Saturday, December 31, 2011

unresolved

Well here I am, writing my last blog of the year.  It has in part flown, in part crawled by.  It might be safe to say that in flying and crawling forms, this year has kicked my ass.  Drop-kicked, wrestled, body-slammed me to the ground, in fact.  And yet, here I sit at the end of it, intact, on my feet, and feeling pretty hopeful about what this new year will bring.

I don't believe in making resolutions.  It seems like these are things meant to constrain rather than to enhance our lives in general.  So I think this year, I will blow on the proverbial dandelion, and begin the year sending out wishes into the great unknown of this new year.

So - be it unresolved that I:

1.    wish to learn how to be kinder and gentler with myself.
2.    wish for the strength to listen to my convictions.
3.    wish for strength and clarity to help my kiddos deal with all the changes taking place.
4.    wish to make more time to spend with friends and loved ones.
5.    wish to remember how important it is to slow myself down. 
6.    wish to be more careful with my heart, while maintaining an openness to love and friendship.
7.    wish to worry less about pleasing others, and about what others think of me.
8.    wish to be brave enough to take risks, even when they are shit-scary.
9.    wish for more time to think and to write and to be creative.
10.  wish to maintain a steady commitment to my own health and happiness.

***And I wish health, hope, happiness and love to us all in the coming year.***

And to 2012 - I say: Bring It!  (I'm ready for you.)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The forest for the trees

Hindsight, they say, is 20/20. Today I ponder foresight. Our family is currently undergoing some pretty massive changes, which though hard on all of us, weigh particularly on the smalls. Boy-o especially.

And tonight, after a particularly challenging evening of parenting, and struggling to maintain an even-keeled-steady-eye-to-a-kinder-gentler-distant-future, I am left wrestling with the course my own life trajectory takes the kidlets on.

Guilt in this particular wrestling match is inevitable. But if I force myself to move beyond getting stuck in that knee-jerk, a too familiar place of ' bad mother,' I'm also left with the question: 'what do my kids stand to gain from this process? And though escaping that stuck in guilt position is tough (and boy, let me tell you, I've had loads if external, um, support for that particular position of late), I do find myself occasionally catching some glimmers of positive long-term teachables too.

I live by my heart. Always have. Always will. (You can love that about me or hate that about me - it just... is). It leads me (oftentimes) places my rational self tells me are too risky. Its 1000 times braver than my brain. And it has yet to fail me. Its not that I don't get hurt - I do, Frequently, even. Embarrased. Downright squished sometimes. But rarely have I really regretted a decision that I've made based on feeling and intuition (my two favourite epistemologies). Even the ones that resulted in painful consequences. Because to me, those leaps of faith, that stubborn belief in taking risks based on heart-knowing, are the really important stuff of being alive. (Yup - I'm one of those leapers ;).

I guess what I hope the most is that maybe some of this will rub off on the kiddos. I hope they will grow up with the faith that their instincts and their hearts will take them where they need to go.

And maybe, just maybe, at some point in the future, this big, uncomfortable, scary, wild mess of life changes will be part of the catalyst for just that very thing.

Maybe. Though no one ever really says foresight is 20/20...





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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Airport woes

We're at the airport, Boy-o, Girlio and I. It's 7:16 a.m. And we've been here since 5:40, just under the wire for catching our 6:30 am flight. Apparently, this flight was not meant to be. The airport is a madhouse. People are sitting on top of people. Lineups are out the doors. And there is nowhere near enough staff checking people in. We finally make it to the kiosk (a three tantrum line, thanks to Girlio being up since 4 am), I am informed that we will make our flight but our luggage will not. (Who needs carseats anyways?). Through the course of the transaction, we are then told we won't make the flight either, because though we are already checked it, the line at security is simply too long for us to make it. She then books us on a 7 flight and gives us those tickets. Two minutes later, she tells us we won't make that one, either. We are now booked for the 8:30 am flight, with an extra connection. I have to pay them extra money for this luxury. We get the bags checked, schlep the carseats and find our way to security. Which has a special family line. With zero line-up. We get through security in under five minutes. We woulda made the first flight, with time to spare. Mmmmmhmmmmmm.


