Thursday, March 29, 2012

Holding the Cards

As I watched the outrage over the Trayvon Martin case begin to spread across the internet, my initial reaction was something like pride. I was seeing people get behind a cause who usually stay quiet about such issues. Granted, it was nothing like the outpouring of reposts I saw from the Kony 2012 video...but that's another topic. It was good to feel united in something, because who could POSSIBLY deny that this crime was race related? White and Black alike had to see this for what it was. Even as I allowed that sense of pride take over, I feared it wouldn’t last. Within days, some of the outrage had turned to boredom, which turned into ignorance. Something like…

“Ok okay, I get it, hoodies and Skittles. I let you guys have your moment for a couple of days, now can we please stop hearing about this kid?”
(I’m paraphrasing).

I understand…I’m guilty of it myself. Specific topics on Facebook have a certain shelf life, and if they go over their time limit, it becomes easy to joke about it. Examples:

“Gee, is it hot outside? I couldn’t tell.”


“GAH, anyone watching Walking Dead tonight? YEAH, they’re still on the farm, we know!”

So, all that said, I knew the solidarity wouldn’t last and that some of my white friends would start to squirm uncomfortably after a few days of being in the hot seat. Not that they are directly to blame, but you talk about racial issues for too long, and, like an overplayed Facebook status, it becomes too difficult to keep those mouths and fingers quiet.

Enter “the Race Card”.

The race card is something that white people like to talk about because it absolves us of guilt.


There is no race card. White people made it up as a way to once again say to minorities, “you’re nuts. You’re imagining things. Get over it. Slavery was like, a million years ago. We’re equal. Promise.”

*wink, wink*

I just realized I've never heard any non-white person talk about the "race card". Know why? Because we're holding the cards. But it's easier to feel okay about that fact if we brush it aside as a silly game. Oh, they're playing the race card again. Translation:” I don't want to look like a jerk just for being white, and I don't think you have anything to be upset about. “

Pretending racism doesn't exist is not the answer.

I understand the theory. It’s time to move on. I agree. That would be lovely, of course. But we can’t move on by telling a whole group of people that they are IMAGINING years of being followed, pulled over, ignored, made fun of, profiled, degraded, and even murdered. Having empathy doesn’t have to equal accepting ALL the blame.

Have you ever been in a relationship where the other person had a problem that you didn’t understand? Did you look at them and say, “Oh, stop playing the ________card”. Or did you try to see it from their perspective and realize that it takes WORK and UNDERSTANDING to make things right? There’s no time limit to recovery. It takes however long it takes.

In the middle of White People Are Getting Tired of Hearing About Trayvon Week, this little movie called The Hunger Games opened up to the third highest opening weekend for a movie, ever. Everyone has been raving about the movie. Again, one of the few times recently when MOST people I know agree on something. (I’m learning to stop trusting that feeling). Then this blog post appears calling out Twitter users for posting horribly racist thoughts about the movie.

For those 7 of you who have not read the books or seen the movie, one very important character in the books, sweet little Rue, is described as dark-skinned, and comes from the district that is hinted to be primarily made up of Black people. It doesn’t spell it out, but for anyone with basic reading comprehension skills, you could figure it out and envision your Rue accordingly.

After the movie, tweets like these began to surface:
(I wish I was paraphrasing)

“Ewwwww, Rue is black? I’m not watching.”

“I still don’t understand why Rue is going to be a little black girl in the movie. I pictured her white. Maybe I’m racist though…”

“Rue can’t be black in the movie. No. It can’t be.”

“Kk call me racist but when I found out Rue was black her death wasn’t as sad. #ihatemyself”

YES, I know that we ALL know that a lot of people are not this blatantly ignorant. There are idiots of all shapes, sizes, and races. That is common knowledge.


If my son ever tells me about a time when he is being followed, or some blonde won’t date him, or he gets pulled over for no reason, or someone gets out of the pool when he gets in, or he’s upset about a comment made on the bus, am I supposed to look at him and tell him he’s just “playing the race card?”

Would you tell him that?

How can we not agree that it’s an absurd concept? Is there a “Jew card?” or a” Gay card”? Can we make ourselves feel better about any kind of discrimination simply by giving ourselves an out in the form of an imaginary card?

“Oh, Mark is just upset because he can’t legally marry his partner. He thinks he’s not being treated fairly. Playing the ol’ Gay Card again. Eyeroll.”

The point is this.

It’s not just about Skittles and hoodies. It’s not just about Rue. It’s about facts, and learning to face them instead of sweeping them under the rug. I for one would bet the farm that if Trayvon were white, he’d still be alive. It’s okay if you don’t agree. But you don’t have to dismiss the possibility to justify your righteousness. You didn’t shoot him. Not your fault. You’re surely not racist, so therefore racism must not even exist. Shrug.


