Archive for Brooke

He’s gay … he’s not gay … it’s none of your damn business

Posted in Family, Internet, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2010 by macmystery

So a couple of nights ago, I’m sitting in the living room with my wife Brooke. She’s got the laptop with her on the couch and she’s reading some other people’s blogs while I’m watching an episode of Psych on Netflix.

And she comes across this blog post from a woman about her son who wanted to be Daphne from Scooby Doo for Halloween. The woman talked about how much her son loved the character and his best friend, a little girl, also went as Daphne.

She also talked about the negative reaction the costume got from other parents.

She was very supportive of her son and basically told the other adults it wasn’t their concern what her son wanted to be for Halloween.

As my wife explained the woman’s blog, Nerdy Apple Bottom, and read the post to me, I found myself sympathizing with the mother.

So Thursday night, after work, I was working on the dashboard of my blog and noticed that her post about the costume, entitled “My Son Is Gay,” was the top post among all WordPress blogs.

(For what it’s worth, if you read the blog post, you’ll find that the title “My son is gay” is actually just the first line of the post. It’s immediately followed by “Or he’s not. I don’t care. He is still my son. And he is 5. And I am his mother. And if you have a problem with anything mentioned above, I don’t want to know you.”)

I didn’t think much of it, just thought I’d mention it to Brooke when I got a chance since it had sparked her interest.

Then at work on Friday, I was perusing CNN.com and found that her blog post had sparked an uproar. It was the top post on all the WordPress blogs because it had gotten more than a million hits in a day’s time.

She had gotten lots of feedback, mostly positive, but some negative and some downright ugly.

On CNN.com, there’s a video (click here) of her live phone interview on television. She holds her own with the reporter, who’s sympathetic, and a child psychologist.

I find it truly amazing the a 5-year-old child’s choice of a Halloween costume could cause such an uproar.

There are many people criticizing this mother for blogging about her son’s choice of costume. But that’s not what she did. She only blogged about her son’s choice of costume in response to the negative and ugly feedback she got from neighbors and other parents at her son’s school.

She told them to shove off. And she was right to.

It’s bad enough that we in this country spend a large portion of our time passing judgment on other adults.

But one 5-year-old’s choice of a Halloween costume … his choice to dress up just like his best friend … on a day, the one day every year, when everyone has the opportunity to pretend to be someone they’re not and it’s supposed to be OK … one 5-year-old’s choice of a Halloween costume shouldn’t cause this kind of furor. It shouldn’t draw venomous feedback from supposed adults and it shouldn’t make the national news.

In fact, the more I read some of the idiotic feedback she got, the more frustrated and angry I become, and he’s not even my child. I can only imagine what it must have been like to have to deal some of the people face-to-face.

And even after all of this, I’m at a loss of what to say.

My son and my daughter are free to pursue whatever dream they desire. I won’t dictate what road they take in life or who they love. I only hope that they grow up to be good people, they embrace their journeys in life and that they are lucky enough to find love.

I can’t imagine trying to dictate to them what should and shouldn’t make them happy. But I know I’m certainly not OK with anyone else trying to do it either.

So I guess if confronted with the same situation this mother was, I’d say the same thing she did in her blog post …

“It’s none of your damn business.”

I swear, we’re not crazy

Posted in Education, Family with tags , , , , , , , on November 2, 2010 by macmystery

I haven’t posted much on this blog since having a health scare in late April that affected my everyday schedule, particularly my schedule at work, for a while. Some things have returned to normal, but others will never be the same.

Most of my posts have been reposts of stories, photos, videos, etc. But basically little that I’ve written myself. This post is a break from that recent trend.

My son, Dylan, began his second year at a charter school this fall. He attended a different school in our district for 4K and 5K, but we made a change before first grade.

Dylan is ahead of his grade level, and my wife and I felt that the charter school offered flexibility that his regular public school couldn’t. Namely, the ability to work ahead to his level, rather than be held back with the class (A product of No Child Left Behind … rather no child gets ahead.).

