Monday, March 24, 2008

Chilly Springtime Hike

While the snow keeps falling, even in spring, we did manage to find a short patch of sun in which to explore Farragut State Park with Henry. Henry is getting to be a great hiker in his own right -- loves to find and stand on "big rocks" and look for boats in the lake.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Speech of a Lifetime

Barack Obama’s Speech on Race

“We the people, in order to form a more perfect union ...[37 minutes]

[or full text at New York Times site, 7 pages]

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Henry and the Mud Puddle

Before the mud...

After the mud...

Watch the kid in action!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Our Two Sons

Our two sons in action...Henry is blossoming and very happy in his new daycare situation -- He is talking up a storm, learning new words every day (Happy, Book, Bob and RV are the latest... ) Java is still energized by the snow, even while his moms are completely over it and ready for spring!

Bump Watch

Belly's getting are many other parts of the body...I guess this is the first of many sacrifices on the parenting front...even the second time around!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Some of What I Have Been Thinking

Recently, the Bonner County Human Rights Task Force has been dealing with a local film organization who was airing their programs on a local cable channel. We had received complaints about a particular film, "The Pick Up," and I have been tasked with ressponding on behalf of the Task Force. Here is a recent email I sent to the other Board Members...I thought it might shed some light on my recent non-CWC work:

Dear Task Force Members,

I apologize in advance if I offend any loyalties to the individuals I am about to mention in this email. I do not know who is friends with whom, and still I want to express my opinion.

I had the opportunity to watch "The Pick Up" this weekend and was appalled by its content and quality. In my opinion it, it is tasteless and sends a clear message that it is OK to use violence against someone who is transgendered (or a transvestite). As a member of the LGBT community (and a small one at that here in Sandpoint), I abhor the message that this film sends.

This said, in order to gather more information from the filmmakers (I wanted to give them the benefit of the dounbt -- perhaps my read on the film was inaccurate), I contacted Sandpoint Films and spoke with Janet Jarzebek. Janet was very surprised by my call and kept asking me "Where are you going with this conversation?" and I told her I simply wanted to better understand the intention behind the film and whether Sandpoint Films had any policy about the representations they put forth in their films.

Janet was very defensive with me and at first seemed completely unwilling to have any dialogue. When I told her that I was personally offended by the film, she responded, "I don't find it offensive...I don't look at it that deeply." She then went on to say she was a Democrat, that she was kind to animals and humans, that she did not have a biased bone in her body..." "I am totally NOT prejudiced!" she asserted. When I mentioned that the film condoned and even mocked the use of violence against a transgendered person, she replied, "This was a true story and guys should not dress up like voluptuous women and pick up on other guys in bars." She truly believed that the man who beat up the other man dressed in a dress was in the right.

Toward the end of our conversation, she asked me what I wanted from her...if I was just looking for an apology... and I told her I really just wanted to understand better why Sandpoint Films would have made this film. She told me it was like any art -- if I didn't like it, I didn't need to watch it. Fair enough...but really?

I share all of this with you, my TF commerades, to let you know how ingrained discrimination is -- especially against minority groups who are not well-represented in specific communities. Having participated in a Sandpoint Films production myself, I now feel implicated as a part of an organization who does not share my values at all...and this is troubling.

What else to do? I have written Northland Cable a letter thanking them for pulling The Pick Up from their programming...and I will certainly not have any further involvement with Sandpoint Films...but none of this seems to address the fundamental ignorance of the many people who not only made this film, but continue, as self-identified liberals, to believe it the truth of its message. I hope our work as a TF can continue to educate our community on the importance of Human Rights and the condemnation of hate. I feel angered by my conversation, but also hopeful that we can continue to do good work in a community that obviously still needs it.

Thanks for listening,

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Two Peas in a Pod

We recently changed Henry's daycare once again...we thought a larger, more structured environment would be good for him; alas, it turned out to be too big and overwhelming (he was both the youngest and littlest student). So we have placed him in the care of our friend Nicole and her daughter Miranda and Henry is so happy! He does not say a peep when we leave him each morning (compared to desperate screams of pain and anxiety he put us through leaving him at the larger school) and seems content to stay there in the evening, even when we long to bring him home. The two kids seem to be teaching each other interesting tricks...they are seemingly becoming two peas in pod, as this picture attests...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Henry...Life's Little Gift

I have been soliciting advice & tips from friends on managing through the toddler years and have received so many good ideas! Shannon and I are in a steep learning curve as Henry makes his way toward 2 and I am negotiating the emotional fluxtuations of pregnancy. Thank goodness for supportive and loving friends -- even from afar! I thought I would share some highlights:

1. Two books have come up: Positive Discipline, by Jane Nelson and Touchpoints, by T. Brazelton

2. It is all part of Henry's development process -- you are not bad parents (we liked this one!) -- all children go through this assertion of independence while being simultaneously so dependent

3. As hard as it is for us on the outside, imagine what it is like for him on the inside

4. Have you checked to make sure he is not simultaneously cutting teeth? (In fact, incisors are on their way!)

5. Take time to nurture yourself -- the more centered you are, the more you have to offer

6. Be sure to honor the parental relationship with special time together -- don't let the stress interfere with this important relationship

7. The second time around, you will have many more tools for coping

8. Make sure everyone is getting enough sleep (hmmmm...we have to work on this one!)

The fact is, as this photo attests, Henry is our little gift from the Universe...we would not want him to be any different than he is! And we are eternally grateful to our friends who are willing to help us learn strategies to be at our best through these learning-filled times!