Am I Lori Loughlin?

It’s almost impossible at this point to not be aware of the college admissions scandal going on at USC, Yale, Wake Forest and a few other universities.  When the news first broke, I was shocked. I mean the Aunt Becky I knew would never be going to jail.    “Appalled”, “Disgusting”, “Selfish”, and “Entitled” are just some of the words being thrown around at drop off, the girl’s soccer practice, the gym, and anywhere else I find myself.  I didn’t hear a single person defend her. I mean defending her is not exactly possible. I did try to see and understand her point of view. I mean she’s a parent, she’s a mom.

There is this funny phenomenon that has happened {at least to me} in parenting, in where I found myself doing and saying things I never ever thought I would say or do.  My decision making process no longer includes things for myself, but for these three tiny people that I brought into the world. To say that I lose a grip on what is “fair” or “rational” in the midst of a decision that involves my children would be putting it mildly.  In the name of doing what “I think is best” for my children, I have now found that this includes many things that I would not have imagined prior to having kids or being in that scenario.

In all of our own small ways we “Lori Loughlin” our kids’ lives.  How many of us have given extra donations to our place of worship in an attempt to guarantee a spot for our child at the school or class? How many of us have put deposits down at the “best preschools” in an attempt to reserve spots to the detriment of other people who needed to secure a school more desperately than we did?   How many of us have sent gifts in an effort to influence teachers and principals to make sure our kids got the “good” teacher or “gifted” placing? How many of us have put our noses into making sure our kids got the “best” coach or got playing time? How many of us fight and scratch at each other to get the “most sought out” standardized test teacher? Plumped our kids’ resumes?  How many of use or plan to use “legacy” to get them into a prestigious high school or college? How many of us use the side doors available to us?

Where is the line? We are privileged.  We, as a society of privileged parents, create this culture that our kid must be and have the best.  It’s this unspoken philosophy of doing what it takes for our own children, sparing no expense.  Never stopping to think that the price of these decisions are not just monetary there is a social cost, and no one, myself included, likes to think about it that way.

Is this college admissions scandal too far? Absolutely. Should she and the other 33 parents, 9 coaches, and others be punished? Without hesitation, yes. 

The system has punished other parents for doing far less to help their children advance.   Here is the story of a mother, Kelley Williams-Bolar,  who was  arrested and sentenced to jail for 10 days plus 3 years probation on the charge of falsifying her address to get her daughters into a better school district.  Kelley was also sentenced to pay $30,000 in “back tuition” {for a public school}, for the education her children received.  Can you imagine? This woman just wanted to give her children the chance to receive a better education in another district. Perhaps that is where our disgust should be redirected. We are worrying about booking the most elite standardized test teacher, while other people are just trying to get their children something that we take for granted- a great education.  

Following these thoughts, I started to wonder, if I were put in the position to do what Lori did- would I? The truth is- I cannot know.   How could I know? As of right now, my husband did not create a clothing brand found in every Target across the universe, and I was not the famous aunt on a long running syndicated TV show that just got a reboot on Netflix.  It’s impossible to say that I would not have taken the same opportunity she did if all things were the same (all things defined as access and money, both limitless). I’d like to think I wouldn’t do it. I try to think that I would not cross the line and do something I know to be illegal. I would like to think I would let the cards fall where they may and have my kids attend colleges to which they earned admission, on their own merits.  I know most parents with similar access and money do not decide to cheat. I know a lot of parents stress hard work, work ethic, and determination. We definitely do that here in our house.

However, I return to how rational any person can be when making decisions about a child and his/her future.  When a person has the opportunity to do what she thinks is best for her child, and the means to accomplish it- she takes it. Every time. In whatever facets of life that means to her.  

Perhaps this is the reality check we all needed.  To start being more mindful about how we are parenting.  More considerate of others as we make decisions.  Maybe this allows us to see more clearly the chasm-like disparity in opportunity and fairness in our society that we already knew existed.  Maybe, we can start to wonder what we can do to change it.

 

SW 36: Have Mercy {3.19.19}

SW 36: Have Mercy {3.19.19}

 Becoming That Mom 

Becoming a mom is a funny thing.  I always wanted to be a mom.  I had ideas about what my career would be, but I knew without a doubt that I was going to be a mom.  I also knew without a doubt that I would be the best mom, obviously.  I had the entire mom thing planned out and down to a science.  I was going to ROCK and it was going to be so easy.

I was going to have three kids, all boys.  I was never going to have a minivan.  I was never going to feed my babies store bought food.  I was going to always have my kids well dressed.  I was always going to be patient and understanding.  I was never going to be the mom who yelled.  I was never going to be the mom whose child was screaming at a restaurant or had a tantrum at the market.

You get where I am going here….  In my 20 something naive mind- besides not being able to control the gender of your child you are also definitely not able to control what kind of mom you become. Also I practically begged my husband for a minivan- and almost exclusively bought store bought food.


In the latest installment of “the mom I thought I would never become”- my daughter joined a traveling soccer team.

