Bully

Have you seen it?  It should be floating around theaters in most of your cities right now.  It’s here but I’m undecided on whether or not I should see it in public.  I have this vision of myself being hysterical because really, nothing else pains my soul like the bullying of a child.

We have vowed to take Yegs – and his friends, if they’ll go.  Even though I’m shying from it, I encourage you all to take your school aged children.  The message needs to be heard.

It’s all the rage these days.  In the blogs, on the talk shows, etc.  We hear that students are bringing attention to it at their schools.  We hear churches talk about it.  When I was working, I spent an enormous amount of time addressing “getting thru it”.  But here we are.

3 suicides at a local high school in the last 2 months – all related to bullying.  And another statistic said “1 a month in Northern Utah” – unofficially.  Utah’s suicide rate is 8X higher than the national average.

What are we doing wrong?  What aren’t we doing?  I used to tell kids how important it was to immerse yourself in the community when you don’t have support at home, church or school.  We have an amazing Pride Center.  We have PFLAG orgs that are full of “moms for everyone”.

But last week, a local community held a viewing of Bully that included a panel of people willing to talk about the problem.  One boy spoke of his boyfriend who was tormented at school.  People gathered around and thanked him for his honesty.  That night, his boyfriend took his life.  He couldn’t wait another day.

What could’ve saved him?  What could’ve given him just another day to find a different answer?  He was surrounded by people who cared and it still wasn’t enough to heal the part of his life that hurt so much.

Tomorrow night, I’ll attend a community gathering to honor his life – and others lost for the same, sad reason.  We’ll talk about what we can do – how we can help.  I’m open to any suggestions because really, there has to be a better answer.

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Reminder

Some days are really hard.  Seriously.  I mean, I was never one of those girls that dreamed of staying home all day with a toddler.  I know how lucky I am but I knew – without a doubt – that it would be harder than a full-time job.

But THIS hard?  I’m not sure I was totally prepared.

She’s amazing, for sure.  But she also has sass clear up to her …neck!  I think I’m being punished for every bad thing I thought of as a child.  I rarely did anything wrong but I sure considered it!

She’s talking like crazy but it usually translates to yelling and let’s be honest, she gets it from me.  When did I become such a yeller?  And sadly, I’m the only one she “listens” to so even when Cristy tries to dicipline, I end up being the mean one.

I’m looking forward to three.  I know, I know… it doesn’t end at three.  Most people tell me to just plan on being crazy until she’s four.  But when she’s three she’s be closer to four so that’s where I am today.  <grin>

But right when I’m wishing for this phase to end, I look back and realize how much I miss all that has already gone by and I remind myself to cherish it all.  The screaming, the kicking, the throwing food, the tantrums at the grocery store, … the falling asleep in my arms, the kisses, the hugs, the smiles, the sassy attitude.

As hard as some days are, the idea that I’m not missing a single moment gives me great joy.

I love you, Glory Ella.

Secret Garden

So, you remember my beautiful new beds I shared with you?  And my fantastic herb garden space?  Well, I’m still waiting for some big, beautiful plants to fill it all in but it’s coming – it’s coming!

I have this dream of what the space will look like when I’m finished.  I want a colorful bench with delicious cushions & pillows.  I want lights in the trees and if I could throw in a few lightening bugs, I wouldn’t complain.  I want gravel crunching under my feet and radish & spinach leaves hanging out of my harvest basket.

I want a table with fresh sun tea and pretty linens.  I want hanging lanterns with candles.  I want Train as my background music – Hey Soul Sister will do just fine.  But if they could hum it, that would be my first choice.  Humming is always my favorite kind of song.

I would have bird feeders where any bird could come and feast.  My birds wouldn’t discriminate &, most importantly, they wouldn’t be messy.  I would have wind chimes that reminded me of Belize.  But because I hate wind, I’d have to have a small fan to make them move a bit.

I want a large enough chaise where I could have each of my girls resting inside each of my arms.  Once it happens, you’re all invited.

For now, it looks like this:

Don’t mind all the garden glitter.  The back of our yard is shielded by Elm trees & this time of year, they shed like crazy.

Almost 6 and Almost 3

I never realized how much I yell at Molly until Glory started talking.  Poor Molly will be minding her own business and I’ll hear, “Molly NO!”  or “Molly, stop barking!”

We realized it was almost exactly 5 years ago when Yeager called bawling because they were about to give his dog away.  The next day, she was ours.  She was wild and crazy (still is) but the best dog this dog family could ask for.

