inside on the outside

Regina: But you’re, like, really pretty.
Cady: Thank you.
Regina: So you agree?
Cady: What?
Regina: You think you’re really pretty?
Cady: Oh… I don’t know

~ Mean Girls

Yes, when I find myself in times of trouble sometimes the only thing that makes sense of it all is to quote Mean Girls…if quoting Lennon and McCartney doesn’t work especially in what appears to be a shitty world full of some sometimes pretty shitty people…pretty, shitty people included.

Forgive me, I might be whining a little as I see beautiful people showing the hollow, ugly core that is on the inside. The most perfectly beautiful of people can sometimes be the meanest, the cruelest, the ugliest; and thanks to their social media and their desire to remind us all just how awesome and cool and hardcore bitchy they are, we get to see the ugly on the inside.

When I was trying desperately to survive the cruel awkward that is adolescence coming to terms with the reality that I wasn’t pretty…in the eyes of equally insecure peers…I wasn’t lucky to have social media to reinforce what the adults in my life then were trying to teach me…that the prettiest of people actually were super ugly assholes. How that would have helped me then.

You’re like really pretty but thanks to what you share on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat, we can see what’s really inside whether your mocking, shaming or celebrating bad choices because I mean…u gotta do it sometimes. Trust me, we see it. It is forever, yes, even if it’s Snapchat. Karma will one way or another come back to you. It has to.

In the meantime, I will try be more like this beautiful person because no beauty shines brighter than that of a kind heart.

How our family got so lucky to have someone as beautiful as him, in our lives I will never know but I will give thanks for such a wonderful gift that always inspires and compells me to be better.

great America

Now don’t get mad. Some of the opinions expressed in this post are absolutely, positively not my own. Meanwhile, is it safe to come out of the bunker yet? 

A good friend posed this question today:

For those of you who believe in the message “Make America Great Again”, what year do you last believe America was Great?

Knowing him, I do believe him when he said this was a 100% serious question posed with no intent to argue or denigrate. Just him trying to wrap his mind around this thought and promise made.

You all should know that I just adore this friend of mine and the intellectual challenges he throws out there sometimes.

Meanwhile, I sat back, popped open a can of La Croix with lime and enjoyed the show.

  • 1775
  • Morally…perhaps 1972…before we made the murdering of babies legal!!! …oh dear…
  • Black babies in particular. So sad. …oh dear, oh dear…
  • the 50’s …sigh!
  • I haven’t been around that long…millennials can be so cute and cuddly sometimes!
  • When Bill Clinton was president!
  • Back when it was still under British rule. …here I am hearing Farmer Refuted because, yes, Hamilton is still my jam; and why should a tiny island across the sea regulate the price of tea?
  • I think it’s always been great.
  • Just before Nike said just do it.
  • When John Wayne saved us all. Since Will Smith took over it has seemed a little more brash and in yo face. …I thought that this is one of the reasons why people liked the Republican candidate because that will play well in the global arena fo sure.
  • America was kinda great from 1880-1940. Then really great 1941-1990 or so. Then 1990-2015 only kinda great again. Now its quickly getting less great. To me great means jobs for everyone, new infrastructure, social cohesion, a positive and upbeat and honest assessment by our leaders and the press. And yes it also includes we must keep the peace when needed overseas. Personally i would like to see the USA take over the entire planet so all humans could live in greatness. Vote Trump, Hillary for Prison. …I might need to retreat back to my bunker…
  • I’d say after 9/11 it’s been all downhill.
  • Once they outlawed incandescent light bulbs. …raise your hand if you believe in Science!
  • 1840 …because The Trail of Tears of course
  • Before the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo …eye roll
  • As I sit here watching The Outlaw Josie Wales I can’t help but think it was not during the”wild west” times. …I’m getting dizzy from the eye rolls y’all
  • As a white person it’s easy for me to “pick” a date. Honestly, this country has been wrong for so many for so long. Being married to a man of color it is becoming more apparent that huge populations of people have been unjustly treated throughout our country’s history. It makes me sad and I want my kids to be treated fairly on who they are, not because of their ethnicity and skin color. …oof!
  • Make America one again. and remember the party that supported slavery. oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear…

I’m not going to go back into my bunker again just yet even if last night’s speech literally scared the shit out of me. I believe that judging the greatness of America is subjective, kind of like profanity, R-ratings and porn – it depends on who is judging. In the world of the 24-hour news cycle, we are as great or weak as the moment. I’d like to see what the GOP/Trump thinks what is greatness – I fear it could be a time in history where segregation, lack of civil rights for minorities, women and LGBTQ was the norm, and power was based on military might. If that is the case…what makes America great is the power of old, white men – I am scared. Genuinely frightened. But I am not going to go back into my bunker again just yet. November is coming and I most definitely am not going to vote for a candidate that is fueled by fear and hate…or who affectionately pats the ass of his grown daughter...EWWW!!!

