Take me to, to the other side…

After the responses I received from yesterday’s posts (off line, FB messages and on the post) I thought I better remind my fantastic followers that I also live over on the other side of this is hard a great deal of the time.

Things I am grateful for as a single mom:

1. Cuddles, huggles, night night needs, pile ups, spooning, and movie nights in my bed.

2. Planning vacations wherever we want to go, and asking whoever we want to come with us.

3. Cooking for kids, and leftovers for me works just fine.

4. We only need a little car.

5. Immense pride when my kids do well, which is very often because this  highly functioning, loving, with it parent is absolutely enough and my kids are doing beautifully in this family of three.

6. How easy it is for people to accept offers to help.

7. During my journey to Sam, and birthing Marcel I was able to choose the people I knew could handle all of the mess and the joy with the most ease and skill. Having that lifetime connection with them.

8. When the pediatrician says things like; “Catherine I have no concerns whatsoever about these kids, or your ability to raise them as a single parent. In fact, you really do a bang up job and it shows in so many ways…” And then the next day when another doctor says; “Go home and tell your husband…” and I say; “I don’t have one, but if I did I probably wouldn’t share that with him anyway.” And he balks and says; “Oh I’m sorry.” And I look at him like he has multi-colored slime all over him, and say; “Why? I’m not. I choose to do this on my own, and I’m doing beautifully.”

9. Dancing to All the single ladies in the kitchen, cranked up super high at least four times in a row with the boys, pointing to our rings while swishing the rest of us-and feeling like it is some kind of ridiculously meaningful ritual.

10. Being able to listen to the lowered voices of the wives/partners who admit in secret that they; “sometimes wish they could change places with me…and didn’t have to  worry about their husbands/partners who are not employed/taking care of themselves/unreliable/cheating/not present as parents/glued to the television. Realizing hard is just hard.

Things I’m grateful for as a transracial mom:

1. My entire white mind world was turned inside out, and the new version is 6000% better and improving daily.

2. The strength and beauty that comes from living in the margins.

3. Opportunities to advocate for children (and families) of color  (mine and others). A new found voice  to talk about bias and education for starters.  Learning the difference between speaking for someone, and speaking of that which I notice is a systemic inequity that starts with my own stuff is a hugely satisfying part of that work and path.

4. The new families that are in my life because we are all parenting in the hue.

5. Buying as many of the Black Barbie and other dolls as I can from the Toys R Us so that they identify the need and increase their inventory.

6. Giving those dolls away.

7. The friendship with my son’s donor and the possibility of a deepening relationship with Sam’s first family.

8. Feeling uncomfortable on a cellular level when I realize everyone in the restaurant is white, and choosing to go somewhere else instead.  Sam agreeing that is a good idea. Discovering three mixed/ families of color at the following restaurant, and learning that one of them knows us from the blog.

9. The incredible support and connection of the adoption community in real and ether time.

10. Sam. Marcel.

My beauties/ All rights reserved 2011 MamaCandtheboys


  1. 5. Buying as many of the Black Barbie and other dolls as I can from the Toys R Us so that they identify the need and increase their inventory.

    6. Giving those dolls away. <-I like you already. 🙂

  2. I didn’t respond to yesterday’s post because I wasn’t sure how to phrase what I wanted to say–and I’m still not. Because, you know, this shit is hard. When Marshall sucks at sports and he gives me that look–you know the one. If I had a dad, I would be great at sports look. Well, maybe I tell him. Look at the dad downstairs. He has two great sons who like playing ball with their friends, who never did Little League like you do, and who NEVER, EVER took them to the park to play ball. You might have had a dad like that.

    But then I get 4 hugs before he goes to bed, he knows that the thing we do are because I know we’ll both love them–ask me about the CSI exhibit we went to.

    I know that I am raising an independent self-confident young man, except when he isn’t. And then I wonder, would he be better if there were a man in the house.

    Self-doubt is such a huge part of parenting that no one ever talks about. How many nights have I stayed awake wondering if I’m doing right by him? Is everything always going to be my fault? Well, yes, because everything is also going to be because I did it right. But, to me, so much of it also depends on the personality of the kid. My kid reads–partly because I read to him and he sees me reading–and mostly because it’s in his genes. He wants to read. I’d love to take credit for all the things that he does right. But I know I can’t. So with that in mind, I also try to tell myself that I can’t take the blame for all the things that he doesn’t do up to snuff.

    We’re great moms because we love our kids and because we admit we’re fallible.

  3. Oh, oh, oh! This post made my day. And reminded me of all the reasons why I love being a single mama through adoption as well!

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