Sandy Hook, I promise!

December 14, 2017, will mark the 5-year anniversary of one of the most solemn and horrific moments in our unrelenting lack of #GunSense in America. The school shooting at Sandy Hook. To honor those students and teachers, and everyone else we have lost to gun violence, I am reblogging this post.

Those boys and girls of Sandy Hook were in first grade, just like my Little. Please, take a moment, a very uncomfortable moment and think about all of the lives we lose senselessly due to our loose, lax and well-lobbied for laws around out of control gun purchasing in this country. Please also watch this 1 minute video, from the folks at #TheSandyHookPromise. You really need to. After, please share. C’mon moms! We need you.

Thank you. May we be strong enough to make the changes we need to here in America.

#EverytownForGunSafety #MomsDemandAction #WearOrange #TheSandyHookPromise

Early Saturday morning, I woke up after having climate change nightmares. These were not just hot flashes — I had real nightmares about the life of our planet. Think the Lorax, on crack. I wrote a post, Blog, Shmog: An Interview Today, poking some acerbic wit at mr t, orange-in-chief, and then I left to head over to the Wear Orange March. This march was not about global warming. It was the about senseless gun violence in our country. Yet another topic t won’t touch. After all, the NRA, they own him.

Hadiya Pendleton, 15 years old, was shot in the back. Gunned down while standing inside Harsh Park with her friends in Chicago in 2013. Just one week earlier, she performed live with her school band at President Obama’s (second) inauguration. Her murder occurred less than one mile from the Obama’s Chicago home. Hadiya, an honors student, volleyball player, band member, daughter — her future was bright in so many ways. The cause of death: shot by mistaken gang rivalry. The shooters, gang members, they told police that she was standing with people they thought were from a rival gang. It was a mistake. Michelle Obama attended her funeral. By that January day in Chicago, she was already the 42nd murder by firearm. A real shonda (shame) for her, her family, our world.

The gates of tears are never shut. Di toi’ern fun treren zeinen kain mol nit farshlossen.

Saturday morning was cool, raining. Hadiya would have been 20 years young on June 2 of this year. Her birthday now represents National Gun Violence Awareness Day across our country. Her brightness is now the color orange, the same color worn by hunters, so as to be seen and not shot. It is the color of gun violence prevention. Less than 100 of us gathered. Many moms held laminated photos of the children they lost to gun violence. We all talked. I told them I was there for Hadiya, and for the Sandy Hook Promise. When we failed all of those children and their teachers who gave their lives protecting them, I knew I had to do more. I couldn’t just sign a petition and call Senator Twomey’s office again. I had to enlist in the fight.

In the US, gun violence kills 93 people every single day — almost 34,000 lives per year. That includes murder, suicide, and accidental death. In Philadelphia, last year our number was 278. Almost 1 life per day. These numbers are stunning, but they must not leave us hardened. We must work harder than we ever have before.

Our kinder (sweet children) deserve better. Hadiya dreamt of going to Northwestern University. She wanted to become a pharmacist, a journalist, or a lawyer. She was a good kid. Hadiya, she deserved better.

Guns are a very large problem in this country. I do not think that our founding fathers had gang members, mental illness, violent domestic abuse, accidental death and suicide in mind when they created the second amendment. I believe there is some good legislation out there (SB 501 for stronger gun control rights) that needs enforcing, and I believe there are some horrible laws on the books (SB 383 that arms school staff, teachers, and boards). Vey iz mir (OMG), we need to make some drastic changes.

Last I checked, we were ONE human race. How can we all begin to walk with empathy and love in our hearts? When will we begin to embrace all of our very unique and beautiful differences, instead of fearing them? I will do that for Hadiya. I will do that for all of those families from Sandy Hook. I will do that for everyone affected by senseless gun violence. We need to do that for all the kinder (children).
Please join me.

Death doesn’t knock on the door (and warn you of it’s impending arrival). Toyt tut nit klapn aoyf di tir.

Live every minute of every day.

