Sometimes life can be glorious. With all the depressing things our country has endured over the last few months, It’s hard not to get choked up with joy over the outpouring of good news that’s taken place over these past 2 weeks. Obamacare becomes the law of the land. The long overdue removal of the confederate flag, and drum roll please…the Supreme Court declares same-sex couples the right to marry in all 50 states.
I’m grateful that my LGBT friends and family are finally recognized by our country as the loving families and couples that they’ve always been.
I’m grateful that my son will feel free to choose love not based on what the government says, but what his heart says.
President Obama said it best, “Sometimes there are days like this, when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt”.
Tonight we celebrate what makes this country great with a sky full off thunderbolts. Happy 4th of July! – Jill Topol
Since our latest “T-Shirt of the Week” is a Keith Haring tee, I thought it was only fitting to repost this tribute I wrote 2 years ago dedicated to one of my all-time favorite artists. xo, Jilly
Back in my high school days, I was a funky new wave chick with a mad passion for art, music and fashion. To paint a clearer picture, I would have been the perfect casting choice for “the best friend” of Molly Ringwald & Duckie in the movie “Pretty in Pink”.
I remember wearing my Keith Haring pins on my denim jacket, and a limited edition Keith Haring Swatch Watch that I got as a birthday present from my grandma. I literally wore that watch everyday until it fell apart. Pop art always had a special place in my heart. The bright colors and whimsical attitude just seemed to fit in perfectly with my lifestyle. Andy Warhol was the master and Roy Lichtenstein was a genius, but growing up in the 80’s nobody could come close to Keith Haring. He was the Andy Warhol of my generation.
Throughout his career, Haring devoted much of his time to public works of art including hundreds of white chalk drawings in subway stations and painted murals throughout New York City. He also collaborated on numerous projects with the likes of Madonna, Grace Jones, Yoko Ono and his own mentor Andy Warhol. Though his images had a childlike quality, the messages behind them were anything but. They were deep and relevant to modern day issues. Touching on subjects as serious as drug abuse and AIDS.
Sadly, Haring died way too young of AIDS related complications at 31. His legacy will forever be immortalized through his art.
Last weekend I went with my husband and Max to see the Keith Haring exhibition at The Brooklyn Museum. The exhibit chronicles Haring’s earlier work in NYC including personal sketchbooks and preserved subway chalk drawings. It was amazing to see in person stuff I had only previously seen in books. Plus it was great to watch Max’s reactions to some of the art. Even when he pointed to one painting and started to shout “I see a penis! I see a penis!” In his defense, he did! Plus I’m pretty sure Keith Haring would have been okay with it. – Jill Topol
Keith Haring: 1978-1982
March 16 through July 8, 2012
Keith Haring 1958-1990 My High School Swatch Watch
Posing with Brooke Shields 1986
“Crack is Wack” 1986 Handball Court Murals on Harlem River Drive and East 128th Street, NYC
Untitled, 1981 Enamel on fiberboard
Down in the Subway
The exact moment Max realized Keith Haring was cooler than Justin Bieber
SOME COOL KEITH HARING ITEMS YOU CAN PURCHASE:
Keith Haring Rocker $260.00 www.openingceremony.us
Keith Haring Bumpkins Superbib 3 Pack $19.95 www.diapers.com
Keith Haring IPad Case $64.00 www.patriciafield.com
My son Max is the most confident person I’ve ever met in my life. This year for his school Halloween party he went as Draculaura from Monster High. Choosing to dress as a female character is nothing new for him. At only 7 years old he’s already gone in costume as Princess Leia and Padmé Amidala from Star Wars, Clawdeen Wolf from Monster High and Catwoman. When he was younger he wasn’t the least bit concerned what his peers might think of his “girlie” choices, but as he’s getting older he’s starting to worry.
Kids (and some adults) can be so cruel and it’s finally starting to take a toll on him. A boy in a “girls” costume makes him an easy mark for bullies, and great gossip for the mommies. I know that I’m “feeding him to the wolves” when I let him go to a school function dressed as the opposite sex, but what’s my other option? Tell him he can’t be who he is because some dipshit little kids and their parents feel awkward around my son. Not gonna happen on my watch. Not while I’m his mommy.
Needless to say he ended up having a blast at the Halloween party. Max’s friends and their parents are amazing and have always accepted him with open arms, no matter how sparkly and fabulous he is. Yes, there were a few stares and whispers (mostly from parents), but as I’ve always tried to instill in my son, we can’t worry about what everyone else thinks. My kid is polite, sensitive, loving, and has a heart of gold. He is perfect.
Is my son straight, gay, bi, trans or a metrosexual in the making? I have no clue, but I do know whatever God (or whatever higher power) has intended him to be, he is incredible. He is stronger and more secure with himself than most adults. I can’t wait to see what beautiful costume he has in store for next year. I’m sure it will be fabulous. – Jill Topol
Happy Birthday, America!
