On mothers, being and having

I'm thirty three years old and I've had a mother all of that time.

Triumphant, yes?

I love my mother. She has waded with me through waters that could have killed a boar. She's outlasted every friend I've ever had and hasn't blinked. I know I disappoint her. I know she wishes that instead of beer, liberalism, gay rights and swears I would devote my time to Jesus, Beth Moore, Billy Graham and being a Proverbs 31 woman.

But it's not me.

She knows that and she loves me anyway. Because that's what a mother does, dammit. She loves. There are lots of ways and reasons for giving up on anything and anyone – but she hasn't. She hasn't and she won't.

 

So all of this to say I lucked out in the mother load.

 

Now I am a mother. It's the hardest thing I've ever – EVER – done. My kids drive me crazy and they make every day into work, but I have no idea who or what I'd be without them. They've each made me into someone new. Every day I'm disappointed in something – I wish that Max wasn't so awkward or that Ava wasn't such an overdramatic queen, or that Lucy wasn't sometimes a brat.

But because I have such an amazing mold to try and fit, I know that somewhere in my DNA is a way to see past what's annoying and what I wish I could change. I know that my kids will know one day – they'll understand that I may be short and I may run from their ENDLESS RECOUNTS OF EPISODES OF GRAVITY FALLS, but that I would step in front of any non-guncontrolled bullet for any of them. I would spend every afternoon for the rest of my life signing permission slips and listening to rhythmic cup-stacking (yes, that's a real thing and Ava has decided that she is totally into it and watches YouTube instructional videos), if that were what I needed to do. Let's hope it's not.

 

So…thanks, Mom. I needed you. And you're awesome. Happy Mother's Day.

 

Existential Crisis

I came very close to giving up on school altogether this past week.

 

No really. I’ve run my mouth about being a student for years and I was all set to just fuck all and give up.

I’ve talked myself out of that, mostly.

 

I got sick. Like, snot and boogers and I can’t breathe sick. I stopped trying to do much of anything except exist and be, and I succeeded.

But in the succeeding, I fell behind on my school work. Quite behind, for me. Due dates were passing and I had never let that happen. It was like being in a bad dream.

It got to the point where I was afraid to check my online learning site because I just didn’t want to think about how far I’d fallen behind on everything. ABSOLUTELY ALL OF IT. And since recent revelations had established that I have a semester more than I had originally thought to go, I was decidedly discouraged.

This past weekend, I knew it was do or die. I was either going to buckle down and get my shit done or I was kissing the whole semester goodbye.

And what did I do? I put it off until Sunday. Which, of course, left me with loudmouth children and baseball and OMG THE WALKING DEAD SEASON PREMIERE and I was totally distracted.

But it got done. I live to fight another week.

 

And that’s what’s happening here.

Being legitimate

Someone had to know I would broach this. It was inevitable.

 

In an interview aired this past Sunday, Todd Akin, a Republican candidate for Senate in the great state of Missouri, made this statement when asked about his feelings on abortions resulting from rape circumstances.

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

He really said that. Really and truly.

 

Now, let me start by saying, as a woman – he has no right to an opinion. Really. I don’t get all up in his scrote and he’s never carried a baby, so we should just agree to keep our politics out of each others’ crotches.

And secondly, as a rape victim – fuck you, Mr. Akin.

Legitimate rape?

What are the other kinds? Illegitimate? Imagined? Maybe she didn’t say no loudly enough? Maybe she was “asking” for it?

I realize that people are falsely accused of rape. I know that happens, and it is a sad thing to know that someone would abuse such a delicate area for whatever reason.

But the majority of rapes (60-68%, according to a quick Googling) go unreported, and do you know why? Because of douchebags like Todd Akin. Because the first thing asked of anyone claiming rape is not, “What can I do?” not “How can I help?” it’s…..”Well, what happened?”

Because its not enough to be taken advantage of. It’s not enough to be violated. It’s not enough to matter so little that you don’t even get a choice in what happens to you.

You have to justify. You have to prove what you’ve claimed. It’s no wonder that women and men in staggering amounts just choose to opt out. Why prolong things and expose yourself to embarrassment…criticism…shame?

It happened to me. And just because it wasn’t a stranger in a dark alley doesn’t mean it wasn’t real. It doesn’t mean I deserved it. It doesn’t mean I hurt any less. It doesn’t make it any less legitimate.

 

So while Mr. Akin sits in Missouri with whatever opinions he wants to have about situations he will never face, I will try with all my might to let everyone know that things like this are not okay. It’s not okay to trivialize someone else’s hurt. It’s not okay to make blanket statements when you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.

Help a little more, talk a little less. I think that’d do some good for everybody.

 

About work but not.

I’ve said that I went back to work fairly recently. I did.

I work for what seem to be lovely people, in an office with someone I genuinely get along with and enjoy being around.

This is a big part of what makes or breaks any job. And I have it made.

The other part of making or breaking is actually being able to do what you were hired to do.

I’ve never had a problem with that, you know? I’m a good worker. I learn (or I thought I learned) fairly quickly and I catch on with no problem. I’ve always considered myself smart and intuitive.

Don’t get me wrong – I have always required a learning window.

Maybe it’s because I’m in an field that I’d never really encountered before. Maybe it’s because it’s been years since I’ve worked for an employer. Maybe it’s just that I’m getting old.

Whatever it is, I am having the worst time learning the order and flow of things. I ask questions and I worry that I’m annoying and then I just keep to myself and I worry I’m being useless.

No win.

What would be perfect is if someone told me, step by step, everything to do. Every time. And then gave me a pop quiz. Then once I learned what was going on, they would need to step off and leave me alone.

I know it’ll get better. I know I’ll know what’s going on soon enough. I just hope no one kills me before that happens.