Tuesday, November 28, 2006


whilst folding laundry in my childhood laundrymat
cursing the tardiness that is Sears’ washing machine delivery
I remembered how my mother, for the first fifteen years of my life
dragged the same bags of dirty clothes
and stared at the same machines as the clothes
revolved endlessly

There were reruns on then too
back then it was The Cosby Show
and Cheers
Now it’s old episodes of Friends

I spun around and around too
The sharp smelling metal poles
that inexpicably adorned the room
It is only now that it occurs to me that they are
basically purposeless
Back then they were for spinning around
It was obvious

I loved the laundrymat then- on laundry days
I was allowed to eat a boston cream doughnut
while waiting for the clothes to dry
It is now, mirroring my mother’s actions
I realize it was drudgery for her
Ever pragmatic,
she had nonetheless created the ultimate optical illusion

It occurred to me
while liberally dousing the fourth load in liquid detergent
that three years ago
I was a funny looking white woman
standing on a roof
on top of a mountain
at the furthest point from the earth’s circumfrance
grinding my hands to a fine, bloody powder
washing my clothes in cold water at a concrete sink
and hanging them to dry

Feeling like I was
on top of the world

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

On the Existence of Señor Claus

Inspired by Afrindie Mum

I may have mentioned before that I was a cynical little girl. And if not cynical, then most certainly rational. I am told (with no small degree of pride, by my emminently rational mother) that there was only one year in which I believed in Santa- the year I was two and a half. My mother, not wanting to embrace her inner party-pooper quite so completely at such a tender age, responded to my enthusiastic tales of the exploits of Mr. & Mrs. Claus with an interested "Oh really?" Under the Christmas tree that year, there were presents from my family, and extra special, unmarked presents, which, I reasoned, could have only come from the Jolly Olde Elf himself. "You think so?" quieried my mother.

And so it came to pass that, the following Christmas, I asked if there was a Santa Claus, and my mother, who cannot tell a lie, said that there wasn't. And after that, as described previously, I went on a mission to disabuse my peers of the ridiculous notion that there was an elderly obese gentlemen pulled by an octet of levitating reindeer, who slid effortlessly down all the chimneys of the world (and presumably, broke into the chimneyless houses). *

And yet? And yet... I can't bring myself to raise an entirely rational son. Not just yet. But I also can't bear to deceive him, so I pepper my tales of Santa with "the story goes..." and "that's what they say..." Because somehow, it's more honest that way. Because really, the story of Santa Claus is a legend (designed to incite one's offspring to be good, as with most legends), and it is best told that way. That way, it can be both understood to be truthful, and fanciful. And those are two values which I hope, with equal fervour, that I can instill.

* Come to think of it, the whole sliding in and out of a long dark canal thing is a rather lurid metaphor for the under 12 set, don't you think? And oh-so-phallocentric.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Takin' care of Bidness **Edited**

It would be fair to say that I take care of Bidness... less frequently than Every Day. It would also be fair to say that often, nay, too frequently, I am only prompted to take care of it when I am sent a rockin' new design by Señor Compa.

However, given that such is the case today (a day when I am at home, pondering whether I should like quietly on the couch and moan or whether I should writhe despondently on my bed and groan, and when I am wondering just how far a cold can travel (when it gets down to the chest, where does it go from there? Can I get a cold in my innards?)... Well a day like that would be an excellent day to take care of bidness, and to show off the sheer design brilliance that is the Interracial Family Pride Line O' Stuff. Comes in all different colors. Just like us.

**ETA: Another wicked design from Señor Compa!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

45 1/2 months

Papi Bello,

You are, for all the world, a sweetheart. Your favourite thing in the world remains birthdays, and it is how we mark the time for you: a thing might be after great-grandma's birthday but before your birthday: you get that. We're still working on the days of the week thing.

During the past couple of weeks, your cognition has taken off in leaps and bounds. Today, you first built a tower out of blocks. All the way up, you made sure that all blocks on each row of the tower were the same colour, creating a stripe effect. You are a boy after my own heart: when left alone with the Lego, I sort it by size and colour.

The next thing you did was to make a Dolly, and then a Baby, both with little feet, arms, stripey bodies, eyes, and hats. Then you made the Baby a blanket. You briefly put her in Time Out for Not Listening, but then you thought better of it. "Baby cranky," you said sympathetically. "She tired. Time for a nap." Then you sang two lullabyes: one that went "lullabye... lullabye... lullabye..." and another, more traditional: "Rockabye baby."

You love nothing more than to play pretend. You are, variously: Superman, Diego, and Space Man. I am Princess. I swear to God this is your invention, not mine. I would never have come up with it; nonetheless, you never fail in charming the pants off me.

"Help me Princess, I stuck in the mud! Oh, Thank You Princess."

"Princess, say: 'Help me Superman! I stuck in the mud. I in a tall tower.' Say it! Don't worry, I save you, Princess!"

And you always do.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I'd like to mourn the fact that, in the past week or so, three of my favourite bloggers (as it happens, all with an Asian American focus in some respect) have closed up shop.

The rest of y'all: Don't even think about it. [makes scary Compa face, in hopes of appearing intimidating. No?]



