it’s beautiful, we’re beautiful

Did you see the big game? You know that there was a game, right? Alexander Hamilpup proved to be quite the MVP. Yeah, Brady also finally joined the big game with the Patriots in the 4th quarter and upset the Falcons. That was definitely NOT the outcome we wanted to see under The Big Top. But my son-in-law won $5 accurately predicting when Brady would get sacked in the game. Most of our family circus was together under The Big Top. Together we all ate way too much finger foods, watched the Puppy Bowl XI, Super Bowl LI, the original Schuyler Sisters celebrating America, brotherhood and sisterhood, Lady Gaga’s amazing halftime performance that was patriotic enough to make the Trumpkins happy with a healthy dose of protest in there too…“liberty and justice FOR ALL..No matter gay, straight, or bi, Lesbian, transgendered life…and enjoyed all of the silly and the sublime that were the Super Bowl ads. Some argued that the ads were disrespectful and trolling the 45th president, known as Lord Dampnut here under The Big Top; but they were actually the sane and good things about America that makes us great…which might seem like trolling when one considers what the actual fuck has happened in the last two weeks in America. But this is where we are in Lord Dampnut’s America – and commercials that celebrate American values are an insult to him and the office.

Yeah.

Like the opening song and the halftime show, what I saw was a celebration of the diversity, the drive, the can-do spirit that made America great before an angry man with the worst comb-over ever and his even angrier people declared it to not be so.

Coca Cola’s It’s Beautiful ad actually first aired during the Summer Games broadcast but it was still relative as it was one of the first ads to play during the big game. More followed as did all the ugly, angry comments all over social media. Honestly, people were more angry over these spots than the fact that it took more than 3 quarters before the Patriots and Brady finally started playing like it was a big game.

Hate all you want, but pretty much all of us came from somewhere before we arrived here. Thanks to my father in law’s hobby, I know that my darling husband’s ancestors came here from England, Scotland and Ireland mostly before the Revolutionary War. My ancestry hails too from England as well as Germany, France, Switzerland and Scandinavia. Pretty much all of us come from immigrants fleeing religious persecution, famine, ethnic cleansing, poverty to seek something better. Some of us also came here against our will in chains. Like Budweiser’s Born the Hard Way ad, our people were likely greeted with a mix of open arms and outright hate, as it seems today. All of us, literally all of us, unless we are 100% Native American, came from somewhere else and, it’s beautiful. We are beautiful. America is beautiful.

And, were it not for an immigrant coming to America in THIS century looking for something better, my youngest child, my favorite son, would not be here right now calling me “Mom”.

THAT is truly beautiful!

dress like a woman, a how-to guide

President Donald Trump is known to be very critical of one’s physical appearances, and he has apparently taken that trait with him into the White House. In a new report released Thursday, Trump said male staffers should wear ties and women must “dress like women”.

So dress like women….hmmm…how does one dress like women?

Step 1: Be a woman.

Step 2: Put on any article of clothing.

CONGRATULATIONS!

You are now dressed like a woman.

It’s just that easy.

 

 

the one he chooses

Just in case there is someone out there who hasn’t followed this circus life in the last year,

MY YOUNGEST CHILD IS GRADUATING FROM 8TH GRADE IN MAY!!!

Earlier this week, we attended a Welcome to High School meeting at the high school he will be registering for later this month and, again, I was overwhelmed with way too many emotions.
..my son…my miraculous son…my LAST child…HIGH SCHOOL…HOW IS THIS EVEN HAPPENING??!!
And then I was reminded that 8th grade pictures were due for the yearbook…the BABY pictures of the graduating 8th graders. Again came all the feels…just re-read the above.

Experience with the four siblings before him has taught me the importance of choosing the right baby picture because EVERYONE will be seeing that picture. Nakey baby, baby covered in food, dirt or gawd knows what, potty training baby or baby wearing anything that is not a legitimate hat upon their head kind of pictures are NOT ever the pictures that should be submitted for the baby pictures page…NO MATTER HOW CUTE! When in doubt it is best to consult the teenaged human child…always…trust me. But while it is important to consult the young graduate, it needs to be properly timed because adolescent angst and moodiness is everything and absolutely not the time to ask for their opinion.

I forgot and asked him anyway.

He shrugged and walked away.

While waiting for the right moment, I crowdsourced the question on social media. Everyone is OVER talking about politics and a thin-skinned president so why not?

For yearbook they want 8th graders’ baby pictures. Do I share the pic when he weighed 1 pound with all the tubes sustaining life or find a chubby baby pic when he was much older?

The response? 35% voted for the micro preemie, 28% voted for the “normal looking” chubby baby and 37% voted for him to choose. The biggest surprise for me was who voted for the chubby baby picture.

He was an adorable chubby baby…once he grew into a chubby baby with the help of a feeding tube in his belly and continuous, high caloric tube feedings. I imagine the chubby baby voters wouldn’t want to see the gastrostomy tube coming out of his stomach or the kangaroo feeding pump that was his shadow during those early years.

He was a beautiful micro preemie too. I wasn’t the only one who thought so during his 132 days in the NICU.

Looking through all the pictures of Daniel, as a micro preemie, as a growing baby and toddler, it is very hard for me to decide. I can’t decide. I ask him again, and, the sun and the moon and the stars were perfectly aligned so that he was willing to offer his opinion.

When I was tiny.

