Worry, Fear, Panic…

I woke up opened Facebook and burst into tears this morning. My wife held me while I cried and tried to come to grips with what I am feeling. I’m crying because we have a new President. They are not tears of joy or elation. They are tears of a broken heart, a battered soul and a head wringing with worry. (I’m not a crier so this is kind of a big deal).

I grew up thinking I was Republican. I wanted to be involved with the Republican party. I immersed myself in South Carolina’s political atmosphere. As I moved about the world my feelings on social issues changed but I could comfortably call myself a fiscal conservative. Then I met three attorneys who changed my heart and mind for good. They lived and conducted themselves professionally with such compassion and such pure hearts. I watched them tirelessly answer the call to protect the most vulnerable of our state. Working with people from every walk of life in our state with no hesitation. You see, I could no longer think only fiscally because there were lives hanging in the balance. Lives that have no voice of their own. Lives that time and time again get lost in the fray. When I came out, all of the sudden I became one of those lives. A person who suddenly had to fight for equality. I was a socially marginalized individual.

An election cycle that perpetrated worry, fear and panic, now has me waking on the day after the election filled with worry, fear and panic. Seems as if that platform was successful on all fronts.  I respect that people want change, to buck the establishment, to find a better way for their families and their businesses. Those are ideals I can get behind. Those are things we all want out of this life. If that is why you voted for Trump, I get it. Some things aren’t working and maybe he has a better plan. I can’t see it…though.

I can’t see past…

  • The people who can see that my family (LGBT community) is at risk but think that it’s OK, inconsequential or a great fucking idea,
  • The people who can’t see that my family (LGBT community) is at risk and don’t care,
  • The people who can see that women’s rights are at risk but think that it’s OK, inconsequential or a great fucking idea,
  • The people who can’t see that women’s rights are at risk and don’t care.
  • The people who can see that latinos are at risk but think that it’s OK, inconsequential or a great fucking idea,
  • The people who can’t see that latinos are at risk and don’t care,
  • The people who can see that muslims are at risk but think that it’s OK, inconsequential or a great fucking idea,
  • The people who can’t see that muslims are at risk and don’t care,
  • The person who commented on a photo saying to someone go back to Africa,
  • The people who think everyone in a hijab is a terrorist,
  • A Vice President who believes in conversion therapy for gays,
  • A President who spoke of Roe v. Wade as if it offers carte blanche abortion,
  • The Trump supporter in my news feed who posted a picture of a black man’s face superimposed on a white woman’s body that I’m pretty sure is racist even though I have no idea what it supposed to be,
  • The people who started yelling, “Lock her up,” during election night at the Trump rally,
  • The people who still think my marriage shouldn’t be legal,
  • The people who want to build a wall to keep out those escaping countries to be in the land of the free,
  • The people who are just plain and outwardly scared of the color brown,
  • The people who are scared of brown and don’t have the balls to admit it,
  • The people who think the political parties are Christian or heathens (or more accurately heaven bound or hell bound),
  • A President-elect who disrespected a sitting President over and over by challenging his citizenship,
  • A President-elect who speaks so callously of women, minorities, immigrants and the LGBT community,
  • The people who called Hillary Clinton, Killary and thought it was just in good ol’ fashion political mudslinging, and
  • The people who think they put God back in control of our country. You put a man in control of this country. Please remember that. (Quite frankly, the only person who actually personified what that means to me was Tim Kaine so I guess it’s subjective.)

I can’t see past those people. Those people do not represent an angry, disenfranchised and frustrated electorate who want change. They represent xenophobia, racism and general deplorable behavior. Yea, I used the word deplorable. It’s appropriate here. I am worried, I am scared…but I don’t have time to be past this moment. I have a wife, a daughter and the rest of the world to show who I am. It’s not someone who mocks or belittles or even the person who wallows in defeat. I have to be the wife, mom and person I need to be to show the people above what true compassion and love look like.

The beacon of hope is those who sent messages of love this morning and last night. Thank you.

