April 27

What if One Of The Kids Is Gay?

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“What if one of the kids is gay?”

The question echoes in a quiet living room. Toys litter the floor, but the weighted question, about the possibility of one of our children being homosexual, fills the room. Our kids are still in diapers, they don’t know a thing about love, attraction or relationships yet. They hold their cousins’ hands and give kisses freely as signs of affection. It’s far too early to wonder about the sexual preference our children may or may not choose. But, as we sit there after a long day, the question arises. What if one of the kids grow up and are gay?

“Well, I guess we won’t be doing sleepovers.” I say, laughing off the question.

The truth of the matter is, I don’t know. If parenting has taught me anything, it’s to acknowledge my lack of answers for most questions. Before parenting I had an answer for every scenario from tantrums in Target to getting my children to eat their vegetables. After years as a parent, I find more often than not I am eating the promises of perfection I made before my children were born.

I can’t handle a tantrum at the grocery store with the grace I purported I would.

My kids throw their food on the floor far more often than I care to admit.

What if one of my children is gay? How would I react?

I like to think I won’t be judgmental. I hope to sit there, caring and understanding; as a pillar of support for my child. Well, I hope my kids are comfortable enough with our relationship to come to me about their sexual preference and trust in me to support them. Would them not being heterosexual be a culture shock? Yeah, absolutely.

Growing up, the term gay was tossed around loosely. It wasn’t identified as a derogatory term for a group of people. I didn’t learn gay as a slur until my teenage years. If I didn’t like something, it was gay. There wasn’t this deeper connection to hatred for a whole community of people. As high school came and went, we learned gay and other words had deeper, darker, hateful histories.

As parents we want our children to be accepted, no matter who they are. If my child is gay, I worry about social acceptance. While this is a super progressive era we have the fortune of living in, being gay is still being different. It isn’t that I am scared of my child being different, I am more scared of my child being treated differently.

If my child were gay, will I shrug it off as a phase? Will society?

Would he be embraced for being proud of his orientation or will he hide it out of fear?

The question is weighted and goes beyond the face value of preference. It reminds me of the importance I have in my own household to be open and welcoming. To create an environment of understanding and pride in who you are as a person.

What if one of my children is gay?

We will cross that bridge if we get to it. Hopefully with some grace and understanding.

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April 21

If You Don’t Agree With Me, Engage Me

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“If you don’t agree with me just unfriend me please.” Has become my biggest pet peeve. On the adult playground we know as Facebook, you can see it everywhere. People so ready to end friendships because you don’t agree with them. This mentality, I can only assume, came from watching children stuff their fingers in their ears and scream “la la la, I can’t hear you!”. Someone saw their kid do that and thought, ‘How can I do this , but in a real grown up way?” Oh, yeah, on my Facebook safe space.

Trigger Warning : People who deal in absolutes like agree with me or don’t be my friend- I might call you a pussy one or two times. 

I get it, defending the things you believe in can be tough. You have all this space to spew opinion, no time to have your opinion questioned.

If you don’t agree with me, accost me. Engage me. Question me and allow me to question you. Don’t deflect. Don’t end friendships. Engage in thoughtful discussion. You want to mudsling? Do it.

Stand in the face of things you disagree with and voice your opinions loud and clear. Then, defend those very opinions of yours as they are not unquestionable facts.

Let me repeat that-

Your opinion is not a fact. It is open to debate.

Too often nowadays we don’t like hearing we might be wrong. We don’t like to sit there with someone who doesn’t agree with our infallible look at the world.

Is it an absolute sureness in our opinions or a fear our opinions might not be 100% right?

Disagreements used to lead to duels. Now they lead to someone turning into a keyboard samurai, swiftly and deftly dealing that deathblow move; the unfriend.

Change, growth of ideas, thoughtful evolution, does not come at a refusal to address counter beliefs. Now, sure, there are those out there content to not actually discuss their opinions in a thoughtful way. They resort to attacking you directly usually.

I do that. All the time. Pussy. The problem is, when you shut EVERYONE out, from those educated in their beliefs to those who enjoy calling you a pussy, you are closing the door on any sort of critical thinking whatsoever.

You are putting your fingers in your ears and saying, “I’M RIGHT. YOU’RE WRONG. LA LA LA- I AM AN ADULT.”

But, that is the joke. You’re not. The unwillingness to defend your beliefs isn’t valiant or deserving of the coveted Facebook like affirmation. It is a way of saying, ‘I think I am right, that’s good enough for me.’

It’s stating you believe in your opinions but not strongly enough to stand by them in dissertation. In the face of being called a pussy, or worst, an idiot.

Historically speaking, it is shown what happens when people refuse to engage in discussion. When they sit comfortable and fat in their own self- righteousness.

