I Am Truly My Brother's Keeper, and a Finder of Lost Animals

I know it happens nationwide, but in Denver, we had something of an epidemic blow through our oxygen-deprived city about a decade ago, which made women think it was a fine idea to leave their newborns behind dumpsters all over the city. They passed a law (nationally, maybe?) that if you brought a newborn into a hospital, you could leave it at the counter and walk away, no questions asked. This lead to a rash of babies getting left in boxes outside the hospital, mostly because people are chicken-shit assholes who cannot follow simple hospital procedures.

Either way, I had this habit of walking through alleys, not around them, just checking. Because as much as I don't want to be pregnant ever again, if you leave a baby in my path, I will keep that baby and hug it and squeeze it and call it George and it will be mine. Do unto others and all.

Turns out, where I live now, there is an epidemic sweeping through my humidity-rich city of people dumping their dogs in neighborhoods that look like the kinds of neighborhoods where suckers live who will take those dogs in and give them a new home. Mostly because people are chicken-shit assholes who cannot follow simple pound procedures.

Of course, I didn't know about this and I wasn't looking for this but I am a sucker for a wet nose and big brown eyes, especially when it follows me and my daughter and my Plant Stand Fail home on particularly picturesque suburban evenings.

It poked its head out from behind someone's trash can and just stared at us. I figured it was just lost. It stopped digging in the trash and gave us that little cocked-head-tilt puppy dog stare. It wasn't starving, just a little dirty. It cowered over to us and gave kisses while we pet it. It wasn't defensive, just a little wary. I looked all over for it's owners, but there was no one.

So I carried it home. Don't you judge me. I carried it home slowly and deliberately, the long way, making eye contact with everyone I passed, looking for any signs of an open front or back door, hoping to find this dog's home because I'm not totally bright, but I'm not dumb enough to not know what was coming.

I let it inside the house and it went directly on the couch, into 3of3's lap, and then to sleep. My current dog? Thinks 3of3 is her personal chew toy. To have a dog climb in her lap and fall asleep was every little girl dream she'd ever had come true. And when Plant Stand Fail finally came over for her nightly nibble of 3of3's toes? That stray dog more or less ripped her throat out.

Houston, we have a bodyguard.

That stray dog didn't leave 3of3's side for two days. We took him for a long walk, then let him off the leash in the hopes he'd lead us to his home. He bolted...to 3of3. And followed her home. He climbed in her bed and stayed there all night. He climbed in her lap the next morning and stayed there all day. He got back in her bed the next night. He made friends with Plant Stand Fail and taught her how to strategically catch toads out back. He watched movies with me at night. He taught my dog that biting sucks ass. He totally stole our hearts.

And two days after we found him, I took him to the vet to scan him for a microchip. Not only wasn't there one, there was another couple at the vet who had a healthy, slightly dirty, well behaved cocker spaniel with no tags and no chip that had followed them home in the neighborhood next to mine. We all talked to the vet and discovered that yup, someone or someones have been dumping dogs in our area.

This is your classic case of Be Careful What You Wish For.


Now I have three toads, one lizard and two dogs. All of which we found outside while we were looking for something else entirely. Which is only funny because that's more or less how I found my husband, too, and that got me three kids. Who led me to the dogs and the toads and the lizard.  Which is why I also have 50+ crickets, which is only funny because I can't bring myself to feed them to the toads or the lizard. Which is where the children come in.

Which is what they call, in the scientific world, The Circle of Life.

Why Are There So Many Songs About Rainbows?

(AKA: The Post Wherein I Am Going to Quote the Greatest Driving Factor in the Formation of My World View, and You Are Not Going to Mock Me For It Too Much)

*Edited: For those wondering, I read this.  There's a rumour about a video, too.

35 million mom bloggers.

Um, that's a whole lot of us and stuff. I spent three days in San Francisco at Blogher '08 with a handful of them and other incredible women bloggers (and a guy who still can't remember who I am, bygones). I am really not awake enough yet to even begin to talk about this weekend, but let's just say that it's changed my outlook on about 87.23% of my life thus-far.

My experience was so narrowly personal that I don't even want to begin in on it until I've had a little more time to process it. Being more or less internetless this weekend, I missed the opportunity to write as I thought, and so I have to remember things. Through the fog of a hangover incurred Thursday that still hasn't quite dissipated yet. It just might take me a while.

I want to tell you about the people I came to love more, the people whom I swooned with pride for like they were my own KID or something, the new friendships I've forged, the hearts that wrapped around each other, the old friendships concreted for life, but that will all come later (when I can remember it all more clearly, and with stolen pictorial evidence.) For now, I just want to try to sort through what I learned about blogging, since I was at a blogging convention and all.

