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Entries in she'swrite (20)


She'sWrite: Talking About Race With My Biracial 5 Year Old

I'm always grateful to today's guest columnist She'sWrite for letting me publish her posts here on Go West. But I'm particularly happy to be able to share this one on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

It’s interesting being a parent of biracial children in that like with most things with motherhood, I’m fumbling around in the dark.

Photo by Scott Ableman on Flickr.Digging through my 5-year-old son's backpack, I ran across a worksheet on Martin Luther King, Jr.  Curious, I asked him what he learned about King in school.

He told me that white people used to not let brown people do things and King made a lot of white people mad because he was helping the brown people.

Hmmm. Well, kinda.

Since my husband is a blond-haired blue-eyed Norwegian and I am a black girl from Kansas, I’m always curious as to how our biracial kids perceive themselves when it comes to race. So the conversation began on this day as it has many times before:

“Do you know any brown people?” I asked.

He rolled his eyes and pointed at the chocolate side of my hand. “You.”

“Do you know any white people?”

He smiled: “Daddy!”

“Right.” And then I waited. I waited because usually at this point in the conversation, he gives me a glimpse into his curious little mind.

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Practical Advice on How to Talk With Your Kids About the Newton Massacre

I've wanted to write about the tragedy in Newton, but honestly, my thoughts are such a jumble that I feel like I have nothing useful or original to share. So I want to thank my friend Melanie at She'sWrite for allowing me to re-post her column from yesterday, featuring some valuable advice from a family physician.

Today was the first of the funerals. The beginning of seeing the heartbreakingly small caskets as families start laying to rest 20 innocent young children and six brave adults.

Photo by One-Speed Photography on Flickr.We’re all still shocked that the unfathomable has happened in Newtown, Conn. As parents, many of us have been stumbling through talks with our kids about this massacre. On the afternoon of the shooting, my son’s school sent out a link with advice on how to handle this.

It was generally helpful, but like many of the stories and other links out there, it was largely in broad strokes rooted in the recommendations from the American Psychological Association: Talk with your child, make them feel safe, look out for signs of stress or anxiety, take a break from the news, take care of yourself.

So I wondered what my friend Dr. Deborah Gilboa had to say. She’s an ubermom of four who is a family physician and travels the world giving presentations on parenting. She’s smart, nonjudgmental and is filled with commonsense advice.

Dr. G, as she’s called, says to first start trying to process your feelings as an adult. Work on your own horror and anxiety over this because you don’t want to lay all of those heavy emotions on your children.

She also completely agrees with the American Academy of Pediatrics that kids under age 7 don’t need to hear about the tragedy.

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She'sWrite: OK, I Gained HOW Much Weight?!?!

I’ve got a bad hangover. A cruise hangover. It’s not a headache situation, but more of a belly situation that’s hanging over my jeans. I gained a bunch of weight while on my recent vacation, a five-day cruise.

It’s impressive really when you think about it. In five days, FIVE I gained…. (drumroll) 9 pounds. That’s more than my children weighed when they were born. I started off the cruise trying to be good, but that lasted about 45 minutes because of the all-eat-til-you-drop options. Just trying to navigate through the different parts of the ship you had smells of fried chicken, pizza, French fries, jerked chicken,  barbecue, oh it was endless.

And so was my gorging. Not to mention the alcohol consumption. I am proud ashamed to say that I’ve perfected the art of maintaining a nice wine buzz throughout the day and into the night without acting like an idiot or waking up with a headache. There is something kinda cool about being able to perpetually walk around with a glass of wine in your hand at any time of day and no eyebrows are raised.

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She'sWrite: Preschool Graduation - More than Just Poop & Circumstance?

I have crossed another milestone as a parent. My firstborn has graduated ... From preschool.

I remember before I had kids, I thought, sheesh, what’s up with all of these graduations? Preschool, Kindergarten, sixth grade, eighth grade and finally high school??? I have had two graduations: High school and college.

But then I got the notice that our daycare was having a ceremony for all the kids who were going to start kindergarten in the fall. I stopped rolling my eyes about preschool graduation and now, I found myself getting excited.

Hubby got off work early so we could attend the Friday evening event.  Logan was so excited, he could not stop jumping up and down. The school even gave him a red cap and gown to borrow, which was cute. Silly? Yes, but really very cute.

Then the kids put on a program for the parents. Of course this meant all of us parents had to squat on those impossibly small kiddie chairs. Seriously, why bother offering us a place to sit when only half of my butt fits on the seat?

I digress. Back to the program … All of the songs I’ve been hearing around the house about Johnny working with hammers or apples and bananas or sharks and dinosaurs, now I got to hear them in stereo and with the appropriate hand movements.

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She'sWrite: Getting Ready for Kindergarten (I'm So Not Ready)

I’m preparing my entry into the scary world of elementary school. Logan starts kindergarten in the fall, but there’s already been registration, Parents Night and class screenings. Oh. My.

Photo by hakaider on Flickr.A lot of the activities (rightfully) focus on getting the kids ready. But what about me? I’m not talking about the usual “my baby is growing up” wistful feelings most moms have. I’m talking about all of the crap you have to do before you ship them off. I’m so not ready.

The school year is four months away still and I’m already ready to be done. First there was registration, which required form after form after form to be filled out, not to mention the immunization records, the physicals, eye exams, dental exams, proof of residency, vial of blood… OK, clearly kidding on the last one.

On the day of registration I came with my mountain of papers and seeing how I didn’t have some of the required paperwork for proof of residency, I brought a copy of our mortgage. The entire, 11×14 cumbersome packet. One of the PTA volunteers had to help me thumb through the reams of paper to find the information that qualified our family of residents of our quaint burb.

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