      

      

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, she’s got pipes

My Little (bottom left of the picture), she’s got herself some pipes, alright. Girlfriend can scream. She can shriek so much better than like Jamie Lee Curtis (nicknamed, the Queen of Scream) in any of the Halloween movies… It’s as if she is channeling some kind inner demon, that can reverberate at only the loudest volume. It starts from the tip of her toes and amplifies at the top of her lungs, barking, bellowing, clamoring … And yes, there are biting bouts of bonelessness, punching, and kicking that add to the happening that is a Little tantrum. Dear neighbors on all sides, above, and below, please accept my apologies for the ongoing mellifluous Mayday moments that travel freely through our thin walls. It’s no doubt, meshuggeneh (crazy) in here at times.

But there is a bigger problem that rocks me to my very core. Me and my Mrs., we do not know why our caged bird sings… Sure, there is a mishmash of anger, sadness, drama, fear, stress, exhaustion, hunger, and irrationality that we all experience every day since mr t took office from time to time. But she’s seven. How bad is life when you are seven? What kind of tsuris (trouble), plagues and misfortunes are stirring in the mind of my shana maideleh (sweet little girl)? Do I seek an exorcist so that Mrs., Big and I don’t get evicted completely bleed out from our eardrums? We are shreknt (frightened, terrorized).

There is no question that when my kinder (children) hurt, I hurt. You see, as I am certain you wise caregivers already know, this special performance nearby residents aside is saved only for us, her mishpocheh (family). Yes, we are safe enough to go all batsh*t cray-cray on to let your hair down. But it is a real shondah (shame) that we can’t crack this nut code and offer solace to my maidel (cutie-pie)

What is wrong? What happened? Are you angry honey? I don’t know. What happened honey? I don’t know. Little, can you stop screaming? I don’t know. Sweetie, please listen to mommy. No response. Did somebody hurt you? No. Did somebody hurt your feelings? I dunno? Are you sick, wounded, have we somehow scarred you for life tired, shaken, scared, hungry?

IWANTCHINESEFOODANDWEAREN’THAVINGCHINESEFOODSOIAMNEVEREATINGAGAINANDWILLFINDAWAYTOGETMYOWNCHINESEFOODANDYOUCANTHAVEANYBECAUSEIWON’TSHAREANDIDON’TWANNATAKEASHOWERORPUTONMYPAJAMASBECAUSEIWANTCHINESEFOODNOWNOTTOMORROWORNEXTWEEKENDANDISOMEHOWBELIEVETHATYOUDONTLOVEMEBECAUSEIDONTSEEANYCHINESETAKEOUTANYWHEREANDITHINKWESHOULDHAVEICECREAMEVERYDAYISTHATSOWRONGICECREAMEVERYDAY?ANDCHINESEFOOD!

Okay, sweetie. Come with me so I can leave the room and not lose my sht all over this place we can talk more privately. You are right. We are not having Chinese food tonight. I am sorry that makes you mad and sad. And, this behavior is not okay actually it is quite impressive. If you think that acting this way will get you an Oscar or an Emmy a trip to the Chinese Restaurant, you are indeed batsht cray-cray incorrect. Now, are you really throwing a fit over Chinese food? Please know you can tell mommy or Ema absolutely anything in the world about anything and everything, and we will always love you. Always! If I could crawl inside you and see what it feels like to be my Little right now, I would. I want to help you. And you cannot act this way. Okay? Okay, mommy. I’m sorry.

Take some deep elevator breaths and calm down. ( I do them too.) Good. Now Little, is this behavior you are sharing a good choice? No mommy. Is this behavior showing kindness to your family or community?  No mommy. What is the one rule we have in our family? Be kind, mommy. Can we leave the bathroom where I am doing everything humanly possible to not go all meshuggeneh and scream louder than you and Jamie Lee Curtis combined go into the living room with everyone else and be kind now? Yes, mommy

