Of Course

Of course, now that I’m finally out with a friend to work, my internet on the laptop blitzes. It always blitzes at this particular place I’m at, but it’s so close to my house, it’s really hard to resist. Everything on the internet works except access to my blog. Talk about the OPPOSITE of what I want to happen.

I fixed it once. But then promptly forgot it because WHY WOULD I EVER NEED THIS INFORMATION AGAIN?

Oh, Life. You betch.

And of course, now that I finally have resigned myself to the reality of lame interwebs, I open up Word and HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO WRITE.

Keep in mind that during the regular day, I have so many thoughts rushing through my perforated brain that I want to chase down and think about more but if I do, I know I will forget it all when it comes down to write. (Not that I haven’t forgotten it all even without chasing those thoughts down, so I guess it doesn’t really matter which option I choose.)

Sigh.

I swear, I used to be a smart, capable, and competent person. With interesting thoughts and ideas. And nice hair and pretty (or at least, less boring) clothes.

In fact, I used to be an extrovert. And night owl.

Alright, I still am both these things. But even with every child I have, I become more and more introverted. By the end of the day, I just want to crawl and hide and read or watch TV or NOT TALK TO SMALL CHILDREN and then stay up all night doing the things I want to do.

Ok, I lied again. I have no problem leaving my house and chatting with my friends all night. I do some version of this with my late night group texting.

But this night owl business – it’s hard on a body.

And since I have a 5 month old who I apparently forgot to teach how to self-soothe because his hands are always stuck in mittens due to his constant scratching of his eczema face and because he is huge and strong he always breaks his swaddle to scratch and I have to perpetually nurse him so that he calms down enough to go back to sleep and OMG you know those babies who suck on a pacifier and are totally awesome sleeping while they have a pacifier in their mouths but as soon as the pacifier falls out they wake up?

MY NIPPLE IS THAT PACIFIER.

That last paragraph is just one huge run-on sentence that I swear had a point somewhere in the beginning but I forgot and am now too lazy to go back and edit.

Also? I often talk in run-on sentences so just be happy you’re getting the real me.

Oh, right.

This being a pacifier for my baby prevents me from unbroken sleep so when I stay up late, it always bites me in the ass and the next day, I’m exhausted and awake but I have FOUR children to keep alive (however minimally) and though Cookie Monster and Gamera are pretty self-sufficient (and therefore, can also take care of Glow Worm), I don’t really want to make it habit of consistently checking out and leaving the child-rearing heavy lifting to my seven year old.

Ooooh. TWO run-on sentence paragraphs in one post! Maybe this can be my new thing.

The benefit of all this rambling, however, has been that I now remembered all the posts I was supposed to be writing in the first place. So, your loss; my gain!

Let that be a lesson to you aspiring writers – just start writing whatever random thing pops into your head and eventually, you will think of what you wanted to write about and voila! You’re already writing so you can start writing that.

Other things that help include: going to the bathroom; cleaning something; folding laundry; taking a shower; going on a walk; doing something mindless.

In fact, that helps for any type of mental block. Do something that doesn’t require a lot of brain power (except reading/watching TV) and allows your mind to wander. Eventually, your mind will wander back to what you wanted to write about in the first place. In fact, your mind has been working in the background this entire time.

Look! I have now repaid you for your reading my blatherings with this gem of a mind hack.

YOU’RE WELCOME.

I’m going to leave now and go write posts about my undying love for the Instant Pot that you will consume and read and find brilliant on a later date.

Thank you and have a wonderful day. (Or barring that high bar, have a reasonably unsucky day.)

Brain Rattles


Folks, I know that the reason I’m tired is because I have a four month old as well as make poor sleeping choices. Them’s the breaks, right?

However, a sleepy, tired brain does not make for coherent pieces that document and logicize bilingual education or any of the things that I want to talk about but require a lot of brain power.

So then, here is another one of my mental flotsam posts wherein I ramble and subject you, Dear Reader, to the odd, amusing, and terribly banal things rattling around in my noggin.

1) I really, really, really, really, really hate Hapa Papa’s new job. I mean, I am grateful he has a well-paying job. I am grateful he has friends who want to recommend him to awesome positions. I am grateful he gets to try new things.

