i am a stay at home parent. my work never stops. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, i am my children mother, even when they are at school or away from me. they are still in my heart. i had not planed on telling a meaningful time in my “work” because, really, how cliche’… talking about motherhood.
I was going to talk about my dad and my grandpa who were union men till their deaths. Grandpa continued to pay his dues for years after he retired. In my house the 11 commandment was “Thou shall not cross picket lines, ever.” If dad had bumper stickers (he did not believe in them, no I have no idea why) next to “If I knew grand kids were this much fun I would have had the first,” would be the sticker Live Better, Work Union. I wish Stay at home parents had a union, can you imagine? It would be the end of days
But something happened last week and this, that was so profound, so scary, and beautiful. and powerful that I must share it with you.
it was on a hot summer afternoon when I was informed that O in the Buddhas class told her daughter, that TB was gay. she says she received an email from me telling her that. she says that their family is very LGBTQ affirming so telling her 12-year-old was no big deal.
i never sent an email stating that TB was gay, nor would i ,ever out any one, especially my own child. and for the record TB is straight, he came out to me as straight a few months ago, so it will be missing i have a gay son badge of honour on my socialist girl scout uniform,..
but we still have a chance for Bi-Racial grand babies
there is so much about this whole thing that is wrong, in every way
what mother does that? not question the email? not call me to ask what the hell are you thinking sending an email out like this? and then without any hesitation, tell her teenage daughter?
the rumour got around fast, kids talk you know, i do not blame TB’s class mate for sharing it. in fact, when her mother said that to her the daughter told her mom that she did not think that was true. but kids talk, hell, everyone talks! even if it is just to process the information. at some point, another child told her mother about the rumour, and that mother called me right away. it took several days to find ground zero. N, ( who TB teacher) and i spent the week looking for clues, asking lots of questions, and trying to keep it from TB. and i spent a great deal of time on my knees begging g*d to take it all way. to be honest i was a real mess. so afraid for my son, that i had looked in to other schools.
something so wonderful happened. without exception TB’s class mates said to their teacher, something to the effect “well we know it’s not true, and even if it was who cares?’
what a remarkable group of youth we have in the class. the idea that they had a classmate was worth talking about, but the IDEA the Truth of it was,
so what? who cares?
N. and i decided to tell TB what was going on,
we wanted him decide what to do about it.
when N, told him. he said. “oh i know that N, told me that A told him” he went on “n” told him to shut the (insert colourful metaphor here) and “that it was not true”
As we sat in his class room we asked TB, are you okay? TB said “well yeah, “eye roll”. it is not true, and so what if it was? who cares?”
We asked him if it would be okay to send out and email telling everyone it is not true, and i told him that i never sent out any email like that. he said yes, and i did send out an email telling the truth later that night, N asked so B, what if someone calls you a fag or something?
TB, said, ” i will tell then to insert “colourful metaphor ” off and say that is not true and even if it were, who the colourful metaphor” cares?”
ah, he is my son after all. he has a mouth like his momma.
N and i held our smiles and she said that’s fine, and if that happens, please go to her and tell her right away.
Later ground zero spoke to TB and he forgave her.
he forgave her.
i have known since the day he was born that he would change the world. and touch the souls of people. this week he touched my soul. he touched ground zeros soul. he touched N’s soul. the meaning full moment in my work life is i made that remarkable kid. with some help of course! this congregation made him. he classmates made him, his 100-year-old soul just protected him, i guess.
that was the most meaningful time in my working life.
i am an mother, i am a good enough mother, who without knowing grew this amazing, remarkable, magnificent, person.
and wow. G*d trusted me to grow this person.
he is strong in his spirit, he knows who he is. knows some secret that i do not know. maybe someday he will tell me.
and that my dear family in faith,
is the most meaningful time in my work.
amen, ashe and blessed be.
Dear Mr. B,
It has taken me over 20 years to write this letter. I was in drama for the 3 years I was high school in the early 80s. I acted very little when it came down to it. I allowed my dyslexia to keep me from many things and having a big part in a play was one of them. I would perform from time to time, but to be honest I did not like acting I was not sure why until just recently, but I will get to that later.
I went on to become am Early Childhood Educator. I would use the skills I learn in 1-3rd year drama to tell stories to play! The child has innate skill to go inside the place that is imagination, that is open fields and flowers or tow trucks or cops and robbers or house or school. Most people lose that when they grow up. but if you were blessed enough to have some drama classes then you might be able to connect with that holy place. As I watched them play. really, really play without any bullshit adult interference. they went to a place that is holy, sacred and real.
I used the skills you taught me to be a parent, sometimes during play, using voices when reading or telling a bedtime story. But mostly I would use it when I was holding tightly on to my very sanity when they were going “2-year-old ape shit” in Kroger. I do two things, I look for the light of G*D that is always close, and then I step into it. I let the light fill me. Then I become the mother that I wish to be. I see that light because you taught me how to look for it i feel the light because you taught me how to find the feeling deep inside.
I could go on, but I wont.
