My Birthday Wish

LoveAndFamily

I want to tell you a birthday wish but first, allow me to share my average day.

Before the sun comes up Sylvia calls for a changing and morning feeding.  Once Sylvia is cared for and content I wake up and make breakfast for, Luke.  After going back and forth with him for twenty minutes regarding his school attire I do his hair (another twenty-minute procedure) and prepare his school book bag.  After cleaning breakfast dishes (an almost impossible undertaking as Sylvia is opening every drawer and cupboard removing all items onto the floor) she has to be changed again.  During this morning obstacle course, I am also tending to cries from falls, cuts, head bumps, scrapes, scratches, hurt feelings and of course constantly taking inedible objects out of Sylvia’s mouth she can choke on.  If Sylvia lets me put her down and I get a minute or two – where all disasters are averted and needs met – I attempt to make a cup of coffee (but don’t count on drinking it hot).   Luke now missed his school bus – because he couldn’t find one of his sneakers – so all of us must now rush to get dressed and into the car we go fighting morning traffic to make it to school on time.

Shortly after pulling back into my driveway the phone is ringing and the doorbell is buzzing as friends and family assume being home means endless free-time to devote to their wants and needs. While chatting with friends and family I prepare Luke’s school clothes and lunch for the following day, in addition, to quickly picking up the house from the morning chaos.   Multitasking, I attempt to respond to some pressing emails that I’ve completely neglected for days, even weeks.  Moments later (far from finishing emails and such) it’s nearing lunch time.  With Sylvia on one hip and a spatula in one hand, I whip something up that’s debatably healthy.  After feeding her (and creating a very dirty kitchen from the circus of lunch) I begin her nap routine.

When Sylvia falls asleep I put myself on fast forward throwing in some laundry, cleaning the kitchen, watering the plants, taking leaves out of the pool, scrub toilets (because we all know, with boys, it’s impossible to actually pee IN the toilet), grab the mail/pay bills, feed the fish, empty the dishwasher, make pediatrician, dental, car etc., appts.  and try to fix/repair many things that the kids broke (because when a family is working with one income you do your best to save money wherever/whenever possible) before Sylvia wakes up shrieking for my attention once again.

I feed and change Sylvia, get her dressed and prepare a snack for Luke’s return from school.  Luke arrives home and while he eats a quick snack I sort through a mountain of school papers. Once finished I am off to drive him to and from sports practice/events. After sports practice/games etc., we stop quickly for some groceries (and gas so I can mow on the weekend).  I finally get home and juggling a baby on one arm and groceries on the other start dinner.  While dinner is cooking I vacuum, change Sylvia, help Luke with his homework and start setting the table.  I get the kids washed up for dinner in an attempt to enjoy a relaxing/peaceful family meal (yeah, I know, wishful thinking but one can dream  😊

Just then Eric walks in from work and asks if I called the t.v. repairman.  After apologizing that I did not get the chance he looks at me perplexed asking, “what did you do all day?”

Taking a deep breath, I make Luke’s plate (and argue with him for a half hour over every bite) then make Sylvia’s food and feed her.  By the time Sylvia’s finished with her dinner Luke wants dessert.  After giving Luke dessert, I finally get a chance to have a bite of my (now freezing cold) dinner.  In the midst of addressing table manners, I am able to choke down two quick bites of food before the kids are finished and antsy to leave the table.  Starving, I wipe their hands, faces, and fingers and in the bathtub they go.

After baths, brushed teeth and pajamas, kids are put to bed with a story and prayer.  Eventually, both fall asleep and then it is time for me to clear the dinner table, load the dishwasher, finish cleaning the kitchen and (let’s not forget) fold and put away the laundry I’ve ignored all day.  I then pick up toys, tidy the house, turn lights off/alarms on and shut it down for the night.  Once the house is quiet I take a shower and drop into bed ready to repeat this cycle in just a few hours.

There are no weekends, no holidays, no lunches, no coffee or cigarette breaks and Lord knows no bathroom breaks.  If by chance I try to sneak into the bathroom there are little fingers under the door with screams of bloody murder outside it.  There are no happy hours after work, no bonuses, pats on the back, “thank yous” or paychecks at the end of the week.  If anyone thinks stay-at-home parents lie on the couch and watch Oprah while slowly eating bonbons you couldn’t be more off  🙂

So, what do I want for my birthday? A day off!   😊

That said, you could not pay me enough for a different set of children, spouse, or life.  I am beyond fortunate to be able to do what I do and thankful to have a spouse that works equally hard.  Every day is a labor of love for my family and I thank God daily for each and every one of them!

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Seems like yesterday

Although we didn’t give you the gift of life. Life gave us the gift of you. Six years ago today – at 9:25pm – we cried tears of joy while cutting our first born’s cord. In many ways, it seems like yesterday.

Bound by love. Joined by hearts. Sent from heaven. A gift from God. Happy Happy Birthday, our beautiful boy.

 6Birthday

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Not the respectable way, Amber

PFlag

Does this flag represent unity or division?

Although I have read the explanations I must say I am a bit saddened that Amber Hikes, from Philadelphia, decided to re-create a new Pride flag only to emphasize race. This extraneous change of positioning racial lines at the very top of the Pride flag took place just weeks after the originator of the Pride flag passed away.

The colors of their new flag now represent life, healing, sunlight, nature, harmony, peace, spirit and being black.  Yes, you read that last one correctly.  Now, one could argue it more-so represents the lack of inclusion, but that would be redundant as the Pride flag itself represents inclusion.

And no, I am not “part of the problem” or racist simply for having a differing opinion. Many in my circle are in/from the black community including my son. Regardless, disagreeing with the decisions of a select few does not equate to disliking an entire community so please put down the race card and continue to read.

And now we are inundated with twisted headlines such as, “New Pride flag angers white people” and “The outrage over the new flag proves the change was necessary” etc., This reminds me of a saying I once heard in church, “Satan likes to confuse people by mixing a little truth with lies.”

Yes, white people are angry – and rightfully so – but not for the reasons some are attempting to portray.  When Amber Hikes changed the Pride flag she in fact made a racial issue from something that had nothing to do with race and because of that people are angry.  Many on ALL sides are  (and should be) furious that she turned the Pride flag into a race matter, not just the white community.

When we hear people are angry over her unnecessary alteration it’s not because those people are racist.  On the contrary, it’s because she took the liberty to turn a unity flag into a racial issue. What Amber Hikes did was racist, not the backlash because of it. And if Ms. Hikes was looking for backlash perhaps her time and energy should have been centered on adding a rainbow to the BLM flag as there is far more work to be done regarding gaycism in the black community than there is racism in the gay community.

When you look at the gay community as a whole interracial couples are the norm and more received than any other community as we all understand the ugliness of discrimination.  Is racism/gaycism a national problem needing attention? Yes!  Unfortunately, racism/gaycism affects every community and we must all soul- search to become better/more inclusive human beings.  Pompously perverting a trailblazer’s original art, design, vision and meaning however, is (in my opinion) not the respectable way.  Click here for a much more eloquent and short clip

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Invisible Minority

IM

I often wonder why Gay History is not taught in our schools.  After all aren’t we supposed to give our minority students examples of those they can relate to or identify with?  When our innovations, inventions, contributions are unknown, we are not known.  When our history, sacrifices, suffering and unfair treatment is not known, we are simply unknown.

Our Pride celebrations today were born from the pain of not being able to go out for a beer after a hard days work without getting harassed, blackmailed, arrested or beaten.  Gay Pride was not born of a need to celebrate being gay, but our right to exist without persecution. So instead of wondering why there isn’t a Straight Pride movement, be thankful you don’t need one.

Very few know of our talent, contributions or the barbaric mistreatment that sadly still runs rampant today.  When no one knows about, or learns about the invisible minority we are simply, well…. invisible.

From Bayard Rustin devising the March on Washington to Billy Strayhorn writing almost all of Duke Ellington’s greatest hits our history has been stripped away, our contributions erased.  Dr. Martin Luther King and Duke Ellington didn’t mind the fanfare these brilliant men brought them but had little interest in crediting or publicly associating with them simply because their personal picture of love was not their ideal.  The mere fact that you are reading this on some type of computer is thanx to a gay professor in the 1930’s.  A genius who was governmentally castrated (ultimately dying) for being born gay.

