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Facebook Mother of the Year


Thirty three year old Caitlyn Alyse Hardy was arrested on Wednesday by the Sumter County South Carolina Sheriff’s Office after seeing a video on Facebook of Hardy pouring water on face of her nine month daughter.  The video was uploaded on Jan 26.

“Payback for waking me up all kinda times of da night”

Was the the caption on Hardy’s Facebook page along with emoji’s of a baby and smiling face with tears of joy.

In the video, she was laughing as she poured water on her child as she slept in her crib.  Her child woke up after the second dousing.

The Sheriff’s department charged Hardy with cruelty to children and the department has notified the county’s social service department.

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“School Days” Submit to your husband! No Gays! It’s 2019 right?


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The School says it will refuse admission to students who participate in or condone homosexual activity,

If your looking for a job, be sure to read the fine print.

You are pledging not to engage in homosexual activity or violate the “unique roles of male and female.”  and watch your Moral Conduct or misconduct.

They include, and not limited to, such behaviors as the following: heterosexual activity outside of marriage (e.g., premarital sex, cohabitation, extramarital sex), homosexual or lesbian sexual activity, polygamy, transgender identity, any other violation of the unique roles of male and female, sexual harassment, use or viewing of pornographic material or websites,” 

This effects a LOT of people straight and gays.

The application says that the school believes ” marriage unites one man and one woman” AND that a wife is commanded to submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ. ”   The job application asks potential employees to explain their view of the “creation/evolution debate.” 

 

If your really, really,  REALLY! want your kids to attend the Immanuel Christian School
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Springfield, Virginia, you will need to acknowledge the sanctity of marriage as a strictly

heterosexual practice. Families who condone, practice or support “sexual immorality,

homosexual activity or bi-sexual activity go against the principles of the school.  In other

words get the hell out sinner!

Why are we talking about this school? 

Because the second lady , Karen Pence is teaching at the school.  

 

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Her husband, the snappy dressing, snug suit wearing, never a hair out of place  Vice

President of these United States Michael Pence has long had issues with the Gay Community.

He has said, that homosexuality is a choice and keeping gays from marriage was not discrimination but an enforcement of god’s idea.  Image result for mike pence looking at donald trump

He voted against a law that would prohibit discrimination of the LGBTQ community in the workplace.

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He didn’t like the Obama directive on transgender restrooms. “The federal government has not business getting involved in issues of this nature,”

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He supports Conversion Therapy. He suggested that federal money used for fund research on HIV/AIDS should be diverted to programs that provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.

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Defending his wife, he said he found the criticism of his wife working at the school deeply offensive.

How can they legally discriminate in 2019?

In Virginia and many other states, it is legal for private employers to discriminate on the basis of sexual and gender identity. 

It is a challenging climb, but we will get to the mountain top.

CityFella

 

 

 

 

Arden Fair Mayhem (Social Media Edition)


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Some Policemen and Mall owners have said, The 26th of December the day after Christmas seems to be the one of the most violent days in America’s malls. People are pent up from being with their family,”

Closed schools, social media, the mall and juveniles with nothing to do?   Can be  combustible mix.  The victims: the stores mall owners and terrified shoppers.

Shopping malls have long replaced Downtown’s  as a social gathering place for teenagers.   If its often the place where boys and girls meet for the first time.  It is also the place to settle scores.

For two days, shoppers at Arden Fair Mall, one of the largest malls in the Sacramento Area was terrorized by out of control juveniles in and outside the mall resulting in damages inside the mall and patrons cars in the mall parking lots.

There were many violent events involving juveniles last week in shopping malls across the country.

Some malls across the country have instituted a “Parental escort policy” that requires teens under the age of 18 to be with a parent or guardian who is 21 or over to enter.   Most of the shopping centers have these restrictions only on weekend evenings, but some keep them in place seven days a week.

The “Parental escort policy” used at Shopping Malls in other states may be at odds with  California’s  Unruh Civil Rights Act that specifically outlaws discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation.

Gen Z

 Generation Z (individuals born between 1995 and 2009) spend nearly 50 billion dollars a year and unlike Millennial’s,Gen Z prefer traditional shopping in stores.   Should Arden Fair place a ban on this group they may simply take their dollars to other area Malls.

Social Media and Pandemonium

Before cell phones and social media. some one would make a couple of calls and tell others there is gonna a fight at 14th and Broadway.  Within minutes, nearly a hundred juvenilles show up at 14th and Broadway to witness the fight.   A prankster might push one juvenile into another juvenile and another fight take place.   A mistaken punch, another fight with spectators becoming participants. 

Today, with social media, a single post can reach hundreds with in minutes.   

By all accounts, the security at Arden Fair was overwhelmed.

Anticipation

One example of a prepared Mall 

Cherry Hills, New Jersey is a suburb of Philadelphia.

