OK. So, the summer has sucked. Try as I might, there are still days where the sadness is like a stink that swirls around my head, clouding my vision and robbing me of the ability to smile and enjoy my life. In the past the summers and their weekends were swallowed up by weddings, weddings and more weddings. Each year was spent watching the various summer fairs, movies in the park and general frolicking pass us by and I was working each and every weekend. So each summer has always ended with me feeling like half the Mother I should be because they miss out on so much because I'm at work.
*THIS* summer was going to be different. I was going to make it to alllll those summer playdates and playgroups, I was going to return to the time when our social calander was so busy we were having two or three playdates a day. We *were* going to make it to Oaks Park, The State Fair and The St. Paul Rodeo. We *were* going to read all the stories from Story Book Lane at The Enchanted Forest...... However, instead of the kids were lost not on an abyss of fun and laughter, but rather in a sea of tears and confusion. I, for the most part, was just...... lost.
There was getting the divorce, then cleaning, packing and prepping the house. HUGE amounts of work where the children were in the trusted hands of The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. (Honestly, however said that TV can't be a totally appropriate babysitter is a lying b*tch and I thank her for taking her judgement and perfect life elsewhere... lololol). NOT my proudest moment, but really there isn't anyone else (family and friends) who can sift through all our stuff and pack and donate and garage sale the contents of our home.
Then, in mid-July I thought I was done and that summer in all its warm, orange-glowy-yumminess was finally upon us.... and then The Sign happened. I really do feel like I lived 7 years in that five week period.... not in a bad way perse' - it was crazy and certainly a new adventure, but time consuming to say that least. Only, at least this time The Bubbie was at the helm of child care keeping the The Boy busy handwritting and reading and The Girl busy with shapes, colors, number and letters. Thank G*d for The Bubbie.
So *this week* I've been determined to *DO* things. The kids have been seeing El Capitan once a week for a few hours.... working for a Big Box Retailer, he say's he can't see them anymore than that. So this morning they were meeting him for breakfast and then I thought I would take them to do something fun. The Boy wanted to go to the park and The Girl wanted to go to the movies.
The park was easy..... the movies, however, posed a challenge as it seemed Madagascar 3 was no longer in theaters, there was some weird looking baloon movie? And then.... ParaNorman. The Boy, being OB.SESSED with allllllll things Halloween, it seemed ParaNorman was our best bet.
Little did I know.... the ugliest, scariest thing my kids would "see" would be a gay joke. No... really.
The movie opens on a quirky little boy who is talking to his Grandma in the living room. He goes to the kitchen where a gruff Dad figure is installing a light bulb, the obnoxious teenage sister on her cell phone and the mousy Mom is doing everyones bidding. Norman speaks up and say's, "Grandma wants to now if you can turn up the heat, she says her feet are cold."
This prompted said gruff Dad figure to launch off at Norman for being weird and claiming to see ghosts and the Mom is quick to defend him saying that it's how Norman is dealing with the death of the Grandmother.
Then the Dad launched off at the Mom saying....."... it has to stop - I'm tired of this LIMP-WRISTED, left-wing, hippie.... " blah blah blah.
What.... WHAT THE F*CK?
Limp-wristed!?!?!?! That's a homosexual slur. Used... in the olden days while we were still burning witches at the stake, to refer to gay men who were somewhat flamboyant. He may as well have called Norman a fag and been done with it.
This was a KIDS movie. *A KIDS MOVIE*.
Aside from the fact that it is TOTALLY IN.NAPPROPRIATE to even make *any* kind of gay slur PERIOD. It is most especially disgusting when you're sitting next to your kids in a theater for a rated PG movie. I was *fully* expecting to see a movie about a kid who talks to ghosts and gets bullied and triumphs when he saves the town from the witches curse. NOT some kind of ill-tempered Archie Bunker type.... (which - for the record, is *not* how all "conservative" or "old school" Dads still talk) who bullies his own kid.
Now, let me be clear.... my *favorite* comic is Lisa Lampaneli. She makes the *best* "gay" and ethnic jokes on the planet.... and in the *right* place and time - JOKES ARE FUNNY - even if they are innappropriate and rude and somewhat offensive... honestly - I think the more offensive the better - but that's just me.
However - JOKES are made to be funny. To poke fun at ourselves, to poke fun at life and all it's problems... to exaggerate stereo-types for the purpose of getting a laugh. JOKES are fine, even if they are borderline, over-the-top offensive ... but ofcourse, The Bubbie raised me watching Andrew Dice Clay, so what do you expect?
Norman's Dad, however, was *not* making a joke. He was USING an offensive reference to insinuate that the parenting of his son was "not strong enough" and that the by product of that was that he was.... a fag? There were a thousand different ways to make the suggestion that Norman's mother
Honestly, I would have preffered that. Just called a spade a spade... why beat around the bush?
Now.... the rest of the movie shows us Norman being bullied RE.LENTLESSY for being "different", for talking to dead people and ... for walking to the beat of his own drummer. HOW MANY KIDS go through that everyday just for being different in any way? And - HOW MANY of those kids are .... "limp-wristed"?
I'm sorry, but I expect *more* from Hollywood. I certainly expect *more* from movies I show to my children other than to make suggestive comments like that. NOT OKAY.
I fully understand that the world is a big place. Some people like blacks, some people still run around in pointed hats like effing morons.... some people like "gays"... and some people still believe that AIDS came from a man having sex with a monkey (remember *that* one in the 80s?) and that's it's sole purpose is to wipe out gays from the planet..... shame though - because it's mistakenly taking millions of other innocent "non-gays" with it.
