Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Equality for all.

Equality. Say it out loud. Seriously, don't just read it in your head. Say it out loud. Let it roll off your tongue slowly, almost sensuously. Equality.

It's an intoxicating notion, to be sure. The idea that we're all given the respect and the rights we deserve. A Utopian society where every citizen is granted the same base human rights as their neighbor. It's intoxicating, and completely and utterly fantastic. But right now, it's just that- a fantasy.

We have the power to change that, though.

This struggle is about more than just marriage rights for LGBQT individuals. It goes beyond me wanting to be able to marry the woman of my dreams. It goes beyond watching my best friend, who came out at the tender age of 11, be able to be with his partner and be granted every right his straight friends and family have. It goes beyond my aunt having been able to make inclusive retirement and life plan with her then-partner of decades.

It boils down to the ineffable right that every citizen should have to be happy, to be free to plan comfortably for the future, to be able to love whom they choose and create the family they so deeply desire.

Gay marriage will not rend the pillars of society asunder; quite the contrary, it will reinforce them and build them up. We as a people became stronger when we abolished slavery. We as a people became stronger when we abolished segregation. We the people became stronger when we encouraged both a woman and a black man to run for president. We the people became stronger when we abolished the don't ask, don't tell policy in our armed forces.

We the people will become stronger when we grant the LGBQT community the same rights that their heterosexual loved ones have, because we will be empowering our citizens. Our government will be saying "Here, have this. Live this. Live your lives the way you please, which is the philosophy our country was founded on."

By "radically" changing the definitions of a legal family, we will be simply returning to our basic roots as a people.

We need this advancement. It's just the reform that our country needs. A reminder that the roots we come from are the ever-lasting search for the ability to reach for the stars, or in some cases, the bouquets.

The kids ride!

EDIT: I AM AN IDIOT. It's Ella's spring break, and I got my days all confused. I guess I'm on Australia time?

I missed wordless Wednesday because I was all wordy with the epilepsy post. So, I'm going to do a things-that-are-awesome Thursday!

My dear friend Maggie invited us out for some much needed catching up and pony time. While all I did was love on the horse(s), the kids got to ride! Ella got a lesson (more are coming in the near future,) and Riley was ponied around, without a spotter and he was a CHAMP!

Check out our pictures!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

In honor of Global Epilepsy Awareness Day

Living with epilepsy, a mother's view.

Epilepsy is:

  • Hesitating to let your child go out to play, for fear of a head injury either causing or sustained by a seizure.
  • Waking up in the middle of the night to check on your child, multiple times a night, because her seizures often occur when she's asleep.
  • Always having an inkling of fear when she's at school, wondering if the teachers and nurses would actually do the correct thing in the event of a seizure, or if they'd end up injuring her instead.
  • Having to say "No" to sleepovers, including summer camp and birthdays of friends due to needing to send meds, and fear of embarrassment on her part because during seizures she wets the bed. 
  • Having to say "No" to sleepovers hosted here, due to fear of embarrassment on her part because during seizures she wets the bed.
  • Monitoring every single thing eaten, because certain ingredients are typically seizure triggers. Aspartame and Splenda specifically.
  • Disgusting-tasting meds that make her gag, twice a day, every day. 
  • Not KNOWING all of your child's seizure triggers, making things like long car rides akin to rolling dice.
  • Watching your child be confused and frightened after a seizure, sometimes for hours, sometimes for more than a day.
  • Knowing every day that that is the day your child could die, because every seizure has the potential to be fatal.
Epilepsy is not:
  • Your child being possessed.
  • Your child acting out or misbehaving. 
  • A failure on your part.
  • Something you can prevent.
  • Something you can protect against.
  • Something you, or anyone else, can cure.

THAT is Epilepsy.

Monday, March 18, 2013

We are all victims of Steubenville.

There have been many things floating through my mind since the first images and videos of the Steubenville rape emerged.

My loathing of the misogyny of asserting that we're all someone's sister or daughter, that we're just related to men and that's why it's wrong. My anger at the rape culture and rape apology. The shameful, disgraceful attitude of "woe is them" around the world towards these boys that committed the rape.

I want to discuss another aspect of it, though.  I want to tell the world that all women are victims of the Steubenville rape.

RAINN reports that every two minutes in the United States, a sexual assault occurs. I am a double survivor of those assaults.

When I was not much younger than the girl who has survived the Steubenville event, I was date raped. Too afraid to tell anyone, I suffered in silence for a decade. I survived a violent sexual assault that ten years later, and that's when I admitted everything. No longer could I keep silent.

Because of the apologist and accepting attitude of our communities, every woman is potentially forced to endure their torment in silence.

Because of the apologist and accepting attitude of our communities, every woman is a sympathetic survivor of that rape, because it could have been or will be her at any time, on any day.

"Slut" shaming is not an excuse.

Getting drunk is not an excuse.

Wearing a short skirt or a low cut shirt is not an excuse.

There IS NO excuse.

So why is the collective we still commenting on how brave those boys must be for enduring the fact that they'll be labeled sexual offenders for the rest of their lives? The collective we would not be so forgiving if they had assaulted an eight year old. So what if she was 16? She's still a child. Granted, they were children themselves, but THAT DOES NOT MAKE THIS OKAY.

I hope when you look in the mirror, look at your best friend, at your sister, your daughter, your partner, your boss, your co-worker, I hope you remember that we are all victims too, and I hope you do your part to change the culture that makes it all okay.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Writing runs in the family!

I've recently taken a real-life job as an editor for a small publishing house, but it's kept me pretty 24/7 busy. Kinder Major asked if I would do an edit for her if she wrote a story. Just for her.

Not gonna lie, ya'll. I have tears of pride. I added punctuation, paragraph breaks, and a few caps. The rest is allll my baby.

Lonely kidnap

One late spring day in butterfly woods, there were some apartments. One of the apartments was very special because two kids named jack and Annie were very nice to all the people. That’s what made the two kids great. One day in march they went to the store to buy some stuff for Easter, and on their way to the store- boom- they were kidnapped by a criminal.

The criminal thought that if he took the kids he could get the thing he really wants. He cant get it because it is surrounded by lasers so he thought the kids could do their puppy eyes on the owner of the thing, so he forced Jack and Annie to do the puppy eyes on the owner. The puppy eyes did not work, so he tried jumping over the lasers but when he tried that it did not work because he was caught so he had to go to jail for 20 years.

Jack and Annie told the police that they were forced to do their puppy eyes on the owner of the great thing, so Jack and Annie and their family did not get in trouble with the police because they told the truth. They had the best rest of their lives together.

The lesson for kids and adults is that if you tell the truth you will not get in trouble. So has that ever happened to you? If it has not, just go with your kids everywhere they go until they are 17, because it might happen some day, so be careful ok? This story was made by Ella Jane. By the way, Ella Jane is 8 years old.