I’ve been asked this a couple times and considering my many political posts it’s a fair question as I’m not quiet about my politics. In this case I did give money to a campaign for the first time in my life.
But to who is not important. Not this year. This year what’s important is evicting #45.
In answer to that question, “Anyone but #45”. Get him out. The damage he’s done by placing conservative judges in lifelong positions in federal courts and the damage he will continue to do…because as much as I love certain elderly Supreme Court justices I just don’t think they have another 4 years in them…will be felt throughout my lifetime.
MO introduced a bill challenging gay marriage. There’s a chance it could be taken up, and if it made it to the federal courts it would get through to the Supreme Court.
The Republicans are better organized and more cutthroat than Democrats. They played the long game and they are winning.
Women’s rights, immigration laws, LGBTQ rights have never been more at risk.
I don’t think any of the Democratic nominees have the energy and charisma of Barack. Perhaps he was just one of a kind. But he also wasn’t cutthroat and didn’t push hard enough or long enough for Merrick Garland.
I want Democrats to step up to the plate and play the game that Republicans are winning.
Honestly I think Pelosi is the most cutthroat and she’s a little nutty. But if something happened to first and second in line I wouldn’t be sad if the Speaker of the House took over as President.
I’ll say it again. I want any one else but DTJ to be President. Preferably a Democrat. Preferably some one who is pro-choice and pro-LGBTQ rights. Preferably some one who will hit the ball out of the park instead of taking the walk.
Yes I contributed to a campaign. Yes I have a favorite. But if they don’t get the nomination I will vote for whoever the D. nominee is. As should you if you want him out. Don’t vote independent. An independent candidate won’t win and will take away electoral votes from a Democrat. It could all but guarantee a win for DTJ.
If I hear anyone complain about the D nominee I’m going to get irritated. Any one is better than our current administration. The bar is shockingly low as anyone who hasn’t said on television they can freely grab women by the “pussy” because of their fame….or who hasn’t been impeached…or who hasn’t asked a foreign country to meddle in our elections…or who believes in science…etc…anyone is better than this.
These have been tried and tested with many combo’s over the years- below is my go-to:
What I found through my many bean burger and veggie burger trials is that I needed to have all the ingredients hanging around. Many veggie burger recipes call for several ingredients that I often have to put on the grocery list. This recipe is made with staples that I always have around so I can make them when we think we have “no food”.
Put all ingredients in a food processor
1 15 oz can black beans (rinse)
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans (rinse)
1 red onion (small and diced)
3 pieces celery chopped
red wine vinegar to taste (I use 1/2 tbsp, I don’t like vinegar too much, if you like it you can use a full tbsp)
black pepper to taste
1/2 cup bread crumbs (gluten free is what I use)
1/2 tsp basil
Garlic fresh minced or powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
Put them through the food processor- until half is smooth and half is still chunky, then I open the food processor and run the spatula through it a few times to make sure there’s not any big chunks. If there are I pulse it again.
Then I form into patties. You can cook on a griddle, frying pan, or air fryer. I did air fryer this time at 320 degrees for 8 minutes, then flipped them, and cooked another 5 minutes.
They can be frozen and they can be eaten immediately. They keep in the fridge also.
I ate them last night over an arugula salad I made. They can be dry so you want to put them with dressing of some kind. You can eat like a traditional burger with the bun and lettuce.
This morning I had some over lettuce with eggs on top with some hot sauce. These are by far my favorite, easiest meal for breakfast lunch and dinner. They are dairy/gluten free and I think qualify for vegan also as there are no eggs.
This is a term I learned recently. It was said jokingly about my blog.
I don’t hate straight people. I used to be one. (Anyone get the Mrs. Doubtfire reference? You are my people if you did.)
I do feel a certain type of way about heterosexual individuals who are not aware of their het-privilege and then become defensive or deny when it is pointed out to them.
I am very aware of my white privilege. I also have felt the gut instinct to deny it exists because it is uncomfortable to sit with it.
It’s likely not hate you are feeling from me. It’s an uncomfortable niggling in your gut that you have heterosexual privilege and I am ripping the band-aid off and making you look straight at it.
It’s human nature to deny that you are “better” than some one else. Especially when you’ve used the privilege to your advantage without even being aware you were doing it. Especially when you haven’t used your privilege to help and advocate for those without it.