But I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY HATE HIS NEW JOB.

He is gone a LOT and I am TIRED and the kids miss him and oddly enough, I miss him, too.

That is all.

2) Sasquatch is delicious.

His fatty meat sleeves are a delight to squish. I love him grabbing onto my fingers, my hair, my shirt, my face (via my mouth, naturally), and whatever else.

Plus, his crooked grin whenever he sees me melts my cold, dark heart.

3) Sasquatch’s skin has decided to declare war. All my kids have had some form of eczema on their face around this age – and none as insanely horrible as poor Glow Worm.

But seriously, his poor face. His entire left cheek was an open, weeping sore. Makes me so sad.

This time around, I did not wait and try a ton of natural remedies. I gave him about max a week on essential oils and then said FUCK THIS and took him to the doctor.

It was getting better until it got worse.

So I took him back and got him oral antibiotics. It seemed to be helping. Until it got worse again.

Then, we went back AGAIN and got a stronger steroid, and I used a different cream as well as bought new eczema gloves and softer/lighter muslin swaddling blankets so he didn’t scratch his face off.

It is only recently that his face is no longer an open, weeping wound. He finally has whole skin without breaks and cracks.

We also went to an allergist and found out he’s allergic to milk so I am not consuming dairy. This makes me sad, too. But better me without dairy than Sasquatch with horrible eczema.

Intellectually, I know that Sasquatch’s eczema is not a judgment on me as a parent. But truthfully, every time I saw his poor little face, I felt like an abject failure.

My job as his mother is to keep him safe and healthy and yet his face was bloody and raw and sad.

Only now that his face has healed mostly (still red, but I’ll take that!) that I feel as if a burden has been lifted and I’m not frantically buying desperate things off Amazon and Googling eczema remedies at 2am.

4) At least I got back into reading again. That makes me happy.

5) Dr. T and my friends keep suggesting I get a mother’s helper, but honestly, I have no idea what I would do with one. I don’t have any problems with letting laundry sit unfolded, or not cleaning the bathroom all the time, and cooking now that I have the Instant Pot is not a problem.

After MANY sessions of debating this with Dr. T and my friends, I realized that I just miss Hapa Papa.

Oh, and I like to complain.

6) I never thought I would actually crave silence.

It turns out that I am getting more introverted as I have more children. And that’s because even though I am very extroverty, a lot of my extrovertiness is required throughout the day, and quite frankly, even extroverts need silence.

Silence is difficult to come by in my house.

7) Now that I cook all the time, it’s weird when I do go out to eat. The food actually tastes weird to me. I don’t let that stop me from eating it though.

8) Every now and then, it hits me anew: Sasquatch is my last baby.

This fills me with such sadness because truly, I love babies. I LOVE BABIES. They are fat, squishy, and simple. Dare I say, easy?

So, I’m glad I remember every now and then that he is the last one because it allows me to actively be present and sniff and slobber all over his smiley, happy face.

Ok. Now I’ve made myself sad again.

9) I’m tired. I’m really really really tired.

I’m glad that occasionally, I can tell my older three to iPad or whatever and then go upstairs to nap with the baby.

10) I have now reached the LOSING ALL MY HAIR part of post-pregnancy. It is demoralizing. Pregnancy and child-rearing is not for the faint of heart.

Ok. I think that is the most my brain can handle today for stringing together sentences. Hopefully, this will trick my brain into writing more.

Life in Piecemeal

It should come as no surprise to long time readers that I am an extreme personality. There are no half-ways in my world. There is either all or nothing. Feast or famine. All in or all out.

Perfection or Abject Failure.

It shows up in all aspects of my life and makes it difficult for me to ever feel as if I am living the life that I want.

I either bang out 3-4 posts in one marathon writing binge or radio silence for weeks at a time.

I disappear down the rabbit hole of blazing through thick, doorstopper type books or I accrue $12 in library fines because I haven’t gotten to the stack of unread library books by the bed.