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Monday, December 26, 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas everyone.

I hope that no matter where, and in what circumstances, this day found you, that you were able to find some love and little magic too.

mama T

Friday, December 23, 2011

horoscoping

Ever wonder what the hell your horoscope is talking about?  I frequently do.  But lately, they have been BANG on.  Weirdly so, even.


Todays' for instance, reads:
Things may be happening all around you today. You could feel like a spectator watching a foreign theatre production. Don't sit this one out in the audience. In fact, your energy is needed on center stage. Balance out the crazy drama with a bit of your solid, powerful rationality.
Now, it's only 9 a.m., and I can already see that much of this is right on the money, as they say. ( And except for the part about my solid rationality, which I should point out, I am not known for.  So bang-ish on, I guess!)  


So - drama combined with my tendency toward emotionality it is, then.   


Okay world - bring on the foreign theatre (and if you wouldn't mind - make it entertaining!)



Thursday, December 22, 2011

a non-MILF read, as promised ;)

Check out this huff post story about a young trans kid who is causing big waves in the Girl Guides, just because she wants to be a part of a troop...

Got MILF?

I am posting an interesting article here, that Tristan Taormino wrote for the Village Voice in 2007 about the MILF phenomenon.  Taormino takes an interesting tack with the piece, asking why 'daddy' is a popularly assumed sexual role, and yet 'mommy' is not.  (Nope, not talking about incest role-play here, as is explained in the article.)   Anyhow - for those at all interested in my thesis-fodder about the rise of MILF-dom, give the piece a read :)   For those not at all interested in said fodder, I'm posting another unrelated article right after this!

p.s.  MILF porn names are hilarious!  "I Scored a Soccer Mom 2!"  Love. It.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What makes a milf?

Okay.  So lately, I've been thinking of the whole business of MILF-dom.    Yes, it's kinda research related - but more personally, I've been thinking about the project of making babies (or more properly having made babies) impacts upon how we are seen (and more often not seen) as sexual beings in the world.  For those who don't know - MILF stands for Mother I'd Like to Fuck,  see further definitions below from Wiki and Urban Dictionary.  (I find the Urban Dictionary definition especially, well, special).    MILF is kind of a funny cultural label precisely because moms are supposed to be so not sexy.  (What?  Walking around in an oversized housecoat covered in baby barf isn't super-hawt?!).  But this juxtaposed with a the rather large and continually growing MILF genre of porn makes things a little hazier.  Moms aren't sexy.  However, fucking 'moms'* is taboo, and thus somehow hot.  It's all very interesting.  So for the next little while, I'm going to be posting MILF stuff, just for a change of pace :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MILF_pornography


http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=milf

* I would like to use the term 'moms' loosely in the porn context, bc though some of them are likely moms, many others are just 'older' - which is to say, not pretending to be a teen - women who work in the adult entertainment industry.








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Monday, December 19, 2011

The Choose Love Project

I love when I (or friends) stumble upon great little homespun projects that take on lives of their own and grow into something even bigger.  The Choose Love Project is one great example.


The project was spearheaded by Lori Race and Rachel Cole, with the intent to inspire women to believe that feeling better about our bodies, and treating our bodies with the love and respect they deserve, is a choice.   This many seem obvious on the surface: Um, yeah, sure, of course it's a choice!  But let's face it.  It's a choice we women, ladies, girls and grrrls fail to make for ourselves.    Race and Cole's project features letters from women to their younger selves, which are immensely captivating and infinitely (and often painfully) relatable.  


Go see for yourself.  And maybe get inspired to write your own younger self a well-deserved love letter.

On those days

On those days when you feel engulfed, sitting in your house, that damn house that you can't keep clean or even orderly; thinking about failures of one kind or another, of marriages, of breakages, of shaky moments of self-control, those stupid words that tumble from your mouth (too often), of those things that fall out of your slippery, clumsy hands and shatter...

On those days, it might be important to watch the painted messy faces of your children, pajamaed and happy and healthy in that same mess of your home and your life.