Is it so hard to admit that, as white people, we tend to be the default? The “norm”? And I get that it’s uncomfortable to have to “feel bad” for that. It SUCKS when my 6 year old kid tells me he wants to be white. To deny that white privilege exists is nothing more than a defense mechanism.

Try to empathize with this kid’s family.

With those of us who fear that one day it could be us.

With your fellow HUMAN BEINGS… not as a THEM but as a WE.

If you don’t want to stand together on this, then feel free to sit down.

But when you do, you should also shut up.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


So, a few days after my big TWO blog posts in November, I remembered that it was...November. The first thing that threw off the blog "streak" was that I decided to redo our living room...we had a small budget for a new couch, so I reasoned that with an affordable enough sofa set, we could do a whole new room. My friend and co-worker Jessie is a painting FOOL. She loves it, and I love help. ;) One girl's night in, a few hours, and some amazing Greek pizza thrown in and TADAH! Our new digs...

I LOVE THIS ROOM. i honestly think that i might have been a notch happier every day for the last three years had the room always looked like this. *sigh* thanks to my wonderful gals who helped make it happen with me...whether they painted the ENTIRE room (even behind the tv) or helped arrange the all meant a lot. As I was working on it around 1 a.m, the blog popped into my head and i know...ignored it. it was embarrasing for a couple days, but i'm over it. I'm very proud of my fellow bloggers (the real ones!) who made it!

Adam and I celebrated our 5th anniversary in October and to surprise him, I had secretly been awaiting the arrival of a tiny female min-pin...his favorite dog. We actually picked her up on the right date, and I managed to keep it a secret until I walked out with her and placed her in his arms. He was so's nice to every now and then do something for the guy who puts up with all my crap. He and Ruby are a great match...she's still learning her way around the kids and i, but...we're getting there. ;)

Fast forward because this post bores me. Documenting the obvious stuff seems a little monotonous...We ate Thanksgiving dinner, got a tree, we've been shopping for gifts, threatening that Santa won't bring said gifts, working, school, ect...what's really got me wanting to blog again are the kids and how freaking funny they are every day. Some of the things that they do and say make me want to run screaming OR freeze time and never let them get any bigger.

This morning was typical...I hit snooze one too many times and got in a rush...Charlie is a good helper sometimes, but in the morning, he's molasses. I'm showering, getting ready, getting the kids dressed, and the whole time, he's stalling. Twice in the last month, we've been late enough that he was going to miss breakfast with his class, so we stopped for a quick breakfast burrito. (I realize that the snooze button is to blame for this lateness, not my kids...)So, this morning as we carefully drive to school not going a mile over the speed limit, ahem...he offers me "the troof"....he goes slow in the mornings because he WANTS THE BREAKFAST BURRITO. quote "I like to be late 'cause the breakfast is better"....little manipulator! who knew?

He seems to be learning a ton in school. He's all into identifying dinosaurs right now. he's a fantastic artist. he uses words that i never would have expected he would know at 4 and a half. he understands things...he's SO VERY smart...and SO VERY....bad sometimes. Our little Elf on a Shelf does not faze this one when we're in a power struggle. He rarely backs down, and we've had way more tantrums and talking back than I'd hoped for this month. The Santa card is not really doing it's job...maybe he is smart enough to know...well, you know...Boy, I hope not. Ironically, despite his craziness at home, the boy was totally student of the month for November. I literally screamed when I read the announcement. So stinkin' proud. Here he is at his celebratory lunch.

Mallory is Charlie's mini-me. Every. Single. Thing. Charlie says or does, she has to repeat. She wants the same toys. (Hear that Santa....think SIMILAR)...she hops into bed with him every night before I have to drag her to her own room. In the morning she yells "HEYYYYY GAHKEYYYYY". Yeah....Gahkey. That's as close as we've gotten. :) But it's adorable. She's so affectionate right now and just...silly and fun. I really need to take some video of the two of them soon...Words can't do their cuteness justice.

Here they are with Adam at dinner aboout a month ago. :)

As for the littlest Beauchamp...Today makes 30 weeks in the oven! Getting really excited to meet this little girl. The holidays are making this pregnancy FLY and I know I'm going to spend most (all) of January in a panicked rush to get ready for Pie. (Who by the way, could become Piper Ann Ryan Beauchamp if the Falcons make the Super Bowl...according to her Daddy.)

So, here's a couple of silly pictures of the kids tonight at dinner...SPEAKING kids who rarely eat enough to keep a bird alive, LOVE my enchiladas. I don't know what it is...I made them last weekend and they scarfed them down. Made them again tonight and they were at my feet begging for dinner to be ready. Seriously?? Looks like we'll be whipping them up at least once a week. ;)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

pitchers. :)

I figured I would use one of the first days of NaBloPoMo to update my photos here for posterity. These are all FB repeats, but I like having them in both places.

