Sunday, May 17, 2015

Dear Columbia

Dear Columbia,

I love you. I love this weekend. Every 2nd weekend of May, Maryland celebrates Preakness and Wine in the Woods. I like the horses but I'm not that keen on the infield at Pimlico.

So I spend it at Wine in the Woods in my front yard. Sometimes, it rains, but even in the rain, the canopy of the woods is somewhat protective.

Today, Luke & Lil & I enjoyed sharing the plan for the Chrysalis groundbreaking this year. And so many people were excited to hear that this area would be an Arts Park.

Thank you Columbia for your excitement!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Shopping trip

I will admit, given the date of this blog, I have a tween.

She is a dancer. She likes wearing clothes that are not confining. For a performance, yes. She'll do what's necessary.

In real life, she prefers comfy clothes. Yoga pants, leggings, no buttons, easygoing arms...

Today, I went shopping for some summer clothes for Lil.

Do you know how hard that is? I'm not talking about Lil's requirements. I'm talking about the Howard County school system dress code. My friend Julia has discussed it over at as she's been dealing with the dress code for her daughter.

All of the stores are stocking tank tops for girls. It was hard to find t-shirts. Lil doesn't wear sweaters so how is she going to cover up her shoulders? Why the heck does she need to?

I had a discussion with an executive once at a firm I worked for regarding whether we were really in need of business casual dress versus business suits. I think I responded about the heat on my western window desk and that I didn't have any client interaction.

I cannot equate performance with clothing. I can equate perception with clothing. I've never been a big fan of Nikki Minaj, but this article completely changed my perception of her.

When you're in school, playing on the basketball court, running around, wearing sneakers and comfy clothes seems pretty reasonable. In a boardroom, wearing a suit seems reasonable.  But wearing a sleeveless dress is not offensive.

Wearing a three-piece suit in August in Washington, though, does seem questionable. A tank top in school for a 10 year old does not.

Friday, May 1, 2015

It's about the kids

Last week, I attended a panel discussion on women's issues hosted by the Howard County Commission on Women and the League of Women Voters. After the panel finished discussing their personal experiences and perspectives, we broke into smaller discussion groups. I participated in the Employment and the Government/Public Service groups.

Why am I thinking about that right now, you may ask.

Because my friend posted a picture of her son protesting in Baltimore City with her.

The two of us both have tweens that are only children. As such, they get dragged along to a lot of our community activities...Campaigning, political meetings, food banks and protests, etc.

On Saturday, we were talking about how we can increase female involvement in public service. One way, our group decided, is to say sometimes it's OK if kids attend these types of activities. I made Lil sit through a Planning Board meeting last fall about Inner Arbor because I needed to testify. Yes, she had some homework and electronics when she finished her book.

Civics is a very abstract thing for kids. But I try to demonstrate that I, an average citizen, have the right to speak, and that I, as a Stay-at-Home mom, have the ability to speak. Believe me, she gets bored sometimes, but in the car afterwards, she always has a takeaway. 

Today, she worked at a food bank in Sandtown with me and my friend. She saw a diverse group of people working for their city. Delegates, college kids, faith leaders, friends and strangers, just coming together to help a beleaguered community. My friend and I share the belief that kids can play a part in that.

Civic engagement can be learned at any age.