This first appeared in the Sunday, September 18, 2011, edition of the Covington News.
I’d like to get the 430 Facebook friends I have in one great big room and see what happens. Wouldn’t that just be a hoot? Think of whom you’re friends with on face book. Now, imagine them mingling over drinks and finger foods. You’d be the common denominator for most of them and the topic of discussion as your many worlds collided. Oh, wait, and then, your entire family would show up- the pregnant cousin, the drunken uncle and the disapproving mother-in-law included. Maybe that wouldn’t be such a hoot after all.
I don’t know anyone who isn’t on Facebook anymore. Your Me-Maw might not be, but I bet your mom is. I’m friends with my second grade teacher (Mrs. Fell was named Mrs. Alabama this year!) and the kid who grew up down the street from me (Bless his babies’ hearts, but they all have his nose and predilection for camo). Jesus even has his own Facebook page. I don’t know who is doing his admin work, but I wish they’d use spell check.
I have occasion to be on Facebook on nearly a daily basis because of my website. I run a daily frugal living blog and I post deals and articles on my website’s Facebook fan page. Aren’t you just exhausted reading that? I mean, don’t get me wrong, y’all. I have close to 2,500 Facebook followers. They are generally nice people who simply love a good deal and want to learn more about this whole coupon craze. I call everybody “friend,” because I am firm believer in the idea that people are friends just waiting to be introduced. Some of those Facebook fans have become friends off Facebook as well. Isn’t technology bizarre and beautiful?
Recently, one of my husband’s first students from Biloxi High School became friends with one of my Atlanta friends who I met at a wine tasting 7 or 8 years ago and I know through the friend of my best friend. Those two people would never have interacted in the real world because of geography, but along comes Facebook and their one common friend, me. Facebook is crawling with those kinds of dynamics. Our lives are as well, but Facebook mashes them all together in a huge social marketing melting pot, a cornucopia of friends, family and neighbors. We get to see all these connections in an illustrated guide where we can click on the word “like” and make smiley faces.
Getting back to that little soiree of Facebook friends I mentioned earlier… what would happen if say, my best friend from 6th grade and my husband’s co-worker got to talking politics? I have a feeling that would blow up pretty fast because my best friend from 6th grade will not be inclined to listen to any crazy talk and my husband’s co-worker would just shake his head in the superior way educated folks have when people who haven’t lost their accents get riled up about something.
I have had a wanderlust most of my adult life, so I’ve collected many circles of friends who really have no common ground other than knowing me at some time or other. It’s tense and amusing to witness these online encounters between folks that have never laid eyes on one another. They haven’t laid eyes on me in some cases upwards of 25 years or more, so it’s like an improvisation in the age of social networking when these groups interweave and, sometimes, clash on Facebook. Would the dynamics change if they were in the same room, drink in hand, exchanging words face to face? Undoubtedly, yes.
While I praise Facebook for the ways in which it keeps us all connected, even building new friendships and opening discourses on important topics like gay marriage rights, Harry Potter and bacon, I think we tend to forget that Facebook isn’t real life. Facebook is the tiny bit of ourselves we are willing to put online for people to see. Your Aunt So-and-So took her profile picture ten times just so you wouldn’t see her double chin and your college roommate’s wife only posted the pictures from the wedding that don’t show what she thinks is her bad side. And well, she’s right. It is her bad side, but should we be allowed to edit so much of ourselves that we’re more product than person? Facebook is like a reality show. We only see what they want us to see.
Here’s what I suggest we all do to counter this insanity before we wake up one morning and all of our friends look like a Kardashian. I suggest we talk to one another. Not message, not chat, not comment. Talk. That’s the thing we used to do where I’d say something and then, you’d say something back. And we’d do that over and over again. This conversation requires both of us being in the same room. If that is impossibile, here’s my next suggestion. Call. Not a voice mail, not while you’re driving, not while you’re doing any other thing. Make a phone call on purpose and do nothing other than drink a cup of coffee while we listen to one another speak. And if that’s impossible, then I have one last suggestion that may just blow your mind. Write. Not email, not text, not tweet. Sit down with some stationary and write a letter about what’s on your mind, about what’s going on, about how you’re living your life. You’d be surprised what you’ll write that you won’t speak.
