Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Good To Be Home

Ah, home again. We had quite a long journey yesterday and I know that no one feels sorry for us being stuck in airports all day after 10 days in Key West.

Zachary said we were all scary tan. Indeed, we are.

I will say ten days in a small hotel room with two boys is not all it's cracked up to be- the maid was very glad to see us go.

I missed home. I missed my wife. I missed Zachary. I missed my sister.

Sometimes I feel like I need to move or go somewhere else- but when I come home after a trip away, I know better. Everything I need is right here. Great friends, a community I am deeply rooted in, and oh my, there is nothing like a cup of coffee in my comfy chair in the morning.

Although when Zachary shook me awake this morning at 7AM, telling me it was "harp day," I wasn't so sure. (Harp day is the day I have to load it in the car, take it to Jake's school so he can practice with the orchestra.)

Jeanine and I stayed up way too late last night talking. The time flew by, and it was comforting to be sitting next to her. She asked me how I felt about the trip. It was an interesting flip for me. I am not the "fun" mom, Jeanine is. I had to take the role on, and I think I did a fairly good job.

The day out on the fishing boat was not such a good idea, as both boys got seasick. I had a sailfish on the line and lost it. The ocean was too rough, though, and we headed in early.

I did not talk about politics. Ok, I did a couple times but not within their earshot. There was big movement going on in Massachusetts and I simply had to partake in some of it.

I think Ben and Jake actually bonded. The hard part will be this next week, when Ben goes back to his friends and ignores Jake again. They will, though, have the memory of parasailing together, 10 stories above the ocean, laughing and punching each other.

The leaves are almost all out here. The grass much greener than when we left. We are a little too tan for this time in New England, but it does feel good to be home.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Key West: Day... um... I dunno anymore

I hit that place in vacation where I actually calm down. It feels good. Only problem is, Jake has a fever. Poor baby. We were suppose to go parasailing today- perhaps it's the gods telling us no.

It's been great here. The weather could not be more perfect. The kids have been getting along- mostly. We've yet to have any food I could say was amazing, but all has been fine.

Today will be a quiet day- not quite sure what to do with fever boy. Can't take him out in the sun for any extended period and can't imagine sitting in a hotel room all day.

In Massachusetts, the trans rights bill has finally gained some momentum. Once gay rights friendly Charlie Baker, is now trolling for the conservative votes he thinks got Scott Brown elected. He calls the bill the "bathroom bill" which is so far from the truth one has to wonder if he's taking talking points from Sarah Palin.

Someone should remind him that it didn't get her elected- only a prime slot on Saturday Night Live to be ridiculed.

I'm not allowed to discuss politics while on vacation. The boys have threatened to put my hand in a bucket of cold water while I'm sleeping if I do. Good thing they don't read the blog.

After two deaths in our state by young kids who were bullied ruthlessly, one would think the rhetoric would tone done a little. It is painful, and hurts deeply. It is no way to set an example for our children.

But Governor Patrick has not only seen the light, but is using this as a issue to differentiate himself from his opponents. It is about fairness and justice, he says. Not only will he sign the bill, he has sent out a fundraising appeal stating his support of the bill.

THAT is my Massachusetts. And that is my governor. I wish he would chat with his pal down in DC that equality and civil rights are something to proudly use as campaign slogans.

Today we will lay low. I'll sneak a few peeks at the press on the trans bill- shhh, don't tell the kids.

In the very very near future, Massachusetts will once again be the state that I love so dearly.

And safe for all.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Key West: Day Two

My goodness people here drink a lot.

And I mean A LOT. Last night, we were wandering around Duval Street by Mallory Square and there were quite a few people who were staggering drunk. I don't really understand that. Mind you, I do love a cocktail, no question, but so drunk you can't walk? No.

It freaked me out. Especially when we came across the ones who were yelling. Not happy yells, mind you, but fighting. Yikes.

The boys dragged me to Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. I do not do chain restaurants but they insisted. Jake looked for a non-alcoholic drink from a martini glass and found one. Ben had one with Red Bull in it.

There was a couple next to us smoking away, and Ben was quite vocal about how disgusting it was. Jake said, I don't mind. It reminds me of Grandma's house...

Ben added, cigarette smoke and old lady perfume. That's what Grandma's smelled like.

I confided I have a plastic container of her scarves, that when opened, still smells like her. When I miss her, I said, I open it and soak it in.

After an enormous piece of fudge that I recommended not eating all of, but it's vacation, so I didn't insist, Jake was sick as a dog. I sat with him on the bathroom floor in the hotel room for an hour, as he moaned and held his aching belly.

I did not say I told you so. I brought him cool water and rubbed his back.

Aside from arguing over shotgun in the car, the boys are getting along amazingly well. Only a few petty fights. Now it's time to see about the jet skis. I'm afraid Ben is not old enough to ride his own, which will lead me to the choice of lying about his age.