Fall Fun '10

Oh! A few weeks ago, I won tickets on the radio to Sesame Street Live. I was beyond excited to take the kids to Philips Arena for the first time, and they had a blast. It was even worth the ridiculously expensive souveniers and snacks...

Don't worry, America. Jess and I ventured to DC to restore sanity. All is well.

Yay, pictures!


Ugh, this is a shitty month to blog every day. I'm feeling more cynical than Denis Leary's standup comedy, and writing what I'm feeling would strike fear into the hearts of the masses. Maybe starting tomorrow I'll start taking essay suggestions so that I'm not left to my own devices. ;)

Monday, November 1, 2010


I've never even ATTEMPTED to participate in National Blog Post Month, even at the height of my bloginess. So, why I would dare to think that THIS would be the year to go for it, I have no idea. Maybe for the challenge. Maybe because I'm always talking to myself anyway, so I might as well record some of my rantings. Maybe because my blog is on life support. I think it's got permanent damage at this point. A Day At the Beauchamps won't ever be what it once was...When I look back at old posts, it seems like lifetimes have gone by, and yet it feels like yesterday. Maybe the reality of an actual timeline of my life is too scary. Being able to see it all go by is just another reminder that it is in fact, going by. Everything changes. On Facebook, I can whimsically update about little nothings and then go about my merry way, avoiding the permanence of whatever stupid thing I posted there. Here, I have grown up...and am still growing, some days more painfully than others. My babies are becoming kids. Things get hard, and through it all, it's still funny as hell most of the time. My blog used to be my safe place, but now feels a little scary and vulnerable. I hope this month will help that, and if it doesn't, then that's okay. It can be whatever it needs to be, and I'll still keep it around. I hope you'll be here, too. <3

Saturday, October 2, 2010


For the last few weeks, we've been waiting to go for another ultrasound at the specialist to learn more about Piper's umbilical cord situation. During that wait, I had another regular visit. I went in, I was tired, I wasn't thinking, and when they handed me a consent form for the AFP quad screen test, I signed it and gave a vial of blood. I wasn't even sure what test it was, but I vaguely remembered turning down all those tests with Mallory. I shrugged it off, but OF COURSE, the next Friday night at 10pm, I opened a letter from my OB saying that my test had come back abnormal and to please contact them AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Really, guys, a letter?
Although it was a little worrisome, I spent the weekend not thinking about it too much. I know of LOTS of people who've gotten that test back the same way and it's nothing. It's ultimately a screening, not a diagnostic, so it just lets parents know if their child is "at risk" for certain conditions. I went in on Monday and learned that we had results which put Piper at risk for Down's Syndrome. The doctor was very good about explaining that this was still rare, and that these results only prompt further testing, that we can take as far as we want, or refuse altogether. I agreed to go for genetic counseling and another ultrasound to look for physical characteristics, but was pretty sure we would not do the amnio test.
Yesterday was the appointment. In the waiting room, I randomly picked up a magazine, and randomly opened to an article about a mother giving birth to a baby girl with Down's Syndrome. It was odd, but reading it made me worry less. She had had no idea that it was a possibility.
Adam and I got to see Piper again and the tech who did the ultrasound told us everything she was doing. All her organs look great. Her heart is perfect. Her arms and legs measure right where they should. She has ten fingers and ten toes. She is still a girl. (I was concerned...haha) She is 3/4 a pound, and a wiggly little thing. She is beautiful.
Afterward, the doctor took us into his office and proceeded to ask us four thousand questions about our family history. He was SUCH a nice man, very patient with us and very thorough. He showed us our test results, which revealed that Piper has a 1 in 65 chance of having Down's. The average risk for a 30 year old woman is 1 in 952. He said sometimes these things can happen with no reason, whether or not there is a family history. He advised us on the amniocentesis...which is invasive, and while not as risky as some people believe, there's 1 in 500 risk of miscarriage. THAT number scared us much more than the 1 in 65. The ONLY advantage there is to knowing for sure is research. Time to learn all we can. But it's not worth the risk to me, and honestly, I don't feel a whole lot of urgency about knowing or not knowing. She's going to be fine, either way.

Adam said on the way home "I think if any parents were going to have to deal with this, we're really good ones for it." (How much do we love this guy?)
So, in conclusion, I'm not stressing the tests. We're proceeding as normal. The umbilical cord is perfectly fine as well, so Piper is getting everything she needs. Mama feeds her well. Everyone is getting excited. Adam taught Mal to say "hey, Pipuh!"
No need for a fuss here, I just wanted to share what we learned because, um, that's what I do. Everything is going to be great! We can't wait to meet you, little girl. :)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Not My Kid.

Like many of you, the news of the now five recent teen suicides has been heavy on my mind lately. The night that 13-year old Seth Walsh died, I lay in bed for hours trying to sleep, unable to stop my mind from going back to that boy and his family. 13 years old. 8th grade.