I either have fits of Angry Cleaning wherein I scream at the kids and throw a bunch of their toys into the donate pile, or all their toys are strewn all over the floor and we live in the filth of our own making.

The kids either only subsist on chicken nuggets, pizza, and snacks while they wander back and forth from the kitchen table, or they only eat food I make quickly and in silence.

We either homeschool hardcore all day or the kids are left to Lord of the Flies themselves and figure shit out on their own.

I am either not mad or HULK SMASH WHY YOU NOT DO WHAT I SAY WHEN I SAY IT?!?

It is a hard life with no room for softness. And children (and I, I guess) need some softness. Something with which to cushion the hardness of life that can grind us into a fine powder if we allow it.

Plus, a life bouncing in between extremes is confusing for the kids and they never get the stability children crave and need. They never feel safe.

And truthfully, life is lived in the in-between.

I need to embrace what my friend, Not Another DB MBA calls The 差不多(cha bu4 duo) Lifestyle. (Cha bu4 duo means “almost” or “close enough.”)

It is possible to write a post at a time or even a few paragraphs at a time. Harder, but possible.

 

 

It is possible to read a book a few chapters at a time versus reading 1000+ pages in one sitting. Annoying, but possible.

It is possible to go back to a time when we all put away what we take out, and the house can resemble some state of happy equilibrium of “lived in-ness.”

It is possible for me to cook 95% of the time and then eat nuggets or pizza occasionally as pinch-hitting meals when I don’t have time or energy.

It is possible to homeschool a little bit every day and just let the rest go.

And it is possible for me not to be angry all the time (this one is super hard and I will be addressing this in a later post).

All these things are possible, I just have to suck it up and get used to living my life in piecemeal.

A life of spurts.

I also have to remember that just because I mess up once or twice (or a lot), that it doesn’t mean I just throw in the towel and swing to the other extreme.

That life allows for hiccups.

And so, I live a life in the constantly interrupted trenches of parenting small children.

Slowly, but surely, I am getting more okay with writing partial posts, sneaking in reading a chapter here and there, paying bills and sorting mail immediately, watching parts of shows, folding and putting away just a few items of clothing at a time, and washing a few dishes at a time.

It is hard, but chips away slowly at the giant mountain of THINGS I NEED TO DO. Of course, the mountain gets constantly added to, but I am satisfied with a sense of treading water with the occasional leisurely swim versus feeling as if I am constantly drowning.

Ok, that was an egregiously mixed metaphor but in the spirit of The 差不多(cha bu4 duo) Lifestyle, I am just going to point it out but not fix it.

Suck It Up, February


How is February mostly over?

2017 is 1/6th of the way done and I feel like all I did was blink and stare blankly at the page.

Anyhow, here is my monthly check in to see how I’m doing with my yearly goals, aka: My Year of Sucking it Up.

1) Take family and personal health seriously.

What does that look like? I want to:

a) Cook at least 5 meals a week. 

Still going on strong! I now cook almost every single day and have trained my children to if not like, at least mostly eat, the food I make. I am hoping this will lead to good dividends when we head back to Taiwan this summer.

My kids currently love any and all vegetables that taste like “nothing” once I cook them in my Instant Pot. (Nothing in the sense that the veggies end up mushy and soak up the flavor of soup. We are working on them eating veggies prepared in stir fry.)

I am also now very reluctant to order out. Why? Not because of any health reasons. But mostly because it isn’t any faster than me cooking at home. In fact, it often takes even longer and then I stress out about finding foods my kids can and will eat.

b) Be active once a week.

I have improved. This month, I went a few times with the kids and friends on hikes at local regional parks.

Of course, buy “hike,” I mean walk on paved paths. I’m not wandering through the wilderness or anything. Let’s not get crazy.

Plus, on occasion, we have walked to local parks to meet up with these same homeschooling friends. Cookie Monster actually really enjoys walking and hiking so I expect this to continue.

Of course, I still haven’t redeemed my groupon to Krav Maga. I think I like the idea of being a badass more than the work it takes to become one. I have until March 10.

c) Wash face and brush teeth twice daily.

Same as before. I think I will just have to adjust and say that I will brush my teeth and floss ONCE at night.

