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Barbara and Henrietta throwing down at a wedding is a brilliant parable about abortion.

Josh Healey is one part comedian, one part storyteller, and 100% refreshing.

Barbara and Henrietta throwing down at a wedding is a brilliant parable about abortion.

Two proud immigrant grandmothers. One wedding. One shot at a lifetime of glory.

That's what was going on the day that Barbara and Henrietta made history in Josh Healey's family. In a bid for bragging rights over who'd had the harder life, Barbara got the ultimate mic drop moment when she exclaimed about having the most abortions — 12 of them!


"What else haven't you told me, GRANDMA!?!" Image by Gerd Altmann/Pixabay.

It's simultaneously shocking and hilarious. And it's a huge reminder about why abortion exists.

For whatever reason, some women don't get a lot of say about much in their lives. Abortion is a way for them to have at least some control over their circumstances.

It's a lead-in for a deeply personal turn that the story takes when Josh found himself floundering for how to be there for his own girlfriend.

Storytelling chops galore! Image used with permission by Josh Healey.

Josh, an award-winning writer and creative activist, told Upworthy it's the most personal and vulnerable story he's ever told.

He was 19 when his then-girlfriend and now-wife, Esther, became pregnant. They sat in the bathroom together, staring at a positive pregnancy test, with Josh looking for the right words to be supportive like the strong women in his life had taught him to be. He discovered — gasp! — that he actually had his own feelings about what they should do. Only he had no idea what to do with them.

When Josh requested consent from Esther to share their experience with the world, she gave him an ultimatum: "If you don’t do it, I’ll divorce you. We need to tell this story."

The reaction he gets from people after telling what he and Esther went through when they considered abortion is almost always a multitude of thank-yous. People seek him out after his shows to express their gratitude for sharing, often because they too have a story that they've been holding in and suddenly feel emboldened to talk about it.

The really telling thing: Most of those thanking him are other men. Josh said:

"A lot of younger men have listened to this piece and said, ‘I’ve been there.’ And you know a lot of guys have this story of when you thought you got the girl pregnant and they don’t know what to do, but then the story often ends there. And we don’t talk about what we actually would do and we don’t talk about how to support a woman who is trying to decide what to do — and how as pro-choice men, we are grappling with our love, our solidarity, and our own emotional responses, too."

Today's men are craving honest, human, emotional experiences like Josh's to relate to and take cues from.

A wickedly funny, deeply poignant story that also gives upcoming generations of young hetero men a blueprint for how to support their partners and how to honor their own emotions instead of stuffing them down?

Goodbye toxic masculinity, hello brave new world!

If you have found yourself wondering during abortion debates, "Where exactly does the man's responsibility and wishes for the pregnancy rank in relation to the woman's?" Josh's brilliant story is an important one to hang onto.

It's a story for women, a story for men, a story for those who didn't choose abortion, and a story for those who did. Everyone can take something away from it.

Here in the U.S. many of us had our eyes glued to the news yesterday as a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, disrupting a constitutionally-mandated session of Congress and sending lawmakers into hiding. We watched insurrectionists raise a Trump flag on the outside of the building, flinched at the Confederate flag being marched through its hallowed halls, and witnessed the desecration of our democracy in real-time.

It was a huge and horrifying day in our history. Our own citizens attacking our own government, all because the president refuses to accept that he lost an election. In their minds, they are patriots defending democracy from an illegitimate election. In reality, they are terrorists destroying the foundations of what makes America great.

The disconnect between what these people believe and actual reality could not be starker. Years of misinformation and disinformation, bald-faced lie upon bald-faced lie, and conspiracy theory upon conspiracy theory have led to this place. It was predictable. It should have been preventable. But it was still stunning to witness.

As an American, it's a little hard to digest in its entirety. We've been in this weird space of "alternative facts" for years, and have grown accustomed to hearing blatant lies pushed as truth. We've gotten used to being gaslit daily, from the highest office in the land. That constant deluge of falsehood has an effect on our psyches, whether we fall on the side of eating it up like candy or spitting it out like the poison it is.

So seeing what happened at the Capitol through the eyes of another country's media is really something.

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Lainey and baby goat Annie. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse
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Oftentimes, the journey to our true calling is winding and unexpected. Take Lainey Morse, who went from office manager to creator of the viral trend, Goat Yoga, thanks to her natural affinity for goats and throwing parties.

