Oh, hey! Remember when I posted about being unfriended on Facebook for being a stay at home?
I received the following message via Facebook today. I think that it’s pretty awesome. And by awesome, I mean, so profoundly insulting and ignorant that I actually yelled out “REALLY???”
I know I probably shouldn’t say this, but I have to ask you, how did you end up a “stay at home mom” with no job after all the university you took? … I have to take you off my Facebook as it is such a disappointment that you never did anything with your life and you do this all day… it was not what I would have imagined for you Catherine… so sad.
I did a gift guide the other week. It was kind of fun, not least because it was totally a tongue-in-cheek gift guide – not that Brainy Smurf isn’t good for awesome gift-giving advice, but still. That said, if I were to do a serious gift guide, which is to say, one that took seriously the question of the things that I or any other contemporary mothers really need, it would look more like this:
This past weekend was Thanksgiving weekend, except that it wasn’t, which was weird. I mean, it was Thanksgiving weekend, for Americans, but even though we’re in America, we’re not, actually, you know, American, so it felt like it would just be wrong, sort of, to roast a turkey and do the whole Thanksgiving thing. We had our own Thanksgiving last month, after all. Two Thanksgivings would just be greedy.
But it wasn’t just that. It was more that it just felt like this holiday wasn’t ours, you know? It’s not that we don’t fully feel like we belong – New York City is probably the most exuberantly inclusive place that I’ve ever lived – or that we somehow culturally out of place. And it’s certainly not that we don’t have much to be thankful for. It’s just that Thanksgiving, the way that it’s done here, is really just so culturally specific. It’s so American. And although we’ve so fully embraced being in America, we’re still very much Canadian.
(This post is underwritten by the American Cancer Society, official sponsor of birthdays.)
Emilia likes birthday parties. Actually, like is an understatement. Emilia loves birthday parties, with the fiery heat of a thousand wax birthday candles and a few hundred sparklers.
But here’s the thing about Emilia’s love of birthday parties: she’s not particularly fussy about whether those parties are in celebration of her birthday, or, in fact, whether they’re in celebration of any birthday at all. She’s really pretty emphatic that a ‘birthday’ – that is, a day marking someone’s birth – is by no means a necessary condition for a celebration involving cake and balloons and such. After all, if one limited such celebrations to birthdays, one would only have a handful of reasons to throw such a celebration in any given year. So why not declare every occasion a birthday-party-worthy occasion? Can you think of even one reason why you should not?
Emilia can’t, and so Emilia celebrates everything. And I’ve kind of taken that to heart. Because she’s right that we should be celebrating everything, and that when there isn’t anything obvious to celebrate, we should be looking for those things and declaring them celebration-worthy and then lighting candles and eating cake. So it is that we have thrown parties to celebrate potty-training accomplishments, dance recitals, haircuts, rainy days and Saturdays. We celebrate every visit to Grandma’s house with a cake and balloons. We do the same whenever Grandma visits our house. We do the same whenever pretty much anybody visits our house. Because, why not celebrate these things? Who knows how long we’ll have them to celebrate? We’ve faced too many losses; we’re facing too many losses. We lost my dad. My mom had a skin malignancy, and then an aneurysm, and then failed aneurysm surgery. My stepfather battled prostate cancer. Tanner fights his own fight. Every day could bring a loss, or bring us closer to a loss.