deep down into the fray

Ok guys, so I’ve been in DC and Phoenix since I last saw you because why wouldn’t I be traveling around the country when I’m 37 weeks pregnant?

Seriously, it wasn’t that big of a deal. Plus, I made quite the circuit when I was pregnant with Theo and doesn’t Lady Baby deserve the same jet setter treatment as her older brother?

Obviously.

So anyway, I’ve been trying to stay above the political fray, except that I’ve been in hotels which means I’ve had cable which means I’ve had cable news which means I’m not above the fray at all.

On the issue of this whole transgender bathroom thing, I would just like to say the following:

  1. No actual violent, crazy sexual predator is just now going to feel entitled to molest little boys or girls because the law lets people use the bathroom of the gender they identify with. It’s not like the law says “you may now use whichever bathroom you choose and also molest anyone you feel like. Go right ahead. Equality!”
  2. You probably use the bathroom with transgender people all the time and don’t know it. They don’t wear signs.
  3. Can we just please all stop hating on each other, already?

In addition, the other thing that has been starting to wear on me (other than the end of my pregnancy) is this whole “Make America Great Again!” thing.

Full disclosure: Nothing I am about to say means that I don’t think America is great. I believe in my country and I love my country. I also believe in my toddler and love my toddle, but sometimes you guys, if I’m being completely honest, he can be a bit of a pain in the ass. That’s not disloyal, it’s just being real. In fact, I would argue that I love both my country and my child more by not putting them up on some pedestal of perfection. It’s too much pressure, chickens.

Which brings me to this. Our beautiful, amazing country has always been flawed. When it started, slavery was legal and women couldn’t vote. Then we couldn’t agree about if we were a nation of separate states or one unified country, so we got into big fat fights about that.

We killed Native Americans because we didn’t understand them. We still didn’t let women vote. We got into a giant civil war where we fought each other because some of us still thought slavery should be legal. When we finally made it illegal, we still couldn’t (still haven’t) shake racism.

We operated an economy with child labor. We went through depressions. We got into World Wars. We interned our own citizens in camps because they were Japanese. We had trouble accepting civil rights, and we assassinated Presidents and had race riots.

I’m stopping there, because this could take all day despite me not even getting to the last half century.. And yes, I know we’ve done amazing, great things too. But my point is this. We have been a lot of things, but a perfect nation is not one of them. So when we say let’s make America great again, when was that, you guys? Is there a specific cut off in time in which we stopped being great?

In my estimation, we’ve been equal parts great and not-so-great this whole time. If I was running for President, I’d be focused on continuing to keep what’s great about America intact (diversity, ambition, independence, freedom, ingenuity) and working on what we’ve had some trouble with (tolerance, equality, wealth gaps, racism).

As you can see, I’ve dived right down into the fray, but I’m frustrated. I don’t think the world is a terrible place. I don’t think all humans are the worst. We have work to do, chickadees, but we’re America, which means nothing is impossible.

Let’s focus our energy on a new message, my friends. And let it be one that’s a little less I’m-so-angry and a little more I’m-so-grateful.

That’s where I am. Stay tuned- I can’t imagine it’s the last I’ll have to say on it.

 

 

 

 

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Quick check in

I know, I know, I know. I’m so remiss and also, behind, but man, you guys, I mostly want to laugh with Boo and sleep through the next four weeks and some change, even though I am deeply aware that this is not an option.

Lady Baby reminds me of this with a swift kick to the ribs regularly.

In preparation for welcoming my second little baby into this world, I’m doing things like making lists of what to take to the hospital (apparently I remember nothing from the first time, and so I did some googling. You know what was on one list? White Christmas lights for ambient lighting. C’mon, internet), going to yoga because I believe it will keep me sane, and reading an insane amount because last time I had a baby, I became illiterate and spent three months watching I Love Lucy (I do not regret this, if you were wondering).

We also redid the closet in the children’s bedroom so that we can fit all of the pink outfits that somehow have accumulated in my home. I thought I was being Highly Reasonable, but you know, those are just words that don’t really describe me.

Pretty much, once we hit June over here, she’s welcome to show up at any point. We may not have a crib or a vision of what our lives look like with two little ones, but I put my money on crazy, full, and incredibly exciting.

In the meantime, I’m back to my 80 pages per day quota on Alexander Hamilton, which is keeping me calm during this election season by bringing to my attention the fact that nobody ever gets along and everyone’s always been bat shit crazy.

Don’t ask me why this calms me, but it just does.

Enjoy the sunshine, chickens!

 

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restless nights and sunny days

Oh man, you guys.

I’ve hit the part of this pregnancy where I want to maybe throw my FitBit, because it’s mostly telling me I’m no longer sleeping.

