Tag Archives: Life

marketing, mommy blogs, and cuss-pot soup

Today was a day destined for book marketing. I spent the whole day trying to figure out how I could get my latest ebook into the hands of the parents who need it. The target audience is all parents, regardless of whether their children are gender non-conforming or not, so how tough can that be? The book is really just a reminder about unconditional acceptance of your children, so I figured I’d go out and buy a little advertising in parent communities.

So there I am, out there surfing the interwebs looking at mommy blogs and checking out parent magazines—and the more I read, the more I realize—I’m in trouble. I mean, big trouble. Who are these parents in these magazines? Who are these moms that can clean a 4-bedroom house in 20 minutes, put in a full day at the office, and then prep a 7-course meal before hubby gets home—all the while blogging about it with a set of twins dangling from her breasts? Is that fiction? I also came across an entire parenting blog dedicated to storage. Um, OK, what? I mean, I can sort of see how organization might be catchy, but is that real life? Do these people actually live like that? Because if that’s my audience, I’m not going to sell shit.

I’m not a twenty-something perk-fest who smiles in her sleep and spends her days engaged in home-made crafts for her curious toddlers, and then spends her evenings mapping out the storage of lego pieces in colour-coded bins. I actually want to slap mothers with that kind of energy and committment across the face. Hard. The kind of slap you only see in old movies when someone is acting hysterical.

slapping

I’m gritty. I’m the kind of mother who scares other mothers. I’m aggressively unfancy and  socially handicapped by severe facial expressions. I blame the children for my deep scowls and twitchy temper. Yes, I said it. I’m not ashamed. It’s their fault. I was a beautiful woman once.

I kept a clean house once too. I think. Well, fairly clean. No, actually, I mean tidy. And that was only for about 10 minutes in 1996. Now, I name the dust bunnies that scoot across the hardwood floors when I enter a room. There are fingerprints on my mirrors that read like a childhood growth chart and yes, there is a styrofoam container in the back of my fridge with takeout from a restaurant that closed 2 years ago.  I do laundry on the schedule of mom-I-don’t-have-any-clean-underwear and I wash dishes when I run out of spoons. That’s gritty living right there.

I also cuss in front of my children and have been known to walk around in ratty underpants. I spend one hour a week fangirling over the latest episode of The Vampire Diaries—during which the only interruption I would allow is an air raid siren signalling the onset of the zombie apocalypse—and then for 15 minutes after the show while I have inappropriate daydreams about the Salvatore brothers. I’m not proud, but that’s the reality.

I’m a loud, moderately controlling, socially awkward, opinionated cuss-pot. I’m not the perfect parent, but I’m the perfect parent for them. We exist together happily. (Most of the time, anyway.) You won’t find organization, clean towels, or a place to sit in my house that isn’t covered in crystalized dog spit. But there’s laughter, love and acceptance here. If you don’t have that in your home, buy my ebook. (Or share it with someone you know.)

#grittymoms rule. 🙂

 

 

 

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Filed under Awesome, parenting

The secret transgender games

The older I get, the less patience I have. Or is it less tolerance? Maybe it’s both. Let me clear something up…

I’m just your every day Jane. I work for a living and raise my family pretty much like everyone else. I have bills to pay, dishes to do, and dog poo to pick up.  The fact that my daughter is transgender is kind of a non-issue. We help others when we can, with questions, suggestions for resources and those sorts of things, but we don’t have a show that we take on the road or anything like that. We’re not this odd entity that is different from the rest of the families who are working for a living and picking up dog poo. There are no secret transgender games going on behind our closed door. Disappointing, I know.

transgender-cereal

We are not keeping secrets from you (unless you’re the government and/or I owe you money), and there is no mysterious secret transgender life. You see, there is nothing really to tell. Unless you want to hear about how we argue over her lack of time-management skills with homework assignments, or how I’ve asked her for the 1,oooth time to pick up those dirty clothes, or maybe you’re interested in the endless hours she’s logged creating a virtual world in the Sims4?  Sound kind of teenagerish? That’s because it is.

