our own legacies of love

I met my now-husband, Anthony, shortly before I graduated law school and moved to Japan in 2004. We hit it off, and kept in touch for the four years I didn’t live in Los Angeles County.

sai nose

Sai

When I decided to move back to Los Angeles County in 2008, I ended up in Long Beach. This wasn’t because I was especially drawn to Long Beach. I landed here because there were more apartments friendly to larger dogs, like my buddy Sai.

Anthony was thrilled to discover I’d moved to Long Beach. He’d gone to high school here and offered to show me around. He did just that, taking me on a night tour of downtown Long Beach and the shoreline.

I remember standing on a bluff with him that night. Together, we looked out at the twinkling lights of manmade drilling islands. I thought that the twinkling lights were beautiful, and felt so glad I’d made Long Beach my home.

Almost a decade later, I remain glad I made Long Beach my home. That early 2008 evening with Anthony happened because of his familiarity with this town. We now have a lovely family, and–no matter where we may someday move–Long Beach will always be the place where we began.

Those manmade islands, on the other hand, are no longer beautiful to me.

In a 2015 article entitled “What the Frack is Happening Under Long Beach?“, OC Weekly describes the genesis of those twinkling islands: Read more…

Advertisements

less a nightmare, more a dream

Yesterday, I had a short but inspiring conversation with my colleague and good friend, C. At the end of our call, I told him that (1) I no longer consider “perspective” a noun, but a verb, (2) I so appreciate his skill at perspectiving, and (3) my life and perspectiving skills are both greatly improved because of how he models perspectiving.

I have the feeling our conversation shaped a dream I had last night.

In my dream, I awakened. I was in a world much like this one, but I couldn’t find my husband or sons. This world is so much like mine, there have to be versions of them here, too! I thought. I frantically searched for them, eventually falling into a weary sleep. Read more…

this choice

Last weekend, my husband and I had a conversation about choice.

I told him I’m choosing to continue eating autoimmune protocol through the holidays. He replied that I didn’t really have a choice.

I disagreed. “I do have a choice, though. I can eat all the stuff that makes me feel shitty and then feel shitty myself, or I can choose to eat well and feel good.”

He challenged the idea that this represents a genuine choice*, so I elaborated. “It is a choice, and it’s important for me to acknowledge that I have a choice. One way–I can’t eat that!–feels like a prison. The other way–no, thanks, I don’t eat that–feels like a bountiful freedom. No one is forcing me to eat this way. No one’s holding a gun to my head, saying, ‘Eat that walnut. I dare you!‘ Without anyone forcing me, I am making the choice because I want to feel good again.” Read more…

falling back

In my last post, I mentioned a few parenting-related matters I don’t enjoy. There’s another one, unlisted, that ranks right up there with those: helping my kids “fall back” for Daylight Savings Time.

(Even typing those words makes me grumpy.)

Usually, my husband and I endure two or three days of early rising each year. This year, however, both our kids had colds. We were thus awakened multiple times each night, and then greeted cheerfully at. three. in. the. morning: “It’s get-up time, right?!”

(Nooooooooooooooo!)

Doing this for two or three nights annually isn’t so bad. But doing it for eight nights? How’s a parent supposed to think straight?!

The good news is that my kids have just slept till 5 a.m. for their second night in a row.

Now, with any luck, my husband and I can get back to sleeping more than 45 minutes at a time.

Thank goodness!

Categories: Family, Parenting Tags: ,

when “we” isn’t

As I parent, I have to deal with lots of stuff I don’t enjoy: poop, vomit, pee on the toilet seat, regurgitated food hidden in odd corners by my toddler, and … tax news.

Thanks to my rocky childhood, I understood “forced teaming” long before I knew there were words to describe it.

Forced teaming is one tactic predators use to soften their targets’ defenses. Wrote Gavin de Becker in The Gift of Fear: Read more…

a bum tale

While prepping dinner yesterday evening, I heard my three-year-old mumble something to himself. I heard only the words “Mr. Finger” and “bum.”

I called from the kitchen, “Please tell me Mr. Finger and Mr. Bum aren’t visiting each other!”

He burst into laughter. “Silly Mommy,” he scolded, running to join me in the kitchen. “It’s not ‘Mr. Bum.’ It’s just ‘bum.'”

“Oh, okay,” I said, chuckling as he ran off again.

When I relayed the story to my husband later, he laughed, too. “Please tell me you’re writing this stuff down!” 

Our three-year-old joined us and began scratching himself. I seized the opportunity to see if his earlier comment was a fleeting notion or part of a framework. “Don’t scratch Mr. Bum!” I cautioned.

He laughed. “I already told you! It’s not Mr. Bum, just ‘bum.'” I’m not sure what all qualifies for the honorific “Mr.” in his world, but “bum” doesn’t meet the criteria.

I watched my husband stifle his giggles. Recalling his earlier statement, I thought, “I should be writing some of this down.” Which I am, starting now.

Categories: Family, Parenting Tags: ,

fighting for change

when i was in law school,
my brother-in-law
would sometimes
visit

when we’d go to
the grocery store,
i’d pay and then,
four times out of five,
the cashier (female
or male) would
reach to hand him
the change

“um, that’s hers,”
he’d say, routing
the change
back to me

more than a decade later,
i continue to get
the change consistently
when there’s no man around,
but often have to work for it
when there is

so, yesterday,
when i made a kind of payment
and the change was directed to
a male friend instead,
i went ugh, gah,
still?!

but i
was silent.
i just
did not
have it in me
to fight for change
right then

having never been
in a like situation
with this friend,
i wasn’t sure
what he’d do

and thus was glad
when he said,
“you should
give the change
to her”

it shouldn’t take a man to say it
for someone else to hear it,
but in those cases
where it does,
i am thankful
for the men
who will
and do say,
“i’m not
taking
her
change”

%d bloggers like this: