An Accidental Feminist?

I did not march yesterday. I wasn’t one of the crowd that amassed the inaugural crowd by roughly three times (New York Times). Instead, I spent the day at home with my son followed by dinner at a friends’ house, where our children played as we chatted and talked about many things, including the Women’s March.

My friend didn’t march either. You see both of us are past our “marching days.” We’re older. We both have children, husbands, and households to run. We’re both well-educated and I’d be willing to argue that neither of us feels inferior to any man we know. We’re strong, confident women. Though we didn’t march we both expressed support and awe over the crowds that gathered. How amazing it was to see so many women (many with the support of their husbands, boyfriends, brothers, and children) from all different walks of life, united together in an effort to peacefully exercise their Constitutional Rights! While we may not have marched, we were proud of our fellow women. But we were too busy to march. We had too many responsibilities. Our children had activities yesterday and my husband (a chef) works weekends, so it was up to me to make sure my son made it to his event. My friend? She’s a Rock Star Mom of four and her husband is out-of-state, so she surely couldn’t take any time away from her kiddos to March. No, we had too much to do…

As I scrolled through my NewsFeed today I liked all posts March related. I read many wonderful articles, and remained proud of our country. Then I started noticing a disturbing trend. Why were so many women spewing anti Women’s March hate all over the internet? I was shocked. As I continued to scroll the alarming trend continued, making less and less sense to me. I read posts from women claiming that only “libtard women” (I’m not even sure what a libtard woman is) showed up to march. These comments were made worse only by women “LoLing” at men who commented,”As long as she made breakfast before she left then no harm done! LOL.” How could anybody, much less any woman Laugh Out Loud at such a flagrant display of gross sexism? Where was the outrage? Finally, why were women being so hard on each other rather than lifting one and other up in love and support? Where’s the unity so beautifully displayed at the Women’s March?

No matter where you fall on the political spectrum and whether or not you fancy yourself a feminist, few things are factual; hard and true. Please allow me to introduce the wage gap:

       Women, on average, earn less than men in virtually every single occupation for which there is sufficient earnings data for both men and women to calculate an earnings ratio. (www.iwpr.org/initiatives/pay-equity-and-discrimination).

Again I ask, where is the outrage?

Then I wonder, maybe I should’ve made time yesterday…

If these women truly don’t believe that a problem exists, perhaps we’re in more trouble than I thought. Maybe more women like my friend and myself need to show up to these events and be sure our voices are heard. After all, if we don’t who will teach our children that their mother’s and sister’s matter? Surely we can’t leave it to the masses, we’ve seen what they think.

 

 

 

Connect24…7

via Daily Prompt: Privacy

Tags, handles, usernames,

We have them all.

Text messages, emails, and video-chats,

We dare not risk disconnection.

Flooded with news,

Real vs Fake.

Sharing secretly captured screenshots and murky far away photographs,

We’re flooded with images we never needed to see.

The World Wide Web makes the world a smaller place.

But is it safe to brush off

Privacy

So easily?

 

 

Patriot’s March

via Daily Prompt: Marathon

The long, dark days of Winter have finally retreated.

The Sun shines brightly and the breeze carries a delightfully delicate scent of flowers.

The Patriots are all lined up at the starting line, waiting to take the course.

Soon the streets will be decorated golden-yellow and bright blue,

The sounds of cheers will fill up the hilly terrain.

It has begun.

“Sweet Caroline” echos from the rowdy Fenway Fans,

As the racers tackle Heartbreak Hill.

Further down Boylston the winner proudly crosses the historic finish line and

I stand in awe of my surroundings,  proud to have been born a part of all that is

Boston Strong.

The Town She Used to Know

via Daily Prompt: Exquisite

“She must not be from around these parts,” they  whispered, mouths agape as she entered the room with a confident grace, holding hostage the attention of anyone who dared look her way.

“I think she is.”

” I heard that she went away to the city for college.”

“I heard that she divorced a rich old man, has a pile ‘o money now.”

“Ssshhhh….”

A hush came over the room as her scarlet stained lips parted.

Would she speak?

What would she say?

