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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Am I white?

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I was cleaning up the kitchen and heard the kids’ grandma reading them a new book: a children’s book about Rosa Parks. There were lots of questions as the kids tried to get their heads around racial segregation.

The discussion was about Rosa Parks and how then, black people had to sit in the back of the bus and white people sat in the front. My heart soared with pride as I heard my 4-year old Jenn ask, “Am I white?”  I patted myself on the back for raising a child who knows no color and I may have started to hum Ebony and Ivory to myself.

Jenn’s grandma told her that she was white. My son interjected that she was more of a tan color, and I heard Jenn confirm, “So I’m white?” At that clarification, she crowed in delight. “That means I get to get ride in the front!” Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder immediately stopped singing in my head.

I was momentarily relieved that this exchange had happened at home and not out in public. Though fortunately, this wasn’t about skin color at all, but a better view. Similarly, she sometimes wants to ride in a wheelchair, because for a four-year old, wheelchairs get the best seats on the bus, too.

Filed under Preschool
Sep 12, 2011

Middle school

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When I moved to New York in 1992, I was alone in a city of millions. Now, in my new home, I’m alone in a small community and it’s much harder, I think.

I spent an hour last night at a PTA meeting and I was sad sitting in a room of women who have already called “same seats” in the middle school cafeteria where we sat. There is definitely some cruel irony in the fact that the meeting was held at the middle school: I can’t say I miss my overbite, frizzy hair and glasses. (Yes, I really was THAT cute in 7th grade.)

I’m not outgoing even at my most confident and as much as I might try to be that way, it’s not my nature. I’m a watcher and it will take a few PTA meetings for my extraordinary kindness and brilliant wit to rise to anybody’s attention. I volunteered to help with a handful of activities – when they see how years of micromanaging tv shoots has prepped me for organizing field trip payments, they’ll all want me to sit at their table.

 

Filed under Cleveland, Expectations, NYC
Sep 8, 2011

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