Jewish Christmas

December 25, 2007

The lack of a babysitter punched a big hole in the usual let’s-go-to-the-movies Jewish Christmas day plan, but we more than made up for it.

Off I went to the movies – this morning! All alone with my overpriced chai latte! and cried my way through Juno (more on that later). Then a little naptime booty, a send-off for NSG as she goes off to see Juno on her own (if we can’t go together at least we can talk about it later), a date at the deserted, snowy-but-sunny playground with my Roo, and  a big pot of chili on the stove to share with friends who don’t do Christmas.

And that’s all for a Tuesday. Does it get better?

Whatever you’re doing today, I hope it makes you feel like a pig in shit.

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Connections

December 18, 2007

I used to work in the pro-choice movement. I loved it, and I’m still proud of the years I spent doing that work professionally and as a volunteer.

When I was on the board of a local abortion fund, raising money to give small grants to women who had chosen to terminate their pregnancy but couldn’t pay for it, we talked all the time about how many women were making enormously meaningful decisions based on having or not having ridiculously small amounts of money – sometimes as little as $50 for a bus ticket to get to a clinic in the next county over or $100 for a half day of childcare. 

The money was what we were focused on, but of course it was just a stand-in for the real issue, which is coercion. A person who has support from partner or family or friends in her decision about what to do about a pregnancy but who has to make that decision based on money has still been coerced by her community’s failure to support her adequately, in whatever way that means (yeah, I’m a socialist).

Some women who we couldn’t help told us that they would have to relinquish their baby because they didn’t have any other options to pay for termination but woudn’t or couldn’t parent. Most of these women we spoke with were very early in their pregnancy, so I couldn’t tell you what they decided to do in the end.  But the idea that the decision was based on something so stupid (though so real) as money was wrenching.

It never occured to me until we started the process to adopt that someday I would look at adoption the same way. Roo’s first family would never have relinquished him if their community had supported them better. It’s so obvious to me what should have been different for them, but it would take a sea change to get that support into place for them and for all the other first parents who relinquished because they didn’t – or felt they didn’t – have the resources (tangible or emotional) to parent.

I’me very proud to be both pro-choice and an adoptive parent. It feels like putting my money where my mouth is, in some ways.  But the more I learn, the more it starts to feel like I’m barely scratching the surface.

Just something I’ve been thinking about.


Well-travelled

November 25, 2007


Well-travelled

Originally uploaded by Roundisfunny1

This little guy is a replica of a hippo that was displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2002. In the fall of 2007 he showed up in the mud at low tide in the tidal creek by my cousins’ house about an hour from Savannah, Georgia.

If he could talk, I feel like he would have an amazing story to tell.


Soliciting assvice

November 13, 2007

Three questions for you, oh internets: 

1. We were thinking about going to see August Rush this weekend, but I’m both interested in and very wary about adoption movies. What have you heard about it?

2. Space heaters: efficient way to keep your baby warm, or absolute neurotic-mom-nightmare death trap? I know someone who lost his whole house when his space heater tipped over (doesn’t everyone know “someone who”?). I know they make them now so they shut off if they tip over or overheat, but I’m still fearful about them, and Roo’s room is still freezing at night. Convince me one way or the other.

3. Cloth-butt devotees: what have you done to get your kid through the night with a cloth diaper without him soaking through? We’ve used cloth his whole life with much success, but now suddenly he can’t get through the night. We use thick covers, prefolds, and doublers. So we’ve been using ‘sposies at night and now the kid has the first diaper rash of his life. Anyone? Bueller? We could really use some help.


She looks just like an angel, but she sings so out of tune

November 5, 2007

Keep those questions coming, my friends. Anything you can offer as fodder to get me through NaBloPoMo will help.

But what’s with all the blathering to myself recently? Three posts in a row with nary a comment. Am I that dull? (No, don’t answer that. Well, okay, you can answer that, but only if you suggest something I can write that would be more interesting for you to read).

Anyway.

