The night before school starts,
and mom writes my name.
On notebooks, and pencils
helping me to lay claim.
I’m not a poet,
that’s as far as it goes.
The rest of this blog post
is thankfully in prose.
My Sharpie is no longer sharp after writing “Lily-Ann” on 12 markers, 24 crayons, 24 pencil crayons, various notebooks, folders, and a scrapbook, as well as on shoes, pencil cases, glue sticks, erasers, a pencil sharpener, a bottle of white glue (with a no clog lid), and a backpack. Gotta love the night before the first day of school. Pre-k was easy all supplies are communal, but as kids enter the regular school system labeling everything quickly becomes the norm.
I remember my Mom scrawling our names on everything… And with so many of us it was no quick task. As our pencils and pencil crayons were wore down into little nubs, and all that remained was a letter or two, I’d still think of Mom writing our names every time I saw mine. It was a reassuring thing, though it didn’t register as such on a conscious level until many years later.
I hope, as Lily-Ann sits in her classroom this coming school year, that seeing her name spelled over and over again brings a sense of belonging and love. That she knows how treasured she is, not just by her Mom (who wrote her name so very many times) but by everyone who knows her. She really is such a special kid, and her joie de vie has left many with grins where previously there were none.
Girl is ready to be a “school kid” whether or not I am ready for the same. 😉
Breeder. It’s a word you hear passed back and forth with very little thought at many of the events I attend. In LGBTTQ circles it refers to folks who are in hetero relationships. Little to no thought is given to the word, and depending on who it is coming from it can be completely benign or laced with arsenic. Regardless of who says it, it hurts my heart every time I hear it.
Personally, I hate labels. It doesn’t really matter if there is any negative connotation to them or not. I don’t like them. Why can’t we all just be who we are, and leave that up to others to discover as they get to know us? Why do we need to cover ourselves with these long shipping crate stickers declaring ourselves “this” or “that” or “the other”? I don’t see the need.
So… I hate labels in general. But I really hate it when someone calls me a breeder. I have a daughter. I am involved in a heterosexual relationship. Is that really all it takes?
My husband and I had been together for TEN YEARS before we made a conscious decision to become pregnant. And if we ever choose to do so again, it will be given equal weight – but in all honestly, our one daughter will probably be the only child who ever comes from our bodies. Does that make us breeders? Really???
I know heterosexual couples that I’d be tempted to call breeders. Folks who had children because that’s just what you do. You get married, you have kids. People who have baby after baby after baby… people who barely give it a second thought. They may have earned the label.
But people like myself? Who choose to have a child after years of careful consideration? I’m not a breeder.
I know people who are involved in homosexual relationships that, given the opportunity, would be breeders. They get married, and they want to have kids – because it’s just what you do. The only thing that slows them down is that it takes a little more planning when you have to outsource for parts.
Maybe I’m being a little sensitive, but I think I’ve earned that right. Being involved in dogs, all I can think of when I hear some woman being called a “breeder” is a bitch with a litter of four or five puppies… laying on her side, passive and resigned, as they all jostle for a nipple. I don’t think anyone really deserves that.
So please, think twice before you call someone a breeder. I know, a great deal of the time, it’s not said with anything negative behind it… but it’s not a nice word, and it certainly doesn’t convey anything positive. Like any label, it has the ability to harm – so please think before you throw it around.