BIGTOUCHEDMYLEGONACCIDENTANDTHENITHOUGHTIWASGOINGTOFALL BUTIDIDNTANDIREALLYTHOUGHTIWASSOISTOPPEDMYSELFFROMFALLINGANDTHENICRASHEDINTOTHEWALLWITHMYELBOWANDTHATREALLYHURT ANDITHOUGHTIWASGOINGTOSEENONATODAYANDTHENYOUSAIDWEARE NOTANDIREALLYWANTTOSEENONAESPECIALLYBECAUSEMYELBOWHURTS SOMUCHANDNONALOVESUSANDGIVESUSTREATSANDITALLSTARTEDWHEN BIGTOUCHEDMEONACCIDENTANDWEDIDNTHAVEANYCHINESEFOODTHE OTHERNIGHTANDNOWITHINKWEMAYNEVERHAVECHINESEFOODEVERAGAINANDTHATSALLIREALLYWANTANDIMTIREDANDNOBODYLOVESMEWHENI SCREAMANDYELLANDKICKLIKETHISWHYDONTYOUJUSTGIVEINLIKEI PLANNEDITHOUGHIWOULDWINBYNOWSOIMGONNAKEEPYELLINGANDGO BONELESSANDBROOKETHENEIGHBORTHATLIVESDOWNSTAIRSCANHITTHE CEILINGALLNIGHTBECAUSEIMNOTSTOPPING!

Consequences for such a performance? No TV. No iPad. No allowance. No play date. Obviously, no Chinese food. No solutions. Nothing works or phases my Little. Oh, she is a strong woman in the making! Somebody, help me?

Enter bathroom scene. Repeat. Oh, how I love this kid of mine!

Yiddish proverb:

If you have nothing to lose, you can try everything. Aoyb ir hot gornisht tsu farlim, ir kenen prubirn alts.

      

      

      

      

Notorious R.B.G: you are my hero!

This is me, doing my best RBG. Perhaps we could be shvesters?

Tell me a story about a young girl, born in 1933 during the height of the depression, growing up facing antisemitism, blatant sexism, and inequality, and I’ll know you are talking about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, my hero. Oh, Ruth, you are one powerful Yiddisheh momma that dares to live every day #livingfearlesslyauthentic. Let me tell you about her.

Nothing ever did or will stop her. If she disagreed, you knew about it. If she ever wanted something to change, she stood up and fought for it — and that is still true today. She lives and breathes strength, integrity, and elegance. She stands up for equality when others don’t even recognize the discrimination. She is a graceful heavyweight, a leader among all leaders, and at five feet tall, 84 years old, she heads up the liberal wing of the Supremes. She makes me proud to be a woman, a Jew, a feminist, an activist, a mom, and a human being.

Fight for the things that you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.

— Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice

Joan Ruth Bader was born to Jewish immigrants and grew up in Brooklyn, NY. Her sister died when she was just a toddler. Her mother, Celia, always stressed the importance of education (Celia was a very good student, graduating High School at 15, yet her family chose to send her brother to college. It was a time when sons were valued and daughters were meant to find husbands.). As a mom, she wanted more for her daughter. What momma doesn’t? Celia noticed that many girls in her class were named Joan, so to quickly avoid any tsuris (trouble), she asked her teachers to call her Ruth. She brought her to the public library often, where Ruth consumed Nancy Drew books, realizing that Nancy was a young girl in charge, who thought for herself (perhaps we add this series of books to our collective daughters’ gift lists? Nu?) both in her mystery solving and in her relationships. Ruth’s dream of becoming a lawyer was underway and early signs of Notorious R.B.G had begun.

  • Ruth was an excellent student (she listened to her momma, like a glikt shana maideleh (good girl)). Sadly, her mom died the day before her high school graduation
  • She went on to attend Cornell University, where she studied in the bathroom stalls, hiding from parties and social activities — she graduated as the top-ranking female student in her class
  • At Cornell, she met Marty Ginsburg, whom she would later marry. Ruth was demoted from her job for being pregnant. Marty and Ruth gave birth to a bouncing baby girl.  Everyone said she belonged in the kitchen, and at home with her daughter. Marty and Ruth knew better.
  • Marty ( a successful tax attorney in his own right) was supportive, unlike many men of their generation. He understood Ruth was no balaboosta (organized and efficient home-maker). He handled all of the traditional ‘mommy’ roles. Middle-of-the-night feedings, cooking, cleaning, baking, and tending to the kids… he was proud to do these things so that Ruth can later become the Notorious R.B.G. that we know and love.
  • She attended Harvard Law school and was often ridiculed by the dean for being a woman, taking up a man’s spot.
  • Marty took a job in NYC and Ruth transferred to Columbia University, where she graduated tied for top honors in her class.

