Article

Time Change

conversations with hank

(A few months ago we were watching the Netflix Series of the amazing book series, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, as a family and the story of The Wide Window left quite an impression on our Molly.  WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS)

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Me: (entering the kids room an hour after nights out) Now what is going on here, chatter boxes?

Hank: (whining) We can’t sleep.

Molly: (bouncing on her crib like a trampoline) No sweep, mama.

Me: (sigh of defeat) I hate time change.

Hank: Oh yah! We changed the clocks today.

Me: (rescuing Molly from her crib and carrying her over to Hank’s bed and getting under his covers) You spring forward and fall back although this practice IS NOT EVEN NECESSARY. Screws everybody up. Especially babies.

Hank: And since it is spring we went forward one hour so that means…

Me: Only now does your body think it is time to sleep, and don’t even get me started about how pleasent we three will be in the morning getting up one hour earlier, but we have to switch our body’s internal clock so you two had to go to sleep what feels like an hour earlier to start that process. Good thing you and your sister are friends.

Hank: We sang every song from Frozen and twinkle twinkle and Stay Awake, like 10,000 times.

Me: I know, I heard. Unlike you chickens I wouldn’t mind going to bed an hour earlier because I am an  old lady and lost my cool card way back in 2007.

Hank: You’re still cool, mama.

Me: Stop, you’ll make me blush.

Molly: (desperate to be included in the conversation) Howse fall down? Howse fall down in the water? Sweep (sleep) wit mano (brother), mama? Okay? (nodding) Snuggle Sweep?

Hank: (wrapping his arms around his sister) Yes please! Can Amália sleep here with me?

Me: Nope.

Hank: Why?

Me: Because while you are thinking you will be an interior designer or a chef when you grow up Molly is going to be a super hero.

Molly: (thrusting her fists in the air with great force) MOO-MOO GIGANTE (GIANT)!!!!

Me: A Super Hero named, Moo-Moo Gigante, which means sleeping with Molly is like sleeping in an active kickboxing match. (lovingly brushing the curls from her face) When she dreams Molly is the savior.

Molly: Hulk SMASH.

Me: With Hulk as her sidekick, of course.

Hank: (disbelief) No.

Me: Trust me. Never have I been so bruised as the day after I thought it would be adorable to snuggle sleep with Molly in my bed. Jeesh.

Molly: Howse fall down?

Hank: That’s right, mana (sister) The Baudelaire brother and sister and baby were in the house on the hill but then they got out and

Me: A great wind blew, whoooooosh, and the house fell off the cliff.

Molly: OH NO! CAIU (FELL)!

Hank: The house fell, fell, fell down into the water.

Me: But don’t be scared…

Molly: No scared. (shaking her head no)

Me: Because the brother and the sister and the baby were outside the house.

Molly: (nodding) Fora (outside).

Hank: And the house was completely empty and now the house is at the bottom of Lake Lachrymose.

Molly: FISH!

Me: That’s right and now it is a house for fish.

Molly: Again?

Hank: You want us to tell you the story again?

Molly? Sim (yes). (nodding) Peas (please).

Me: You start the story and we will finish it, Ms. Moo-Moo Gigante.

Molly: (proud) Howse fall down. Howse fall down in the water. (nodding)

 

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Invitation

Hank and Molly choosing houses on the way to drop Mano (brother) at school.

Hank and Molly choosing houses on the way to drop Mano (brother) at school.

 

Me: (reading on the sofa)

Hank: Mama?

Me: Hum?

Hank: Can I take a study break?

Me: Of course.  The best way to study is to focus calmly and then walk away from the material to see what you have truly retained.

Hank: Okay.

Me: (going back reading)

Hank? Mama?

Me: Hum?

Hank: Can you make me a cup of tea?

Me: Sure I can.

Hank: And can you make you a cup of tea and can we drink a cup of tea, and use sugar cubes and milk and talk, just us, while Amália and Avó (grandmother) are napping?

Me: I have been waiting my whole life for this invitation.

Hank: You have?

Me: (getting up to put the kettle on) You have no idea.

 

Article

Your Person

 

For more information on Love as a Human Right please visit Amnesty International.

For more information on Love as a Human Right please visit Amnesty International.

 

Me: Hank?

Hank: (sitting at a café before school and eating a pastel de nata com canela, a custard tart with cinnamon) Hum?

Me: I wanted to get your thoughts on something that happened to a friend of ours.

Hank: Are they okay?

Me: (stirring my coffee) Oh yes, it’s just I wanted to get your opinion.

Hank: Sure.

