Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Maine

Posted from my phone on the library wifi.

Summer in Maine!


Running by the ocean.

Rocky beach.


Grandmom's kitchen.

Check me out on VillageQ! No link provided, but I know you can search it.



Friday, June 19, 2015

Sometimes



"Did you know that sometimes people are mean to other people just because those people have brown skin?"
"I have light skin, like Elsa! Mama has light skin.  Mommy has light skin.  L has brown skin. M has brown skin. C has brown skin. Miss T has brown skin.  Miss J has brown skin.  Lots of people have brown skin."
"Do you know that sometimes people with light skin hurt people with brown skin, just because they have brown skin?"
"That's mean. You can't hit someone because they have brown skin.  If someone hits me I say "NO!" and if they don't stop I tell the teacher. It's not nice to hit."
"You're right Lovie, I'm glad you know all that."

Friday, June 12, 2015

Providence International Arts Festival

So the Providence International Arts Festival is this weekend, and if you are nearby or up for a bus, train, or drive, you should check it out!


In my experience (Chicago) urban arts festivals are a mediocre assortment of street vendors selling things carved from wood and carts selling chewy chicken satay skewers.  Not something I would leave the house for.  BUT, I think this one is a whole different thing.  Really amazing murals and street art have been going up all over downtown.  I think this thing is legit! This fish mural (made of tape) isn't the most impressive art, but I was totally impressed because it went up suddenly on a corporate building.  There are going to be performances and a parade at 5:00 downtown on Saturday.  I plan to attend with LB-and it best not rain.  Let me know if you're coming to town, maybe we can meet up!

Check out the schedule here: http://first-works.org/events/pvdfest/

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Lesbians Getting Divorced

This morning finds me not waking up to a small child smiling and reaching to pat my shoulder, not waking to a small child yelling angrily "Mama, I want cereal." Instead I'm drinking my coffee black because I forgot to buy milk, chopping parsley for tabouli, checking OKC.  What did we do before the internet? I'm part of a group for divorced lesbian moms, and on the whole it is a good thing.  People who have been there, people to give advice and support, but in some cases these women are doing to their partners the very thing that was done to me.  That's hard.  Sometimes the group makes me feel incredibly lucky to have a good, mature co-parenting relationship, sometimes it just makes feel bummed out about our inevitable failures as human beings.

I don't know why I feel compelled to compile posts about lesbians divorcing, but here they are:

Susan, "Two Moms, Two Boys, Two Homes."

Casey has a few relevant posts, but I'm going to link to, "I won't tell you I miss you."  I actually do say "I miss you when you aren't here," to LB, but in the context of "I miss you when you aren't here, but I always know I'll see you soon."  My feeling is that LB will feel sadness/wistfullness/loss, so I want to model those emotions and how to manage those emotions.  That said, I really appreciate how Casey talks about being a positive parent when you aren't feeling positive inside.

Cheryl, "When Marriage Equality Activists Break Up."   This post really gets at the special guilt that comes with being gay-married and then gay-divorced.

J has been blogging her long journey surviving infidelity, divorce, and now building a new blended family.  Many of her more recent posts are password protected, but you can read back about her divorce and healing.  This post, "Loyalty," is representative of the journey.

And an article about lesbian divorce from 1992, in case you've forgotten that the only thing worse that getting divorced is not being able to get divorced.

Monday, June 1, 2015

#queermutiny (a blogging for LGBTQ Families Day post)


There's a new kid in LB's class.  Sometimes Estelle seems happy, sometimes she seems sad.  Last week her mom carried her into school crying, and said to me "when do they adjust, because I can't take this!" Over the weekend I reminded LB to ask Estelle to play.  "I ask her, but sometimes she just cries." "Well, ask her again. It makes people happy when they have friends to play with. You used to cry at school, but now you have friends and you play all the time."

When I picked LB up today I got a report from her teacher that "LB was a very kind friend today and played with Estelle." I am so proud of that Sweetapuss!

A year ago, almost to the day, I was at home trying to balance mom-ing and working while my wife was away on business and, unbeknownst to me, turning her emotional affair into a full-on affair.  Today at work I got served with divorce papers.  I knew it was coming, but that didn't make standing in the rain signing off on paperwork with a kindly older gentleman who said, with feeling, "I'm wishing you all the best," any easier.