I’m sure it’s gross but TOO BAD.

d) Take vitamins and supplements.

For the most part, I have been good about taking my vitamins. I hate taking so many. (Seriously, the doTerra vitamin regimen has me taking approximately 15 pills a day.)

e) Go to sleep when the kids sleep 4x a week.

Although doing slightly better, I have been staying up later and later because I just want some time to myself. In silence.

Beautiful, beautiful, blissful silence.

f) No texting while driving.

Sob.

was doing so well. Then February hit and I slid back into my naughty ways. FOMO reared its ugly head with a vengeance. I found that my need to respond right away to texts returned.

So, here’s my reminder to kick my own ass and say, “Hey! My friends don’t need to me to respond, ‘HAHAHAHAHAHA!’ right away to their comments. They can wait the 15-20 minutes it takes to get to where I’m getting to.”

Also? LIKING SOMEONE’S STATUS ON FACEBOOK CAN WAIT.

2) Take my responsibilities as a grown up seriously.

Although I’m pretty certain I’ve still been adulting, I don’t think it stood out as much this month. Possibly because we didn’t visit the doctor much in January so I didn’t have to take care of any medical bills (and we all know that’s what ultimately kills me).

However, since we went several times in February, I guess I get a chance to apply this again in March.

Also? I think I forgot to do my receipts for homeschooling. So, um, whoops. I still have a day or so left in February.

Oh crap. Just remembered I still haven’t opened up additional accounts or changed my life insurance beneficiaries. Blargh.

I CAN DO IT.

I AM A GROWN UP FOR REALZ.

3) Write.

Due to Hapa Papa’s new job and him needing a lot of time on the weekends, as well as the craziness of our weekends this past month, I did not write much.

Truthfully, I also did not feel like it. Although, I did start a quick and easy new series, the 5 Minute Book Reviews. Those have made me happy because they’re quick and dirty to put out, I don’t feel pressure on having to have in depth and perfect reviews, and I am experimenting with posting videos of my children reading excerpts.

Why is that important?

Mostly because I have been semi-reluctant to post their reading videos up in case they’re not as good as I think they are and have people secretly judge me for their perhaps not as stellar as I think Chinese.

I worry because we all know that I am totally judging other kids’ Chinese. Which is stupid because as long as I can understand a kid, that’s the ultimate goal of learning language, right?

Also? What does another child’s success/failure with Chinese have to do with my own children’s abilities?

ABSOLUTELY  NOTHING.

Anyhow, I didn’t really have any new posts for about two weeks and I feel sucky about it.

Also also, I just realized that I set myself a goal of finally finishing my ebook by the end of Q1. Which is in a month.

What the hell, self?

However, I am proud of myself for two things I did writing-wise this month (in addition to the 5 Minute Book Reviews).

One: I submitted a speaker proposal to a conference I am attending this spring. I don’t think I will get it, but hey. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Two: I started some pitches that I want to do for my blog. I have since done NOTHING (such as submitting these pitches). but whatever. I DID a tiny bit of SOMETHING.

Alright. Thus ends my monthly check in. It was not as awesome as I had hoped, but at least my cooking is hitting it out the ballpark. If 2017 only had this to show for it, I would still be reasonably happy.

How are you doing on your 2017? Let me know in the comments.

10 Things You Might Not Know About Me


Welp, it’s a slow day here (in my brain anyway), and since it’s been hard for me to be awake past 9pm, this is the best I can do for now. 

1) I prefer action movies and comedies to drama. Bonus points if the action is kungfu or has lots of one on one fighting. Extra bonus points if there is more male nudity than female. 

2) I hate kids. 

People think that I must love children because I have so many. What they don’t realize is that I only love my children – and half the time, I don’t even like them! 

Pretty much I only love the children of people I love. But a random kid? I don’t care how cute they are or precocious (actually, I truly despise “precocious” kids), if I don’t care for or know their parent, I don’t give two shits about them. 

Obviously, I don’t want them to be hurt or sick or whatever. I am not evil. But I truly don’t care about them. 

I once had a very pretty and bubbly little girl who was clearly used to adults fawning over her antics and she kept tagging along with my friend and I while we had a rare, child-free moment. 