Heterosexual privilege exists. Trust me. It exists every time you make plans for a vacation. Do you ever consider your safety? When traveling within the United States do you ever wonder if you can travel to South Carolina or Alabama because you might not be welcome there? I do. We literally don’t travel South unless it’s directly to a friend or family member.
Have you ever held your breath when a stranger starts admiring your kids and you are not in a totally safe place, and they mention their “Mommy” and you wait for your kids to correct them and say, No this is my Mama, Mommy’s not here. Giving away your secret. I have. I have exhaled in relief when my kids didn’t mention that they have two Mom’s and then later felt a deep sadness that they will have to hide this at other times in their future.
Have you ever left a job because you couldn’t be “out” about your partner? I have.
Have you ever lost clients or customers because of your sexual orientation? I have.
Have you ever been asked about your sexual relations leading up to pregnancy? I have.
Have you ever been unable to marry the person you love due to your genders? I have.
Have you and your partner ever been harassed at bars or in a restaurant by another male who thinks ‘you just need a dick in you both’? We have.
Have you ever had a bible shoved in your face to show you how you’re going to hell? I have. Three times. By three different people.
Have your parents ever called a homeless shelter and told you to go to one, and that you have two hours to pack a bag and get out? My wife has.
Have you ever known some one who has been physically assaulted by their parents when they came out to them? I do. Too many people. Injuries included dislocated joints, broken bones, and black eyes.
The list could go on. Your privilege exists because you have not had to experience any of these things in order to love who you want to love.
Me pointing this out is not “straight hate”. It’s Queer love. My yoga instructor always says, “Sit with the uncomfortable. Move through the uncomfortable.” That’s what I encourage every one to do when examining your privilege. Put away the defensiveness and denial. Acknowledge it exists. Stop perpetuating the idea that it doesn’t. Stop perpetuating the idea that anyone pointing it out spreads hate.
I’ve said it before. I have a homosexual agenda. It’s to show everyone that my marriage and who I love doesn’t define who I am. Who I am defines who I love.
My agenda includes bringing light to an issue that has been stuck in a closet in the dark for far too long.
Straight hate probably exists in some Queers. It doesn’t exist in me. But the knowledge that more hetero’s need to acknowledge their privilege…that does exist. That mission of mine won’t stop.
If that’s not something you can handle…probably read a different blog then.
I’m going to preface this with a few things. 1- We moved to the suburbs from a city- where we loved living, but while I was home on maternity leave there was not one but three home invasions all within a block of our house. One of the houses we shared a corner of our yard with. I was home alone for 14 hour stretches because my wife worked an hour away. I had visions of armed intruders coming while I was breastfeeding twins with no defense.
My car was broken into one night. And with my sister and I standing ten feet away some one came running toward her running car to try and steal it. So there were a few things that led us to move.
2- I didn’t want to live in a space as rural as we do. But we fell in love with this house and pool and the house we lived in for nine years was very close to the neighbors. I’d be cooking in the kitchen and suddenly a neighbor would be literally in our window chatting with me if it was open. My wife didn’t want that anymore. So now we have over an acre of land to separate us from our “neighbors”.
The trade-off of space and a pool was a white Republican town. I’m not sure we will stay but here we are for now. We had to move daycares too. We are now in much smaller and more suburbia type daycare with far less diversity in the teachers and kids. Previously my two little white boys were the minority. I liked it that way.
By moving here I knew we’d have stuff to deal with. But Sunday morning caught me by surprise.
Declan named the closest city and said, “It’s a scary place!” I was surprised that the name of the nearest city was in his vocabulary and also that he had formed an opinion about it. My wife facepalmed because she knew this was going to lead into an angry rant about ignorant white people by me.
First we asked where he heard this. But as he noted my intensity and interest grow Declan stopped talking. My wife and I hadn’t made this statement so it had to be some one at daycare.
I went into my rant. “It’s not scary. I work there at the hospital. You were born there!” my voice apparently was rising and my wife tried to calm me down, and I said, “No, this is all because of ignorant freaking white people in this area of our freaking state who think that “insert name of city” is bad because there are Black people there. Freaking racist bullshit.” Declan then started talking about stickers obviously trying to change the topic of conversation. Yes I swore in front of my kids. I was pissed.
I interrupted him. “We are going to ‘city name'” They looked at me surprised, Declan said, “Today?” I said, “Yup.” So we went.
