Monday, November 24, 2008

He drives me crazy

Apparently, Blogger has changed the way pictures work, and now I'm very confused.
I was in a good, giddy mood one day last week. I was feeling thankful and a bit flirty. So I texted the husband.

"If we weren't married, I would totally want to marry you."

That was before remembering what it's like to be in a car with him.

We took C to the mall so he could meet "Bob-bob" yesterday, before picking J up from his weekend with his father. We had a nice time at the mall, but the 30 minutes there, another 15 to get to J, and 45 minutes back home left me wondering how we've managed to avoid divorce.

Don't get me wrong. He probably wants to kill me just about as much as I'd like to kill him when we're stuck in a vehicle together. As annoying as he can be, I'm sure my broken mute button drives him crazy. I try real hard to bite my tongue as much as possible, but it doesn't usually help.

First, the husband seems to have a strange "Man Controls Radio" mentality. I used to think he simply subscribed to the same theory my mother always did: S/he who drives chooses the tunes. Nope. Any time I've driven his car, he's still hogged the dial. So I figured it was a "My Car, My Choice" thing. Nope. When we get into my car, regardless of who is driving, he gathers up a bunch of cd's, all of his iPod equipment, and his arm basically camps out around all of the buttons.

I've pretty much learned to suck it up, at least in his car. If he's chosen decent tunes in mine, I can keep my mouth shut. I only fuss when he tries to play garbage on MY radio. Since we were in his car yesterday, I spent a good 20 minutes listening to a very staticky broadcast of some sporting event, and I didn't make a peep until the static turned into an extremely high pitched squeek that nearly burst my ear drums.

Then there's the climate control. The husband has, like, -6% body fat. No insulation what so ever. While I hate the cold, I also hate winter coats. So, I'm sitting there in a t-shirt and hoodie, while he's bundled up in a huge coat, and I'm sweating my butt off while he's shivering. This is one of those annoyances I hate dealing with. I certainly don't want to boil to death, but I also don't want to force the husband to freeze his cajones off. So I wait until I think I might pass out before telling him to shut the damn heat off or face being cajones-less anyway.

There's also the speed limit thing. He isn't terrible on main roads, just on the mile it takes to get to them. Our development's speed limit is 25, and security will totally bang you for breaking it. And I happen to be on a committee dedicated to rule enforcement- even the ones I disagree with. I finally told him that, if he gets a ticket, I get to go have a chat with his coworkers and embarass HIM!

Then there's the actual driving. Which is where I drive him nuts.

When he didn't get into the turn lane for the mall, I shouted and he quickly moved over before telling me he had intended to use the second entrance. When we were leaving, he wasn't getting into the left turn lane, so I shouted and he quickly moved over before telling me he intended to take the back road.

By the time I pointed out yet another turn, I'm sure he wanted to throw me out of the car. Meanwhile, I was secretly hoping he'd get on the highway in the wrong direction just so I could feel justified.

I managed to keep my mouth shut when he didn't pass a minivan doing 20 in a 55, and when I thought he was awfully close to parking in a ditch at the convenience store, but I think the hand over my mouth gave me away.

Cars just aren't marriage-friendly. I could be snowed in with my husband and be happy. We could be trapped in an elevator or stranded on an island and I'd be just fine. Just don't put me in a damn car with him!

I've calmed down a bit since last night. I'm pretty confident that, if we weren't married, I would totally marry this guy. Providing we don't drive to the ceremony together.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Secular does not mean anti, and I'm giving something away

For anyone who may not already know, I do not wear a denim jumper. In fact, I do not wear jumpers of any sort. Nor do my children wear jumpers, homemade, coordinating, or otherwise. Not that there's anything wrong with jumpers. We just don't fit that particular homeschool stereotype.

We aren't religious homeschoolers, either. That stereotype is more difficult to shuck. Which is why I am unable to resist anything that even hints at the word 'secular.' It isn't always easy to find homeschool materials without religious content so, when I see something that is, I grab on and refuse to let go. It could be a book on sewing secular denim jumpers, and I'd be all over it. I might even make some and wear them.

