So today I had the day off, and I decided it was finally time to get some advice about Roo’s hair. It’s getting harder for us to manage, and I just do NOT want to be those parents.
I prepared my “I am really trying to learn how to do black hair and would love any advice you can give me” speech, did his hair as well as I could, and walked into a black hair salon on the corner.
The woman was nice as could be, but really didn’t know what I meant. She asked if I wanted to cut his hair, and when I said no, ran her hand through his hair, complimented his curls, and told me to bring him back for a haircut in another year. I asked for styling tips, and she said “well, he has baby hair!”
Okay. All the women in the salon were nodding vigorously, and I didn’t want to stand there insisting that I needed help when she was telling me all was well, so I thanked her and left.
Then I went into another place a few doors down to ask the same question. We had an almost identical conversation, down to the part where she complimented his hair and I stuttered like a fool, except she recommended a shampoo and a moisturizer.
So… fruitful? A failure? I’m pleased that both women said he had beautiful hair – even beautiful hair could look awful if I was messing it up that much. And I’ll get the products the second woman recommended. But I’m still not sure how to keep his hair from getting all frizzy and wild starting about 30 minutes after I style it. Maybe that was the problem – should I try another place when I haven’t done his hair?
Huh. I expected a half dozen different reactions to a white mom with a biracial child walking into a salon and asking for help. A friendly response but no help wasn’t one of the responses I had anticipated.
So do I let it lie? Try again somewhere else? Take it as a compliment?
Right now he’s been in his bed for 40 minutes refusing to nap. Amazing that he has incredible bed-head but no rest for the weary (mama).
NSG is my hero.
After lots of cognitive behavioral therapy, 8 weeks of fear-of-flying classes, and a nice little cocktail of anti-anxiety medication, rescue remedy, and relaxation techniques, she got on a plane today for the first time in almost SEVENTEEN YEARS.
Can I just say that again?
She flew! She flew! She flew!
And she rocked! She called me from LaGuardia to crow, and I crowed with her, and then Roo and I did little dances all over the house and made up songs about Mama flying until it was time to go get her at the airport.
Tonight we cancel our reservations for an insane Amtrak trip to Crazy State next month and buy plane tickets instead, which means travelling about 6 hours (round trip) instead of 48.
I don’t know that I could have done this if I were in her shoes, but it’s one of the things I love about her. She doesn’t care so much about travelling, and did this mostly for me (how did I get this lucky?), but I think it never occured to her to think about some of the places we might go together if we could just get there. Now we’re talking about going to Banff, to San Francisco to see our friends whose son we’ve never met, to Hawaii (we even have a place to stay) – where else?
[Happy dance, happy dance, happy dance]
How much of a cheeseball does this make me?
When my co-worker asked me if we had started planning Roo’s birthday part (for a birthday still 6 weeks away), I competely choked up.
Oh, that beautiful boy. He kills me.
Eating pickles, despite the old wives tales, is not a surefire sign that someone is pregnant.
I love pickles. I eat them whenever I get the chance. I am not pregnant.
Please stop making that joke. It was funny the first 31 times.
This speech was delivered yesterday by a Rabbi who is a member of the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry. I thought it was too beautiful not to share it.
Speech delivered by Rabbi Dan Judson, Interfaith Rally and March, June 14, 2007
Good morning, I wanted to begin this morning by teaching everybody some Hebrew words. To say good morning in Hebrew you say boker, meaning “morning,” and “tov,” meaning good. And what you learn, when you learn Hebrew is that the response to boker tov, “good morning” is boker or. Now, if you were to walk down the streets of Jerusalem, no one would actually say boker or to you, but this is what you learn in formal Hebrew school. But I want to say it with you this morning. I am going to start this morning by saying boker tov, and if you can respond with boker or, because here is what boker or means, it means a “morning of light.” And this morning is most certainly a morning of light. It is a morning full of light.
I became a part of the RCFM nine years ago, so it feels like I have been preaching and talking and arguing about marriage a long time. And it feels like there is nothing new to be said, it is the same conversation with people again and again. I just hear the questions, I can press the button in my mind that has the answer I have given countless times.
“Rabbi, Rabbi, what about the bible Rabbi, a man shall not love a man the way a man loves a woman, how can we have marriage Rabbi what about the bible?” Press button number 1 in my mind, bible. Right I always say to folks who ask me this, that’s great that you think that verse in the bible is so important because the bible actually says nothing about lesbians, doesn’t mention it all, so you must be okay with two women getting married, you’re halfway there.
Listen I say to them, I love the bible, but I am not a fundamentalist, and if you don’t stone your rebellious son, or do any work on Shabbat than you are not a fundamentalist either. So what part of the bible are you going to listen to — the one oddly phrased verse in Leviticus or the countless times the prophets enjoin us to care for those who are marginalized, the countless times the bible tells us to love our neighbor, love the stranger?
Rabbi, Rabbi, but marriage is the foundation of society. It’s always been one man and one woman. Button number 2, history of marriage. It’s a great point I always tell the person, it’s just that the history of marriage in my own Jewish culture was that the man acquired the wife like property. And then I ask the person who is talking to me if he would like for me to get his wife to discuss a return to traditional marriage values.
Rabbi, Rabbi, but it’s just too dramatic a change, in America we are not ready for it. Can’t they just settle for civil union or something like that? Button 3, civil union. Yes, we should have one category for straight people and one category for gay people, separate but almost equal works out so well in society. I was just thinking that we should have separate categories for Jewish and Christian marriage that would work well.