When you are tiny with all the tubes and wires attached to your body.

Yes. I’m a miracle. I want the tiny baby picture.

So he chooses and so it shall be.

 

the promise of making it after all

Under The Big Top and in the mom-car the last few days an old song was heard which prompted a few questions from my darling son who could not possibly understand the impact a 70’s sitcom with a upbeat, simple theme song could have

How could he?

But for his mama this show did leave it’s mark. Oh to have that perfect shoulder length flip, drive that mustang and have that apartment — of course there would be a giant L on the wall. When that show first aired in 1970, and through the next seven years, it opened the eyes and sparked the imaginations of many young girls and women probably more than the actual leaders of the Women’s Liberation Movement whom we might have seen on the CBS Evening News with good old Walter Cronkite.

Who?!

Never mind, son.

Here was a beautiful, single woman who was a career girl and not a career girl in the acceptable career girl type of jobs. She drove a cool car, lived in an even cooler apartment, always fashionably dressed and, while she certainly had her fair share of love and infatuations, she didn’t seem to need a man in her life to take care of her. At least that was how I saw it then and recall it now.

Daniel still doesn’t see the point.

He couldn’t. He’s a boy. He’s a boy born in this century where it is a given that women in his life do have choices — not just that choice — girls and young women now can imagine being almost anything when they grow up…wives…mommies…teachers…nurses…artists…business owners…scientists…politicians…almost anything with hard work, education and opportunity. When I was a girl, the sky was so much more limited. As a young girl, what could be more aspirational than your own sofa bed and bubble bath, with girlfriends popping in and out, boasting hilarious problems and even funnier bell-bottoms? When I was a young girl, going to college and getting a good job was expected, but it was a means to an end — to fall in love, to marry, to have babies, to take care of the babies and the home. The Mary Tyler Moore Show showed that there was more out there. Yes, I grew up and followed a traditional female career path, I did marry and did have a few babies too. But I continued to work in my chosen field. I raised my daughters to know that wherever their talents, education, hard work and a little luck takes them it is possible for them to make it, after all.

Maybe one of them can also master the iconic beret toss. I never could.

what comes next

So the March is over and those who participated and the media celebrates. Why not? Reports and interviews over the last few days clearly indicate that we got under the skin of the President and his surrogates. Naturally what would follow would be the opinions expressed by a few elected officials, business owners and even some women who basically feel the peaceful, global movement is not needed because in America, women do have everything they need and if they don’t, it’s their own fault, and marching won’t fix that.

Yeah, we touched a nerve.

Let’s keep standing on that nerve.

I will accept the idea shared by certain lawmakers that a woman who looks like me, a woman who is as old as, or perhaps older than me is safe from pussy grabbing. Looking at your shared images on your office websites and social media accounts, I would offer likewise.

Like the Christys out there, my life is fairly comfortable…now! I now have the good fortune of a good education, a career with good benefits, a cozy home in a nice, suburban neighborhood and a number of other amenities that I take for granted believing them to be necessities rather than luxuries. I am lucky to have a sober, hard-working spouse who loves and respects me as much as he loves and respects his adult daughters and teen-aged son. I live in a bubble now and because I was not raised in such a fortunate, comfortable bubble, I am well aware of that and I give thanks for that reality. It’s good to no longer have to live with domestic violence and abuse, alcoholism and drug abuse, crime and poverty. I give thanks for this life I live now all the time because that which was my childhood has never been my children’s reality, nor my grandchildren’s.

Marching with the colorfully diverse group of peoples through Oakland, high-fiving and hugging law enforcement officers who gamely wore pink pussy hats, I was well aware of the white privilege that protected us. We were a peaceful march; still a loud march that pretty much shut down downtown Oakland. The same was happening everywhere else that day. Take away the white old ladies, middle aged women, young families with children and even the celebrities would it have been the same? Regarding my privilege and the bubble I live in, I can’t help but ponder that.

So what comes next? The Women’s March had a YUGE impact, a BIGLY one. But it is just the beginning. On January 21, over 5 Million of us worldwide and over 1 Million in Washington, D.C., came to march, speak and make our voices heard. But it doesn’t end here – now is not the time to hang up our marching shoes – it’s time to get our friends, family and community together and make history.

EVERY 10 DAYS WE WILL TAKE ACTION ON AN ISSUE WE ALL CARE ABOUT, STARTING TODAY.

The First Action: Write a postcard to your Senators about what matters most to you – and how you’re going to continue to fight for it in the days, weeks and months ahead.

Write down your thoughts. Pour your heart out on any issue that you care about, whether it’s ending gender-based violence, reproductive rights and women’s health, LGBTQIA rights, worker’s rights, civil rights, immigrant rights, religious freedom, environmental justice or anything else.

If you need some inspiration, check out the Women’s March Unity Principles and #WhyIMarch hashtag.

Overachiever that I am, I not only wrote my Senators (because Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris both are supportive of that which is important to me), but also my Representative, as well as the Senate Majority Leader, Speaker of the House and the man in the White House. Virtually everything that is important to me they are currently intent on tearing down and what over 5 million people like me did this weekend currently bugs the hell out of them.

This action was not hard. It literally took a half hour out of my day and a quick run to my local SaveMart to buy some stamps. Yeah, I recognize that  I’m still protesting in my little White Women bubble. But it’s a start and there is always a starting point. I intend to continue to move forward…onward even.