“My father is black and my mother is white. While a proud, graying natural sits atop my father’s head, the genetic crapshoot of their interracial union left my hair absent of his tight curls; left my skin shades lighter. As a result, I floated in this limbo of racial ambiguity that sparked questions of identity for me far too early, and that have lingered far too long. As a child, into adolescence, and even into early adulthood, it left me feeling as other, in a constant search for where I belonged. I did not want that for my children.”
There’s a mama or papa bear in all of us, and it comes roaring to the surface when our kids get targeted.
“This is why we fight for our children. We fight for a better world. My readers may remember the challenges that Carl was facing in middle school. There were children calling him a “taco.” They called him “brownie.” They threatened to send him “back over the wall” to Mexico.
Carl was bewildered. “But I’m Puerto Rican!” he kept saying. “I was born in Massachusetts!” “
I’m a pro when it comes to running interference. P-r-o. Got a Nosy Nellie asking probing questions about one of the kids? I can nip that in the bud without breaking a sweat. Or a Meddlesome Mindy making (unintentionally) offensive comments? Yep, I can nip that sh*t, too. We’re talking NFL worthy skills, baby.
But the kids are getting older now, so my days of running interference are ticking down. More often than not T-man and Bear are out in the world, fielding offhand comments on their own. And they’re doing okay…I just wish they didn’t have to hone this skill so early.
Looking to raise a girl full of #BlackGirlMagic? Check these out.
“3. Teach her how to celebrate herself.
Your daughter should know how to brag without guilt or shame. Teach her that she has to make no apologies for her strength, her skills, or the things that she is most proud of about herself. She may not receive the acknowledgments she deserves from society, but that shouldn’t stop her from feeling amazing about herself!”
“We do the best we can with what we have.” Well, isn’t that the truth.
“But then I heard it: the truth. And let me tell you, this parenting truth is setting me free this Christmas.
I remembered the path we were on as a family eight years ago and I thought about the childhood I wanted to give my kids that was full of stuff and things and a bottomless well of never being satisfied. We played the disappointing game of comparison and no matter how much we got, we only wanted more. We tried to be like everyone else and it was exhausting and disappointing.”
The straight up skinny on spoiling children versus breaking the poverty cycle.
“Growing up, my mother used to frequently say, “Money is the source of all evil.”
Not only was money evil but it was a personality killer, a relationship ruiner, and a poison to all things good and decent and fluffy in the world. Because of this, there was quite a shortage of things in my house: running water, reliable electricity, food…”
From a father in the trenches: 26 things he would have liked to know before becoming a parent. Pass them along. Add your own. The grown ups have to stick together.
1. Putting children to bed two hours late means getting up two hours earlier the next day.
2. 90% of parenting is arguing over pants, basic hygiene, and how toast is cut.
3. The fact that shoes come in pairs means that God hates parents.”
I am. As sure as the sun rises in the east and warm cookies are like crack, I most certainly am smarter than a middle schooler.
Now if we’re talking prodigy then no, my IQ points won’t come out on top, but as for your average, run of the mill, hormone driven middle school student? Yeah. I got it covered.
So why are my kids convinced they can pull the wool over my eyes with, frankly, the lamest stories ever?