K thru-get used to it.

We toured Sam’s soon to be school.

Sits up, sleeps through the night, eats solids, crawls, teeth, walks, hits a ball, talks, hits more balls, rides a bike, potty trains, hits balls harder, gets sassy with me, and now this?

Kindergarten is in five months?

I interviewed the principal. When I asked her about her hiring practices. She talked about the staff having familiarity with working in urban environments. How her  female and male teachers are from across the globe, with cultural and educational diversity to draw on. She passed round one with flying colors. Her staff did too. The kindergarten teacher part of the tour was like meeting an old friend who totally gets your kid because they just do. She has a five year old son too.

We happened to be there during a “safety drill” which meant every child on the playground for fifteen minutes in nearly neat little lines.  Sam would not be in any kind of minority here. It rocked my world. The number of children of color at this elementary school looked to be nearly equal to that of the melanin free variety. It matters to me, and it will matter to him.  Sam was sitting in the lap of the main secretary sharing his life savers with her, and playing cello with a 5th grader waiting to go home as I filled out the registration papers. We both left there feeling the charge of it all.

I stalled a moment where it asked the name of the father. I put N/A in really large letters, and then wrote; SINGLE MAMA. That felt like an act of something important. The record they start today will follow him for the next twelve years…

“Mom, get used to it,” he said, crossing the playground to the car.

“Get used to it?” I nearly choked.

“Yeah. I’m big mom. I’m going to be nine and then ten, and then I don’t even know what you’ll do.”


  1. Hey Mama C! I’m so, so happy that Sam will be going to a school with a generous population of people of color. I remember at that age I went to an all white private school–and it seemed fine then (I was 5–I guess most things seemed fine? Or at least the way things were?). Looking back though, I can see that it did a lot of damage to my perception of myself. You are so right about this! It’ll be great for him to attend a school with others who looks like him–and others who look very different form him.

  2. As a single mama myself, one of the “melanin-free” variety (which I LOVE!! what a great term!), it was important to me that my children go to school with a diverse group of children. We used to live in Oregon and their schools were 99% melanin-free. We moved to Texas and there is a lovely mix of all colors of people, different cultures and languages and ways of approaching the world. My children are my bio children, and their “sperm donor” is not part of their lives. I can totally identify with the “N/A” on all the forms for school. I have completely lost track of how many times I have written N/A on school forms, camp registrations, doctor’s office information sheets, and more. Someday he will be nine and ten and then you will be amazed at how fast he has grown and what an incredible person he becomes more and more each day. 🙂

Leave a Reply