I was having none of it. 

After five minutes of her nonsense, I asked her where her mother or nanny was. She pointed to someone. I told her to go back there and talk to them instead. We were adults having a conversation and she was not invited. 

I felt bad for about 30 seconds. And then I stopped. Why? Because who was she to me? No one. 

Also? I see my friend at most once a year, for a few hours at best. I was not going to let some entitled little girl waste my fucking time. 

3) I hate traveling and seeing touristy stuff. 

4) I love dinosaurs. But not in a way that requires me to learn about them. I just love seeing their bones in museums. 

How was anything that huge?

5) I don’t play with children. 

I have so many children so that I do not have to play with them. My kids know that I don’t play and no longer ask.

Part of me is sad. But you know what? I don’t recall my parents (or anyone else’s parents) ever playing with us as kids – except maybe when we were older and played grown up card games. 

6) I don’t have Netflix or Hulu or any other streaming service other than what comes with Amazon Prime – and I don’t even use that

The thought of one other monthly payment for something I would barely use hurts me. But it makes me sad when shows are only on those services. It comforts me that if they were on cable, I probably still wouldn’t watch. Because laziness. 

7) In the same vein, I don’t do any subscription boxes. The thought of an endless monthly stream of stuff coming in that I can never finish using all of stacking up in my house gives me hives. 

It’s a shame though because there are so many good ones out there!

8) I don’t mind washing dishes or loading the dishwasher but I absolutely LOATHE unloading the dishwasher. 

Similarly, I don’t mind folding laundry – I just hate putting it away. I am pleased I have trained the kids to put away their own clothes. WIN!

9) After my various pregnancies, there are foods that I shudder just to think about eating despite having zero problems with it before. 

Alfredo sauce. Raw spinach. Shoot. Most salads. 

Just thinking about the sounds these things make while eating them or their mouth feel gives me the heebies. 

I am literally shuddering as I write this. 

10) I don’t understand raw oysters. 

Baked ones, maybe. 

But raw? That’s like swallowing whole snot. Ew. 

Alright. Fluffy and ridiculous piece today but that’s all I have in me. I am gonna go makeout with Sasquatch now. 

Visiting My Local Congressman

This past weekend, I attended an open house of my local congressman, Congressman Eric Swalwell. Swalwell had consolidated two offices into one more centrally located office and I guess they were doing a ribbon cutting for the new place.

It was not what I expected – but then quickly became what I expected. (After all, I used to be a board member of my local Chamber of Commerce.)

I got dressed up! (Ok, I mostly cleaned up a little.)

I was a bit nervous. For some reason, I thought I would get face time with the Congressman, like we would all file in and speak to him in his office. And I was nervous because I had no idea what to even say to the guy.

NOPE.

Basically, it was an Open House and the local Chamber of Commerce was there and brownie troops, and booths, and a local taco shop giving out free tacos. They were giving guided tours to his office and I went on that, too.

According to staff members, they had 1500 RSVPs and I’m not sure if everyone showed up, but they looked like a lot of people to me!

The crowd gathered around the stage.

I dressed up a bit because I wanted to be taken seriously on the off chance that I actually got to meet Congressman Swalwell.

I didn’t. But I did see him on stage and now no what he looks like (despite the fact that I voted for him).

BUT, I did learn things, and am thinking of becoming more involved in local politics because if this past election taught me anything, it is the importance of being involved.

Voting MATTERS. Annoying your local representatives matters. Squeaky wheels matter.

Congressman Eric Swalwell giving his speech.

So, how can I complain about things if I don’t call my reps (my phone phobia persists – sigh), email my Senator and Congressman, and most importantly, get to know the people in charge of my town and city and schools.

Thus, I am likely going to be more politically active (if even on the local level) this year and slowly scale up. After all, I JUST HAD A BABY.

So, what does an Open House look like?

I got in line to sign in, got a ticket for a free taco, and got in another line that I originally thought was to see Congressman Swalwell. It turned out to be the line for a guided tour of the office.

Me with Brian Vargas, staff member.