But 'secular' is like the ugly step-child word of homeschooling. Unfortunately, even some of the brightest homeschoolers read a negative connotation in the word. Which is a shame. When I see "Christian Homeschool XYZ," I don't take that to mean "Anti-Non-Christian Homeschool XYZ." I simply assume that this XYZ is presented from a Christian perspective. So far, I haven't been proven wrong.

When I discovered Secular Homeschooling Magazine, I think I may have literally done a little dance. As experienced an internet shopper as I am, I even fumbled for my credit card in all the excitement. I was a little smoother when I renewed my subscription this month. A little. I still dance when the new issue arrives.

SHM is not anti-religious. In fact, many of its readers are deeply religious. This is simply a magazine about homeschooling from a secular perspective.

For me, this is great. I have a magazine to read without stopping to wonder how much of a certain curriculum I might have to adapt, and I never find myself skipping articles that have no relevence. I realize that may not seem like such a big deal but, in case you haven't noticed, the economy is kinda sucky, and I'd like to get the full bang from my buck. I've cut back on all of the periodicals I haven't been using in full, which includes a few non-secular homeschool magazines that were decent when I wasn't concerned with price:value.

SHM got its start with a piece I would like to have tattooed on my forehead. Since my forehead isn't large enough (thank goodness), I may have to consider having it done on my back. But I'll only go through with it if Deborah flies me out to have Kat do it in the VIP room of LA Ink. And I still don't think it'll fit on my back, so I'll have to take each of the kids out as they turn 18 to pick up where my back leaves off. And that might require SHM coming up with a few more lines, since my 4 kids are all destined to be tall. We wouldn't want C to feel left out!

And here it is:

The Bitter Homeschooler's Wish List
By Deborah Markus, from Secular Homeschooling, Issue #1, Fall 2007

1 Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?

2 Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.

6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.

7 We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.

11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.

12 If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.

16 Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.

18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.

20 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.

24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.

25 Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about homeschooling, shut up!

No, I am not teaching my children to count like that. I'm teaching you how to click that little blue link to read the piece in its entirety.

If you found that even slightly enjoyable, you need to go take advantage of the SHM sale here. Usually $7 a piece, issues 1-4 are currently being sold for $21/set.

In honor of SHM's sale, the husband's ability to bypass whatever glitch gmail was throwing at me earlier today, the rush I got from ordering 4 books from Amazon and only spending $5 (with free 2-day shipping!), and my genuine apreciation for all of Deborah's hard work, I am offering up a free copy of issue #5 to the first person who comes back and swears on a stack of notebooks that they've just place their order for 1-4.

And I'm not even going to cheap out and send you my used copy. That one doesn't leave my possession. I'm going to order a nice new one and have it shipped direct, cuz I hear that the shipping on those things is crazy!

But there's more. Maybe. We'll see.

Since this is not quite a 'real' homeschool blog, I can't expect many homeschool readers. And since I'm not a very traditional homeschooler, my potential homeschool audience is even smaller. I would love to hear from more minorities within our minority. If you know a few heathen homeschoolers, or simply homeschoolers who enjoy heathen homeschoolers, bring them by. Tell them to make themselves known. Convince me that there are enough of us to make it worth my while to offer up another free issue of SHM. Just warn them that I may sometimes use a 4-letter word or talk about my maniacs in a less than positive way. If they're cool with that, I'm cool with them.

For my invisible friends who find my homeschooling posts completely unrelatable, I will take zero offense if you now head over to a public school blog until I find something different to post about.
Rest assured, I get it!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Try this at home. Or don't. Whatever

Right now, I would like to both hug and strangle my maniacs.

Well, not right now. They are sleeping, so the strangling thing isn't all that intense. And if I hug them, they'll likely wake up and we'll restart the whole want-to-strangle-them cycle, which is something I'd like to avoid until at least 6:30am tomorrow.

My kids rock, but they make me pay for it.

H has decided Mommy needs a spa vacation. A 5-day spa vacation. This morning, she offered me her Tooth Fairy dollar to finance the trip. The kind of moment a parent lives for, right?

