Amanda Gates
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A Musings - September 2012

Forgive me for my absence. I’ve still loved many things, but life’s been busy lately. Also forgive me for listing some things here that are a bit old, but I post them because they’re awesome and if one person reads them who hasn’t yet, well, job done. And because I’ve been gone awhile, this is rather long.

Parenthood: Thank you NBC, for bringing back one of my favorite shows with some of my all-time favorite TV actors (Peter Krause, Lauren Graham). Now excuse me while I use two Kleenexes per episode. ::SNIFF::

You Know That Bubble You Live In? I pretty much love every post written by Liz. Sure, probably because our values seem to align, but in the end, here’s a well-off mom, with a full-time job, admitting most days that she’s just doing her freakin’ best. In this post she asks something I think every day, amongst the hate and the snark found in the news, in politics, on Twitter (and Facebook, which I stay off for a reason): “I’d like to ask, what the heck is going on in the world when we start to lose our sense of empathy?”

While I think parenting is hard now, with an energetic toddler who loves the word “no,” I also think I would love to keep him at this innocent age forever, when he can’t see or experience bullying (besides the occasional bite from the other two year old at daycare), can’t see or experience hardship, can’t see or experience hate. Because my heart already breaks for him and the fact that I can’t protect him from this garbage much longer.

Raising Successful Children: My friend Emily pointed me to this article about types of parenting. We’ve heard about all of them, of course, and it’s hard to know which type of parent you’ll become. I mostly believe you’ll become similar to your own parents, since that’s the only type of parenting you really know. Mine never pushed me to do anything (like more AP classes, competitive sports), but they did encourage and they did set expectations. I hope to be similar in that realm.

This article also talks about not doing things for your child that they’re capable of doing on their own. This one I struggle with a bit more, at least so far in the toddler stage. Can he find that matchbox blue Porsche on his own? Most definitely, but not without getting angry and frustrated (which is normal and fine!). But also? It’s in my nature to nurture and I just like helping him do things. But will I do his science project after he goes to bed? Um, no.

How to Make A Friendship Outlast Your Vote: I retweeted this post by Miss Zoot earlier this week, but have a few more thoughts other than “great post.” I’ve known (I know) people who have said things like, “Oh, I don’t think I could ever be friends with someone [of opposite political views].” I find this unbelievable, and was happy to read a post reflecting some of the same thoughts I’ve had for years. While I definitely swim with a school of people with similar views as me (and boy do we have fun preaching to the choir), I have family and friends who fall opposite me. And that’s perfectly fine. It’s easy enough not to talk about those things and all get along. Heck, I even married someone who was apart from me on several issues when we first met. And here we are 8 years later, continually moving toward each other. [Example: 8 years ago I wouldn’t have allowed a gun in my home. Today, well, my husband is a police officer. And I think much differently about gun laws.] It’s possible to connect with, and even love, people with opposing political views.

Stand Up, by Chris Kluwe: And while I try not to post about political issues here, for the above reasons of believing we can all get along by not shouting in each others’ faces all the time, I also don’t want to remain silent about an issue that needs support. A value of civil rights that was instilled in me by my mom, who was one of the most non-judgmental, accepting people I’ve ever known. A woman who held the hand of her HIV-positive friend every time he went into the hospital; I bet in the early 90s he never thought he’d outlive her. Never once in my life did I hear in our house that there was anything wrong with this lifestyle. All I heard, and saw, was love.

Which is why I think it’s beyond awesome that Kluwe has been so outspoken about equality under the law. It’s people like this, professional athletes, who really need to come out in support. Men who play the manliest game out there, who tons and tons of young boys (and girls) look up to. These kids need to see it’s cool to be accepting. It’s cool to support your friends. It’s cool to be who you are. That they’re not alone in their struggles. Bravo, man. I hope athletes like Adrian Peterson, LeBron James, Joe Mauer (though the Twins organization has publicly come out against the ammendment to ban gay marriage that's on the ballot this November), Peyton Manning, etc., feel the urge to do the same.

It All Vanishes: Sundry is another whose posts I never miss. And man, some days she just hits home and makes me cry. The passage she quotes comes from a book she read and I never would’ve read it (and cried at it) if she hadn’t posted it. I’ll fully admit I think about how life might be easier if only my kid could do ‘this’ or ‘that.’ But this post was a great reminder that soon enough, he’s not going to need me in this way anymore. ::sob:: (And on the same day, A Girl and a Boy posts a lovely piece with similar sentiments. You guys are killing me!)

West Wing reunion for a political ad: To end on a funny note, nearly all the favorite players from The West Wing made a video to educate viewers on non-partisan judicial ballots (they're easily skipped over apparently; I learned something!) and support a co-star's sister who is running in Michigan. Josh throws a fit, C.J. talks matter-of-factly, the President ends the convo with words of wisdom, they walk, they talk. It's fabulous. If only it was the real world. Let's keep making these, guys, because I miss you so!

Your turn!

Posted: Fri, 09/21/2012 - 09:18 | Comments: 5