It’s not a particularly big city and in my humble opinion not scary at all. As with all cities there are parts and bars that you should avoid after midnight but what’s interesting about working inpatient psychiatry is meeting all the homeless people that live in the city. I generally see several people I’ve taken care of walking the streets and the green and receive waves and nods so I never particularly worry about my safety. I’ve generally met the “Bogeymen” on my unit. They aren’t scary. Just ill.
We walked the streets. We had lunch at a restaurant with live music and chocolate chip pancakes. We saw people of all ethnicities and most importantly we showed the boys that though different from our sleepy town it is not scary and we were not scared to be there.
Considering we live in the Northeast there is significant racism in our “liberal” state. I will not be raising my white sons to fear a place or people because they look or seem different than us. We told them repeatedly that they could tell their class we went to the city and it’s not scary. I hope they did.
Going downtown is challenging because of parking and you know…twins. But we will have to suck it up and do it more frequently in order to raise them with the mentality that suburbia is not the only way to be or the right way to live or the better way.
As I said we are both unsure of staying here. Safety wise we are better off than where we were. But diversity and raising our sons in such a Republican white town, I don’t know that we are better off. The home invasions were real and scary. But white suburbia is apparently just as scary to me.
I don’t know the right answer. I just know that last Sunday we had fun in the scary city.
I have the privilege of treating many transgender and non-binary teenagers. I’ve been doing this long enough that now I’ve seen several teens from pre-transition to post.
One time some one came in to see me, they are someone I started seeing prior to transitioning, prior to even telling their parents or anyone else for that matter.
When I saw them in the waiting room I almost didn’t recognize them. The changes were immense. They were now on HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and the affects of it were noticeable as they could now pass for their self identified gender.
Some clients respond well to comments about physical changes, some don’t, so I never comment on it. I tried to contain my smile as I thought in my head, ‘There you are,’ Because there they were. Smiling, confident, carrying themselves differently, talking differently, making direct eye contact.
The change is often astounding for me to behold as the dysphoria lifts and the depression eases, to see the person emerge who has always been struggling to come out- there are simply not enough words that describe the impact of that moment. That moment when they walk in and I haven’t seen them in a few months and they are themselves. For maybe the first time ever.
Some one came in who I have been treating for almost six years. I always see them monthly sometimes more frequently than that. They’ve struggled in the past and eventually came out as transgender. After supporting them through coming out to family and then transitioning and interventions, we finally scheduled our next appointment out two months. For the first time ever in almost six years we both agreed they were doing well enough to push our check in our two months.
Anyone who has seen the before and the after; you can see it’s not just the physical changes. The emotional vibes they give off in the room change. There is a quiet confidence that was absent before.
For those people who have never seen/interacted with/known a trans person from the before to the after…well they are the individuals who make statements like, “I just don’t understand it,” because if you saw the process- the before of the hurt/depression/anxiety/insecurities/self harm/suicide attempts/hospitalizations to the during- coming out to family/friends/healthcare providers/judgement/being disowned/being kicked out/being cut off financially to the treatment- HRT- Shots, side effects, lab work, dealing with pharmacies and transphobic pharmacists/surgeries-secretaries, billing departments/new license/new social security gender marker/transphobia everywhere/insurance companies now not covering a hysterectomy because your gender is “male”…to the after….quiet calm confidence.
If you experienced that moment when I go to get them in the waiting room and almost don’t recognize the person sitting there- but then I scrutinize their face and I think ‘there you are’. There they are. Smiling. Not depressed. No self harm. Not suicidal. Beautiful. If you saw what I see you would have no choice but to “get it”. Because when you bear witness to that over years- it’s impossible to see it with anything but sincere admiration for their strength, resilience, and perseverance in a world that often wants them to fail.
I often have trans clients relay to me stories of transphobia. I do not have one client who has never experienced transphobia. Not one. They all have been discriminated against at some point very openly- either spit at, cursed at, told to leave a restaurant, fired from jobs, and disowned by family.
Recently one client told me they were asked “Are you sure? That you’re trans?” My client laughed, and said, “If there’s one thing I’m sure about, it’s that.”
Note to reader: Don’t ask that question. It’s rude and invalidating. My client is good-natured and confident and was bothered by it but also recognized the source of the question and was not surprised by their ignorance. Don’t be that ignorant person.
