She's a Real Mother

Mutha's got eyes in the back of her head.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

God, Sex, and/or Quarterbacks

It is difficult to live in Massachusetts and despise the quarterback of the New England Patriots. To say a word against Tom Brady during the historic winning streak this year was to chance backlash from the sweetest of folks.

TOM BRADY?? What could anyone have against Tom Brady??

You'd think he was the baby Jesus!

Well, he bugs the crap out of me -- the kind of jock who was the opposite of my black-clad, pot-smoke-smellin-self in high school. Sure there's other stuff: he left a pregnant girlfriend to date a super model, he routinely wears a Yankee cap -- but it really all comes down to the "My shit don't smell" factor. So shoot me -- not only did I speak against this christ-child-wanna-be -- I also refused to buy my seven-year-old a Tom Brady poster. I told him that he could buy one with his own nickels and dimes -- but that I didn't want to spend money on any picture of the yutz.

Now I understand my son wanting it -- and even being ticked-off when I wouldn't buy it, but that is nothing compared to the number of adults who have been shocked by my actions.

One friend told me I was a control freak -- and that I better get ready for parenting through a very rough adolescence.

One told me I shouldn't impose my own taste on something that was to go in my son's room.

One told me I was the meanest mommy (okay, that was my son.)

My response was that beside the fact that I really DON'T have to buy something for my child just because he wants it -- I am not raising my children in some opinion-free zone! They are encouraged to share how they feel about stuff -- and I do the same. When did it become popular to believe that parents should not let their kids know their personal opinion for fear that they will stunt their intellect or the sanctity of their childhood. What if it were porn? Would I be obligated to buy that for my son because he wanted it?

Now, don't get me wrong. My son knows this household is still free to be you and me. You can like Tom Brady. You can invite him to your birthday party. AND you can buy his poster with the money you squeezed out of raking the leaves last fall. Make those choices: today it is which athlete you like, later on it will be which kid you think it hot, or what church you want to join. God, sex, and/or quarterbacks -- we all can weigh in on our own, and everyone is entitled to their opinion.

So, what did my son learn? He decided to become a pollster. Mom thinks Brady is a jerk (check)and would not spring for the poster. Dad likes Brady just fine (check) and made sure a little boy version of the quarterback's jersey was underneath the tree on Chistmas morning.

Monday, March 17, 2008

What You Know If You're Irish For Real

On this Saint Patrick's Day, I am reminded of my connections to the fair isle. Having not yet made it to Ireland myself, I rely on my mother's connection to the place and a few friends who grew up there. And then there is the fact that I live in Massachusetts, which somehow makes you Irish-by-association. But with all those factors considered, my very favorite story about Ireland involves my friend Kerry and a ditzy Irish-wanna-be girl.

Kerry was raised in Ireland and came over to Boston during the big wave of visa-waving young adults who fled their homeland in the mid-80's. He has since come to own several very successful Irish bars -- and looks as if he had to brawl for every single dollar. Kerry is not tall, but is strong, has jet black hair, ice-blue eyes, a nose that's cleary been broken several times, and a scar that runs the length of his cheek. Let's just say -- from the look of him, you'd never try and stiff him on a tab. But the other thing to know about him is he's a big mush when it comes to his wife, kids, and friends -- and that he has a very quick wit that waits for no one.

Once at a party I was standing beside him when a ditzy, chatty woman started talking to Kerry simply because he had a brogue. Kerry has pointed out to me before that a brogue helps if you're running a bar in Boston, but everywhere else it can be a pain in the ass because, as he said, "You're either seen as the ambassador to Air Lingus or people are after your Lucky Charms." Plus, in this case, we were kinda drunk. And so, when this woman approached him grinning from ear to ear opening the conversation with a too-excited, "Are you from Ireland??" Kevin just sighed and nodded.

"Ohhhhh I love Ireland," she gushed. "We went last year and I just loved everything about it! The landscape is so beautiful and the people are so friendly! I want to live there!" and then finally stopped and took a breath, gazing at Kerry dreamily and then wondered aloud, "Why would you ever leave?"

Kerry took a deep drink of his beer, leaned forward, looked the ditzy chick in the eye and said in his deepest brogue, "Because it fookin sooks."

Yes, the moral of my story is that Ireland sucks. Kerry's message to us all is that he could have stayed in Ireland and been a "fookin bootcha" as his butcher-father and grandfather before him -- or he could have got the hell out and been rich in America.

Somewhere along the way he learned how to pour a great pint of Guinness and what else do you want on this day of pride in one's heritage? God bless and may you be in heaven an hour before the devil knows you're dead.