I’d still like to get my Facebook friends in one room for a little meet-and-greet. I bet before the end of the evening my friend in Hungary who makes wine and my friends in Atlanta who consume it like they have their own TLC show will be as thick as thieves. I bet my father-in-law offends every woman in the room, but no one will really care because all of his sexist comments will be made in a funny Cajun-esque accent that you just can’t take seriously. I bet my soul sisters who talk about the Universe and their journeys will have captivated my die hard, conservative, religious friends. I bet an evening spent together in real life and not on Facebook would be an amazing, unforgettable, stressful, once in a lifetime event. Yeah. Where’s the like button?
This column first appeared in the Sunday, September 4, 2011, edition of the Covington News.
All this talk of bad parenting has got me pretty down. Not just bad parents who are showing up here in the Covington News, but everywhere. I mean, bad parents are a dime a dozen these days, aren't they? From the mama who told her kids not to tell the police her name if they got caught shoplifting shoes and socks at Walmart to the folks who let their son drive his four-wheeler in my neighborhood like he's Evel Knieval, it's getting to be so you can't hardly throw a rock without hitting a bad parent. Not that I'm one for throwing rocks. I tend to use my words instead.
It seems like some folks have babies like dogs have puppies. There's little thought to how they get here and less on how you raise them. I guess I should take that back. I've seen dogs care for their babies a hell of a lot better than some parents care for their children. But I don't want to write about all those bad parents. I want to tell y'all about a mighty fine mama I met here lately, a mama who made me think that maybe the Kardashians and reality television won't cause the downfall of western civilization.
I encountered this mama as I was walking into Target with the Teenager. The Teenager is a sassy thing with a quirky, fearless style all her own. Her hair is as colorful as my language is on my blog. She regularly adds teal, pink and purple to her bangs courtesy of the best hair dresser around, Michelle Crompton, at Honey Creek Hair. We are walking into Target, pink highlights ablaze in the afternoon sun, when a girl no more than 14 says in a sneer that carried clean over to us, "Oh, my god. Look. At. Her. Hair."
I'm not one to politely ignore rudeness. I just can't help myself. The mama that belonged to this girl was turned away, getting another child out of the car and didn't notice that her daughter was openly gawking at us and now, pointing as well. I crossed that parking lot lickedy split and said, "It is not nice to talk about people or point at them either!"
I'll wager many of you think it isn't my job to parent the world, but after volunteering for 18 years with high school marching bands, I know different. Because somebody is too sorry to raise their own children doesn't mean those children don't deserve the direction, guidance and love of an adult. Just because someone else chooses to not parent their children, doesn't mean the job of parenting goes away. Somebody has to do it. It can be me or it can be the thug on the corner who is happy to be the role model for any child who comes his way. I went into Target, my arm around the Teenager who thought I was pretty cool for always having her back like that.
We weren't even past the dollar spot, when that girl and her mama caught up with us. I thought, "Oh, lordy. Now, I'm going to get an earful about talking to her child." I was in for a surprise. That mama told her daughter to apologize. Once her mortified daughter did, she went on to explain to us that she did not raise her children to be rude. She apologized as well, thanked me for calling her daughter on her rudeness and then, turned and walked away. We heard her chastising her daughter the whole way down the aisle. That mama thought it was pretty cool that I had her back too and I bet that kid won't ever, ever do that again, because her mama was doing her job. She was parenting.
