even more than a good, brave man

Of course we all know that last week was Martin Luther King Day which of course means a holiday for most folks…and the perfect time to maybe catch a good movie about an American Hero…which would be why American Sniper scored 105.3 million at the box office last weekend.

Don’t get me started…

The days leading up to Martin Luther King Day and after is also the perfect time for American school children to learn about the man and what he accomplished in the times that he lived; which is what Daniel has been doing…as he does every year since preschool. Last week, as I helped study for his test on Dr. King on Friday, I was struck with the fact that this time he was learning much more than him being a good man, a great man, a brave man with a dream for all American children. As a student his age should. Together we studied and talked about segregation, voting rights, peaceful activism, the Nobel Peace Prize and assassination at the hand of a sniper. And I was struck with the consideration my son had as he expressed his understanding of the subject of Dr. King that we were studying together and recent events in the news. It really is hard not to draw some comparisons whether one is a thoughtful, curious 6th grader or a musician accepting an award for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture.

So we made plans for this weekend.

We spent Sunday afternoon watching a film about American Heroes.

Moving.

Shocking.

Painful.

Inspirational.

And as we watched the pivotal scene where some 8,000 marchers (Black, White, Asian, Latino along with spiritual leaders from many religions and creeds) walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge with Martin Luther King, Daniel reached for my hand and whispered, “They did it!

Yes, they did.

American heroes…all of them.

Of course, as it always is in history, there is much more to the story; and there is the reality of today. May my son always continue in his thoughtful curiosity to learn and understand.

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?”
~Martin Luther King

 

no shelf life

As a 52 year old woman, I am struck by conversations related to friends celebrating or avoiding milestone birthdays, women getting older and how we are perceived as we (and the men around us, obviously) get older. Sadly, it seems to me, the majority regard a woman in her 40s or 50s or even 60s as somehow past the expiration date. Friends absolutely dreading the fact that they are turning 40…or mourning their obvious dotage as they pass “dirty thirty“…and it makes me sad just a little.

Age is definitely a relative thing. I wholeheartedly believe the idea that you are as old as you feel; which means I am basically an adolescent sometimes…an adolescent with a few grey hairs, laugh lines, squint lines, grown children and grandchildren. I’m not always an adolescent, but given my taste in music or the fact that I DO know almost every artist and song featured in the latest American Music Awards Show or Grammy nominations, compared to friends my age or 10 years younger…well… Yet, I wholeheartedly embrace the age that I am…grey hairs, creaky joints, laugh lines and everything else. I take very good of this aging shell of mine…and it shows. I take very good care of it because I have children and grandchildren and I definitely want to be around for a long time to watch them grow older. Added bonus is feeling good, perhaps better than other people my age (or younger).

I don’t take care of myself, or put on makeup, or wear jewelry or wear sometimes fashionable, flattering clothing for attention…except maybe perhaps from my darling husband. I know few women my age who dress for the day hoping for attention from a stranger…just like any other woman or girl dresses hoping for unwanted attention.

Why are there people who STILL think like this?

Honestly?!

So, no, telling me that I look pretty for my age is not a compliment.

Of course there is the reality that when a woman reaches a certain age, she, more often than not, is not getting looked at anymore…usually by the men. Ageism is real and women of a certain age become invisible to pretty much everyone…including men their own age. Men my age (and older) won’t give women my age (or even younger) a second glance unless they’re doing us a favor (in their small mind) because as Stevie Nicks pointed out in a recent Rolling Stone interview, “They wanna go out with somebody that’s 25,… So what am I gonna do, compete with that?”

But have you SEEN 66 year old Stevie Nicks?!

Damn girl!

Then there were the women…not the girls…the women at the Golden Globes this past week.

Hey ladies!

Then there is Julianne Moore who proved that people DO want to see a movie about a 50 year old woman, in the prime of her life, as she faces her own mortality and rapid decline.

If I can’t be Helen Mirren when I grow up, I want to be Julianne Moore. Really.

Shelf life?

Invisible?

No way.

Let’s re-think this because we all are getting older. We all are as sexy and smart and empowered and as visible as we chose to be and no one should ever diminish that for us because of the number of candles on our birthday cake this year…or the number of grey hairs, or laugh lines we might have.

 

 

date night at the museum

Wear something with sparkles, he asks. So I did; because he asked me and it’s date night.

Anything for him because it is date night!

Date Night at the Museum!