On those days it might be important to notice that they do not notice those messes, because they are small and forgiving and full of love.

On those days, you might do well to remind yourself of those people who love you, flawed.  Of those who may love you yet.  Those who will thankfully refuse to fall prey to the impulse to treat you as though you are broken, because of course you are not (and have never been).

On those days, some moments of self-kindness might be useful, too.





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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday Night Fever

Yesterday, one of the super sucky realities of parenting arose.  Single parenting, which I'm going to be doing half-time from here on in (Yes - this is my way of saying I am separated now.  Yes, this is what I've been so cryptic about of late.  No, I probably won't be talking about it other than this for awhile.), in particular.

I have, all week, been looking forward to sharing a special early Christmas celebration with my tots, my BFF and her family.  We haven't seen lots of each other lately, and I miss her loads.  You know how life gets.

And then, a mere hour before we are supposed to arrive at my friend's house, my Girlio starts acting weird. Weird, weird.  Asking to go to bed kinda weird.  Can anyone guess the problem???  If you guessed FEVER, you get a resounding ding-ding-ding-ding!  Yup.  Sick.  Groaning, whimpering, crying, all-of-the-sudden-no-I-don't-want-a-party-I-want-to-go-to-bed kinda sick.  And when one of my kids asks to go to bed, you know it's bad.  I did not raise me some sleepers.

So - no party.  No BFF.  No Friday night fun for me.  And because my BFF and I have chosen to leave town for the holidays on opposite schedules, we won't see each other for a whole other month.  (Insert enormous pouty face here.)

It's selfish, I know, to bemoan one's lack of fun when one has a sick kid.  But there it is.  I am selfishly bemoaning my lack of Friday night fun.  Because I'm no super mom.

And because I am profoundly, profoundly human.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Repost from this time last year, and the year before that too: Why I Support the Santa Story

A whole lotta parents with young kids seem to be hatin' on Santa these days.  There are various veins of thought around this, 

1. Teaching kids about Santa is a lie and lying is always bad/truth is always good, etc.,  

2.  Teaching kids about Santa encourages rampant commercialism and doesn't reflect the 'true meaning' of Christmas, or,

3.  The Santa story conflicts with the Little Baby Jesus story (henceforth referred to as LBJ for brevity).  

I have some opinions about the aforementioned business of being down on old Santa.

Kids will, all too soon, be confronted with all kinds of shitty, shitty 'truthes' this world has to offer them.   Far too soon, in my not-so-humble opinion.   I'm not in any rush to invite that kind of shit in.   Moreover, I don't actually agree that lying is always wrong.  The ins and out of truthing and lying is mostly about grey area and very little about black and white, so to speak.   Which brings me around to the fact that I don't actually see encouraging a belief in Santa as lying, at least not in a bad lying sorta way.   

I believe that Santa is about far more than presents.  Santa, his reindeer and elven pals, his work, his journey, his belief in the intrinsic goodness of children (which may or may not be true ;)), is about believing in magic, suspending disbelief, choosing possibility over impossibility.  (This may get me into hot water here) but I believe that our old Santa story isn't really all that different than our cultural LBJ stories (though I'm not even remotely Christian, a girl can still appreciate the good bits an LBJ story has to offer now and again).   

Both Santa stories and LBJ stories can be used to encourage the good in people, kindness, and love for one another.  Both Santa stories and LBJ stories encourage the belief in magic, and in possibility.   Both can be used to instill wonder and excitement about life.   And for me, that wonder and excitement about life is every bit the 'true' meaning of Christmas.  

(As an aside here, both Santa and LBJ stories can be used in sucky ways too.  I can't get behind using Santa to control kids' behaviour - in much the same way I can't get behind using LBJ for controlling people's behaviour.  I don't and won't ever tell the kids that Santa only comes to children "that are good."  For starters, I believe, (you know, usually, and so should Santa, dammit!) that all children are good.  And I think using the magic of Santa to punish kids is sucky.  To each their own, I suppose, but you're not going to catch me threatening that "Santa won't come" if the kids don't do x, y or z.)