Not a good precedent. But he is big for his age. And I did watch a creepy old man check him out, head to toe last night while we were wandering. No question, he is all that but... he is still my baby and I considered kicking the geezer's ass.

All that crazy drunkenness around puts me in fight or flight mode.

Another breakfast at Blue Heaven and then perhaps jet skis...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Key West, Day One

We got in yesterday afternoon.. the hotel is a little ... um... well... it's ok. When I saw four fat, hairy old men playing pool at the outdoor table without shirts on, I had a class moment.

If they only didn't have breasts. and.. hair. Ew.

But we have a view of the ocean and a lovely little deck. Although I find it interesting that a non smoking resort has ashtrays out on the deck. Isn't that counterproductive?

We walked down Duval, and passed an "adult" something or other. A bunch of, as Ben said, strippers on the porch drinking mountain dew and smoking cigarettes. Jake turned to me and said, I think I have to be 21 to be here...

Indeed. When we got back to the hotel, Ben had to take a shower. Oy. The boy does love him some large breasts.

After two martinis at the hotel restaurant- I must say it was very good, fairly cheap, and outside right on the ocean- last night, it all seemed perfect. Although the place is called the Strip Club, and walking into it, there were 1920's pictures of naked women everywhere. Ben looked at me and said, I don't the he should be here! pointing to Jake. Jake, at 10, did not notice.

Yes, Ben took another shower when we got back to the room.

After dinner, Jake whupped me at pool. I really really can't play when I've been drinking, despite my own belief that I can. Ben decided we simply must have the couch that was at the outdoor bar with the pool table, on the deck at home.

Right now I'm having a fabulous Cuban coffee, watching the waves and getting ready to go to Blue Heaven for breakfast. Perhaps jet skis later today and I think if I haven't completely lost my mind, we are going to try para sailing later this week.

I have to check that out with the wife to be sure I'm allowed.

I have to let go of my inner Ritz Carlton princess (although some would say, INNER?) and all will be good.

To blue heaven...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Teabagger's Make a Point for Educational Reform

Good lord, at least be able to spell your hate.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Joy: The Art of Soaking It In

When was the last time you felt joy? Pure, clear, heart totally full joy?

I can remember being on the water in downeast cand coming up on a shoal where there were seals and suddenly a bald eagle landed, not more than 5 feet from me. I was alone, with the seals and eagle, not a sound but the wind and water.

It was glorious. Tears came to my eyes.

When Zachary did his presentation about Thomas Becket, and answered a question about religion and the king with an awareness about society and fairness that simply blew me away. I thought to myself, this boy has an old soul.

When I watch Jake play his harp- his concentration and the beauty of the sound. For those few minutes, everything seems to stop for me. He cannot help but be musical. It is sweet to see his mother's genes shine through- although he is into improv and she is most definitely not.

When Ben was dancing at the Black Eyed Peas concert. He had been unhappy and struggling for so long, to see his happiness, filled my heart. His body moved, arms pumping in the air, his pals surrounding him- music touches him on a level I don't always appreciate. I did that night.

At that same concert, looking around during the song "Where is the Love?" and seeing thousands of arms in the air waving in unison to a song that is about social justice (remember when the Peas were about social justice?), I felt a huge lump in my throat. Look, I said to my friend standing next to me, it's amazing. It's about love and Jesus, and humanity.

The last time Jeanine and I made love and she held me after and said the words I love you, Sara, something I hear daily, a million times over but following the intensity and connection it felt like the first. It was the safest place in the world, in her arms, in that moment.

All were moments of pure joy. A friend had asked me if I thought we leave our bodies during intense joy and happiness the way we do during trauma. For a long time, I could not remember feeling joy, minus the days my children were born.

Perhaps, on some level, I do leave my body. It is so hard to take in, to accept and cherish. Or maybe I'm too afraid to take it in fully.

I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Sometimes? It doesn't.

As I go into my week long trip with Ben and Jake, I am going to be mindful of joy. All too often the familiarity of pain and anxiety keeps me seeing the good.

There is much joy in my life. I think I simply need to learn the art of soaking it in.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Four More Days...

Four more days till Spring break with the kids. Well, two of the kids. Zachary already had his spring break.

All I know is that I need a break.

I had a little fit this morning about the mess in the house. Why do I have to clean up after everyone??? I asked.

Um, because I always do, I believe is the answer.

I'm tired. Really tired. I have work to do that I have not finished and all I want to do is crawl back into bed. A letter to write about street names and holding of stocks, a list of things for taxes, a meeting date request...

But in four days, I go to Key West with Ben and Jake. Sun, fishing, swimming... I said to Jeanine I wasn't going to take my phone. She said I had to, but I didn't have to answer any calls except hers.

