Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Proud Mom

Today, my son Ben ran his first track meet. He was.. um.. a little wound up and nervous. But all smiles when he was done. He ran a 2:59 in the 800meters, and to me, he seemed like he was loping.

He came in second.

He was also thrown in for the relay race at the last minute, and did well.

Proud Mom.

Zachary had a baseball game and while the team lost, again, he kept his head high. He did not blame teammates, nor did he think he was perfect- he knows what he needs to work on. He is a great sportsman, that one. Gracious in defeat in a way I never, ever was.

And today, in New Hampshire, the "live free or die" state, marriage equality was passed by the Senate. I'm not sure how clear the road is through the House, nor what the "marriage is one man and one woman" Governor will do, but to see my neighboring, EXTREMELY conservative state take this step was amazing.

The house is clean- no small task- homework is being done, and I finally beat the pile of laundry in Jake's room that has always seemed to multiply in a way must be alien in origin. A good dinner was had by all, another near impossible feat during baseball and track season. Four out of five at the table, too.

I've made a few people mad this week, and I'm sorry for that. I've made a couple happy, too. A good friend called today and I love our connection, the way we understand each other after so many years.

I am very grateful for all the well wishes for my friend who was sick. She's going to be fine- like I said, she's the strongest person I know.

There is something winding down inside me, I can feel it. I glimpsed the kind of calm I feel when I'm at the ocean today, in the middle of what always feels like a storm. I was able to simply be.

And know it is so very much to be in the world today.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A New Storm

As I was gearing up for a long week of meetings yesterday, I found out some awful news. My friend is sick. Very sick. I believe in my heart she'll be okay because she is the strongest person I know, both physically and emotionally.

It made me stop.

There are times that I feel like all the laundry, the errands, the food preparation is a giant waste of time. I am only a housewife and what impact does that have on the world?

And then my friend is sick.

I want to cancel every meeting. I want to stop in my tracks and kiss the ground. I am healthy. My kids and wife are healthy. I have an amazing family.

I want to sit and watch the baseball game with the kids tonight. Make the butterscotch sauce from the recipe I was sent the other day. Laugh.

My first instinct was to try and make my friend, and her wife, laugh. They are waiting for news that could be very hard to hear. I am once removed and it's agonizing for me- I cannot imagine how hard it is for them.

I need to spend more time with friends and less time in meetings. I need to cook giant meals and have everyone over to eat, drink, laugh.

I need to live in the moment. Right now.

It's funny, I had decided a while ago that I wanted to take two weeks in Downeast Maine this May. Alone. I felt like I needed time to work on my book, but also to simply be for a while. To haul wood, kayak, cook on an old stove in cast iron skillets. Drink perked coffee, always somewhat burnt from the time on the stove.

I wanted to stop. Smell the ocean. Sit in the dense fog and listen to the sounds.

I don't want to convince an investment committee that socially responsible investing is the right way to go. I've tried for ten years and enough already. I don't need to be right.

Well,clearly I do or else I would have stopped nine years ago but now I feel myself stopping in my tracks. I want to clear off the folding table in the basement. I want to sit and eat a bowl of cereal with the kids when they get home from school (actually, I just did do that).

I'm not getting younger. My time with my boys is limited. I've known that but for some reason today, I know it. In my heart.

I can't help but keep going back to the book I finished, Three Dog Life, by Abigail Thomas.

"I was on a small island once, in the middle of a great big lake, mountains all over the place, and as I watched the floating dock the wind kicked up, the waves rose from nowhere, and I imagined myself there and the dock suddenly breaking loose, carried away by the storm. I wondered if I could lie still and enjoy the sensation of rocking, after all I wouldn't be dead yet, I wouldn't be drowning, just carried off somewhere that wasn't part of my plan. The very thought of it gave me the shivers. Still, how great to be enjoying the ride, however uncertain the outcome. I'd like that. It's what we're all doing anyway, we just don't know it."

I'm ready to go lie on the dock.

Or maybe acknowledge the dock I am already on.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

50 Questions

Oops, I think I posted that quote yesterday before. I'm getting a little senile. Pass me the estrogen.

I saw this on facebook and it sounded fun so...


50 (yes fifty!!) things you've never been asked....copy/paste & share!!

I won't tag anyone...