Hey! Wait a minute! Woot!

*Edited to add: And also! Woot! (Weigook Saram's new incarnation)

I am so smart. S-M-R-T.

Well. Canadian high schools must be good for something.
You paid attention during 91% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

Saturday, November 11, 2006

You can be anything you want to be

Compa [in a Chinese restaurant, having erroneously ordered some spicy tomato virgin drink with cherries and lemon, seeing a sign for Bubble Tea]: Aw man, bubble tea! I wish I had ordered bubble tea!
Papi Bello: I'm a bubble tea!
Compa: You are?
Papi Bello: Yeah! A BIG one!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Geeked out

In completely non-adoption related news, we are still totally geeking out about this new place.
I have started to play the guitar again. I feel a sense of peace and tranquility in here. I feel like it's our little nest in the trees. We cheerfully clean the place up, because quite frankly, it doesn't take long to do so, and it looks so darn good when it's clean (unlike our old place, that looked filthy no matter how long you scrubbed/vaccuumed/mopped/whatever). Señor Compa commented that "the floors are so easy to clean! And look how pretty they look!" The birds wake us up in the morning. Nobody bickers. I am about ten thousand times more productive at work. My therapist (whom, granted, I saw for a grand total of three sessions) booted me, telling me not to come back until I was a good sight more miserable.

I don't forsee that happening. It's just too great here.

And the Americans! The Americans elected the Democrats into the House and the Senate! My God, I had no idea my bliss extended south of the border.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

45 months

Dear Papi Bello,

The beginning of your 46th month was quite the adventure. We moved, to the upstairs flat in a beautiful old house in a quiet little neighbourhood. Geographically, it’s not actually all that far away from the old hood, but it feels like miles.

You like it here, which I am so glad of. You always ask if we are going home to “the New House”, and when I say yes, you let out a big cheer. The difference of this place is palpable. It is peaceful, and calm, positive energy flows through it. It feels like home.

I don’t like the new habit that the real estate folks have indoctrinated the rich, and subsequently the rest of us with: this thing of calling detached single family dwellings homes. “There are some beautiful homes in that neighbourhood”, as though a flat, or an apartment, or a room, or a city, might not truly be home to someone.

Home is a space, Papi, not a place. It is wherever the tension falls from your shoulders, you breathe in the air, and it is good, the people are somehow “your people” even if they are completely different from you (or each other). You can have several homes, without owning a single piece of property. Don’t let anyone imply otherwise.

This month, you told us you were going to be a woman when you grew up. While addressing this is uncomplicated for Señor Compa, it is less so for me: some part of me wants to encourage you to be whatever you want. A woman? Sure! A toaster? Why not?

Señor Compa told you in no uncertain terms you were going to be a man when you grew up. For all my political correctness, this is probably the best approach for a three year old, just trying to sort out categories in his head. We can let you flaunt them later. I told you that almost all little boys grow up to be men. Our (very open-minded) family friend told you you could decide to be a woman when you grew up, but it would ultimately be expensive, complicated, and quite possibly a disappointing experience.

You stared at him.

Sometimes I think I am too conscious about being a good, open-minded, queer-positive mommy. Because quite frankly, of the few boys I knew who grew up to be trans: well, you’re not like any of them. Sure, you love ballet, and babies, and prancing about in a pink leotard and fairy wings at daycare, but you’re also rambunctious, and cheerfully loud, and love getting dirty. You are an equal opportunity hugger and kisser, which is as it should be at three. You’re a pretty well adjusted little guy. You remind me a lot of X in “The Story of X”, in the book “Stories for Free Children,” right down to the haircut.

I always wanted to raise a little boy like you.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy *&%$$#* Birthday to You, Too

Dear Mr. Dude who Gave our Moving Van a Ticket for Not Using Parking Lights:

Wasn't it fairly obvious that we were temporarily parked, what with all the coming and going and the open goddamn moving van doors and everything? And when did you find time to skulk by and GIVE us a parking ticket, anyway? I don't think between the four of us we could have been away from the van for more than 30 seconds at a time.

Sr. Compa has requested that I let you know, Mr. DWGOMVATFNUPL, that he hopes you die a slow, painful, and embarrassing death, perhaps some sort of antiquated venereal disease, -nay- he hopes you have to watch your family die of said disease first. He hopes said venereal disease makes your limbs fester and fall off, and that you are cursed with continual flatulence. He hopes that you have difficulty sleeping, and that you suffer from dry eyelids. He wishes for you a buttocks replete with pimples, and halitosis that permeates concrete walls and chases away all human and animal companionship. He hopes your house will be plagued with termites, and will crumble into a sodden, smelly heap. He hopes your skin will become at once scaly and damp, with oozing yellow pus emanating from your festering open sores. Finally, and perhaps most devastatingly, he wishes for you a life devoid of sex (although his previous wishes should take care of that one quite nicely).

Never piss off a Latino. Canadians are thouroughly incapable of coming up with such colourful curses on our own.

Feliz cumpleanos, mi amor. I promise next birthday, we won't have to move. And if we did, at least I'd have figured out where the damn parking lights are.