At the risk of losing a few readers..... I feel compelled to make this point: not only am I *ok* with either of my children growing up "limp-wristed" - I'm also 100000000000000% percent sure it'll have NOTHING to do my parenting style.
By the same token that I believe my liberal use of "time-outs" in place of the spanking isn't going to make my son grow up to be a black man (and G*d forbid that because we all know they're good for little more than stepping and fetching my laundry and cooking my rice Uncle Ben style - certainly, it's not *they* get to be President or anything... right? - please tell you get the sarcasm here??!?!) - I'm also realy sure that my super adherance to the use of full back booster seats at the age of 7, my insistance on full pads being used during skateboarding and my desire to snuggle him every second of his life.... isn't going to make him grow up for a fondness of other boys.
However, in an effort to ensure my comical and sarcastic approach to this topic isn't lost on anyone ..... not only am I TOTALLY *OK* with either of my children growing up to enjoy a same-sex lifestyle.... *if* by chance The Boy wants to be a drag queen... I can *assure* you he'll have only the *finest* of top-drawer size 13 heels and pageant style dresses. He'll be raised to appreciate MAC make-up and learn to apply is *properly* so he can be the prettiet he can be.
If The Girl grows up to like the ladies.... then by golly - she's going to like the ladies and do it in style.
I only want my children to grow up to the *THE BEST* PEOPLE they can be. The BEST versions of themselves that they are already destined to be. I am of the humble belief that people are born to be WHO THEY ARE.... and in the words of Lady Gaga - they are either "born that way" or they're not......
The use of the term "limp-wristed" in a KIDS MOVIE is..... saddening. Are we NOT past this yet people? We're soooo focused on bullies in schools - but it seems like we're not addressing that BULLYING STARTS AT HOME. That needs to stop.
I put faaaar more effort into trying to raise my children to be kind and empathetic and compassionate.
When The Boy was in 4s preschool, half-way through the year he ended up going to a new school. About week four the teachers came up to me at the end of the day to tell me that thought The Boy was... unique.
They explained that there was a little girl in class, who had been with these same kids for 3's and 4's class and that she had serious epilepsy which left her with speech and learning disabilities as well as ticks and verbal cues that some of the kids didn't like. Over the two years, most of the class didn't ask her to play, didn't invite her to join their games. Then The Boy showed up.
Everyday before preschool I would said, "What do we say about friends?". The Boy would reply, "Caring and sharing is more fun for everyone." Then I would ask, "and... what's your job?" The Boy would reply, "To make sure everyone get's a turn and invite everyone to play the game."
So, in the new school, The Boy sought out the "weakest" social link and kept inviting this little girl to play, kept taking her by the hand and walking her over to the kitchen area to play house, etc.
The teachers told me that he had a level and understanding of compassion that they had *never* seen in the 20 plus years of teaching. That The Boy had taken a kid that a lot of the other kids had kind of given up on... and turned her into everyone's friend again. (Have I told you this story before.... I appologize if I have).
Yup.... THAT'S my boy.
Everyday I would see The Boy and this little girl running out of class at the end of the day holding hands - and one day the little girl's Mom came up to me. She was a little teary eyed and told me how grateful she was that The Boy had joined class because it has sparked the little girls growth- socially and emotionally. She was no longer sitting alone during 'recess' time, but was running and playing with the kids and she was *sure* that this was down to The Boy always inviting her to join them because The Boy having an interest in this little girl made all the other kids take a new interest in her as well.
I was both completely proud and ..... very sad. Shouldn't *all* kids be doing this?
I've certainly fallen off the 'good mother bandwagon' as of late..... BUT - it occurs to me that, our political differences aside, as parents we *have* to teach our children more than tolerance. TOLERANCE is not enough. Tolerance is the basic thing we owe each other as humans on the same planet.
We need to be teaching our children ACCEPTANCE. We are only truly *equal* when we accept each other. Period. End of Story. There are *lots* of things in this life that I have to learn to accept... for instance, let me assure you that I have a sh*t load easier of a time accepting the lesbian couple who live on my street than I do that fact that Yoga Girl made out with El Capitan in my car parked behind work.
I don't expect everyone to agree with my view on same-sex lifestyles, or my personal acceptance of it, but we have to get to a place where we all try.... I mean - look - a black man became The President. It wasn't that long ago that people thought he wouldn't have been fit to *vote*, let alone read, write or had the ability to use logical thought. Now, an African-American man runs the entire free world. Who'da thunk it?
That's what I have to do now... try to teach The Boy and The Girl to accept - on whatever level they can - what El Capitan has done. They have to find a way to love him inspite of his recent short comings and... in years to come, forge a new relationship with him where they can move past the wrongs that have been done. *I* only have to find a way to suffer through it and accept he is still their father - I don't have to like it and as I sure as sh*t will never approve of it.... I only have to be tolerant of him, but I have to teach my children to accept him. See the difference? :)
Several different situations.... but acceptance is the key to success in each one.
Refering to little cartoon boys that talk to ghosts in any-way-shape-or-form as being the product of "limp-wristed" parenting .... well - that's not acceptable. Not with with Mommy anyway. Life is full people and sometimes we don't like them and sometimes we don't like their choices but..... but have to be tolerant and we have to teach acceptance even when we don't like it. I don't like it.... and I'll be honest that I'm kind of faking it right now where El Capitan is concerned.
But, the goal is TWO WHOLE children from one broken home... even if that means they both grow up wearing high heels, too much rouge and share their favorite lipstick, or they both grow up riding Harley's and perfecting their mustache's..... so long as they grow up to life, laugh, love, to be kind, compassionate and caring.... the only thing that will ever dissapoint me if they grow up to be cheaters. THAT I refuse to accept or tolerate.