Life and Death in the Age of Timehop

Feb 10, 2016 by

For those who don’t know (how could that be?), Timehop is an app that shows you social media content from years past. As a frequent Facebook user, I throughly enjoy seeing old content pop up to remind me of what I was saying, posting, or doing on any given date though the years. As a mom, though, Timehop takes on a whole different meaning. And as someone who has lost a loved one, something even more.

As a mom, Timehop serves as a virtual family album. When I see my almost 4 year old  pop up on my Facebook being fed baby food by her big brother or in one of my all time favorite baby outfits of hers, it makes me pause and brings me so much joy. Or, when I see my 6 year old pop up sitting in his high eating mushed bananas for the first time, I stop, if only momentarily, to reflect on how fast it all truly does go by. Someone once told me that the days may seem long, but the years fly by, and I couldn’t agree more.

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The only way out is through

Feb 10, 2016 by

The only way out is through

Three years ago, in a somewhat symbolic manner, I put my husband Antonio to rest in order to welcome his female version, Tamara. I wrote a letter in an attempt to appreciate all that he had taught me, all that I had learned about myself and about love by being with him for 7 years. I tried to make peace with what had happened and the task before me. The letter took me 2 or 3 nights to finish. I then said goodbye and went to pick up Tamara at the airport.

It was only when I saw Antonio heading toward me at JFK that the realization of what was happening really struck. I had been staring at Tamara for several months on the computer screen, both having our own difficult conversations and facilitating conversations between her and our toddler. I had gotten somewhat used to her low-cut shirts showing off the hormone-induced curves, her long hair with bangs and very elaborate make-up. It had become clear to me, over the 5 months we had been geographically separated, that I was in fact not attracted to this person anymore, and I could not force myself to be. It was not that I was completely closed to the idea of being with a woman. When Antonio first came out as transsexual, my initial reaction was, “ok, I can do this, the last thing I want to do is lose the person I love, so we can make this work”. I considered myself a very open person, and felt like that openness should translate to being accepting of this transition, shocking as it was.

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fads and truths

Feb 10, 2016 by

We are at a critical point. We have a chance to step forward, to become a more accepting, loving, supportive, unified society. But change is scary, difference is scary, religious books are open to interpretation, especially by megalomaniacs who profit off the fear and division they can sow in others, and politicians like to sound like they know what they're talking about. It's a messy, loud, sometimes chaotic sort of progress, and one that puts a vulnerable community in the crosshairs.

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Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Feb 9, 2016 by

My child is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Not both kids, but the one who seems to fall into trends the easiest; the one who easily falls in love with certain looks / styles / games / songs, the one who I will presumably have to keep a close eye on when she gets a little older. The rock is the desire to hang out with the “cool kids”, the hard place is the guilt of knowing that if she follows along, she is doing something that Mommy would not approve of.

Did I mention that my kids are only 5 and in preschool??

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The Space Between

Feb 9, 2016 by

There are vacation days, birthdays, snow days, sick days, and holidays.  There are the first days of school and graduations.  There are field trips, field day, pumpkin celebrations, and winter festivals.  There are awesome days and very, horrible good for nothing days.  And then there are the “normal” days.  They come and go without much pomp and circumstance – often not showcased for the world to see via social media outlets.  These days that do not have accompanying greeting cards to send as acknowledgement.  We often recognize these days as boring, lackluster, or uninteresting, but really, I would argue that normal days can stand as the greatest examples of the lives we have built.  They are the days I want to read about in my journal 20 years from now to remember my every day triumphs – the time we sang songs and played a guessing game of our own imagination during an exceptionally long wait for haircuts, every day challenges – the time left my wallet at home when I went to pick up my pre schooler and nearly ran out of gas on the way and at the most basic level – who I was then.  It’s where, if we look close enough, we can find all of our achievements and disappointments.  Glimpses into what we’ve learned and what we have yet to learn.  Both make a normal day, a priceless treasure.  When we recognize that the little things are the big things that make any normal day a bit sweeter.

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Vent Session

Feb 9, 2016 by

They say that shared joy is double joy and shared sorrow is half a sorrow. Well, if that’s the case, then I guess there’s nothing left to do but have a good laugh over mother-in-law-isms with people who can relate.

I’ve been a member of an online mom group for nearly five years. It’s a group of women from all over the country, all walks of life, with a spectrum of different life experiences. But that common thread of motherhood is the tie that binds us. We share advice, Christmas / birthday / holiday gift ideas, and concerns about weird rashes and high fevers. We vent, listen, and usually end up sharing laugh.imageThe other day, one of these lovely ladies just had to share about a frustrating mother-in-law (MIL) experience she had. She mentioned to her MIL that she’d been up all night with a screaming 10-day-old infant and was met with, “Ooh, sounds like somebody is already getting spoiled being held all the time.” She laughingly suggested writing a book titled “Things I Swear I Will Never Say To My Daughter-In-Law” and was welcoming contributions. And indeed, those submissions started rolling in.

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The story of my second birth

Feb 8, 2016 by

From the moment last April when I shocked the crap out of myself with a positive pregnancy test, everything about my second pregnancy was different from my first.  This fact was especially apparent during the last few weeks of the pregnancy.  I had given birth to my first at 37 weeks, 6 days and expected to have #2 similarly early.  By the time I hit 37 weeks, I finished all my major tasks for work, nested and re-nested at home, sent out all my thank-you notes, got one last pedicure and then ANOTHER last pedicure… And sat around tapping my foot.  And grunting and groaning to anyone within earshot about how uncomfortable and DONE I was.

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