On Dec 27 2017, Cherry Hill Mall in New Jersey, noticed more teenagers in the mall than usual.     A week before, Police Chief William “Bud” Monaghan appealed to parents not to leave their teenage children unattended at the mall.   The Police Department and mall management had jointly prepared for trouble, often sparked by social media organization. that they had seen in previous years at the mall.

The Police and mall owners had several meetings to discuss how to handle such situations.  The police department assigned additional officers to the mall and the mall added additional Security Guards.

Police said between 700 and 1,000 juveniles were milling in the evening near the food court hen disturbances broke out.    One fight became several.    In the past, there had been many disruptions and damage to the mall.  But police and mall security officers, anticipating trouble this time of year, were present in large numbers, and the teens were quickly corralled. There was no widespread vandalism and only minimal disruption for shoppers, authorities said Wednesday as merchants lifted their gates for the start of another day of business.

Security and local police departments in many malls, monitor activity on social media.  Adding extra security and police during holidays.

CityFella

 

 

 

Man buys entire family DNA tests for Christmas and there are some shocking results


A man has revealed how he almost ruined his family Christmas (stock image) (Image: Getty Images)

By: Courtney Pochin/UK Mirror

There’s always one family member who turns up at Christmas with a rather bizarre present.

 

From homemade items that didn’t quite go to plan, to last minute gifts purchased on the way over, we thought we’d seen it all.

But one man has raised the bar for unusual presents by purchasing DNA testing kits for his entire family – and the bemusing item almost ruined Christmas for everyone.

The unnamed son revealed all in a post online, which has had thousands of views.

He bought the same gift for everyone (stock photo) (Image: Getty Images)

Taking to Reddit, the man starts his story by revealing that earlier in the year AncestryDNA had a sale on their kit and for some reason he thought it would be a great gift, so he bought six of them – one for himself, his mum, his dad, brother and two sisters.

However when it came time to open presents on December 25, the kits didn’t exactly garner the reaction he’d been hoping for.

He wrote: “As soon as everyone opened their gift, my mom started freaking out. She told us she didn’t want us taking them because they had unsafe chemicals. We explained to her how there were actually no chemicals, but we could tell she was still flustered.

“Later she started trying to convince us that only one of us kids need to take it since we will all have the same results and to resell extra kits to save money.”

The man bought DNA tests for his whole family – and almost ruined Christmas (Image: Getty)

The children were still keen to give the tests a go which caused an argument to break out between the parents.

According to the post, the pair went upstairs and argued for about an hour, leaving the four kids to wonder what exactly was going on.

At this point, the man truly thought he’d “f***** up” and ruined the family Christmas.

But then things took a surprising turn.

TIFU by buying everyone an AncestryDNA kit and ruining Christmas

Earlier this year, AncestryDNA had a sale on their kit. I thought it would be a great gift idea so I bought 6 of them for Christmas presents. Today my family got together to exchange presents for our Christmas Eve tradition, and I gave my mom, dad, brother, and 2 sisters each a kit.

As soon as everyone opened their gift at the same time, my mom started freaking out. She told us how she didn’t want us taking them because they had unsafe chemicals. We explained to her how there were actually no chemicals, but we could tell she was still flustered. Later she started trying to convince us that only one of us kids need to take it since we will all have the same results and to resell extra kits to save money.

Fast forward: Our parents have been fighting upstairs for the past hour, and we are downstairs trying to figure out who has a different dad.

TL;DR I bought everyone in my family AncestryDNA kit for Christmas. My mom started freaking. Now our parents are fighting and my dad might not be my dad.

Update: Thank you so much for all the love and support. My sisters, brother and I have not yet decided yet if we are going to take the test. No matter what the results are, we will still love each other, and our parents no matter what.

Update 2: CHRISTMAS ISN’T RUINED! My FU actually turned into a Christmas miracle. Turns out my sisters father passed away shortly after she was born. A good friend of my moms was able to help her through the darkest time in her life, and they went on to fall in love and create the rest of our family. They never told us because of how hard it was for my mom. Last night she was strong enough to share stories and photos with us for the first time, and it truly brought us even closer together as a family. This is a Christmas we will never forget. And yes, we are all excited to get our test results. Merry Christmas everyone!

P.S. Sorry my mom isn’t a whore. No you’re not my daddy.

 

His parents eventually came back down and shared some shocking news with them all – one of them had a different dad.

He explained: “Turns out my sister’s father passed away shortly after she was born. A good friend of my mom’s was able to help her through the darkest time in her life, and they went on to fall in love and create the rest of our family.

“They never told us because of how hard it was for my mom.”

The parents went on to share stories and photos for the first time and the son claims the experience brought them “even closer together as a family”.

The situation ended up bringing them closer together (stock photo) (Image: Getty)

He added: “This is a Christmas we will never forget. And yes, we are all excited to get out test results. Merry Christmas everyone!”

More than 9,000 people have taken the time to comment on his post, with many sharing their own unusual family stories.

