start small. build.

 

Trulyblog
This child. She is the light that gets Manny up in the morning. She manages to twist Augie’s arm. Sam saves all his genuine smiles for her. She is starting to take up most of the bed. Ann-Kathrin took this photo of her this summer.

I have three kids in three different buildings for school, thanks to a reconfiguration and the continued loss of a public preK for Manny to attend. The middle boys are almost five and almost six. We have had some heartbreaking conversations in the last few weeks… Kindergarten as experienced by my brown boy has been vastly different than Kindergarten experienced by my white one. I stay in my head a lot of the time, which occasionally makes conversations with the unsuspecting public a little awkward. I am happy most of the time– even when I am unbelievably sad.

Our computer and my camera and perhaps my stubborn will all died or became ill a few months ago. I held loosely to this summer. I can remember parts of it, but there are certain weeks in July that are VERY blurry. The boys had four weeks of swimming lessons in August thanks to my mother-in-law. Sam will remember walking to the pool on his own every afternoon: learning to do the front stroke and diving in arms first. I’m not going anywhere. I refuse to change my blog header. I can’t be bothered to search optimize these words or link them into oblivion. I have the luxury of laziness, here. It is what I make it. And I know that I haven’t been making it at all.

***

But! OH! I am sewing because T AND I ARE NO LONGER NURSING and I have reclaimed huge parts of my life. We met some wonderful people this summer and some of my friends have come out with wonderful books and beautiful things to look at or buy. I’m excited. It’s October. I’ll start small. I’ll stick around.

40 Comments

  1. It breaks my heart to read that the kindergarten experience has been different for your two boys. My children are mixed race and I have had some of those same difficult conversations you have had, I’m sure. Seek out the good in the world and let the rest go. Hugs!

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  2. You are inspiring with your unconditional love. The rest of the world will just take a little more time. Continue to give lots of love and try to minimize differences and that is all you can do. So sorry that it is tough, but you lead by example and maybe enough people will follow.

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  3. oh, thank you, penny. we do like to celebrate our differences though… in solidarity with each other. if we don’t, it leaves room for others to point them out and make them seem strange. it is a funny, unkind, world we live in, isn’t it?!

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  4. If you stick around, I’ll stick around. It’s always nice to hear what’s going on in your land. I’m sorry to hear about the kindergarten experience — that’s no good at all.

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  5. Your written voice is so enchanting — cool, collected, honest, breezy. I love this sentence: “I am happy most of the time — even when I am unbelievably sad.”
    Wish I knew you in time and space and not just the internet.

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  6. It is so complicated. I’m trying to navigate a similar but completely different school experience from mine with my kids. I was brown in an very nearly all white school while they are, in appearance, white at a mostly brown school. It’s complicated. I’m watching all my friends’ grow their blogs so big and all I can do right now is sometimes type what I’m thinking about and I think I’m ok with not making it at all. This week was pretty good anyway 🙂

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  7. I was so excited to see you’d updated this morning that I read your post still dripping with water from the shower. It doesn’t seem to matter how often you post, I always read it and always enjoy it.

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  8. Parenting is so hard. I always thought these middle ages would be easier but give me a baby any day of the week over the struggles of kid-dom. I’m really sorry that race is an issue in your kindergarten. I’m sorry you have to talk about these things with your kids. I have missed seeing your blog in my feed, I was glad to see you this morning.

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  9. I am so glad you’re back. Sorry for the hard stuff. Thanks for making movements toward talking about race and class and sadness and justice and etc. I’m here.

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  10. I am so glad to see you are back! I don’t know personally but as a teacher- I have seen what you are talking about. But I have also been fortunate to follow some of my students through the years and see that with love and support from their families- they come out healthy and happy In the end. I taught at basically an all white school and my students (who were deaf) were bused in to diversify the school. They also happened to all be brown. The students at that school thought that all brown kids were deaf. Many lessons had to be taught to the hearing students. You can do it. Stay strong! Glad to see you are back!!

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  11. So glad to have you back. Heartaches for your smalls and you two. I try to think about all the hope I have for my children’s generation. Big hugs!

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  12. Oh, America. This race issue– it is such a big one here. And so difficult because it lurks beneath the surface of everything, yet is completely unacceptable to talk about. How do we create dialogue and move forward when half of the people want to pretend there’s nothing going on and the other are clinging to hurt and anger? I’m a grown up and I find it heartbreaking, confusing and difficult. It is hard for me to comprehend how it must be for your sweet boys, and a large part of me doesn’t want to think about it because it is so painful. But then we’d never get anywhere. I applaud your courage and your love. Thank you for helping all of us to move forward. Sending you love and love and love.

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  13. and I am glad I can visit you here. Love you. Thinking of you all. Call anytime. It is too hard this public school thing. But I still believe it is all worth it. xoxox

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  14. I love reading your blog, and I’ve been checking back each day, beginning to get a bit worried about you and your beautiful family. I’m sorry you’re going through a challenging time. I am always sad, even when I’m happy, and it does indeed make things awkward at times when dealing with others. Being a mother can gut you…you hurt for them so much that sometimes your pain surpasses their own. I have no words of wisdom. Just wanted you to know that this mama from across the country is thinking of you.

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  15. Oh! I’m glad you posted again – please do keep up!
    I’m sorry about the kindergarten yuck. I have bi-racial cousins, and we talk a lot. I was a little worried about school with my kids (kids are white, school is mostly not). It’s our neighborhood school, so it’s very important to my husband and me that respect, love, and knowledge blossom early – this is our HOME and changes are best that start from the ground up.

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  16. Last week, I re-read Anne Frank’s words, “Despite everything, I believe people are really good at heart,” and I thought, really? And hang it all, if she can believe it, so can I. So I try. Despite all evidence to the contrary, contradictory kindergartens included. And maybe that sheer ornery insistence will make it so. Also, endless talking with our own peeps, and feet on the ground, and…
    Welcome back. So glad you’re here. And is there any other start than small?
    xo,
    Molly

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  17. Longtime lurker on the opposite coast and glad to see your post, though sorry to hear about the rough school start this year in K. I’m glad you haven’t changed your blog header because I love it–reminds me of some kind of calm Dutch master still life with a little midcentury twist. We’re listening no matter when you decide to post next and thanks for the little window to your world.
    take care,
    sarabeth in mass

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  18. We should plan play dates. get the boys to keep themselves busy and distracted. I feel like the summer, hell last 4 years have been a blur! plus i just realized that we live in the same hood and have boys in the same school….

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  19. Yay! I had a hunch that you’d be sticking around! I’ve really missed your voice here. You’re one of my favs, too.
    Miss T looks like a she’s got some deep thoughts, there:)
    I’m sorry to hear about the difficult kindergarten times. I’m hoping that things get better. It sounds like you’re all getting stronger, amidst the heartbreak (which is no consolation, I’m sure). That all can’t be made any easier by having 3 schools.
    I hope October is good to ya’ll!

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  20. i have missed you here. your words run loudly all the way to Norway. thank you for sharing your life – hope we some day can sit and talk together over a cup of tea.
    xo

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  21. somehow i missed this and yes! so so happy to see you here. i have been writing at my lonesome blog a tiny bit too and i feel as you do – that it’s my space and i don’t have to make it more or less than it is. yes? xo.

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