Race Relations over Tacos

We had our neighbor over for dinner. I made tacos. He brought pie and ice cream. My son has never made, friends with the neighbor and I have never had neighbors over for dinner. . We talked about race most of the night. As soon as the kids finished their food, they ran from the table, to hide in the corner with the iPad and that's when the conversation started. I could have guested this put I wasn't fully prepared.

More conversations like this are necessary, and they are gentle reminders of how much some white people are bothered. I wouldn't invite hardly any white people to come to my house and talk about race. That's stress I don't need in my life, but I do think it's important to understand where my son's friends parent's stand on such an important issue. I certainly don't make these types of discussions a practice, put parenting often takes you

Let's be clear about where you stand before our kids spend time together. If your child thinks Christopher Columbus discovered America my son would call bullshit. This oversight call into question what else you choose not to dismantle. I'm not giving the benefit of the doubt, that's basic and here's why  

Adolescence is four blinks away and he will be navigating the city alone, and I need those friends to have a basic understand of privilege and politics. I refuse for my son the become a casualty in someone else's journey; he has his whole life to navigate -isms. For now, we vet friends. I know my vetting will not completely shield him, but to me, that seems like all the more reason to try.

So far so good. #SundayDinner

 

Missed Connections

"What do we want from our mothers when we are children? Complete submission. Oh, it's very nice and rational and respectable to say that a woman has every right to her life, to her ambitions, to her needs and so on. That's what I've always demanded myself, but as a child, no. The truth is it's a war of attrition. Rationality doesn't come into it, not one bit. What you want from your mother is that she once and for all admit that she is your mother and only your mother and that battle with the rest of life is over."      Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Thelma Golden came to Chicago, and I missed it because I was deep in mothering. Deep in the fatigue of thinking about somebody else hard because you are not them and you are trying to decide what is best for them. I have missed several events this week because of the juggle, the mental acrobatics. It's not always like this, but sometimes it is. simple and clumsy. You can have it all but not at the same time. I long for the days when in ways I couldn't see clearly that my days were my own. When a child's protest was loud cries, not a silent disappointment. Toddlers scream, but tweens don't forget. Days when his developmental needs didn't rub against my social/professional needs like sandpaper.

I did not always feel like I was missing out. The spaces I feel are professional. Creative. Motherhood rubs at you like sandpaper, brushing of layers of dead skin in places and leaving you raw and exposed in others. Better than you started. More tender. Eroded. Rounded. Smooth but uneven.

I missed this opportunity and others because of motherhood and it does frustrate me. In an alternate universe, I may have missed them for another reason, and that would have frustrated me too. In this universe it was motherhood. I know there can be more synergy but doing it all takes all of me so who will enjoy the spoils. Alright, so that is a little dramatic. There are some weeks where I do manage to do everything we both wanted and need; they are always followed by one full day in bed. Sometimes this trade is worth is and sometimes it's not. The trade off sometimes reduces me to tears, momentarily.

As I approach 30, my concerns are not about aging or relationship status but these missed opportunities to grow myself as an individual.  The quote from Swing Time is accurate, so I missed the event, laying in bed for "read together" time, listening, being still and together. Surrendering to the demands of motherhood at least for the moment.