I Wasn’t Born in America But…

by Ilinap on July 4, 2015


I wasn’t born in the USA but I do love Bruce Springsteen.

I wasn’t born in America but I was raised an American.

I wasn’t born in America, but my sons are first generation American.

I wasn’t born in America but I proudly have an American passport.

I wasn’t born in America but I vote in every election big small since my citizenship grants me that right, privilege, and duty.

I wasn’t born in America, but that doesn’t make me less of a citizen.

I wasn’t born in America, but I am American girl.

I wasn’t born in America, but I believe in the fundamental tenets of liberty and justice for ALL.

Happy Independence Day, America!




I cannot get through the first sentence of that gorgeous piece of writing without crying. I was in the midst of 100 bicycle crunches while watching TV with my 10-year old son this morning when the screech of breaking news punctuated the airwaves. After waking up to news of the horror in France this morning, I quickly reached for the remote control, ready to turn off the television. My heart drummed a panicked beat. We had just spoken of the horror in Charleston, and I wasn’t ready or equipped to talk about the massacres in France as well.

Instead my heart somersaulted in joy as SCOTUS finally legalized marriage for all. Justice, liberty, equality…FOR ALL. I wept. I screamed. I turned up the volume and cheered. I exclaimed to my young son that we were watching history unfold and that he would not know an adulthood without marriage equality. He smiled and then laughed, asking with a crooked toothed grin, “Even in North Carolina, Mommy? Amendment One is finally gone?” “YES!” I exclaimed. And we watched the news wrapped in awe and delight.

We just returned from a month abroad in India and Portugal. I have many stories but few words. I was gleefully out of touch while we traveled. I returned home to news of the pool party in Texas, the Charleston shooting, and more gun related deaths and accidents than I can recount. It was all too much to come home to. I’ve been slow to dive back in. I needed the fuel of today’s good news.

I’m not going to let the haters get to me this time. Bigotry is on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of humanity.

Gay marriage does not threaten my marriage. That notion is just nonsense. In fact, those beautiful words have made me look my own marriage with a renewed sense of appreciation. Mac Daddy and I just celebrated 15 years of marriage in March. Like many couples, we fall into the rut of routine. There are rocky roads, and sometimes our paths don’t cross. We don’t bask in the same newlywed glow. But I love my husband. I love our friendship and partnership. He is my biggest fan and most supportive cheerleader. He sees in me what I fail to see in myself. Reading those words of Justice Kennedy have made me appreciate my marriage and my husband all the more. “Two people become something greater than they once were.” Indeed.


All My Son Wants for His 10th Birthday is to Support Education for Girls

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We’ve just returned from an extended trip to India. I hadn’t been back in 20 years, and this marked my husband and sons’ first trip there. It was a momentous experience, one that I have yet to capture in a manner that is comprehensive or cohesive. I’m working on it. It’s quite a chunk to […]

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As the short-sighted GOP legislators in North Carolina continue to dismantle public education and undervalue teachers, I carry on my fight to advocate for public schools. I spend a lot of time in schools and with kids. Volunteering in my son’s classroom is the highlight of my week. You might say that my week leaves […]

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Farewell Phineas and Ferb

June 12, 2015

  Phineas and Ferb are going on a permanent summer vacation. I am sad to see this duo go. Phineas and Ferb have been an almost daily laugh fest at our house since Bird and Deal were little. It’s the first kid show that left me laughing instead of groaning. We all imitate Candace, and […]

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What Matters to Kids Today

May 11, 2015

My laugh lines deepen every week. I know I’m in for a spiritual facelift when I spend time in my son’s fourth grade class. I help the students with writing, and as with everything that centers around children, they teach me more than I teach them. These students are astute, insightful, and curious. They pose […]

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(More) Gun Safety Shenanigans in the State House

May 4, 2015

  Have we become inured to or outraged by the daily reports of children killed by guns left unattended by adults? “Overall, the C.D.C. numbers indicate that gun deaths are trending somewhat upward as motor vehicle deaths continue on a steady decline, thanks in large measure to serious government safety regulation aimed at reducing fatalities […]

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Lemon Mint G & T – 5:00 Fridays TM

May 1, 2015

I have what you might call an accidental garden. When we renovated this house we had no idea what was going to sprout in the yard. It turns out that much of what we thought were weeds are actually coveted bushes. We had dug up some stuff that hadn’t reached its prime bloom, unbeknownst to […]

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Advocate2Vaccinate During World Immunization Week

April 29, 2015

Don’t google images of children with polio. Consider this a warning. You just googled “children with polio,” didn’t you? It’s hard to imagine life before the polio vaccine. My father in law had polio as a child. Most of people in the women’s groups I speak to have lost a sibling or family member to […]

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April 28, 2015

Unlike the board game, the game of Life doesn’t have all its spaces neatly squared away in order. The natural order of things sometimes goes awry. Through our teens and 20s we see our friends through milestones. There are graduations and degrees and marriages and births. The air bursts in a celebratory dance. We walk […]

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