Wednesday, February 28, 2007

25 Years!

Tomorrow my husband and I will celebrate 25 years of marriage. We’ve spent the past week talking, reminiscing, and getting a little teary-eyed. We simply cannot believe how fast those years have flown by. It seems like only yesterday that we were mired knee-deep in diapers and Disney movies, and yet just today, my husband wrote a check for the deposit on our “baby’s” college dorm room for next year. Oh God, where did the time go?

It’s been quite the journey. From our first-born son’s very rough first year of life, much of it spent hospitalized or at home connected to IV machines, to finding out 17 years later that our second beloved son was gay. Life certainly proved one thing to us over and over again, it’s unpredictable. But our marriage survived the challenges, though I’d be lying if I said we didn’t have our rough patches along the way.

My husband asked me to marry him about 3 weeks after our first date, but I, being the more pragmatic one, insisted we wait and get to know each other a little better. We eloped 4 months later, marrying on a ski trip in Idaho.

Looking back on it now, my husband and I marvel at our courage (or maybe it was blinded-by-love stupidity). We both know so many people whose marriages didn’t survive the rigorous ups and downs that life can impose upon us. What were we thinking?

Why do some marriages make it while others don’t? I can’t answer that. But I can say this (and I know my husband would agree wholeheartedly), marriage is damn hard. It takes a whole lot more than just love to hold things together. So many factors come into play. And there are no easy, one-size-fits-all answers to solving this country’s high divorce rate. So when I hear people like James Dobson or Newt Gingrich or John McCain or George Bush or any other political opportunist telling us that they want to protect my marriage by preventing a certain segment of our society from getting married, I don’t know whether to laugh or come unglued. Do these people really think we are that stupid?

I’ve already admitted I don’t have the answers to what makes a long and healthy marriage. I know grit, luck, determination, love, hard work, and a lot of good fortune all played a role in my marriage’s longevity. But it would be sheer arrogance on my part to assert that those ingredients are the only things necessary to make a marriage a success. So I will not offer any words of wisdom on the subject.

I’ll just close by telling my husband thank you for 25 great years and 3 amazing children. I still can’t believe that we skied down that mountain all those years ago, jumped in the car, drove into Boise, got married, and never really realized that the adventure was still ahead of us. I can’t wait to see what the next 25 years will be like. Share

A Purple Heart recipient speaks out against Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

Quote from the first American wounded in the Iraq war, Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva:

To be honest, each time I was commended on my courage, I couldn’t help but remember how scared I was that I would be found out as gay and kicked out of the military. I remember the fear I felt when people around me in the military started debating the new “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy even before it became law. Still, my proudest moments during my 13 years in the military came when I would confide in one of my friends about my sexual orientation and they would still treat me with the same respect as before.

Those are the words of Sgt. Alva, a Purple Heart recipient who was wounded on March 21, 2003 when he was traveling in Iraq in a convoy to Basra with his battalion. Sgt. Alva stepped on a landmine, breaking his right arm and damaging his leg so badly that it needed to be amputated.

I don’t know, but I think there’s something drastically wrong with a country that can ask young men and women to put their lives on the line to defend our freedom, but tell them that while they are risking their lives for our freedom, they do not have the freedom to serve openly as a gay man or lesbian.

Shame the hell on us.

And to all those people out there who’ve never ever worn the uniform or put their own lives on the line for this country – SHUT THE HELL UP. Yes, unfortunately you are entitled to your opinion, but only because brave young men and women, many of them gays and lesbians, have volunteered to fight for your right to be a loud-mouth ignorant bigot.


Friday, February 23, 2007

No Tim, it’s not a hate crime, it’s just profound ignorance

So Timmy starts damage control:

“I still don't accept their lifestyle. No.”

“I don't hate anybody. I don't have a hate bone in my body.”

“…it was just the wrong choice of words. It came out of my mouth real crude and real bad and real ugly. And people think that that's the way I feel. That I hate [gay people], and I don't. I don't condone what they do, but I don't hate them. But that's how it came out.”

“They call them hate crimes for a reason.”

“And that's what it was, a hate crime on my part.”

And here is what I’d say to Tim if I could:

Yes Tim, you’re right, your words were "crude, bad, and ugly", but you had every right to say them. It is not a hate crime to express your true feelings about gay people and the day it becomes one is the day I don’t want to live in the United States of America anymore. And no, you don’t even have to accept anyone’s so-called “lifestyle” either. That’s your right too, and nobody can take that away from you. That’s the beauty of this amazing country, you have the freedom to hate whatever or whomever you want and you can tell the world all about it, just like you did. No crime there.