Aside from a few hiccups here and there, which I’m sure most parents go through, the school has been wonderful and Dylan has thrived academically.

But socially, that hasn’t been the case.

Probably much like I was, Dylan has the misfortune of being far ahead intellectually of where he is socially or emotionally. And this has resulted in behavior issues.

Phone calls home have been common. Detention has been served. He’s made a few trips to the office.

None of the offenses were serious, but they were beginning to add up. No matter how well he was performing academically, we were having troubles behavior-wise.

My wife has long desired to be at home full-time and has long expressed the desire to homeschool our children. I was, and am not, as enthusiastic as her about the notion.

My sense of people that homeschool traditionally has been that they are those with the means (either wealthy or extremely intelligent) or crazy (send your donations in care of David Koresh, the messiah). I didn’t leave much room in between. Honestly, I still don’t.

For all of the drawbacks of public schools, and there are many, especially in the progressive (using sarcasm font here) state of South Carolina, one thing they provide that cannot be replaced by homeschooling, or private schools for that matter, is a trial run at life experience. Definitely, not all of the experience will be good, but there is a value to learning to deal with people unlike you — people who don’t think like you, look like you, believe like you, worship like you, behave like you … or like you. And in real life, that’s what you’re forced to do every day.

That being said, Dylan’s behavior was causing a problem, and in the latest incident (though we can’t really get anyone to tell us what, if anything happened), he was labeled a bully by a woman who works at the school.

Forget the fact that the chances of Dylan being a bully fall right behind Ghandi being a war-monger. The woman who made the accusation is someone who was involved in the founding of the school and will be there for the duration of Dylan’s time. Translation: Dylan will be branded a troublemaker, and that label will stick and he’ll have to deal with it as long as he’s there.

Despite good grades and amazing test scores, Dylan has been miserable at school lately, and Brooke is now at home full-time after leaving her job at a nonprofit. This time, when she brought up homeschooling, I didn’t fight.

I’ll admit, I’m not sure how I feel about it. And I don’t know if we did the right thing. But at least for a while, Dylan will be homeschooled. We’ve taken the plunge, and I’m up to my neck. I’ve no choice but to swim.

Brooke has taken or is in the process of taking all the legal steps, making sure we follow the rules or our state and district.

And Dylan had his first day of school at home Monday, spending time on spelling, vocabulary, reading comprehension, reviewing math skills … as well as his first taste of long division. And he got a tutorial on voting, with Tuesday being election day.

I don’t know if we’re doing the right thing. And I’m sure that I’m not sure what I’m doing. But at the same time, I won’t let him down. If I fail him, it won’t because I didn’t give my all.

I don’t think this is permanent. I foresee Dylan returning to public school at some point. My wife and I both are big supporters of public school (despite this move), and I think it’s important socially, as well. But I don’t know when. (I know I’m not teaching him chemistry!)

I’ve heard my wife tell people that we’ve prayed about this decision. Honestly, that usually means she’s prayed a lot more about it than me, but I’ve spent a lot of time going over the pros and cons again and again in my head.

Maybe some of this is our fault. Dylan’s never been to day care. He’s always been with one of us. He’s always gotten one-on-one attention. At school, he doesn’t.

Dylan’s a really smart, happy kid. But he’s got some growing to do to catch up with the kids his age. And until then, I think public school was going to be trouble for him.

Hopefully, we can work on some things at home that weren’t getting attention at school. And God willing, we’ll do more good than harm.

Because I don’t consider myself one of the crazies. And I hope when I look back on this decision down the line, I don’t see a crazy then, either.

Church group reunited with orphanage in Haiti

Posted in Family, Journalism, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 15, 2010 by macmystery

In a photo from the MSNBC.com story, kids at the Rescue Children orphanage watch a generator-powered television on Friday in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The group from a Pennsylvania church and an MSNBC.com news crew reached the Rescue Children orphanage in Haiti on Friday.

The orphanage is supported by Spratanburg, S.C.-based Rice Bowls, a world hunger ministry, for which my wife Brooke works.