I pay for these moments, dearly. The dollar was offered while I was doing 316 loads of laundry. Laundry made up of unworn clothes. Unworn clothes that became dirty when certain maniacs felt a need to bring a half-burned log into their room (from last week's fire), and then rummage through their closet to change into non-soot-covered clothes. Before thinking to wash their hands. Leaving them without non-soot-covered clothes.

My children are brilliant, yet so stupid. Wonderful, yet rotten. Most days, we break even. Think what you like. I consider that a success.

The chances of my little maniacs growing into big maniacs who hide burned up logs or old food under their marital bed are pretty darn slim. The chances of my little maniacs carrying their humor, adventurous spirits, generosity, open hearts and minds, and ability to work complicated electronics into adulthood are really good. Even if they kill me before then.

Read all the research and stats you want. Parenting is mostly a crap shoot. Great parents can produce messed up kids and crappy parents can produce amazing kids.

Like blogging. Judy sent me a link to the dos and don'ts of blogging. Feel free to read them, but it basically boils down to "Do what you want. It might work, or it might not." Like most of the choices parents make. So here is my own pointless list for parents.

Make sure you're married before having kids. Intact families produce healthier, smarter, better-behaved children.

Don't get married. Married couples are the only people at risk for divorce, and divorce negates the whole healthier, smarter, better-behaved thing.

Have a natural birth. Drugs are bad for babies.

Get the drugs. Traumatized mothers are bad for babies.

Have a large family. Cable stations will finance your lifestyle.

Have one child. You can finance your own lifestyle.

Be a working mother. Finance your lifestyle while promoting a good work ethic and proving that women can have a good chunk, if not all, of "it all."

Be a stay at home mother. Who's to say sweats and cartoons aren't a good chunk of "it all?"

Put your kids in public school. Or private school. Or homeschool them. No separate comments. They'll hate you, regardless.

Ban television. It is junk food for the mind.

Embrace television. It gives you 30 minutes to sneak away with the leftover chocolate cake before the kids can get to it.

Okay, I thought I had more than that, but I don't. I'm only 10 years into screwing up kids. Give me time.

Right now, I need to go to bed. I'm sure tomorrow will be another long day of hysterics- the good kind and the bad kind!

Friday, November 14, 2008

And that's... something

I've been thinking about blog names recently, thanks to Miss Thystle. Which is nice, since she usually has me thinking about boobs and alcohol. Which makes me keep looking to be sure the husband isn't following her on Twitter. Because that's totally his kind of girl. Almost like I was, before I got boring. Which I will blame on him.

So, blog names. Why did I pick this one? During my first (and last) semester at The Real College I Went To, my nickname was Pearl. Thankfully, this was before Spongebob, who has a friend named Pearl. And she is a whale. I assume she's also adopted, since her father is a crab. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
But, when I was 18, I had 7 piercings in my ears, and wore (fake) pearl earrings in 5 of them. I don't know about other schools, but nicknames were all the rage at mine. My best friends were Mickey, Mallory, and Jules. Quentin Tarantino was also all the rage.
There are people in the world right now who have no idea what my real name is. They will forever think of me as "Pearl." Or possibly "That girl who never went to class."

When I started this blog, I didn't really have any specific intent. I mean, my life is pretty boring. In a good way, but boring. I have kids and pets and dirty dishes and I live in the middle of nowhere, where I see more deer than people on a daily basis.

There's often drama swirling around me, but it rarely involves me. The most exciting thing that's personally happened to me this week was being able to buy a barn for My Farm on Facebook.

I used to be full of drama, though. I was the girl standing up in the back of a Jeep Wrangler, holding on to the roll bar while going down the highway at 70mph. I was asked not to return to The Real College I Went To. I've also attended 2 community colleges, yet I have earned zero transferrable credits. I've lived in a cheap apartment in a bad neighborhood and spent my paychecks on shoes and cigarettes. I've also lived in a non-frat house, where very-frat parties were thrown. I danced in cages at a nightclub. After having a baby out of wedlock. I have had a pierced tongue. And I married a guy I knew for 8 months.

I knew drama.