I don't need to explain how horribly unfair it is...that these kids suffer SO MUCH that they are finding the ability to put guns to their heads and pull the trigger. Or to hang themselves by a rope and let go. That those acts, which are some of the most terrifying things I can imagine, are easier for them than going to school. I think everyone I know and have talked to agrees with that. This isn't a split issue, and if you think it is, then please, seek help, because you are seriously messed up inside.

My initial thought was "What would happen if that was my child?" I'm sure most of us thought that as well. To imagine your child being bullied like that...these precious children that we try so hard to protect from every hurt. It's hard to fathom what that must feel like.

My next thought was "What if my child was the bully?"

That really made me think...What does it feel like for THOSE parents? I don't necessarily think that they must be horrible people who taught their children to be hateful on purpose. I know firsthand that kids, even kids with great parents, can be cruel. I'm sure there are some kids, however, who are learning some of this behavior at home. I'm not really sure how to picture it. Do these parents openly TELL their children that being gay is wrong, or weird...something to be teased for? Or do they make the subject so taboo that kids interpret it as "strange"? Why isn't it changing yet? Are there parents out there who PURPOSELY teach their children to hate? If not there, then where is it coming from?

I wonder if the parents feel torn between guilt over what's happened and defending their child, who is inevitably the villain in these scenarios. I would imagine so...of course, you love your child, but how do you come to terms with the fact that another life is lost, in part because of their actions. Are any of them in denial that it's partially their fault?

I personally think that bullies, for the most part, have low self esteem. They do it to make themselves feel better, to take on a position of power against someone else. If you suspected your child of being a bully at school...what would you do?

I could sit here all day and wonder, but it won't help. There are tons of questions, but no real answers. All I can do is try to help...we can all do that. As parents, or future parents, it is our responsibility to instill in them that teasing is never okay. These children that are dying are OUR children. The bullying is starting somewhere, and I hate to point fingers, but seriously, who better to prepare our kids than us? If we're not sitting down and having conversations with our children and using words like "different", "compassion", and "equal", then we need to start, now.

My kids will never grow up thinking that there is anything wrong with "gay". With wearing what they want, walking the way that comes naturally to them, speaking in their given voice, loving whomever they choose, with being their genuine selves, and nothing more. They WILL however, grow up KNOWING that it is wrong to belittle, to tease, to call names, to cyber-bully, to prank people who seem different than they are.

Some of us parents have no idea which category our kids will fall into, if any. We may be raising the bully. We may be raising the victim. HOW SCARY IS THAT? How awe-inspiring is it that we can change it?

I URGE my fellow parents and future parents to talk to your children. Don't treat homosexuality like some awful secret or something to be feared. Even if your religious beliefs lead you to believe it's "wrong", don't ever, ever, ever use that as an excuse to allow disrespect to their peers. This conversation will also open the door for them to come to you if they ever feel they themselves have questions about their own sexuality. Some of these kids become victims because they are afraid that thier parents won't support them, so they don't ask for help.

It's not being gay that's killing's the shame that they feel keeping it secret.

Wouldn't you rather have open honesty with your child than force them to hide something that could lead to their ultimate self destruction? I think that, for me, that would feel like nothing more than absolutely failing my child.

Here's what I propose. Although it feels like there isn't a lot we can do about this problem, the answer is staring us in the face, every day...(literally). Our kids.
Make the decision to be a proactive parent. Don't wait until there's a problem, and their school is calling you, to talk to them about bullying. I ask you to (yeah, I totally stole this from Oprah) to pledge to talk to your kids. If you don't have them yet, pledge to do it when the time comes. Open the door to the conversation and never close that door.

Print the Pledge. Sign it. Do a self portrait with it, post it, share it, be an example.
Please? It might seem silly. If there's even a chance that we can help each other remember to teach our children how to treat one another, then I'll risk looking silly. This is what we signed up for when we decided to raise the future.

Click here to find the Pledge on Facebook.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

how to make an angry hormonal woman die laughing.

today has been one of "those"...i started out in a great mood, and gradually let myself spiral into a frenzy of self pity and silly anger. nothing was THAT bad, so i (as usual) blame hormones. when i met charlie's bus this afternoon, however, i got the sweetest surprise and the best laugh.

CF confesses to most every crime and misdemeanor he commits on his own. yesterday on the way to school he told me that he had stuck the plunger on the wall in the bathroom. i was confused because i hadn't seen it, but i told him thanks for telling me and not to do it again.

so, today in his bookbag, i find this card...

i laughed SO HARD. i asked him why he'd wanted to make a card for it, and he said "i just felt so bad about it. mario does it, so i was just trying to be like mario." i told him again that it wasn't a big deal, but i'm so glad i have this card to hang onto for the next million years. what a great way to cheer up a crazy mama.