1. What color is your toothbrush?
Pink. The kids won't use pink.

2. Name one person who made you smile today:
No one is here with me so I have to say Beanie. She had that, ummm, are you ready to pet me now? How about now? look on her face.

3. What were you doing at 8 am this morning?
It isn't 8 yet.

4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago?
Sleeping with two cats and a dog on me, vying to see who can get the closest.

5. What is your favorite candy bar?

6. Have you ever been to a strip club?
No, not even when I was in Vegas. Seemed too icky.

7. What is the last thing you said aloud?
C'mon Beanie, c'mon inside.

8. What is your favorite ice cream?
Chubby Hubby. Mmmm.

9. What was the last thing you had to drink?

10, Do you like your wallet?
um... I like it when it has money in it.

11, What was the last thing you ate?
An Italian sub from the Village Market. They put mayo on it. Mayo does not belong on an Italian sub. Blech.

12, Have you bought any new clothing items this week?
No. I rarely buy new clothes. I wait for Jeanine to buy new clothes and steal them from her.

13, The last sporting event you watched?
Celtics game on TV Thursday night. Woooooo hoooo!

14, What is your favorite flavor of popcorn?
Normal, regular, no butter.

15, Who is the last person you sent a text message to?
My sweetie.

16, Ever go camping?
I have an issue with camping.

17, Do you take vitamins daily?

18, Do you go to church every Sunday?
Um... nope.

19, Do you have a tan?
Little bit. It's been nice lately.

20, Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza?
Oh, that's like comparing an apple to an orange. Both delicious for different reasons. If I had to choose, it would be pizza.

21, Do you drink your soda with a straw?
Never. My mother did not approve of straws or the slurping noise they made.

22, What did your last text message say?
I don't think that would pass the Weezie meter.

23, What are you doing tomorrow?
Kids, baseball, and there is that pesky pile of bills to attend to.

25, Look to your left, what do you see?
My fat cat Darcy looking out the window.

26, What color is your watch?
I hate watches. I hate anything on my wrists. Jeanine once gave me a pocket watch, which is beautiful, but I tend to have an innate sense of time. Comes from working in catering.

27, What do you think of when you hear Australia?
My mother wanting to move there when I told her I was trying to get pregnant.

29, Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru?
I do very little fast food, and when I do, it's a drive thru.

30. What is your favorite number?
15 was the number I wore when playing sports.

31. Who's the last person you talked to on the phone.

32, Any plans today?
Kids baseball games. Thank god it's not raining. Or cold.

33, How many states have you lived in?
Two- New York and Massachusetts. Part time in Maine.

34, Biggest annoyance right now?
Darcy has now moved to my side and is yowling for food.

35 Last song listened to?
Stand by Me.

36,Can you say the alphabet backwards?

37, Do you have a maid service clean your house?
Maid service sounds so... odd. I have cleaning people who are fabulous and kind. I don't know what I would do without them except I think it would involve making Jeanine actually clean a bathroom. I don't know that she ever has.

38, Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?
My Pumas. I have always loved pumas.

39, Are you jealous of anyone?
Not really.

40, Is anyone jealous of you?
I have no idea. I don't think that much of myself.

41, Do you love anyone?
Deeply. Many people.

42. Do any of your friends have children?
Most of my friends have children. Who else would tolerate mine?

43, What do you usually do during the day?
I eat bon bons all day. Please. I'm a suburban housewife.

44, Do you hate anyone that you know right now?
Well, there is the pesky neighbors in Maine that make my life miserable with their whining and complaining. But I don't hate them.

45, Do you use the word 'hello' daily?
I think so. Even if I am just speaking to the cats.

46, What color is your car?
Silver- it hides the dirt.

47, Do you like cats?
I love my kitties. I generally think cats are superior to all life forms. (I'm just saying that because Darcy is reading over my shoulder.)

48. Are you thinking about someone right now?
Yes, my kids, my sweetie and how I have to get on the road to get home to see them.

49. Have you ever been to Six Flags?
What an odd question. Yes, I have children, I have been to Six Flags. Not willingly.

50. How did you get your worst scar?
I accidentally put my arm through a window as a kid (no, really, it was an accident) while my Grandparents were visiting. I think my mother was horrified but her father, my granddaddy, held me and was very calm, and calmed me down. He was a kind man.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Apples to Apples

Vacation is winding down. Jeanine made it up to Ogunquit and played a rousing game of Apples to Apples with the kids. It was hysterical. I highly recommend it for family game night.