Ten Years Ago…And Scott Weiland

I love this time of year. I love the twinkling lights and wonder why we can’t have them all year…The ribbons, the bows, the music, the shopping, the hot cocoa, the family get togethers…it all makes me giddy. I feel the joy…I feel Christmas…I feel all of the warmth and love. But December remembers…Ten years have passed since that December day when I received the call that would forever make December have a very Charles Dickens feel…the best of times and the worst of times.

If I had to try to explain the feeling, December by Sara Bareilles actually describes the way it feels best…It’s not really the lyrics so much as the tone of the song that really pins it down.

The afternoon has settled long and heavy on my shoulders
The winter’s light feels different on my skin
It doesn’t seem to strike as far below the surface so
I have to conclude that shadow won’t let it in
That shadow won’t let it in, shadow won’t let it in

December…
You’ve always been a problem child
December…
You run me down right restless and wild
And I remember when you used to be mine

I know I am not the only one who spent a Christmas mindlessly unwrapping presents…trying to be normal when life is anything but normal. Everyone going through the motions so you don’t just stop and cease to exist. You have to appear human because the other side is out there…you just have to get there…even if it begins with faking it.

The sadness wanes…It’s just that you can never recover fully from certain losses. I know I’ve said that before but it’s a weird place to be in sometimes. It doesn’t heal like a scratch that doesn’t even leave a scar…Your mind can’t neutralize a loss like your immune system can a cold. It is not something that can ever be over…it is just a permanent hole in your world. It is an internal scar that if on the outside would probably make people stare. It’s the phantom limb that only you can feel but have to remind yourself is no longer there.

You stop mourning in the traditional sense but there will always be reminders, anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, what if, and should be. They dart around your mind at unexpected times. But most thoughts and memories are happy now…because the good stays and the pain fades.

There are Scott Weilands…people you hope can make one day at a time last a lifetime…but they can’t/don’t. Then their body just says, I can take no more. I feel empathy for his family because I can…it’s not fake or manufactured…it’s because I know. Loss caused me to have a keener understanding of empathy and I kind of have low tolerance for over empathizers now. But I know what it is like to lose someone over and over again  until they really are gone.

On this tenth year, I can laugh at our childhood memories, talk about our traditions…and laugh about how you sang Almost Paradise (the love theme from Footloose) in your carseat as you tried to do sit ups.

We’re all OK now.

And there is much to celebrate…Today, sometime this morning…two little souls came into the world. My beautiful lovely friends now have twin boys! They are so beautiful and already have an army at the ready to guide them through this world! Welcome boys! Can’t wait to meet you!

…Then may we speak with Mr. Insert Real Last Name…

Well, he’s my dad and doesn’t live here but you can speak with my wife. (Although, my guess is since she didn’t call you but I did, she doesn’t want to talk to you.)

Wait, there was a time when a whole family used one phone wasn’t there? Mind Blown!

We have a small chuckle once in a while when some unsuspecting person puts together that we’re married. It’s cute. It’s funny. It’s a changing, evolving world we live in and not everyone has fabulous married lesbian friends like us. Most people are super professional – you see the recognition on their face and then they quickly get back on track. Some people even get really excited which is extremely cute and gives everyone the giggles. I can’t even think of one negative reaction or I’d have written about it.

So this week I’ve been making calls to handle a little house maintenance issue. All three vendors I spoke to this week assumed I had a husband. Now I’m not saying they should assume I’m straight or gay…it’s a phone call. It wasn’t that they were just trying to get a sense of the homeowners though. Two of them actually wanted to speak with my husband. Their assumption that someone other than myself was more capable of making the decisions was off-putting. Off-putting enough that I barely enjoyed their blushed tones when I said I had a wife instead and then the inevitable fumbling over spelling her last name which is only four five letters. It’s probably hard to think when you’ve just realized you were being sexist and made a huge assumption about someone.

While I am certainly not mad or offended about the assumption that I have a husband, it was a realization that some things haven’t changed. Some people still think men are the decision makers when it comes to home repair or in a relationship in general…Which means some people think there aren’t single women owning homes and kicking ass at it but there are (I even know some!). It means that some people don’t think about the wider definition of the word family. It means businesses aren’t having conversations about how to phrase things to be less patriarchal.