I also don't think that Santa has to be about rampant commercialism.  Boy-o wrote a letter to Santa this year, and there was no long list of "I WANTS".  He asked for dress-up clothes for himself, and for Girlio, so they could play together.   I hope that in part, this is because I'm trying very hard to create a family culture that runs contrary to that kind of me-me-me-ness.  This is something I make every effort to continue emphasizing throughout our kids' lives.    

So all you Santa-haters - say what you will.  And do what you will.  I support you in that.  But I'm going to choose MAGIC.  I'm going to help my kids believe in that magic.  I'm going to feel as excited and as giddy and as giggly as they do, heading downstairs on Christmas morning (even thoughlike most mornings around my house, it's likely going to come far too early), finding the note from Santa, and the dress-up clothes they asked so sweetly for and likely a few surprises they didn't ask for.  

And if I'm really lucky, I'll get to tap back into that amazing (and too short) time in my life, when I too wholeheartedly believed in magic.  That time was nothing short of a gift. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another useless bits of me list

1.  I love, love, love lists.  All kinds of lists.  I'm totally list-y.  I could make lists about the reasons I love making lists.  For real.
2.  I apparently like to talk about myself.   A fair bit, and wonder sometimes if this makes me a narcissist.
3.  I have an addiction to dress and shoe porn.  No.  Not porn which kink-ily involves dresses and shoes.  Window shopping for shoes and dresses online.  Someday, I'll have an income and upgrade to an actual dress and shoe shopping addiction.  For now,  just porn.  (After a particularly stressful day, I like to look at pretty things and imagine them on me, thus pretty-fying me.   Narcissism??)
4.  I wish someone would pay me to write.  Like, write all of the time.  Get better at writing.  (Any wealthy benefactors out there?  I've been told I'm reasonably cute...)
5.  I've been buying myself flowers lately.  It makes me quite happy.
6.  I like to make up words.  You already know this about me, probably, if you've been reading along from time to time.
7.  I don't actually think I'm very funny, but people laugh at stuff I say all of the time.  This could have multiple meanings, I fear.
8.  I want to feed my doctor many, many cookies.  She is far too thin.  She thinks I am far too fat.  She would like to take away my cookies, one surmises.
9.  I'm fiercely loyal.  You should want to get on my good side, if only for that reason.
10.  I miss the ocean.  Atlantic-side, not Pacific side.
11.  I can't stand being late.  I'm not too overly fond of other people being late, either.
12.  My new self-appointed life-task is living in the moment more.  I find this really fucking hard.
13.  I spend a phenomenal amount of time agonizing about things that come out of my mouth.  Sometimes, my brain and mouth have difficulty connecting.  I think, sometimes too, that I should just become pen-pals with people.  Writing = better than speaking.
14.  I have been surprised by my own bravery lately.
15.  My new favourite singer is Chris Pureka.  Soulful, super-hot, butchy girl with guitar.  (Nuff said!?)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

An unabashed love-letter to Boy-o, at 5

My dearest Boy-o,

Another whole year has passed since I last wrote to  you.  I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how you are five already.  Five!  I remember so well your dramatic entrance into this world (as if it could have been any other way!), our slow drive home from the hospital on that unbelievably warm Halifax December day, sun streaming into the windows onto your tiny, gorgeous face.

I remember, too, the startling sensation slowly washing over the entirety of me; you, this tiny little person, changed everything. You rocked my world and shifted my foundation and made me yours. Made me better.  Stronger.  Braver.  More capable.  Cracked my heart open and stretched it with your tiny, sure hands to fit right around you.

(It grows to fit around you still).

Each day, your growing and learning and open-heartedness amazes me, as does your unflagging energy. Your full-bodied kitchen dance moves, deep belly laughs, and total inability to tell a joke without starting with the punchline or busting a gut laughing in the middle never fails to invoke small moments of bliss.

Your capacity to love, full-out, hands open, no-holds-barred, and without reservation is beautiful and inspiring to witness. Your energy is alternatively fiery passion and quiet contemplation, without a lick of middle ground. (I cannot, for the life of me, figure out where you got this from... No peanut gallery comments here.). You are fierceness personified, my love, and though our intensities sometimes clash (and clash well!), I wouldn't have it any other way.

