I will state upfront that I breastfed all three of my daughters. I was happy to be able to do it.
But I will also state that the La Leche person who invaded my hospital room each time pissed me off.
While I know they serve their purpose and truly do assist mothers having difficulties, provide information for those who have questions, and are at heart decent people - they all chafed me the wrong way.
And after each natural birth, trust me, I was in no mood for additional chafing.
They were each on a mission, dedicated to their cause and belief that the only way to feed the baby was via breast. Anything less, well, made the mother less. And most certainly deprived their poor, innocent babe.
I am a firm believer that the decision to breastfeed a baby is between the mother, the baby, and the boobs. Sometimes it all clicks right into place - the baby latches on easily, the colostrum and then the milk flow like a dairy farm, and the baby greedily laps it all up.
But sometimes, despite the best of intentions or desires, it simply doesn't work. Perhaps the baby just isn't interested, maybe the mother's nipples are the issue. There are a million reasons why breastfeeding may not work.
And that's fine. As long as the baby is getting nourished and nurtured, that baby will grow and thrive.
For some women, not breastfeeding is a choice they make. Again, there are a million reasons why a woman may opt out.
And that's fine. It is a personal decision and no one's business. Certainly no one's place to impose guilt, shame, or fear onto the mother.
Yet, that is exactly how the battle rages. Advocates flinging shame like monkeys fling poo. Disapproving glances given when a bottle is pulled out. And of course, the extreme end of the spectrum, the attachment parenters who breastfeed till the child decides to stop - certain that their way is the perfect way to raise a healthy, secure child.
Look, I say do what works for YOU, for YOUR CHILD. Can I personally imagine having allowed my daughters to whip my tit out and knock back a shot when they were in kindergarten? No. Not my style of parenting. But if that is what you do, do it.
Time Magazine has chosen to highlight the TIT in titillating with their shock cover featuring breastfeeding as an attachment parenter.
The title, Are You Mom Enough, is laughable. And if it is meant to get a rise out of me, it's not.
Am I Mom Enough? You're damned right I am. Because I did it my way, in the way that worked for me and my daughters, and they have always thrived.
And after all, that is what we all want for our children. The road we take to get there matters not, as long as the destination is the same.
The levels to which people in this world will sink constantly amazes me. Just when you think we have hit rock bottom, someone finds a bigger shovel and digs a new debasement.
While the Trayvon Martin story has done what all stories - even the big ones - do, fade from the spotlight (at least temporarily), there are those who continue to use the teen's death as an excuse to hurt others; as a shield for their own racist inner monologues; and as a way to turn a profit.
None of it is acceptable. Not the attacks that have taken place, not the horrific things posted on message boards, and certainly not the $$ being made.
Regardless in which camp you have erected your tent of support, the bottom line is this: a teenager is dead. The details are for those in the justice system to reconstruct, if possible, and come to a conclusion about what took place that rainy night. And ultimately to mete out punishment, if punishment is due.
Do I have an opinion based on what is known by we unwashed masses? Of course I do. Vigilantism took a horrific turn that night.
As for the rest? The hoodie, the Facebook pictures, the sidestreets the public has been led down? Immaterial. A hoodie is not some international symbol of potential violence. It is an article of clothing the majority of us have in our closets. Trayvon's pictures? Look, if I had a dollar for every teen Facebook account I have seen where they are either looking like trollops or posing like gangbangers, I would be rich. They are teenagers and they are stupid.
What I want more than anything is for that child's parents, family, friends, loved ones to find answers, and as much peace as they will ever be capable of experiencing from here on out.
And this certainly isn't helping.
This is a gun range target. They had been available in 10 packs on GunBroker.com (a website where individuals and companies can sell their goods - or bads), but sold out in 2 days.
The description read: “Everyone knows the story of Zimmerman and Martin. Obviously we support Zimmerman and believe he is innocent and that he shot a thug. Each target is printed on thick, high quality poster paper with a matte finish! The dimensions are 12″x18″ ( The same as Darkotic Zombie Targets) This is a Ten Pack of Targets.”
Fine. Support Zimmerman. That is a person's right. But this is simply disgusting. There is no debating if the target depicts Trayvon - we all know the sad details of him carrying Skittles and tea as he walked.
It is as sickening a reflection on the person who decided to create these and capitalize on the death of a teenager, as it is on those who opened their wallets to purchase them.
Hell, even Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, is repulsed. “This is the highest level of disgust and the lowest level of civility. It’s this type of hatred — that’s what this is, it’s hate-mongering — that’s going to make it more difficult to try this case.”
“I hope there is a crime that we can charge that person who made that with,” he added. “I’m not sure what it is, but we need to come up with one because that’s disgusting.”
Whether it affects his case is not so much the issue. I do believe Zimmerman should have been arrested and now does deserve his day in court.
It is just a seriously sad commentary on society as a whole, that these type of people walk among us, happy to stoke the hatred of others, oblivious - or worse, unfazed - to how their actions hurt other people, and content to make a buck off the dead body of a child.
Blood money. I just wish it could stain their hands so we would know exactly who these monsters are.
20 years ago today, at 5:08am, on a tiny island in the Pacific, our lives changed forever.
20 years ago today, I began to learn the true meaning of the word sacrifice.
20 years ago today, I discovered I could love deeper than I thought possible.