But the world has the right to recoil in shock and revulsion at the words that so blithely spill from your mouth too. And I’d bet $1,000 that the profound regret and remorse that you are expressing today has nothing to do with the hurt you caused untold numbers of people you’ve never even met and everything to do with the huge backlash that slapped you in the face almost immediately. And sadly, you were so blinded by your own overblown sense of self-importance, you never saw it coming. You had absolutely no idea that there could be consequences to those searing words, did you?

Such a shame…

Well Tim, I am the mother of a gay son and I don’t hate you, I don’t even dislike you. I’m just really sad you choose to hate and use God to justify it. And I’m sad you were so stupid and blinded by your own massive ego that you thought you could publicly proclaim such a nasty sentiment and not think there would be repercussions. And I’m sad at what you’ve missed out on because of your blinding hate and ignorance. But Tim, my Christian beliefs do not permit me to hate you. And I don’t. I just feel sorry for you.

But while I have your ear, let me tell you what I do hate. I hate the misplaced hero worship that creates people like you. Over and over again we see it, some nobody kid comes out of the woodwork, proves he was one of the lucky ones born with a little bit of talent for a certain sport, secures a contract promising to pay him sinful amounts of money, gets elevated to hero-status for nothing more than being able to put a dumb ball in a dumb basket, and voila said nobody-kid turns into an egotistical prima Donna that forgets that at the end of the day, he’s really no better than anyone else, even gays.

I know that when this whole stink calms down, the only lesson you will have learned is that you need to think before you speak. And yes that is a great lesson, but it is not the lesson you should be taking away from this sad affair. The lesson you should be taking away is this:

Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged.

But maybe you did get a taste of that lesson too.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I'm not shirking --- really...

Ok, I have to come clean. I went back to work about a month and a half ago. It is a contract with an end. It is a great job with a group of very talented people with whom I've worked off and on in the past and I'm thrilled to be back in the saddle with them again. It is also very challenging, all-consuming, and at times, brain-numbing technical work (and I am the non-geek in the group). But I thought that I could handle it all without much problem.

heh... boy was I wrong.

Between the intensity of this job (which should let up in a month or so), my daughter's lacrosse schedule (for which my husband and I do all the scoring and timekeeping), and my blog, something had to give. And unfortunately, it has been the blog. And it's driving me bananas.

As a result, the symptoms are back: severe talking to myself whenever no one is around (in the car, in the shower, and well you get the point) and sporadic outbursts of seething anger every time I read something that in the past just sent me to the keyboard.

I can't quit. I need the outlet this blog provides me too much. It was and still is more for my sanity (as well as my husband's and my kids) than anything else. But it looks like I will be cutting back somewhat for a while ---- unless ---- my mental health gives out, in which case, I'll find a sub for lacrosse scorekeeping... Share

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Hooray for Hardaway honesty

That’s the title of a letter written by a Mr. Lee A. Prins in the Arizona Republic today. And the letter is quite ugly. It’s quite depressing. And it’s certainly confirmation that there will always be ignorant bigots (is this redundant?) in the world. But this letter marked a real breakthrough for me. For the first time since I learned that one of my beloved children was gay, I did not go quietly into the bathroom, lock the door, and sob until I had no tears left. I guess I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that there will always be people who hate what does not conform to their definitions of normal.

Does this mean I will stop trying to change hearts and minds? Hell no. I will never give up on that. Never. My son has to live in this world with neighbors just like Mr. Prins.

But I do have to wonder, how many moms and dads did sneak quietly into the bathroom, lock the door, and sob today after reading Mr. Lee A. Prins very startling admission. I am sure there were many.

Here are the searing words of a man who probably never misses a Sunday church service:

Feb. 20, 2007 12:00 AM

Hooray for NBA player Tim Hardaway for saying what's on a lot of people's minds. He would not willingly play ball with a homosexual, and neither would I, nor would anyone I know.

I see that the media pushed him into almost apologizing for what he said, but that's the insidiousness of this gay issue. Maybe less than 1 percent of the population is gay, but they have twice the protection of most other people.

You can call me a stupid nimrod and get away with it. But if you tell a homosexual what you really think of him or her, you are called a homophobe.