It was a perfect date night too. We held hands. Shared pretzels and cheese because popcorn is a no with braces. There was much laughter and whispered conversation about ancient Egyptian burial practice, helping to scatter his great grandmother’s ashes at a place she loved, Christianity, Judaism, Hanukkah, Jesus and Pompeii. We also talked about the fact that this was Robin Williams‘ last onscreen feature film performance and I mentioned that it was also Mickey Rooney’s too. Yes, he asked, Who? I’ll try to rectify that. The best part, besides the sweet good night kiss? My date insisted that we sit through and watch the credits because I love to do that. A first because he usually wants to leave as soon as the story fades to black and in the past has been quite vocal about being forced to sit as the closing credits roll.

It would seem that my date is growing up.

From my date and me, two thumbs up. It’s a fun finale to the Night At The Museum series with a lot of laughs, a little bit of history and definitely some poignant moments.

As for our date night, I can’t wait for the next time. Watching the previews before the movie, we have a list prepared.

photo dump: the thankful edition

It’s Thanksgiving Day so I’m going to give thanks, as one should on Thanksgiving Day…and every other day.

For Thing 1 and Thing 2, generously provided by my employer and a co-worker who has no use for the 12 pound turkey they handed him as we left work early in the morning last week. Yes, I named them, as I do every year. Deal with it! Meanwhile, Thing 1 and Thing 2 are currently soaking in an icy cold, brine-y bath waiting to be properly roasted.

For bringing sexy back in the way that only Personal Protective Equipment can. This look is hot. No. It really is hot.

The perfect pick-me-up after running 4 miles before you work your 4th 12 hour night shift in a week. Hurray for Snickers and for running and for a busy, busy full NICU which means work!

For kick-ass looking compression socks to wear after running a few miles before working hard on your feet for 12 hours all night long. Oh, and, give thanks for the break relief RN who makes the moment where you get to put your feet up for 20 minutes.

Be thankful for the 2 hour nap you had after working all night before you take the time to drive your favorite Princess 125 miles in the rain and wind and fog across a couple bridges during drive time Bay Area traffic so that she can attend two hours of Princess training.

It’s totally worth it when she sends you this picture of her being fitted for the wig of her favorite princess, one of a few who she will be portraying. Yes, you can almost hear her squeeing with delight from the only open cafe in the area where you sat and waited during those two hours. Worth it. Totally. So was her telling you how much she loved you and was glad you were driving as you drove across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge in the 0.25 mile visibility fog.

This card with this name on it which we waited for for 12 years because no matter what the social workers tell you, it isn’t as easy as it should be to get your child’s social security card with his name on it after the adoption is finalized because government agencies can be so frustratingly dumb sometimes. But not Maria at the Manteca Social Security Administration office. Sure it took her several hours to figure a way around the bureaucratic walls but she did it because, as she humbly put it, “there’s always a way around walls.”

Remembering when you said you couldn’t wait for your kid to outgrow his shoes and clothes before they wear out when you see that the shoes that you just got him are too small. Human Growth Hormones, we are so thankful especially when you see your son’s height and weight plotted at <1%ile on the growth chart because look at that, the kid is almost finally plotting on the normal growth chart!

Pretty scarves and jewelry and makeup and clothes that flatter what your mama gave you, no matter what your age is, that you wear for no other reason than because you want to; which has nothing to do with completely unwanted attention from any stranger who imagines that you got all dressed up because you want their attention.

Yeah.

No.

Taking the time to catch part 3 of the 4 part Hunger Games Trilogy with this child of yours because that is what the two of you do together after the husbands and kids are asleep.

Running this for the third holiday season because otherwise you might just murder someone…or at least given them a really big hug with your hands around their neck because it is the holidays and because you like to eat and to drink because it is the holidays and because you like to run…a lot.

Moments of relaxation and the cat who makes you sit still and enjoy them. I plan to do just that today after I run a 10K and get Thing 1 and Thing 2 into the oven.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

 

play it again: discovering the heart of the ocean

Originally published October 13, 2011

A boy and girl from differing social backgrounds meet during the ill-fated maiden voyage of RMS Titanic…

And now my fifth circus clown discovers Titanic. We are right on schedule too as he is around the same age as his four sisters before him watched this epic story as told by James Cameron. For the girls it was the star-crossed lovers story that lured them in. For Daniel it is the fact that Jack Dawson is cool…oh, and when the ship sank. THAT was really cool!

My favorite part watching it with him?

When he turns to me and states, “You know this really happened, Mom. There really was a Titanic and it is at the bottom of the ocean.” That’s my favorite part, my favorite part each time I have watched it with each of my circus clowns for their very first time.

Of course this means that my Little Man is growing up. Up next in the horizon up ahead, god help me, puberty.