Who would she talk to?

With the eyes of the room upon her,

She lifted a cigarette to her mouth .

Amused by the attention,

She leaned into the nearest gentlemen, close enough to

Smell his musk

and

Feel his hot breath.

“Excuse me,” she spoke!

“Might you have a light?” she teased, smirking.

Cigarette now tracing her crimson pout back and forth,

Allowing the tiniest bit of bright white to shine through as she coyly smiled.

“Sssshhure.” He stuttered back, lifting his shaking hand to light the cigarette.

“You’d think with this pile ‘o money I got in the divorce I’d at least have my own light!” she exclaimed as she slowly exited the silent room, staring intently at the people of the town she used to know.

Remaining a mystery,

She was exquisite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evening Out the Uneven

via Daily Prompt: Uneven

Just as soon as I finish helping with homework and cooking dinner, I’ll be able to take a deep breath.

No wait, first I have to

clean up the dinner dishes,

read a bedtime story,

and

lay out tomorrow’s clothes.

Yes, then I’ll sit down.

Maybe put my feet up.

Oh but I really should catch up on emails

and

balance the checkbook.

Responsibility weighs heavily on my often fragile shoulders as I sit at the dimly lit kitchen table late into the evening.

Waiting for the perfect time to find a moment

To make mine,

To even out

The uneven

Of everyday.

 

 

Parenting: Asking Myself the Tough Questions

Last weekend a severe snowstorm was forecast. Early last week, well before the storm was due to arrive, all of our local meteorologists had us under “Winter Weather Advisories and Warnings” and started round the clock storm coverage. The ravaged bread shelves and run on milk at our local market proved a storm was on its way to anyone who managed to evade the never-ending news coverage of the storm.

As predicted, late Friday night and all day Saturday, we were pounded with freezing cold gusty wind and inches upon inches of snow. Too cold to even let the kids go out and play in the snow, we were officially snowed in. I wasn’t worried about being snowed in, not by a long shot. A native Bostonian, I’ve long known how to handle a good old-fashioned snow storm, be it a dusting, blizzard, or even a Nor’Easter. My eight year son, Jack, loves the snow and he, too, is well versed in all things Winter. We were ready. Or so I thought.

Severe as the storm was, my husband  even got the day off on Saturday! This almost never happens so Jack took full advantage of having Dad home and the two of them spent the day watching movies, reading comics, and playing video games together. Jack briefly joined Dad while he shovelled, but the elements were too much for our little guy and he was back inside with a warm cup of cocoa in no time.

By the time we woke up Sunday morning we were covered in a beautiful coat of snow so pure only Snow White could have rivaled its beauty and purity. Having spent the day before literally snowed in,  Jack was eager to get outside and enjoy the snow. His main objective for Sunday was to hit up our local sledding spot and do some damage to the freshly fallen powder. I was happy to make this happen for him until I checked the weather and the temperature read 9 degrees, with a windchill below zero. Further destroying Jack’s Sunday Sledding Dreams was a call from my husband who advised me of extreme cold and treacherous road conditions. Alas, we weren’t going anywhere.

While I knew Jack would be disappointed, I wasn’t too concerned. Christmas was just two weeks ago and Jack received many wonderfully thoughtful and generous gifts. Santa, family, friends, and his parent’s (my husband and I, us!) were very good to Jack. Amongst other things, I figured Jack could easily entertain himself with his new lap top computer, GoPro Camera, the latest FiFa video game, or even start reading the latest hard cover edition of Harry Potter which he asked Santa for and expressed pure delight in when he opened it! Boy was I in for a rude awakening.

By 11:00AM Jack was incessantly complaining of boredom. As a mother to a little boy, I understand his need to be outside, to run, and play, and be free. Jack has always been that type of little boy. He loves being outside playing and makes friends with most any child he comes in contact with. So Jack’s initial complaint of boredom didn’t surprise me much at all. What did surprise me was his persistent complaining, unwillingness to take any suggestions as a means of self entertainment, and blatant disregard for every toy, book, or piece of technology he had access to in order to entertain himself.