From all of us at Super Goody Bag.
Lately Max has been obsessed with Kim Wilde’s 80’s classic Kids in America. I loved this song growing up! Could this mean some of my good taste in music is rubbing off on him? I guess only time will tell. Taylor Swift if your watching, please keep your pretty little paws off this one. He’s mine. – Jill Topol
Here’s the original version for those of you who are too young to remember or want to reminisce.
Today we sadly mourn the tragic loss of the children and teachers killed in the senseless shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. When I first turned on the television and heard the news, my brain had trouble processing what I was seeing and hearing. How could somebody carry out such a heinous act? It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t seem real. My heart aches thinking of the families who have lost a child today. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare come true. I’m sorry if I sound like a pessimist, but life is not always fair. Not everything happens for a reason. There is no bright side to this. This is a horror show being played out right before our eyes. When it’s easier to purchase a gun than get your hands on a Doc McStuffins doll for your kid’s Christmas gift, it puts things into perspective. Gun laws need to change! To live in fear that any psycho can get their hands on a gun and shoot you down at the movies or in the classroom is unacceptable.
Tonight poor Max had to suffer through being smothered by me with endless hugs and kisses to the point where he asked me to stop. I found myself staring at him over and over again thinking what if? What if that had been my son’s kindergarten class? While the thought is too unbearable to imagine, I can’t help but feel vulnerable. I am an over protective mother by nature and would give my own life in exchange for my child, but I am helpless to protect my baby from predators who have an agenda. I hate that this is our reality.
My heart and prayers go out to all the families who have suffered a loss today. To everyone else with a child, hug them extra tight and be thankful. – Jill Topol
Maybe you’ve noticed, or at least I hope you’ve noticed that in the middle of posting my best and greatest in Halloween splendor I suddenly fell off the face of the earth. I would like to officially blame this on the month I now refer to as Sucktober. This new month starts a few days before Halloween and happily ends on Thanksgiving.
I don’t think I need to go into long drawn out details about my problems, especially on a kid’s fashion blog that’s designed to inspire and evoke happiness. This isn’t Dr. Phil, and I’m not laying on a couch, but we all experience ups and downs in our life, and this month has been a roller coaster. To explain my vanishing act, here is a quick rundown (both GOOD & BAD) of the 13th month of the year I will forever lovingly call Sucktober:
1. Max’s first school Halloween party so appropriately called “Fright Night” was cut short when we had to leave the party early to rush Max to the emergency room with the worst asthma attack of his little life. He would also pass out from a spiked fever. Scary as all hell! We were told to watch him like a hawk for the following week that lead smack into the middle of Superstorm Sandy. BAD (ps- he is now fine.)
2. Frankenstorm Sandy hits the East Coast leaving our NYC apartment without power for 5 days (bad, but we dealt with it). Unfortunately it also destroyed the majority of my childhood home on Long Island (aka: my mom & stepdad’s house) flooding it with 3-4 feet of dirty seawater ruining everything inside and leaving them with literally the shell of the house remaining. Thank God they evacuated before the flood hit. They’re now living with my wonderful (and patient) sister Lisa for the next few months in Manhattan while the house is under construction. We are all devastated by this tragedy, but we’ll pull through it together as a family. BAD, but I’m forever grateful my parents are safe.
3. I love having my mom so close by in the city. I know it’s not under the best circumstances. I’m not trying to be insensitive to what she’s going through, but I do love having her near. Max gets to see his grandma almost everyday, and I love seeing her too. GOOD
4. Obama! GOOD
5. I’ve been sick as a dog for the last month. Yup, I said month. I’m asthmatic (just like Max) and contracted some kind of virus I just can’t kick! I’m not sure if I’m the reason Max got sick, or vice versa, but this sucks. I’ve been to the doctor 4 times including chest x-rays and a months worth of downing steroids. My face is puffy like a Halloween pumpkin from the meds and my voice only recently returned back to normal. I sort of sounded like Marge Simpson’s chain smoking sisters Patty & Selma. I would have much preferred the raspy tones of Demi Moore. My lungs still hurt and it’s hard to breath. I am frustrated. BAD
So there you have it my loyal Super Goody Bag fans. The cause of my writer’s block and brain farts that lead to my much needed break. Luckily Thanksgiving has renewed my spirit and reminded me of what’s really important in life: my family and sweet potatoes with marshmallow. I am a lucky girl. Things do get better. Sometimes I just need to pinch myself very hard to remember this.
At this point without further ado, I would like to officially say goodbye to the end of sweet Sucktober. It’s now time to move on and get back to business. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass. – Jill Topol