16 Candles….

17 07 2017

I was in a hurry Wednesday morning. We had to make sure all of our stuff was packed up: clothes, food, soccer gear, beach gear… and numerous other items needed for a coastal getaway for soccer provincials. It was a long drive to Whiterock, and we had to drop my car off at the garage and meet up with our friends to make the all-day trek.

In my haste to make sure we had everything, I noticed my daughter acting glum. “Good lord” I thought to myself. “There’s no fucking way I am putting up with teenage moods and angst this morning!” I urged her to get ready, feed the dog, pack her cleats. I rolled my eyes at her seeming unwillingness to extract any minuscule bit of human decency in getting her to help me.

Finally, we were all loaded up and ready to go. She remained quiet and uncommunicative. I took a deep breath and just drove in silence. I stared at the road ahead of me thinking of the expanse of time in front of us, knowing it would be hell to get through with this sort of energy. So I asked her, point blank.

“What is the matter, honey? You have to tell me.”

Her big blue eyes blinked back some tears, and in a quiet voice that recalled her younger years, that evoked a tenderness and delicate fatalism and acceptance that broke my goddamn heart, she whispered:

“It’s my birthday today.”

My heart dropped. I stepped on the brakes and there, in the middle of the highway, I put my car into park and burst into tears. I reached for her, pulling her close and holding her as her sobs issued forth. I clung her to me, my baby girl, my love and heart, my sweetness and strength. I held her as she cried, as I cried.

Oh my heart. It broke and shattered and in my dismal realization of such a huge oversight, I realized that there would never ever be true forgiveness of my self.

Yes, yes. I know I would have remembered. I KNOW I had planned the night before that Jill and I would stop at a bakery and get a yummy cake for dinner that night once we arrived. I know that her and I had discussed for weeks about her 16th birthday gift and spent hours online looking for the perfect one.

I know all that. And logically, I can apply that and tell myself that yes, I was busy and running around and it slipped my mind. An easy oversight.

But. That little piece of her heart that was crushed when I failed to greet her with a kiss and a hug and a loving “Happy Birthday”  when she woke that morning will stay with me forever. I still feel nauseated when I think of it, even now after days of joking about it, and everyone razzing me.

My forgiveness is slow to come on this one folks. I set the bar high on fuck-ups. And I am not entirely sure I will ever allow myself to let it go. Even now, as she lords it over me, EVERY CHANCE SHE GETS.

 

But if it’s ANY consolation to the mothers (and fathers) out there…. When you fuck up… and feel that guilt about your supposed shitty parenting faux pas, just remember “Hey, I’m not THAT bad….. Kris forgot her daughter’s 16th birthday!”

 

 

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Here’s the thing…

3 07 2017

Wow are we ever a society divided. Not just in the USA, but here at home… my “loving, compassionate, non-discriminate, all-encompassing and empathetic”  Canada. I see the rhetoric and divide of “left and right”. Of Liberalism and Conservatism. Right/Left. Extremes on either sides, blindly faithful to their views only.

It makes me sad. Not because of right or wrong.

No. It makes me sad because of the lack of simple human compassion. The vitriolic hate and keyboard warrior opinions abound, regardless of stepping back and thinking for one honest moment of their point of view. Or of others.

I really felt this today, when I faced my own reactionary WTF.

A CBC article linked through my friend’s comment on Facebook of a non-binary, gender/free (pardon me if I fuck up the terminology, this is new to me) person who has succeeded in achieving an unknown gender designation on their child’s birth certificate. They want to raise their child, born of their body, free of a gender affiliation.

Holy fuck, this is a trip.

I read and dismissed 90% of the negative vitriolic comments because they came from such hate, that I knew compassion and understanding wasn’t on their horizon just yet. But there were a few honest opinions, stemming from simple questioning. I can appreciate that.

Dialogues can be created from this. And yes, perhaps points of view may or may not be swayed to any particular side and that is totally okay right now.

This is new. This is different. This is hard to navigate. You see, I have no issue with the gender I was designated with and I identify with my sex, my orientation and my gender as it generally fits in with the expected norm. I have never had any uphill battles to fight regarding my identification.

Lucky me.

So. To step back from my knee-jerk reaction to a non-binary parent claiming no identified gender of their child, I was all Wait, what??? I read the article…. my mind whirled about a bit… and then I saw a picture of the parent.

 

I KNEW THEM.

 

I knew who it was, I have had interaction with them and here’s the fucking kicker:

This human is super awesome. Kind. Thoughtful and aware and very very involved in making a difference. And active in their community.

And yes, their requests of no gender seems maybe a bit fucked up to many. It’s kind of weird, a bit strange, and makes us feel uncomfortable.

But you know what else did?

Women voting.

Civil rights.

Gay rights.

Indigenous rights.

Black Lives Matter.

White privilege.

LOTS of things have made us feel uncomfortable. I’m not innocent in this. That’s hard to admit.

But discomfort plays an integral part of change and ultimately: Acceptance.

We all need to step back a pace from our own reactionary position and take a deep breath. Step away from the keyboard and quit Internet yelling at people who don’t agree (this applies to me in many ways LOL).  I like to preface a new situation with three questions.

Does it hurt others?

Does it hurt society?

Does it hurt me?

And for the most part, with any  expression of human dignity and rights, the answers are NO, NO and NO.

It’s that simple then.

Let us move forward, with compassion and empathy and a whole lot of open-heart. The world will be a better place with it.