She goes to school every day. It’s a regular public highschool. It’s not a school for the transgender. She wears 16-year-old clothes—jeans, leg warmers, sweaters, t-shirts, boots with heels higher than I would like—the kind that were bought at a regular old store. Not a store for the transgender. Sometimes she wears her hair up in a ponytail clip that we got at Walmart. Not the Walmart that is specifically for transgender, but the one just down the road—it’s closer. She occasionally wears cola-flavoured Chapstick, not the transgender flavoured kind. (I think that might be a special order item anyway.)

trans cake

And while we don’t play the transgender games, there are folks around us that are constantly trying to suck us in to theirs, but we resist. We refuse to let others define us.

Last week a new student started at my daughter’s school for semester 2. She is also a transgender girl and the teachers (in their infinite wisdom) thought the two should meet.

You know, because they’re the same.

Oddly though, they don’t introduce dark-skinned students to each other. Something like, “Hey Tyrone.. yeah, come meet our new student DeShawn, he just transferred here and you two should meet because, well, you’re both black.

wtf face

Also, I’m pretty sure there are a couple of kids with diabetes that go to the very same school and they have yet to be introduced.  An oversight maybe? And while I’m dragging you down into this hot mess of politically incorrect fuckery—do I even need to mention the plus-sized students? They certainly don’t get pulled aside to meet each other. Well, obviously, ’cause that’s just plain wrong.

Here’s the thing. Don’t label us. Actually, don’t label anyone. I know you’re trying to do a good thing, your heart is in the right place. But sometimes one step forward… is two steps back. Focus on making our communities a safe, positive space that is inclusive for everyone. Different skin colours, religions, and yes, those with diabetes (those poor souls) and the trans, and non trans, and yes, those struggling with weight issues… ’cause we’re all mixed up in this great big world together. Let people seek out other people on their own terms. And because they have more things in common than some label thrust upon them through social cataloging.

I may just be grouchy today, but, whatever. (Oh, and apologies to all of the Tyrones and DeShawns out there… you don’t have to be friends.)

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Filed under Awesome, parenting, transgender, world news

life. nature. you. make the connection.

A two minute video is weaving its way around the world in a digital murmuration via the collective fingertips of the web—as all magical and breathtaking journeys do.

I stumbled across this video a few weeks ago and the awesomeness of it keeps creeping back into my mind when I least expect it.

Two girls in a canoe—Sophie Windsor Clive and Liberty Smith—on the river Shannon, become a captive audience to a nail-biting, jaw-dropping performance of the reality of life around them.  This murmuration of Starlings doesn’t care about their mortgage payments, piles of dirty laundry back home, homework assignments, or the time-waste of selfish gossip that floats between even the best of us.  Nor have they been taught the ideals of self-deprecation.  They just are what they are—beautiful life.

I wonder how I would react if I were one of the girls sitting in that canoe, witness to the basic truth of nature.  I keep coming back to the same conclusion.

Cry.  Fall out of the Canoe.  Float away.

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

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We are all related.

PeggyAnne-Mansfield-31Charles Darwin believed that the involuntary expressions of man were directly influenced by his various emotions and sensations.  He believed that these expressions grew and evolved by means of natural selection from the expressions and behaviours of animals.  He also believed that these expressions, through photographs, would be understood and wordlessly explained by any eyes that looked upon it.  He tested this theory by taking photographs of the expressions of people showing various emotions and then taking those photos to small villages (with limited outside contact) and asked those villagers to guess the emotion of the person in the photograph.    Every villager guessed correctly – without hesitation. 

Emotions are primal.  We understand them when we see them in the faces of people we love, and even those we don’t,  just like in the animal kingdom, as Darwin had proven.  Something that is inately human,  is our preference to ignore most of these emotions.  We ignore the expressions we see that are filled with rage and look away from faces twisted with grief.   We see all of these expressions for a reason, they are built into our design with a purpose.   No matter what language or race you are, you will always find understanding – even if it is not acknowledged through words.

I can’t count how many people have said to me that they never know what to say to someone who seems inconsolable.  If we are all related through expression, perhaps words aren’t what you need. 

What would compassion look like on your face?

-uberscribbler

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