Maybe. It's still tempting to completely unhook from the world. I am looking forward to going out on a boat with Jake and fishing. To sitting by the pool with Ben, just chilling. For there to be no mail to open, emails to respond to, bills to pay (yikes! did I pay the mortgage???), nothing but warm breezes to soak in.

This is usually my big energy time of year and aside from a small glimpse a few weeks ago, I've yet to see it.

Something to contemplate while away. But not too hard, because it's all been so hard lately, all I want is some peace.

Four more days. First, I gotta go check on that mortgage...

Friday, April 09, 2010

Justice Stevens is Retiring

Justice Stevens is retiring.

Talk about sacrifice. That man has stayed through so many years...

It is now time to collectively hold our breath. It is not time for reaching across to the Republicans for a show of unity. This is a life long appointment.

Please, President Obama. No compromises here.


Sacrifice. I have had my attention drawn to sacrifice recently.

As a parent, I know sacrifice. I no longer get to do what I want, when I want. There are a few delicious times when without children and without responsibility, I can indulge in things such as eating when I want, what I want, watching a television program on TV without considering the content, and sleeping in.


Obama passed a historic health care bill. Much sacrifice went into passing that bill. When I saw the opening of previously closed areas for off shore drilling, I knew it was about the health care bill. You do this, I'll do that. Many, many deals were made along the way. The risks were high, and it will take years to know if it was worth it or not.

I know sacrifice in terms of having kids. I knew my life would change but I had no idea how my life would change and to the extent it would. I cannot miss a presentation or a conference. I cannot take off for a week without extensive planning and even then, there are ramifications when I get home.

Like enormous piles of laundry and annoyed children who do not understand why I was away.

I do not ride a motorcycle, even though I'd like to, nor do I bungee jump or do anything that involves great risk to my health. I am up by 7AM most days, making lunch for Jake, sometimes taking the harp to school. I spend an insane amount of time in the car driving from place to place, to make sure the kids get to music lessons, tutors, and fun activities. When someone is sick, I simply cancel everything and stay home with them.

Nothing to be done. It is what it is.

The Obama administration, I believe, did the same. But where children are by nature, and quite appropriately in need, the legislators were greedy pigs that knew they had him in a tight spot. It was not about what was right for the people, or what was in fact a historical effort, but a time to get goodies.

Keep a keen eye on what happens with the banking regulations as the overhaul goes through Congress. I'm certain deals were made there, too.

I know sacrificing for my children is completely and totally worthwhile. I would have it no other way. I hope the same is true for Obama.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Is It Really Thursday?

Is it Thursday already?

Where did this week go?

This is the tie your shoes at 7AM and don't plan on stopping till 8PM time of year. Ben in track, Zachary and Jake in baseball, music lessons, tutors... it never seems to end.

Somewhere in the last few months I went from a manageable 150 emails a day to over 300. I can't keep up. If anyone has emailed me recently and I didn't respond, it's not out of the lack of desire, rather the lack of time.

And I really need to fire the email sorter. Oh, wait, that's me. I think I need to fire me.

My lovely technological wizard of a wife says I have programs on my computer that can help. However, that means learning those programs. Which takes time.

Um... can I learn it on the baseball field while I'm watching one of the kids games?

I would like to mention that my glorious baby, Jake, has turned 10. Yesterday was his birthday- I cannot believe he is that old. Or that his feet are really that big.

He is growing by leaps and bounds. It's wonderful and makes me so sad.

In the meantime, Mass Equality, the statewide LGBT group I am on the board of, is deep in searching for a new Executive Director. It is very exciting- much like my baby boy, the organization has gone from infancy to young adulthood. We are becoming a stable, long term political force. It's an amazing ride to have the privilege of being a part of.

And... um... time consuming.

No excuses- my blogging has been horrible lately. We've had health care pass without a comment from me.

Trust me, I have comments. I mean... opening up all those areas for off shore oil drilling? Can you say back room deal to get health care passed? I'm terrified about the banking regulations they are coming up with- how deal laden will they be?

I'm thinking over here, just not writing. I know that does not make my friend Bil very happy. It doesn't make me very happy either.

Now, though, I have to go tuck my way too big baby boy Jake into bed. I still get to tuck one in, at least for a little bit longer.

Showers have been taken, homework done, harp and saxophone practiced. The dog is at my feet, snoring happily.

It is a very busy time of year, no question. And one of the most satisfying, too.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter

I think I seriously need to reconsider my wardrobe.

I came downstairs today, in shorts, and a golf shirt. No shoes, just shorts and a golf shirt. Jake looked at me and said, "Do you have a meeting today?"

Good lord, this is what he thinks I go to meetings in?

Happy Easter everyone...

Friday, April 02, 2010

I don't f****ing think so