In a culture where the most some kids get from their parents by way of guidance is a shrill "QUIT IT," followed by a slap, it's refreshing to encounter parents who are doing their jobs. Parents who will tell their kids that you don't go pointing at folks just because they're different from you. Parents who talk instead of yell, correct instead of beat. Sure bad parents are a dime a dozen, but you can still find folks who understand that we can either teach and guide our children now or the nice policemen will have to later.
Thanks to all the parents out there who signed on for more than just making babies and/or giving birth to them. Thanks to all the people who understand they made a lifetime commitment when they became parents. Thanks to all the parents who pay attention, chastise, love and are present and accounted for in the lives of their children. Thanks to all the parents who make kids wear helmets and say they're sorry when they don't act right. I got your back and I know you got mine too.
Beth McAfee-Hallman lives in Covington and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This first appeared as a column in the Sunday, August 20, 2011 edition of the Covington News.
This is to the middle school boys who kicked and then, jumped on my middle-Little’s pencil as she scrambled to pick it up in between classes, fighting back tears because you were being mean to her and wouldn’t listen. This is to the little first grade girl who looks my little-Little up and down in the hallway and says, “Ewwww,” like she’s seen something gross instead of a beautiful, sassy girl who could be her friend if she’d just stop being so mean. This is to the mean girls at high school who stare a hole through my quirky, smart Teenager, trying to intimidate her as she makes her way from one side of the school to the other. This is to the little girl who tormented me for being poor, fat and ugly when I was in third grade. This is to all the bullies out there who just keep on bullying no matter what, no matter who and no matter when.
But you know who you are. I remind myself to show patience and tolerance towards you. You yourself are most likely suffering from bullying at home or from your friends. You lack self confidence and belittle others because you need to feel bigger than you are. You push, pull, taunt, tease and lash out, because it’s the only way you know to ease your own suffering. I remind myself to love you even as you hurt the tender hearts of so many.
But indulge me here. I’m a mama now, dear Bully, and becoming a mama has made me a little tougher, a little quicker to respond to your threats, a little more likely to call you out on your cruelty. Being a mama has made me think more of protecting my Littles than of understanding the whys of your malicious behavior. My job isn’t to tolerate you, Bully. My job is to protect my Littles from anything you may do to harm them.
Can I tell you how much it breaks my heart when I see the fear you put in my Littles’ eyes? Can I explain to you just how terrible it is when I have to listen, anger in check, as my Littles explain how you mistreat them? Your self loathing is contagious, Bully. I can see it spreading in my daughters when you sneer and laugh at what they wear or where they live. They think you are insane at first, to care about such things, but I see your cruelty start to wear on them until shades of your self hatred rise in my beloved Littles. How dare you defile them with your sickness? How dare you make them doubt how lovely they are? How dare you taint their innocence and the enthusiasm of their kind hearts with your brutish manner?
All of my Littles are enrolled in public schools here in Newton County and I take great comfort in knowing the school system has zero tolerance toward bullying. I thought I was saying something with my no tolerance, but here comes the school system with ZERO tolerance. Now, I know zero tolerance is a knee jerk reaction to the epidemic of lost souls who lie trampled under the feet of bully children. We don’t want to lose a child by his or her own hand because someone bullied him or her. Zero tolerance won’t solve bullying, but it will certainly help protect my Littles and other Littles too. Zero tolerance means that you bullies won’t get away with the physical, emotional and/or verbal abuse you dole out with such enthusiasm and joy. The spiteful, vengeful way you single out differences and then, use them as ammunition against the kind and the gentle, is not welcome in our public schools. You’ll have to find somewhere else to play, Bully.
When I call on our public school administrators and teachers to defend my Littles against your poking, prodding, slapping, insulting meanness, they will rise to the occasion and offer my Littles a safe place to learn and grow. When I advocate for my Littles against your underhanded, silent taunting, I will expect a swift and immediate response. You, dear Bully, will be given no such defense, because it isn’t just my Littles these public school educators are charged with defending. Oh, no. They’ve promised to defend all of our children from the likes of you. You don’t stand a chance against a whole county filled with adults who all believe that children grow best when they are bully free.