Since I found out I've run a lot of miles. I've done a lot of pushups. I spend some months trying to save my marriage.  I found a new place to live. I've made new friends. I've reconnected with old friends. I've gone to therapy. I've bonded with my daughter. I've been given so much materially, emotionally, and socially.

If you've read this blog before, you know I don't have much time for queer respectability-the idea that gays and friends are "just like everybody else" or even have a responsibility to strive to be "just like everybody else."  I spent a couple months this past year waking up every morning and telling myself "the only thing you have to do today is be a decent person."

This year has stripped away many of my trappings of respectability and forced me to think about what matters to me as a divorcee, a queer mom, a daughter, a friend-to love and be loved, to engage with the world, to live by my own values.  That's not necessarily a gay thing, but it is because some twenty or twenty five years ago I felt like being gay freed me from the trap of respectability and here I am again.

Many thanks to Mombian for hosting the 10th Annual Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day! I hope you'll click over here all the posts!



Thursday, May 28, 2015

15 Minutes

15 minutes is all I've got, so I'll see what I can get through.

I joined Shape Up Rhode Island with some people at work and I got a pedometer.  Yesterday I walked 15,400 steps. No wonder I'm freaking tired.

Mood: sad.  Not angry/sad, which for me is depression.  Not doesn't enjoy activities sad-I don't feel sad while distracted with friends or activities.  I spent a great weekend with friends, and was happily distracted.  I go back and forth between thinking that I need to sit with this sadness, and just really wanting it to go away.

Thoughts: I've been feeling like a loser.  I've been lucky to be a person who has achieved much more than anyone ever expected of me, the downside being that I have so many super conventionally successful friends.  So by someone else's measure, I suck, and then I judge myself for using someone else's measure of my own success.  That's no way to go through life.

LBisms: "Mama, what's personal space?" What a little sweetapuss.  I picked her up at daycare yesterday and she was sitting in wood chips glowering at two little friends on the swings.  LB was mad that she wasn't having a turn on the swings and the story ranged from she was mad to be waiting to the other little girls were being mean and telling her she could never have a turn.  I've been thinking about teaching emotional resilience.  I'm trying to place a positive script in LB's mind.  She definitely feels her perceived injustices very strongly, and instead of distracting herself will sit glowering or go throw herself dramatically on the ground.  Working on it.

My house: I like it, but I need to do the final push and finish painting and acquiring.  My bedroom walls are scuffed and marked.  Of course I left my room until last and now, every morning, when I look at the walls, I think the marks must be a sign that I"m not valuing myself enough.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

"I pride myself on being an amazing mother"


When I see this picture, I imagine LB in another 15 years, wearing a hemp necklace and barefoot, hula hooping on the street.

That quote was actually written by someone in one of the big private online lesbian mom groups I'm part of.  And that, my friends, is what I love about the internet.  In my travels through '70s back-to-the-land/old school taciturn New England, and 1980s lower middle class New England, and some 25 years of urban America from Boston to Seattle to Boston to Chicago to Baltimore and now Providence, it never occurred to me that the above was something a person could think or say.

I just don't think mothering/parenting is Amazing-able.  Parenting is life, and you can tell yourself that you are amazing at life, but it's just a series of triumphs and disappointment, choices and things outside your control, learning and not learning that makes up what becomes a life.

We do okay here-my new house needs a name. And I've discovered there's another name for what I call "1970s parenting," which is as close as I get to a philosophy.  "Slow parenting," who knew?  This article about having a slow parenting summer has been making the rounds. Makes sense to me, although it's a little different for working out of the house homes, because I think we feel additional pressure to make summer fun if our kids are in summer childcare that is a lot like what they experience during the school year.

I'm hoping to take LB to this amazing event: the Urban Pond Procession.  Despite being focused on ecology, it's challenging to get to on public transit from our neighborhood.  If the weather is good, we'll go, but if it's rainy, I don't think we can manage.  My alternate rain plan is to take LB to see Alice: A New Musical at the local Jr. High School.  I'm a little worried about her ability to sit through without talking.  With a four and a half year old, would you try it?  Or I could just take my own advice and we could have a quiet day. I feel like I've been over-scheduling LB a bit, just because I don't want us to fall into a sitting sad and alone in our rundown apartment, but I've definitely overcompensated.

And, just now, my four year old got the pizza box out of the fridge and served me a slice of cold pizza. I'm going to pat myself on the back for some amazing parenting.

And, finally, we got a couch!  A kind friend not only gave me the couch, but brought it to me and set it up. People are really nice sometimes.