Friday, April 19, 2013

and now I mother sons

My tweenage daughter came into my bedroom past bedtime last night.  Blinking fast away the tears, she told me she wanted to stay home from school in the morning.  After asking all the questions, it was revealed that "all the girls" were going to be attending an all day event for an extra-curricular in which she does not participate. 

"All the girls?" I asked.

"Almost all," she said.

I had her list off the ones that would still remain, and it was a small list.  It wasn't that she would be left alone, so much as she would be left with few girls in a group already lopsided...there are a lot of boys.  A lot of tweenage boys.

I totally understood.

We talked a little bit about it, until she was able to hear reason.  I said I remember boys that age, and promised that it starts to get better in a few years.  Although, only some of those boys grow all the way up.  I didn't tell her that.

Our conversation brought me back to 7th grade.  Or thereabouts.  I know my experience was not special.  I think it's very typical for boys that age to be inappropriate.  For conversations to be laced with sexual innuendo.  Sitting in math class, the boys were asking girls about cats.  If they owned cats, what color their cats were...cats, cats, cats.  But they weren't talking about cats.  What I remember most about that day was the moment it became clear that "cats" were symbolic of something else.  And how every girl wanted to sink into the floor.  Become invisible.  Be left alone.  Be left the hell alone.

This type of thing was par for the course.  No one complained.  No one stood up.  No one punched anyone in the face or the privates....filed lawsuits, pressed charges.

Why did we let it continue?

Where were the grownups? 

Where the hell were the grownups?

I'll tell you where.  I am right here.  I didn't realize how mad this would make me as I pull these thoughts out of my head. 

Here's what I'm going to do about it:  I'm going to teach my girl to be bold.  I will give her the words to say...."knock it off." "Not cool." "What do you mean by that?"  And I'm going to be the one to hold feet to the fire.  Sexual harassment is against the law.  These boys grow into men-like people that think it's okay to blur the line.  It is not okay.  It wasn't okay then, and it's most definitely not okay today.  Someone has got to show them that the line isn't a line.  It's a wall.  An immovable wall.  I want to electrify the wall, fill it with porcupine quills. 

And also?

I birthed boys.  Who will know these things.  They will know that girls are not objects.  That everyone deserves respect and to be treated with dignity.  And should they ever, EVER, try and get away with harassment, innuendo, crude and objectifying behavior?  No one will come down harder on them than their mama. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

h k j a

Growing up with three sisters was pretty great.  There were always socks in someone else's drawer when there were none in your own.  If you hated all your clothes, you just walked to the next nearest closet and picked something out.  And if your sister got mad, you reminded her that if she didn't share, neither would you.  Same thing with shoes, bikes, makeup, hairspray...
If you started too get full of yourself, you always had someone who would help you deflate.  But if you were having a rough day, they would help make it even rougher.  Kidding. 
I was only four, but I remember when my babiest sister came home from the hospital.  We pulled blankets around the floor of her crib to be near her while she slept.  And we had to be very quiet until she woke up.  So we quietly jiggled the crib, hoping she would wake up and we could hold her.  Our real live baby.
Today is her birthday. 
She's 31. 
We're all old ladies now. 
Time for burgundy hair and big jewelry.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

now, with 20% more sass

painting, painting, painting.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

kitchen studio

One day I won't make meals in my studio. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

no chickens

We like to pack up our crew after baths and jammies and drive out into the country.  We look for things like deer and hawks and fox and coyotes. 

And land.

And houses.

With sturdy old barns to convert into a workshop and studio.

It's fun to dream about 'one day.'  Sometimes I imagine that we'll drive by the perfect place, on the edge of a hill, partially surrounded by a grove of trees with a river running through it...and that Santa from Miracle on 34th street will be standing out in front and he'll toss us the keys.  It'll have a golden retriever puppy and some barn cats.  Maybe a little horse.  An old slow kind little horse.  Also a woolly sheep.  And a goat that likes to stand on top of things.  But no chickens.