But, Bully, I want you to understand something here. No one is going to tolerate your bad behavior in Newton County. When I say we are standing up to defend our children, I count you among them. The bullies who have turned you into one of their own, they will not be tolerated. The person who is spreading meanness through your veins like a drug you’ll never kick is on my list. My job is to act as an advocate for my Littles, but because you might not have anyone acting on your behalf, this is what I promise you, Bully. I am here. I have a warm heart, a giving spirit, time, and patience. I am a mama now. I can be an advocate for you too. I know many other parents who will stand up for you and beside you and help you make better choices, help you feel loved and be honored by your allowing them to do so.
And Bully, the very next time you think to poke fun, laugh at or bump into one of my Littles, I want you to think about me sitting here waiting to give you a hug, waiting to understand how you feel. I want you to remember that this school system has a zero tolerance for bullies and so do I. I want you to remember that you can be something more than a bully. You can be the glorious child you were meant to be.
Peace, Beth McAfee-Hallman
Beth lives in Covington, GA and can be reached at mamabee@OneFabulousMama.com.
I had my ass on my shoulders this morning. My ass is quite substantial and, usually when it's up there, it takes control. I'm pleased to report that despite my large and in charge ass, my head held the reins. I didn't break my substantial size 11 foot off in anyone's ass. I was ready to do just that, because it seemed like my little-Little's new school was determined to f#ck with me. It was as if someone had sent them a bulleted list of shit that just pisses me off. Now, yes, that list is long and has many sub-sections and addenda (or addendums if two of your Littles aren't madly in love with Latin and willing to correct you at every turn), but I really want to be wave-at-each-other friends with the ladies who populate that front office. It's not that I'm jonesing for new girlfriends who have sensible hair styles and comfortable shoes. (And a tad too much eye makeup, but who am I to judge, right?) It's just that I have to interact with these bitches for the next five long years and we're gonna be interacting about my precious angel baby girl. I want to be able to send them baked goods and laugh about the time such & such was there with so & so. You know what I mean? I know all of our lives will be easier if we just start off by playing nicey nice and I am the goddamn queen of nicey nice. Ask anybody. I usually know your Maw-Maw's name and your kids' shoe sizes inside of ten minutes, but not with these stand offish heifers. Now, it's never made sense to me that a frosty bitch would take a job where a friendly demeanor would serve her better, but these are hard times. Cold ass bitches gots to make a living too.
My little-Little came home on the first day of school bubbling over with the details of her day. In between some of those details like bathroom passes (there's only ONE) and a boy with straight black hair named Jose who wears glasses (but he doesn't sit at her table like she thought he should), my little-Little told me she went to the office to take a test. Huh. Really? What kind of test? The testy kind, Mama, I dunno. Now, it's not that I don't welcome tests, because I do. I enjoy them in the really petty way that parents of smart kids do, but this isn't about my babies blowing the motherf#cking curve off of one of those stupid ass standardized tests we all bow down to each year. This is about my little-Little's new goddamn school refusing to understand that the goddamn Georgia Cyber Academy is a motherf#cking public school. I explained this in my nicest explaining voice when we registered. Twice. But I knew those bitches weren't listening to me. I knew they were going to pull my baby for a placement test even though the largest elementary school in the motherf#cking state of motherf#cking Georgia promoted her to the first grade. Ugh. Motherf#cker.
And then, those bitches were sneaky about it and didn't even call my ass to tell me they were taking my child out of the classroom to give her a placement test. I wrote a short, polite note in my little-Little's agenda, asking the teacher to please, tell me more about a test the little-Little took in the office on the first day of school. The teacher wrote back and said she didn't know anything more than the office pulled the little-Little for the test. I should call them she said. Ahem. Alrighty.