Speaking of dads…

This dad will be once again be riding his bicycle across the great state of Iowa because he can. This is his SIXTEENTH RAGBRAI that he will be riding and you know, as long as there is a RAGBRAI and awesome 77 year old fathers who ride in it, along with 8,000 plus riders riding their bikes across the great state of Iowa just because they can, I still have a little hope Because as flawed and messed up as we can be sometimes right now, America is pretty great…as long as we don’t do something as foolish as taking that left at Albuquerque or vote for a platform of hate and fear.

mourning, but with all the hope

I know that I am not the only one crying and screaming on the inside what the actual fuck right now.

Baton Rouge…Alton Sterling…”he should have just complied”…Falcon Heights…Philando Castile…”but he complied; he followed the officer’s orders”…Black Lives Matter…Dallas…Dallas PD…Ballwin…Ballwin PD…Blue Lives Matter…“All Lives Matter”…

I can’t. I just can’t.

Moments that words don’t reach; suffering too terrible to name. And in these moments this week I just want to hold the ones I love the most as tight as I can and push away the unimaginable. All of it. But I can’t. I just can’t.

I am at work and I distract myself with work. I walk into the break room and one of the news channels is on. It’s not Fox News…THANK YOU…but I just can’t. I distract myself with work, with my patients’ conditions and parents’ bedside vigils because I just can’t imagine.

Coffee is delivered by my current favorite child, and I give thanks for the happy distraction it brings.

It’s the little things. Acts of kindness. Warm hugs. Parents holding their precious new babies as close as they can taking in all the promises of future hope that they represent. Moments that words don’t reach; grace too powerful to understand. My heart hurts right now. The hearts of most everyone else I know hurt right now. Sad, mad, all the outrage, all the helplessness, all the tears and fears are happening right now and I know that I am not alone. But through the night at work last night there was for me a promise of hope that no matter how small is potentially powerful enough to rise above the unimaginable. I’m keeping that hope close to my heart and last night, all night, and today, right now I am happy for the tiny warmth it radiates deep within my broken heart.

A baby is god’s opinion that the world should go on.

Carl Sandburg

forever in their eyes

Thirty years ago, I was called “Mom” for the very first time. Sitting at a family Mother’s Day brunch, feeling so beyond tired and a little nauseous (and jealous) while most everyone else around me was enjoying bottomless mimosas, someone wished a “Happy Mother’s Day, Mom” to me for the very first time. So it began while I was only about twelve weeks pregnant with my first born. I was Mom…and I would go on to always be Mom…my kids, the teachers, the doctors, the nurses, my darling husband, my kids’ friends and even my kids’ friends’ moms. There is so much more to the me that I am than me being Mom but Mom I shall forever be because of the people who made me Mom…Hollie, Zoë, Abigael, Jodie and Daniel. For them that is always first how they shall see me and think of me as…I am Mom; affectionately, Mommy Dearest.

I don’t pretend to imagine that I am the best mom ever. The mistakes made along the way are certainly proof of that. But I am confident that I tried my very best always with all the baths, the books read, the meals made, the homework checked, the car rides, the concerts and games and recitals and shows attended, the doctors’ visits and occasional trips to the ERs and hospital bedside vigils and the endless sleepless nights well beyond the promised post newborn baby period. Hollie, Zoë, Abigael, Jodie and Daniel perhaps might not think of all of these when they think of me, but I trust, hope and pray that when they do think of me they will know Mom, in one small way or another is always there when they need me the most because I am…even if it is just that voice in their heads.

To my darling children who right now are looking at this six year old family portrait thinking, “Really, Mom! You had to chose THIS picture of us to share?”, I will remind you of what your Dad and I do want this year for Mother’s Day, your parents’ wedding anniversary and Father’s Day…love you kids!…get on it!…make those family pictures happen!

Thank you, my children, for transforming me, turning me in to forever Mom. May you always see the good, the fun, the silly and every time that I was and am there for you and, perhaps a lot like this.

Well, except for the hair styling because, kids, we all know that is certainly not true about me thanks to so much photographic evidence…and whatever is chewy chicken to you.

Hazel’s Mother’s Day tribute to her mama brought back so many memories. I am certain I have at least five very similar tributes tucked away somewhere. It’s things like these that make a Mom laugh, cry and reassure them just a little that they really are all right…and the kids will be too.  Hazel’s Mother’s Day tribute also provides further proof that Hollie is indeed raising someone so much like herself…and, that she is, in all the good ways, a lot like me. That will be one of the good things about Mother’s Day 2016.