life in my hood with 2 teenagers, a toddler and chronic pain

don’t ask, don’t tell? May 28, 2009

I just put my 3 1/2 year old to bed.  She was chanting “What do we want? Civil Rights! When do we want it? NOW!”  Crazy, right?

She doesn’t know the meaning of those words and it is my deepest hope that long before she has her own children, there will be no need for rallying cries such as this. But until that day, the chant must be repeated loudly and clearly across our nation and across our world. An hour ago, my family returned from a demonstration, one that was organized very last minute, in response to both the disturbing decision by the California Supreme Court and the firing of Lt. Dan Choi for publicly coming out of the closet. Lt. Dan, as many were calling him tonight, was there to speak, passionately and from his heart about knowing first hand how important it is to fight for the right to love.  As simple as that. This man spoke, and many listened as he put it so clearly. This man who has risked his very life for this country is fighting the battle of his life for the simple right that so many of us take for granted. I don’t agree with war and I have never understood a person who would choose a life in the military, but this man, this strong man, this eloquent man, who has become a symbol for a movement to which he has been drafted, showed me the true meaning tonight of the words “courage” and “hero.”


Lt. Dan

Lt. Dan



This afternoon, I told my children that I wanted to attend this rally and that I wanted them to go too. I wanted them to understand what it means to be a part of something bigger than one’s self. We went, and my husband met us there and we held signs and took pictures and chanted and listened. And my children felt the energy that is created when many voices come together as one. I told my children after, that the reason I wanted them to go is that I want them to be able to tell their children what it feels like to be the change they want to see in the world. I told them that I hope that their children will ask them with confusion how it was that homosexuals could not marry, could not be afforded the same rights to love and live and die for their country-that their children will not be able to even imagine this world.

Here’s the thing. I was going to write a funny piece about the “don’t ask, don’t tell” life of a mom. How as long as you don’t ask me if my beds are made, I won’t tell you that they aren’t. As long as you don’t ask me when I last showered, I won’t tell you. As long as you don’t ask me if the kids had cereal for dinner, I won’t tell you. We all walk around with our dirty little secrets and an unwritten code that we won’t ask the real questions and we won’t expect the real answers. BUT, after going to this rally, after listening to Lt. Choi speak of the necessity to deny his very being in order to keep his job, a job that so many Americans consider heroic, my dirty little secrets seem insignificant, not even worthy of mention. To live your entire life as a lie-don’t ask me if I am gay and I won’t tell you, is incomprehensible to me.

There are so many problems that we as a country and a world face-the environment, the economy, healthcare, disease, education-that it is entirely mind boggling that we even need to spend our resources to fight for a basic human right. Rick Jacobs, chair of the Courage Campaign, Lt. Dan and another young man whose name I did not get, spoke of these things and we listened and we replied and we shouted and we told our children that we must pick our battles and when we do, we must fight for them with everything we have. I grew up in a time when, in certain places, people of color could not drink at the same water fountain as white people. Last November, we elected an African American man to the highest office in our land. Yesterday that very same man nominated a Latina woman to the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

Times have changed. Times are changing.

It is time to change don’t ask, don’t tell. It is time to ask. It is time to tell. 




nufced?–not sure


my favorite teens April 27, 2009

Filed under: 2 teenagers and a toddler,animal, vegetable, mineral — mothahhood @ 5:06 pm
Tags: ,

portraits_00081A while ago there was an email going around telling people what they should do to prepare if they were thinking about having kids (things like set the alarm to get up every 2 hours,  etc.) I wrote this as an addendum for people approaching parenthood in the pre or teen years…

find the thing you love most in the world.  paint on
eyes.  turn it so the eyes are facing a computer
screen.  add ears and glue a cell phone to its ears.
add a voice box and make it grunt in response to any
question you ask.  place it in a room and leave it
there for days on end.  bring it out with you on
occasion to eat dinner and then put it back in its
drive the thing around to many places you dont want to
go in traffic on friday afternoon.  take it to the
emergency room once every 2 years.  spend 6-8 hours
each time.
decorate a beautiful room for your thing.  buy
expensive clothes at places like abercrombie.  throw
those clothes all over the thing’s room. leave them
buy a gamecube, a ps2, and several games for those
systems.  place your thing (with computer and cell
phone) in front of those game systems. go out to run
errands and come back 5 hours later.  your thing will
still be in front of those games.
buy a potbellied pig.  put it in front of your
refrigerator. open your refrigerator.  when it has
eaten everything go to the grocery store for the
fourth time that week. spend $400 at trader joe’s and
have the people behind you in line ask if you have a
teenager at home.
beg the thing to hang out with you.  don’t expect a
response though cuz after all it’s only a thing.
tell your thing to take a shower and clean its room.
again, don’t expect much because after all it’s only a
buy a horse (doesn’t have to be very large). eat
give your thing a big giant bear hug and don’t let go,
cuz after all it is the thing you love most in the



hugging grampy April 26, 2009

Filed under: it's all relative,my kids amaze me — mothahhood @ 7:01 pm
Tags: ,

My 3 year old asked me tonite about her grampy, my father, who died 3 years before she was born. She got very sad and told me she wished she could give him a hug. We’ve had many conversations about him before and she knows he’s dead and that he was very sick before he died, and that she inherited her love of ice cream from him, whatever any of that means to her 3 year old mind. She does understand that it means she will never see him.  It makes her sad.  It makes me sad.  My father’s favorite spot in the whole world was overlooking the Atlantic Ocean along a special walk called the “Marginal Way” in Ogunquit, Maine.  It is where we scattered his ashes before eating a lobster dinner, and raising a glass to him.  She knows it as “grampy’s spot.”  So I pulled out a photobook of our trip to Maine last summer and we looked at pictures of grampy’s spot.  She wanted more, so I pulled out a photo album with pictures of my dad.  She stared at them as if staring hard would make him materialize in front of her.  She was truly sad and my heart was full.  She asked me how we could have put his body into the ocean.  I tried to explain, but there didn’t seem to be a good way to explain cremation to a 3 year old that wouldn’t freak the shit out of her so I just told her that eventually his body became like sand and we put that in the ocean.  She wanted to know if he would ever come back. She hoped he would so she could give him a hug and make him feel better.  She knew the answer, but she wanted more.  “Do people come back like flowers?” she asked.  I said, “do you mean, like when a flower dies, a new one grows in it’s place?”  She said, “yes.”  I said, “well I think sort of, but they don’t come back exactly as the same person they were before.”  She said, “then how will I give him a hug?” We hugged each other tight and pretended we were hugging grampy, but we both knew it wasn’t the same.