Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I. WANT. MY. MOM!!!!

Last night I came upon an article with photographs of mothers helping their daughters give birth. These mothers….soon to be grandmothers... were not usurping the important role of husbands/partners.They were simply adding an element of support that can only come from a loving mother….especially one who has lived through the seemingly physically impossible task of pushing an 8 lb baby (or in my case…a 9.5 lb baby…thanks Matt) out of a small orifice.

I shared the article with Emily….who also thought it was touching. "You will be there, lol" she texted. And, indeed, I will if she wants me there even though it will be hard to watch her in pain. Let there be no mistake about it, labor and delivery is almost always long….hard…and involves pain. But I will be there.

The pictures...and our conversation...took me on a little trip down memory lane to a day about or so 18 years ago. It was spring and all three kids were at school. I was at work when I got a call from the school. Emily was hurt. She fell and cut her forehead. You could see the bone and they could not get the bleeding to stop. Did I want them to call an ambulance? Well….yes….and please don’t dilly dally!!

During an outdoor gym class, she tripped and hit her head on the sharp edge of a metal picnic table bench. It nicked a small artery in her temple so there was a lot of blood. The gym teacher…a young guy…have no idea what his name was….picked her up and ran inside with her...as she bled all over his leather jacket. He was so rattled he left the entire class of kindergarteners outside alone…..but not for long because they all followed after him.

The nurse tried to get the bleeding to stop but couldn't…and so they called me. An ambulance was summoned. Her sweet, kind, caring kindergarten teacher….Mrs. Cobb….went with her.

The hospital was 45 minutes from where I worked. It was a long 45 minutes with lots of traffic. I got there first….her dad arrived shortly afterwards. She was not as seriously injured as it had, at first, appeared. The cut only required 7 stitches (not the 14 stitches the paramedic estimated predicted) and she was the epitome of brave ….holding very still, without having to be strapped, motionless, on that dreadful thing they called a papoose board.

"Can we just give it a try?" I asked….without the board. They were skeptical but agreed to give it a try. We told her how very important it was that she didn't move AT ALL. No small feat for Emily...but she didn't. Wincing a little bit as the doctor stitched, she remained motionless….clutching my hand. No papoose board needed.

This re-memory is perfect for a mother's day post. (Yes, I’m aware this is three days late for a Mother’s DAY post...but ‘tis the season, still) Let me tell you why. Emily's sister, Beth, who was also a student at that same elementary school, was in art class at the time of the accident. And she heard her sister's screams as the gym teacher carried her at breakneck speed down the hall to the nurse's office. Emily was screaming over and over again…."I. WANT. MY. MOM…..!"

And most of us want our mom. When we are injured...or giving birth….when we’ve been jilted, cheated on, slighted. When we are nervous, defeated, sick....Moms make it better somehow.  

“A mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled.” - Emily Dickinson

“The best place to cry is on a mother's arms.” ― Jodi Picoult, House Rules

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Bathroom Privileges....for everyone.....

If not for privilege, we would not be discussing the bathroom thing….
In many countries around the world, the biggest bathroom issue is just finding someplace safe to go…. behind the nearest bush….or a pit dug in the ground. Even in countries that have indoor facilities, the conditions are far from sanitary or safe.  

Here’s a bathroom in Africa….

And another one in China.

If you want to be truly thankful for the bathrooms you have access to at home and in public places like, oh say, Target….google it. No, really….google it. Image search…..and just take a good look at some of the pictures. Since we live in a privileged, spoiled country like America, we can spend hours….and days...and resources squabbling about bathroom rules and who should and should not have access….and how our sincerely held beliefs are being eroded.

So the American Family Association’s latest boycott is Target. 700,000 people have signed the petition to boycott Target. Target is the bad guy because they think this bathroom of your birth gender rule is ridiculous and they said so. At Target, you can use the bathroom of the gender you associate with. They said it loud and clear….and it’s really not a policy change. What do you think trans men and women have been doing all along? They’ve been using the ladies room if they identify as a women….and the men’s room if they identify as a guy. They are doing it at Walmart, at the mall, at the movies, at your favorite restaurant and maybe even at your place of employment. Target just verbalized it. They are standing up for their sincerely held beliefs….but somehow that is not okay with the 700,000 people who’ve signed the petition.

I want you to google something else. Here….I’ll do it for you. Just click the link.

Trans Women - Guys, would you feel comfortable in the men’s room with one of these women. I read a quote somewhere from a trans women who said, "People like me die in ladies rooms."  

Trans men - Ladies, would you feel comfortable in the ladies room with one of these guys? How would you explain this to your daughter...that these people who so clearly look like men are really women?

Can’t we just let it alone? It’s been going on for years. There have been trans people for years and years and believe me, they’ve been peeing in the stall next to you all this time.
And anyone who is going to pose as a women so he can get a peek or a feel is not going to be deterred by an open door next to a sign that says “Ladies Room.”

Even though I strongly suspect many of the folks who signed the boycott Target petition really just want trans people to go away but they're not going to. They just aren't. They have to pee somewhere...really they do. I know Ted Cruz offered his oh so practical solution. That they need to use their own bathrooms at home. As if....

Some well known Christians like John Pavlovitz and Rachel Held Evans and probably many others have...or will have...reasonable responses.