It started with Sam saying he wasn’t going to be the zombie we had had decided on, crafted, and gone onto Yout Tube to get a make up tutorial for how to turn your radiant (white) skin into that of the undead. No to the zombie, no to any costume. No, as in, Mom I’m just going to be myself. SO, just buy a bag of candy for Marcel and I to share. Can we watch a movie instead?
I resisted the urge to make this about anything other than a normal choice to not do something you don’t want to do. Everything doesn’t need an explanation. No, it doesn’t necessarily mean that as a Black kid who everyone asks you if that is really your real mom at the playground, you might just be so sick of sticking out that you’d opt out of an institutionalized opportunity to do it one more time. Even when candy, that thing you are sure you’d love if you ever got to have it is involved.
After Marcel was fully dressed as a medieval-magician-cowboy-firechief, Sam still wouldn’t budge. Five minutes out the door, to Louise’s neighborhood, and Sam grabs my eyeliner, doodles on his face, puts his cape on from last year and says he’s ready.
No problem. In fact in a rare moment of clarity, I applauded his decision to do his own thing, and not give in to the demands of the day. Uh huh. Do I still get candy?
My No in November looks more like this: no commitments to anything that I don’t ABSOLUTELY have to do. No extra meetings, commitments, calls, or let’s go check it out and see if it’s fun? No little writing pieces I don’t have time for, no more time away from what matters today: this family, and my serenity. Neither of which have had nearly enough attention recently. No more weeks going by without writing here, or taking time to pamper and take care of me in some meaningful way. No more disconnect from that which nourishes me. How about November starts with nourish? An apt little jingle considering Thanksgiving perched neatly at the end of it. Nourish the writer, the mother, the family. Notice what needs to be nourished. What are you going to nourish in yourself this November? What can you choose to let go of?