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Category: Parenthood

George Floyd, the White Mama, and Anti-Racism: a Reckoning

I saw this image last week, and the message hasn’t left my mind. It happened right after I read this opinion piece, called “I Need White Mamas to Come Running,” by Christy Oglesby, a senior producer at CNN. Her plea hasn’t left my mind, either. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the atmosphere in our house has shifted. David and I, I know, are not alone in this. We’ve begun reading and listening in a way we haven’t before: articles and essays online and books in our house and on my phone are being re-read or picked up anew. He’s just finished Angie Thomas’ The Hate You Give and is about to start the beautiful Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I’m listening to Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I’m taking my time with that one. It’s both incredible and raw and, as a mother, really hard to hear. But the mother needs to pay attention to the voices of her children, so I’m listening. David and I been talking a lot…

Cian Challenging the Rules: Well, When You Think of it That Way

In the evening after the first day of school, Cian made an announcement. “I’m going to be very well-behaved this year.” He stopped and took a look around the table at each of us. A brief look of self-doubt passed over his face. “Well,” he clarified, “at least while I’m in school.” This, my friends, is my third-born. He came home last week all sorts of worked up. We were in the car after I’d picked them up from school, and he said, “I don’t know about this first grade. My teacher wants us to RAISE our HANDS before we talk. That doesn’t make any sense. If she’s close enough, I should just talk. She answered me the first time I did it. But after that? She didn’t pay attention to me!” I didn’t have to say anything because both of his sisters rolled their eyes and jumped in for me. Quinlan just sighed. “Cian.” Saoirse told him, “Cian. You’re in elementary school now. That’s how it is in ALL of the classes. Everybody has to raise his hand.” “But that doesn’t make any…

Cian Turns Six and Has Questions: Maybe He’ll Help Me Figure Out the Answer to Some of Them

Cian has a bit of a speech impediment–if you’ve just met him, you might have some trouble understanding his “th” sounds, say–but that doesn’t stop the child from talking, usually constantly, usually about thirty different topics in the span of as many seconds. Last Saturday, I drove him and his sister Saoirse to a gym about an hour away from our house for her basketball game. The boy talked the entire time. I say this without exaggeration. Cian spoke, without stopping, the entire 54 minutes it took us to get from our house to the gym. He talked as he got out of the car and took my hand, and he kept talking as he followed us into the building. It had gotten to the point where I just turned the radio up and muttered, “Uh-huh. Uh-huh” at regular intervals on the drive because I’m pretty sure he didn’t really need me to listen in the first place. Saoirse said, “Mom. You’re not even listening to him,” and when I made eye contact with her in the rear…