Rabbi, Rabbi, I get this one sometimes, usually at the end of an argument, Rabbi Rabbi, it’s just the forces of political correctness, gay marriage is just being pushed by the Massachusetts gay liberal agenda. And to this I say absolutely, it is the gay liberal agenda.
Maybe you have heard of the Massachusetts gay liberal agenda, I call it justice.
Maybe you have heard of the gay agenda, I call it equality.
Maybe you have heard of the gay agenda, it is called not living in fear anymore.
Maybe you have heard of the gay agenda, it is called embracing family.
Maybe you have heard of the gay agenda, it is called the real promise of America that we can live in freedom.
Maybe you have heard of the gay agenda, it is called the voice of the prophet calling out let my people be who I have created them to be.
Maybe you have heard of the gay agenda, I call it grace and truth and love.
* * *
So like I was saying, I have been a part of the RCFM for 9 years. And I remember when we used to have rallies. I very clearly remember we had one on City Hall Plaza, maybe 6 or 7 years ago, and we had maybe 15 people there. And I remember that people had signs that were two interconnecting rings that said, “Freedom to Marry.” And I remember people walking by and they had no idea who we were, what in the world we were talking about, and they asked ,”Huh? Freedom to marry who?”
Freedom to marry who?
Nobody needs to ask freedom to marry who? We have gone from being cold outside on the plaza to being inside, with the governor and the leaders of both houses walking by our rally not asking who we were or what we were about, but saying “I am with you.”
Not that long ago, you remember just 5 or 6 years ago, nobody was really seriously talking about marriage being law, we were just hoping to fight off defense of marriage acts which cropped up every year in the legislature. Legal Marriage was a distant dream.
But here we are, dream no more, as the psalmist said, Even maasu habonim, hayta le-rosh pina - The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone.
I have this vivid memory from like 6 years ago, there was a defense of marriage bill that we were going to testify on. And the clergy on the other side were called to testify immediately, it was like a delegate of the archbishop and an orthodox rabbi and Martin Luther King’s niece or something, and they said hateful, noxious, facile things about gay folk, and we waited to be called and waited for hours and hours and hours to explain about love, about acceptance. I am not even sure we ever got to speak that day.
But here we are today, love has beaten hate. That is what is so amazing. Love has beaten homophobia. The people who traffic in ignorance and hate have lost. Do they really think that after reaching the promised land we will settle for going back into the wilderness? I hope this ends today, I am tired of having these conversations, it is so painfully obvious what is right. But even if it doesn’t end today, the people of Massachusetts will vote the right way. We will never go back to the days of being outsiders, we will never go back to the days when our voices were not heard, we will never go back to the days when gays and lesbians were stigmatized.
Today is a day full of light. Regardless of the vote, today is a day when love vanquished hate.
Rabbi Daniel Judson is the rabbi at Temple Beth David of the South Shore.
I am such a dork. But dudes, I am EXCITED.
Go read what I wrote today at Lesbian Family dot Org about our victory over the ban on same-gender marriage.
As usual these days, I have posts brewing in my head that just aren’t making it to the screen. So here are the lecks and shmecks for this week:
A few weeks back, the pediatrician gave us carte blanche to feed Roo just about anything he would eat. Suddenly, after months of being the most uninterested solid-food eater on the block, we can’t feed him fast enough. He’s eating 35-40 ounces of formula a day (I think this is what they mean by “eating us out of house and home”), plus 3-4 meals and a couple of snacks. Where does it go? He doesn’t even weigh 18 pounds.
Since the edict from the pediatrician, everything we’ve put in front of Roo has gone straight down the hatch, including, but by no means limited to: masala dosa, pickles, lemons, limes, grilled peppers, feta cheese, black beans with cumin and chili powder, spicy spanish rice, curried tofu, buckwheat waffles, and sauerkraut.
While this eat-everything-in-sight window is open, I want to give him as many things as we can. Any ideas about how long we get this before we get into picky-toddler eating?
NSG’s new business has suddenly come together. A few months back, we decided to start a family day care. With lots of ever-so-collegial TA from Clementine, we managed to get things off the ground and figure out systems and set-up. We got our first deposit – from the mom of a baby due next week – before we even advertised. And then weeks went by, we showed the place to a million people, and – nothing. We alternated who panicked on any given day. And suddenly last week all of our spaces filled up, and we’re even sitting on a waiting list. I’m not surprised, but I am amazed that it all came together like this. The best part is seeing how happy NSG is with this business. Nannying – which she’s been doing so she can bring home a salary and have Roo with her – just sucks. She works for a great family, and there are tons of perks, but it’s the nature of that beast. It’s time for her to be her own boss, and I’m busy doing the happy dance for her – and for us.
Thursday our state legislature is voting, for what feels like the 400th time, on the amendment to ban same-gender marriage. This is IT: if we kill it, it’s over, if it passes, it goes to a referendum. I’m trying not to feel pessimistic, but the get-thee-to-the-State-House emails are coming fast and furious, and everyone is being cagey about how the numbers look on the vote, which feels like bad news.
I can’t STAND the idea that our neighbors get to say have a say in what rights we get. The fact that they would have this say almost four years after we got these rights is just an extra kick in the teeth.
Stay tuned. Roo and I will be down at the State House on Thursday, so I’ll write about it either here or over at Lesbian Family dot org.
On that note, I leave you with this (click the thumbnail so you can actually read it):