She had a law degree and top honors, but being a woman, wife, mom, and a Jew made her dreams of becoming a lawyer very difficult. To say she became passionate about women’s rights and gender equality would be an understatement. After co-founding the Women’s Rights Project for the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), Ruth went on to fight six landmark cases on gender equality before the US Supreme court.

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History gave a species of praying mantis the name llomantis ginsburgae, after RBG. They say this species has a neckplate similar to the fancy neckwear Ginsburg wears at the outcome of a verdict. It is also based on how the insect was identified by her female genitalia – a nod to RBG’s lifetime fight for gender equality and women’s rights. Please note, this is a praying mantis I happily found on my car, not the newly, super cool RBG version.

President Jimmy Carter appointed RBG to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. She served there for thirteen years. President Bill Clinton, looking to increase the diversity on the highest bench in the land, appointed her to the US Supreme Court. She joined the Supremes as only the second female Supreme Court Justice (Sandra Day O’Connor was the first). She refers to the former justice as her “big sister.”

RBG battled colon cancer in 1999. She fought off pancreatic cancer in 2009. In 2014, she had a stent placed in her right coronary artery after feeling uncomfortable while working out with her personal trainer. Yes, she can probably kick a*s and take names in any gym she enters.

As for the name, Notorious R.B.G., that comes for her feisty and fiery dissents. A meme virally toured the social media realm, comparing her rap star Notorious B.I.G.

On retirement, at 84, she is a self-proclaimed flaming feminist litigator and is showing no signs of losing her efficacy or her memory. Take a look at this recent tweet from our own twit-in-chief, and you know she still is a powerful force.

Guess who you think I wish would resign?

Ruth, I admire you and hold you in the very highest regard. You influence my life and my decisions, and I know this world is a better place because of you. Thank you for all you do.

A wonderful read for all ages!

What a gutte neshumah, she is. What a good person with a big heart, she is.

 

      

      

      

     

Aside

101 things I can’t believe I have already said this summer

The summer sizzle, she has started! When I saw the temps hit 101, oy vey iz mir (oh em gee), I had to document it for you all to see. Me, I like the heat. You will not get a complaint from me from heat and humidity… cold, that’s another story altogether. And in the heat, we get a bissel meshugeneh ( a little bit crazy). It’s hard to believe the things that have come from my mouth, in these short, early days of summer.

