a mom, like me

I met a lovely woman last night in my neighborhood Starbucks. She, killing time while her kids were at swim practice. Me, waiting for a meeting at my neighborhood Starbucks. I smiled at her when our eyes met because since November, I have resolved to reach out with a kind smile.

She smiled back and more. Her name, she tells me is Fatma. She’s Muslim, she tells me; not that I could not have guessed by the hijab she wore. We talked of many things in a very short period of time – our families, our hometowns, the election and life now after the election.

Is it a political meeting you are here for, she asks me. Yes, I answer and I invite her to sit with me until it was time for her to pick up her kids.

So she did. She sat down next me. The two of us…moms…women.

I embrace the label of bad feminist because I am human. I am messy. I’m not trying to be an example. I am not trying to be perfect. I am not trying to say I have all the answers. I am not trying to say I’m right. I am just trying — trying to support what I believe in, trying to do some good in this world, trying to make some noise with my writing while also being myself.

~ Roxanne Gay

onward

No sense wasting words on the sense of foreboding that 2017 seems to have. Looking back at my Big Top life this past year has convinced me that we will continue to grow together and have a good life doing what we must do.

Bring it 2017!

ONWARD!!!

The world owes all its onward impulses to men ill at ease. The happy man inevitably confines himself within ancient limits.

~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

2017, hope, and the next generation

There is something troubling to hear in the news of the sudden, but peaceful death of a pop music icon of your own generation when he is around the same age as you…because he died peacefully can be a little bit disconcerting especially when the news reports add that George Michael was only 53. Sorry, but only 53 conjures up the assumption that most 50-something people are NOT facing very soon the inevitable end of their lives because only 53 suggests that there might be a few more years left to live.

Meanwhile…

WTF 2016?!!

I’m not the only one who has been saying that literally all year long. Just hurry up and end already! Please!

Perhaps that is why the AP is feeling like their New Year’s poll of 1,007 people surveyed online accurately portrays the tone of Americans right now. Optimistic as we face 2017? We have a president-elect gas-lighting nations, Congress, media, Saturday Night Live and corporations alike on Twitter; and when he actually tries to act presidential reaching out to include all Americans, his Trumpers freak out.

Sorry, imagining the potential with this kind of, er, leadership, I’m just not feeling all warm and fuzzy about the near future. I’m trying. Really, I am trying. But I just can’t. I just can’t even. I, and a number of other people I know (regardless of our politics), seem to be thinking more in line with what Michele Obama said recently.

We feel the difference now. See, now, we are feeling what not having hope feels like. Hope is necessary. It’s a necessary concept and Barack didn’t just talk about hope because he thought it was just a nice slogan to get votes. He and I and so many believe that — what else do you have if you don’t have hope. What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?

It’s true. What can I offer my young adult children, my teenaged son, my grand daughters if I can’t even begin to feel hopeful about the next four years…dear god please not eight years!!! It’s hard to imagine America while not having a grownup in the White House. Nailed it, Michele!

But thank you, Mr. President. Thanks Obama as you remind us of that generation right behind us, and I believe each successive generation, as long as we’re doing our job of being good models for it, they’re going to move this country forward in a better direction.

There is hope. Hope is right here. I’m willing to wait for it.

stronger joined together

It’s been a week now, and I am certain it’s going to be a LOOONNNGGG four years…with that administration that will take office January 20 and those who are probably already prepping for the 2020 election season.

UGH!

Anyone else struggling to think positively?

Already there has been too much ugly, too much anger, too much bitterness that divides…and I am not even talking about Trump supporters versus Hillary supporters. No. Family, friends, like-minded folk literally cannibalizing one another all because one is more right than the other…always.

It’s going to be so much more difficult I imagine before it gets easier. There is no getting around that truth. But we can, we should and we will get through to the other side…together.

We look different. We think, feel, dream, pray, love in so many different ways; but we are all humans together. Lovers, fighters, friends, family, black, brown, white, gay, straight, we are all together and so much stronger joined together.

Or we can focus on that which makes us different and separates us and could very well destroy us; because obviously there is only one right which is why family, friends, like-minded folk are fighting so damn hard against each other. 

Deep thoughts that came to me in the waning, but chaotic moments of the end of a long night at work. After lively o’dark thirty discussions about the election last week, and not just who our President elect is, because plastic bags are banned, recreational pot is legal, low level criminals will be freed and how about that death penalty and everyone on death row right now along with those god-damned safety pins. Sharp lines drawn, opinions expressed…but without name-calling or bridge burning because, just imagine, grown ups; and because we can and do indeed work together and work together very well, especially when we do what we do in my NICU.

We also put on some pretty kick-ass potlucks.

Diversity, tied together and making kick-ass potlucks together. Hurray for that! 

Diversity is about all of us, and about us having to figure out how to walk through this world together.

~ Jacqueline Woodson

 

cool pick of the week

If you’re me today, you are wearing purple because today is Spirit Day and it is just one day to put it out there that you don’t tolerate bullying of any kind. You are also wearing leggings and running shoes and a ball cap because after a morning walk-run, you are just too lazy to change because it’s Thursday and it’s errands day and you are rocking your mom-uniform hard today! It really doesn’t matter how you look on the outside because today you are feeling a little bit empowered after that third and final Presidential Debate because, thank gawd, it was the third and final debate and because your candidate owned that meet up…like a nasty woman.

You are driving down 99 to Modesto listening to one of your favorite podcasts when suddenly YOU HEAR LIZ DROP YOUR NAME and that Facebook post of yours when you were last on Facebook being social…except for that photo album from Kathy’s retirement party a few days later because when a coworker has been a nurse for FORTY ONE YEARS, you honor that.

But I digress…

Yes, you are out and about in the 209 running errands while listening to Spawned with Kristen and Liz of Cool Mom Picks talking about the need, especially right now, for some self care because the election season rhetoric of late does make us feel like we just might blow up and you do hear them drop your name because in your little world you imagine that you are the only “Laura” they know.

You scream out loud alone in your car while driving down the freeway and then you laugh until you cry all the while nodding your head yes over and over again because they are sharing some great tips right now for a little self care…which you know all of America needs right now…along with a hug and a pat on the back because we are going to be okay…

GAWD I HOPE SO!

It will be. It has to be. I mean remember the 2000 election and how your then 8 year old Zoë was so stressed and worried that America was going to end because we went weeks not really knowing for sure who won the election until the Supreme Court stepped in and Gore conceded like a gentleman and a patriot? Good times those were…not. Yes, not the usual stuff that 8 year old nightmares are made of but the eventual takeaway for her, you and most of America is that every vote does count and it is super hard to fuck up the peaceful transfer of power that has been peaceful since Washington’s term as President came to an end. As horrifying as that orange-faced man is, soon enough he shall be consigned to the septic tank of democracy.

Tell yourself this, Laura and keep on taking care of you and those you love. Tell your family and friends this too…just like you did back in 2000. Also tell all your friends that they should subscribe to Spawned because Kristen and Liz are that great!

Election Day is November 8, y’all! Only nineteen more days…