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Today wasn't so great, but it was a much better day than some moms had. My hands hurt from typing so much and I'm irritated with a few things, but all of that kind of dissolved when I gave myself a reality check. It started with a simple article.

My Childhood Was a Fairy Tale
I've gone out of my way to raise my son better than I was raised. I didn't know much love and I knew a lot of different types of abuse, but today I read about a boy, now a very successful man, who made my childhood look like a fairy tale. My guess is that even the author of "My Name is Dave" would have felt like childhood may not have been so bad in comparison. I know I cried for an hour over it.

I won't link to it because you'll have nightmares after reading the report, but I will say to hug your babies tight tonight and let them know you love them and that their existence matters, which brings me to the article that made me sit down and think for a minute.

In case you're interested, Dear White Moms is a personal eye opener, or it should be. It took me out of my comfort zone for a minute.

It's Still Racist Here
All this time I've been thinking how glad I am that I live in a small community and how thankful I am that things here have changed over the years. The KKK used to have a lot of say around here and if you thought you were going to move into this community without white skin, you had one hell of a bonfire to look forward to and it wasn't the kind that involved beer and brats.

It's not like that anymore, but traces of the stupidity of racism still linger. My son's experience reminded me of just that.

One day a few years back I was driving my son home from school. He told me he had made a new friend and that he befriended her primarily because no one else was and he felt bad for her. What he said next almost made me wreck the truck.

My son explained to me that during their conversation the little girl told him that she hated the school. When he asked why, she said it was because some kids had told her "this school is for whites" and she wasn't white.

My son, perplexed, said he he responded with "but President Lincoln took care of all that" ...and I damn near drove off the road.

For him, it really was that simple. I'm not racist and we don't hang around with anyone that is, so he had no concept that racism was even a thing. To him, the slaves were freed and Boom! all was well.

We wish.

Do we have to worry about riots here? Probably not. I don't even know of anyone being killed by the police here...ever. But this, this is where it starts, with a small child learning that there is some risk of rejection or danger in some way just because of her skin color.

White Privilege=Right to Live
When I clicked on Dear White Moms, I was prepared for the usual white privilege stuff. I certainly don't feel very privileged, but then I'm not on that side of the coin. My son is blonde haired and blue eyed. I can't even imagine a world where I fear for his life just because he dared to walk down a street in a suburb. You see the level of difference here?

My hands hurt and I'm irritable, but I'm able to tuck my son in tonight. Mike Brown's mom is just trying to imagine doing that, or imagine what her grandchildren or daughter-in-law might have been like. Maybe she even daydreams about watching Mike stroll across the stage to get his graduate degree. But that's all she has now, just daydreams.

I don't give a shit if he robbed a store and I don't care what kind of a reputation he had. He was walking down the street, armed with a cigar. There was zero reason to even talk to him as an officer. An officer started this altercation and he certainly finished it and sadly, he's only one of many.

It's bad enough that our country has turned into such a police state that old ladies are getting their Depends frisked, do we really have to make it worse with this race stupidity?

Tell you what, here's about all I can do from where I am:

If you're racist, exclude yourself from my life.

If you think using the "N" word makes you look tough, know that I think you look like a dumbass and it doesn't matter what color you are. That word and others like it have never been allowed in my home and they never will. They don't empower you, they make you look stupid...not ignorant, stupid. Learn the difference.

Some of you will hate it, but I will continue to post things on here and my Facebook wall concerning this kind of stupidity because people need to see what's going on. It's not okay for a word like "privilege" to indicate that you can safely walk down a street without being harassed or killed by the people whom you pay to protect you and the rest of your community.

There are some really bad, really evil people in this world. You don't have to be one of them and if you sit by silently and watch, you're just as bad as they are.





bikini photo: black bikini amy-under-tree.jpg Before I went to the beach yesterday, I had to stop and get a swimsuit because I somehow managed to lose every bit of my beachwear. I'm sure I'll find it sometime during late winter. At any rate, when I went to try them on, the saleswoman asked if she could help me with anything. I jkingly replied "Yeah, if you could just point in the direction of the magic bikini that makes me skinny again, that would be cool" and off she went with a sigh to show me some magic section.

