Thursday, December 09, 2004


Was talking to Leisa this a.m. and also to her son Ryan who is almost 2 and a half. He's very chatty, very verbal and he can hold up his end of the conversation on the phone. He's apparently also really observant because he is delivering the message that Christmas is indeed here.

Sunday at the Hannakuh Happening at the JCC, he was having a Latke with his dad and he said, "Dad, you know he's coming to town."
"What Ryan?"
"He's coming to town!"
"Who is?"

From the back seat of the car on the way home from grandma's house, his 6-year old sister was snoring away in the back seat and his parents thought he was out too until they heard his little voice pipe up with, "Happy Holidays!"

Leisa wondered if he's read that on a sign, but being that he's two and hasn't quite mastered the whole reading thing I think most likely he picked it up from the parade last weekend. His Christmas filter hasn't kicked on yet and he's just taking it all in. Much like my neice Cady who enjoys the festive feeling of the holidays and doesn't get real caught up in the more consumer aspect. Last year when Santa asked her what she wanted for Christmas she thought about it and replied, "Nothing, I've got enough stuff."


Last week this guy that I know who is divorced from his crazy ex-wife got the scare of his life. The Crazy Ex took their 9 year old daughter to the doctor because her finger hurt. While there, the hypochondriachal ex-mother-in-law who'd come along told the doctor that the little girl was slurring her words and stumbling a lot and what did he think might be causing that? Now this little girl is a "tomboy," or one of those girls that you just know is going to grow up to appreciate the writings of Sappho, she likes to dress like a boy, and she has never been what you'd call graceful. It may be because her father is obsessively involved with her brother's baseball team and that she sees that being a boy is a great way to get attention from her dad. Her parents have never taught her manners, or set boundaries or limits on her behavior or what comes out of her mouth so she's always sounded like she was slurring to me. It's not anything that I would attribute to a medical condition. But this pediatrician, without benefit of a test result, or a thorough review of her records, and without any real knowledge of who this kid is, told the crazy ex and the hypochondriacal ex ML that he thought that the little girl might have a neuroblastoma.

Well, they took that ball and ran down the field with it, e.g. spent all of last weekend on the internet looking up information about this fairly rare form of cancer that is usually diagnosed in children quite early. It's a scary cancer that shows up as a tumor somewhere in the area of the spine or the heart, and when it's diagnosed in an older child or adult the survival rate is low. When I heard about this on Friday night my initial reaction was how irresponsible that doctor was to say such a thing. I'm a strong proponent of the "second opinion" and doctors like this guy are a big reason why.

The plan of action was to hospitalize this little girl on Monday for tests and if they were clear then she could go home. If they weren't then she would be immediately checked into St. Jude's. St. Jude's? That's the hospital for kids who are pretty much hopeless cases! The one that Danny Thomas and now Marlo Thomas do those shows for to raise money, that I cry when I watch because the stories are so sad. Why not go to a hospital that specializes in Neuroblastoma? Like Children's hospital?

Anyway - after a CT scan, multiple bloodtests, Ultrasound and a freaking Spinal Tap, you know what she has?

Do you?

Strep throat!

That infection that can be diagnosed with a cotton swab!!!


Speaking of kids who are gay, this morning I was watching MTV or VH1 while I was on the stairclimber doing my 30 minutes in hell and there was this show on called "My Coolest Years" so I flipped to it and was incredibly confused when everyone was talking about being gay in school. Turns out that there was an "in parentheses" part of that title which was (in the closet). And the stories were how it pretty much sucked. And one of the people who I thought was a boy because of the downy black moustache "he" was sporting, turned out to a be one of the girls in the band Le Tigre, a band I like quite a bit, although obviously I've never seen them because I pictured them to be like a Latina version of The Donnas. Anyway, it reminded me of the kids I went to school with who we all just knew were gay. Like Tony, a boy I knew from kindergarten all the way through high school. He was very small and very cute and I remember really clearly playing house with him on the jungle gym in kindergarten, he was really into decorating our jungle gym home with leaves and such. We pretended we were married because even though I sort of knew that he wasn't like the rest of the boys he was really really cute and he had an excellent sense of style. And when you have a very strong will and a shallow desire to be with the cutest guy, you can have a gay boyfriend. I really don't know why I was so shocked when, many years later, I discovered that Gary liked boys.

Then there was Vicky who was in brownies and girl scouts with me. Her mom was co-leader of the girl scout troop with my mom for a couple years. She was the one who would bring her various styrofoaom heads with the wiglets and hairpieces attached, along with a whole suitcase that was filled just with make up, on girl scout camp outs. She set them up in the tent. My mom used to bitch about the fact that by the time she had got herself together we were already washing our breakfast dishes in our ditty bags. Anyway, Vicky was a big girl, built like a linebacker, and she dressed like a boy. Her mom was divorced and man hungry and I always wondered if Vicky was trying to be the "man" in the family because she was such a dude. She always seemed separate from the rest of us even though we were a pretty inclusive group. It wasn't that she didn't want to belong it's more like she just didn't fit.

And that's what these people were saying on this show - that they never felt like they fit. And I think about this guy I know, who's little girl doesn't fit, and how he's so clueless about what's up with her that he allowed her to be put through a spinal tap to determine that she had strep throat.

And I think it's a REALLY good thing that homosexuality is no longer classified as a disease.
(Regardless of what the religious right thinks) because God knows what they'll do to her when she's trying to come out. Since she's got no communication skills I have the feeling it's going to be quite a performance. Hopefully she'll remember that spinal tap and just say what's really on her mind.

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