One person wrote: “I was adopted by my grandparents and didn’t know until I was older. The person I grew up with as an older sister was actually my biological mother.”

Another said: “My friend discovered through AncestryDNA that her grandpa wasn’t actually her grandpa. Her actual grandpa was one of her grandparents’ neighbors.”

A third added: “I work at AncestryDNA. This actually happens all the time.”

30 Days to be a Family


 Last August, Arsenio De La Rosa had a stroke and doctors gave him only weeks to live. His kids were with him in Arizona, but his wife, Gloria, was an hour south in Mexico.

Because she is unable to enter the country, she applied for a temporary permit to come to the U.S. to say goodbye to her husband and be there for her kids in such a tough time. After an initial denial, she ended up getting a 30-day pass.

We take a look at those 30 days, a bittersweet reunion after being separated by immigration law for 9 years. A family brought together by tragedy, only to go back to living parallel lives.

 

Newly widowed mom exits US with a hole in her heart

 

 By Perla Trevizo and Fernada Echavarri/The Arizona Daily Star  

 

Gloria Arellano de la Rosa had told herself she wouldn’t break down. If I cry, they’ll cry, she thought.  And the last thing she wanted after spending the first month in nine years with her children was to make them cry.  “You know what’s good and what’s bad,” she told three of her four kids as a customs officer and her immigration attorney looked on. “So be good.”

 

After one last blessing, Gloria walked down the same pedestrian lane she had walked up a month earlier. She passed the street food stalls, the taxi drivers calling out for fares, and entered the busy streets of Nogales, Sonora.

She thought of her family and the time they spent together and the bittersweet reason that let that happen: The U.S. government let her  enter the country for 30 days after her elderly husband was told he had only a few weeks to live.

 

More than 4.5 million American children have at least one undocumented parent. Although there is no way to track how many have been separated because of deportation or bans, in places like Tucson’s south side, where the de la Rosa kids grew up, these stories are common.

 

They illustrate the complexities of an immigration system that politicians on both sides say is broken, and the consequences of a 1996 law that compounded mistakes made by Gloria and her husband, including filing the wrong paperwork and leaving the country.

Before then, she likely would have paid a fine for living in this country illegally, then adjusted her immigration status and gone on to live with her family. Instead, Gloria and Arsenio de la Rosa had to choose between having their children grow up with a mother or giving them the chance to take advantage of the opportunities that come with living in America.

 

They chose the latter.

But for a moment in late August they didn’t have to. They had 30 days to be a family.

 

Coming Home

 

As Gloria entered the modest three-bedroom Tucson home she hadn’t seen in years, her daughter, Naomi, jumped on her — just as she did when Gloria used to take tamales to Naomi’s third-grade class.   “Yo también te extraño,” I miss you too. Gloria groaned from the weight of her almost 18-year-old daughter.

 

The de la Rosa siblings had expected their mother earlier that week, when Gloria first sought a humanitarian permit to return briefly to the United States. But Customs and Border Protection officials rejected her request, citing the prior permanent residency denial that led to her ban.

 

An intense campaign that amassed 16,000 signatures online, a news conference with Democratic Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva, additional paperwork and her lawyer’s word that he would bring her back led to a change of heart. On Aug. 24 the U.S. government allowed her to come home to say goodbye.

 

During the 60-mile drive from the border to Tucson, her son Bill played on a loop the song “Estamos Bien” by trap and reggaeton singer Bad Bunny. “We are OK,” he repeated.

Naomi spent most of the morning before her mother’s arrival mopping and sweeping; The family caretaker wanted the house to be spotless.

 

Gloria had last visited in 2011, when Arsenio suffered a stroke and the government let her come for a few days — most of them spent at the hospital.

This time would be different. She would be in the U.S. longer, but with Arsenio’s declining health they all knew it would be the last time they would be together.

 

 

The days after she arrived, Gloria cooked for a full house. Her kids wanted to show off their mom’s meals to their friends.

 

For the first time in a long time, they didn’t have to worry about what’s for dinner, who’s supposed to clear the table, whose turn is it to wash the dishes. After all these years, Gloria wanted to take care of them.

 

In the time she’d been gone, her four children each had taken on a grown-up role.

Jim, 26 and the oldest, had to leave the U.S. Marine Corps right at the point where he could have re-enlisted and become a sergeant. He needed to care for their father and be there for his youngest siblings.

 

Bill, 24, became the engine of the family, as Gloria puts it — he moves everyone, including her. He makes the family decisions, and even after he moved first to Maine and then to England for college, he calls in to make sure his siblings’ grades are good and appointments are made. He always thinks ahead.

Naomi, 18, learned to clean, cook and care for her youngest sibling, Bobby — her baby, as she calls him. She’s always balancing the role of the student with that of the caretaker.