The hot dog taste test is waiting for a shipment of white hots from Rochester. We will test Pearl's, Nathan's, Hewbrew National, Ballpark and Zeigler's white hots. Grilled versus steamed. Blindfolded. I will report when we've ranked and scored the dogs.

Tomorrow the kids spring baseball season officially begins, although I've been carting them to practice a few times a week already for a while.

The sun is out. It is sometimes, a wonder here in New England when the sun comes out.

I'm reading a book, Three Dog Life, by Abigail Thomas. Her husband ends up brain damaged after going out for a walk one night- hit by a car. Never the same again. He only lives in the moment. She learns to live in a moment, too. I love this part:

"When I was young, the future was where all the good stuff was kept, the party clothes, the pretty china, the family silver, the grown-up jobs. The future was a land of its own, and we couldn't wait to get there. Not that youth wasn't great, but it came with disadvantages; I remember the feeling I was missing something really good that was going on somewhere else, somewhere I wasn't. I remember feeling life passing me by. I remember impatience. I don't feel that way now. If something interesting is going on somewhere else, good, thank god, I hope nobody calls me. Sometimes it's all I can do to brush my teeth, toothpaste is just too stimulating.

The future was also the place where the bad stuff waited in ambush. My children were embarking on their futures in fragile vessels, and I trembled. I wanted to remove obstacles, smooth their way, I wanted to change their childhoods. I needed to be right all the time, I wanted them to listen to me, learn from my mistakes, and save themselves a lot of grief. Well, now I know I can control my tongue, my temper, and my appetites, but that's it. I have no effect on weather, traffic, or luck. I can't make good things happen. I can't keep anybody safe. I can't influence the future and I can't fix up the past.

What a relief

I can't make the world a better place overnight. I can't keep kids from suffering so much they kill themselves. I can't stop the bullies- as a few have commented on my piece at Huffington Post, bullying is as American as apple pie. I can't bring those boys back to life.

I want to remove all the obstacles for not only my kids, but all kids. I don't want anyone to ever have to go through what I did.

I know that's not possible.

There is much I can do, and I will. I don't feel disheartened at all... I feel more at peace. As Thomas writes, "What a relief." I'm finding a way to give myself permission just to be. Do the best I can, move molehills instead of mountains.

And play Apples to Apples with my kids, my wife, and laugh out loud.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Grilled versus Steamed

We went to the fabulous Maine Diner today. Set on Route 1 in Wells, I can honestly say it is the best diner I have ever eaten at. I challenge any diner, any where, to take on the Maine Diner for fresh, delicious true diner food.

And they have their famous lobster pie.

The kids have, willingly, waited up to an hour at times to eat in the Maine Diner. Over the years, we have collected tee shirts, baseball hats and more kids cups than can be counted.

Today, Zachary got a meal with mac and cheese, cole slaw and a huge hot dog. The dog was grilled, as all dogs should be.

It tastes like it's steamed, he said approvingly. I like it.

It's grilled, I pointed out.

Yeah, I know but I only like steamed hot dogs.

You're eating a grilled one.

But it tastes steamed.

I rolled my eyes. I do not understand where they get the love of steamed dogs. When they were little, I took the Julia Child approach- cut the dog in half, and fry, with a heavy lid on it, flipping once to be sure it's nice and crispy on the outside. Put on a grilled bun and ... that's a hot dog.

Yes, Julia Child did in fact talk about how to cook a hot dog.

And if the weather is nice enough? Well, on the grill it goes, until it's got some serious black lines on it. Mmmm.

My kids like Hebrew Nationals- spicy, good texture- or Ball Park's- excellent chew and more "normal" flavor.

They like them steamed.

Except today. Yes, I need to be right about this. It was a Pearl hot dog, it was bunless, and it was grilled. Yes, I am precise about food. I don't like it when people salt food before they taste it- except my sister in law Cheri who uses so much salt there is no food in the world that is salty enough for her. I don't like it when people say they don't like something they have never tried.

And a hot dog should be grilled.

Delicious, Zachary said.