A word about 6 year olds and agendas
What the f#ck is with these "agendas?" I mean, I'm totally on board with the concept of having a calendar and a means for communication between home and school, but why the f#ck would we call them "agendas?" I've wondered about this since the whole agenda craze began. If my little-Little had an agenda it would look something like this: 1.) Why do I have to go to bed at 9 o'clock when my big sister goes to bed at 10? 2.) Why can't I have candy whenever I want? 3.) How long is it until Christmas and my birthday and can anything be done to make them get here faster? Or it would be littered with words like pony, candy, sparkle, love and puppy. Saying a 1st grader has an agenda makes them sound like nefarious evil doers i.e. Young Republicans.
With my ass on my shoulders, I dialed the school this morning. Frosty the Secretary answers my call and puts me on hold while she tries to locate the unfortunate individual who pulled my little-Little for testing. She gets back on the phone and I shit you not, she says, "No one here knows about a test. Since your daughter's teacher didn't know either, maybe it didn't happen." Excuse the f#ck out of me, what did you just say? My child is deranged and made some shit up about going to the office and taking a motherf#cking test? Oh, this shit just got real up in here.
I'm winding up to let lose the Kraken on this no nonsense woman and her matching no nonsense shoes, hair and pantyhose, when something stays my hand. I exhaled slowly and explained to Ms. Frigidity Fridgedaire that this was not some figment of my beautiful daughter's imagination. Her teacher verified that, indeed, my little-Little was pulled from class and tested on the very first day of school. Oh, well, in that case, the principal will need to call me back. Um, that's what I thought, ya heifer.
I let all that anger brew this morning, knowing I could still call on the Kraken, if needed. Now, y'all know, I'm insane and take my crazy pills and see my damn crazy doctor. I've disclosed before that I often have to do checks to make sure my feelings are legitimate and it's not the Crazies talkin'. That's just part of being bat shit crazy. I had a little emotional check up this morning while waiting for the principal to call me. I thought about how I shouldn't have to convince the school that GCA is a public school. That's not my job. They'll figure it out or they won't. I thought about how Icey McFreezerton just got my goat, because she should be nice to everybody, but especially me, because I'm keeping the Kraken at bay, damn it. I thought about how when I see folks like that holding down jobs that I could do with such grace and ease, it's simply not fair. It's not that I want to be the school secretary, it's just I'd be sooooo much better at it and there she is fogging up the office windows with her demeanor. I would be the best asset that school could ever hope to have, yet I had to beg my way into an interview with the school system 2 years ago and, even then, I wasn't offered a job. As a f#cking secretary. Ugh.
After exploring all those reasons, I put them all in a row and discovered something pretty powerful. You know how you nest before your baby is born? That frantic prep time of washing clothes, making beds, cleaning everything, baking and organizing? Do you know what I'm talking about, friends? Do you remember that feeling of making a home ready for your baby? That's me 24/7. I never stopped the nesting. On some level, I think all parents continue to do this, but with me, there is still that same urgency experienced when a child is still growing inside me. Yeah, looks like I need to work on that. Especially given that my Littles are ages 17, 12, and 6.
By the time the principal called me back, I was in the zone. Totally in control, ass back where in belonged, Kraken chained, feelings checked with labels properly affixed. I knew what was mine and what was theirs. Turns out, the school STILL doesn't understand that GCA is a public school, but is it my job to straighten them out on this subject? Nope. Turns out they did pull Gracie for a placement test, because they think she came from a private school. I mentioned one last time that GCA was Georgia's largest public school and asked to be notified in advance and in writing of any other testing. Turns out the principal did try to call, but when she couldn't reach me, she failed to send notice with the little-Little. No harm, no foul, Principal Lady. Oh, and guess what? The principal has met my little-Little. Even knows her by name. She sees the little-Little when she gets off the bus at school. The principal got some love this morning from the little-Little and that speaks volumes. (She doesn't just give her love to anybody.) The principal told me how adorable, how smart, how lovely my little-Little is. And really, that's exactly what I needed to hear.
