To My Baby Girl: I’m So Sorry

As I start typing this, my unborn baby girl is squirming around in my belly. She’s been keeping me up many nights for weeks and weeks. But now, it’s 3:39 a.m. on Wednesday, November 9 and I’m awake because of the election. I’ve been watching coverage since approximately 5:30. The roller coaster of emotions I’ve experienced since then—no doubt amplified by my pregnancy hormones—has left me mentally exhausted but incapable of sleep.

My mind and heart are racing with mixed feelings:

I’m incredibly sad.

I’m angry.

I’m bitter.

I’m dumbfounded.

I’m afraid.

I feel guilty because the things my body is feeling, she’s experiencing too. She’s not even here yet and already she’s suffering because of a country that is okay with bigotry of all forms. Because of a country that already doesn’t respect her—a female, a Latina.

I voted early on Friday. I’m blessed to have a job with flex (we call it “play”) time on Fridays. I had an awesome lunch with a group of friends, then I went to cast my vote. It was emotional. I was in the booth for probably 10-15 minutes taking in Hillary Clinton’s name on my ballot. Nope, she ain’t perfect (neither am I). But she is the right candidate for the job. I was so happy to get my sticker, to take a selfie, to post it to instagram and share my experience.

I was even happier to get dressed Tuesday morning in my patriotic maxi dress. To tape my My Vote My Voice sticker to my belly. To take silly pictures with my coworkers, showing our excitement for election day. And finally, for all of this to be over.

smallbox-election

Why did I tape my sticker to myself instead of wearing it like a normal person?

I was saving it—for myself, but for her too. I was looking forward to buying a newspaper on Wednesday morning and attaching me and my husband’s stickers to it—to show her one day in the future that she was born in a historic year, in a historic month; the year and month when we elected the first woman president. And that her parents helped make it happen.

I was so confident. Yes, there was fear deep in my heart but my hope and faith in my countrymen was so real. There was no way that this giant, diverse, incredible nation would elect an unstable, racist, sexist man with no relevant experience.

But I was wrong. And now it’s over.

At this point, all I (and you) can do is accept the outcome. Accept it and strive to be better, to be more tolerant, to love harder, to do our part to change the outcome in four years. And most importantly, pray that Donald Trump embraces humility and those of us who are not like him; pray that his campaign has been sensational rhetoric that he will now renege on.

The election is over and it’s time to move forward. I’m just so sorry my girl will be born into these circumstances.

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#ThinkKit 15: Number — Seeing Double

This entry was originally posted on smallbox.com.

Last year was my first full year back in Indiana, and it was a year filled with firsts. As it happened, my 2014 panned out in twos.

Anniversary

Joe and Teresa's anniversary.
We celebrated two years of marriage! We spent this one in town, enjoyed a lovely dinner, and probably watched Monday Night Football.

Judy

Judy Tatum
I’m becoming a cat lady, and that’s okay with me. For my 25th birthday, my husband took me to the Humane Society to pick out our second pet. I named her Judy (two nicknames include Jude and Purr Machine). She’s super loving, and sits on the edge of the tub while I shower. Also worth mentioning: Louie, our other cat, turned two.

Vacation

Fira, Santorini, Greece
Joe and I went on two vacations together this year. In June, the Tatum family journeyed to the Smoky Mountains (where my brother-in-law and I saw five bears!). In October, the two of us took to Greece for two weeks. There, we spent time on the mainland and ventured to two islands.

I hope next year is a year of threes—all Greece, please.

This post is part of Think Kit by SmallBox.
Today’s prompt: Was there a significant number in your year?

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#ThinkKit 14: Discovery – St. Monica Catholic Church

I’ve been a Spanish Mass-goer my entire life, and I still really prefer it. The readings just sound more powerful and eloquent. The songs and hymns are so much more welcoming, less intimidating than they are in English Mass—where the choir always sounds dang-near opera-like. There’s something so emotional about an entire congregation singing together, talent be darned!

But my Spanish skills just aren’t what they used to be (when my grandmother was still alive). I have to follow the readings in the bilingual book, and usually only catch the major themes of the homily (these aren’t translated on paper). I don’t feel comfortable volunteering for anything or going to events because of my language barrier slash general shyness. And I for sure don’t want to do any lectoring, lest my Chicana accent give me away! Plus, my yearning to be an active member of a parish community only continues to grow stronger.

So, early this year, I started researching other parishes around the city.

This was a huge for me. I’ve always gone to church with my family, St. Patrick in Fountain Square being our home the last few years. Joe and I got married there, and I went to Mass there most Sundays with my mom and stepfather.

We were married @ St Patrick, Indianapolis
September 29, 2012. St. Patrick Catholic Church, Fountain Square, Indianapolis.

I visited websites for most of the central Indy parishes, and St. Monica’s really stood out compared to all the others (hey—give me a break, I work in digital marketing, aight? but rly, if there’s a company out there that does church websites, they really need to tap into the archdiocese of Indianapolis). Plus, it’s only 10 minutes away from home.

I went to an English service that weekend And You Won’t Believe What I Saw. Call me simple, but I was blown away when I saw white people, black people, Africans (at least that’s what their beautiful, elaborate dress made me infer), Latinos and Asians all filing in. What?!?! I’d never seen anything like it in my entire life.

I knew then that it was the parish I needed to be a part of.

Fast-forward months later, and I still haven’t signed up to become a member. I’ve checked out one other parish and I’ve gone to St. Patrick with my mom and step-dad a couple of times, but St. Monica has been my regular house of worship.

I’m not sure what’s holding me back, but something is. I haven’t attended the Spanish Mass at St. Monica yet; maybe that’ll help me take the final step.

This post is part of Think Kit by SmallBox.
Today’s prompt: What did you discover this year?

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#ThinkKit 13: Put Down Your Blog – Tannenbaum

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This post is part of Think Kit by SmallBox.
Today’s prompt: Write something by hand.

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#ThinkKit 12: Lifeline – Make It So

What piece of life-changing technology do I need in my life? Duh! The Floo Network.


This post is part of Think Kit by SmallBox.
Today’s prompt: Lifeline – What one technology do you hope becomes a reality in 2015?

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