groceries, and sometimes they get called away in the middle of their shopping. Then they have to go back and do it again.

I think they need a den mother. Someone who can shop for them. And bake them brownies. And you know, I could do that job. Out of the pure goodness of my heart. Because I'm such a nice person.

You're such a nice person, too. Especially if you click the banner below, which registers a vote for my blog. It takes just a second and you can do it every day. You're the best.
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Monday, March 30, 2015

Insomnia Can Suck It

I had things I wanted to blog about. I haven't been saying, "Be Quiet" for a whole week now, and that's an experiment worth sharing, right?

And there's stuff. Other stuff. Interesting stuff.


Unfortunately for me, insomnia has been a most unfortunate friend, and I lack the ability to put coherent thoughts together.

And while such an experiment is exhausted blogging could result in something humorous, I'm guessing it would be unintentionally so, and probably painful (I first typed painfrul. What?). At least for me, and probably for you, too.

Anywho, real blogging to come soon. Maybe after sleeping for more than an hour at a stretch. Because sleeping that little is clearly painfrul.

Today I suck. But I still appreciate your time and your vote. You can click the banner below every day, and it takes just a second. Thanks. You're the best!
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