What I learned today
I learned I should make sure I know what's what before I go breaking my foot off in somebody's ass. I learned that if I go looking for a fight, I'm bound to find one. I learned that I can control myself even when I have my ass on my shoulders. I learned why I feel such anger when I encounter folks like Mrs Dreamsicle- McIcee. I learned that I have some maiden-mother-crone issues to address and that ain't nobody's busy-ness but my own. Well, and yours, of course, if you are coming along for the ride via this blog. Oh, and I learned that being rational takes a ton of motherf#cking work. Peace, B.
This post first appeared as a column in the Sunday, 08.07.11 edition of the Covington News!
I was going crazy. I mean crazier than my crazy pills and my shrink can handle. I mean, hot mess crazy. My family relocated to Covington, Georgia in the summer of 2008. I went from working full time outside our home to searching for a job with growing desperation. My husband works as a high school band director and he is our primary bread winner, but my income paid for incidentals like food and clothes. You know, little stuff like that. Every job I’d ever interviewed for, I’d gotten, and so I thought even in tough times, I’d be sure to land something.
Boy, was I wrong.
We went through our small savings rather quickly with the increase in cost of living. We shamefully couldn’t pay our bills, some of which we owed to friends who owned businesses in our old town. Embarrassed, we avoided the telephone and picked up our mail with growing dread. Meanwhile, I kept combing the internet and newspapers, looking for something, anything I could do to earn a living.
My background is in non-profits and theatre, but I can also answer phones, sweep floors or wait tables. Nothing was too small a wage or too lowly a job for me. I’m a mama, for goodness sake! I can do most anything that needs doing. After 463 resumes and applications, I was granted a total of three interviews with one job offer coming along in September. I worked as the director of a child care center for three agonizing months. Sixteen hour days with my little-Little in tow (she was 3 years old) at a terrible, no good, very bad job was like living in a special kind of hell littered with angry parents and ill mannered employees. We decided we were better off with an unemployed mama than a stressed out, tired mama (and little-Little).
That’s when I went tee totally crazy. Being at home again after three years of a successful career (with awards, kudos, praise and a paycheck) just hit me hard. Plus, we were sinking fast. There was more month than money and something had to change. I didn’t want my Littles growing up the way I did.
I was a child of poverty. Not third world poverty, but the American brand of poverty prevalent in the rural South. My family didn’t have money for any extras and, most often, we didn’t have money for what we needed. I grew up in the squalor of a roach infested rental, surrounded by hungry brothers and sisters. I learned how to be resourceful early on, to make do with what I had. Now, I didn’t learn to be thankful for what I had until much later in life but meanwhile, this idea of thrift translated into ingenuity with me. In other words, poverty fueled my creativity.
I’m a nonconformist and that’s what frugal living is all about. It’s the ability to go against the grain, to not drink the Kool-Aid of mass consumerism, to be who you are, knowing full well that your appearance is not the sum total of your identity. Frugal living doesn’t mean going without, but rather embracing the idea that only you can determine what is best for you and your family. Not the ad execs or the big corporations. Not your neighbors or your parents or your friends. Only you.
I went over the edge after quitting that terrible, no good, very bad job, because my family still needed to make up the loss of income and I was doing nothing to help earn an income. That’s when I took my casual coupon habit and kicked it up a notch or two (million) and I implemented all of the frugal living strategies I learned when I was a poor kid, a poor college student and a poor young mother. I ramped up every little cost saving measure I could think of until my family could make it. I remembered that who I am is more important that what people think.
A friend suggested I start a website where I talked about how I make ends meet on one income. Not just daily deals, but also frugal living tips and recipes. I thought it would be kinda neat to have a little virtual space of my own for writing and sharing. Then, that little space grew into One Fabulous Mama. I am amazed every single day that this has become a job I absolutely love and can do from home. To say I’m thankful doesn’t even begin to describe it, friends.
