mama loves you 5: the freedom to love and code (or not)


Dear Dalia,

Have I ever told you about the time I got locked in my tenth grade computer science classroom?

It was a nightmare for many reasons, the first of which being OMG I HATED COMPUTER SCIENCE. Apart from the subject matter, at which I was utterly hopeless, our teacher was a religious fanatic who wrote a pamphlet about abstinence that he regularly passed around to his students. AND, the internet was, like, a toddler, and still really novel and the guys in my class had just discovered a website with pictures of dead bodies.

My issues with coding and creationists and dead bodies aside, the real problem of my being locked in my computer science classroom was the reason: hundreds of angry students marching down the halls, slamming lockers and screaming.

“NO GAY CLUBS!” they yelled, according to the Newsweek article written about that day. “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!” I remember people chanting. It was the first time I had heard that chant.

The reason for these protests — riots? — was the recent formation of a club called the Gay Straight Alliance. The Newsweek article (yep, my high school was on the cover**) mentions that it took 6 months for this club to get permission to form on campus.

I hope when you’re in high school, everyone shakes their heads in horror that anyone would have rioted over such a thing. “Our parents’ generation was so weird,” you’ll say to your friend via some communication device that hasn’t been invented yet, “my mom couldn’t code and gay people couldn’t have clubs.”

Today, your dad and I are celebrating our six year anniversary two days after same-sex marriage became legal in this country and the same day as Minneapolis’s Pride celebration. It feels really special to me to share this celebration, and although we didn’t make it to Pride this year, my goal is to bring you as often as I can. I hope you grow up in a world where everyone is allowed to do their thing. I hope it’s not even a question.

Mama loves you (no matter who you love),


** P.S. — “Newsweek” was a magazine. A “magazine” was a bound collection of articles and pictures that was delivered to your house every week or month. A “cover” refers to the very front page. KIDS THESE DAYS.

weekend thoughts / 5.30.15


It’s funny what sticks with you from childhood, isn’t it? I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately: what songs Dalia will remember us singing to her, what books she’ll remember reading, what smells will remind her of home. Part of me wants to [brace yourself for the most hated word of 2015] curate that for her, but my practical side realizes that despite my best efforts, that one time I got Carly Rae Jepsen stuck in my head might be, in her mind, the soundtrack to her childhood. And that’s okay.

My mom clearly wanted me to feel a connection to certain things, namely books —  scribbled inside my old copies of A.A Milne’s When We Were Very Young and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein are heartfelt notes  about how her mother used to read those books and how special they were to her — and hopefully me.

But… sorry, Mom, I have no recollection of ever reading those books.

The books I remember most vividly from childhood are some that I’m sure my parents bought as afterthoughts and definitely weren’t meant to be family heirlooms. The breakfast page from Richard Scarry’s Busytown is still the gold standard to which I hold all breakfasts (nothing has lived up), and there’s a Sesame Street book about flowers that has, for some reason, stuck with me. In a brilliant plot line clearly meant to span decades and cross continents, Big Bird buys a bouquet of flowers and distributes them to his friends. There’s an iris, a tiger lily, a daffodil, and a rose (he couldn’t afford a peony, I guess). To this day, all of those flowers make me really happy — especially irises — and I know for a fact it’s thanks to that book.


Last weekend, a big bouquet of irises bloomed in our kitchen while I threw together an impromptu surprise party for Y’s last day of residency (okay, I made tacos and brownies for six people. STILL.)


Our house was just the way I like it — filled with people (again, six of them… we have a small house) and early 2000s rap music.


Dalia and I visited the farmers market where I drooled over handmade pottery and dribbled breakfast tacos on D’s head (motherhood is hard, man).



On Sunday night, Y and I took our leftover tacos and my 75 cent garage sale picnic basket, filled the water jug from my hospital stay with champagne, and walked to the lake for a picnic. (Full disclosure, we opened the bottle of champagne because we both needed a drink after one of us threw a wee temper tantrum. It wasn’t the baby.)

In between there was baby yoga, footlong hot dogs on a corner patio, and a visit to the chicken bookstore, and I know Dalia will never remember it, but I hope these are the kinds of weekends she does remember.