It's May. How the hell did that happen already? There are only two weeks of school left here, which means that the end of the year madness has begun. It seems like there is something scheduled every day of the week...and that day to celebrate mothers looms on the calendar.
It's complicated because my mother is gone and because our relationship was complicated when she was here. It's complicated because I hated mother's day when I was supposed to be a mother and then I wasn't because I lost the baby...because our society is really bad at that handling people in that place. We don't know what to do with those who don't fit nicely into the boxes we construct and so the mourning mothers without the children they should have are left on the outside, urged to do what they are still supposed to do for all the other mothers surrounding them and push aside the grief that goes unrecognized. It's complicated because in the years since that year, I have added children to my life that remain here with me today and those children are amazing and wonderful it's true, but there is always this tiny part of my heart that wonders what life would be like if she were still here, that first baby of mine.
In all likelihood, I'll write more about mothers day before we get there, so I'll move on from it all now. There are other things to talk about.
And it's Tuesday, so let's throw some stuff.
A Princess is born and the internet explodes...
Saturday, Kate Middleton gave birth to Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. It's been reported that she had a very quick labor, and the family left the hospital later that same day, stepping out of the hospital to cameras and the eyes of the world.
Since that moment, it seems like everyone on the internet has had something to say about Kate. The vast majority of the commenting is coming from women, other women, wrapped up in what she looks like.
It's so wrong.
All of it.
Some of them are in disbelief that she could look so good right after having given birth. Some insist that it's only because of the entourage of hairdressers and makeup people she has. Some devised conspiracy theories that she certainly must have birthed the baby days prior and hidden because there was no possible way that she looked that way immediately after having a baby.
Some talked about the dress she was wearing or the roundness (or slimness) of her belly. Some pondered how tired she must be or how sad it is that she is being paraded out in the public or how she should have known this would happen when she married into royalty.
And on and on and on.
Seriously, people. Can't anyone just say congratulations and wish them well anymore?
How she looks is how she looks. How much help she has or doesn't have to appear that way isn't really that important in the overall scheme of things, is it? I've known many women who walked out of the hospital hours after birth looking like they'd never been pregnant. It happens. I promise.
She just had a baby, and it's pure speculation to try and guess how she feels, though the internet is doing that too.
Honestly though, if I had to guess, I would guess that she probably feels amazing. I had one pregnancy with hyperemesis. I felt like a million bucks after that baby finally was born because I felt so awful the entire time I was pregnant.
How she looks, how round her belly is, how shiny her hair is, how big her ankles are...none of it has anything to do with anyone else. It isn't a judgment or a commentary on how women should appear after giving birth. It's not a criticism of anyone who isn't up and ready to go and made up immediately afterwards. It doesn't say anything about women who (like myself) look more like they've just been run over by a truck after birth.
It has nothing to do with anyone else. It has nothing to do with you or with me or with anyone but her.
This is her birth, her body, her baby.
Leave her alone.
The Cluelessness of Privilege and the Masks We Wear
I'm so sick to death of people defending racism, or dressing it up fancy and calling it something else so that it seems more justifiable.
It's to the point where I find myself avoiding my newsfeed like the plague because I'd rather not know how biased some of the people I call friends truly are. I don't want to see the links that try to explain away disparities in our society. I don't want to see the actions of one mother held up as the example, particularly by those who on one hand demand peaceful protests and claim to abhor violence, but then on the other act as though the impulsive outburst of a mother is something to be celebrated.
I'm asking you all to go read this link here. Then come back.
Do you do those things?
If you want to understand more about what privilege means, outside the scope of race alone, you can go read this piece that I wrote last year about it. It links to a survey of the most comprehensive list of the elements of privilege I've ever seen. So much of the issue of privilege is misunderstood. It isn't about apologies or anyone taking something from anyone else. So so so much of this discussion is just about acknowledging it exists at all. Pretending it doesn't will get us nowhere.
Presidential politics. Already.
The race is on, whether we want it to be or not. There have been a few developments in the last week worth noting. One is that Bernie Sanders threw his hat into the ring, then did some really kickass fundraising in a hurry immediately afterwards. His biggest hurdle is money, because he's going to have to raise a ton of it if there is any hope that he'll be able to take on the other players.
Because this is America, where money is really the most important issue when it comes to who should be elected President, right? Let's just be honest. It isn't about who has the best vision or the best ideas or the most integrity. It's about who puts out the most commercials.
Eyeroll so hard the top of my head hurts.
Carly Fiorina announced she was running too, but neglected to register the domain for her name, so it was snatched up by someone else who is using it to remind people of all those laid off when she was running HP. She dropped out of law school...and having been to that rodeo, I could tell you a few things about the people who dropped out of law school after one semester, none of which would qualify them to run the damn country.
There have been quite a few other people who've announced they are running lately as well.
Hillary Clinton, long said to be the Democratic front runner, actually did something that impressed me this week, which is pretty hard to do these days for a politician. She spoke out publicly about the events in Baltimore and the underlying issues. Talk is one thing, though...we need action.
Abstinence Only DOES NOT WORK because chlamydia.
The social conservatives have really done a number on the education system in many ways, one of the most glaring of which is the push towards abstinence only sex education. Shame based lessons that provide no guidance about birth control or STDs or pregnancy have created entire regions of kids clueless about sex.
It doesn't work.
There is a chlamydia outbreak in Texas right now as a result.
(because everything is bigger in Texas, right???)
What does work is legitimate information provided to kids in an honest and open setting, in a universe where they are actually given access to birth control methods. Like here in Colorado, where a private grant has paid for thousands of young women to have IUDs placed. Guess what???? The birth rate is WAY down. Not because we've shamed these kids into purity...nope. Because we educated them and gave them access to birth control.
Results aren't enough though, because as crazy as it sounds, there is actually a movement underfoot now to dismantle the program. You know, the one that works. The grant funding runs out this year and to maintain the program, it needs funding.
Republicans voted against it. One of the reasons given is that they don't want to be "subsidizing teen sex". Uh huh. Because subsidizing teen sex (if you even want to look at it in that twisted way), is less palatable than subsidizing the cost of a teen pregnancy and the assistance that may be required in the raising of that child.
Bangs head on wall.
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