I want my website readers to understand who my family is. We are a debt laden, paycheck to paycheck living family of five who have decided money isn’t everything. I am dedicated to staying at home, acting as the hub of our family. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll write a story or two while I’m growing my garden and my children. The information on my website is how I can lead the braless, shoeless, middle-class lifestyle to which I have grown accustomed. I want you to understand I’m not driving some fancy car or living in some fancy house. I’m just a middle-class mom who doesn’t give a flip what anyone thinks as long as she can be with her family. The most important thing for all of us is being together. The best way we can manage that is for me to be One Fabulous Mama.
I celebrated my 18th wedding anniversary last week. Aside from making feel about as old as dirt, it was a grand old time. A friend of mine gave me the idea that instead of looking at my anniversary as just the day I got married, to look at it as the day my family was born as well. I love this idea so very much and, last year, we celebrated our anniversary as a family birthday with a special dinner and cupcakes for each of us. We all even got to blow out the candles and make a wish. In true Hallman style, we played board games and ate well.
This year, thanks to the brilliant frugal ideas of OFM reader, Laura Halad and our Aunt Julia, we celebrated our birthday with a meal the Littles cooked and served themselves. We also ate much later, out under the stars, with a movie projected on the Big Screen (the side of our neighbor's house). The whole point of honoring this day is to celebrate who and what we are- a family.
My husband and I don’t come from families with strong bonds. Where we spend time nurturing and loving our Littles, our parents yelled at us, beat us, or worse, forgot about us entirely. Times were different then, I know, but you can’t even explain away the neglect and abuse we experienced by noting the unique standards of a different era. Our moms and dads just weren’t folks who understood that once you had kids, you kinda have to love on them or they don’t grow right. The good news is, my husband and I survived our childhoods and we’ve made a pretty spectacular job loving one another and the Littles we made together.
Families come in all shapes and sizes. I’m super happy to know families with single parents, same sex parents, bi-racial parents, international parents and grandparents. I’m delighted to know families with children who have inconsequential qualifiers like foster, step, adopted, half, and everything in between. Knowing all these families makes for some fun times when families that don’t look just like mine can all hang out together because we share the common bond of being families. Can you guess why we all get along? Yeah, we all just love our kids. It doesn’t hurt that we’re all good cooks and live fabulous lives, but in the end, it boils down to loving our children enough to be involved in more than just their care and keeping.
I have the opportunity to be involved with many families, because my husband works in the public school system and my kids have tons of friends. I’m often amazed by how flippant adults can be when it comes to their children. Like their kids are afterthoughts in their parents’ busy lives instead of the centerpieces they ought to be. I see it when parents don’t show up for concerts and don’t come into meet us when they drop off their kids at my house. I see it when a kid shows up without lunch for band camp every single day and then, is forced to wait awkwardly with my family for upwards of an hour for a mom or dad who couldn’t make arrangements for a ride for their child. When did our kids become something less than precious angel babies to us? One phone call and we can arrange rides, lunches and so much more. When did our children become of so little importance they don’t even merit a phone call and a peanut butter sandwich?
I celebrated my family’s 18th birthday last week, but I couldn’t help but think of all those other families- the ones that may not look like mine, but are filled with love just like mine is. I couldn’t help but think of all those kids who are growing up in hard circumstances with parents who maybe ought to stop making babies unless they can make time for them. I think of the kids who remind me so much of a younger me and I’m gonna do my best to make sure they survive their childhoods too. I think of my own family and I am filled with nothing but love.
Happy birthday, Hallmans!
We've been a family for 18 whole years now.
It started with just two folks falling in love...
look at how that love grew!
Now, we have a tribe, a clan, a league, a family of five
who know how to laugh, yell, annoy, defend, encourage, cajole, embrace, enlighten, lift up, put down and love one another with a fierce passion that leaves me breathless with the thrill of belonging.