Back in 2015, Lainey bought a farm in Oregon and got her first goats who she named Ansel and Adams. "Once I got them, I was obsessed," says Lainey. "It was hard to get me off the farm to go do anything else."

Right away, she noticed what a calming presence they had. "Even the way they chew their cud is relaxing to be around because it's very methodical," she says. Lainey was going through a divorce and dealing with a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis at the time, but even when things got particularly hard, the goats provided relief.

"I found it impossible to be stressed or depressed when I was with them."

She started inviting friends up to the farm for what she called "Goat Happy Hour." Soon, the word spread about Lainey's delightful, stress-relieving furry friends. At one point, she auctioned off a child's birthday party at her farm, and the mom asked if they could do yoga with the goats. And lo, the idea for goat yoga was born.

A baby goat on a yoga student. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse

Goat yoga went viral so much so that by fall of 2016, Lainey was able to quit her office manager job at a remodeling company to manage her burgeoning goat yoga business full-time. Now she has 10 locations nationwide.

Lainey handles the backend management for all of her locations, and loves that side of the business too, even though it's less goat-related. "I still have my own personal Goat Happy Hour every single day so I still get to spend a lot of time with my goats," says Lainey. "I get the best of both worlds."

Lainey with her goat Fabio. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse

Since COVID-19 hit, her locations have had to close temporarily. She hopes her yoga locations will be able to resume classes in the spring when the vaccine is more widely available. "I think people will need goat yoga more than ever before, because everyone has been through so much stress in 2020," says Lainey.

Major life changes like Lainey's can come around for any number of reasons. Even if they seem out of left field to some, it doesn't mean they're not the right moves for you. The new FOX series "Call Me Kat", which premieres Sunday, January 3rd after NFL and will continue on Thursday nights beginning January 7th, exemplifies that. The show is centered around Kat, a 39-year old single woman played by Mayim Bialik, who quit her math professor job and spent her life's savings to pursue her dreams to open a Cat Café in Louisville, Kentucky.

Jeff Harry started making similar moves when he was just 10-years-old, and kept making them throughout his life. After seeing the movie "Big,"Jeff knew he wanted to play with toys for a living, so he started writing toy companies asking for next steps. He finally got a response when he was a sophomore in high school — the company told him he needed to become a mechanical engineer first.

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If the past four years has taught us anything, it's that when you think things can't really get any nuttier, they totally can and will.

Case in point: Lin Wood's latest tweets.

Lin Wood is a lawyer who has filed or joined multiple lawsuits on behalf of President Trump in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Wood has been an outspoken supporter of Trump and a forceful pusher of conspiracy theories—not only about the election, but about...well, just take a look.

Wood already made headlines a few days ago for suggesting Mike Pence should be executed by firing squad. Late last night, in a series of tweets, Wood lays out absolutely bonkers allegations against Chief Justice John Roberts and the world's "most well-known & 'elite' intelligence agencies."

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After more than two decades of torturing parents and offering a horrible example for preschool-aged children, the era of Caillou has finally ended. The Canadian kids' show started in 1997, kept churning out new episodes until 2018, and now the will be taken off the air, finally.

As a huge fan and ardent defender of PBS—especially the network's generally excellent children's programming—it pains me to launch such a passionate criticism. But seriously, how on Al Gore's green Earth did this show last for this long?

My children were born during Caillou's early years. Having been raised myself on a steady diet of Sesame Street and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, I felt confident that PBS Kids' shows would be healthy, educational entertainment for my own children as they entered the preschool phase, and for the most part, PBS delivered. In addition to the awesomeness of Sesame Street, my kids got to explore the alphabet through Martha Speaks, dive into scientific questions with Sid the Science Kid, and build reading skills and curiosity with Super Why. My kids loved learning while being entertained, and I loved that they were learning while being entertained.

Then there was Caillou. I'm not sure if I have the words for my depth of loathing for that character, and I'm someone who loves all (real) children. I'm not the only one who feels this way. For years, Caillou has been a running joke in the parenting world, regularly taking first place in the "Most Annoying Kids' Show" category. Social media erupted in virtual celebration at the news of its demise.

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