smiling on the inside

Remember when pundits like cousin Joe declared that Hillary needs to smile because, after all, she just won big on Super Tuesday? That was something because she did do well and she was probably feeling pretty good, as candidates who do well in caucuses and primaries must feel. But really, cousin Joe? Really? Might you want to see jubilant exuberance like say Howard Dean because that certainly was not winning. I don’t know…just as much as I don’t know what to think about any of the choices presented this election cycle but I’m less worried about any of the candidates smiles…male or female…and more about their ability to assume the highest office of this country and effectively LEAD. With the ugly that is so much about this election cycle what is there to smile about, whether they win a state primary or not? Male or female candidate?

Now here’s something you should never tell a woman: Smile. Relax. Calm down. Drink less…I’m not saying it’s a double standard but let me tell some of the people they are not telling to smile…

Bernie Sanders

Ted Cruz

Donald Tru…er…Drumpf.

Or even Grumpy Cat.

…there are plenty to make Hillary smile like her daughter, her grand daughter, when there’s a sale on pant suits. But it’s not just Hillary. It happens to women all the time. I hear women complain that when they are walking down the street men will say ‘SMILE’; which is crazy. Who walks in LA? Nobody. And besides if you did walk around smiling all day people would say ‘wipe that smile off of your face’ You can’t win. You just can’t win.

I’m not against smiling. I think that we all should do it more. Women, men, cats,…Clint Eastwood…all of us. But we should do it on our own terms.

Ellen Degeneres

Ellen Degeneres’ monologue on her show yesterday was absolutely, positively, exactly what I wanted to say.

As for me, I do try to smile…when I feel like smiling. Nothing can direct my day (and those whom I encounter) than when I can look someone in the eye and smile. But seriously, don’t tell me to smile…or to relax…or calm down…or drink less. When I smile, it is on my own terms and now, especially in this phase of my life, it is guaranteed to be genuine and from my heart and soul.

We are so much more than smiles.

.

Beautiful? Of course! But so much more. So talented, smart, practical, strong, resilient, creative and quite capable as anyone else…perhaps more so.

And just like the guys, we are smiling on the inside! But if you tell us we should smile….well…

 

 

the misses independent

In spite of the mundane and drudge that is cleaning and organizing The Big Top, it can be fun when I happen upon little treasures like this.

Oh these two youngest daughters in my life!

I probably should thank Jodie for leaving these in the most random of places that I might find a few days after she headed back to school except I know that she gave these photos to Fallon after they took them New Year’s Day. I’ll thank Fallon for leaving them behind to make me smile while I was dusting and vacuuming when I return them to her.

Both of these young ladies are something else. So fiercely independent they are. Then again, so are all the daughters and grand daughters in my life. I’ve always admired the I do what I want quality in all of my girls. I do what I want within reason and parental guidance until they grow up, of course.

I won’t lie though; that same Miss Independent quality my girls possess can be exhausting, frustrating, sometimes a little bit hurtful when they are doing what they want that I don’t want. It’s okay though. It’s part of the process of becoming truly independent. Part of my heart wants them to always be here, always need me, always want to be with me but another part of my heart knows that no matter how independent these Misses (and Mrs.) are I will always have their love…and because of their love that is as strong as their independent streaks, I get to vicariously enjoy so many adventures that I could never, ever imagine. Added bonus: when we are together it is so much sweeter.

Of course, because I am human and a little bit selfish, I can still wish for more face time…something I also wish that I could tell the young mother me when all I wanted was alone time…while on the phone…in the shower…in the bathroom…

My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

a mother daughter look

What can possibly be sweeter than matchy-matchy mother daughter fashions? Except for when the daughter is of certain age where it is more like…

GAWD, MOM! NO!!!

I had that moment when I was in high school. Sure Mommy Dearest wasn’t even 40 when she decided to wear the exact same peasant blouse, jeans and platform sandals but…

GAWD, MOM! NO!!!

Quite possibly almost as mortifying as when she dragged me to protest with her, front and center against Jimmy Carter when he was running for President.

Almost.

Hollie had that moment when I joked that perhaps we could have mother-daughter dresses for her wedding. Moms of daughters, take note. Not funny. No, really. Not funny at all. Especially when your daughter is trying on wedding gowns.

But when they are, oh I don’t know, maybe seven? What can be more awesome than dressing like mom? So awesome that you, the seven year old suggest it and mom agrees because mom is super cool that way.

Oh happy day!

Right?

Um…

Oh Hazel!

Let me remind y’all that THIS was HER idea.

no apologies for the cuteness

With holidays comes adorable Easter dresses.

Bonus if they are dressed alike because what can be more adorable…

…especially when the darlings are at an age where they can’t really complain and protest. Actually at this age they LOVE it! So seize it while you can.

It’s a very narrow window of time when you can truly get away with such cuteness…

…and enjoy the total cooperation; because it’s fun that we are all dressed the same!

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Remember that when the day comes (and it WILL come) when the kids look at these memories and then back at you wondering out loud, “What the hell were you thinking, Mom?!

Then you smile back at them because you have no apologies for such cuteness and you are absolutely certain that someday they will do it to their children too.

Scroll back to the top if you don’t believe me.

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.