What I know, without doubt, is that the community of us, all of us, every single motherfucking one of us, is something. We mean something. We're doing something big here. It doesn't matter if you're a mom blogger or a dad blogger or a poli-blogger or a tech blogger or whether or not you made it (by the skin of your teeth in my case) to a BlogHer convention in San Francisco or if you have 2 comments or 1,000 on your posts or if you write on Blogger or you self-host or if you blog anonymously or lay it all out there for the world to read. Blogging can change the world. Blogging is a powerful medium, and no matter how or why we do it, it matters.

People I'd never met, people who have never seen me or heard of me, came up to me this weekend and held me. They cried. They told me their story. They touched my cheek and said thank you. And I touched them back and said thank you, too. Because in the span of a few seconds, through run mascara and heavy breaths, we connected for just a moment. One woman came to me backstage after I read, crying, thanking me for my honesty and bravery, and then 10 minutes later turned around and read the most heart-felt, gut-wrenching, brave, honest, open, touching thing I've ever had the privilege of hearing. In that, I believe I was more humbled than I could ever hope to be. We connected. There was no thought of comparison and competition, and we just HEARD each other. I think I will be friends with her for the rest of my life.

I stood in the lobby of the Westin with Lesbian Dad (who better be damn glad there is a Lesbian Mom, or I'd totally have called dibs on her) and we tried to talk about our experiences. We tried to find the words for what we felt, what we realized that all of these millions of blogs actually do, and after a while we came to one conclusion; we touch souls. We give freely, and openly, and at a great risk to ourselves, and we hope that maybe one person out there can relate or benefit or at least understand. We connect on a level that is, I dare say, almost deeper than that in real physical company, because on our blogs, we don't hold back.

35 million mom bloggers. Every end of the spectrum. Every style and flavour.

I don't even know how many women bloggers. I couldn't begin to fathom how many men bloggers. I am just one small person floating in this turbulent, open water. We are all doing the same thing, even if we don't agree with how it's done, even if we make an assumption as to why it's done, even if we question the motives behind or the reasons for it, we are all on a level playing field. The biggest mom blogger in the world would still be doing this if she had my traffic and my total lack of income from it, because she loves it, she has to do it, she needs it. The smallest of us would continue to do this the exact same way we do now if we could make a living off of it, because it's where we go to create, to share, to write, to touch, to express, and to grow. We are all one small person floating in that water, and we are all slowly finding our connections.

35 million mom bloggers. Each a different type of writer, each a different color of the rainbow that makes up the blogosphere. We're finding it; we're all helping each other, teaching each other, finding each other. If we take just a moment to set aside our differences, our pre-conceived notions about one another, our biases and our safety nets and just reach out to each other, and reach out wide, we'll realize that we're all one big thing, one big rainbow connection...the lovers, the dreamers, and me.

Karma is a Fickle Mistress

Once upon a time, my good friend Chris le'Cactus went and caught himself the shingles. Oh, the chuckles I had. How I laughed and laughed at his Herpes medication he was prescribed. How I giggled at the beers his doctor FORCED him to drink to relax. How I delighted in reading his wife's side of the story, which was honestly so funny I almost peed a little.

This finger? Pointed and laughed. It was great. My abs hurt after.

Guess who's TWO YEAR OLD has the mother-scratchin' shingles?

Never heard of a toddler with Shingles? Neither had I. It's actually sort of rare. They (they being the ER docs, of course; we had to get our monthly dose, you know?) were talking biopsy-esque talks when the specialist came in, checked her over, said she probably got exposed to the chicken pox somewhere along the line, grilled me when I said she hadn't, sneered at me for a second and then said, "Well, she'll be fine. See ya later."

With that, we are back home. With the son-of-a-nutcracker-shingles. Which really aren't bothering her all that much. But me? Yeah, it totally bothers me that my kid's hand looks like it has 4th degree burns. I wonder if Chris' doctor would prescribe ME some beer.

Whatd'ya think? Guinness in my Sippy Cup? Does kinda have a ring to it.....

Maybe I Am Trying to Rub It In A Bit...

I just wanted to throw this out there, while I'm waiting for the Big Birthday Extravaganza and the Learning of How to use The Donor's camera to all happen....

If you happen to find yourself in Vancouver, and you happen to find yourself with an extra latte and a few hours to kill, I would highly recommend you call this chick and go sit in a mall play pit with her.

'Cause she's total rad. To the max.

Me & lattemommy down by the mall-yard.