Hey there. Where have you been?
Kidding. I know I was the one who bailed for a bit.
The thing is, about eight months ago, in the midst of some big, crazy stuff regarding my kid, my blog started sending out links that took people to some weird sites proffering eastern European get-rich-quick schemes and other unsavory opportunities. I’d been hacked or malwared or something. I spent some time trying to sort out what to do about this issue but – not having the technical knowledge, time to gain said technical knowledge, or funds to pay someone else with such technical knowledge – I soon gave up. Put it off for a day when one of these resources magically became available.
And got really busy.
Then, yesterday, I decided to have a look-see at the old blog again…and it seemed the problem was gone. Mind you, in eight months, WordPress had more than a couple of updates. When I loaded them up, things seemed to run like a CHARM. So, I figured I’d give it a go.
So, this is a test. If you get any weirdness, please let me know. Direct Message me on Twitter @MominLACity or email me at mamapaloma at gmail dot com.
The past while has been super intense and I’ve been processing a lot. There’s a lot of good that will come out of this time and, I think, a lot of good writing. Here’s a snapshot of the past two-thirds of a year, and what they have me thinking about.
Drama with the preschool got worse (if that was possible). The little guy started in a new school which has been all right but a tough adjustment, in large degree because of how crappy the original school was about it. It was sadly comforting to see the reports of another school that was closing due to almost identical issues – because I had been painted as being over-reactive by my son’s school, which is still open, and some of those evil people are bringing their kid to my kid’s soccer team (well, it’s not ‘his’ per se but we did get there FIRST). Can’t say much more about that as there are legal issues still pending. Still thinking about making our communities safer by challenging the ‘culture of silence’ around child sexual development and abuse prevention.
This connects to my recent obsession with Zerlina Maxwell and several rape cases that have received unusual press coverage. One blogger wrote about the night that Jane Doe was repeatedly assaulted in Stubenville, Ohio as “the saddest night that Steubenville, Ohio, has ever seen.” It was sad all right, but hardly unusual. The videos and commentary by the perpetrators’ and victim’s peers made it clear that this was nothing new in Stubenville. For those of us who have been working in the rape crisis sector for
years decades (!), nothing about these situations are surprising. This kind of assault is so common, especially in High School and college social scenes (though I personally have been assaulted twice in my thirties and forties by men my age). What is awesome about this and other situations coming out is the amazing conversations going on about rape culture and how to change it, particularly about how to raise our boys to not rape or be silent bystanders.
Recently, after a long hiatus, I made a foray into dating. With a much younger guy. It was fun for a New York minute but, man, did this dude have some internal conflicts and an inability to express what he really wanted. Desire for connection and sex and commitment are so easily confused and tangled up and put in opposition to one another. This has me thinking (in parallel to/connected with the combating rape culture theme) also about boys and the mixed up messages they get and how to raise my son in a way that he can fully enjoy being affectionate and sexual and own his own longing for connection and be ethical and respectful about it. Am sure there’s more to say about that.
Hopefully, there’ll be more dating in my future as, contrary to rape apologists’ ideas, this super feminist lady does love men and is ready to get back out there.
Then, just under two weeks ago (the morning after I told the young fella to hit the bricks once and for all), a friend finally lost her war with cancer. There had been many battles and she was a trooper and the end came abruptly for those of us who had seen her rally a dozen times before. She left two little boys, almost exactly eleven months older and younger than mine. In addition to the sadness I feel that she isn’t in the world, this has brought up a ton of stuff around our mortality, our children’s fear of losing us, my son’s father being so far away and what will happen if he never sees him again, valuing people while we are lucky enough to have them around, and honoring them when they are gone.
I really believe that there is power in teaching both empathy and action. Last weekend, just after Denise died, my little guy had his third haircut ever at the LAPD/LAFD annual St. Baldrick’s Day event. He got sponsored (you can still chip in!) to have his head shaved to benefit children’s cancer treatment and research. Before he let them take off a year’s growth, he helped his buddies at Station 89 polish their truck before Chief Cummings showed up. The firefighters invited him to join their lineup and this photo has been making the rounds.
In other news…
My non-profit has grown and expanded projects. While we carry on developing our innovative peace-building project for Liberia and supporting transgender youth to find their social media voices, we’re getting ready to launch new collaborations with families affected by incarceration and Los Angeles area homeless people. It’s pretty awesome and terrifying – especially as our funding has not grown and expanded with the work and I am broke. Know any rich people who want to make their legacy by launching an innovative, awesome nonprofit into the stratosphere? Send ‘em my way!
Seriously, though, we are always looking for volunteers and are assembling a fundraising committee of people who love putting on events (I don’t) who will have a blast getting our work visibility and support.
So, this was meant to be far more entertaining. Sorry. This WordPress thing seems to be working, except the photo posting bit. I’ll get right on that…after I go get the laundry, tidy up, sleep a bit, get through tomorrow…OK, I’ll get to it eventually.