my plus 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5


Do you remember your first?

Seriously, get your mind out of the gutter! I’m talking about politics. Do you remember your first political experience? How about the first time you voted? And the best personal political experience in your lifetime ever? This weekend I had the opportunity to hear some pretty amazing, smart women, women who when they speak politicians listen, share some of their first and best experiences as we gathered together to talk politics…naturally…and women…and women in politics…and healthcare and politics…and elections…and the upcoming midterm elections…and why a dear friend sitting next to me needs to someday soon put herself out there to run.

I remember my first political experience. I was 13 years old. Mommy Dearest dragged me to a political protest against then Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter because of his non-stance on abortion at that point in his campaign; which was kind of awkward and strange all around since Mom was a life-long Democrat and a self-proclaimed feminist because it was the 70s and because she scarcely could talk to me about periods at that time much less the mechanics of where babies came from. Yet there I was, standing next to her holding a sign declaring that God was at war against abortion. I was thirteen years old. My picture appeared on the front page of the Pittsburgh Press holding that damn sign as Mr. Carter walked by smiling and waving. Mom was standing next to me smiling and waving too. Oh gawd, I was mortified!!! I was thirteen.

My best political experience was the 1988 General Elections. I was in college working towards my nursing degree and taking care of prereqs like Political Science. Since we were just four months away from the General Election, our professor deigned to focus on taking us through the California ballot for that year studying each and every candidate and initiative on the ballot that year so that each of us would be able to go to the polls truly informed and voting as such. I aced the course and yes, I entered the voting booth for the very first time as a truly informed, confident voter. I brought my +1 too before it was even cool to bring a +1. Of course we wore our matchy-matchy acid wash jeans and big 80’s hair because 80’s.

I am so sorry Hollie! Truly.

But I will never apologize for taking you and Zoë and Abby and Jodie and Daniel to the polls.

Then again, perhaps my best political experience were the days Hollie, Zoë, Abby and Jodie all voted for the first time. When our government mucks up things that affect these ladies I love to remind them that my kids care and my kids vote. Yeah, my greatest political accomplishment is my kids vote…my kids think and my kids vote. Okay, fine. Four out of five of my kids vote…for now. Then again, 2020 will come soon enough.

Meanwhile, I had the opportunity to meet and talk to, laugh with and share with some extraordinary women who are committed to encouraging and training women to be leaders in their communities. Breaking bread with some of them we discussed healthcare and politics and what I believe to be a poorly written, tugging at your aching-breaking heart proposition that will appear on the California November ballot.

The biggest takeaways from political suite talks I engaged in this weekend? Politics is indeed personal because politics affects us all… we women…our access to healthcare…our children…our community. We can indeed be part of the change and we can make a difference with our words and our actions. We must. Anything we say or do, no matter how big or how small.we might imagine it to be can and will and does make a difference. Discussing what I learned this weekend with my +1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 I know I am because 4 of them vote.

In 100 days is our U.S. General Election. Regardless of which side of the debate you find yourself arguing, it’s imperative you are part of the process — along with your +1. In fact, your +1 may vote entirely opposite from you but what matters is you are both at the polls on election day.

 

family meeting


There is quite possibly nothing more stressful than introducing a new boyfriend or girlfriend to your family.

Am I right?

Playing Cards Against Humanity has to be probably the best way to break the ice. Yes, I do believe this is the best way to meet one another. I did enjoy meeting Zoë’s new boyfriend and getting to know my sister, Ange’s just a little bit better. Thank goodness Ange and Matt travel with their own set of Cards Against Humanity.

Anyone needing gift ideas for Christmas or my birthday, I want this game for my very own. Remember, I have a lot of kids who just might be bringing home significant others to meet the family someday. I have to be ready.

it’s in the dna


That absolutely glorious moment when your Auntie Zoë helps you with your super hero cape as she tells you how she knows all about super heroes and their capes because when she was a little girl she was known as Super Zoë

So fantastically amazing it is!