Tomorrow, I am going to have a battle of the dog. We have, on different occasions, had blind taste tests. Root Beer- we found A&W to be the best and surprisingly a store brand to be second best and the most expensive IBC? last place. Peanut butter- Jiff won and even Walter who insists Skippy is the best picked Jiff.

It's a fun way to learn about packaging, marketing, and what you really like about a food.

After years of steaming hot dogs against my will, I'm throwing down the gauntlet.

Who knows, maybe I'll pick a steamed dog.

And I'll say, hmmm, tastes grilled.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Another Boy Kills Himself

I wanted to write today about the cats howling all the way up to Ogunquit, where the boys and I are spending April break. Or about how beautiful the ocean is, how it brings me to a place of calm. Or about a horrible meal we had at a restaurant I've recommended a bunch of times- that I no longer recommend.

But I can't. Another boy killed himself. Bullying again.

My heart is broken.

Jaheem Herrera was eleven. He hung himself in his closet. His mother complained repeatedly to the school that he was being bullied. Nothing happened. I read about this on Pam's House Blend and I have to wonder- what will it take?

Jaheem was harassed physically and verbally. They called him gay. He spoke with an accent.

A number of parents also complained about their children being bullied, too.

Nothing happened.

Nothing happened again.

There is something deeply wrong. We must demand change. We must enable teachers to do the right thing. We must teach our children tolerance. All the crazy talk about storms and the horrible fear that maybe LGBT people might be treated as equals has to stop. We need to all come together to help these kids. Whatever our religious beliefs our, it has to stop.

Kids too young to identify as any sexuality are being brought to levels of pain that leave them feeling they have no choice.

Another little boy is dead.

We need change now.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Gay Storm

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Telling the Stories

I took my dog for a walk today. It's been a long week and I wanted some fresh air, some quiet time.

There were packs of suburban moms. They seem to run in packs out there.

I usually go out later in the day but today I was there by 8:30am. I don't think I'll do that again. Wave after wave of moms in their jogging suits, some with coffee in hand, walking their pure bred dogs.

I felt out of place. Me, in my jeans and John Deere hat, with my mutt.

Pure bred mutt. All mutt.

It's not new, mind you. I always feel out of place in packs of suburban moms. At the elementary school, I have been around long enough to meet most of the parents and I have a comfort level there.

Today, though, I was trudging along thinking about teasing, taunting and bullying. What I could do to make a difference. How do I keep talking to my kids about it without them feeling like I'm obsessed.

I am obsessed.

I realize, after a conversation last night, that my kids face not only teasing about themselves, but about having a mom that "looks like a dad." Why, they are asked, does your mom look like a man?

Hey, Jake, your dad is here.

It happens a lot. I don't tend to notice it much anymore because I always get called sir.

Do any of these moms, briskly walking by, have to deal with this?

All kids get teased at some point. There is no question about that. Why does it feel like it has escalated? Is it that cell phones and facebook pages are now being used to taunt? Is it that they are inundated with media images that promote comparison and competition?

How can we make it better?

What happened to a country proud of it's individualism? Or is that just one more lie perpetrated by the media.

I turned up a hill to a more remote part of the woods. As always in my life, the woods bring me a sense of calm. Safety.

Sirdeaner Walker is going to speak tomorrow at Springfield College, at the breaking of silence there. I am in awe of this woman's strength and in the quiet, I knew the answer.

We have to keep telling the stories. Over and over again. That's all I know how to do, and I realize that is the most powerful thing to do.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Faith Community and LGBT Community Come Together

I went to a funeral today. Of a little boy. 11 years old. He lay in the coffin, in a grown up suit, dead.

So little.

He killed himself last week because he was taunted, over and over, for being gay. Who knows if he was, or wasn't- not really the point. He was a sweet kid, they said, who loved to sing and dance. Very bright.

The school did not respond to his mother's repeated attempts to have the bullying addressed, to have it stopped. Instead, they sentenced the kid to have lunch with his abuser, for five straight days.

He told his mother he was suspended. It seems he was desperate to get out of those lunches. When they proceeded, anyway, he hung himself. It was too much.

I went today with a friend. The woman sitting next to her told her it wasn't the first time. There had been two other students at the same school, who suffered the same taunting. One girl, one boy. The girl tried to kill herself, her mother found her OD'ed on pills and got her to the hospital in time. The boy left the school, to pursue music.