Now I know how nice it is to NOT have drama... for the most part. Once in a while, it's still fun to poke a bear with a stick (metaphorically - I've happily avoided our actual neighborhood bear for over 3 years now) just to keep myself on my toes. But it's mostly laundry and teaching double digit addition for me these days. And it is good.

I do think that my past has made my present incredibly rewarding, and I love the perspective it has given me. I can't claim to have any pearls of wisdom, but there are certainly pearls of... something rolling around in my head. Not every day. Some days are just a bunch of cat pictures or rants about rats with hooves. And the days that produce pearls don't always translate well to print but, if I could invite you to sit in my head on those days, I promise you'd be blown away!

One of my oldest invisible friends (and by oldest, I mean known for the longest, though I will point out that I am younger than she) is one of those fancy-shmancy word people who went to college to learn more about word stuff. I am very jealous of her, because she has a blog name complete with a hook. Silver Linings always signs off with "And that's my silver lining for today."

How cool would it have been if I had thought to sign off with "And that's... something" for each of my posts?!?! But now I can't do that because it seems morally wrong. But I will want to from now until forever.

So I would like for you to start checking out Judy's silver linings, as long as you promise to remember that most of my posts are pure genius inside my head. And feel free to visit Miss Thystle for thoughts about boobs and booze, because you'll rarely find that here. Though, if I ever win one of her contests and empty a flask, I suppose it's possible I might share the picture of the french fry that dropped down my shirt during our Land Of Make Believe trip.

P.S. If you go to Miss Thystle and mention my name, I get an extra entry into her flask contest, which could bring you that much closer to my french fry picture. So do it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Will the real puritans please stand up, please stand up

So, Turkey Day is creeping up on us.

Since having children over the age of 4, I've had real issues with Thanksgiving. When the concept of celebrating Thanksgiving was my own private inner conflict, I didn't have to put my feelings into words and could be content to stuff myself with turkey and stuffing and consider the day a pre-race meal for the Black Friday marathon.

Once I had a kid in school and the feathered headbands and paper bag vests started coming home, I began struggling with my issues. The issues being so complicated and controversial (and completely contrary to what The Teachers, Gods and Goddesses of All Knowledge in my dear son's eyes, were teaching,) I swallowed my objections and figured that something like this should be tackled when the children were much more mature. Because you don't. contradict. teachers.

But hey - guess what? I am the teacher now!
And guess what else? I forgot to take the time to put my feelings into words!

Here's the thing. I have some Native American blood.
Now, I've never really identified with that part of my heritage. Not only is it a smaller piece of my ancestry, but the Swedish and Irish pieces have been kind enough to pass down recipes for comfort food and alcohol. There's no contest.
I'm an American mutt who simply doesn't know very much about the places and cultures of her ancestors. But I do know what I like to eat and drink. And I also know that my Native American blood is Iroquois, and the Iroquois weren't exactly friends of the Wampanoag themselves, so who am I to talk?

The husband's family, on the other hand, is a lot more Native American than I am. At least, they identify with that history more than I do, which is very nice. Especially the part that makes the husband all bronzed and ethnic-looking in the summer. Mm.
Plus, to the best of my knowledge, the tribes of my in-laws had no beef with the Native Americans of the Thanksgiving story.

And here comes the day when my one little, two little, three (and four) little Indians expect to celebrate a meal between corn farmers and the white people who were so grateful for their new friends. Uh huh.

Fortunately, my 10 year old is used to me. After watching an assigned video on the first Thanksgiving, he barely flinched when I casually told him it was a romanticized story about a meal between Chosen Ones and the savages where the Chosen Ones' butts were once again saved by the savages, who would be rewarded with casinos. And, fortunately, he found the concept intriguing, because he knows such a comment will be followed by required reading and discussion.

Which means I need to come up with some required reading and points of discussion. On a topic I've been happy to dance around for years. Which means I will be giving thanks for the internet this Turkey Day.

I managed to find a lesson plan with a forward by a Native American historian, who is also a public school teacher. Jackpot!