It must be a pale, blue-eyed, ginger girl kind of thing.

Just don’t crash while you are flying and break your nose, Super Fallon. Yeah, that happened a few times to Super Zoë.

 

because everyone was personally victimized by Regina George


Ten years ago today Gretchen Weiners was trying to make “fetch” happen, until Regina George shot that crazy down.

Gretchen, stop trying to make fetch happen! It’s not going to happen!

But “fetch” did happen and here we are wearing pink, because it’s Wednesday and celebrating ten years of one of the Big Top’s go-to family favorite movies, Mean Girls.

On Wednesdays we wear pink…

And you can only wear your hair in a ponytail once a week, so I guess you chose today.

Thanks to TBS, because it is literally always on TBS, we have enjoyed and bonded and laughed and maybe cried a little and definitely quoted this pop culture classic and go-to source of shorthand for female — and human — dynamics. Each and every member of this family circus, well maybe excluding Fallon for now, has navigated some of the futile, poisonous, bitter behaviors that served no purpose that is growing up. It can be hard out there for a kid. Plastics, mathletes, geeks, nerds, sluts, and that thing of someone saying “You’re really pretty” and then, when the other person thanks them, saying, “Oh, so you agree? You think you’re pretty?” was part and is part of growing up for us all.

We.

All.

Got

It.

As parents, of course Bill and I took this and ran with it because, yes, we are totally connecting with our kids and hearing things they might not tell us and having conversations and …oh god, now they know because here I am blogging about it all.

But the thing is, it is true. We all were personally victimized by Regina Georges. We were angry kids with no boundaries or guidance or maybe too many boundaries with too much guidance. We were the weird kid who would never, ever fit in. We were just trying to find our “thing” while surviving high school because nothing was more important in the world than what was happening to me at lunch today.

So thank you Mean Girls. You helped this circus survive adolescence times four and just growing up times five and helped us all here under the Big Top to realize that in spite of all the Regina Georges, Cadys, Janis Ians, Damians, Karens, Gretchens, Kevin Gs, Coach Carrs, Mr. Duvalls, and Ms Norburys we are who we are and we are awesome.

Calling somebody else fat won’t make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter. And ruining Regina George’s life definitely didn’t make me any happier. All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you.

 

Finally, Girl World is at peace.

Just kidding.

At least now we kind of, sort of get Girl World.

Don’t forget though that on Wednesdays we wear pink.

 

 

 

 

family history


More than usual, my darling husband and I have had conversations with Daniel about adoption not unlike that conversation this past January. Some of it can be attributed to natural curiosity about who he is and where did he come from that comes with growing up and entering…

DUN DUN DUN…

Adolescence.

But given the conversations about real parents and real sisters…as opposed to the fake parents and fake sisters…I am thinking Daniel is having to endure the shiny, happy stupid that is some people’s perception of what adoption is all about. No, not his peers. It’s the shiny, happy and stupid that is their parents and other adults who influence their thinking.

Thank you shiny, happy people!

You’re welcome for the ear worm, too.

Don’t worry. Daniel is assured of the fact that I am really his mother, Bill is really his father and Hollie, Zoë, Abby, and Jodie are really his real sisters…in spite of the fact that he is adopted and in spite of what shiny, happy, stupid comes out of people’s mouths when they speak of adoption.

Which brings us to Multi-Cultural Week at Daniel’s school this week and what would he like to do for his family culture project. We could talk about Russia and all the things we learned about his biological ethnic origins thanks to Winter Games being held in Sochi, Russia this year.

“Why can’t I talk about my REAL family?”, he asks.

Truth be told, mom, his real mom, is far more interested in his biological cultural and ethnic roots than he is right now. So we begin to discuss the ethnic and cultural history of his real family. Daniel decides that he wants to talk about the origin of the Scarborough name and the Scarborough Castle because it’s kind of cool to have a real castle in your family’s history even if it isn’t really our castle.

Really!