Most people try to avoid the issue. But homosexuality is being pushed at us from every direction. The world isn't gay and most of it doesn't love gays and probably never will. They and their fellow travelers need to get used to that.

Lee A. Prins, Gold Canyon


Sunday, February 18, 2007

If only…

If only more people would see the light as this man has:


It's ironic. After years of wanting to change what I perceived as the hardened hearts of homosexuals, God changed my heart instead.

There's one thing I still must do and thus the reason for this post.

To all the wonderful, decent and loving gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the world, I have to ask your forgiveness?

I unfortunately know that I can't undo the hurt that I caused with my condemning words and hateful thoughts, so it seems very insufficient to say I'm sorry.


This is a letter sent to Pam from someone who deeply regrets the hurt he caused so many in the LGBT community with his very misguided “hate in the name of God” rantings. If you haven’t already, it is well worth hopping over to Pam’s place and reading in full.

It filled my heart with both hope and grief. “Hope” that more people will see the light and “grief” that I’d better not get my hopes too high.



Saturday, February 17, 2007

Dear James Dobson,

Next week my 18 year old daughter will get the second in a series of 3 shots that will protect her against 2 of the most common HPV strains that cause cervical cancer. As a mother, I want to protect my children in any way I can, so when I learned about this vaccine, I knew I wanted her to be vaccinated as soon as it became available. I cannot tell you how comforting it is to know that she will soon be protected from this deadly cancer. And I know many parents who feel just as I do. And why wouldn’t we? This vaccine is 100% effective in preventing infection by the two viruses responsible for 70% of all cervical cancer cases.

So I’m writing you tonight because in addition to learning all I could about this vaccine, I also learned that you and many of your so-called “Christian”, “family advocate” buddies were not quite as enthusiastic about the arrival of this vaccine as we parents were. And when I learned how vociferously you were objecting to the recommendation that the vaccine be routinely given to girls between the ages of 11 and 12 to maximize its efficiency, I was both astounded and livid. But it wasn’t until I learned why you had objections that my blood began to really boil. I simply could not believe that it was because you feared that immunizing our daughters against this deadly cancer might send the implied message that we parents were endorsing teenage sexual activity.

What kind of idiocy is that? You are one troubled little man, aren’t you? I honestly thought you were joking, but sadly you were deadly serious. You were actually arguing that giving 11 and 12 year old girls this life-saving vaccine would encourage them to engage in sex. And then the light bulb went off in my head. Of course you’d be freaking out over a vaccine that prevents HPV. HPV has been your handy dandy justification for abstinence. It’s been a very effective scare tactic in your arsenal of scare tactics. It’s been way too useful a tool to get rid of with some stinkin vaccine. Hell, in your book, any kid promiscuous enough to get HPV, damn well deserves any nasty disease they get. And if they should die from that disease – oh well, it was God’s will.

Ooooof how could I have been so dumb? You don’t give a rat’s a** about our children’s health. You don’t give a rat’s a** about our children. You just don’t want them having s-e-x.

Well you listen here James Dobson. I don’t know how long you held up that vaccine’s approval with your creepy arguments. But any delay whatsoever affected my daughter. And that’s unacceptable. Who knows how much earlier she and countless others could have been vaccinated if it had not been for you and your very weird fear of anything: sex. I have had it with you and your sanctimonious crap. You want to spout that sh*t – fine, spout it – that’s your right, but when it starts affecting my family, then you’ve crossed the line and stepped on our rights. And you’ve crossed the line and stepped on our rights one too many times.

This is not the first time you’ve blatantly invaded the sanctity of my family’s private life. Unfortunately when we found out we had a gay son, it was your ugly message of hate that rang loudly in our ears. It was your cruel ignorant homophobic rants that cut deep into our hearts. At a time when we so desperately need a real family advocate, we learned the real truth. You’re no advocate to any family, you’re just a shill fraud. You proved it then with our son, and you’ve proved it more recently with our daughter.

So I have one request James Dobson. Get the hell out of my family’s life. You are not welcome. With family advocates like you, who needs enemies?


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Romney, Giuliani Promise to start gay bashing...soon

So Willard and Rudolph have a deadline, start bashing the gays by this summer or the fringies will find someone who will. And lord knows there are certainly enough people in the Republican Party willing to sell their soul if these two won’t:

With the Republican presidential primaries front-loaded to southern states, Both Mitt Romney and Rudolph Giuliani have promised conservative campaign donors the gay bashing will begin this coming summer.