In some instances it may be necessary to know if more than one person owns a home or lives in a home so just tweaking the questions a bit would go a long way…

Will you be the only contact for this project?

Would you like to add another contact for this project?

Is there a spouse or partner I could list?

It’s really not that hard to keep your foot out of your mouth if you try just a little bit.

 Anyone else out there experience this kind of thing? Tell me about it.

Weekend Family Fun in Rehoboth Beach, DE

This whole month I have been thinking about Pride and how to participate with a youngster in tow. In general, Pride is kind of an adult affair…information booths, booze, beads (kids like beads though), parties, and fabulous parades…But who doesn’t love a parade? Am I right? I am sure eventually there would be questions about certain floats…and I’d have to explain that the plastic squares with the round discs are not suckers that have lost their sticks…they are something entirely different!
With an infant though, this year my major concern was about heat and sunburn on very fresh baby skin. June in most of the country is HOT! The last few years we have gone down to the Pride festival we have been so hot that we quickly opted for an indoor restaurant after a quick walk through. In our younger years we probably would have had all the drinks and danced our cares away. But alas…we have to do all the responsible adulting now…Now I know there are some family areas at Pride and I will explore those more in the future as DC Pride has come and gone. Yesterday, I got an email from CAMP Rehoboth about their first annual Family Pride CAMP! This is so exciting! Unfortunately, we will not be able to attend Family Pride CAMP this year so I hope they do it next year!  I am posting details below and click on the link above for more details.
From CAMP Rehoboth’s Website: 
Featuring bouncy-castles, a pizza party, parent’s-night-out, a seaside BBQ, a fire station tour, beach games, a farewell brunch, and more, Family Pride CAMP 2015 will be a fun-filled weekend—generating a lifetime of memories—for all families, young and old, big and small!
Family Pride CAMP Schedule of Events

June 26-28
Rehoboth Beach

Friday, June 26

  • 4-6 p.m. Registration at CAMP Rehoboth. Preregistration is available online or come to CAMP Rehoboth to check in and pick up information about the weekend.
  • 6-9 p.m. CAMP Rehoboth Welcome Party-Featuring food, drink, and entertainment for kids and adults.

Saturday, June 27

  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Gordons Pond Pavilion-Featuring lunch, beach toys and games.
  • 4 p.m.  Rehoboth Beach Fire Station Tour
  • 5:30-8:30 p.m. Let’s Bounce Party at “Shell We Bounce!”(add-on fee of $30 for first child and $25 for each additional sibling), featuring dinner, babysitters and fun!
  • 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Adult Dinner at Eden (pay at restaurant).

Sunday, June 28

  • Featured Beach: Poodle Beach
  • 12-4 p.m. Farewell Lunch at the Bromley-Salie house, 5 Prospect Street (steps away from Poodle Beach). Featuring food, drink, toys, games and restroom facilities.

$30 per adult;$15 per kid; $90 per family (max). Plus optional add-ons (babysitting, parent’s dinner at a local restaurant).

Even if you cannot make this event! Check out CAMP Rehoboth’s events…they have a Women’s Fest every year which is also awesome! Rehoboth Beach is very LGBTQ and vegan friendly!
The only Rehoboth picture I have on my work computer.

The only Rehoboth picture I have on my work computer.

 

The Twinkle Diaries

I am not 37 and neither is my wife…

I had an amazingly large brain-fart which I am claiming was brought on by parenthood. My super wonderful awesome forgiving wife fo’ life had a birthday. Through the power of miscommunication and corporate policy…Lisa was at home all weekend! So even though I had a birthday present for her, I did not have a card. I love greeting cards…a whole bunch so I went downstairs to write a note…draw a picture…something.  However, I found a kid’s birthday card that I thought was PERFECT! Hilariously, I wrote in a 3 in front of the 7 with a Sharpie…manufacturing a 37.  Listen people I was full on happy with myself and my silly gesture…I proudly plop her card on the counter which she finds and opens…

Let’s just say, she is not 37 which means neither am I.

IMG_0948

No matter how hard I wish…I can’t make that not a 7.