The reason I am writing this letter is because I realized a few weeks ago why I did not really like performing in plays. I wanted to tell my stories. not someone else’s. That is what I do now, I write, here on my blog, I write and preach sermons, and guess what? I am good at it. Every time I am on the pulpit. From the way I put on my makeup. To the ability to hold in my arms the loving embrace the congregation. I learned from you.
People have asked me where did you learn to do that?
How come you just stand there and people stop talking and wait for you to say something?
To tell stories in a way that holds the child attention?
How do you stand up there straight and Tall?
Why does it seem like you “own” the pulpit?
When you looking into the eyes of the congregation, how can you tell the stories you do, sometimes even crying and yet, you are able to hold it together to get the point across?
How are you able to share deep from your heart, sometimes deeper from your very soul and touch them?
The answers to these questions very. From just being open to what the Divine in me has to say, and trusting the Divine to do that. It is looking at the congregation, not as a classroom or an audience, but as holy entity, every. one. a soul that is open and ready to hear and share.
The other answer is that I took 3 years of drama in high school
I stayed in high school because of drama. Because of the friends that I made, some of whom I am still close today. I stayed in high school, because of a teacher who sometimes smoked his pen and told me that “feeling are not right or wrong they just are”
It is because I had a teacher who saw me as not just a student, but a fellow soul on the same beautiful, scary, fun, fucked up journey that is LIFE.
Today, Mr B. My husband and I went to a local university to get information and the paper work to get my bachelor in Religious Studies. I am going to be a preacher and a story-teller. Not a scary one! LOL, but the kind that just loves, that will speak for those with out voice, children, the poor, the ill, the unwanted the unloved and even the unlovable.
I am not planing on becoming a minister at a church. I plan, ( i should say that I feel called) to minister to the different and the other, maybe that is a prison. or hospice. or even just on the streets of Portland. Just sharing to the masses that G*d loves them period, No matter who they love, no matter what they have done, that they are saved by grace that is for everyone. EVERYONE.
I am 48 years old. I have three kids from age 14 to 6 all in private school. with me, that will be 4 tuitions. Holy Shit!! I am going back to school. WE have no idea where the money will come from. I suspect that the Divine has that under control. I know I can do this. I know I will not only get though it, I will succeed. because I got though high school. The real, very real truth is that it is because of you.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Class of 84
So This Happened.
I have changed all the names. if you can tell me what literary source the names are from in the comments section of my blog,
You win the internet.
It was a summer afternoon that Caroline, a parent in my sons class called to tell me that her daughter Laura, had heard from another classmate, Bathsheba, who said to Laura “Hay! didja know that Huck is gay? his mom sent out an email telling every one!” Laura told her mother, as soon as she got home.
yes. this. happened.
Well, no. I did NOT send out any such email.
I, Mrs. Rochester, would not have sent out such personal information, stating that Huck was gay, nor would I ever out any one, especially my own child. and for the record. Huck, is straight, he told me that a few months ago, so I will be missing the “I have a gay son” badge of honor on my socialist girl scout uniform,..
But we still have a chance for Bi-Racial grand babies
Then I called Miss Muriel Stacy, Huck’s Teacher. Miss Stacy and I spent the week looking for clues, asking lots of questions, and trying to keep it from Huck. It took days to find out thatit was Mrs Norris who first said it and believes she read it in an email, Mrs. Norris was horrified, of course, she did send out an email telling the families in the class, that she mis-read an email and told Hermione’ and that she was so sorry.
The rumor got around fast, kids talk you know, I do not blame Hermione’ for sharing it. Kids talk, hell, everyone talks! Even if it is just to process the information.
What parent does that?
Does not question a letter like that?
Does not call or email me to ask:
“What the hell are you thinking sending an email out like this?”
Then without any hesitation, tell her teenage daughter?
uh, except there is no email.
I spent a great deal of time on my knees begging g*d to take it all way. to be honest i was a real mess.
But something wonderful happened. With out exception Huck’s classmates, when asked about the rumor, said to their teacher, something to the effect “Well we know it’s not true, and even if it was who cares?’
What a remarkable group of youth we have in the class. the idea that they had a classmate who may or may not have been gay was worth talking about. well, it is. like i said before, i do not blame them at all. but no one cared. who cares? right?
I get that we are so blessed to have the school we do, and the kids in it. and very blessed to have Miss. Stacy as our teacher.
Miss. Stacy and I decided to tell Huck what was going on, we wanted him decide what to do about it. We gave him the choice to confront it or just not address it. When Miss. Stacy told him he said. “Oh I already know that , Atticus told me that Fitzwilliam had told him” Huck went on to say that Atticus told Fitz to “shut the (insert colorful metaphor here) up” and “That it was not true” and to “stop saying that”. later, Atticus and Sir Lancelot (another classmate) said they would be watching Huck’s back.
We asked him if it would be okay to send out and email telling everyone it is not true, and I told him that I never sent out any email like that. Huck said “I know that ma,” and he said “Yes, we could send out an email.”
Miss Stacy asked him, so what if someone comes up to you and says something to you, calls you a “fag” or something? Huck, in true Huckleberry form, said, “I will tell them insert “colorful metaphor” off and say that is not true” and even if it were, “who the colorful metaphor” cares?”