This is baked in, deeply rooted homophobia. And just like baked in, deeply rooted racism affects us all, so does the homophobia. Sitting in that church today, I knew one thing for certain- This community of African-American Pentecostal church members and the gay community have a great deal in common.

A dead little boy.

If there is ever a time to make that bridge, it's now. No where in the national media is this story. No where. Is it because he was poor and black? Maybe. Is it because he was called gay and we're just not going to deal with that? Maybe.

I don't really care. I want to make that bridge. Because together, I think we can change things.

One of my sons is eleven. He came home from school and saw the picture on the service program.

I think I know him, he said. He looks... so familiar.

He doesn't, and didn't but ... we all do.

Please make this story get out in the media. We should be outraged it has not made the evening news, the NY Times, the talk show circuit. An eleven year old boy killed himself because he was bullied. Maybe the queer community is the only one who really understands.

Let's stand behind this family and make a roar so loud no one can ignore it.


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This is not an easy day.

Going to this funeral, and I realize I was a suicidal 11-year-old. The pain was too much, most of the time.

Zachary, my middle son, my 11-year-old, wanted to go. He said he thought he should be there.


I don't know. I just should.

After a day of thinking about it, he decided not to go. I'm glad. I think it's too much for him to hold. He holds so much.

I told him he could write a note to the mother. He agreed.

This story never hit the major news wires- why? Is it too gay? He didn't identify as gay. He was just a kid.

Why? Why doesn't anyone care? Why is there not outrage in every state, in every home?

Why didn't the school take this more seriously? Why did the mother's calls go unanswered? Why was it allowed to go on so long that an electrical cord wrapped around his neck was the only answer to the constant taunts?

This is going to be very hard today. Partly because it touches a part of me filled with pain.

And partly because it makes me angry.


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Friday, April 10, 2009

11 Year Old Kills Himself After Gay Taunts Left Unaddressed

An eleven-year-old boy hung himself in Springfield, MA yesterday. He had been repeatedly taunted as "gay" even though he did not identify as such. His mother went to the school over and over again, trying to get something done.

Nothing happened.

So for all those right wing nuts who insist we are teaching all sorts of positive gay messages in our school, fuck you. You caused this kids death. You and your bullshit rhetoric.

I wish we were teaching more positive images of LGBT people because then "faggot" and "queer" wouldn't hurt so much. I wish that boy had an advocate in the school who listened to his mother. Who did something.

I'm angry. How can this happen today? Why did that mother have to lose her son? Why was that boy not taken care of by the school officials?

It reminds me of when my son Zachary wanted to do the day of silence in his class. He wanted me to go in and explain. I was told no, it's too scary to talk about Lawrence King. It's too... much. A permission slip would have to go out to the parents. We can't talk that way without permission.

Which of course meant it was sexual in nature, even though it was not. This crime is not gay only. This crime- and it was a crime the way the issue was handled- was about bullying. Teasing. Mean, hateful words.

I'm beyond angry. This is something that could have been prevented. I have an eleven year old son. He wanted to recognize the day of silence. He understood how words can hurt.

He's not gay.

And when we all wonder if marriage equality is the end all and be all of the movement? Think again. In the first state in the nation to accept equal marriage rights, kids are still taunted. Humiliated.

"Two of the top three reasons students said their peers were most often bullied at school were actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender expression, according to From Teasing to Torment: School Climate in America, a 2005 report by GLSEN and Harris Interactive. The top reason was physical appearance."

Carl would have turned 12 on April 17th, the national day of silence in schools. The irony turns in my gut. I must do more. How can I as an advocate, as an activist look his mother in the eye and say I'm sorry? We're trying to push for welcoming, safe schools but haven't made it there yet?

We still need permission slips to talk about how it's not okay to call someone a dyke. lezzy. How the words cut like knives, and the targets aren't just LGBT kids, but all kids.

An eleven-year-old boy is dead today because no one in the school did a thing to help him. They should be ashamed- and they should go to jail for it.

And on Monday, I am going to the funeral. I will promise the mother that until the day I die, I am going to fight for comprehensive anti-bullying policies in schools. Because I'm a lesbian, because I've been on the other side of the taunts but mostly because I am a mother.

We must end the violence.

"GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, recommends four approaches that schools can begin implementing now to address anti-LGBT bullying and harassment.