Bobby, 13, grew up straddling two countries, missing his siblings and father when he was with his mom in Mexico and missing his mother when he was in Tucson. With time, he too had to take on more responsibilities, preparing his dad’s breakfast each morning and giving him his medicine.

 

Gloria learned to parent over the phone. She sent food with friends or relatives, so her kids didn’t have to cook, and she did their laundry when they visited so they could relax and act their ages. She also helped out with their father when he was well enough to travel across the border.

 

The last time Arsenio visited Nogales was for Thanksgiving last year. After that, his health deteriorated. The first day Gloria was back in Tucson, she visited her husband at a health center, where she held his frail hand and called him by his nickname, “Chenito,” over and over. “I came to take care of you,” she told him.

 

Strong for each other 

 

Since they were little, the de la Rosa siblings learned to be strong for one another. If they felt like crying, that was to be done in private. Not because they were embarrassed, but because they didn’t want to make the others feel sad.

 

Not showing their emotions was a sign of strength. Their father did it. Their mother did it. And they learned to do it.

 

As his father’s health worsened, Bill rehearsed what it would be like when Arsenio passed away and thought about who he needed to be for each sibling.

Before he left for England on Sept. 2, he knew he was likely saying goodbye to his father for the last time. Arsenio was hospitalized a few weeks before for a pressure ulcer and stroke.

 

As he always did, Bill leaned over and placed his forehead against his father’s lips, just long enough to feel a gentle touch.

 

Two days later, Arsenio de la Rosa died. He was 85.

Nothing could prepare the family for how it would feel to lose their role model, the father and pilot who encouraged them to be their best. It didn’t matter if they were a shoemaker, he would say, as long as they were the best shoemaker.

Jim, who is more reserved, was in shock after his father died. His face flushed, he didn’t want to talk to anyone.

 

When Jim and Bill talk, it’s usually about what needs to happen to get things done.

All of them have mastered the skill of separating the personal from the pragmatic, Bill said, “Because we have to. Because this situation begs that we do things like this.”

Bobby feared this moment for a long time but remained hopeful. He trusted his dad’s strength would pull him through and that finally they would all be together. But in the end it didn’t, he said, holding back tears.

 

A picture of his then-26-year-old dad hangs in the living room as a constant reminder of their loss. But instead of talking to his mom, Bobby goes to his room and talks to friends, or cries in the bathroom — even when Gloria tells him it’s OK to cry, it’s OK to be sad.

One of the few times Naomi let her guard down and cried was when she said goodbye to her dad before the funeral — another was the time they couldn’t spend Christmas together because Arsenio was in the hospital.

“Oh my God, I was hugging him so much,” she said. “My mom was like, ‘Oh, Naomi, ya, we got to go’ and like, she was pulling on to me but I was, like, latched onto my dad and I was hugging him tight.”

 

She had fixed her dad’s coffee every morning: one teaspoon instant coffee, four spoonfuls of brown sugar, stirred into three parts water and one part milk, served in his chipped white cup. She served him a glass of Ensure at night.

 

Naomi thought of the movie “The Cobbler,” where at the end a character says everyone lives their best day before they die. “My dad always wanted to see us together again, so then when he did, he died. … He had lived his best day.”

 

Even if their time together had been short, Gloria was there to comfort them, to be a pillar they could lean on.

 

“He’s in a much better place now,” Gloria told them. “Wherever you are, he’s watching over you.”

 

The de la Rosa siblings didn’t have to hold back on their emotions. They could let go a little. But they couldn’t stop being who they’ve prepared themselves to be.

Bobby said he’s taught himself not to dwell on difficult moments, and he’s convinced everything is going to be better.

“I think I kind of accepted the fact that my Dad passed away and it’s kind of like I need to move on or else I will be, like, sad and then I won’t be able to think right,” he said a week after his father died.

 

He did the same when he was told his mother was banned for a decade. “I realized like I had to, like, you know, accept the fact that she won’t be coming back for a while. If I don’t, I won’t be great in school.”

 

When Bill stood to talk about his dad before dozens of friends and relatives who have become the family’s support network, his siblings were still on top of his mind. He needed to make things better for them — including Aresenio Jr., his father’s oldest son from his first marriage.

Arsenio, Jim, Naomi, Bobby, papi is with you and in our hearts; he will always be with us,” he addressed them, looking at each one in turn.

“I imagine him flying in the clouds, full speed ahead, and at his side the best co-pilot, Jesus Christ. “One day, perhaps not today, perhaps not tomorrow, we will think about our Arsenio de la Rosa Higgins and a smile will come before a tear. Rest in peace.”

Day 2 Day

After the funeral, the family tried to enjoy the 16 days they had left before Gloria returned to Mexico, their grief coexisting with longed-for normalcy. Bobby leaning his head on his mother’s shoulder; Mamá sitting and joking, doing housework, fielding requests for favorite dishes.    “Ma,’ would you make us tamales?” Naomi asked.

