It Rained Upon a New Fedora

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“You’re so hipster.”

If you are a mother who prides herself on being countercultural, this statement stings a little. I proceeded to shoot my husband the look.

“Well, you are wearing a fedora.”

Truth. Earlier that day, I had purchased my very first non-winter – dare I say fashionable – hat. It seemed like the perfect item to hide my exhaustion long enough to survive an evening of carnival fun in my hometown.

Only I didn’t plan for the rain.

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A Body, Divided

 

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The first time I met a transgender person, I wanted to take her home. I wanted to teach her how to walk in high-heeled boots, and I wanted to tell her that young women do not wear tank tops in Virginia winter.

I don’t remember this classmate’s name, but I do recall how others looked at her. I can only imagine how often she wished she were invisible. And yet, she persisted – with her hormone drugs, with her disheveled attempt at feminine beauty, and with her confidence.

In many ways, I envied the guts it took to live her life. But I always wondered, where was her safe place?

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What Scares Me about Trump

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Election year is upon us, and every day there is a new reason to loathe politics. In my own mind, I can’t quite wrap my head around a Trump candidacy or, worse, a Trump presidency.

Over and over, I wrestle with the thought of my children’s future being steered, at least for the next four years, by Donald Trump. In truth, I don’t personally know the man, and, sadly, just like the rest of us, I am largely informed by media agendas.

This week I saw that Trump has released a partial list of the foreign policy advisors that will guide him if he is elected. Who is on this list? I would argue that it doesn’t really matter. The individuals who are passionately following Trump and pledging their dogmatic allegiance do not need to know his list (or any tangible details) because, quite frankly, it will not impact their vote.

Should it?

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The Eyes of March

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When you return from a long road trip with two young children, the last thing you want to discover is that your oldest has pink eye. Inevitably, somewhere between “kissing baby” and the poke-sister-in-the-eye trick, you will lose your mind in trying to confine the infection to just one child. Tears will be shed, sleep will be lost, and you will offer a prayer of thanksgiving for antibiotics.

And, if you are very lucky, you will regain your sanity just in time for your youngest to start rubbing her eyes.

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Paradise Lost

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Chipotle is where modern parenting goes to die a deliciously painful death.

Four hours into a 10-hour car ride with our toddler and infant, we stopped for dinner – in hopes that somehow, some way a full belly would translate into sanity. I am convinced that Chipotle preys upon our demographic:

Do you want to eat “healthy”? Absolutely.

Do you want to eat around others who value their own health and, well, social snobbery? Yes, I guess.

Do you want to fight with another equally exhausted mother over a high chair? Okay, I see where this is going…

All of the inconveniences, of course, are forgiven (or at least forgotten) until your child has a messy diaper and you remember that there are no changing tables.

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The Kind of Hope That Floats

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It is a myth that parents enjoy every single moment that they are afforded with their children. Personally, my breaking point each day is bath time.

Piles of stories have been read.                                                                                                             Balanced meals have been eaten and, mostly, not thrown at Mom.                                               And, somehow, I have been able to hold it together.

Just when I feel like a victor, my husband runs the bathwater.

Do you hear that?

Yes, it is my soul…crying from fatigue.

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A Glowing Reminder

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You are never too old to wear glow sticks.

It is 10 p.m. on a Saturday night, and I am celebrating a friend’s birthday at the local bowling alley. I suppose this is what you do when you are 30 – you chuckle in the bathroom mirror at yourself for wearing a neon pink bracelet to feel young. The fact that I will be out until 11 suggests that it may be working…

Suddenly, my thoughts are interrupted by an infant’s incessant tears.  The heightened anxiety behind the wailing is only countered with the wrath of the mother in the last stall attempting to change her distressed offspring’s diaper. She rebukes her child loudly and without forgiveness.

I am at a loss for words and, without realizing it, my hands drip dry. The beratement ends. Mercy.

I offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the dreams of two children sleeping sweetly at home.

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Bad Cop

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The longer I teach, the less I enjoy wearing the badge – the bad cop badge, that is.

For whatever reason, I was more willing to embrace this role as a younger teacher. I stood firm. I got results. Eventually, student hatred gave way to respect.

Perhaps it is the parent in me that is tired.

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