# Adopt a comprehensive anti-bullying policy that enumerates categories such as race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and gender expression/identity. Enumeration is crucial to ensure that anti-bullying policies are effective for LGBT students. Policies without enumeration are no more effective than having no policy at all when it comes to anti-LGBT bullying and harassment, according to GLSEN’s 2005 National School Climate Survey.

# Require staff trainings to enable school staff to identify and address anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment effectively and in a timely manner.

# Support student efforts to address anti-LGBT bullying and harassment on campus, such as the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance or participation in the National Day of Silence on April 25.

# Institute age-appropriate, inclusive curricula to help students understand and respect difference within the school community and society as a whole."

It's not that hard. It's not about sex. It's about dignity. And clearly, about saving kids lives.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Right or Happy...

I've been in a mood lately. I don't know if this book I'm working on is a good idea. Writing it leaves me in a miserable place. It sends me back to old places.

I don't want to feel that way anymore.

A friend sent me a quote from the book "Three Dog Life," by Abigal Thomas. It is a story about an older woman who is taking care of her husband who had been hit by a car and left severely brain damaged.

"When I was young, the future was where all the good stuff was kept, the party clothes, the pretty china, the family silver, the grown-up jobs. The future was a land of its own, and we couldn't wait to get there. Not that youth wasn't great, but it came with disadvantages; I remember the feeling I was missing something really good that was going on somewhere else, somewhere I wasn't. I remember feeling life passing me by. I remember impatience. I don't feel that way now. If something interesting is going on somewhere else, good, thank god, I hope nobody calls me. Sometimes it's all I can do to brush my teeth, toothpaste is just too stimulating.

The future was also the place where the bad stuff waited in ambush. My children were embarking on their futures in fragile vessels, and I trembled. I wanted to remove obstacles, smooth their way, I wanted to change their childhoods. I needed to be right all the time, I wanted them to listen to me, learn from my mistakes, and save themselves a lot of grief. Well, now I know I can control my tongue, my temper, and my appetites, but that's it. I have no effect on weather, traffic, or luck. I can't make good things happen. I can't keep anybody safe. I can't influence the future and I can't fix up the past.

What a relief."

Sometimes, I wonder why I'm trying to write this book. I can't fix the past. I can't change it. Nor can I stop any other children from being hurt the same way. The words sting and make me wince- I know it makes others wince, too.

Is that what I want?

Maybe my sister is right. Maybe I need to let it go, once and for all. Take all the pages and throw them in a fire. Shovel the ashes on rich ground and let life spring from it. Focus my life on the positives and stop trying to punish people who will never own up to their actions, never be held accountable.

Do I need to be right? Or do I want to be happy?

And yet the reality of being able to read stories like my own when I was going through the worst of it, made such a difference to me. I feel responsible to give back what others have given me.

I have no idea what the future brings. We are all in good health, with good jobs, and in a safe place. There is nothing I can do to make that continue. I can only enjoy it for what it is today.

Can I let go? Can I find that relief?

I don't know.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009




Streamers, Votes and a Great Wife

I have the best wife in the whole wide world.

At least today she is.

Without my request, without my begging, she took today off. We have two teacher parent conferences, plus it's Jake's birthday. Oh, and it's Tuesday, my most dreaded day of the week.

On Tuesdays, Zachary and Jake get out of school at 12:30pm. Don't ask me why, it's just the way it is. It tends to be a day of playdates, running around, friends, lunches, and often appointments. Ben and Zachary always have their music lessons on Tuesdays. One of my friends said she can tell it's music lesson time because I start sending endless emails via my iPhone.

It is always the longest day of the week for me.

People often think with four parents, it must be easier. It's not. It can be a scheduling nightmare. No one is ever happy. Always something forgotten, always another thing to plan. As the stay at home parent, I am usually the one left with the running around and the object of ire when things don't work out.

Not today. My wonderful wife is helping and I didn't even have to ask.

I've been doing this "job" (I use quotes because god knows I don't get paid for it) for 14 years. Like any job, it has it's ups and downs. There are things I love doing and things I don't. I am on call 24//7.

A friend wrote to me yesterday and said even something as simple as wanting to go to a lecture at night, or a movie, or anything, results in a major effort. And if someone is sick? Or it's raining so practice is canceled, forget it. You're on.