I need a lot of things, mija,” Gloria said. “Olives, masa, corn husks, lard, meat …”

“I can take you to get them,” Naomi offered. She could even pitch in.

As her mom agreed, she smiled. “Navidad came early.”

 

But even as things settle down into what could pass as routine, as if Gloria hasn’t been gone for almost a decade — she has. And her children have built lives in the void she left.

As Gloria searched the kitchen cabinets, she found a stack of mostly unopened vitamin bottles she’d sent, labeled with each of her children’s names.

 

“Do you think it’s fair to come here and find all of this?” Gloria scolded Naomi. “I’m going to take them to Nogales to donate them before they expire. No more.”

They didn’t think she would ever know.

 

Gloria couldn’t find a red pot that belonged to her mother-in-law; a shawl, a gift from an Indian couple she worked for; and a tablecloth she crocheted. It’s not that they are worth much, she said, but they mean something to her.

 

“Forget it, Mom,” Jim said when asked. “How can you think things are going to be where you left them nine years ago?”

 

When not in school, Bobby plays video games in his room. To him, it’s his way of escaping through his friends, some of whom he’s known since preschool.

“If I’m not happy, then I’ll try to make them happy and them being happy makes me happy,” said the eighth-grader. “They’re basically like my family.”

But all his mom and older brother Bill see is Bobby spending too much time indoors, not interacting with the outside world.

Gloria spotted a report card inside Bobby’s room addressed to the parent or guardian of Bob de la Rosa. He hadn’t shown it to her. “If he doesn’t improve those C’s,” she said, “no more video games.”  She hasn’t met Bobby’s teachers. Everyone judges in middle school and he doesn’t want to deal with all the questions, he said.

 

“Because my mom has never really been around me and I think everyone knows that. So if they see her, it’s going to be weird,” Bobby said. He wants his mom and his teacher to meet, he said, but not when everyone is there. When she picks him up from school — something she had never done before — and asks how his day was, he answers in monosyllables.

 

The siblings are also used to doing things their own way.

While it’s great to have someone do his laundry, Bill said Gloria doesn’t know what socks or shirts belong to whom. “She hijacked my clothes,” he joked.

He takes his coffee strong, with no sugar; Gloria prepared it weak, with sugar. He tries to eat low-fat food; Gloria always serves their meals with tortillas.

 

“It made me realize how independent I’ve become without her being here,” he said.

 

But it was most disorienting for Naomi.  There was the joy of waking up to her mother’s voice, “Ya levantate, mijita” — something that hasn’t happened since third grade. But also the frustration of being told she can’t go to the movies at 8:30 p.m. because she’s a niña de casa, a girl who belongs at home.

 

One morning, Gloria planned a visit to Naomi’s dorm at the University of Arizona, which is covered by her scholarship. She wanted to see how her only daughter lives.

As Naomi came down with her long black hair pulled up in a ponytail and a shirt that showed her belly button, Gloria asked for a hug and was quick to comment. “I get upset because she comes with those clothes and I’m seeing that there are girls who dress even worse.”

 

“It’s just a crop top,” Naomi said. “You have to be authentic,” Gloria told her. “Not just because others are dressing like that do I want you to go along.”

“I am authentic,” Naomi said and rolled her eyes.

 

Inside, Gloria inspected every drawer and insisted that Naomi be clean and neat. Under the bed, she found a doll she sent from Nogales and asked why it’s not up on the wall.

“Because I don’t like decorations,” Naomi said. “I’m not like you and Jim.”

 

By the end of the visit, Gloria had Bill hang it up.

It was more than her mom telling her what to do. Cleaning the house, taking care of herself and others, is part of who Naomi is. She’s been doing it half her life. Having her mom back, “gives me a break,” she said, “but I still want to do it. … I don’t know why.”

Counting Down 

In the midst of the small frictions, life started to feel familiar, but time was short. With Arsenio’s passing there were decisions to be made, including who was going to take over guardianship of Bobby.

 

It was agreed Naomi and Jim should share it, so they could balance doctors appointments and parent-teacher conferences with work and college until Gloria returns. Her decade-long ban expires in October 2019 and Mo Goldman, the family’s immigration attorney, doesn’t expect problems.

 

“They’re finally on that tail end of the 10-year bar, but of course now with the new administration, there’s always new challenges,” he said. It’s also hard to predict how the consular officers are going to handle the case.

 

But that’s for next year. In the meantime, Bobby needed a cell phone, Naomi needed a bank account, and there was a pending dentist appointment for both.

Time was running out, but Naomi preferred to go with the flow and cherish the moments like when she drove Gloria to Food City.

 

“I never saw myself driving, especially with my mom,” she said, her eyes wide to match her smile. When Gloria asked where the maseca was to make the tamales, “I told her, ‘right by the bread’ and I was right because I know my Food City.”

While Naomi chose to live in the moment, the days ticking by were unavoidable for Bobby and Gloria.