Both Mitt Romney and Rudolph Giuliani face tough challenges in the early primaries. The two men have fallen into a trap carefully set by the Bush Rove political hate machine. While Romney and Giuliani where busy succeeding in local politics, the Republican national committee has been blasting away at so called "east coast liberals". The tactic effectually stalled John Kerry in 2004 but has also slowed the progress of the the Republican parties new "east coast liberals" Romney and Giuliani.

Well this Seething Mom is hoping it backfires on the whole lot of them in a big way. After all, we still have the low-hanging fruits of the last gay bashing contest sitting in the White House. Hopefully Americans don’t have that short a memory.

God I’m dreading 2008.


It isn't just the hatefulness. It's the hypocrisy.

So it looks like Hoosiers may be next in line to vote on whether they’d like to enshrine bigotry into their constitution:

A proposed ban on same-sex marriages now faces just one more hurdle in the House before Hoosiers will be able to vote on the constitutional amendment.

The Indiana Senate voted 39-10 Monday to pass the amendment, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

How very sad. I just cannot understand how otherwise intelligent people can buy into this crazy nonsense. Thankfully not everyone does:

By now, Indiana citizens have heard all of the justifications for SJ 7, the Indiana constitutional amendment to "defend marriage" against the assault of all those gay terrorists who just want to participate in it. And we've heard all of the pious assurances that the language in "part B," (forbidding any court from interpreting any law in any way that might confer the "incidents of marriage" on unmarried couples) isn't meant to deprive gays of health benefits or hospital visitation rights. It's just an effort to "clarify" that marriage is only between a man and a woman.



Let's be clear about this: The people pushing for SJ 7 want to make life as difficult as possible for Indiana's gay citizens. They know same-sex marriage is already illegal in Indiana, and that Indiana courts have upheld the current law. There is no reason to pass this amendment except to void those few benefits that gay couples now enjoy.

They may get SJ 7 passed, but no one who believes in equal rights should let them get away with pretending that they don't mean what they say.

And this is why I shall refrain from making one big sweeping, mean-spirited generalization about Indiana being a state full of ignorant hayseeds. I am sure there are many intelligent Indiana residents who agree with the sentiments expressed in the above snippet, but unfortunately they are not the ones getting themselves to the polls. It seems it’s the ignorant hayseeds who are getting their fannies to the polls and speaking for everyone. But what I want to know is do these people really believe they are protecting their marriages? If they do, then maybe I’ll have to rethink making that sweeping, mean-spirited generalization after all.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Pope Attacks Proposed Italian Gay Unions Law

Well we knew the Pope wasn’t going to be tickled “pink” over legislation the Prodi government is trying to pass which would allow civil unions for Italian gay and lesbian couples. And he’s NOT. No surprises there, but what is surprising are the balls this Pope must be hiding under his Prada and Gucci vestments (sorry, his hypocrisy brings out the worst in me) if he thinks he’s got a leg to stand on when weighing in on this issue:

"The Catholic Church will continue to proclaim ceaselessly the inalienable greatness of human dignity," Benedict said [emphasis mine], calling on Catholics in legislatures and the judiciary to ensure that "laws always are the expression of principles which promote the authentic common good." [mine again]

Popes seldom directly involve themselves in Italian politics under an accord reached after the unification of Italy when the Vatican was accorded statehood within Italy. Instead they make general and diplomatic remarks that leave little doubt about their intent.

The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano is more direct usually serving at the "unofficial" voice of the Pope. Friday it said that the proposed law "wounded" the family as an institution. [mine again]

Those who read this blog know this Pope is a thorn in this momma’s side. I find his supreme hypocrisy and selective definition of what actions he finds “inherently evil” so heinous and detached from reality that I cannot sit idly by without calling him on it, even if it means repeating myself ad nauseam. How can he think he has any moral high ground upon which to climb and spout off about protecting human dignity and promoting authentic common good? I can’t help but think the guy is seriously delusional.

So I’d like to suggest a better way for him to “promote authentic common good” and “human dignity” while restoring the trust of the millions of faithful his Church so completely trampled for a decades-long period that this Pope seems to conveniently forget about when it suits him. Here is what I propose:


End the stupid, sky-will-fall, world-will-end, families-will-be-destroyed debate about civil unions. It just makes you sound like a shill, paranoid homophobe and inches you closer to irrelevancy each time you open your mouth and weigh in on the subject. And besides, you’re on the wrong side of this argument. The world will move into the 21st century on this issue with or without you. And how ironic that it’s already happening in your neck of the woods (see, I told you: irrelevancy).