Whatever you've had planned, it's thrown out the window.

When the kids were little, it was easier. Okay, it wasn't easier it was different. I had more control over what was going on, when it went on, and could plan the week without a huge amount of effort. Not anymore. They have their own ideas about what they are going to do- and I believe that is how it should be.

As I write this, a historic debate is happening in Vermont. Ninety nine votes are needed in the House to override the veto- the Senate is all set. Me? I have to go decorate the house with streamers and balloons, wrap presents and go buy the ingredients for a much loved, birthday boy requested taco dinner. Jeanine is at the dentist with Ben, and I'll be able to make a conference call today that is very important.

I think she knew I was running thin. She's a good woman and I know this was a treat.

I love being the mom of three boys. No question. Lately, though, the lack of flexibility in my own life has left me on empty. No time to write, to really sit down and write, no time to have a thought that is not interrupted. My office is a mess of urgent things to do, like those pesky bills to pay, taxes, forms to fill out. Not to mention the laundry, the every day picking up of the house, kitty litter to be changed.

I hope we get the votes in Vermont. I hope they realize this is not the changing of the world, but the acceptance of the change that has already happened. If I'm a threat to society as we know it, it's only because I haven't done my boys laundry in the last few days.

Let me tell you, that smell is enough to kill anyone.

Now, onto the streamers....

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Friday, April 03, 2009

It's all over: Iowa Court Unanimously Votes for Marraige Equality

It's all over, folks. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled today, unanimously, that marriage is a right for all. The decision was beautifully written. I believe, as do many others, this is the tipping point for the movement. A heartland state, and all the judges in agreement makes this a powerful statement to the country.

From the decision:

"Society benefits, for example, from providing same-
sex couples a stable framework within which to raise their children and the
power to make health care and end-of-life decisions for loved ones, just as it
does when that framework is provided for opposite-sex couples."


A press release from Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and House Speaker Pat Murphy, stated:

"Today, the Iowa Supreme Court has reaffirmed those Iowa values by
ruling that gay and lesbian Iowans have all the same rights and
responsibilities of citizenship as any other Iowan."

Now, I have to tell you, I have about 75 in-laws that live in Iowa in the Quad cities area. Everything this press release from the legislative leaders says is what I have experienced out there.

Along with a LOT of tequila toasts but that's another matter.

California still looms large as does the vote in Vermont. New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Maine are all closing in, too.

The bottom line? It's over. All the whining over the end of the world is seen as just that. Everyone can use a dose of "Iowan common sense," as the two leaders called it.

To quote Gronstal and Murphy again, because I cannot begin to say it better:

"When all is said and done, we believe the only lasting question about
today's events will be why it took us so long. It is a tough question
to answer because treating everyone fairly is really a matter of Iowa
common sense and Iowa common decency."

I'll just add, GO HAWKS!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Vermont Vote

95 yes... we need 99 to override a veto.

Four votes- I will get the information tomorrow on who to pressure.

Cross your fingers!

Vermont Debates Marriage

I joined a little late. if you can watch, please do.

We just heard about Jesus on the cross.


Doe, Re, Me

Okay, I am a huge fan of the Sound of Music. My friend Michael Crawford put this on his facebook page. It brought tears to my eyes, and I had to start dancing myself.


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

New Direction...

I received an email yesterday from a friend. She thought we'd be perfect for this.

Saturday, April 4th, 3PM - 5 PM at Boston Casting -

"Boston, MA-- Are you an outgoing and fun family with at least 2 kids between the ages of 10 and 16? Do you want to go on the cross country trip of lifetime? Boston Casting is holding an open casting call for New England's most extroverted families for NBC's new reality show THE GREAT AMERICAN ROAD TRIP on Saturday, April 4th from 3 PM - 5 PM at Boston Casting.

What type of family are you?
We're looking for The Loudest Family, The Clean Freaks, The Brainiacs, The Trekkie Family, The Real Life Griswalds, The Cheap Family, The Musical Family, The Wild and Crazy Latin Family, The Ultimate Italian Family, The Ultimate Greek Family, The Heavy Metal Family, or any other type of REALLY FUN Family!"

I think we're the really fun, really gay family. I've struggled with a while about direction, what to do next... well, now I have it.

Road trip, baby!