Sunday, October 28, 2012

Complicit





As I sat with my friends today at a Food Truck Rodeo in Durham this was brought home to me once more. I was watching my son between 2 beautiful little girls and their 4 loving mothers and I thought how much it sickens me that 2 of those mothers have little more right, under current NC law, to their children than I have to their children. These women are not even allowed to be classified as legal guardians. Sure, there are some legal protections in place, but they are not infallible. All it would take, in the case of the death or incapacitation of the birth mother, would be a nasty family member out to take their child away to do some serious damage.

I joke sometimes about how we need more straight friends, but we have plenty of straight friends, and plenty of gay friends, too, and the truth is, while it was delightful to my liberal heart to start with to be able to count among my nearest and dearest so many gay people, now they are just people, just families, just other parents doing the best for their kids that they can do.... just like Boomer and me. I forget how tenuous their situations are because honestly, we don't sit around and discuss our big "liberal gay agenda" when we're together. Generally we're discussing baby sleep issues, eating, milestones, diapers, where to eat next, the latest gossip (ok the truth is lesbians do gossip less than straight girls), or some other mundane stuff. They.... we.... don't want to take anything from the conservatives. We just want the same rights everyone who was born attracted to the opposite sex enjoys so freely.

But their situations are tenuous, and untenable. When I try to imagine being in their shoes it scares the hell out of me. I hope that no one we love is going to do anything to make things worse for them.

And if you plan to vote for Romney I hope my child never finds out that someone he knows, or worse, loves was on the wrong side of history. I'd like to say I want you to look him in the face and tell him that his friends and their families aren't as important as his and don't deserve the same rights and protections. I'd like to say that, but I think once he was old enough to understand, that would just break his heart. Because we're not raising him with hatred or discrimination. And I hope he never finds out that you were complicit in this barrage of homophobia coming from the right wing in this country right now. Just as it would break my heart to find out my grandparents or anyone I love voted for George Wallace.

No matter your reasons, if you vote for Romney you are complicit in massive civil rights violations perpetuated against people Josiah loves.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Stats

Today Josiah is 21 lbs, 8 oz, and 31.5 inches long.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Complicated Logistics

AKA, The Complicated Logistics of Motherhood (lest you think this was going to be about my previous career.)
This post is in honor of Mother's Day, in honor of my mothers (plural), and every other mother out there (and fathers, too, but I'm not a man so it'd be difficult to write from that perspective). Also because Josiah is napping and there are so many things I SHOULD be doing, but I just feel like writing.

I knew motherhood was going to be hard. And rewarding. And wonderful. Amazing. All the adjectives, really, from adventurous to zazzy. And I love it. It's my favorite job, ever. But I guess I just never thought about how complicated even the little things would be.

For instance, running to the store is now a big deal. Where are Jojo's shoes? Has he pooped? Might he poop? Should I pack a snack? How much has he had to drink today? How many diapers should I pack? Should I feed him now or when we get back? IS HE AWAKE? Because if not, oh, yeah, I can't go to the store! There is no more just running to the store, unless, of course, your partner is home and can stay with the kid(s).

Or, once you are out and about and have the diaper bag all packed and the kid all safely tucked into his carseat and suddenly you have to pee. I mean, REALLY have to pee. These things happen now, especially if you have 1) given birth and 2) are getting older. You now can't legally pull into the next fast food/gas station and run in and pee (and leave the baby in the car). Leaving babies in cars is really frowned upon nowadays. So you have to somehow dance around while you unbuckle the [probably now-resistant because they know exactly the right times to do all the wrong stuff, they are really awesome like that] baby, finagle him into the tiny rest room and somehow go about your business while still holding the baby because you can't put him on a public restroom floor.... And because of said baby you've probably already peed yourself anyway. But you get my point. Nature's Call used to be simple... now, not so much.

There are so many other examples but I'd love to hear from other people about things that you used to take for granted that are now infinitely more complicated due to your little monkey angel(s). There's gotta be a book in this.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Josiah's Friends

Henry
I wanted to write something poignant, elegant, or at least memorable about Amendment 1, but I am so angry and disappointed in my state right now that every time I sit down and type nothing but vitriol pours out of me. I want to write something that will convince you why this amendment is wrong, and bad, but what it keeps boiling down to is that if you vote for this amendment you will hurt children. And not in some vague "the children of Africa are starving" kind of way. Not in the way that you feel sad about hurt children who you don't know when you see something on the news. You will be hurting Josiah's friends.

You will be hurting Henry, this amazing, happy little boy. You will be telling him that his mothers are so awful that we had to codify discrimination against them into our constitution. You will be "justifying" and spurning on other children of would-be bigots who would try and bully him because hey, if the state says it's ok to marginalize his family, why can't everyone else also treat them like crap? But most of all, should anything ever happen to his birth mother, you would be putting his future in jeopardy. This vague language, "...the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State" could mean that Henry would be taken from the only other parent he's ever known. The first mother who held him. A mother who loves him and feeds him and reads to him and gets up at night with him and comforts him when he cries. Imagine a child losing both parents at the same time. Can you even fathom the damage that would do?

Their life is no different from any other family. They go to the grocery store, go to work, go to school, take their child to daycare, bicker over driving, have meals with friends. If their life is anything like ours was with a 10 month old, there is very little of "the gay sex" going on that worries some of you so much. Theirs is a partnership based on love and trust just like every other good relationship out there. There is nothing deviant about their behavior. They are just people who love each other.

Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.
~Albert Schweitzer

This sentiment is powerful. If you plan to vote for amendment 1 then you are not thinking about the harm, the suffering, you will cause solely because you think you have a right to tell other human beings how they should live and who they should love. You are not thinking about the consequences of your actions. You are not thinking about Henry. And you are not thinking about Josiah.

I want to end by making one thing very clear: If you vote for Amendment 1 you will be hurting children I love. If I find out that you actively sought to hurt children I love I will have a very difficult time allowing you to be around Josiah. We remove him from the presence of people who hurt children. Your skewed morality of bigotry and discrimination is not how we are raising our child and not something he's going to grow up around. This. Is. Important.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Happy 16 Months Haiku


Skinny monkey child
Now suspicious of all food
Please eat this yogurt

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Crunchy Mamas Don't Put Their Children on Leashes

I feel certain there was more than one mommy blog or conversation today about the horrible woman at the museum who had her child on a leash. Yes, that horrible women was me.

Today at the Museum of Life + Science I had a little backpack harness and leash on Josiah, and boy, did I get some dirty looks. So I got to thinking, again, about how much we, as mothers, judge other mothers.

Here is why I put my child on a leash. He's a newish walker but very, VERY independent. He doesn't want to hold my hand unless he's walking where he might fall (down stairs, over big bumps, etc). He doesn't want me to carry him most of the time. I would like to foster within him this intrepid nature, but still keep him close. He doesn't notice or care about the leash, but I can glance for a second at something else while still knowing he's safe. After all, he is the most important thing in my life, but he is not the only thing in my life. When we go to the museum I, too, like to look around at things.

So if you were judging me today I wonder if you took the time to look at the joy and wonder on my child's face as he was off "exploring on his own"? Or were you just looking at me and his harness and thinking about what a bad parent I am? Because I was looking at his face and his body language. He was so happy to be free to explore without me constantly picking him up or redirecting him or calling him back to me. He was positively vibrating with delight. I'm ok with that.

Forge ahead, my intrepid explorer. Mommy has your back.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

He Really Is a Pretty Child

I never thought Boomer and I would make an ugly child but I was slightly unprepared for how pretty he actually is. Of course everyone thinks their children are pretty, but we get independent corroboration literally every time we take him anywhere. People come up to us in stores, restaurants, the museum, you name it, just to tell us how beautiful he is. And, knock wood, he seems to be as beautiful inside as out, which is the most important thing to us. Yes he's an obnoxious toddler :) but he will share when asked and seems to show a genuine concern if someone around him is upset. He is generally delightful and easy even when he's tired. Comparatively speaking. :) He's also very, very funny.

Josiah took his first steps on December 3rd, 2011 but really did not become a proficient walker until the last month or so. He still stumbles some but so do I. :) He now just stands right back up and keeps going.

He will try to repeat what we ask him to say and spontaneously says "Bye bye!" and "Nigh nigh!" without being asked. As of today he knows what sounds lions, cats, owls and cows make. Yesterday he reached for a container of puffs on the kitchen table and, without provocation, clearly said "Puff!" Lately he's been saying "Okay!" a lot, especially when asked, and this word is particularly precious. He sounds a bit southern when he says it. I hope that's not too upsetting for his NY and ex-NY relatives. :)

He's been sleeping through the night since he was about 5 weeks old but lately every now and then has been waking up once around midnight-1am, but a quick song on my shoulder and/or a bottle put him back to sleep until morning. Maybe this should bother or concern me, but honestly, how much longer am I going to be able to cuddle him in my arms so comfortably? I look forward to every sweet, quiet, snuggly moment I have with him. Because during the day when he's awake it's generally GO GO GO!

Speaking of bottles, even at 15.5 months he still takes 4-6 4oz whole milk bottles a day. He won't drink milk from a sippy cup, and in general doesn't drink a lot from a sippy cup, so we feel it's important to make certain he's getting the milk he needs, and the way to do this is with bottles. Honestly I still enjoy holding him and giving them to him.

As for food, he's gotten a bit pickier. It's difficult to get him to eat veggies now, but I usually find a way to sneak them in. He LOVES grapes and Cherry Pie LĂ„RABARs.

He still wears size 12-18 months, but his 12 month sleepers are almost getting too short. 2 weeks ago a pair of his jeans needed to be cuffed and today they were the perfect length. He's definitely growing like the proverbial weed.

He's a funny, clever child and every day he delights me and makes me laugh. Boomer and I tell people we won the baby lottery... and we really did. I am blessed and truly feel like the luckiest mom in the world.

This picture was taken by Kimberly Combs of Combstribe Photography, whom I highly recommend if you ever need beach pics taken on the Outer Banks. He was absolutely unruly and unhappy that day but somehow she managed to still get wonderful shots.

Monday, January 2, 2012

One-derful!!!

I can't believe my baby is ONE. I know I have stated this before but I feel like I JUST had him, and that he's been with us forever, all at the same time. He's such a happy, easy baby (except when travelling) and I feel very blessed.

His birthay party was such fun! So many friends and family: Emmy, Jenny, Kimi, Rich, Frankie, Loli, Clare, Alex, Evie, ZieZie, Popster, Bubbe, Pops, Eric, Paul, Rebecca, Melissa, Henry, Arwen, Livia, Nelly, Viv, Rachael, Rhiannon, Leigh, and of course Josiah, Mommy and Daddy! I think that's everyone. I'll probably have to edit this later. He got so many toys that I think we're going to have to put some up in the attic for later!

Thank you to everyone for attending, or sending gifts, or just wanting to attend, and thank you all for being part of his first year with us. It's truly been a wonderful ride.