This plan includes adult level material (complete with bibliography) as well as child-friendly information that can be adapted to all levels. While H and M learn more about the Wampanoag and their wigwams, I'm looking forward to discussing the speech given on behalf of the Wampanoag on the 350th anniversary of the pilgrims' arrival with J.

Whether or not you're a homeschooler, if you're interested in exploring the history of Turkey Day with your children, or just curious yourself, the above link is very interesting. Complete with Native American prayer, history of corn, and corn husk craft project, it's not presented nearly as intense as the introduction I presented to my poor son, lol, but it does shed some light on a few of the issues most schools gloss over in their history lessons.

And now to decide between regular stuffing and sausage stuffing while scouring the leaked Black Friday ads...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A change I really need

I have always been a disorganized pack rat. Even during the brief period of anal retentiveness when I did have a very clean home, I was still a boxer/stacker. Boxes of notes from high school and clothes I would never wear again were shoved in closets. Halloween costumes and out of season (and outgrown) clothes were in my toddler's dresser. And mail would be piled in a basket for months.

I've always had an irrational fear of getting rid of things, while lacking the motivation to put things away properly. Because maybe I would need last season's Children's Place catalog at a moment's notice or have a reason to spend $50 at LL Bean and get $10 off before the expiration date or completely forgetting I have the coupon. Or the fact that I'm cheap and like my Target jeans.

Paper is probably my greatest organizational weakness, and school papers have always been the worst. Trying to decide which pieces of my child's hard work to keep and which to deem literal garbage is something I've always hated to do. And homeschooling has made it even harder. Now I have to judge every. single. piece of paper anyone touches.

So, I procrastinate. The piles grow. Odds and ends get mixed in. Two months into homeschooling 3 children, I'm left with this:

The worst part is, my front door is just to the right of that table.

I did do something right. This table is (supposed to be) devoted to things used on a daily or nearly-daily basis. Everything else is kept in a separate spot that I'm not brave enough to show right now.

I've struggled with finding the motivation to straighten up areas that require a lot of effort to keep straightened up. In other words, just about the whole house. But this particular area was especially bad, and a fellow homeschooler recently inspired me to get my act together.

Jennifer at Halving It All has committed to halving all of her belongings and all of her bills in order to double what is really important in life - experiences.

I'm not sure I can really cut my "stuff" in half, but I'm determined to see how close I can get. The most appropriate place to start was with the homeschool table that greets everyone when they walk in the door.

I started out by dividing everything into "keep", "garbage/recycle", and "does not belong."

Everything to the left of the shelves, minus the printer, was to go somewhere else. Items to return to Target, Halloween costumes to be re-homed in dress up bins (once the current dress up clothes are culled), a chair that was in need of repair before the matching chair and table were disposed of and the remaining chair forgotten in the pile (behind the printer, turned upside down, with books and binders on top), table sleeves to be stored in the loft closet, and non-daily-use school items that hadn't been put away properly. Among other miscellaneous junk.

There was also a pile of papers to be disposed of when little eyes were not paying attention.

And everything else was to be filed in appropriate binders and arranged neatly.

While sorting and filing, I even took the time to wash the tablecloth, which had a spot of jelly on it from who knows when!

And now, our corner looks like this:

Okay, that's what it looked like on Friday. Today, it looks like that with the addition of a package for my sister and grocery bags to be returned to my car. And guess what. I'm going to go put that stuff in my car as soon as I get off of the computer!

I didn't truly get rid of half of the stuff from my table, but I'm very happy with what I've done, and it has motivated me to keep going. I tackled the top of my microwave and kitchen counter this morning. I've also begun going through my maternity clothes, now that C is 18 months old.

I feel like I'm on the right track. And that is a Big Deal!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My political secret

I'm on pins and needles today.

The husband was up at an ungodly hour, waking the dogs, the baby and little ol' me. Usually, I'm able to go straight back to dreamland once he's gone, but not today. Today's too big and important. My tummy is too queasy, my mind is racing too quickly, and my heart is in my throat.

I can't imagine a single person in my life who would be surprised to discover that I'm an Obama supporter. I am. I want him to win. I need him to win. But many people in my life will probably be surprised to learn why.