There was a little stage set up with a bunch of girls from a local Brownie troop having folks add their painted hand print to a UNITE banner. I am just paranoid enough to not add my hand print to a banner that might be seen to oppose Trump. (Not that they don’t have my info and prints from a bjillion other places.)

There were also a few info booths set up with comment cards and pamphlets. And of course, a table with free donuts, coffee, and water. I did not avail myself to any of them because I was in line and didn’t want to lose my spot.

Of course, by the time I was the front person in line, they stopped letting folks in because Swalwell was supposed to be coming soon and they didn’t want us to miss it. So, I stopped being anti-social and eavesdropped and then inserted myself into a conversation with the elderly folks behind me.

It pleased me to no end to see a really old white man in a bright yellow t-shirt proclaiming love, wearing a Black Lives Matter pin, and hearing him talk so knowledgeably about volunteering, etc. It made me happy.

The crowd was diverse – so diverse, I even saw a Trump hat. But the most important hat I saw was the Metallica one. The man knows what’s important.

Finally, the Veteran’s Colorguard presented colors, we sang the National Anthem, said the Pledge of Allegiance, and Congressman Swalwell said a quick speech (with some heckling from Trump supporters) after the ribbon cutting.

Some time during the speech, Guavarama and her family showed up and we hung out and then went on the office tour together.

District map and Congressman Swalwell’s office.

I mean, nothing special about the office tour, but it was still cool to see the offices (your typical small office environment), see the people who answer phones and represent constituents, and get a tiny idea of what Swalwell (or any Congressperson) and their staff do.

I didn’t realize they had staff to advocate for immigrants, veterans, police officers, elderly folks having problems with social security, etc. Who knew?

I am going to see if I can get my kids in to tour their offices with some of my homeschool friends. Even though my children have no idea about what this means, I suppose it’s a good time to educate them. (I recently told them about our POTUS as a bad man. Hey, they’re my kids. I am allowed to tell them the truth.)

Anyhow, after the tour, I was tired and wanted to go write and wasn’t sure if we would see the Congressman in person so we left.

As a side note, I didn’t realize folks thought he was eye candy. To me, he looks like a mashup of Dennis Quaid, Timothy Olyphant, and Michael C. Hall. He’s a good looking fellow, but not my cup of tea.

Also? I ELECTED HIM TO CONGRESS NOT TO A GIRLIE MAG.

But hey, I suppose if people comment on female Congresspersons and Senators and Presidential nominees, we can comment on the mens.

Anyhow, turns out, it wasn’t a big deal at all! I’m glad I went and might go to more in the future.

Have you ever met your local congressperson? What did you talk to them about? Tell me in the comments.

Raising an Advocate

I remember in my high school civics class, our teacher said that in general, children start off with their parents’ political beliefs, become more liberal in college, and then finally, when they make more money and become parents themselves, circle back to conservative.

After all, once you have more money, you are less sanguine about ways to spend that money and once you have children, you are less permissive in your attitudes about sex and drugs and rock ‘n roll – or thus the thinking goes.

It’s the political circle of life.

I don’t know if that is still the case from 22 years ago (OMG HOW HAS IT BEEN THAT LONG?), but for me, that has certainly NOT been my experience.

I find that for most people, they react to having children in one of two ways:

1) Double down and because of fear, circle the wagons and retreat more and more into conservative values – be it on money, religion, sex, drugs, etc.

They worry that the world is going to hell in handbasket and that there is a cultural war going on against “traditional” values and they do all they can to make sure laws stay as conservative as possible.

2) Realize that they want a better future for their children and out of fear (usually because their kids are or might be one of the disenfranchised or oppressed people groups), become more and more liberal and inclusive in their values – be it on money, religion, sex, drugs, etc.

They worry that their children will be oppressed if they don’t happen to fit in the “traditional” boxes and do all they can to make sure laws become as inclusive as possible.

It is no surprise, dear reader, that you will find that I am in the latter group.

As soon as I had Cookie Monster, I began my journey to become ever more inclusive of all peoples.

I want to take credit and say it’s because I’m just that progressive of a person, but truthfully, it was a gradual eye-opening, and a lot of it was born of fear for my child and future children and not so much out of the belief of equality for all.