  1. Absolutely no licking your sister or Gatsby — in fact, you really should not ‘lick’ anyone at all
  2. How many times do I need to tell you both that your feet should not be on the walls?
  3. There footprints on the walls in every damned room in this crap apartment
  4. Talk with your big girl voice
  5. No dribbling in the house, we have neighbors to consider
  6. Please, just roll the ball
  7. Do you want me to bring the ball downstairs and give it away?
  8. I do not think you should have a jar of Kalamata olives for breakfast
  9. Step away from the Kalamata olives
  10. What is the one rule we have in this family? That’s right, be kind.
  11. Really, you are slowly killing me Was (insert kicking, throwing, not sharing, yelling, ignoring, having a tantrum) that behavior kind?
  12. Can you try using your utensils during meals?
  13. Today, I am not going to mention anything about using utensils
  14. Can we try to have just one meal, where everyone stays at the table, in their seats, the whole meal, utensils or not
  15. Do you even hear my effing voice when I speak?
  16. Just fuc*ing answer me I know you heard me speak, so can you just fuc*ing answer me kindly respond?
  17. Do you know what it feels like to be ignored?
  18. R-E-S-P-O-N-D-!
  19. You do not need to cry, just answer so I don’t go batshit crazy and start throwing things
  20. My girls, if being tired were a valid excuse for making bad choices, mommy and Ema would be miserable asshats grumpy and unkind all of the time
  21. Why are you frustrated, honey? kill me, or stick a hot poker in my eye
  22. Who used magic markers on this white table What is the definition of mental illness?
  23. Honey, please put something underneath your paper when you draw or color
  24. Why is the table purple and blue?
  25. Please think your answer through before you speak — lying is not kind
  26. Well, then who colored on the table?
  27. Who remembers what mommy and Ema say about licking? (please note: she just licked the soy sauce bottle on the table at the Chinese restaurant I am completely useless
  28. Quiet, happy place Quiet, happy place (repeat over and over in hopes of finding a quiet, happy place)
  29. Little, please leave Gatsby’s teeth alone — he is trying to sleep
  30. If he’s growling at you do you want him to go all Cujo on you, what is he trying to tell you, honey?
  31. I don’t think Gatsby want’s to wear your bike helmet right now sweetheart – maybe just the pearls
  32. Has anyone brushed their teeth today because these toothbrushes are bone dry, and your breath reeks of hummus?
  33. Yes, you have to brush the wiggly-giggly teeth or the tooth fairy will not visit for a couple of nasty, food covered, smelly, grungy teeth, blech!
  34. Can you both try to stay in the bathroom while you brush your teeth
  35. Girls, should we be walking around the apartment while brushing our teeth?
  36. Please turn off the water while you brush your teeth
  37. What does mommy say every time about conserving water for the planet, girls
  38. Look how Jesus H. Christ hard you are running the water
  39. Do you want your children to have water (yes, I did go there) to brush their teeth?
  40. Big, brush longer — sing an entire Adele song in your head
  41. Little, enough brushing already!
  42. You really only need to spit once or twice when rinsing
  43. I counted 17 rinse/spits — toothbrush down — step away from the sink
  44. Why is there a crap load of toothpaste on the floor each and every damned day of my life
  45. Let’s put on some sunscreen girls
  46. It’s time for more sunscreen girls – because we want to protect you
  47. Why are you standing in the refrigerator?
  48. Please, girls, do not drink your water with the refrigerator door open
  49. Your glass of water will not get hot if you keep it by your side during dinner
  50. What does mommy say shut the damned fridge door already about conserving energy for the planet earth?
  51. Do not drink your water like Gatsby would, honey, you have opposable thumbs for a reason
  52. (Epic spill) Oy, it’s only water — grab a towel
  53. Be nice to each other, you are shvesters (sisters)
  54. Do you know how lucky you are to be shvesters?
  55. After cleaning every damned pot, pan and dish in the kitchen How on earth can you be huuuuuunnngry?
  56. Why do you say that like you’re about to cry? Say it normally, in your big girl voice
  57. Drink a glass of water and let’s check back in together, in 20 minutes or so
  58. Quiet, happy place Quiet, happy place (repeat over and over in hopes of finding a quiet, happy place)
  59. What did I say about drinking your water with the refrigerator door open?
  60. Nope, it hasn’t been 20 minutes yet
  61. When I say no licking, that includes the refrigerator door handle someone, save me
  62. Okay, but think about what you want BEFORE you open the door of the refrigerator
  63. Fine, have some olives — yup, as many as you like
  64. No, you cannot eat them on the sofa
  65. Because we eat food at the table
  66. Because I SAID SO (yep, I said that too)
  67. Gesundheit! sneezed into my f*cking mouth — ugh! Sneeze into your elbow, please sweetie
  68. Uh-oh, cough germ warfare game on into your elbow too, honey
  69. Please don’t pick your nose
  70. Even when you turn away, mommy can tell that you are picking your nose
  71. Because I can
  72. Now, go wash your hands so we all don’t get sick
  73. STOP! Should you be jumping on the sofa especially when we have a f*cking trampoline in the living room?
  74. Does this look like the playground (well, minus the trampoline – apartment life)?
  75. Get on the trampoline girls and jump some of that energy out
  76. Okay, then read, color, call Nona,  split the atom, cure cancer, write letters to Sen. Toomey or put on a show for us
  77. Yes, we will put our phones down when we watch your show — now go and practice in your room
  78. We were just talking while you both were rehearsing – remember how we talked about how sometimes, mommy and Ema, we need time to talk to each other?
  79. Grown up stuff
  80. Why are you standing on the sofa?
  81. Okay, let’s just think before we jump on someone without them expecting it
  82. Oh for f*cks sake Ema, are you okay?
  83. PLEASE! breathe Kindness includes not jumping or ramming into each other or us
  84. Maybe I am the one who is batshit bonkers and no noise at all comes out of my mouth Does anyone in this house HEAR ME when I SPEAK?
  85. Quiet, happy place Quiet, happy place (repeat over and over in hopes of finding a quiet, happy place)
  86. Yes it is the weekend
  87. No sweethearts, mommy stays home today! It’s a family day!
  88. Maybe we can get ice cream today
  89. Not really, most of the time ‘maybe’ means ‘yes’ because mommy and Ema crave ice cream nightly, it is our equivalent of a nice bottle of red
  90. Let’s walk Gatsby, you can bring your scooters
  91. Of course, you have to wear your helmets
  92. Yes, you need more sunscreen – that was hours ago
  93. Because it is mommy and Ema’s job to take good care of you
  94. Everybody, please pee before we go
  95. It will be a nice walk, I don’t know how long
  96. Are you really going to scooter in those gladiator boots I’m meshuggeneh (crazy)?
  97. Come here girls, give me a big hug
  98. Ewwww! Did you just LICK my underarm?
  99. Ema, text me when we can should come back!
  100. Take all the time you need, honey
  101. I love you all to the moon and back, to infinity!