There is a lot of press lately about transgender medical interventions and the validity of them. A lot of bills being introduced to limit and/or deny accessibility of HRT and surgical interventions for teenagers.
If you’ve seen what I’ve seen and the drastic changes they create in people and teenagers- you would never think to question the validity of interventions. You would only question the intelligence of the people questioning the validity.
In this case though I don’t think it’s a lack of intelligence in our lawmakers. I think it’s a lack of love, kindness, and overt transphobia and hate emboldened by an administration that is potentially the most toxic in our history toward minorities.
To all my genderqueer, gender non-conforming, transgender, non-binary people; I see you. There you are. You are beautiful. Your feelings are valid. Your journey is your truth. I’m sorry to my core that there are people in this country making you feel less than. You deserve better and you have allies.
This week I’ve been rundown. I’ve been feeling the stress at work. I’ve also been missing my Dad. I felt like I used to feel approaching the 6th every month since he died on April 6th. I kept thinking, it’s not the 6th, so why am I so raw? Oh right. My birthday.
My birthday serves as not just another first that I have to get through in the year after his death, but also a reminder that I lost my Dad before I even turned 35. I reached an age that my Dad would never see me in. The last time he saw me I was 34. For some reason this just seems monumental to me; to reach an age he won’t ever know me during.
My Dad was a goofy guy. Every year on my birthday he called me and sang Happy Birthday. My Dad had a horrendous singing voice. I mean super awful. It was better if I could pick up the phone and hear it live. Because if I let it go to voicemail he would sing Happy Birthday, loudly and off key, as per usual, then leave a long rambling message starting with “Hi! This your Father! Your Dad! Happy Happy Birthday…” and then would devolve into another song this was completely made up.
He would talk and sing until the voicemail cut him off usually.
As I said, it was better to pick up and get it live, so he would only do the one rendition.
This morning we all went to the playground. Then I went to hot yoga. On my way home I found myself crying. I forget what song came on in my car but it suddenly hit me that I wouldn’t be getting a phone call this year. No horrible rendition of Happy Birthday.
It’s these little things that we take for granted that I miss the most. Not everyone who knew us knew that was a birthday tradition. I never even thought of it as a tradition until it wasn’t going to happen this year.
I received many Happy Birthdays from my friends and family this year. But no call from my Dad.
Grief is a funny thing. Unpredictable. I never know what memory will trigger it. I knew my birthday would be hard. I didn’t know it would be hard because he wasn’t going to call and sing to me.
It seems like such a stupid thing to cry about. Such a small thing to miss. His singing voice was truly bad. But it wasn’t about the singing. It was about my dad making me a priority and having fun and doing something silly to make me smile.
By the afternoon I was feeling okay. By the evening when some friends came over and my Mom I was feeling more positive. I don’t mind turning thirty-five. Aside from the term “advanced maternal age” now applying to me there’s not anything scary to me about aging (I’m not having more kids I just find that label moderately horrifying if I were to have more kids).
We had a nice meal and gluten free cupcakes which were surprisingly delicious.
If my Dad were here he would have sang. He would have enjoyed the food and I would have not realized how precious every second with him was. Because it wasn’t until he was gone that I truly appreciated his Happy Birthday renditions which to me would be the sweetest sound I could of heard today.
It is with grief and also hope that I enter thirty-five. I grieve my dad. But I have hope that the grief will ease. Hanging out with my kids and my family and friends eases the grief and helps easing into a new chapter without my Dad more bearable.
I used the instant pot for this. You can use a slow cooker- likely low for 5-6 hours. Or in a dutch oven or stew pot on the stovetop. That will take probably a couple hours to get a good simmer going and for it to thicken.
This also meets Whole 30 criteria.
1 package beef stew meat
1 butternut squash (you can use sweet potato) peeled and diced
5-6 carrots peeled and diced
1 pear (I used a standard green peel fat pear, mildly ripe, still somewhat firm)
2 tbsp arrowroot powder (for thickening you don’t need this but without it will be thin broth)
4 cups broth- bone broth or chicken broth low sodium
1 tsp thyme
garlic 1 tsp minced
1 tsp oregano
if you have other veggies in your fridge that you want to use up feel free to add- kale or spinach would also be a good addition. The base recipe though is delicious on its own.
I put avocado oil in the instant pot and turned it on the “sauté” function on low. I added the meat. As I chopped the butternut squash and carrots and pear I added it all intermittently stirring.