I'm going to quit being a democrat.

Barack Obama is the change I need. The change I am hoping will bring me the confidence to take the leap and officially go rogue. Though, now I'm pissed that the word conjures up images of a red suit and glasses. (And that sentence conjures up images of Santa Clause with a machine gun in my head. Hm.)

Okay, maybe that's not entirely true. I suppose the incredible disappointment of a republican win could outrage me enough to take a flying leap to just about any other political affiliation. But flying leaps are much more reckless than simple leaps and I gave up on recklessness a few years ago.

The thing is, changing parties scares me. As an atheist (okay, agnostic by definition) I can only assume that the uncomfortable process is somewhat similar to seeking a new religious affiliation. That is, if there were 2 main religions with a smattering of other options that nobody pays attention to. Which I guess is kinda sorta the case around here when you boil it down. But, as an atheist (agnostic), I digress.

I don't fully identify with ANY party. The reality is, for the next four years, we are either going to have a Republican or Democrat in office. And the four years after that, and probably the four years after that, and possibly much, much longer. When I am forced to choose, I have to go democrat.

Honestly, I really am excited about this Democrat. Old white men have always kind of freaked me out, but that isn't a deciding point for me this time. Joe The Plumber and Joe Six-Pack and Joe Blow and Joe Shmoe can all kiss my butt. There's only one Joe I can truly relate to, and he hearts Obama, so it's all good.

My point is, I'm really not good with change, despite my incredible need for it right now. Obama is the stepping stone to change for me. The step I need, and the step in the direction I would like to see our country take. Because I was taught that America = freedom and, since becoming an inquisitive adult, I haven't felt the type of freedom I was taught to expect.

Someone very important to me once told me that a bit of aging and a bit of money would turn me into a Republican one day. At the time, the thought made me want to puke. A little farther down the line, I found myself wondering if it was true. Maybe it would have been when the Republican Party was a republican party.

I want smaller government, but neither candidate truly offers that. I want more personal freedom, but neither candidate truly offers that, either. Meanwhile, the points I disagree with when it comes to the "little" parties are specific issues. Issues that I am motivated to tackle within myself and within the parties. The basic principles of several fit very neatly into my heart and mind.

So I'm planning my plunge. I am preparing to do what I can to make sure people know that there are other options. An expanded version of "Just Vote", if you will. I have no desire to evangelize. I can't tell people what is right or wrong for them. But I can remind people that they need not be limited to the lesser of two evils. The lesser of THREE (or more) evils enables one to rank their priorities more accurately! ;-)

Right now, my guess is that intelligent voters are already aware that there is politics beyond the elephant and donkey. And I know that many already feel quite purple (or green, or whatever), but fear taking votes away from a "legitimate" candidate. What is a stay-at-home, homeschooling, free-thinking, passionate mom to do? Why, legitimize the existence of the minority and spur growth, of course!

Don't ask me exactly how I'm going to do that just yet. I'm still considering the points of the Libertarian Party, Green Party, and the multiple names of other libertarian groups. It may be hypocritical, but I'm ignoring the smaller splinter groups. Let's be real here. No matter how truly I believe I can change the world, my fabulosity does have its limits! Baby steps and baby changes, people.

I am realistic. I see a future where these parties are true contenders, but it is quite a way off, in my opinion. My intent is to make it my children's future. Because, dammit, they WILL NOT be the first generation to take a step back from their parents' success if I have anything to do with it.

I've got Barack's back for the next 8 years. He does give me hope. He does inspire me. And, no matter what happens tonight, he has proven that people are looking toward the horizon, searching for something big. And I can be a part of that.

In the meantime, I need to go attempt to concentrate on today's school lessons while fighting waves of nervous nausea. I also have to figure out how to address the conversation I had with my 5-year-old this morning:

M "Can we play computer games today?"
Me "Maybe after we get our work done. You know, today is a very exciting day."
M "Is it my gymnastics day?"
Me "No, that's tomorrow. Tonight, we find out who our new president will be!"
M- looking ticked "Oh. I thought it would be more exciting than that. I'll go brush my teeth."

Baby steps must start at home.