Here we are in 2017 and our community is still being overlooked, forgotten, erased.  June has been National Pride month for decades yet absolutely no mention of it from the highest office.  When is enough enough?  Please take a stand and share/support this organization UnErased.  Together we can all work toward a better, more unified (and educated) nation.  Thank you

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Pledge of Allegiance

Of all the schools where I taught (and I taught in many) the Pledge was – at best – optional. When our son came home yesterday and recited the pledge (that his class/school recites every morning) I felt hope, happiness and pride!

Click here –> Pledge    🙂

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Beauty And Deceit

So the Alabama-based Henagar Drive-in publicly stated they were not going to show “Beauty and the Beast” because, and I quote, “LeFou is sexually confused.”  Further they went on to say “If I can’t sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then I have no business showing it.”

Let me be the first to say congratulations, truly.  As a believer, I fully support following one’s faith, convictions and personal interpretations of the Bible without reservation. It is their theater and they are certainly entitled to play, or not play, what they choose end of story.

For me though, it’s not end of story when the message they’re attempting to send is harming and hurting an already targeted community.  Gay people are in no way confused.  What is confusing rather is this theater owner’s reasoning to “take a stand” against a film where one character (of hundreds) is simply living (as he was born no less).  First let me start by saying gay people are innately wired to be attracted to those of the same gender just as naturally as honey bees are biologically wired to make honey.  To call a gay person “confused” is not only completely untrue but also misleading to those that don’t understand (or do not care to understand) the spectrum of human sexuality and development.

Second I always find it sad – and a little hypocritical – when some members of the faith community “take a stand” regarding two loving/consenting adults who happen to have the same chromosomes yet choose to wear blinders in all other areas where the Bible is far more clear.  While I do not know what past movies the Henagar Drive-in played (as they have recently removed their Facebook page that would have their previous line-up on record) I know of several other theaters that have no problem showing violent, sexually provocative movies, and movies where content is explicitly against biblical standards but “take a stand” – and a very vocal one I may add – when it comes to same gender love.

There are many non-believers in the world and as Christians we are to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and how ALL are welcome to the banquet table. Christ Himself never spoke a word against the gay community and there were plenty of gay people around in His day.   Further, He stood up for the marginalized and devoted His life to challenging His followers to see and search deeper in that which we may not understand.  And most important of all Jesus walked, talked, breathed and lived love.  I find it disheartening that some choose to fight the very thing Jesus emphasized and ultimately was crucified for; love – even if that picture of love is not our personal ideal.

The operators of this drive-in stated they are “first and foremost Christians and will not compromise on what the Bible teaches.” I guess my question to them would be; what lessons of Christ and the Bible are most important to you?

Theater

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Will Empathy Trump Trump

As a rule of thumb, I believe topics such as religion, politics, relationships and money should stay far away from social media. After all, very few are interested in others personal opinions on such private and intimate subjects. However, I see nothing wrong with respectful viewpoints so on behalf of the countless voiceless youth across the nation and globe here are my thoughts on this emotionally charged day – for all sides.

I will not mock, disrespect or talk bad about our new President. As a matter of fact, I will do my best to support and help him succeed as I have all of our elected leaders in the past. I do not have to like, love or emulate him but I do feel as if it’s my Christian duty to pray for, and stand by him. After all he is now our President and if he fails we all fail.

Having said that I am deeply concerned for my gay brothers and sisters. Unlike other marginalized communities we do not have state and federal laws in place to protect us. We do not have gay history taught in our schools to let the masses know what we have suffered, or the tremendous and brilliant contributions our community has made (speaking of which the mere fact you are reading this on some type of computer is because of a gay person, Mr. Alan Turing).

We can still be fired in numerous states merely for talking about our families to our co-workers. From housing to education (the list is endless) our community, and families, are sitting ducks.

What bright and promising future lies ahead for our young children who happen to be gay and live in a world where their equal rights and treatment are sub-par? What message of unity and celebration does this current cabinet send to other countries who treat their gay citizens so horribly that many would de-friend me if I went into detail on what they do to them?!?

So again, I will pray for our President (and most certainly his cabinet) that, among other things, will serve and protect ALL American families and strive to fight for unity, fairness and equality. I urge all that are reading this to do the same.

I know I may have offended some of you (on both sides). I ask that you tolerate this one and only political (social) post just as I have tolerated many of yours for months now. And lastly please know regardless of who you voted for I still love, respect and want to stay connected with you   🙂  historicdiscrimination

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