Seriously, she did.

She took to me to the spanks area and I told her I was joking and I needed a swimsuit, not a fat suit, but the experience was most alarming because well, there were more varieties of spanks than bikinis. Are we really that concerned that we completely contort our bodies into something they aren't so we look great in a pair of jeans? How disheartening. And it only got worse.

Personally, I don't have much confidence in my looks, but I do wear bikinis. If you can't tell by all the stretch marks and appendectomy scars that my stomach is in the shape it's in not because I'm lazy, but because...well, life happens, then don't look at it. But, I did buy one of those bikini tops that looks more like a blouse and opens in the back so I can flip it up to tan my stomach, so maybe I'm more self-conscious about it than I realize. But, even when I was skinny I didn't like to walk around with my stomach showing so maybe it's just my natural comfort zone to cover it up.

What really tore me up is the conversations that took place at the beach. It was a Monday and it's a small beach, so it was pretty quiet there. For the better part of the day there were maybe 6 other women, all with kids and 1 or 2 guys. The most common topic of conversation? Fat.

Now, keep in mind that all body types were represented. I mean, from the ultra-skinny to the due-any-day-now pregnant. And every single one of them were ashamed of their bodies. In fact, if you had overhead the conversations without seeing the bodies, you would have thought that every woman there was swimming in lard. And realistically speaking, there were just average bodies.

We tend to think that women want to look good to impress men, right? So why is a collection of women at a beach so focused on body shaming? So much so that many of them never even got in the water because that would require taking off their bathing suit covers.

I got in the water. I swam. I floated on my floatie with my stomach exposed and I'll tell you what, I didn't even feel bad about it. After listening to those women, I realized that I felt worse about my body when I was skinny (and still trying to lose weight) than I do today. Why?

For one thing, I care far less today what people think than I ever did. Thank you universe for the lack of give a shit that comes with the 30s and 40s.

This makes me sad. Women are so ingrained with the idea that they have to be a perfect size that even when they reach a perfect size for them, they keep trying for something "better". They are so focused on it that it isn't even a matter of impressing anyone. It's this warped image that we all hold in our mind's eye.

You want to know what women are talking about at the beach? It isn't about what a great time they are having or that guy with the ripped abs out on the diving board. It's about the millimeter of skin hanging over the top of the bikini, labeled as "fat". It's about trying to convince one of your friends that she came to a beach to get in the water and it really is okay to take that coverup off.

Heads up ladies: you're worrying far more about the scale than anyone else is. Of all the men I know, only one of them even has a preference for the heroin addict look and that man has never in his life been in a happy relationship. The rest of them? They know they have imperfections and they kind of prefer their women to have a few as well because they want a woman, not an airbrushed paper doll.


I had always been clear about how the first vehicle would be handled. I never wanted Hunter to end up like I did, with something that ran for about a week and no one to help me fix it. However, I also didn't want to spoil him and hand him the keys to something that was newer than I had.

My solution was pitch in as much as Hunter did toward the purchase of his vehicle. That meant he could get something decent and I would help, but not cover the whole cost.

Things changed. Earlier this year Hunter's grandfather gave him a very cool moped. He loved it rode it, and then a line came off and we got busy with other projects, projects that I hired the neighbor to help on. The next thing I know, Hunter and the neighbor are talking about swapping vehicles.

My 13 year old son just made his first car deal on exactly the kind of truck he wanted. No, he didn't have to save money, but he did swap something he really thought was cool. As for me, I'm holding up my end of the bargain by paying for the cosmetic repairs because the truck runs just fine.

Hunter has had one heck of a rough week, and he did a whole bunch of growing up in a very short period of time. In my mind, there probably wasn't a better time for a young man to have a truck to work on and roam around the property with.

What's your plan for your kid's first vehicle?