And no matter how often Glory yells at her or steals her toys or sits on her back, Molly loves Glory Ella.  & I’m super grateful for the photo opps.

Very thankful for Molly Tomato.

Politics

It runs through my veins.  I don’t really know when it began.  It wasn’t always there.  But even now, after not being ‘gay for pay’ for over a year, I can’t let it go.

It could be because of this man.  It turns out, my dad ran for State Senate!  Who knew?  He lobbied in DC and knows just about every single person I know in this crazy democratic community.

He is also a delegate and what a treat to hang out with him among some of our favorite Dems!

The past two weekends have been our county & state conventions.  I finally get to be a delegate again so I get to play the early game of helping to select our candidates for November.  This year was extra exciting because, at the very last minute, Cristy decided to run for National Delegate.  I wasn’t sure it was a good idea because she was insanely busy at work the last few weeks but she insisted.

She crammed the three days before convention and still came in 3rd place.  Sadly, only two females can go.  Boo.  But I wanted to give her a shout out because I screamed at her for weeks and the fact that she did as well as she did (in 3 days) tells me that she’s going to kick ass in her next election – whatever that might be.

Anyway, conventions are over and we (mostly) have our candidates.  I’m excited to work on a few particular campaigns but most excited to re-elect our President.  And you can be sure, if Cristy tries for 2016, she’ll be there!

Playgroups

I try to be the kind of parent that thinks ahead.  I want my daughter to feel special and unique but I also want to give her a cozy place to hide, should she ever have days where she’d like to just blend in.

We have many gay friends with kids.  Always have.  This wasn’t really anything that ever appealed to Yegs but I think it’s important.  And now I’ve taken interest in an adoption playground where all the kids are transracial.  There are two different groups, actually.  One is at the home of a friend once a month and we know most of the families.  Most are gay.  2 birds with 1 stone, huh?  But the other is a facebook group I found thru a fellow blogger and they meet every week.

It matters most to me that my daughter see other children with dark skin.  It matters second that she know other children who are adopted.  The gay thing falls last but that’s because it’s the easiest.

We live in a pretty diverse neighborhood.  Lots of blended families and even a large home of refugees from Somalia.  One day, on one of our walks, we met a grandma with three grandkids who come to play often.  We finished our walk with them – Glory following their every footstep.  And the next day they were waiting in the front yard when we got home.

They’re cousins ages 7, 5 & 3.  They all have fantastic names like Janaya, Travell & Jaslyne.  Glory loves them.  She loves that their hair is the same is hers.  She touches it the same way that people always touch her hair.  And they love that she looks like them – except with long hair.  🙂

I suppose it just matters that she is surrounded by all kinds of beauty.  I suppose 5 different playgroups are far less beneficial than 1 that she soaks her up through and through.

New friends.

WW”YOU”DO?

We’re not those creepy neighbors that keep track of what everyone’s doing but we also watch too many reruns of Criminal Minds.  So…

Last weekend, we noticed a car pulled up on the street that runs next to our house.  It’s a one-way street and the cars are always neighbors.  It was running for a while and Cristy noticed that the front seat was laid back.  The next night, he was back.  I went back & forth, not knowing if we should call authorities or approach the car.  I didn’t want to intrude but I also didn’t want to be murdered in my sleep.  I’ve never seen a homeless man around here.  Maybe he knows someone on our street?

On the third night, we were on our typical walk and I glanced in to the running car.  He was old.  He’s probably in his mid 70’s. He sat up a bit and I asked if he was okay.  He said yes and thanked me for asking.  He was covered in a sleeping bag and, from the look of the inside of the car, he clearly lives . right . there.

It broke my heart.  How did he end up here – on my little street?  Where is his family?  He has a car.  He pays for gasoline.  Do they know he’s just parking somewhere at the end of every day?  So far, he’s not here tonight.  And somehow, that makes me feel worse.

Really, when did we stop taking care of each other?  Really.  I mean, who knows what his particular story is but I can’t imagine all the people I’d have to go through before I ended up living on a street.  And the idea of my dad or my grandpa parked like that just makes me ache.

I have a friend who thinks the end of community compassion ended with the invention of the microwave.  It sounds funny but she can explain it in a way that makes perfect sense.  No one goes next door to borrow sugar any more.  We hardly know our neighbors 2 houses down.  Maybe this is two different subjects but right now, I just wish he’d come back so I could be a good neighbor.

What would you do?  Would you take him tea?  Would you try to talk to him – find out more?  Could I be creating a larger problem?  What if he could just use a friend?

I know what Jesus would do.  What would you do?