J. asked: Until very recently I didn’t know what you looked like, and after reading this blog for however many years, I was surprised to find that the image of you that I had in my head didn’t really match to the real thing. What generalizations do people make about you based on the way you look?

The first thing that comes to mind is that people assume I’m straight. (Have I written this before? I’m having deja vu but I’m too lazy to look through my archives right now).  I’m out to EVERYONE. My job title even includes “GLBT.” I’m gay for pay, and I like it.

But I’m a femme girl, and I “pass” as straight, though it’s never on purpose. It was hard when I first came out because I thought that in order to truly be part of the community the hair in my armpits had to be longer than the hair on my head. I spent a lot of time unnecessarily agonizing over this and wondering if I looked girly because The Man told me I should. I’m sure there’s a lot to be said for this, and every time I cough up the $15 for a bag of razor blades I rant and rave about how The Man just wants us to spend our time shaving and our money buying crap to keep our legs silky so that we don’t have the resources to take over the world.

At some point I figured out that, The Man aside, this is how I’m comfortable. It still annoys me that men hit on me way more often than women, but really, I’m in my thirties and have a wedding ring and a kid and tend to hang out mostly with people I already know, so you can guess how often that’s actually happening these days. And it’s really fun to be subversive in a way that’s not immediately apparent. (This reminds me of my friend C., whose mom, when C. came out as a lesbian, said “Honey, you don’t have to be a lesbian to be a good feminist, you know.”)

Besides that, I think I have the nice Southern Girl schtick going. Again, it’s not on purpose, it just is what it is, but a lot of people seem to read me as a Nice Person. This is not necessarily a compliment. My career, which has mostly been in queer health, HIV, and family planning, throws a lot of people for a loop, since Nice Girls Don’t Talk About These Things or Marry Girls and do other Subversive Things.

Being a femmey white girl with an open face invites all sorts of weird things. I get out of speeding tickets (file under Driving While White), I wangle aisle seats on airplanes, I sneak into stores as they’re closing to buy One Quick Thing, and I hear all sorts of weird confidences from people I’ve just met – health care providers tell me about their anorexic daughters, family friends tell me about secret crushes, social workers who I work with professionally come out to me, and so on.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

What assumptions have people made about YOU based on how you look?

***

ETA: a propos of nothing whatsoever in this post, I started a Queer Parents group on NaBloPoMo. As of this writing, it’s me and Shannon. You can’t say you’re not in good company, so don’t leave us all by our lonesome, ‘k?


Grateful list, Friday edition

November 2, 2007

I haven’t done one of these in a long time, but Clementine prompted me in her comment today and I remembered how much I liked doing these:

So, the grateful list, Friday edition:

  • A baby who raced purposefully across the room to hand me a rubber duck when I got home from work last night
  • The new Barbara Kingsolver book, which is renewing my committment to thinking about the source of what I put in my mouth before I do it
  • The look on my friend T.’s face when she opened her door Wednesday night to find a tiny heffalump on her porch
  • My newly clean desk, a byproduct of my total lack of motivation to do anything that’s actually on my to-do list
  • My newly clean car (see bullet point above)
  • $2,500 in grants that came in today from a slapdash proposal I threw together and sent out the door at the 11th hour last week
  •  The pile of yarn in colors I want to eat and the optimism that allows me to think it might turn into a sweater before Roo’s too big to wear it
  • Heirloom carrots in the fridge, which can make something good with that big hunk of ginger on the door
  • Friday, Friday, Friday, Friday, Friday

And you? What are you grateful for?


NaBloPoMo SOS

November 1, 2007

How’d you like that title for a bunch of unreadable jargon?

But seriously. I kind of signed on for National Blog Posting Month and now it’s November 1st and maybe I’m out of ideas. My blogging muscles are definitely a little flabby.

So tell me, my 11 or 12 dear readers: what do you want to hear about? What have I written here before that you loved, or what do wish I’d write more about? (And feel free while you’re at it to tell me what kinds of things I write about that made you rue the day you ever put me in your feedreader).