I have been, and continue to be, stunned and moved by the grace and bravery (and, I think, forgiveness,) with which you have handled the difficult life changes thrown your way in the past little while, cementing my belief that began at your birth, that you are a wise-beyond-your-years-old-soul.

To tell you that I love you would be such an inadequate way to describe what I feel.  So know this:  When I tell you I love you, what I mean is that I do not remember what life looked like before you were in it.  I did not know such intenseness of love and such fierce protectiveness, or such fear of loss was possible before you came into my world.   When I tell you that I love you, what I mean is that even after the hardest, most exhausting of parenting days, those days when we drive each other absolutely nuts, when I look at your sweetly sleeping face, I am overcome with such a visceral sense of how ridiculously lucky I am to be a part of your life; how you carry the very best parts of me; how really, we are growing up together.  When I tell you that I love you, what I mean is that this love thing I have for you sustains me and breaks me and rebuilds me and soothes me, all at once.  What I mean is that I am wildly, intensely, irrevocably yours.

I am so very grateful to know you, and to have your love and trust, Boy-o.

Happy fifth birthday, little love.

Yours always,

Mama


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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

standardized testing. it sucks.

About a month ago, I was commandeered by our local news media station to talk about what I thought about standardized testing in schools.  Because it was off-the-cuff - they pounced on me outside of Boy-o's school, post-drop-off, with a sleeping Girlio on my shoulder - I was, erm, less than eloquent.  I pretty much stammered my way through a windier choppier version of: 'they suck.'

Now, there are all kinds of good, good reasons why this is so.  Children learn different things, at different paces, in different ways.  Children respond differently to the pressures of testing and examinations.  Standardized examinations leave no room for the kinds of life-based contextualized learning that matters the most.  And because the 'success' rates (and in the U.S., the funding!) of schools are in large part measured by standardized testing scores, there is immense pressure on administrators and teachers to spend scads of time preparing students to do the kinds of rote memorization that standardized testing requires.  Which means far less time spent on developing a broader, more balanced way of looking at particular students' abilities to excel and achieve scholastically.  So, yeah - like I said before: 'They suck.'  I'd like to see them done away with.  Permanently.

Recently, an excellent piece was written in the Washington Post about a school administrator that took, and did abysmally on their own standardized test.

'Nuff said.

Beautiful story about a family with a trans child...

If you are feeling in need of a feel good read, head over here and read the journey of a Boston family and their journey with gender.  I'm not gonna lie.  It made me good cry.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2011/12/11/led-child-who-simply-knew/SsH1U9Pn9JKArTiumZdxaL/story.html

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sissy Boys

Christie Blatchford, a National Post columnist with ideas that might accurately be described as belonging to, well, yesteryear, has hit another home run with her most recent piece, decrying the horrors of waning masculinity.  Among other egregious crimes to manhood: Gasp!  Men hug!  It's all just too much!  There aren't a shortage of people challenging Blactchford's viewpoint, so I won't bore you with regurgitating all of their arguments.  I will, however, post one really wonderful response to Blatchford by blogger Jeff Perera.  It's a fantastic look at the difficulties of living under the pretty limiting confines of our cultural construction(s) of masculinity.

And it's really, really good.  Sorta makes a girl feel more hopeful about the world, and all that nice stuff...  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A week in music, Post #7 - my top 5 list of non-insufferable Christmas tunes

I have a dirty little secret.  Well, okay, I probably have several.  But the one I'm actually going to tell you about is that I'm not so much a fan of the Christmas-ness.  Yes.  It's true.  I'm a bit of a scrooge.  Don't get me wrong.  I love the family time.  I love the kids' excitement.  The tree decorating is fun - because - I do enjoy making things pretty.  BUT - for the most part, I find the forced niceness and energy of Christmas to be a bit of a drag.  And the music.  The music.  It's terrible.  I'm sorry, but most Christmas music makes me want to gouge out my ears.  So - here's my scrooge-y top five reasonably good Christmas playlist :) Happy listening...