This is when we see bigotry at an all-time high. This is when we see the evolution of backwards thought. And why? Because people chose to sit and ignore adversity. To sit and not argue with differing opinions. Afraid to be wrong or be dragged into a drawn out fight.

If you fear illuminating other minds because someone might be mean to you, then what is the point of even holding your light up and saying you are a beacon of progression?

It isn’t always the person you are arguing with whose opinions and thoughts you are trying to persuade. A presidential debate isn’t for one candidate to convince the other to think their way. It is for the onlookers.

The skeptics.

The thoughtful spectators, looking for a well-formulated thought defended. If you turn your back because you don’t like what the other person is saying, you erode at your own arguments.

And you’re a pussy.

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April 20

Should You Buy Multiples Illuminated?

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I will be the first to tell you I don’t trust reviews. Not only do I not trust reviews, I especially don’t trust reviews of self-published books. You got a bunch of your friends to review your book? Yeah, they totally won’t be biased about it.

For all I know, every invitation to write a review of a friend’s book comes with a five dollar bill and a wink.

To be fair, no one asks me to review anything, so the going rate for a good review could be even less than five dollars. It could be more. Book people, how much do you pay for solid reviews and can I get in on that. Your friend, BookLurver69.

We all know each other in the blog world. There are many secret groups where we kick back, share word pictures and call our followers names.

I am just kidding, we don’t kick back. Most bloggers are neurotic and wound too tight to kick back.

So, I find myself at a weird crossroads of sorts. A ton of reviews are coming in about the book I am in. All of them good. Some of them even highlighting me in the book.

The spotlight, it burns so good!

What do I do? Do I continue my mistrust of reviews or do I accept these might be people genuinely liking the book? I could write my own review of Multiples Illuminated, but am I not even more bias because I am in the collection?

It is a quandary for sure.

Should You Buy Multiples Illuminated?

Here is what I do know;

1) If you like my humorous writing, you can find it in this book. If you don’t, then I really don’t understand why you are reading my blog right now.

2) I was paid a set amount for my writing. After I signed my rights away to the writing, I could have stepped away from promoting said book. I didn’t because I believed in the project. Once I got my advanced copy of the book and began reading it, I continued to promote because I thoroughly enjoyed it.

3) I hate self-promotion. I am not promoting me. I want to promote the book as a whole. Why? Well, I think the other writers in the book are better than me. From the get go there are beautiful stories. It kicks off strong and by the time I got to my piece towards the back, I was enjoying an amazing collection. I wasn’t reading to see my name anymore. I had moved to reading because I truly liked the writing.

4) A tremendous amount of care went into putting this book together. I felt lucky to see the inner workings of self publishing. The grinding to build a platform for the book inspired me. Alison and Megan have been nonstop working on this and their work has paid off into a seamless book, equal parts resourceful, heartwarming and humorous.

5) After purchasing multiple copies (see how I used multiples. On purpose.) I actually didn’t make any money off the book. I had to purchase a copy for myself. A copy for each of my children. A copy for special people in my life and I need to purchase a copy to send to my high school with a ‘suck it’ note attached. So, I actually lost money on this book. Excuse me as I panhandle out front of my house. The book is $15.95. Not exactly a bank breaker.

6) I personally offer to sign every copy bought. You buy the book, message me and I will give you my address. Send it, I will sign it and send it back. I will even pay the return shipping. Look, I can see my GoFundMe on the horizon to pay for the massive debt being in this book has created.

7) The book is written by parents of multiples. It is written with parents of multiples in mind. (That shouldn’t be too big of a spoiler. Sorry if it is.) Now, you might not have multiples. This book is for everyone. It offers an amazing glimpse into life with twins, triplets and more. Instead of stopping the person in the grocery store with twins, just read this book and let that family get their groceries. They will be grateful. I know I will be if it was me. You can carry it around with you, pull it out and point at it while winking as if to say, “Don’t worry, I already know your secrets. I am a cool and hip onlooker in the know.”

I don’t know if this counts as a review. I hope not, because I still don’t trust those sort of things. Over the next few weeks I will probably do some sort of free giveaway or something. I don’t know, it depends on if I have to declare bankruptcy. I believe in this book. I believe anyone who buys it will realize not only is it a resource but also an amazing collection. If you don’t like the book, use it as kindling  for your summer bonfire. I won’t hold it against you. I bet the book even burns good.

 

Order here. Tell me whether you like it or are using it for fire starter: http://www.amazon.com/Multiples-Illuminated-Collection-Parents-Triplets/dp/0996833501/

Here is a collection of the reviews I am mistrustful of: http://multiplesilluminated.com/2016/04/buy-multiples-illuminated-2/

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April 17

Look At This Photograph.

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I take a lot of pictures of my children. I don’t know if I take more than the average parent, but I constantly have the camera at the ready, snapping a good ten to fifteen photos of my children at a time.