As if I hadn’t noticed that I am rolling around all night. I really think I need a human-sized rotisserie to help turn me over when I’ve been on one side too long, but that’s a business plan for another day.

The lady baby is pretty active. Boo, if you will recall, was breech at this point and so despite not yet knowing it, I was merely being head butted a lot.

Now I’m being stabbed in the ribs with appendages, but chickens, it’s the miracle of life, right?

I’ll have a word with her when she arrives.

Other than that, I’m enjoying the gradual warm up around here (and the dry-up, it’s finally stopped raining, and I’m crossing my fingers that Theo, at some point, stops being made mostly from mud) and getting ready for this little girl by online shopping in a way that could be considered unhealthy and thinking that it might be almost time to buy some newborn-sized diapers.

That’s all it takes to raise them, right?

Help me out guys- I can’t really remember, even though it’s only been two years.

Now all it takes to raise them (him) is an unlimited supply of cereal bars, a nearby park, and Night, Night, Elmo on repeat.

This kid stuff is easy.

And with that, I’m off to coax my child into the car, despite my unreasonable demands that he let mama drive and that he sit down in his car seat.

Be easy, chickadees. Enjoy this sunshine!

 

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racking up wins and good advice

You guys, I am so sick of the cold and the rain hanging around in Chicago this week.

Can we please, please move on to summer, right now please?

Thank you for your consideration, weather gods.

This week I’ve had the following parenting wins: I reasoned with Boo to eat one more bite of dinner in exchange for dessert and it worked, I think I have almost taught him to excuse himself from the table instead of just shouting “THEO DONE!” and launching himself from his chair whilst covered in crumbs, and while we were accidentally co-sleeping the other night, he asked me for a pillow while still mostly asleep and mumbled thank you mama when I gave it to him.

He also has screamed into my belly (I imagine trying to rile up his sister), insisted on reading the same book 87 times in a row, and demanded to use very specific cutlery in order to eat his dinner, but you guys, it’s all give and take, I think.

*****

In other news, I’m reading Cory Booker’s United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good and obviously I love it because I love him and his attitude and his dedication to service and that he really is always helping people, but my favorite parts so far are when he passes on advice from his dad.

Thanks for sharing your dad, Senator.

My very favorite quote so far is this one:

“No matter what the circumstances, you exercise your power, you demonstrate your worth when you decide how to react, how to act in the face of it all. If the world punches you in the gut that doesn’t define you; what you do next, that speaks your truth.”

Man, I could use that one to fall back on about 37 times a day.

Good thing I’ve got it now.

Enjoy this one chickens- let’s all hope for a little sunshine!

 

 

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five good things: april showers edition

Ok pals, it’s April now and while I am over this will-it-or-won’t-it weather, I am keeping my head down and dreaming of May flowers and grilling and lots of time “play park” as Theo likes to call it.

Let’s do five things, because I think we need some good things around here (always we do, chickens):

  1. I had brunch with my lady friends this last weekend, and it was a delight because brunch is always a delightful meal and also because there is nothing like laughing with your people. There just isn’t.
  2. My nephew Gio has learned how to roll over. This means he’s basically a grown up and it makes me want to cry a little but also, it is the first of so many fun milestones to come (sitting! standing! going to college!)
  3. JW and D painted Theo & Lady Baby’s room this weekend. It’s a minty, beachy green, which means it’s bright and fun and no longer greasy from my son’s tiny paws touching everything. We’d like her to enter this world with a clean four walls to hold her- I think that’s a fair expectation.

    I also picked it because it reminded me of our aunt Mimi’s favorite color, and it just goes without saying that a little reminder of Mimi in your babies’ bedroom makes everything sunnier- without realizing it, we painted the weekend that we lost (bad word, I know) Mimi two years ago, and so as expected, she’s always with us when we need her, I think.

  4. This clip of Bernie Sanders and his thoughts on religion. I know, I know, I know it comes across as political, but to me, it’s not.It’s just so human, and so right.  To me, anyway.
  5. I’m still on my reading kick (I mean, I guess I can stop saying that, since it’s lasted like 27 years so far), and I’ve got Corey Booker’s new book next, which I am super excited about, because of my love for/crush on/immense respect in regards to NJ’s senator.

And with that, I’m off to start this one grateful that it’s already Tuesday. That’s a good thing, chickens.

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let’s talk about feminists.

Morning, chickens!

And welcome to another week!

Today is a post about feminism.

Or like, maybe just choosing your choices.

Last Friday, I threw up this video, in which Lin-Manuel Miranda (master of my heart) so effortlessly answers “yes, of course” when Emma Watson asks him if he’s a feminist.

I loved it, obviously.

Then I read this article, coincidentally on the same day, and then I had all these thoughts that you know I have to share with you because I never can help it.

I hate when people hesitate when they’re asked if they’re feminists. Like, you know they want to say they are, but you know they’re a little afraid to say “yes,” like they might get judged.