I added a bit of broth to the pot while sautéing so it wouldn’t get too dry or stick to the bottom.
Then I added all the spices and the arrowroot powder. Stir it all together and make sure there are no arrowroot lumps…because that’s a thing that happens. If there are little white lumps in the stew at the end don’t freak out. It’s just arrowroot powder.
I did not peel the pear. You can if you don’t like peels.
After it was all in the pot, I added enough broth to cover it all and make it start to look like a soup. Then I put the lid on, turned the instant pot on low pressure setting and set for 8 minutes.
Mine was cooked through 8 minutes later. The carrots were a great consistency. I find that with pressure cookers you can overdo it and then it’s all just mush. I felt like with this setting and time it was all cooked perfectly- not mushy but cooked through.
I found the initial recipe in an Autoimmune Paleo cookbook. It didn’t have enough spices, and no onion- I didn’t use onion- but you definitely can and I probably will next time. I also felt like it could use some greens.
This stew was delicious as is though and easy with the instant pot.
The photo was right before the actual pressure cooking.
Sometimes when I write my patient notes I actually have to pause in between them. On busy days when I do three intakes I likely still have three intake notes to finish late at night after the boys go to bed and it’s just me and the laptop. Intakes can range from easy to me curled up in a ball on my bed watching The Office trying to forget the horror I heard today.
I remember working in the emergency department and documenting abuse cases. I tried to write as little as possible, as I didn’t want there to be any conflictual information between my notes and the MD’s notes. And good lord I didn’t want to be subpoena’d.
I’ve had my charts subpoena’d now. It happens eventually in healthcare. I’ve been called on the phone by judges who just found my chart in the middle of a trial who demand to speak with me about a patient I saw four years ago and asking about a note I wrote and did I think they would actually harm some one.
I’ve spoken to district attorneys and defense attorneys and divorce attorneys and DCF workers. Inpatient I spoke with the Secret Service, the Federal Marshal’s Office, the FBI, and several police departments.
Working outpatient mental health now I generally can avoid the Secret Service and the FBI so that’s a plus.
But sometimes the hardest cases and the toughest stories are the ones who never were reported to law enforcement. Because I know and they know that they suffered and that no one stepped up and protected them. No one made the call for them.
Now here they are all those years later telling me their story. All I can do is listen, document it, and support them now in that moment. I’ve learned a hollow “I’m sorry” doesn’t cut it. They’ve heard that before.
My general response is a poker expression, so they keep talking, and/or if they are looking for some verbal confirmation that I’m listening, “That’s fucked up.” or “That’s horrible.” I’m sorry isn’t enough. But when you acknowledge that it was fucked up with a straight face that looks like maybe you would fuck a person up for this client for what they’ve been through. That had I been there all those years ago I would have called the police for you or DCF or both…that’s when they make eye contact and really see you.
They can really see that your heart breaks for them.
I always see articles about nursing being the most trusted profession. Then commentary on why it’s nurses and not MDs. I’m always thinking why would it be MDs? Why not nurses? Do people even know what nurses do every day?
I’ve had a long week. Hard week. I’m also approaching my first birthday without my Dad. That’s been weighing on me in the background.
But this week in between being yelled at, threatened, etc. by patients and former patients, I’ve had parents call and tell me “They wanted to fire you and I told them oh hell no because she’s the only one who gives a shit about you and your medications. She’s the only one that’s done a damn thing for you. So she was what? Brutally brutally honest with you?! Good. You freaking deserve to hear the truth and she’s too real to not tell it you. They are coming back to see you. Because I don’t trust any one else to see them.”
Some times I need to hear that.
There’s a Frasier episode when he starts private practice. His first day of course is a disaster. He starts by trying to welcome’s each client. By the end he says just come in a sit down. That’s how I felt by 3 PM Friday. Just get in here and sit down and let’s get through this.
But you can’t do that. I can’t do that. I had to be there. Present and accounted for. I did a lot of intakes this week. I kept thinking about how to welcome them into my practice. I find though that I’m an acquired taste.
I had a few clients disagree with me this week. What’s great is that they keep coming back. I teach through modeling that it’s okay to disagree. That I disagree without judging their opinion. That we can disagree about certain aspects to their diagnosis or treatment and still work together often by reaching a compromise and often by me working hard to understand and validate their point of view.
