not the new black, but classic

Anywhere, everywhere…in the media…in politics…in business…on social media…in every day interactions it seems that telling it like it is is it. Better to be rude, crude and sometimes downright mean-spirited because why not say exactly what is on one’s mind? Enough with being correct, or polite, or even kind.

Compassion, patience, kindness for the sake of compassion, patience and kindness is so outdated.

Belligerent, mean-spirited, bombastic rhetoric is so much more honest…at least that is what they say…the belligerent, mean-spirited, bombastic, assholes being the they…yeah, I said that. But hey, it’s like the new black!

Continuing to work our way through Wonder, Daniel and I are pausing to reflect on this new black that so many seem to celebrate and embrace. As the main character (and those close to him) struggle with bullies being bullies…and not just kids…we are both struck with just how common place this really is even in our circles. Yes. It’s more than okay for one to tear down another for their obvious weaknesses, flaws, physical characteristics especially when building yourself up because it’s all about honesty and keeping it a hundred. Laugh when they fall down. Mock the ones you do business with. Respect, kindness, patience, compassion, acceptance…that’s so weak.

As Daniel and I talk about the chapters we read today in Wonder, he points out that it seems like it’s okay even for adults to bully those who look different, who think different…like that Donald Trump. Why do people like someone who is mean like that, Mom?

Why indeed, son.

Ultimately, I tell him (and myself) those who are more remembered, respected and modeled after are those who live a life of kindness, patience, fairness, compassion and respect for all…especially when they have absolutely nothing to gain from living such a life.

Because they’re classic people, right Mom?

Yes, Son. Classic. Classic just like you!

reading together

Thanks to the cool picks of the week recommendation from what is becoming one of my current favorite podcasts, Spawned, Daniel and I are reading together

this book.

Oh my goodness! Have you read this book, Wonder?

You should. Your kids should. Your parents should. Everyone should.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid,with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?

~publisher’s description

For Daniel, he has so much to relate to here. Daniel and Augie both yearn to be ordinary and blend in like the rest of their middle school peers. But, as we read this book together…and OMG, we are reading this together with Daniel voicing disappointment when it is time stop reading this book together until tomorrow…Daniel is, just like Augie, realizing that it is almost impossible for him to blend in when he clearly was born to stand out.

There is so much to love, love, love about this book for me…a character Daniel can identify with and somehow stand taller and prouder as he shares that…the fact that Daniel is reading, reading well and enjoying reading something that is not video game or Lego related…but one of the best things I love about this book is it reminds Daniel how he lives is the best way always.

When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.

After reading Mr. Browne’s September Precept, Daniel looked up smiling.

That’s me, Mom. I always choose kind…because it’s always the right thing.

As we all should…always.

Read this book.

what kind of mother let’s her kid read Furiously Happy anyway?

Judge me.

I don’t care.

We’ll get to back to that in a minute.

But first can I tell you how Furiously Happy I am right now that this arrived here today under The Big Top?

I am.

I might be already more than halfway through the book too. Might have been done were it not for getting my eyes dilated. The eyes remain extra special…so special that Costco Optometry gets added to the list of places that can’t fill my prescription. Of course that means that I get to spend a ridiculous amount of money above what our vision plan covers. It’s a burden to have extra special eyes. You just can’t imagine.

But back to this book and being furiously happy…I can’t wait to finish reading it, and celebrating my own personal bizarre-ness and my weirdness and even the crazy way that I  was broken because in spite of the anxiety and depression and all around messed up-ness that is me being broken and the smile that tries to hide it all, it is who I am…and a lot of people seem to like and love the me that I am…even with all the messed up-ness…or in spite of it…or because of it.

I am broken. I am broken in so many ways, ways that I have written about before and ways that only a very small circle might know. Shit happens. Shit happens that should never happen to any person. It’s for real. It’s me. And it’s the me that I has been working on and accepting and forgiving and loving…whether I am smiling or not. It’s just me, broken but furiously happy me. And why not celebrate it?

I’m not alone.

Thank goodness I am not.

We are people who have been searching and continue to look for the light in spite of the dark, horrible and shitty things in our lives that weigh us down, that steal our joy, that lie to us.

So, what kind of mother let’s her kid read Furiously Happy?

Well, when your kid is 13…and your kid is with you at the optician that can fill the prescription for your extra special eyes and has homework to do including reading for twenty minutes that he has to get done before Tae Kwon Do and tutoring and dinner, you hand him your book opened to chapter 5 and tell him to read about Rory the Raccoon (see book cover).

I had already read the chapter and vetted it declaring it to be PG13 and okay for my kid to read…so don’t hate.


OMG! This is so inappropriate, Mom!

Take note he said that in between adolescent snickers and giggles.

His favorite part? Rory teasing Victor and riding Ferris Mewler because really what is there not to love about a dead raccoon in your bed or frolicking bareback on a cat?

He wrote about it in his reading journal. Yes, he included that he couldn’t believe that his mom let him read a chapter from this inappropriate book but it was okay because his mom is kind of crazy.

I am imagining that my meeting with his teacher next week is going to be, um, interesting…unless she too is a fan of Jenny Lawson.

Remember when I recommended Jenny’s first book?

Ditto! Ditto times infinity.

her reader

It’s a lazy summer afternoon. After an hour or so of swimming, it is quite satisfying to relax on the sofa and perhaps watch a movie…

Or watch the boys play a video game together.

That’s fine too because I’m quite satisfied to lie back on this sofa and maybe close my eyes for…

Mima, read to me.

I open my eyes and there is Fallon, holding out a picture book to me.

Mima, read to me.

She looks at me with those big blue-green eyes and red rose pouty lips waiting for me to take the book.

I can’t say no.

What kind of grandparent would I be to say no?

Sure, I’m tired. I’d much rather do nothing at all at this very moment but this three year old wants me to read to her. It’s literally a ten page picture book with maybe a three to five word sentence on each page. It won’t kill me. More importantly, she WANTS me to read to her. I can’t imagine any grandparent ever not wanting to read to their grandchild, especially when they ask you. Considering the fact that it wasn’t that long ago when her big sister was making the same request and now she is Miss Independent Reader Thank You Very Much, I know that I can not, must not refuse this request, this moment.

So I don’t. I take the book, pat the sofa next to me inviting her to have a seat and she does…in my lap….and together we, Fallon and her reader, enjoy a good book.

when you finish

Books can be wonderful sometimes. To me, books are like adventures…like life is to me. Oh the adventures they have taken me on with so many highs and lows, laughter and sadness, tears and fears, and on and on my friends. Again, just like this life of mine.

Some books you just can’t wait to get to the end because you just can’t wait to see how it ends. Then there are some where while you are on that reading adventure you find yourself dreading the approach of that last chapter, that last page, that last paragraph, that last sentence and that last word because you just don’t want this adventure to ever end. Then there are the ones where oh-dear-god please let this be over because it is that bad. Thankfully, there aren’t too many like those.

But the best are the ones that begin with so much promise of wonderful. You just know that you are in for a great adventure. And it proves to be so with you making many, many wonderful memories page after page. Yet even these sometimes bring tears and frustration. Still you hang in there because all in all it is that good of an adventure. Even when some of the main players prove to be nothing like you thought they were and they disappoint you and sometimes even hurt you, you still read on because it’s that good.

It’s. That. Good. Of. A. Book.

No regrets today as I finally closed that book. I’m glad that I opened it up and lived its adventure. I’m even more glad that it’s done…

…metaphorically speaking.😉

On to the next adventure!

Any book recommendations?