Wednesday, November 9, 2016

I'm glad today...

Glad that my daughter is too young to have her self esteem negatively effected by misogynists like my president elect Donald Trump.

Because she is too young to know that she is surrounded by people who think just like he does and so have no issue voting for someone who grabs women by the pussy. Because they let him (note that he did not say 'because they want it').

Glad that my son is too young to know the word pussy and that he didn't learn it in the past two months.

Glad that I'm too old (according to his own metrics) to worry that my soon to be president, Donald Trump, might grab me by the pussy.

Glad that this election has taught me that America is clearly much more racist, ableist, and sexist and much less classy than I'd begun to believe.

Because it's easy to sit here in what is apparently the elite northeast imagining that everyone in my country values kindness, thoughtfulness, and dignity when obviously that's not the case. Knowing that will surely help me navigate the world in the future.

Glad to be able to look at my network and know without a doubt who is the kind of person who would back a presidential candidate who stood at a podium in front of hundreds of people and openly mocked a disabled reporter.

That tells me a lot about who they are.

Glad to know who among that same group believes that boasting about sexual assault is everyday locker room talk.

That tells me a lot about who they are, too.

Glad that America has a system of checks and balances in place designed for exactly this. At best, Donald Trump will be the latest demagogue to embarrass our nation on the world stage (more than likely via Twitter). At worst, he'll revoke hard won human rights that will be re-won in years ahead.

But what president elect Donald Trump likely won't be is a tyrant thanks to our political system.

Glad that a woman made it as far as she did even if when the people cast their ballots she wasn't the right woman for the job.

Glad that third parties gained traction in a national election even if realistically there needs to be more acceptance of third parties at the local and state level before the current ones will ever get a foothold at the national level.

And I'm glad that due mainly to luck I and my family will probably move through the next four years largely unaffected by any of it.

We were born here. Born white. Born straight. We have white collar jobs, enough of everything we need, and a safety net so strong I have trouble coming up with a hypothetical situation that would leave us broken.

But I know not everyone is so lucky. How easy is it to take away rights, anyway? Donald Trump has said he'd strongly consider appointing judges who would overturn the marriage equality ruling. Is it far fetched to believe it could happen? I just don't know.

Uncertainty, not fear, is my biggest source of anxiety today. That is my privilege as someone who, frankly, has nothing to be afraid of. Let me remind you again that not everyone is so lucky, just as I have been reminded by numerous friends and loved ones who have raised their voices to say "I stand with those who do have something to fear."

Regardless of who sits in the highest office in the land I am seeing solidarity. Hope. Caring. And even class.

I'm glad today of that, too.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

When a Lightning Bolt Turns Four

Tomorrow the little mister will turn four years old.

When my daughter turned four, she had a big party at an indoor inflatables place she chose herself with all her longtime friends. Looking back at photos from that party now, she looked like such a big girl. And she was!

She could sit and do a craft from start to finish. She could carry on a conversation. She had mostly outgrown her toddler tantrums because she could articulate her feelings reasonably well. She could understand compromise, and she could negotiate.

The little mister, on the other hand, is a big ball of energy with no place to put it. He loves to launch himself onto the couch... onto beds... onto us. He's happiest when he's flying through the air, about to land on a heap of pillows. Sometimes we play a game called punching machine because it took him so long to stop hitting I thought maybe it would help if there was a time it was okay to hit.

He's also loving in his own fierce way, standing up for his sister when he thinks our disciplining of her is off base and running in for full contact hugs that would probably knock me over if he was any bigger. He adores the small circle of people he's close to and is so happy when he can tell his papa "I didn't be bad today!" And speaking as someone who is very biased, he's adventurous, funny, and clever, too.

But as time passes, I've started to realize that he's not going to mellow out, get cuddly, become a team player, enjoy group activities, or be more open to compromise any time soon. He'll grow up someday just like the rest of us, but someday doesn't appear to be just around the corner.

Right now he's the most hard headed person I've ever met in my entire life. More often than not he'd rather win the fight than get his way, so compromise? Is all but impossible. We keep trying because one of these days he'll get the idea, but until then it's such a bummer to watch him lose out on 100% because he's not willing to settle for 90.

Tonight was one of those nights where the mister and I were at peak frustration telling the little mister exactly what he needed to do to get what he wanted while he let us know, loudly, that he wasn't going to do it and that we were stupid and furthermore we needed to stop talking to him.

We all got past that moment and could breathe again, but that only lasted until after dessert when he lost his chance at a fun Sunday extra because he wasn't getting ready for bed. He knew that's what he needed to do but he wanted to jump around and be crazy and still get the extra. And then I didn't handle his new outbursts very well and was on top of that so angry that I refused to read him a story.

By the time I'd calmed down, he was asleep, and I was left thinking "What the heck, kid? Why do you have to make everything so complicated?"

I don't really know what's going on in that head of his, frankly. My daughter was kinder, gentler, more even keeled and altogether easier to figure out most of the time. With the little mister, everything seems great until it isn't and then God be with you if you don't figure out what is up fast enough.

Sometimes I think about what it will be like when I have to send him to school. Or if he decides he wants to play a sport or do pretty much any other organized activity that requires listening to a grownup tell him what to do without losing his shit.   

And tomorrow this lightning bolt of a human being will be four.

I love him so much but I tell you what he drives me absolutely bananas at least once a day. Sometimes when he's especially crazy or bad he reminds me of his Uncle Dean and his Uncle Michael when they were little (for different reasons and sorry guys but it's true) - then at least I can laugh and say, well, my dad made it through and so will I.

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