Isn’t that the way most of us who are not affected by certain types of discrimination begin caring about people who are not like us? When we are all of a sudden, personally affected by a discriminatory law/system/situation? (This is akin to celebrities or people caring only about a disease after it affects them personally. Not a knock – because that is the human condition. Just an observation.)

The thought of my children being treated poorly, mocked, harassed, bullied, whatever because of their sexual identity, their preferences, their abilities or disabilities, their ethnicities, their anything – THAT ENRAGED ME.

This fear and rage at the possibility of my children being mistreated then turned into rage and fear for my friends and then for ALL people.

I evolved.

I admit. Right about the time I had Cookie Monster, I found out that one of my dear, dear college friends was bisexual (which wasn’t really that much of a surprise and I wasn’t really phased about it because hey, I’m progressive like that) as well as polyamorous.

And it’s not that I judged him for being polyamorous, but I judged.

I thought he was going through a mid-life crisis. Promiscuous. Behaving dangerously. Justifying non-commitment.

Which, hey. It’s his life. He should be able to live it however he wanted. I got that and knew that. But still. A hidden part of me (and to be honest, I’m sure it was obvious to him how I felt but he was too kind and merciful to point it out to me) was like, “This is weird and inappropriate and keep it to yourself already.”

And then, a high school acquaintance on Facebook began to share more and more about her life in a poly relationship. She is bisexual and has two husbands and several children and has been very open about her life in her blog (now no longer there for likely, family protection reasons).

She shared how she has been affected and treated and all her family’s suffering and pain as well as their love for each other and just like that – I cared about the poly community (her family in particular), and my mindset was changed.

All because of her bravery and willingness to be vulnerable.

I find her amazing. My heart aches for her. She and her family are so deserving of love and acceptance and the chance to be left alone and just be without commentary. They deserve affirmation of their love and the beautiful family they have created.

And truthfully, I know I was swayed because of their “monogamy” and family values oriented lifestyle.

But you know what?

Even if she was a promiscuous person and her family was “broken,” they deserve to live and love as they choose (or not choose, as this is the case).

And thus, through relationships with people, through reading anti-racism blogs – through reading LOTS of blogs actually – I found myself caring more and more about all types of people. (Even farmers through another friend of mine – which is weird because I never knew about the issues farmers and agricultural people encountered until I read her posts on Facebook and on her blog.)

Look at me blathering all over the place today.

I’m not sure I have a main point or lots of tiny points all pointing toward a bigger point in their pointiness, but this is just to say that all this liberalness, all this gradual awakening and anti-racism and inclusive parenting – that is a direct result out of fear.

I fear giving my children a world wherein who they are, at their very core, is not accepted and not allowed to thrive and live and be.

I fear that to this day, even though I would love my child and accept them if they happen to be LGBTQ, I secretly hope they aren’t because life will be SO HARD for them if they are and I worry that my mother, who is super conservative, may reject them or try to “convert” them to “straightness” and then I will have to cut off my mother, too.

I don’t want to live in a world where I have these fears. I don’t want to be a person who has these fears.

And I certainly do not want these things for my children.

I want my children to be be shameless – in the sense that they are nothing to be ashamed of – regardless of who they are.

And thus, I have become ever more and more liberal. More radical. More everything.

I am grateful for friends who are further along the advocacy road so I can model myself after them and join my voice with theirs.

I am grateful for these same friends (Hi, Mamademics!) creating curriculum celebrating black history as well as creating Raising an Advocate series for me to join and Facebook Stalk and over-post in. (Can you tell that I lifted the name of this post from her series? It’s because she is awesome and her series is awesome and I REALLY WANT YOU ALL TO JOIN.)

I am grateful that I am homeschooling and can thus apply these things that I am learning so that my children can be brainwashed into advocates themselves. (I bought the first twelve months of Black History is American History and am looking forward to teaching it to my kids.)

Won’t you join me in this journey of self-discovery and dismantling what we have accepted for so long (and often, obliviously)?

Let’s create the world in which ALL our children are loved and accepted no matter who they are.