Me: Sarah went to a professional development thing for women and at one of the presentations the speaker directed the focus of her talk on how to find love and success, etc.

Hank: That is nice.

Me: It is, but there was one glaring problem. The problem wasn’t the love but the speaker made the entire presentation about finding the love of a man and that was incredibly alienating for Sarah.

Hank: (pause) And Sarah isn’t… Right, Sarah loves ladies.

Me: Exactly, and Sarah found it very exclusive to be sitting in a room full of women, her peers, and have to sit through an entire presentation about love between a man and a woman when there wasn’t any indication that the presentation would be about finding love for only heterosexual couples.

Hank: You love who you love.

Me: Which is how I feel and how I hope that every single person my age also feels, but I am thinking maybe they don’t. Why did a woman in 2017 not imagine that her audience would be diverse?

Hank: Why didn’t that woman understand that all she had to say was, “Find Your Person” instead of saying only “man” then everyone would want to hear her?

Me: Right!? Good solution. So this is my question because it is my sincerest wish that when you are the age of Sarah and I, you know… old,

Hank: You’re not old you’re just not so young.

Me: Thank you, I think… Anyway it is my wish that that everyone will understand that diversity, especially in love, is the most gorgeous and important thing. Why didn’t the presenter think to include all love?

Hank: I think that people are lazy. Too lazy to trocas idéias (change ideas).

Me: Ah. (nodding) Sarah told me that eventually another queer, which is how Sarah identifies herself, woman spoke up and said, “not all of us are looking for a man,” but what Sarah found most strange is that the room full of women before then stayed silent. She thought it was strange that no one else thought to advocate or interject the point.

Hank: I wouldn’t have said anything during the presentation, either. I would have waited until the woman was done with her presentation then taken her out for a coffee and explained to her how she was making people feel unwelcome.

Me: Really.

Hank: Yes, because maybe she just doesn’t know and she was probably nervous when she was in front of all those women and then interrupting her would have made her more nervous or upset.

Me: So you would have waited for the right moment to advocate and educate someone on an important topic they might not have considered otherwise.

Hank: That is me. I am happy someone said something, but that is just me.

Me: I hear what you’re saying. I see your point. Sarah told me the speaker said after the queer woman pointed out she was being excluded that if her love preference wasn’t for men then SHE should just substitute the word “man” for her preference to herself, in her mind. What do you think about that counter argument?

Hank: Um… I don’t know.

Me: Let’s approach this another way. Imagine how you would feel if you were at a professional development summit for banana sellers. Everyone in the room was a banana seller. You are a banana seller, but your bananas are organic. You know there are other organic banana sellers in the room, but there are no obvious signs between organic banana sellers and non-organic banana sellers and one of the key presentations advertised focused on tips and techniques for buying and selling bananas. But when you, an organic banana seller, go to the presentation the presenter spoke only of buying and selling non-organic bananas with zero thought or attention for the organic banana sellers who would never consider buying non-organic. And finally when one of the other organic banana sellers speaks up and reminds the speaker that there are organic banana sellers in the audience the speaker dismisses their exclusion by saying, “Just apply this knowledge as it pertains to you,” but in all honesty the organic banana sellers have stopped listening and are put off because the rhetoric used making no room for them in the topic or presentation. How would that make you feel?

Hank: (thinking) Like I wasn’t thought of. I would feel like… I would feel bad, I guess, maybe mad because I would be proud of the work I do with organic bananas and that other people didn’t think about my work because they do things a different way.

Me: (nodding) The way “the majority” grows bananas.

Hank: OH. I see what you are saying now.

Me: Great, I am interested in hearing your thoughts.

Hank: It is true that everything I see about love is man and woman. Not in real life, but in books and in stories and at school. That isn’t how it is in real life. That isn’t how your friends all are.

Me: Agreed. So how can we help trocas idéias (change ideas)?

Hank: That is where I don’t know. How would you do it?

Me: I would make all love normal. I would use media and literature and books and films and music to make finding and loving YOUR PERSON normal. There would be a lot more diverse dating and handholding. There would be a lot more kissing in my plan: men kissing men, women kissing women, trans people kissing whom every they wish, people who identify as queer or themselves rather than conform to one specific gender kissing whomever they wish. I would cover the world in kissing until all kissing is considered lovely and romantic.

Hank: (shrugging) I guess that would work, but I don’t care about kissing yet. (eyebrows raised) I don’t like kissing, when I see kissing on TV or some teenagers in the street kissing, like, I feel embarrassed.

Me: I hear what you’re saying.

Hank: But I know that someday I will think kissing is lovely and romantic so it could be a good plan.

Me: (giggling into my coffee)