I’m two years in, and have started to notice a common thread in all of her videos when I watch them back.  It’s my voice.  It’s my voice yelling.  It’s my voice yelling A LOT.  I am not only “that” mom- I am THAT MOM.

But I love it {another surprise}.  My daughter wishes I would take it down about 15 notches, but one day when she has a kid of her own she will know- it isn’t possible.  There is no bringing it down notches.

However I was humbled this weekend.  As I was filming her shoot a penalty kick, I got a little too excited and I completely fell face first.  In being nothing if not open and authentic, I just posted it on my Instagram.  Enjoy!

xx
Cristina

Aunt Becky- Have Mercy!


The ongoing college admissions scandal, for those who still don’t know, involves the arrest of 50 people total including Lori Loughlin, her husband Mossimo Giannulli, Felicity Huffman, 33 other parents,  9 coaches, and other administrators and test takers across the country.  William Singer- the ringleader would take money from parents across the nation to sneak their kids in through the “side door” of universities. Since 2011 Singer has reportedly earned $25 Million running the scheme.

For those wondering who else besides Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman are involved HERE is an article filing you in on who else has been arrested in this fraud.

The jokes are rampant, the memes are amazing:

*if you do not understand this meme go watch Netflix FYRE Documentary- I mean what else have you been doing?

Other celebrities are jumping in and taking some jabs:

But these parents have one major defender in their corner.  Meet “Billa” otherwise known as Malcom Abbot, whose father and mother have been charged for paying Singer (the standardized test taker) to help one of their daughters get into college.  Billa, very proudly defended his parents before promoting his upcoming album “Cheese and Crackers”.  I can’t make this shit up.  Read the whole articleHERE.

In the end, Operation Varsity Blues, as it was called by the FBI was worked on for about 10 months, used over 200 agents across 6 states.

This article gives an excellent breakdown. Click HERE and The New York Times has a great break down HERE.

My Internet Rabbit Hole 

Pete Davidson has gotten himself into a pickle again.  He compared being a Catholic to being an R. Kelly fan on SNL Weekend Update, and the Catholic Church is not having it.  Growing up a Catholic, I have to just chime in and say to the Catholic Church- REALLY?! I know no one wants to be in the same category as R. Kelly BUT you may just have to take that jab on the chin and keep looking down.

Either way something tells me, these days, he does NOT care at all about what most people think about him… (I only posted this picture because Antoni gives me life). Find the article HERE

I’m Burning Up.  I realize I am a 35 year old adult, but is it just me or is that new Jonas Brothers Song, “Sucker” catchy AF?  I don’t know why I felt any shame- I’m going to just say it right now I’m a Jonas Fan #takethat, I just can’t stop listening and you won’t be able to either.  Check it out HERE

*** But if you want to jump into a serious Jonas Rabbit Hole
HERE they are are on Spill Your Guts/Fill Your Guts on James Corden and HERE is Carpool Karaoke

My New Favorite Instagram Follow! Pivot! Pivot! Courtney Cox just joined Instagram and is quickly becoming my favorite follow.  I’m a nostalgic fool when it comes to Friends, and her references are OH MY GOD.  Check out her page HERE.

A Whole New Aladdin.  The new live action Aladdin was not going to be good.  I was convinced.  How could it possibly be good, when Will Smith looks like that? I was so wrong, because if the movie is anything like the trailer- I may actually make it through one of these movies without having taken a mini nap or 4. Check it out HERE.

TV Addict Update  

As we have established, time and time again, I watch too much TV.

What’s on my list to watch next? Velvet- have you seen it? Is Don Alberto everything I have heard he is?
Have a suggestion? Let me know

Lots to discuss today!
GOT: April 14! Guys we 26 are days away.  Are we even ready for the final 6 episodes? Is there any prep we should all be doing? People are rewatching the entire series? Should I be doing that? Are you doing that? Other people are telling me about all these GOT Podcasts (HERE is a solid top 5 list). For those who haven’t seen it check out the trailer HERE:

Pen 15: (Hulu) I LOVE this show! The episodes are 25 minutes and it is a hilarious take on two nerdy girls trying to survive 7th grade in the year 2000- I’m talking landlines and hand written notes. Check out the trailer HERE.

Billions: (Showtime) Season 4 just premiered on Showtime this past Sunday. If you aren’t caught up- it’s on my must watch for sure.  Love me some Nick Brody mixed with Paul Giammatti and Tara Knowles for good measure.  If you need help with these references I am happy to give you a course in useless TV knowledge.

Queer Eye: (Netflix) Season 3 of of the Fab 5 is back and I’ve only ugly cried through 2 episodes out of 4 so far.  These 5 men bring so much joy everywhere there go.  After Leaving Neverland and all the other darkness I’ve been catching- this show is a breath of much needed fresh air and love.

Paradoxical
seemingly absurd or self-contradictory.

Stephen Colbert tries to guess how GOT ends and John Snow has a cold dead heart doesn’t even give us an inch.
In case you needed more evidence that British people are far and away more polite than Americans- check out David Beckham keeping his cool during this prank.