Psychiatry is hard. Nursing is hard. Because at the end of a week like this week I don’t want to spend time with my kids. I don’t want to be a wife. I want to curl up and watch The Office. Space out. Forget and not feel. But if I do that. If I numb out I don’t feel my heart aching for some of my clients. That would defeat the reason I became a nurse.
Instead of numbing out with tv or alcohol or anything else. I am writing my notes. Charting. In between my notes I’m writing this blog post. To feel. To process. To know it’s okay for my eyes to well up when I think of the experiences some people have lived through. It’s okay for me to feel something for my work for my people. Because if I didn’t feel that. If I lost my empathy then I’d be useless at my job.
That’s why nursing is the most trusted profession. We allow ourselves to be vulnerable with patients. We feel their pain we work ourselves to exhaustion trying to help people. It’s also why we have incredibly high burnout rates but…that’s a different blogpost.
Tonight my heart aches for people who were never helped by anyone but themselves.
Tonight my cheeks may be wet with tears as I chart notes from this week.
Yes tonight my heart breaks with the pain that I bear witness to each day in my office.
I don’t regret my job I don’t even hate it. I love it. Which I suppose makes me a bit of a masochist. But all the notes don’t make me cry. Just a few. There are many more that report “significant improvement in symptoms” and a call from a parent who had to tell me they would never trust anyone else with their child.
I adapted this from a Martha Stewart recipe for chocolate chip cookies. The original recipe is obviously not gluten free and the result is very cake-y cookies. I like them thick though. My issue with the toll house recipe is sometimes they sink in on themselves. That irritates me.
For those people who like to mess around with perfection…yes you can use any flour combination you want. If you’ve read my other recipes though you know that I used to work in a bakery, therefore I am a snob about baked goods, and have tinkered with various recipes for over five years. This one included. Trust me when I say this is as close to a non-gluten free chocolate chip cookie that you are going to get.
They freeze well and the batter tastes like actual cookie dough with no horrible grainy texture and no weird aftertaste (You will get that with buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, and coconut flour. Even a tiny amount). These are not healthy cookies. Gluten free does not equal healthy.
If you are vegan- use a dairy free butter but they still have eggs in them. You can use substitutes for the eggs to make them vegan. They are going to taste funny though-I’ve tried using butter and egg substitutes. It’s okay; not great; just okay.
2 sticks unsalted butter (1/2 cup) (room temp)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs (room temp is best)
1.5 tsp vailla extract
3 cups Flour
1 cup (plus extra) oat flour
1 cup white rice superfine flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1/4-1/2 cup arrowroot flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 12 oz bag chocolate chips
optional- FINELY chopped walnuts or pecans roughly 1/2 cup chopped
Cream the butter in a mixer. This is an important step for cookies. Don’t skip it. Once the butter is light and fluffy then add the sugar. Then add the vanilla and eggs. Mix well.
Then add the rest of the ingredients (not the chocolate chips). This part is important. You want the consistency to be thick. Thicker than normal gluten filled cookies. You can add oats and cinnamon in place of some of the flour if you want oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
I’ve done this recipe several times. Maybe a hundred over the years. I’ve never used the same amount of flours. It’s always a bit of an eyeball situation. After I add the 3.5 cups of the listed ingredients I then slowly add either more of the oat or more of the white rice flour bit by bit until it gets to the desired thickness.
When you’re adding the chocolate chips the batter should be hard to stir. The mixer should not be able to do it. You will have to do it by hand.
I also chill the dough. Only for about 10-15 minutes, but long enough to let it rest.
You can make it without the baking powder. The cookies will be flat. Still good. But flat. Trust me.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. My kids and three of their friends devoured these tonight. Four year olds are a tough audience. They had no idea they were gluten free.
This week has been rough. Clients/family/adulting (in the form of medical bills, taxes as a business owner etc.)…tough…along with restarting intermittent fasting hardcore. Which makes me rather cranky. In the midst of hell week…a call from my wife’s family.
My wife’s company gave out Fitbits in order to track our steps and exercise patterns. They will put extra money into our HSA if we hit certain goals. So yeah. If you’re familiar with fitbit you know that they apparently vibrate when you haven’t moved in awhile?! Now not only am I making dietary changes like intermittent fasting and paleo based diet but I have a watch that vibrates to tell me that I am sedentary. Awesome.
