Just Treatment

Scenario 1: At a church women’s function there’s an activity where we have to find the oldest and youngest ladies at each table, and then from those ladies, we have to figure out the oldest and youngest in the room. When we identified the oldest lady, she stood up and announced, “Yes, I’m [somewhere in my 70s]. And I have 25 grandchildren to prove it.”

Scenario 2: In hundreds of conversations I’ve had with different people, this happens:
Me: So, do you have siblings?
Other person: Yeah, I have [at least four] brothers and sisters. What about you?
Me: Yeah, I have a younger brother.
Other person: So it’s just the two of you?

HOLY COW, PEOPLE, THIS IS NOT A COMPETITION. Yes, families are uber-central to our (Mormon) society and culture, and I know that children become our world once we have them, like how my parents focused on mine and Frank’s happiness as they raised us; how even my brother and I looked out for each other when we were kids, and we are probably more protective now.

It’s not “just” the two of us. There are two of us, and we’re awesome.

Reilly and I have been talking about when we’d like to have kids. Are we going to have “just” three, or “just” two, or “just” one? What if we end up only having one? “Just” one sounds like a disgrace, a failure, an implied incompetence. If we have one child, he or she will be awesome. If we have more, they’ll be awesome, too.

What if I can’t biologically have children? Are we going to “just” adopt, as if it’s a lesser alternative? As if parents use an inferior stash of love for children they couldn’t physically give birth to? Do these parents tell their kids that they’re “just” adopted? Will other kids tell my kid(s) “So, there’s ‘just’ one of you” or “So you’re ‘just’ adopted?”

BLEEP NO. You don’t win all the contests, because THERE ARE NO CONTESTS.

Sometimes people don’t even realize what they’re saying. And maybe I could be less annoyed. But should I be less sensitive when it comes to my family and my potential family? Are you really going to sit back and take it when I say that you have “just” a boy or “just” a girl or “just” twins or they got “just” Bs on their report cards? First, you know I wouldn’t think those thoughts, let alone say them. Secondly, you would defend your children if someone made these statements, because you love your children, and they’re awesome. That’s all it takes.

Think about what you’re saying. Think about the implied devaluing and belittling in that one little word. Be mindful of the context in which you use it. Make an effort to stop using it in the situations I’ve mentioned here.

Just stop.

Hey, Kids

Do I EVER have a blog post for you. But not tonight.

When I get rested and showered and when my homework is back under control, and when the level of inadvertent THC in my body has returned to zero from off-the-charts, then I can think about writing you a lovely post about lovely things.

Because I love you.

But first, attempts to sleep.

Good night, my darlings.

Heartache

I made some mistakes when I was 20 and a student at BYU.

I had help getting through the crushing guilt and other consequences.

The same Honor Code that was in effect then is the same one that’s making national headlines right now.

Apart from suspension or probation, there’s a girlfriend. And, supposedly, a kid on the way. I can’t find a single legitimate source to back that up.

It really complicates things. And I know I wouldn’t be able to handle that very well as a 19-year old, on top of media coverage. And the whole world blogging about it.

Ahem.

Judgment, compassion. It all comes down to a choice, really. My heart hurts on so many levels.

I defer to one of my favorite bloggers, Dooce. I agree with what she says about this.

Mistakes, consequences, redemption. He’ll rise above this.

Chin up, Brandon.

J’irai La Voir Un Jour

The first time I heard this song was in April 2007. At a Patty Griffin concert. My very first one. It was at the Beacon Theatre, and I had never been to that venue before. It’s one of those moderate-sized halls that happens to feel intimate at the same time.

This song combines Patty Griffin and French, two of my most favorite things in the world (though French is starting to slip in the rankings these days).

Patty introduced this song as one her grandmother sang to her when she was a child. Simple tune, simple lyrics, but beautiful and touching. It was just her and the piano for this number. Her voice, her memories. Her music causing my tears.

It makes me think about love and family and eternity. It makes me think of my own grandmothers, whom I didn’t really know. But I interacted more with my mom’s mother, and I never knew my grandmother on my dad’s side.

My mom’s father was a very gentle man from what I can remember, and my dad’s father was stern.

I wish I knew them all better. But I will.

I will see them one day.

J’irai la voir un jour
Au ciel dans la patrie
Oui j’irai voir Marie
Ma joie et mon amour

Au ciel, au ciel, au ciel
J’irai la voir un jour

J’irai la voir un jour
J’irai mourir aux anges
Pour chanter ses louanges
Et pour former sa cour

J’irai la voir un jour
Cette vierge si belle
Bientôt j’irai près d’elle
Lui dire mon amour

Au ciel, au ciel, au ciel
J’irai la voir un jour

J’irai la voir un jour
J’irai près de sa tombe
Recevoir la colombe
Dans l’éternel séjour

J’irai la voir un jour
J’irai loin de la terre
Sur le coeur de ma mère
Me poser sans retour

Au ciel, au ciel, au ciel
J’irai la voir un jour

J’irai la voir un jour.

I Had A Great Week

It was profound and eye-opening. And I wish I could describe it. All the great and marvelous happenings definitely countered the confusion and hurt.

I’m taking everything in the same stride. I’d rather feel hopeful than upset, and my chances for that increase when I don’t dwell on the bad stuff. Acknowledge the negative, allow a reaction, be grateful, then move on. Be better. What else is there?

Simple focus.

Still listening to the Freelance Whales. Here’s the last song on Weathervanes.

Lyrics:

We beg rebirth to take us up
Parade our souls out by the back gate
Some claw the ground
Some cut the air
Some warm the seas
But what will you be and when?

And I swim through dirt to find you out
And a whale without his family history is
And I used to shout to find my way in the water
Find my distant memory failed

Look into the reigns of a great estate
Better lights pull you out of the ground
Seep into the wood of the great estates
Animals your soul will guide

Give into the reigns of the great estates
Better lights pull you out of the ground
Seep into the wood of the great estates
Animals your soul will guide

Give into the reigns of the great estates
Better lights pull you out of the ground
Seep into the wood of the great estates
Animals your soul will guide

Give into the reigns of the great estates
Better lights pull you out of the ground
Seep into the wood of the great estates
Animals your soul will guide

Give into the reigns of the great estates
Better lights pull you out of the ground
Seep into the wood of the great estates
Animals your soul will guide

Black Eyed Peas Featuring Justin Timberlake, “Where Is The Love”

Is it in a box?
In a fox?
Under some rocks?
Behind those clocks?
In Fergie’s botox?
May, where is your love?

Maybe this is one of the few instances where I can stand Fergie. Sometimes, when it’s this song’s turn on the iPod, I’ll repeat it 4 or 5 times before letting it go to the next song. Maybe having this song on my list will satisfy my crazycrush on Justin Timberlake. Easy enough: I don’t even have to meet him, just feature him in a song about The Moral Of The Story. Yeah, the message is strong and that’s part of why this song’s in my top 10, but I think I like this one more for the music.

Catchy tune, nice beat. It’s extra fun when those lower strings kick in for real. Maybe about a third from the end. You know where. You can’t hear it so much in this live version, but in the studio version, it’s pretty awesome. If I were stranded on some seemingly deserted island, wouldn’t this song be handy to have around? Just in case? Justin case?

If you don’t like it, I may not like you. I may not love you. Maybe this will get you questioning: See video.

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