 

Every week, she counted the number of Fridays — the day she crossed — she had left.

“When I lay down I start to think, what if a document arrives that says I don’t have to go back? ‘You can forget about everything and remain with your children …'”

But those were only dreams, she said. Eventually reality would catch up.

“The 30th Day”

 

On her last day in the U.S., Sept. 24, Gloria made sure everyone had breakfast and went off to school on time. When they came back, she, Jim, Bobby and Naomi drove to Nogales, where she had to meet her attorney at 5 p.m.

 

Before she realized it, she had said her goodbyes, crossed the border and was back in Sonora. Inside her small apartment, decorated with pictures of her children — Bill and Naomi in their caps and gowns, Jim in his Marine uniform, Bobby posing with three U.S. congressmen — she wondered things big and small. What will they eat? Are they doing their homework? Are they staying on the right path?

 

On the other side of the Atlantic, Bill studies for his second master’s degree at Oxford University. He wrestles with his decision to live far from home but tells himself he will be able to do more for his family in the long run.

 

He hopes to come back to the U.S. and go to law school. With his thick-rimmed glasses, button-down shirts and polished shoes, he looks and acts the politician he hopes one day to be.

 

He speculates that he’s named after Bill Clinton — his father’s favorite president. He jokes that Naomi’s friends who had a crush on him growing up are future constituents, and that the kitchen table from where he sent out emails and launched the online campaign to bring his mother back was his “situation room.”

 

Jim tries to figure out what’s next. His life once revolved around the Marines and his Marine family, but he had to give that up. Then it became all about his dad and caring for him, worrying that something would happen when he left the house or went to sleep.

Now he needs to find a job — maybe in security, he thinks. He hopes to finish his associate’s degree so he can transfer to the UA and get a job in law enforcement.

Naomi is back to balancing the mom and student life — but now she splits her time between the UA and home. At times she wants to text Bobby, who is always in the back of her mind, but she reminds herself he’s in school.

 

She helps with food and laundry on the weekends and knows that all the responsibility will serve her well when she becomes a teacher. “I will know how to deal with Bobby and, like, take him to appointments and know how to talk to other grown-ups.”

 

Bobby learns how to be without the sister he once described as his best, best, best friend. They don’t talk as much anymore, he feels. They don’t check up on each other as they used to.When he comes home from school, he expects to hear the TV and to see his father sitting on the blue couch. And when he’s watching movies and eating chips, he thinks of Naomi and the times they did that together and is overcome by sadness.

 

Back in Nogales, Gloria feels the weight of time. The 30 days she spent with her children, the opportunity to say goodbye to her husband, were priceless. But she feels broken.  She has an empty space in her heart, just as she did nine years ago.

 

As long as she’s away from her children, a piece of her is missing. With a year to go before her ban is over, all she can do is wait to get it back.

 

The 10 Worst Things You Could Ever Call Your Child


The 10 Worst Things You Could Ever Call Your Child

By: Maureen Healy

Ever call your child a brat?

Words have the power to wound or lift our hearts. This isn’t new news. Of course, the challenge is when you are small and new to the world — the words you hear help shape your self-esteem and ultimately, worldview.

Since I specialize in helping highly sensitive children thrive, oftentimes I spend time guiding children to “let go” of the words they’ve been called, from “brat” to “bonehead.” Said differently, we flip the script. I’ve helped a young boy, Tommy, begin to see himself as cautious and careful, instead of believing “You are a wimp.” These are positive traits that were initially slammed into him as negative.

Of course, we are all a work in progress, and we make mistakes. That’s okay. The point is to be a bit more mindful about the words that we let slip off our tongues into our children’s hearts.
To help with that, I have included the top 10 worst parenting words (without regard to curses) that have slipped into everyday conversation that I would love to see evaporate.

They are:

1. Crybaby

2. Picky (fussy)

3. Wimpy

4. Whiny

5. Punk

6. Problem Child

7. Hypersensitive

8. Drama Queen

9. Defiant

10. Brat

Every single one of these words has a positive counterpart. Whether it’s changing “picky” to “discerning” or “selective,” the point is that when we 100 percent decide to frame things in a more optimistic light, we can reduce the likelihood of low self-esteem flourishing. Because frankly, children build their worlds with your words.

Shakespeare probably put it best when he said: “The voice of parents is the voice of gods, for to their children they are heaven’s lieutenants.”

Maureen Healy is an award-winning author, popular speaker, and leader in how to help highly sensitive children thrive. She’s appeared on Disney’s “The Fatherhood Project” as a regular guest and worked closely with Fortune 100 companies such as Crayola to deepen their awareness of children’s sensitivity, creativity and joy. Follow her on Twitter.