She (and by she, I mean me) should go crazy and run around through the streets. Zi shoudl geyn mshuge aun loyfn arum dirk di gasn.

      

      

      

 

I wear orange for Hadiya

#EverytownForGunSafety #MomsDemandAction #WearOrange #TheSandyHookPromise

Early Saturday morning, I woke up after having climate change nightmares. These were not just hot flashes — I had real nightmares about the life of our planet. Think the Lorax, on crack. I wrote a post, Blog, Shmog: An Interview Today, poking some acerbic wit at mr t, orange-in-chief, and then I left to head over to the Wear Orange March. This march was not about global warming. It was the about senseless gun violence in our country. Yet another topic t won’t touch. After all, the NRA, they own him.

Hadiya Pendleton, 15 years old, was shot in the back. Gunned down while standing inside Harsh Park with her friends in Chicago in 2013. Just one week earlier, she performed live with her school band at President Obama’s (second) inauguration. Her murder occurred less than one mile from the Obama’s Chicago home. Hadiya, an honors student, volleyball player, band member, daughter — her future was bright in so many ways. The cause of death: shot by mistaken gang rivalry. The shooters, gang members, they told police that she was standing with people they thought were from a rival gang. It was a mistake. Michelle Obama attended her funeral. By that January day in Chicago, she was already the 42nd murder by firearm. A real shonda (shame) for her, her family, our world.

The gates of tears are never shut. Di toi’ern fun treren zeinen kain mol nit farshlossen.

Saturday morning was cool, raining. Hadiya would have been 20 years young on June 2 of this year. Her birthday now represents National Gun Violence Awareness Day across our country. Her brightness is now the color orange, the same color worn by hunters, so as to be seen and not shot. It is the color of gun violence prevention. Less than 100 of us gathered. Many moms held laminated photos of the children they lost to gun violence. We all talked. I told them I was there for Hadiya, and for the Sandy Hook Promise. When we failed all of those children and their teachers who gave their lives protecting them, I knew I had to do more. I couldn’t just sign a petition and call Senator Twomey’s office again. I had to enlist in the fight.

In the US, gun violence kills 93 people every single day — almost 34,000 lives per year. That includes murder, suicide, and accidental death. In Philadelphia, last year our number was 278. Almost 1 life per day. These numbers are stunning, but they must not leave us hardened. We must work harder than we ever have before.

Our kinder (sweet children) deserve better. Hadiya dreamt of going to Northwestern University. She wanted to become a pharmacist, a journalist, or a lawyer. She was a good kid. Hadiya, she deserved better.

Guns are a very large problem in this country. I do not think that our founding fathers had gang members, mental illness, violent domestic abuse, accidental death and suicide in mind when they created the second amendment. I believe there is some good legislation out there (SB 501 for stronger gun control rights) that needs enforcing, and I believe there are some horrible laws on the books (SB 383 that arms school staff, teachers, and boards). Vey iz mir (OMG), we need to make some drastic changes.

Last I checked, we were ONE human race. How can we all begin to walk with empathy and love in our hearts? When will we begin to embrace all of our very unique and beautiful differences, instead of fearing them? I will do that for Hadiya. I will do that for all of those families from Sandy Hook. I will do that for everyone affected by senseless gun violence. We need to do that for all the kinder (children).
Please join me.

Death doesn’t knock on the door (and warn you of it’s impending arrival). Toyt tut nit klapn aoyf di tir.

Live every minute of every day.