Meiko - Maybe Next Year.  A hot Christmas song.  For real.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwdBFVF0jf4&feature=related

Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson - Winter Song.  Sweet Christmas melancholic lovelorn-ness.  Right up my alley.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7B9PrfNkAM&feature=related

KT Tunstall - Sleigh Ride.  Okay - more traditional than I can usually stomach.  But it's a kinda cool take on it, and it's my little people's favourite Christmas kitchen dance song.  We play it a LOT.  So it's gotta make the cut.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlRy0WwYgyk&feature=related

Lenka - All My Bells Are Ringing.  Cute.  Swingy.  Poppy.  Kinda fun.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCajbryflIE&feature=related

(These four are all from The Hotel Cafe Presents: Winter Songs)

Meaghan Smith - It Snowed!   The ultimate snow-day song.  (Not that we get any here in Edmonton).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eg8MBpX9Nh0&feature=related

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Get your kleenex out. FOR REAL! Jennifer Carr: on supporting her trans child

The Naked Truth?

So, I was, as I am apt to do now and again, perusing the Offbeat Mama site the other day.  And I stumbled upon a wee blurb asking parents about how they deal with nudity around their kids.  And it made me think about how our family's queerness adds another layer to the whole to bare or not to bare issue.

Now, let's be clear from the outset.  I'm lean more towards being a 'to bare' kind of mama.  Not a nudist (naturist?) by any stretch of the imagination, but a more utilitarian sort of disrober.  I walk naked to the shower or to the basement to find clean laundry when the need arises.  I shower with the kids from time to time because that way I get to shower without worrying about the mayhem taking place outside of shower land.  In short, I don't drop trou as soon as I get home from the outside world, but it's not big whoop for the kidlets to see me in the buff.   It's led to some interesting discussions, arising from the odd nipple grab or similar occurrences - but these things I think are largely positive, because we can hammer home the issue that 1. everyone gets to say what happens to their own bodies, and 2. nudity does not equal a free-for-all.  I also think that setting a body-shame free example is the best possible way to encourage those values in our small-fry.   Moreover, nudity can sometimes allow for happier tots.  For example, I find that on those really awful tired days, hopping in the bath with small fry eager to play 'hair-dresser' and letting them shampoo, condition, dump water over my head and back comb to their hearts content can allow for up to 45 minutes of shut eye.  I kid you not.  I did it this very morning, after yet another crap night of 4-ish hours of sleep.  (And I actually nodded off, while having said 'quality time'.  Can't do that with your clothes on ;).  And post-bath, Boy-o has been playing in the buff for a good two hours.  Happily.  And Girlio's favourite daily tradition is streaking through the house post-evening bath shouting 'STREAKER'!!!  Beyond cute.  Much happiness.  And, I think it goes without saying that I have and will continue to teach them that skinny dipping is the best way to swim in a lake... :)

Now, of course, we aren't beyond setting nudity boundaries.  Boundaries are good.  Important, even.  No nudity in public (generally speaking), no nudity if it makes folks feel weird, the kids can't just through off the shackles of clothing in the local grocery store.   But overall - I don't care if the kids are naked, or if, in the right contexts, they see me naked.  Bodies are good.  Bodies aren't shameful, blah blah and all that jazz.
That's just how we roll. (You know, right now, when the kids are 2 and 4).  Of course there are times and will continue to be times when the kids will develop their own issues around nudity and their absolute right to privacy (a concept we've also tried very hard to instill), and times when we parentals draw lines around our own privacy.  All important things.

But, of course, not everyone feels this way.  Lots of people see bodies (all bodies) as sexual, private, etc.  To each their own, I guess.  But I think our families queerness adds a whole other dimension to the issue of parental (and probably kid) nudity.  Many folks would argue that it's damaging for kids to see parental nudity, and I would surmise that many more still would argue that it's problematic that our Boy-o sees only female nudity (other than his own, naturally), and that this will screw up his growing sense of himself as male, his sexuality, etc. etc.  Now - I think this is a load of poppycock, but it's certainly an ideas that's floating around out there.

