I’m All In

I'm All In

I like babies. I’ve spent the past few months snuggling the heck out of one of my friend’s newest bundle of joy. It makes me so happy just to sniff his head, make him smile, and hold him for hours.

Sometimes it makes me cranky that the choice to have more children was taken away from me.

But then I take my two older sons on a one mile run and we talk about:

Politics. Racism. Homophobia. Kindness. More politics. Things they’ve heard on the television. Things they’ve heard from their friends. The importance of respecting others’ bodies and spaces. Pokemon. Books we’ve read. More Pokemon. Fall. Winter. Christmas. Halloween. Birthdays. More Pokemon.

We talked the entire mile. I normally don’t like to talk while I’m running. I’m not a great group runner, because I like to zone out while I’m beating the pavement. But this was new and different, and I really, really liked it.

Later that evening, my husband started giving much-needed hair cuts as picture day awaited the next day. BigBrother came into my bedroom while I cleaned up some of my daily mess. He wanted to talk more about politics, ethics, and the weird lines in between. I did my best to give answers that didn’t just explain why we, the parents, feel certain ways about things. I tried to paint a bigger picture about how they’re being raised, to make him think beyond today or tomorrow or the vote they’re supposedly doing in November to see who wins the kids’ vote for this Presidential election.

It’s hard living in Rural Ohio sometimes.

Oh, I love it so hard. I live one house from the country. We have beautiful sunsets. Our neighborhood acts as a little safe Mecca for our four person family unit. I love my affordable home. I like our Pokestops. I love the friends I’ve made. I love the little coffee shop on Friday mornings. I love sitting on front porches, morning and night. I love the four seasons.

But I was raised in a small town and I live in a small town. We’re not a hot spot for diversity or even diverse thinking. When you do something different, like something different, wear something different, you’re then labeled Capital-D Different. Not raised here, I’ve already been labeled The Outsider, the One From Away. Other parents aren’t quick to accept my kids because they didn’t know me growing up—and I look, act, and speak differently than they do, so therefore my children must also be Capital-D Different.

Which, yeah. I am Different. For many reasons. But it’s not my sons’ fault.

He shared that some people haven’t been kind when he talks about politics. I told him that he doesn’t actually have to share his vote out loud, that he can hold it close; I also informed him he shouldn’t be ashamed of his views. It feels discouraging to explain how it’s okay for his friends to have differing opinions when they’ve already told him he’s wrong for having the differing one. He’s ten. They’re ten. Everyone chill.

I then presented third party candidates to him.

“I’ve never heard of them.”
“I know.”

I told him to ask if they were letting the students vote for any third party candidates. I’d bet money they don’t.

All this is to say that, yes, babies still make me all melty. I will hold any baby you want me to hold. Or I might even steal a baby upon walking into a room. But give me a kid who wants not only to talk politics but to discuss behavior of others so he better understands why people act the way they do? Yeah, I’m all in.


The Color Run - Happiest 5k Run

Fall Is Here. So Am I.

I always forget how much I love fall until it smacks me in the face.

Like last week when I sent the boys to school in shorts, walked outside around two o’clock in the afternoon and decided, why yes, I am a horrible mother.

It’s chilly out now.

Rumor has it that some hotter temperatures await us later this week, but we’ve already locked fall down with some soups and warm, baked meals. It feels like it’s almost time to hibernate, and that makes me feel so good. Gimme a hoodie, some blankets, and a long book to read. Yes, please.

Also, my skin decided to go straight from All The Oily Summer Skin to Straight Up Dryer Than The Desert in the span of four days. No in between. No transition. No warning. Just oil slick to drought. This was expected, of course, and despite the 35-year-old Hormonal Change, which I have yet to fully understand, embrace, and write about, my skin did stick to this seasonal routine. I maybe could have withstood a change in this abrupt about-face. But, alas, sometimes we don’t get the change we want, but we still get change.

With the drying out of grass, flowers, the air, and my face comes a drying out and letting go of other things in life. I’ve felt really overwhelmed lately, and I recognize that comes from not taking time to sit and process the changing of seasons and the changing of everything with the flip of a calendar page.

When I’m super overwhelmed, I tend to (meaning, it’s just going to happen) ignore my own laundry, thus leaving my side of the bedroom in some kind of tornadic laundry situation. I recognized the situation for what it was late last week, but couldn’t attend to the mess until this evening. Our bedroom is now clean and organized. I once again feel calm upon entering. I look forward to heading to bed with windows open, diffuser on, and everything in its place.

All this to say: I am here. I am breathing. I am enjoying the changing of seasons even if I’m kind of tired and my skin hurts my face. I welcome change. I am here.

Fall Is Here