Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Kids Are Awesome: PROOF

Two conversations with my kids which will, individually and together, provide conclusive proof that they are wholly amazing people:

Conversation #1: Love and Rockets

Alex and I are in the car, which is where I always have the most excellent conversations with my kids. "Mom, when I grow up, I'm going to be a pilot."

"That sounds pretty cool," I say.

"Yeah. And Claudia is going to be an atsmumble."

My hearing sucks, I have difficulty filtering audiostreams, and Alex is hard to hear when he's sitting right behind me anyway. I turn off the radio. "Claudia is going to be an actress?"

"No, Mom. Claudia is going to be an astronaut."

"Oh! That's even cooler!" Claudia, for those who may not recall, is Alex's girlfriend that he's decided he's going to marry when they grow up.

"Yeah! And she's going to wave at me in my airplane from the front of her rocket when she goes up into space."

That's love, ladies and gentlemen. True. Love.

(And, to be a tiny bit political, I'm pleased that my awesome kid has so far avoided absorbing the cultural poison that dictates a man should have a more prestigious job than his wife. Alex is very proud and excited with his plan to wave to his spacefaring wife from below, and so am I.)


Conversation #2: Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be

Same car ride, after picking Penny up from Matt's. Germaine information: there was a book fair at school today; I gave Penny $10 for one book that she wanted, and she decided to take in some of her own money to buy a couple more books. (Which, by itself, is pretty awesome.)

"Mom? I gave one of my friends ten dollars -- not the ten dollars you gave me, but ten of my own dollars -- for the book fair. But we got in trouble."

Okay, I'm of mixed feelings about this, because $10 is a fair amount of money for a 9-year-old, but it is, to be fair, her own money.

She continues. "And then when they made Xavier give the stuff back--"

"Wait. You gave $10 to Xavier?"


"...Wasn't he the one who was being really mean to you, earlier this year?"

"Yes. But just because he's mean doesn't mean I have to be. I'm nice. We're supposed to treat people the way we want to be treated."




I blink back tears so I don't wreck the car and I say, "That's right, sweetie. That's absolutely right."

Every parent's wish, for every parent who's ever been worth even half a damn, is that their kid will grow up to be a better person than themselves. And I am seeing it realized before my very eyes.

And then, because positive reinforcement is really important, I make a point of saying, "I'm really proud of you, sweetheart, because not many kids your age would understand that. Really, really proud."

She goes on to confess that she also gave another friend fifty-five cents, but that friend promised to pay her back tomorrow.

I offer her my own hard-won advice on the lending of money to friends -- to wit, to assume, when giving money to friends, that it is a gift rather than a loan. That way, you do not give away money that you will actually need, and if you get the money back, it's nice... but if you don't, then you don't resent them for it.

She says, airily, "Oh, I don't care if she pays me back. Besides, there are lots of things that money can't buy. Like family and friends."

Damn, girl.

I mean, just.



Stupid pollen, getting in my eyes...

Thursday, April 4, 2013


My friend Greg posted this on Facebook last night (via Wipe Out Homophobia):

along with instructions to give yourself one point for each of the "sins" listed on the protestor's sign and post your score. You know, like the "purity tests" we played around with in college. In the lively comments discussion that followed, it was agreed that, like those college purity tests, technicalities count -- that is, if you have to wonder whether an activity counted toward committing the sin, then it counted.

It's a bit hard to read, so let me help you out with the list:

  • Fornicators
  • Homosexuals
  • Liars
  • Thieves
  • Masturbators
  • Obama Voters
  • Buddhists
  • Dirty Dancers
  • Hindus
  • Gangster Rappers
  • Muslims
  • Drunkards
  • Feminists
  • Immodest Women
  • Democrats
  • Liberals
  • Evolutionists
  • Atheists
  • Potheads
  • Sodomites
That's twenty "sins". Let's see how I do!
  • I've had sex outside of marriage, so I'm a fornicator, all right.
  • I've never had a sexual relationship with another woman, but I've kissed a couple. Also, I write and publish homoerotic fiction, so we decided I can take this one on a technicality.
  • Really, does anyone make it through childhood without at least a few lies? Or have anything like a real social life as an adult? ("Oh, wow, that's a really... original haircut. No, I love it!")
  • Yes, I've stolen. Nothing big, mind you, and I'm not proud of it, but I've done it.
  • We don't really need to go into detail on this one, do we? I mean, we've all been through puberty, right? Onanist, me. Yes.
  • I was pretty vocal about supporting Obama, so yeah, you've got me on that one, too.
  • Okay, no. I can't claim to have ever even dabbled in Buddhism, unless you want to count taking yoga classes, and I have trouble making that one fit even as a technicality.
  • I'm not good at dirty dancing, but I've done it.
  • Haven't ever played around with Hinduism, either, though I've had a few Hindi friends.
  • I'm not a good enough extemporaneous rapper to have performed gangsta rap. I've recited along with some songs I own, but I don't think they qualify as gangsta rap, just, you know, normal rap. Unless Uncle Kracker counts. ...Nah. Wannabe-gangsta, maybe, but not really there. Let's just call this one a no.
  • Nope, I've never been a Muslim. I like bacon way too much.
  • Been drunk a lot of times, though.
  • Damn straight I'm a feminist.
  • Given that I've deliberately worn clothing that would expose and even showcase my cleavage, not to mention bathing suits, then yes, I expect I count as an occasionally immodest woman.
  • I vote Democrat more than 75% of the time, so though I loathe being put in boxes... yes.
  • I'm definitely a liberal.
  • And an evolutionist.
  • I'm not currently an atheist, but I considered myself one for many years.
  • I have, in fact, smoked pot twice. I hated it both times, but technicalities count!
  • Did you know that "sodomy" includes oral sex? So, um... yeah.
That's a score of 16/20! I am 80% damned! And of the four points I didn't get, three of them are religions I haven't participated in.

How do you score?