20 years ago today, I came to understand that tears are as much about our happiest moments, as our sad. They mean we are overwhelmed.
20 years ago today, I felt like I had a bowling ball attached to my ass. (Sorry, couldn't resist. And sometimes the truth, quite literally, hurts.)
20 years ago today, I watched a six foot man become wrapped around a one inch finger.
20 years ago today, my heart grew beyond the confines of my chest.
20 years ago today, I could not remember life as it had been one moment before.
20 years ago today, I began a journey into the future, carrying a precious gift in my arms.
20 years ago today, I could never have known how much I was going to learn, to grow, to live, to love.
20 years ago today, I realized I was willing to die for someone else.
20 years ago today, I made a promise...
I promised to love you unconditionally; to protect you from a world that could be cruel; to teach you to be fearless; to encourage you to try; to push you forward when you were scared; to catch you when you fell; to kick your ass when you messed up; to embrace, not fear, that which was different; to be brave when being brave was the hard way; to set a goal and mean it; to celebrate others' successes as well as your own; to try new things; to try, period; to laugh because life is too short to not laugh; to cry when you needed; to love without fear; to give more than you take; to take and be grateful; to gauge your words because your words matter; to stand up for what is right; to hear the other side; to live with purpose.
I look at you today and know that I have kept my promises to you, for you are more than I ever could have dreamed. You are brave, you are funny, you are fearless, you are kind, you love and are loved, you champion the underdog, you embrace challenges, you try new things, you leap without fearing the fall, your friends are a Bennetton ad, and your life is an exciting map of the world just waiting to see where you chart your next course.
20 years ago today, at 5:08am, on a tiny island in the Pacific, my life changed forever because Culley Kaelin Kuuipo Sharp became my daughter.
Obesity. It's become just about the biggest thing this country creates. Seriously, it is a growth industry and we are a bunch of fatrepreneurs.
Over 1/3 of the country is estimated to be obese to morbidly obese. It's not surprising. We love to indulge, we hate to deny ourselves anything, and we have corporations whose bottom lines are dependent upon increasing ours.
We don't fit into plane seats. Men look 20 months pregnant. Women look like manatees. Our children can't run a block without stopping to puke. And our collective health keeps falling while the numbers on the scale keep rising.
It is a shameful situation. The movie Wall-E looks more and more like foreshadowing every day.
I really do not have sympathy for people who shovel food into their maws nonstop. I don't. Being fat that way is a CHOICE. As much a choice as being a healthy weight.
Yes, I acknowledge there are physicological conditions which inhibit a person's ability to lose, cause a person to gain - but those are not the reasons for the lion's share of waddlers.
The main reasons are lack of self control and over indulgence.
Being profoundly overweight is dangerous to one's health. Just as dangerous as smoking, juggling sharks, or gargling with arsenic.
That is why it stymies me that so many people CHOOSE to be that way. To just give up. To grow sideways. To set that example for their children.
Everytime you reach for the bag of chips, gallon of ice cream, box of donuts, Frappucino, plate of goo covered nachos, third bottle of beer, Big Gulp, supersized fast food bag, candy bar, or bag of Cheez Doodles - YOU ARE MAKING A CHOICE.
And a statement.
The choice: Gain weight, gain more weight.
The statement: I really don't give a shit.
And I shouldn't either - after all, it is your choice to live that way, look that way, die that way.
But it does drive me nuts because personal responsibility is a big deal to me. And that choice is a drain on the healthcare finances in this country.
That's why I cannot say CONGRATULATIONS and smile at recently engaged Susanne Eman of Arizona.
Susanne weighs 800 pounds.
But that's not enough.
No, Susy is on a personal quest - like some fat knight of the overloaded round table - to be the fattest woman in the world. That will require an additional 400 pounds.
And she has found help (and love?) on her doublewide road to fame. Chef Patrick Clack - who is obviously a feeder.
Good for them. Seriously, if TRUE codependent fetishism love exists here - bully.
I still do not respect her choice. Regardless of how many yards of fabric she can brag are being used in her wedding shroud gown. Regardless of her current flirt with fame via international news stories. It is simply wrong.
She's turned her certain young death into a sporting event. The betting we can do is on if she reaches her target of 1200 pounds before her heart says FUCK YOU, or if she can even make it down the aisle on her oversized wheelchair.
People do work at their weight every day. It is hard work. It is frustrating. So much so that they rejoice when they convince the scale to even move a few ounces. Their commitment, their struggles, their successes - it's inspiring to watch. Hell, I inspire myself. I have to work at it every single day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It would so easy to just give in, say 'to hell with it', but I have more pride than that, I want to show my daughters the right way to take care of themselves, and I want my husband to still turn his head when I walk into a room. I want to LIVE my life fully, not compromised by how far I can walk, what medication I have to be tethered to.
Susanne - you are a failure. Plain and simple. And a personal affront to every overweight person I know who has dedicated their life to getting their life BACK. To wanting quality of life. To wanting to set a positive example for their children. You are offensive to every person who struggles with true medical issues who would desperately love to shed their unchosen cloak, but cannot.
And you are stupid.
Plain and simple.
Because you have a choice. A choice to live a normal life with a normal life expectancy. And you are choosing death by Pop Tart.
I just have to wonder, will the guests throw fried rice at your reception?