Instead, I suggest you direct your energies in a more productive and healing direction by talking about how you can prevent from ever happening again the horror that went on within the Catholic Church for decades. I’m talking about the real destruction of families and human dignity that happened at the hands of your institution, the Catholic Church, with the rapes and molestations of thousands upon thousands of innocent children entrusted to your Church.

Now this will not be easy, but if you are really sincere about wanting what’s best for the family, this is a better strategy than chasing your tail trying to prevent gays from marrying. I propose you begin by lobbying for a law that would incarcerate any priest, bishop, cardinal, or Pope (of course we’ll need to make sure this law is not retroactive) who in any way protects or enables pedophile priests by hiding them in the Vatican or shuffling them from one unsuspecting parish to another.

Now this, dear Pope, is how you protect the family and human dignity.

Seething Mom has spoken. Your move “Your Holiness” …


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Gay teens coming out earlier to peers and family

Hallelujah! This is great news. Thank you, George Bush. Thank you, Karl Rove. Thank you, James Dobson. Thank you, Papa Ratzi. And a big fat wet smooch to all you homophobic wing-nuts out there who helped make this such a “flaming” success. This wouldn’t have happened without your help:

Gay teenagers are "coming out" earlier than ever, and many feel better about themselves than earlier generations of gays, youth leaders and researchers say. The change is happening in the wake of opinion polls that show growing acceptance of gays, more supportive adults and positive gay role models in popular media.

I really believe that one day the Republican Party will rue the day they connected themselves to the hips of religious extremists like James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson.

Andrew Sullivan is thinking it spells disaster for them too:

The accelerating pace of social acceptance [of gays], whether you like it or not, is an empirical fact. I wonder how many Republicans realize that the Rove strategy of appealing to fundamentalist faith as the critical political ideology of the right could eventually destroy the conservative movement. It might have secured a few short-term victories, but at the expense of medium-term coherence as a coalition and long-term collapse. And I have a suspicion that the collapse could come sooner than some might imagine.

Well that collapse Andrew speaks of ----- can’t happen soon enough for this Seething Mom.


We need to find a real-life Alan Shore

I’m a huge fan of Boston Legal. This clip highlights all the reasons why.

No wonder the religious right and many right-wing politicians hate Hollywood so much. Shows like this have a marvelous way of shining a bright spotlight on the lunacy of these nutcases in a most entertaining way. And they don’t much like being laughed at.

But dang! It’s so much more fun to laugh than weep. Isn’t it?

Hat tip Reality Cubed


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Oh dear God, how many times will this horror story repeat itself before people start getting a clue?

I was over at Pam’s the other day and she had a link to a discussion thread titled, My son killed himself! The site hosting this thread was called Jesus Christ Forums. (Have you guessed where this is going yet?) Unfortunately, I clicked myself on over to the site and read just enough to get sick to my stomach and genuinely depressed. And I’m still so haunted by what I read, I wish I’d never gone over there.

The mother of the young boy who killed himself describes herself this way:

"I am a mother of two and I was raised a Christian. I love Jesus and follow him.”

That’s when the chills started creeping up and down my spine. It should’ve also been my cue to get the heck out of there. But no, I felt compelled to keep reading.

Mother of gay son who committed suicide:

I'm so distraught; I can't stop crying! What did I do wrong? Is my son in Hell now for killing himself??

To which several people offer heartfelt condolences and one person even says he doesn’t think her son will go to hell for committing suicide.

Okay, so far so good. I’m seeing some compassion that I didn’t expect to see. But now distraught mom starts baring a little more of her guilt-ridden soul:

But wasnt it my fault for not accepting him?

And then this:

He had been upset with me because I told him that being gay was wrong.

And then a self-described "former" gay enters into the fray:

How did you "not accept" your son? Don't buy into the hateful and totally erroneous propaganda coming from the gay activists who blame Christians for every problem in the gay community and every gay teen suicide. This is simply a fallacious argument designed to make parents of gay teens fearful of what a few gay teens do. (emphasis is Seething Mom's)

Ok, now my blood pressure is starting to rise and I’m starting to mumble through clenched teeth: You self-righteous idiot! One of those “few gay teens” you so blithely refer to just happens to be this woman’s dead child – you heartless, thoughtless, completely devoid of brains b*stard! And maybe if this woman had been a little more fearful of what her gay son might do, he’d still be alive today.