And then there's the whole nakedness = sex and queers = oversexed.  In this context, my tots seeing my naked body becomes less about being comfortable in my own skin and more about having, well, perverse skin.  Think this is a an attitude of bygone eras?  Not so!  I have friends who, as recently as two years ago, were forced to write an extra addendum to their adoption application about their policy on parental nudity.  Straight couples are not required to write this addendum.  Queer couples are.  Barf-O-rama.

Anyhow.  I guess that's my take on nudity in the household.  Like the folks at Offbeat Mama, I am curious to know how other people deal with this sort of thing around their households...

week in music, day # 4 - Ane Brun "Song No. 6 (Featuring Ron Sexsmith)"

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Weathering the highs and lows

Early Morning Lows:
Being told by Boy-o that I am the meanest person ever. That he hates me, will never love me, live with me, or talk to me on the telephone. Ever. Again.

Later Morning Highs: Dancing wildly to Christmas tunes. Watching the smalls rock my high heels 'to the ball'. Baking and eating ginger cookies. Shadow dancing in sunbeams on the wall. Decorating our front yard 'magic tree' with glittery ornaments in the freezing cold wind. Watching the magic tree glitter and shine in the sun and wind as we eat lunch. Hasty 'I love you's as Boy-o runs off to the bus for school.

Not a bad recovery, really. And yet somehow - it's those early morning lows that manage to stay in your head, lurking and feeding all that self-doubt...


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A week in Music, post #3 Ingrid Michaelson Covering Radiohead's Creep

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dec 6, 1989 - Remembering

Today is December 6th.   Twenty-two years ago today, an armed man walked into Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, calmly and systematically separated women from men, and then proceeded to gun down 14 women and wound many others, articulating consistently his hatred of women, and of feminists in particular.

This day is and will forever remain permanently imprinted upon my memory.

I remember where I was that day, where I was sitting, how the material of the couch felt scratchy and rough underneath my hands.

I remember watching the news coverage and being just rooted to the spot, unable to move and aware of every breathe.

I remember the tenor of my newly divorced father's voice muttering behind me that "those feminists are going to have a field-day with this."   I remember not knowing exactly what those words meant, but knowing somehow that those words were angry at women, too.  

I can remember my mother calling from her new house in the city to see if I was okay.  I can remember saying yes, because I didn't know what else to say. 

I can remember the cold shock that engulfed my 14 year old self - reeling in the face of the reality that girls could be hated, could be shot, could be killed in their schools . . . for being girls.

I can also remember the subsequent media coverage, with experts left, right and centre explaining away the horrible, terrifying actions of Marc Lepine as the work of a 'crazy person,' and as an 'isolated incident,' as if those terms could make it okay to pretend that Lepine's actions were not intrinsically linked to the larger entrenched problem of violence against women in our country, and in our culture. 

The events of December 6, 1989 are still heartbreakingly and bone-chillingly relevant.  They are still connected to the larger, deep rooted problem of violence against women in general.  They are connected to every person who says 'it's none of my business' when they hear a domestic assault taking place; connected to the need to have a sexual assault campaign in this city letting men know that women who are extremely inebriated or passed out cold aren't able to consent to sex; connected to the rotten, crap assed reality that women are still blamed for their own abuse and assaults (shouldn't have been drinking, shouldn't have been out at night, shouldn't have been wearing those sexy sweatpants, shouldn't stay with him and on and on and on and on ad nauseum.)

The Montreal Massacre was neither random nor isolated.  The continued violence against women in our country, in our provinces, in our cities, in our homes is not random, nor isolated.  They are, each and every one of them, linked to our larger cultural acquiescence to, and acceptance of, misogyny.

I know that when my own Girlio is 14, I will remember still.

I hope against hope that I might be able to tell her, then, how much has changed since that awful day in 1989.

A week in music, post #2 - Brandi Carlile - The Story

Friday, December 2, 2011

Parenting fashion rules

Rule # 1. When you are wearing an exceptionally cute outfit (as I am am or rather, was, today) - milk, barf or snot (or some combination therein) will end up all over it.

Rule # 2. When you look like shit, 5 truckloads of hot firefighters will show up at your door.

What's a girl to do?


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