issue #140 - the one about hope in darkness
What a week.
If you live in the United States, you’ve been bombarded with numerous rulings from the Supreme Court that stand to impact our lives, immediately and drastically.
I’m feeling a lot of feelings, as most of us are. And in the midst of the rage and heartbreak and fear, there’s also a little bit of shame.
Shame that I didn’t practice my citizenship the way I should have, and took many of these fragile rights for granted.
Shame that I feel lucky to live in a state that protects my right to seek healthcare and has common sense gun safety laws (and are working immediately in response to the concealed carry ruling).
Shame that I didn’t do enough, when we knew this would happen with the election of the 45th president.
In sitting with this feeling, another emotion emerged, triggered by this tweet.
Hope that the country we know we can be is one I can fight to make a reality.
Hope that while it may take another 50 years, we can turn the tide to protect our rights at local, state, and federal levels.
Hope because I will not accept this as permanent while I still am alive and standing.
This has been a focused, near 50 year crusade for pro-forced birth advocates. Roe didn’t dissuade them. Neither did Planned Parenthood vs. Casey. They were focused, relentless, and active citizens to push this outcome.
The playbook works. We need to run it, and run it better than they did.
As shocking as this is, it didn’t happen overnight and it will not be overturned overnight. Here is how I’m practicing citizenship while also protecting my peace:
Pick your issue and focus on it. I’m going to be calling on my Senators and Congressman to push for codifying Roe at the federal level, and to work with organizations to push for a constitutional amendment to protect healthcare for those with uteruses and the queer community, whose own hard-fought rights are threatened by Roe’s overturn. Whether this is resurrecting the ERA or a new amendment, I don’t know and will defer to other lawyers. But I’m going to invest my energy and time to this longstanding fight.
Extend these calls to your local and state reps. The states that are banning and criminalizing abortion are doing so in response to their constituent calls, urging them to ban it. States that are protecting abortion access and preparing to be sanctuary states are doing so in response to their constituents’ calls. Log your support, daily, on issues you care about, even if your representatives don’t share your views.
Schedule and plan to vote, and VOTE. Block out the time you’re going to research your ballot, when and how you’ll vote, and do it for every single election. If you have time to spare, volunteer as a poll worker! I plan to sign up for the midterm election this fall.
Go offline. I guarantee you’re already numb from the news and seeing the same posts be shared over and over again. Unplug yourself from your devices and do literally anything else. Read a book (I can’t tell you the last time I read a non-romance novel and I’m very much okay with that). Go for a walk. Dance it out to the Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack from season 1 (absolute perfection). Bake something delicious (yes, a packaged mix counts). Create something. The only app I will allow is Skillshare, and that’s only for you to learn something new that you can do offline. Scrolling for hours will do nothing but make you feel even worse. So put down the phone (after you read the rest of the newsletter) and do something - even if that means putting your phone on airplane mode and going to bed.
Most of all, take care of yourself. You alone cannot do everything to fix this heartbreaking mess. But you can do something.
It’s about doing those somethings, every day and every election.
On being the fun parent (sponsored by KiwiCo)
I want to be a fun parent - the one that’s not afraid to get messy or silly, who puts together fun activities. I want to be a present parent, with my phone far out of reach and my full focus on my children.
I’m not the kind of parent who’s skilled at brainstorming these activities, or having the foresight to scribble down or print directions.
But that’s why I love KiwiCo.
KiwiCo inspires kids to be makers with their crates, filled with fun projects that also expose them to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math). Koala Crates (ages 2-4) have simple projects that Rhaki absolutely loves, and Atlas Crate (ages 6-11) transports Rho and I to different parts of the world with engaging activities and conversations that last long after we finish a project.
Every weekend, I have 1:1 time with each kid to start or complete one of the activities from the box. Rho and I have built a foosball table and stitched a sloth while exploring Brazil. Rhaki and I transformed a backpack into a bear and built a fort over a mini-campfire to explore camping (very much on my terms).
KiwiCo has helped me be the mom I want to be, with spending quality time with my kids doing projects we both want to do and making it a joy. It’s why I always have a few extra KiwiCo boxes on hand, for rainy days and their friends’ birthday parties alike.
What I Read This Week
The Spanish Love Deception and The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas - did I get influenced by BookTok to read this? Yes. Do I regret it? Not one bit. The beginning of The Spanish Love Deception definitely had similar vibes to The Hating Game (which I loved so so much), but it evolved into its own story that I fell head over heels for. The same went with the sequel (which comes out later this year), and I do think I liked Experiment a little more. All in all, a wholly satisfying romance duo that has grit, heart, and the happy endings I love and crave so much.
Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen - another book I was influenced to read by friends who have great taste in books, and they were right. I read this twisting, witty dramedy in less than two days and was wistful about saying goodbye to Ava and Winnie when the book was finished. If you love a con and a peek into the lives of the absurdly wealthy, you’ll love this book.
The Fine Print and Terms and Conditions by Lauren Asher - imagine Walt Disney had 3 strapping grandsons who were poised to take over his company upon his death - but with conditions. Not to hit a certain revenue number or to reduce costs by a certain percentage, but to get married or to return to the park that has both beautiful and heartbreaking memories. I loved Asher’s Dirty Air series (inspired by F1), and this one gave me the comfort and lovey feelings that I seek in these books.
What Everyone Else Read This Week
You Made A Fool Of Death With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi - First off, you're going to see this book everywhere because this cover is absolutely stunning and it is one of the most anticipated releases of 2022. The book is about a young artist, Feyi Adekola, who is living through grief after the tragic, sudden death of her husband. She starts dating the perfect guy, and when he takes her home to meet his dad, a two-star Michelin chef, things get very complicated. This book explores the intersection of love and grief in all is complex, messy forms. There is a lot of use of "b**ch" as Feyi and her best friend Joy talk to each other, meant in a loving way. It is one of my most disliked words in the English language, and it was jarring the first few times on the page, and then I moved past it. I almost wish I had another 50-100 pages to see where these characters ended up. It's certainly not a perfect book, and yet, one that I recommend.
Just Like You by Nick Hornby - A novel about a single mom trying to figure out her love life - and ends up falling for someone younger. It's a sweet story, wrapped up with family drama and even some UK politics, but takes the same cadence as many Hornby novels - and would be a great movie!
Top #5SmartReads of the Week
Caution: Bummer summer ahead (Axios)
The Grandparents Are NOT Okay (Burnt Toast)
The rest of the week’s reads (and conversations!) are below:
Your Questions, Answered
Are you getting the Pfizer or Moderna vax for your little?
Just want to start this by saying both vaccine are great!
We decided to go to Pfizer. The longer time to full vaccination is something we feel comfortable taking because we live in a highly vaccinated area where people do choose to mask in public settings and we don’t have any travel plans this summer to necessitate the quicker full vaccination.
What’s your favorite kind of hot sauce? Is it Taco Bell’s Diablo?
I like a Diablo AND a Fire packet on every taco/burrito/Mexican Pizza.
If I’m doing chips and cheese, then it’s two Diablos in the cheese sauce.
Planning a trip to Philly with toddler, Any must see activities or restaurants?
Stay at The Logan Hotel
Have you watched The Summer I Turned Pretty because you’d love it!
Haven’t seen it yet! Too busy with Obi-Wan Kenobi, Strange New Worlds, and Housewives right now!
Anything positive to share about safety in NYC?
I’ve learned a lot from my friend Eliza Orlins, who’s a public defender and shows us what Justice COULD be and raises awareness about current actions our Justice department takes that are anything but just.
Current top 3 Broadway show reccomendations?
I need to cram in as many shows as possible before Broadway removes the mask requirement next month :(
Did you fly business with your boys when they were really young? Is this rude to do? lol
For cross-country or long haul flights, yes. Rho is a really great traveler and as long as I grab him cheese pizza before we board, he’s respectful and quiet and behaves appropriately. We’ve traveled with him since he was 6 weeks and he’s a great flier. Rhaki has only been on 4 flights, so we’ll do some more short flights to get him used to it before attempting a long-haul trip.
I recognize we are incredibly privileged to be able to afford this and I’m highly aware of it, but we also wouldn’t fly unless we had to and we knew the kids could behave properly.
What did you think of the Throne of Glass series? I feel like I missed your review of it!
I’m still making my way through book 1! I haven’t been in the mood for fantasy, but I’m hoping to jump back into it this week.
Broadway masks are being removed? Will aisle seats make a difference?
A bit, since you’ll only have one seat neighbor!
No matter what, I’m going to be masking for shows, movies, and flights from here on out.
Ready to help a tween pack for sleep away camp?
Only for your daughter Samantha!
Honestly I never went to sleep away camp so I have no clue, but Jenn Falik published this Amazon list on what to pack for your kid for sleepaway camp!
Take care of yourselves, and take action consistently. The time to fight is now.