I shamefully admit that this is how I felt when people asked if I thought gay people were okay when I was fifteen in rural Michigan.

I mean, obviously I thought that gay people were more than okay, but also, someone was about to snicker at me or roll their eyes, or maybe even be outraged.

Luckily I’ve grown to like being an outrage.

So anyway, I get why people want to pause.

I’ve been a pauser.

Or they say, “yeah, I believe men and women are equal, but I’m not a feminist.”

Yes, ma’am (or sir!), you sure are.

I know that there is a group of people that think feminism means that you think men are the worst (that’s called misandry, I know, we don’t hear that word very often), or that women who do certain things are wrong, but it’s not true.

I promise.

I also hate when I see women walking around, being judgmental about other women’s choices, because that’s not feminism. It’s actually just being shitty.

And there are people who aren’t paying enough attention and are gonna pick up on that and assume that’s the feminist message.

So here’s what feminism is, you guys:

It means I think men and women are equal. And it means that I believe, really, really hard, in your choice to do whatever makes you happy. If you want to stay at home and raise 20 babies and hang with your husband or wife, yes! If you want to ditch all relationships, run a huge business, and maybe just own a cat or dog or just yourself, yes! 

If you want to try and do both, awesome! Share your secrets, please!

Anyway, the article I cited above bothered me because essentially that woman is a feminist, she just doesn’t understand the definition (which is okay, we’re all here to learn). If you are given the opportunity to truly choose your choices and that’s what you want for other people, men and women, you’re a feminist.

There are extremists everywhere, chickens, and so next time you see someone who’s judging, or guilty of misandry, try and remember that’s what it is.

It’s not feminism.

I got to thinking about this because I’ve been thinking about bringing a lady baby into the world a lot lately (which is good, since she’s due to show up in 11 weeks), and I realized in my thought process that I think it’s just as important that Theo considers him a feminist as it is that my daughter considers herself one.

We’re all gonna be feminists in my house.

Feminists mean we’re psyched that Mama goes to work every day, because that’s what she loves, but if she didn’t, we’d be good with that too.

It means we’re cool with me keeping my last name because I love it, but that if took your husband’s name because you loved that, I think it’s awesome too. I don’t think any of it will confuse our kids, because they’re smarter than us, like a million times.

It means if Dad wants to stay home and we can afford it, cool- go for it (well really, let’s maybe talk because we have a true professional helping us to raise our babies and I’m not about to give her up, but…you get what I’m saying).

I think what it all comes down to is that we want people to have the freedom to pursue what makes them happy, and we want society to back that notion.

I want everyone to say “yes” to the question of feminism as easily as Lin does.

And with that, I’m off to choose some more life choices this morning. Enjoy it, chickens!

 

 

 

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five good things: happy to be here edition

You guys, it’s Friday. And it’s been a windy week, and I’m ready for a weekend with my people. Here are five good things to get us started.

1.This video:

Emma Watson and Lin-Manuel Miranda Freestyle

I love Lin. I love Emma. I love being a feminist. What’s not to love about this? Thank you  guys, for making everything I love (at least) kind of cool.

2. We’re headed to a fish fry tonight with Boo and the S Family, which means my favorite assortment of toddlers, teens, and adults. Also, “Fwench Fwies!”, as my son would very seriously point out.

He’s right, obviously.

3. My latest read,which is taking me longer than 2 days (a good thing, I’ve decided, as I’ve been tearing through books at a ridiculous speed) is called Wilson by A.Scott Berg, and it’s a long, very complete biography of Woodrow Wilson.

Wilson is the reason we have majors in college, was actually named Thomas, implemented Jim Crow laws (which did not turn out the way he envisioned), was the President of Princeton, wrote steamy love letters to both his wives, and also led us through World War I.

So many things I didn’t know, and I’m not even halfway done yet. If you’re into biographies about presidents (which we all know I am), I would recommend this one.

I promise to get to some fiction soon, you guys.

4. I’m scheduled for yoga and brunch with JD and KB tomorrow, which is a delight because despite the fact that we generally speak all day, every day via text message (am I ashamed? No. I need constant supervision), we haven’t all been together in one place in approximately one million years. There is no one I would  rather eat an order of table doughnuts with this weekend, you guys.

5. It’s NCAA March Madness time, chickadees. And UCONN not only squeezed their way into the tournament, but also won a game yesterday, which keeps both my hopes and my bracket alive. I also saw a commercial featuring Jim Calhoun (UCONN’s former coach) and Kevin Ollie (UCONN’s current coach and also a former player in my youth) embracing, and it gave me all the feels. I LOVE A SPORTS TOURNAMENT.

And with that, it’s time to get through one more productive office day before splitting for the weekend. Enjoy this one, chickens!

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