The Borders of Decency

I’ve been reading about the U.S. immigrant situation and the separation of children from their parents for the last two weeks. My response, from the safety of my own study, has been to sign petitions, send money to the ACLU, write testy letters to my own representatives which, in a purplish-blue state, involves preaching to the choir in some cases. It’s not enough. I believe the inhumane immigration policy enacted by this administration is the¬†Japanese internment camp of our time. It will be our national shame for years to come. While we’ve… Read More

Fight Harder

At midnight, I woke up and checked the election results and began to cry. My first thought was about the conversation I’d have to have with my daughter in the morning. She stood by me as I proudly filled in the circles on my ballot. Like many of my friends and family, we were optimistic that the world might look different in the morning. It does look different this morning. It looks like misogyny and racism and anti-intellectualism are now the colors that this country flies. How could it not look like… Read More

Getting Married for Less Than 30 Altarian Dollars a Day

Happy April Fool’s Day, alternately known as my wedding anniversary. It’s the 16th one, commemorated by toilet paper or broken china or something like that. My beloved lies snoring in the other room, occasionally irritated by the racket that I make in the kitchen every morning around 5am. One must have one’s tea. I stopped reading women’s magazines when I was about 22. All the quizzes suggested that I’d better be ready to settle down with low maintenance pets and a penchant for crochet projects that never quite get finished. What I… Read More

Looking for Dad

Years ago, Father’s Day seemed to be mocking me. I had matured just enough to see that it was another holiday designed to sell more shit. My father had left when I was five and committed suicide later in his life. My stepfather was a mean and sometimes dangerous drunk, now also dead. I have never called anyone dad. It rolls off my tongue like a foreign word, unusual and exotic. Anyone who has read this blog knows that I’m not a perky ray of sunshine.¬† I am, however, a believer in… Read More

The Reluctant Soccer Mom

This is the first year that my daughter has played competitive soccer. Whatever her skills are, I discovered right away that I’m completely unqualified to be a soccer mom. A group of mothers were standing around talking about how they hoped the coaches were good this year and about the league and volunteering. After several minutes of this, I could barely control myself and blurted “I just hope my daughter has fun.” I got the oh lady, that is SO rec league look. I skulked away to talk to the team manager…. Read More

Parenting: The Nostalgic Haze of Never-Really-Happened Days

WARNING: Extreme Defensiveness Ahead This morning I ran across another article jumping all over parents about over-scheduling, helmeting and seat-buckling their children. Already angered by the repetitious message that parents today suck, I decided to throw gas on the fire and read the comment section. Apparently, the best parents are the ones with the shortest memories and empathy-impairment. Let me tell you a story about the good ole’ days. Yes, I rode my bike, without a helmet, around town from the break of daylight until dinner time. Our family of 6 lived… Read More

Ordinary, Extraordinary People

She was optimistic, energetic, earnest and animated. Decision time. Do I say something funny, but sarcastic and possibly mean? Later, as I listened to her art presentation to a class of engaged elementary kids, something in me shifted slightly. My envy and inferiority and smugness dissipated and in its place, distilled and unfamiliar, was admiration. She was extraordinary and I had something to learn. It is a hard won battle with myself, to see outwardly optimistic people without the lens of cynicism. Something sadistic in me wants to cut them down to… Read More

Saying Good-Bye to Parenting Advice

There is some information that worms its way inside your head and grows, like a lab culture, into self-doubt and judgment. For me, it ranges from blogging advice to how I’m supposed to give a rat’s ass about fashion (that advice dies a quick death, but it’s there). Parenting advice is the absolute worst, though. It made me feel both ineffectual and incompetent, doubting even the most minor lapses. I commented on someone’s blog post yesterday regarding kids and food. I immediately wanted to delete it, because it felt wrong. Apparently, I… Read More

You Were One of Them, Once

I try very hard to not use this blog as a vehicle for pointless ranting, but on occasion, I just have to get it out. Today I read that some airlines are now having child-free seating. I have high hopes for asshole-free seating, but the screening process may be too subjective. I’m fed up with people complaining about everything under the sun, but the vitriolic rants unleashed about children and parents alike are getting out of hand. I don’t have a natural affinity for kids. I’ll be honest. I’m fond of quiet… Read More

The Revolution of One, Step 3: What to Do? What to Do?

In Step 1 of The Revolution of One, I identified the causes that were important to me. Step 2 was an attempt to assess the abilities that I could bring to the table. Step 3 is brainstorming. As I lay in bed last night thinking about this, I realized that this is where a lot of us give up. We look around us and there are a million opportunities for volunteer work. When I started to write this series, I got quickly off track – readers let me know about the great… Read More