As the day dragged, Jack’s complaining only got worse. Soon my reaction shifted from surprised to annoyed and finally to disappointed. Despite my attempts at both physically (handing him his lap top, a deck of cards, his iPad, a board game, a book) and verbally offering Jack options, he chose to do nothing. Instead, he moped around the house all day whining and complaining. While I’m sure my final mood was disappointment, I’m not sure if it was in Jack’s decision to not make a choice that would satisfy his boredom, or in myself. I sat thinking about all of the thought, planning, preparation, excitement, and money that went into making his Christmas special. Not just by us, but by everyone who was kind enough to think of Jack and present him with a Christmas gift. I thought long and hard all day about whether or not my husband and I are raising a spoiled child. I wondered if he will grow to have an attitude of entitlement? If so, are we too late to fix it? Do we give him too much? Does he have too much? Does he appreciate what he has? All of these thoughts raced through my mind as I watched my only child sulk around because I’m a “mean mom” for refusing to take him out in hazardous weather conditions.

A few days have passed now and I’d like to report that I found clarity. I haven’t. I have drawn a few conclusions, though. We probably do give Jack too much. We only have one child and he’s a great kid who does well in school and rarely gives us any trouble. I think somewhere we believe that if we have the means to do something for Jack, or buy him something, we should, regardless of whether or not it’s called for or even necessary. He probably already does have too much and that, too, falls back on us. The more and more I struggled internally, the more I learned just how little my internal conflict had to do with Jack and how much it had to do with us, as parents. We need to be accountable for what we choose to give our child and why we chose to do so. Are we doing it for him or to make ourselves feel accomplished, better somehow? This is a question I will ask myself more and more now that I am more self-aware.

Finally, I learned that while Jack really loves all of his cool Christmas stuff, at the end of the day he’s an eight year old little boy who was cooped up in the house for two days, over his weekend and he was bored!

Reflections

via Daily Prompt: Float

Here we are, just about a week into 2017. I feel as if I floated through the parties, family gatherings, and holidays right into the New Year without realizing just how quickly time was passing or even having time to reflect on the events of the past year. Now that we’re nearly an entire week into 2017 I feel reflection is long overdue.

Last year was a complicated one for me, bringing with it as many ups as downs, highs as lows. After moving back East for a career opportunity for my husband (and to be closer to home, family, and friends) late the year before (2015), our family spent 2016 falling in love with the quaint coastal community we live in. Despite having known each other for over 20 years, in March of 2016 we celebrated our first wedding anniversary. March was a great month for me because in addition to celebrating my anniversary with my husband, I was published for the first time by ScaryMommy.com (http://www.scarymommy.com/infertility-after-first-child/)!

The Spring continued to treat us well. As the Earth came back to life blooming with beautiful and vibrant colors and life, our son received the Sacrament of his First Holy Communion. Sitting in our Church, surrounded by our family and friends while watching my son receive his Communion was one of the proudest moments of my life. My heart is as full today remembering that May-day in Church as it was then. We were fortunate enough to enjoy a family vacation just a week after our son’s Communion, where we connected with family and friends we hadn’t seen in quite some time. Perhaps the greatest blessing of 2016 came merely by chance. A tremendously thoughtful friend of my husband and mine invited us over for morning coffee. Upon arrival we were introduced to another couple also over for morning coffee and we immediately hit it off. Since that morning the four of us have become very close friends. My husband enjoys golfing with the gentlemen we met thanks to that fateful coffee date, and the Mrs. has become my dearest, most trusted friend over this past year. The four of us enjoy casual dinners at home just as much as fancy dinners out; we simply enjoy each others’ company. Our boys are the same age and have a heartwarming friendship that I hope continues to grow and develop as they do. I’ll forever be thankful to our friend for arranging that coffee date!

Spring turned to Summer and I took a part-time job. Our son decided to learn to sail across the street from my workplace and everything seemed to be falling into place wonderfully. I loved my job. I had a great team of co-workers and my schedule couldn’t have been better. Working three days a week left me plenty of time to spend at the beach (less than a mile from our home) with my little guy and friends. For a while, this was exactly how things were going, and I was loving every minute of it.