Here’s the MSNBC.com story with information about the 11 kids, who are all safe and well, and where the orphanage expects to go from here. There’s a cool slideshow, as well.

Once again, for those who want to give to relief efforts, here’s a list of organizations already working in Haiti.

Again, for those interesting in helping immediately, simply text “HAITI” to “90999” and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill.

Rice Bowls and some good news from the earthquake in Haiti

Posted in Family, Journalism, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2010 by macmystery

Rice Bowls, the Spartanburg, S.C.-based world hunger ministry for which my wife Brooke works, supports an orphanage in Haiti.

In a bit of good news out of a country where the news only figures to get worse in the coming days, the 11 children Rice Bowls feeds are all alive and safe. (Read Thursday’s Herald-Journal story) Thank you God.

A group from the Pennsylvania church which runs the orphanage has traveled to Haiti with supplies with an MSNBC news crew in tow to chronicle their efforts. Here’s the initial story, when the safety of the children was still in question, and Thursday’s story telling of the group’s arrival in Hispaniola.

Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, had enough problems before this earthquake. More than 80 percent of the country lives in poverty and less than half have access to clean water. And that’s when things are going well.

My thoughts and prayers go out, not only to the Haitian victims of this earthquake, to those who have made their way to Haiti to help, those who are on the way, those who are giving to the relief efforts … but also to those who didn’t need an earthquake to try and make a difference in Haiti.

My wife, of whom I’m very proud, works for an organization that was already trying to make a better life for a handful of children in Haiti, among other places in the world. As a result of this catastrophe, their job has gotten a lot tougher. And a lot more important.

For those who want to help the orphans at the Rescue Children orphanage or help facilitate repairs to their home, donations can be made at www.ricebowls.org.

For those who want to give to other relief efforts, once again, here’s a list of organizations already working in the country.

Again, for those interesting in helping immediately, simply text “HAITI” to “90999” and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill.

Daddy & Dylan Day

Posted in Family, Movies with tags , , , , , , on October 1, 2009 by macmystery
Cloudy With A Chance of Meat Balls

Cloudy With A Chance of Meat Balls

Dylan has complained lately to Brooke that he never gets to spend much time anymore when it’s jist “him and Daddy.”

And he’s right. Since Ella was born and Brooke has been working, almost all the time he’s been with me, he’s had to share me with the little girl.

So, with last Friday being a day off from school for him, he asked Brooke if she could get a babysitter for Ella so he could have me all to himself. She said yes, and made it happen. (Thank you to the un-named babysitter).

I had two movie passes that we get each year at work on our birthdays, so I figured we’d do a movie. Because of scheduling, the best choice was “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs.”

So Dylan and I went to lunch — Chinese buffet, his choice … funny, he wants to go to the Chinese buffet, yet he eats only the French Fries, chicken nuggets (his name for the sweet & sour chicken, minus the sweet & sour) and Jello. Then we took in the movie, in Disney 3D, no less.

Quick movie review: Awesome. Clean. Mr. T rocks. Neil Patrick Harris rocks as Steve the monkey. As far as kids movies go, pretty darn good.

Anyway, this was the first Daddy & Dylan Day. And I’m hopeful for lots more.

Um … how do I respond to that?

Posted in Family, Humor with tags on July 2, 2009 by macmystery

So I walk into the kitchen the other day and my wife, out of the blue, says to me,  …

“So I was reading your ex-girfriend’s blog …”

Oh crap.

This can’t end well for me, I think.

And then, a few sentences later, I hear this … at least I think I did … my head hitting the floor could be making me imagine this … Brooke said, …

“It almost makes me wish you’d married her so we could have been friends.”

I was speechless. My wife loves her “witty-ness” (is that a word?). And her “fabulous” hair. But mostly her witty-ness.

So now Brooke has blogged about her blog.

I don’t really have much else to say here except … this isn’t normal, is it?

July 17 … I can’t wait

Posted in Movies with tags , , on April 18, 2009 by macmystery

OK, there’s nothing really for me to write here. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

I can’t wait for this. And I’m sure Dylan and Brooke will feel the same when they see this.