But do I quit reading now and leave before I blow a gasket? Nope. I’ve got to hang in there and torture myself a little more.

Besides, Mr. “Former-Gay’s” not done spouting words of wisdom:

Have you ever told your son that other behavior is wrong? [emphasis mine] If you can answer yes to this question why didn't he [commit] suicide because you told him other behavior is wrong?

You are not responsible for what you son did

Blame gay activists who lie about the psychological roots of homosexuality in some, blame the homophobic idiots who call themselves pastors and the teachers of God's truth, blame our society that has turned homosexuality into a political football, but you don't have to blame yourself.

My mother blamed herself when her youngest son died of AIDS and I have never understood why.

To which distraught mom of gay son replies:

But if I had been nicer [emphasis mine] and said I didnt mind [didn’t mind???], he probably wouldnt have killed himself.

This discussion goes on a bit longer with everyone a little too eager to ease this woman’s conscience and maybe their own too. But unfortunately I don’t think anyone is going to relieve this distraught mom of her guilt, no matter how hard they try. I think she knows damn well she owns a big share of the blame for her son’s suicide. And as angry and repulsed as I am at her ignorance and criminal stupidity, I can’t help but feel genuine pity for her too. It just seems that to feel anything more would be overkill. She’ll punish herself more than anyone else could. And the punishment will last far longer than any punishment we could impose.

And then there is the self-loathing “former-gay” telling this woman that her son chose to be gay, that being gay is a behavior. What a load of cr*p. And he knows it. He also knows that poor kid killed himself because of his mother’s rejection of something over which that poor boy had no control, and certainly no power to change. So it’s really hard not to feel complete revulsion and contempt for this “former-gay” guy. But again I think he feels enough revulsion and contempt for himself that we don’t need to even waste our emotions on him.

But good lord, how many times does this tragedy have to play out before we start holding people responsible? How many more desperate children will end their lives before parents start realizing how wrong these bible-beating homophobes are? And how many more parents will live their lives with profound regret and guilt because they realize too late how wrong they were about their children? And what about all the churches and preachers who dedicate so much of their time screeching about the evils of homosexuality? When are we going to start holding them accountable for the tragedies they cause with their words of hate and messages of rejection? I say tomorrow is not soon enough. Share

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Calling my daughter in sick and facing my demons – what a morning!

Note: Blogger is being a bugger this morning, so I am posting this later than I had wanted to.

This morning my daughter is heading to the airport with a friend to go visit one of the universities to which they both applied and got accepted. And it just so happens that it is also the university her gay brother attends. The girls will stay with him and he will do his best to play city ambassador and chamber of commerce member all at once. He’d love nothing more than to have his little sister right there where he can guide her, keep an eye on her, and just plain give her a hug when the mood strikes him. Saying the two of them are close is definitely an understatement. And I must admit, there would be a certain measure of relief for this mom knowing that her baby girl is in the same city as one of her protective, loving older brothers.

But along with my daughter’s departure from town this morning, a school day no less, comes a mandatory chore I simply dread. No wait ----- maybe "dread" is too subtle a word. My heartbeat actually revs up, my palms get clammy, and my stomach sort of does these funny little flip-flops in anticipation of this task. So what is this task I dread so much? It’s calling in to excuse her absence from school. Why? Because it is a Catholic school and it is run, as my boys used to tease their sister, like a prison camp with the barbed wire turned in. But seriously, every time I have dealings with this school my knees go wobbly and my nerves are in rapid-fire mode. The memories of my own Catholic School days come rushing back and my reactions are so ingrained and Pavlovian in nature that I know there is no way to avoid them. The memories of the nuns that ran my elementary school are pretty scary ----- some of those women of the cloth were so mean they inspired nasty reactions that stay with me even to this day as an adult.

In fairness though, I must admit that my daughter has assured me that the few nuns that remain at her school are actually pretty nice. It’s some of the lay teachers and deans at her school that more resemble the nuns I remember from my childhood days.

With all that said, I’m very happy to report that I got through the phone call just fine. My heart has settled down and I’m calmly enjoying a cup of coffee before getting to work. But I have to confess, I cheated just a little. I called very early this morning when I knew no one would be in the office yet and I left a message. Heh – that’ll teach em.