To me, it’s important to document their growth.

Maybe it is a bit more personal than that.

You would be hard pressed to find many images of me as a child. The handful I have were uploaded online by a dear family member. The only one who seemed to treasure my childhood enough to preserve documentation of it’s existence. Besides the half dozen or so photos she uploaded online, I have zero photos of myself as a baby.

A small collection of me at a creek as a toddler. 

One of me on a small horse.

On the back of a quad. 

Some school photo. 

Me, doing homework during my first return to California after the rocky transition to living with my brother in Connecticut. 

My childhood, is largely carried on through stories told to me. I try to pretend to remember the details of summer days and toddler foibles.

The story of when I jumped in the pool without a life vest. When I was brought to the surface and asked why I went swimming without it I said, “I wasn’t swimmin’, I was drownin’!” 

The time I threw a rock straight up into the air and knocked out my front teeth. I looked up, wondering why the rock hadn’t soared over the fence. I remember looking up. 

I try to remember more than extension cords running between apartments. More than my strawberry patches being picked clean by a bully. My watermelon being knocked out of my hands by another bully.  

I don’t remember much of the good from being a child. The memories I do remember are an assortment of feelings.

The good is really good though. The pride of buying a ruby ring for a woman I loved as a mother. Watching Wallace & Gromit. I remember enjoying church. Looking forward to learning about God through Kiwanis.

I am hard pressed to find many memories of my childhood. Try as I might to search my consciousness for memories, most exist in a weird state of ‘did this really happen or did I make it up to fill in a gap?’

I am terrified of my children having to live like that. I want them to have access to their childhood as adults. To see the good, the bad and every moment in between.

I photograph nearly every moment, sometimes filling my camera roll with hundreds of photographs a day. I fill my Facebook with images of their childhood, in part due to the serious lack of my own.

They say as a parent, one of the biggest things you want is to try to give your children everything you never had.

I want my kids to have proof of their existence. Tangible proof of the moments, so they never have to second guess whether they really happened. Someday we will be able to look back together, and I won’t have to question how their childhood went, like I question my own sometimes.

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April 5

What the F*ck is Konmari?

Awhile back, I wrote about needing a new hobby. I got some awesome feedback over the hobbies I should pick up, even putting some of them to action. I am now a farmer, my proud plot of dirt sitting in my kitchen windowsill. Three of the four herbs I planted might even survive my intense glares and constant watering. The forth never popped out the dirt. I thought about sacrificing a child to the great windowsill planter gods, but decided I couldn’t spare a child. And the knives were all in the dishwasher. I mean…

In my quest for hobbies led me towards all the cool and hip things people are trying these days. One in particular stood out to me. Konmari.

My laptop doesn’t even want me typing the word. It keeps auto-changing it to Kenmore.

Kenmore KONMARI is a decluttering method seeming to sweep the nation. While the idea of turning spring cleaning into a hobby seems, to me, to be absolutely mind-numbingly boring, it has really picked up among people I know. Good for them. I can’t hate someone for doing something they enjoy. But, I can hate what they are enjoying.

It’s not you, it’s the Konmari.

I wonder what is next? Is Konmari new? I don’t know, because I stopped reading up on it. On account of I fell asleep.

Maybe Konmari scares me. Is it the final rite of becoming an adult? Does it lead to the mystical Laundrigami where I find myself folding underwear into triangles to better Feng Shui my underwear and sock drawer?

I have a lot of questions about Konmari. Growing up, when we practiced Konmari it went something like this:

“Clean your room or I am going to come up there with trash bags.” 

Is this the same thing? If so, I am very familiar with Konmari as my parents practiced it on my room at least a few times while I was growing up. Now, I am sure at this point, my blog has been put into the ‘does not spark joy’ category, headed to the trash along with that book you’ve held onto for sentimental value for the last decade.

I am sure Konmarenthusiasts (I made this up, but feel free to use it) will scoff and say, “How is this any more stupid than your precious football games. At least we are doing something on our Sundays other than spilling nacho cheese on our shirts”

To which I reply- Football is a NATIONAL TREASURE. Watch your mouth. I just started a diet and this is goat cheese. It isn’t even football season, talk shit on the current seasonal obsession of hockey.

But seriously, if any Konmaraddicts want to come over and declutter my house, this is less an attack on your art than a plea to clean out the piles of shoeboxes filled with random stuff that take up space in my closet. I reserve the right to shout “SPARK OF JOY” at anything I want to keep and offer you permission to fling things at my head for making fun of Konmari. Please don’t use a black trash bag as it gives me flashbacks of when my parents would trash bag my room after I promised to clean it multiple times.

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This is a picture of a puppy, victim of Konmari after too many accidents in the house. 
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