I've been neglecting Mother Blogger now that I'm posting daily in Thuggin' to the Oldies. Seems like I'm only ever over here to post my bi-weekly column and Project 365. I really like how free I can be on this page of the website, but more and more of me is creeping over to Thuggin' to the Oldies. I mean, I'll never truly let it all hang out over there, because I share those links on the facebook page and it gets mixed up with the frugal living stuff. In other words, you don't shit where you sleep.
I came back over to Mother Blogger tonight because I've been going through the emails, messages and comment forms that the volunteer admin sends me. I try to get to that stuff daily, but it piles up every week or so and I get behind. I found this gem today and thought it'd make the perfect Mother Blogger post. So, I'm back, bitches. Did you miss me?
To my friends (and for those folks who don't know me, but like to read my blog and throw your two cents at me like tomahawk missles), I KNOW that entertaining idiots only fuels their caveman fires. I KNOW that I shouldn't respond to bullshit. I KNOW that giving this my energy isn't good. I KNOW. But indulge me. This is like my oatmeal pie now, okay. It's all I got while I'm trying to kick my potato chip/Little Debbie habit.
"I like your website and you good ideas about saving money. I like your blog to. I just want you to know your going to hell and so are your kids because you don't know Jesus Christ as your personal lord and savor. If you love your daughters and husband as much as you say you do go to church and walk with God. Only He can really make sure you are saved... You seem like a nice person and I know if somebody just told you the truth about God you would do such good works. Please think about coming to church... it don't have to be mine it can be whatever church you want. Can I call you to talk more about this? I want to tell you about the Jesus I know and love." P.
First of all, I think if you're gonna be ballsy enough to tell me I'm going to hell and taking my whole family with me, you should be ballsy enough to leave your full name. Because the pair you grew was only big enough to leave an initial and because I have balls the size of planets, I'm just going to address you as "Pussy Gawhore." This name is so nasty in every way and completely captures how I feel about folks who send me messages without leaving their names. I ain't taking the time to answer anybody who ain't got no name and I was itching to answer you. I gave you a terrible moniker and I made you a woman. You're welcome.
Ms. Gawhore, you rambled on quite a bit there, so before I answer your question, I'll do some rambling of my own. Please know that if your email wasn't so goddamn funny, I'd be offended. I mean, you pretty much lobbed one up there for me. Seriously? You want me to go to a church so I can learn more about your version of God and Jesus? Puh-leez, bitch. I know Jesus and he motherf#cking LOVES me. Like, all to pieces loves me. Jesus loves me so much, he told me I can see him whenever I want. I ain't gotta go to nobody's church to visit him or his daddy. Jesus loves me so much, I'm pretty sure he wants to whip your ass right about now.
While I "seem like a nice person," rest assured, I'mma total bitch when you tell me I'm damning my children because of how and what I believe. On behalf of my husband and I, f#ck you. We're delighted our Littles aren't worshipping alongside someone who would try to scare their mother into salvation. FTR, you don't seem like a nice person at all. You seem like a very scared, confused, misguided and ignorant bitch. Your email was like a misspelled tattoo- amusing and terrible in every possible way. ONLy God Will Juge Me, ya heifer.
I could go on and on, Pussy Gawhore, but I'mma just go ahead and answer your question. You asked me if you could call me to talk MORE about this? Um, hell to the f#ck no. Not that I wouldn't love a chat about how you're the reason I protect my Littles from religious folks because I don't know if they're Christ followers or total douche bags like you. Not that I wouldn't love to explain to you that if hell is where you aren't spending eternity then, by all means, sign my ass up for a corner condo overlooking the fiery pits, baby! The reason I don't want to chitty-chat via telephone with you, Pussy, is because if you really, really, REALLY knew Jesus, you would have never, ever, EVER sent that kind of email on his behalf. If you knew Jesus, a heathen like me wouldn't be ashamed of you for defiling his name. It's not my soul you're worried about, you cowardly piece of shit. It's your own. Much peace, B.