Something is happening and I cannot stay quiet on here about all of what is going on the work. But at the same time it has felt so odd to hit publish on here. I am constantly feeling torn but this little blog has been like therapy for me, through so much. So here goes.
I am a latina, married to a black man and mother to two mixed girls.
So I actually have not right to stay quiet.
Over the last few years we have had many conversations about race and skin color with the girls, how to us everyone is different but equal. Telling them often that everyones skin shade is uniquely their own. But it started before that when they were tiny, when we made sure their books and dolls were of all colors. We read books on different cultures, listened to all kinds of music and made sure we talked about the different countries of the dishes I made. Making sure that they understood how different every part of the world and even the US was. We often said "we are all different but we are all the same on the inside". Trying our hardest not to use the world equal when talking about how the world felt. (insert deep breath here)
And then in the last year that conversation has changed, and luckily it changed while we lived in one of the most diverse and mixed cities in the world. Her classroom alone was filled with more mixed families like us (a lot of the parents not born in the US or first generation Americans like me!). The conversation changed in, what I think, could not have been a better place. The conversation changed to more than we are all just different, to we are not all equal.
Some of you that follow me know that Zoe has been completely obsessed with learning everything there is about MLK this past year. And so it has opened up these different conversations to how unequal black and white people were and still are. We have read many books, and talked through them. To be very honest these books have opened up conversations that were really hard for me. I was not ready for my six year old to hear that these things that she sees in books are not just the past. That a whole different set of rules, laws and expectations still exist because people are black (and for people of color).
Zoe asked some really good questions and I/we stumbled through the answers not because I don't understand it but because man this is a lot for her. And my sweet girl, Zoe, just takes on every emotion. Just like me, she just embodies whatever feelings are around her, she feels the energy and because she is just six (And a half!! ), she cannot quite describe what it makes her feel like. I often find us both just drained at the end of these conversations, letting the tears slip and hugging each other.
We are helping her, and Amani wrap their heads around this idea (for Amani, it's to an extent that a 3 year old can understand). We are answering both of their questions and guiding through thoughts. I think for me the hardest part has been that I cannot tell them I am not scared for their daddy, I cannot say I haven't said OMG but what if we had a boy, I cannot say that I fear that because we look for the best schools (which of course are in predominately white neighborhoods) we won't live in a diverse place like Tribeca. I cannot tell her I don't hold my breath when we get pulled over by a police officer, I cannot tell her that I am not scared of something bad happening to O'Neal on his way at home at night. I cannot assure them that we are ok and that makes my heart hurt so much.
All of that, my loves, is a F'ING lot for me as a mom.
But what I have been concentrating on is what I can tell her, I can proudly say that there are some really brave people protesting, marching, making a difference for her future. That some may not agree but 2020 is going to be the start of some really big changes.
I can tell her that, all Black Lives Matter. I can tell her that we will continue to fight for equality, And most importantly I can tell and teach both of my girls how they should not stay quiet when they see any injustice. I can teach them that they should stand up for anyone who is not being treated kindly because of who they are or what they look like. I can tell them that they are strong.
So many more conversations about race, and many more links to resources to come on here. And although nothing really felt "perfect to publish" these words are my honest truth, they are my thoughts and I hope that they can inspire you to share how you have felt in the last weeks. Some of you may think I am out of my lane of a "mom blog" on this one but I couldn't feel more at home than I do now. Having these conversations about motherhood in 2020, as hard as they may be, are my favorite part of this platform.
Happy week my loves.