July 23 12

I have been unplugging quite an awful lot on weekends.

It’s good for the kids, it’s good for our family, it’s good for me.

We are filling our summer with so much. I was going to actually, you know, finish that sentence there, but the so much pretty accurately sums it up. This weekend alone, I had a Menchie’s date with Josh and Isabella. I had sushi with some lovely ladies. We went out to dinner with friends. I wore three necklaces, because I am super bad at making hard decisions. We had an afternoon at friends, complete with several dozen children competing in at-home Olympic games. (Surprise: I didn’t win.) I bought three dresses at anthropologie. I had a wonderful shabbat lunch at my bestie’s house. The kids swam. The kids biked. The kids trampolined. We finished our really creepy 1,500 piece gnome puzzle.

We got the first coat of paint up in Emily’s new grey room (surprise!)—of course when I say ‘WE’ what I really, actually mean is that @gavmartell is painting the room and I am walking back and forth questioning missed spots, questioning why the paint smells so bad, and questioning the musical choices (I mean..Drake? Really?) I’m an excellent assistant. You could probably compare my assistant skills to my shotgun seat during road trips. Probably. It’s impossible to know at which task I excel more at.

I edited hundreds and hundreds of my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah photos.

My children threw a street party.

No really, they did. They planned it all, even down to the bags of chips, the hula hoops, and the chalk stations.

The turnout was only sort of, kind of, mildly successful, but it didn’t matter. They are still smiling today.

So, these things. They are good.

Great.

Because there were a looooot of things that were less than good, less than great on the internet this weekend.

Don’t get me wrong. Some things were fabulous. Like, say, the fact that my 5 Easy Ways to Knot a Belt post has been repinned 1,209 times on Pinterest. I KNOW. 

But then there was a post on circumcision that I made the mistake of leaving a light-hearted comment on. It’s not a secret. I am Jewish. My son had a bris eight days after he was born. I make not a single apology for it. I am not saying it’s right for YOU, but I am saying that it’s right FOR ME AND FOR MY FAMILY. The response was a little, um, unexpected: congratulations on sexually torturing and mutilating a helpless infant, you barbaric ass. Fuck you. Since this isn’t my first rodeo (I have been doing this, putting myself out there online for, um, over eight years.) I know not to even give people who spew hateful words the satisfaction of a response (as hard as it might be) especially since no amount of name-calling is going to a) bring back a foreskin (It won’t!) or b) make me regret my decision (I don’t! Not for a second!) I didn’t suggest that what I do is right and what others do is wrong. I was simply telling the lovely author of the post that my son, too, is circumcised. I wasn’t asking anyone to agree with me. I wasn’t asking for advice, for judgement, for anything. And yet. Here we are. judgement.

Which brings me to that second little thing that went down on the internet.

Early Friday morning, I was so shocked, saddened, HEARTSICK by what had happened in Aurora the night before.

By late Friday morning, I was so shocked, saddened, and heartsick to see the status updates and tweets that were flying by in my feeds. Questions, comments, judgements about the ages of children at the movie. REALLY? Really? THAT’S what people were choosing to focus their energy on? Seems to me those people had their priorities in a wee bit of the wrong place.

So this happened. Because it couldn’t not happen.

And then—thankfully—there were posts written that supported my thoughts exactly.

AND THEN there were some posts and tweets and status updates written that were still questioning, still asking, still wondering, about parenting decisions.

Still judging. 

So I made a little parenting decision of my own—you are free to judge it if you like.

I shut my laptop.

And we had ourselves a hula weekend.

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  1. Exactly.

    Comment by Laura on July 23, 2012
  2. I had a co-worker judging parents the same way (baby at the theater) and i said the exact same thing to him. I judge the man who brought the gun and killed/injured people. No one else!

    Congrats to your kids on the street party. That is awesome and I may use it as inspiration for my kids to do something similar while I am on holidays in the next few weeks!

    Comment by Chantal on July 23, 2012
  3. Love this post. Laughed. Smiled. Laughed some more. Love Hula. Love the pics. Love you. I may just be your #1, not including @gavmartell.

    Cheri replied on

    that was supposed to say #1 fan…best editor award, please. I’ll accept this at any street party, thanks.

    Comment by Cheri on July 23, 2012
  4. We only can control HOW we process judgement, so, keep your chin and ROCK ON, darling!

    Comment by Rae Ann on July 23, 2012
  5. I’m glad you didn’t link to that circumcision post because I would be tempted to go call out that vile person who left that reply to you.

    Comment by Avitable on July 23, 2012
  6. Sigh. SIIIIIIIIIIIGH.

    Comment by Heather on July 23, 2012
  7. I completely agree. No judgement here.

    I read the circumcision post and your comment and the others- incidentally my sons are not circumcised and I had no desire to spew hatred all over everyone else. Good grief people- REALLY?? I don’t get it.

    And then I read the parenting judgements about the theatre victims and again thought REALLY?? It baffles me why we feel the need to be so harsh.

    I’m not saying we all have to agree. By all means RESPECTFULLY disagree. Kindly and compassionately state your differing opinions if you feel compelled to. But not in the wake of tragedy. And being a troll is just never ok.

    So cheers on having a hula weekend.

    And I love your daughters skirt- that is so something MY daughter would wear every. single. day. :)

    Comment by Tarasview on July 23, 2012
  8. Twenty years ago in August, I met and fell in love with a man that was not my parents’ religion. I was judged by my entire family, all my friends-hell the entire TOWN I grew up in. See, he wasn’t a church goer and I was raised Pentecostal.

    I was judged. Harshly. Lost my family, all my friends, and everyone I grew up with. So, I know what it’s like to be on the end of the judgment stick, and I try very hard to never wield it. Ever.

    My son is circumcised, too. Not because I’m Jewish, but because I was asked if I wanted it, I was 24 and didn’t know better, and said yes. Nobody is scarred or upset. My son doesn’t care. He’s 16 and perfectly healthy. If people want to judge, go ahead. At this point, I really don’t care. Period.

    Comment by Scatteredmom on July 23, 2012
  9. Ali –

    Great post.

    Deep breath now: I admit it. When the news flashed across my TV screen that one of the Aurora shooting victims was a 3 month old and another was 6, I DID wonder what they were doing at a midnight showing of what has been described all around as a pretty violent movie. Yes. I did wonder. Not in a “wow, those parents are idiots” kind of way. More like: ‘crap, that shouldn’t have happened’ kind of way Then I read some tweets and realized that I was doing the very thing that I have always railed against (I was a criminology major and my senior project was in victim studies): I blamed the victim. Or rather, I blamed the victim’s parents.

    For half a second.

    But it’s like when you say something vile to someone you love: it’s out there, and you can’t take it back.

    But you can be sorry. And I am. Posts like yours maker realize that I am living far too much in my own head, with too little consideration for the world around me.

    Thanks Ali.

    C

    Comment by Chantal on July 24, 2012
  10. I love your daughter’s skirt – she is so cute!

    I agree with your posts, pretty much all of the time, I don’t comment much but had to say how cute the tutu is.

    I’m not Jewish but my boys are circumcised too, and I don’t regret it either.

    alimartell replied on

    Aw thanks.

    We can rarely get her to wear anything else. heh.

    Comment by Maria on July 24, 2012
  11. bEAUTIFUL

    Comment by Jazreen on July 24, 2012
  12. Those shoes & that skirt…I die! Love it!

    Comment by Corey on July 25, 2012
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