It’s generally guaranteed to start vibrating during that intense moment with a client when they are revealing something super personal and vrrrmmm vrrrrmmm vrrrrmmm “you haven’t moved in awhile!” And I’m thinking this damn watch has to go.
I work as a nurse practitioner with 30 minute appointments for medication management follow-ups, 60 minutes for therapy, and yeah I’m booked through February so there’s a lot of back to back appointments with me only moving to walk some one out and the next one in.
But thanks for the reminder that I haven’t moved.
I have bumped up hot yoga to 3 nights a week again. Which makes me feel less bad when that damn thing vibrates.
This week also started every morning with my sons as a shit-show. Yesterday Jackson slammed Declan’s fingers in the bathroom door- it was an accident- but no less horrible. Screaming. Bleeding. Swelling. Meanwhile in my head I’m like, ‘I need to make my smoothie and we have to leave in twenty minutes!’ We had to call my wife, and my Mom via FaceTime to tell all his people his sad story and show them his swollen bleeding fingers.
He recovered and I got to make my smoothie.
Friday morning was show-and-tell. Me- “Don’t bring that it will break!” Him “I’m bringing it, it won’t break Mama I promise!” Him at 6:30 tonight when I come home, “Mama! My puppy broke!!!” Me- “———” Me in my head “Mother&$^#&@*$&*@$*###&&$$*#(@&&”
Let me add a little lesbian content (That’s a Hannah Gadsby reference if you still haven’t watched Nanette stop reading and go watch it, we can’t be friends until you do) my wife’s family disowned her 13 years ago now.
Then in this lesbian mom’s group I’m in some one asked how to cope with watching your partner deal with being disowned by her family. Too many responses. Too many of us have experience with this. My response was there’s nothing you can do. Keep your opinions to yourself. I didn’t share my opinions until we had kids. Then it was, they are either in or out. None of this pussyfooting bullshit. I don’t walk a line. I pick a side.
They didn’t impact me emotionally. But they weren’t going to be in and out or set up false expectations to our children. My boys either have a second set of grandparents or they don’t. Her parents have consistently chosen the side of intolerance and hate under the guise of religion.
What irks me, yes irks, is their consistent statements that they are “praying for us” to be brought over to “God’s plan”. Because I’m always thinking, “What if you’re wrong and THIS, this amazing life we have, is God’s plan?!”
I could go on. And on. But I won’t. Well maybe a little because yes that was said this week. The we are praying for you line. It’s also rather mean-spirited because if their prayers were truly answered our family would be split up. If we “followed God’s path or plan or whatever” we would both be heterosexual, divorce, and preach against gay marriage. That seems counterproductive and insulting. To everything that we are.
Suffice it to say, love your kids. Unconditionally. Even if they bring the stupid overpriced breakable puppy, that they painted in a stupid overpriced paint your own pottery shop, to daycare for show-and-tell when you explicitly warned them not to do it.
I glued the stupid puppy back together. I’ve had to chip off certain pieces with the biggest knife in our house (because the little knives didn’t work and weren’t sharp enough), glued my fingers to the stupid puppy (it’s gorilla glue, and trying to make nice seams)…but I still love those kids.
I’m also approaching my first birthday without my Dad. Yeah, I would never waste one second with my kids. I want to be in their lives until they tell me to go away, and even then I’ll come back.
We have our challenges. We butt heads. But their sexual orientation and gender identity wouldn’t make me turn them away, it would make me love them harder/stronger/more protective. Instead of kicking them out why would I not feel the need to protect them more?!
I will never understand my wife’s family’s decision. To cut her off and throw her out. To then continue homophobic views after she’s a Mommy and after we have two beautiful sons. I continue to pity them and the live’s they miss out on and I also continue to pray for them to see the light and love and acceptance of a God so different from their own.
I have no regrets in my relationship with my Dad. My only regret is not having more time with him. I knew with his last breath that he loved my sister and I. I knew we were his life. I knew that because he waited to die until she left and I was in the other room. He even tried to greet me and my sons with a smile the day he died.
I hope I have many years until my own death, but when it comes I will meet it with no regrets in my relationship with my sons. Because I choose love. I choose tolerance. I choose to accept rather than cast aside. I choose to learn from my parents and my wife’s parents. My parents accepted and loved.
I choose to pass on the legacy of love. Nothing less.
So I fixed the puppy.
Followed by a discussion about them listening to me when I veto a show-and-tell decision.