Daddy left Mommy for Tommy, or what to do when a parent comes out as gay


Coming out to the kids in the midst of a divorce can make a fraught process even more difficult

SUDI “RICK” KARATAs
Excerpted from “Rainbow Relatives: Real-World Stories and Advice on How to Talk to Kids about LGBTQ+ Families and Friends” by Sudi (“Rick”) Karatas. Copyright 2018 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

Just in time for Pride in June, “Rainbow Relatives: Real-World Stories and Advice on How to Talk to Kids About LGBTQ+ Families and Friends” (May 8, 2018) is a collection of intimate, real-life stories and advice about coming out to family members—parents to children, aunts and uncles to nieces and nephews, grandparents to grandchildren.

The concept for “Rainbow Relatives” was born when author Sudi “Rick” Karatas asked his sister if her children knew about his (their uncle’s) sexual orientation. She said they didn’t, as she hadn’t been sure how to approach the topic and wished there was a book she could read to help her have those conversations. So, Sudi wrote that book. He hopes Rainbow Relatives will make readers more accepting of all people and families, especially in the LGBTQ+ community.

 

I like to view things with a sense of humor (hence the title of this essay). However, it can be a serious family matter when one parent comes out as LGBTQ. The situation will often result in a divorce, which can be devastating for a child and can result in their conflicting feelings of anger, sadness, confusion, and self-blame.

During the early 1980s, when I was in high school, I remember watching a movie alone with the volume turned low because it was such a controversial subject for that time. The film was called “Making Love,” and it came out (pardon the pun) in 1982, starring Michael Ontkean, Harry Hamlin, and Kate Jackson. Ontkean plays Zach, who is married to Claire (Jackson). Zach is gone so much that Claire believes he is having an affair with another woman. When she confronts him, he admits his affair with his patient, Bart (Hamlin). Back then, many believed that playing a gay role hurt Hamlin’s career for years, whereas today such roles have actually bolstered many careers. In 2005, “Brokeback Mountain” won a number of awards and was nominated for best picture at the Oscars. In 2009, Sean Penn won the best actor Oscar for his performance of controversial gay rights activist Harvey Milk. In 2014, Jared Leto won the Oscar for best supporting actor for his compelling role as a transgender woman in the film “Dallas Buyers Club.”

However, while these movies certainly helped to bring the LGBTQ community into popular culture, they did not portray situations that directly involve kids. In 2011, “The Kids Are All Right” became one of the first movies to do so with its portrayal of a lesbian couple raising two children born from a surrogate father. The film won a Golden Globe for best picture and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for best screenplay. Hopefully, this has opened the door for more film and television portrayals depicting the reality of children with LGBTQ parents and the common situations that result when one parent turns out to be gay.

When a Parent Comes Out

The following is an amusing story told to me by a friend: A man was married many years to a woman and together they had a daughter. When the daughter was almost grown, the man came out to his family, announcing he was gay. He wasn’t sure how the daughter was handling it until one day, as they were both taking a walk along the beach, two very attractive and muscular men were walking toward them, each carrying a surfboard. His daughter said, “Look, Dad, one for you, one for me.”

The father was relieved, seeing how comfortable his daughter was with his sexuality. So he joked, “Okay, I’ll take the blond.”

Embarrassed and turning red, the daughter said, “I was talking about the surfboards.”

I spoke with and surveyed a number of other people who had been married and had children when one spouse came out. Hopefully, some of the following stories will help those who are in similar situations, and they will be comforted to know they are not alone.

Honesty is the Best Policy

After fifteen years of marriage, Anna and her husband sat down together with the kids and told them about her husband’s sexual orientation. The kids were fourteen, twelve, and eight years old. They were sad and surprised, but they were relieved to know there was a valid reason as to why their parents had separated. Prior to that, no one could understand why this had happened because they’d always had a good relationship together.

“My advice to others going through this is to be honest with everyone involved and tell people as soon as you are comfortable,” Anna said. “If you do it too soon, you may wind up hurting yourself and the people around you, especially the children. My kids did not want anyone else to know because they studied in the same schools as their cousins. I couldn’t tell any of our relatives because children can be cruel at school. I would have liked to tell people sooner but my kids would have been hurt.”

Hide That Gay Porn

After a year of being separated from his wife of twenty years, Fred’s sons were visiting him from Texas. At that time, they were thirteen and fifteen years old. He had told his wife he was gay, though he’d never acted on it, and they had decided to separate. However, they had decided not to tell the kids the reason until it came up during his sons’ visit.

While his sons were visiting, his fifteen-year-old left the room to take a shower when his thirteen-year-old asked him, “Are you gay?” Taken aback, Fred asked, “Why do you ask?” His son said, “Well, you used to watch both straight porn and gay porn on the internet and now you only watch gay porn.”

The fact that his thirteen-year-old knew how to find the porn that he thought he had hidden so well was a little scary. (Kids today are very computer savvy, if you haven’t noticed.)