Ah, he is my son after all. he has a mouth like his momma.
Miss Stacy and i held our smiles and she said that s fine, and if that happens, please go to her and tell her right away.
Later Mrs. Norris spoke to Huckleberry and he forgave her.
He. forgave. her.
I have known since the day he was born that he would change the world.
Touch the souls of people.
This week he touched my soul.
He touched Mrs.Norris’s soul.
He touched Miss Stacy’s soul.
I made that remarkable kid. with some help of course!
His Father, Mr. Rochester made him,
Our faith community made him.
He classmates made him,
His 100-year-old soul just protected him.
And wow! G*d trusted me to grow this person.
Holy Shit!! What the hell is G*d thinking?
strong in his spirit,
he knows who he is.
knows some secret that i do not know.
Maybe someday he will tell me.
Did you know that labor day is not just for picnics and parties and getting ready for school to start?
A long time ago people worked very hard and long hours with very little pay. in very dangerous condition they worked in factories. doing tasks like sewing buttons on shirts, ironing, sewing clothes,. they worked very hard, these places were called “sweat” shops. the people worked so hard and fast that they would be sweating a lot!
The boss would fill the room with 100′s of people and would lock the door so workers could not leave. they worked for hours and hours with no breaks!
Not to go potty, how many of you go potty?
We all go potty.
Not to have lunch.
How many of you eat lunch?
We all like to eat lunch.
But the bosses wanted them to work, and that is all they did. the people worked long hours so they could feed their family. some of the families were so poor that their children had to go to work, some as young as 6 years old. How many of you are 6 years old?
How many of you were once 6 years old? Wow! We all have so much in common with each other, huh?
The children did things like keeping the thread on the sewing machines, so the seamstress would not have to stop working. It was very dangerous work for a child. The bosses wanted children because they had small hands. They could get their hands in the small parts of the machines. These children worked the same long hours as the grown ups, from early in the morning before the sun came up, till way past bed time. At the end of the day the boss would give them 75 cents!
But there was a man named Peter McGuire who had worked as a child. He believed that it was wrong to treat workers that way. He wanted the workers to have a safe place to work, to be able to take bathroom breaks, to get fair pay for the hours they worked, He wanted people to have a day off, but most of all he wanted the children in school, not a factory.
On September 5 1882 he got over 10,000 workers to go on strike in New York City. That was the first labor day. In 1894 congress passed a law making labor day a national holiday.
So tomorrow when you are hanging out with your family, eating yummy food and maybe even watching parade. take a minute, put your hand on your heart and say a silent thank you to Mr McGuire and the work he did for the working people of years ago and even the workers now.
copyright. Erika Allen
it is nice to share
Today the Buddha and i went clothes shopping for school. as we were driving home
i stopped at a light. There was a man, he had a sign,
i could not read it, although it would not have
mattered anyway. He was clearly, very, very ill. He
still had a stint in his chest from what i think must have
been for the chemotherapy, he still had the hospital
bracelet thingy on. His right arm was amputated at and above
the shoulder, this man was in jeans no shoes, no shirt. he
was very, very thin. gaunt, yellow and sad, he was so so
sad. He is alone. He is dying. Yes, i am saying all of this
from the 4 minutes that i saw him. i began furiously digging
in my purse for cash to give him, i came up with 6 bucks.
The Buddha had to get out of the car to give him the money.
Only his eyes said thank you.
My eyes caught the eyes of another woman in the car next to mine.
She was digging also, we were both crying for him. And we both knew it when we
looked at each other. We just knew. This man, this child of
G*d. Sick and alone. With no safe place to lay down. He
should be in the hospital. He has a right be safe. in his last days.
A warm place with others who will hold him in those last
moments on earth, It was sad that the Buddha saw it, we
have been giving money to people his whole life. That is
nothing new. The Buddha was moved by the man also. he said
“wow, he looks really sick”. He asked me why i was crying. i
could not talk right away. i was thisclose to the ugly cry.
This is America folks. “Land of the free home of the
brave.” “give us your tired you poor your huddled masses.”
Where health care is a privilege. Not a human right. And
hold the phone if you have a mental illness or PTSD from
fighting one of our many wars. Or if you are an addict. Or
if you have been to prison. Where a warm safe place to sleep
is a privilege. Not a human right. Where food in his belly
is a privilege not a right.
This man will be in my heart forever.
But alas, i can only pray for him. Hand him over to the
Divine. Lay him at the foot of the cross. Jesus died for him
too ya know. i do not know if he believes in a higher power.
i am not sure i would if i were sick and on the street. so i
will believe for him and the other 2,542 to 2,727 homeless
in my town. i will give out dollar bills when ever i can.
i will never ever forget the man today.
i am sure he will die on the streets, no one will know his name. i know
this, G*D knows his name, he knows every hair on his head.
and when he dies, he will be welcomed at the gates of
paradise where he will be whole,healthy and warm and not
hunger. He will feel the Grace that is for all of us.
If he dies on the street He will be at the coroners for
a while. Then he will be cremated with the others who died
on the street and have no name and buried in a pauper’s grave.
Did you even know that there are still paupers graves?