The universe has something to say…

He boarded the green line train at the same time I did. I followed him on purpose to his seat. His punk rock look stood out among the 5:00 commuter dress of uniforms and dress pants. I wanted to sit next to him but an eager beaver sat down in the spot before I could so I stood in the aisle. He settled in and played a game on his phone, like you do.

As we traveled, I could not help but wonder where he was going…home? A friend’s house? Some music show? Maybe he is in a band? He looks like he’s in a band…

He has two black eyes…My eyes are not playing tricks on me…I wonder if he got those black eyes from a fight? Or a mosh pit? Maybe a drunken fight with a friend over a girl (or boy)? Maybe something worse…I wanted to ask him all of these things…and more…

I wanted to know if he had enough money…a place to sleep…enough to eat…was he loved enough…was he safe…but I didn’t.

He stayed on the train all the way to the end, the last stop, my stop…We didn’t speak as we both waited for the door to open. I made sure to smile at him…you never know the last time someone was really smiled at…he smiled a familiar lazy blurry smile back at me.  I walked behind him up the escalator to the exit but he got held back by the Friday afternoon rush to the parking lot and bus lines. I looked back to see that he made it out…What if he didn’t have enough money on his Metro card…I saw him walk toward the Kiss & Ride…he had a ride…that’s good…a friend, I hope…or parent…or sister. Someone with a smile that would ask him about those black eyes…I hoped.IMG_0742

My eyes filled with tears as I walked to my car…every kid I see like that is you. My eyes filled with tears as I remembered your birthday was only a few days away. I cried the cry that you do when you remember…

One day I will get to tell my daughter that we named her after  you…Her uncle…My brother. For now I’ll appreciate the reminders from the universe. It is not the first time I’ve seen you on a train. The first time was on a train between Jesup, GA and Charleston…I gave him cough drops when he coughed…and then stuck all the dollar bills I had in the side of his bag when he wasn’t looking. Even though I don’t know who they are, they remind me of you.

Happy 33rd Birthday.

Puppies, Babies and Pregnant Ladies

I am completely obsessed with puppies, babies and pregnant ladies…not necessarily in that order and to varying degrees.  It’s totally manageable though…I’ll pet a stranger’s dog in a heartbeat but I’m not the sort of gal that walks up to strangers and ask if I can touch their belly or kid…That’s weird…

Unless you do that sort of thing then it’s totally normal and I’m not judging…Yes, I am…Don’t touch my pregnant lady or kid…You can pet my dog.  That’s totally cool and I won’t think you’re a weirdo.  However, once you start petting you aren’t allowed to stop so pet at your own risk. 

I’m just more keenly aware of all of the baby making around me now.  I never knew there were so many pregnant ladies.  I never really noticed before…but now they are all just adorable and EVERYWHERE.  Of course, none are as adorable as mine.  She’s snoozing away right now…If she were a puppy or a baby I’d take her picture and post it right now but I’m pretty sure she would not approve.  Some of my friends who got in to the baby making business much earlier in life post many cute and amazing pictures of their kids…I have my favorites…I’m always tapping Lisa saying look, look it…so cute…

So thanks to the internets puppies, babies, and puppies and babies are mega popular and fill my Facebook feed daily.  I’d have to say that I’ve fallen down the cuteness rabbit hole with no signs of coming out any time soon.  I am OK with that.  Here are a few of my favorites at the moment.

1.  Momma’s Gone City – It all started with Theo and Beau – not only are they super cute – the photography is amazing.  The two little nappers are just too much.  They even have a book coming out of their nap time poses. You can find them on Instagram – #theoandbeau2014-03-13_1394737919

2. Brandileigh080 – Eisleigh and Clyde – This puppy just snuggled up and melted my heart.  And his name is Clyde…I don’t know how but he looks like a Clyde!

3.  Pit Bull Licks New Born – So many baby giggles…

4. Lena the Rottweiler Taking a Shower…I mean…I can’t even…

5. Girl and Bull Terrier Cuddling – OMG the patience of that dog.  It’s so sweet.  Dogs really are the best.

In the world of viral videos – dogs rule the world.  And I am a complete sucker for it.  Their little hoomans are cute too!