“My son was actually okay with it,” Fred said. “I told my other son a couple weeks later and he laughed at first—he thought it was a big joke. Once he knew it wasn’t, he was okay with it, too, until they got back to Texas and their religious school. Then they told me I was an embarrassment because everyone gave them a hard time about it. Today they are both adults and fine with it.”

Dealing with a Bitter Spouse

Sometimes when one parent comes out, their spouse resents it and causes a rift or even sabotages the relationship between the gay parent and child. This may make it difficult for the child to understand and accept their gay parent, but it doesn’t make it impossible. Take Waylon’s experience, for example.

Waylon was divorced, and his ex-wife did not take his being gay very well at all. Waylon’s daughter lived with his ex-wife and her new husband while Waylon provided financial support for his daughter but lived in another state. The relationship was strained for a long time because of the negative things his ex-wife would say about him and his sexual orientation. The daughter also didn’t know that other family members had accepted her father for who he was. When Waylon’s daughter was sixteen, she finally visited her dad and his partner, Willie. Not surprisingly, it was a little awkward at first, but he assured her that their relationship wouldn’t change. He asked her if she’d get to know Willie, since he was important to him.

She asked questions about their relationship—how long they’d been together, how the relationship was going in general—and she also had her own private conversation with Willie and asked him questions as well. She was able to see that her father’s relationship with Willie was no different from other relationships, and by the end of the day, she had even given Willie a hug.

However, once she returned home to her mom and stepdad, the situation became more difficult. Waylon soon got a call from his furious ex-wife, Maybelle. “How dare you introduce my daughter to this lifestyle!” She continued to flood him with homophobic voice mails, emails, and even threats. Maybelle never did come around; in fact, she tried to poison her daughter against her ex-husband with lies about him and used parental alienation to prevent her daughter from seeing her father. The daughter was finally told the truth, and the relationship between Waylon and his daughter (who recently came out as gay herself) is now healthy and strong.

I think it’s good that Waylon showed his daughter that he and Willie have a nice, loving relationship that offset the negative things his ex had said. Setting a good example is important. I think when one spouse (in this case, the mother) has resentment toward a divorced spouse, it causes a lot of harm to a child, and if any adult finds themselves pitting the child against the other parent in situations like these, they should, of course, do their best to stop.

When the Kids Don’t Take the News So Well

Pablo’s son was ten and his daughter was seven when he came out to them. Pablo had decided to tell them because he thought his ex-wife was about to out him. He later told his kids that he needed to tell them because he didn’t want them to find out from a third person. He started by saying to them, “I’ve got something important to tell you.” But then he couldn’t continue.

The three of them sat in awkward silence until his son finally said, “What are you going to tell us? That you’re gay?” Pablo was surprised but relieved. “Yes, that’s why your mom and I separated.” He then told them, “I am still your father, nothing changes, and I still love you the same way.”

Then, both kids started crying. The boy seemed to take it harder than his sister, throwing a puzzle across the room in apparent anger. The crying lasted about fifteen minutes or so, and then later the son suddenly said to him, “Daddy, I’m sorry for those comments and jokes I’ve said about fags before. Don’t take them personally, but I am still going to make them.” It was the boy’s way of trying to use a little humor to break the tension.

Pablo said this didn’t bother him too much because if his son felt free enough to make a joke at this time, he felt his son was partly okay with it. Pablo said he also understood the “macho thing” boys have and his reaction was fairly normal.

His son asked, “Did you ever love Mommy?”

He said, “Of course.” But although the conversation seemed to have resolved things at the time, Pablo told me that his kids didn’t believe that he was born gay for quite a while, and today his son is still not 100 percent okay with it, but their relationship is okay. The daughter is much better with it.

I think the takeaway here is even if you fear the kids won’t be okay with this news, it’s still better to be open and honest and give them time to adjust to it.

What the Therapist Says: Divorce + Gay Parent = Added Shame

As part of my research, I also spoke with therapist David Giella. He provided some very straightforward insight into what children of gay parents go through in these situations. “In any divorce where, let’s say, the father has an affair, the child may feel the following: ‘You misled Mommy; you made Mommy cry; you had an affair; you have screwed up my life because of something you did; I’m scared and mad at you.’ When the father has an affair with another man, it’s mostly the same feelings, except now the child has to deal with having a parent who is gay, and there may be some shame with this, whether there should be or not,” Giella said.

I think what Dr. Giella said is important because parents should be aware a divorce may be a little harder for kids to deal with when it’s because one parent is gay. It’s an additional change and something else to adjust to in their lives; it’s not as simple as their parents not being together anymore.

SUDI “RICK” KARATAS

Sudi now lives in California but grew up in Syosset Long Island.  He is the cowriter of the feature film “Walk a Mile In My Pradas” (starring Tom Arnold, Dee Wallace, and Bruce Vilanch) and the upcoming “Charlie’s Dream,” an inspirational family film. He also writes songs, sketches, loves writing everything except checks. For more info on the author visit his website at www.rickkaratas.com

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