And then it all changed.

One mid-July morning I woke up for work with terrible stomach pain. Being the assistant manager on duty that day, I had no choice but to go to work. I would never dream of leaving my co-workers without coverage. As my day progressed the pain intensified. I finally called my husband toward the end of my shift and asked him to pick our son up from his sailing lesson and to be ready to bring me to the emergency room. The pain was worse than labor pain, its indescribable beyond that. I finally completed my duties at work and had my husband drop me off at the hospital. I was in so much pain, I didn’t want my son to see me lose control and get scared. Eight hours and a CT Scan later and the local hospital informed me “everything looks good,” and sent me home with anti nausea and pain medicine. I knew they were wrong, but it was the middle of the night so I called my husband and went home, foolishly trying to sleep. The next morning both my husband and I received multiple calls from the hospital stating the radiologist had made an error when reading my CT Scan and that I needed to get back to the hospital ASAP so that I could be transported to the closest Trauma Level 1 Hospital in the state where I would require emergency surgery for a rare condition called intussuseption that creates small bowel obstructions and will kill the part of the bowel affected if not treated right away. We did exactly as we were instructed to and I had surgery that day.

I never fully recovered from that surgery. From that surgery an ulcer was found and I was hospitalized and put on aggressive IV medication to treat it because it was thinning to the point of perforation. After treating the ulcer my team of doctors noticed my weight was rapidly declining, and I was continually complaining of chronic nausea and vomiting. Upon conducting an endoscopy, it was discovered that my esophagus was narrowed with scar tissue to the point that almost no solid food was passing through, hence the naseau and vomiting. My nationally acclaimed GI doctor stretched my esophagus and placed a balloon stint in order to open it up and hopefully “fix” my issues. This was September.

By October I still wasn’t better and my weight was even lower; concerningly lower. My surgeon ordered another endoscopy where yet another obstruction was discovered. I was scheduled for yet another surgery. This time was going to be the last time I told myself. I would will myself better if I had to. As it turned out, I woke up feeling 100% better in the recovery room. It had really worked! I was thrilled! Then about three weeks passed and the pain and the nausea and the vomiting returned.

About three weeks ago the pain was so bad I ended up back in the emergency room for fear that I had yet another bout of intussuseption. My fears were validated and I was sent for an endoscopy so that they could get an “inside view.” In addition to the intussuseption another ulcer has been found, my weight is at an all time low, and I’m chronically dehydrated and malnourished. My husband and I have an appointment with my surgeon next week to sign the waivers for another surgery. This time will be different, though. This time we’ve agreed that, while the recovery may be worse and take longer, he will perform an open surgery. This way, he has a clear view of anything and everything that may need to be repaired including the chronic ulcers and the relentless, invasive scar tissue that covers my internal organs like ivy on the facade of an old home.

Reflecting back on last year I could have allowed all of these issues to ruin my year, or to have me deem 2016 the “worst year ever,”but I won’t. I received many, many blessings, including starting this blog and learning to be more confident in my writing.I learned that I am enough. Yes, I will always strive to improve; to be a better mother, wife, and writer. However, at the end of the day, I am a good person just the way I am. I love with my whole heart, I’m thoughtful, and I’m honest; I’m me. Through all of the struggles I’ve had incredibly supportive people by my side, supporting me in ways I never even thought of. I can’t thank them enough, but they know I will forever remember and be grateful for the generosity, thoughtfulness, and kindness. With all this said, goodbye 2016. Welcome 2017!

 

 

The BIG 100!

In light of the recent holidays, I’ve been offline for a while. To my shock and surprise I learned I have now reached 100 followers! I’m so humbled and grateful that I’m almost speechless, almost.

Creating this blog was something I did without much thought. I’ve always loved writing and was searching for an outlet. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think 100 talented individuals would give me and my work the time of day. In saying this, I am committing myself to writing more and more this year. I will push myself to break out of my comfort zone and challenge myself to ensure  each one of my followers have something worthwhile to read!

I’d like to extend the most sincere thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read my work, offer feedback, and leave comments. I appreciate all of you!