Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Racially Ambigious

So, I have racially ambiguous children. That means that people are just not sure what race they are. My son especially, has been called Greek, Puerto Rican, and Middle Eastern. 

This election has been emotionally eye-opening to me. As humans, our gut reaction is to be uncomfortable, or feel threatened around those who are different to us. Some people see this election as freedom to give in to that gut reaction.

What does that mean for my son, who looks like different races depending on the day or his audience? Can I protect him if he is in the wrong place at the wrong time?

We have to remember that elections are not popularity contests, like class president in high school. It is about continuing to uphold civil rights despite race, creed, or religion. We must keep moving forward.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

So our daughter is ten years old and it has been a roller coaster. She has always been super-feisty, hilarious, and so much fun!  Now we are dealing with being a mixed race child. From the moment she could talk, she always noticed the difference between me, her dad, and herself. She has always wanted straight hair. What a battle that has been!

We moved to a suburban town in NJ.  Great school system, lovely homes, quiet neighborhood that is 6 miles from Manhattan. Unfortunately, there is a lack of diversity in this town. We moved here when Miya was in second grade. She has had a slew of interesting comments thrown at her! A boy told her she had "clown hair". Two of her current friends told her that they did not like her at first because of her hair but now they do (at least they saw the error of their ways!). A boy told her today that she had terrible hair. Is that children? Are children naturally attracted to people who are like themselves? What does a child of mixed heritage do?

My father was half Scottish and grew up in Trinidad. I never heard him discuss race. He literally dated and sometimes married women of every race!  He seemed very comfortable in his does my son.

One day, she will feel peace with who she is...despite the fact that society has still not caught up yet. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

I used to stare at this monitor so much when Miles was in the NICU. If a rate changed, I asked questions. I wish I took more pictures of him... I thought I had more time. I remember the noises. I would stare at that screen out of fear that I would miss something. But when he did die, I was not there. It happened in the morning and I had just dropped Miya at school. I missed it anyway.... No matter how much I tried to control everything. His parting time was beyond my grasp.

Monday, May 23, 2016

I started this blog in November of 2010, a few weeks after I lost my son Miles, a preemie, in the NICU. I got pregnant with a few months after I lost Miles. I just could not accept that I had lost him. I needed to have another baby because, the pain of Miles' death was unbearable.

In November of 2011, I gave birth to a full term baby, Miller. The names sound similar, Miles...Miller.  The time between giving birth to Miles at 6 months gestation, the 30 day NICU experience, losing Miles, getting pregnant with Miller, the fear I experienced during the pregnancy, and giving birth to Miller all runs together. People advised me to take my time and not get pregnant so quickly...

 A hundred years ago, a woman might have 10 children and 6 would survive...I had to move on and I had to have another baby. I am still in pain. I thought the sorrow from Miles would be washed away, but is still hurts. I am so glad though that I had Miller.

Today, I went to the Bronx Zoo with Miller's class...I am so glad that I could do that.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

This made me so sad...This is reminiscent of stereotypical images of black people at the turn of the 20th century.

I am sad, because I thought this type of imagery was in the past. In Germany, symbols from the Nazi era are illegal. In the United States, freedom of speech protects racist imagery...This imagery should be illegal. We have a lot to learn from how Germany fought anti-semitism after World War II.

I appreciate my first lady who is such an example to me. She is an amazing example to all women around the world despite race, religion, socio-economic status, and age.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I never realized how difficult it is to be more than one race. For people to look at you and be confused about what category to put you in. As humans, for thousands of years, we have been trained to categorize each other by gender, sexual orientation, race, wealth or lack there of, and so much more.

I have two children and they are biracial. My daughter has always been aware of her appearance, the frizziness of her hair, and the difference between my skin color and hers. She hates her hair and she wants straight, long blond hair! It is hard work, trying to help a child develop a positive self image. I hope she can overcome these insecurities sooner rather than in adulthood. What a gift it is, to love who you are...I am still working on it.

Call the Midwife is having an amazing season. I am noticing very honest themes concerning low-income women of that early sixties that are many times painful. One that stands out are the emerging Thalidomide cases. A baby is born disfigured with hardly any limbs and no clear sexual anatomy. The choice that is made to allow the child to die rather than let it live a is very heart wrenching and confusing.  

Another story was about a single woman who gets pregnant and her life it completely destroyed by the lack of public support for her pregnancy. Also, her abortion almost leads to her being thrown in jail.

I am totally loving this season. Call the Midwife has managed to keep the show poignant and powerful despite the entrance or exit of main characters. It is a great historical case study of the low-income women's issues in the fifties and the show continues, the producers should continue to focus on the cases and difficult situations that affect women's lives. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I went to a book signing in my town last week. It was a signing for "The Luckiest Girl Alive" by Jessica Knoll. I at first thought that I would not be able to relate to a young girl who grew up i Pennsylvania. But of course I was so wrong.

The main character goes through some awful experiences. But she describes it in such a flippant, clumsy, and self-loathing way, that you cannot help but laugh, grimace, but not cry.

I love that style of writing. We can write about tough situations but it does not have to be depressing...that takes some skill. I would love to be able to develop the ability to write about tough situations with such lightness.

Anyway, I met Jessica Knoll at a book signing...really lovely, very personable, and well-grounded.  She said she knows she was a good writer, so she decided to focus on that. Makes sense. Figure out what you're good at and then do it well!