From the bleachers, the slide and the street

Working on his power twist

Watching Sam hit a baseball is one of my favorite past times. Marcel has a swing on him too, and starts t-ball at the end of the week!  At practice yesterday Sam boasted to his teammates about his powerful hit, a result of our batting practice the night before. The kid really can hit!  I was happy to reconnect with the parents I know, and reach out to a few new faces. The bleacher culture is one I’m surprisingly at home in. I love the snippets of opportunity for adult conversation, outbursts of cheer, and that camaraderie  web that brings us together at practices and games. Sitting next to one brown skin Papa, I immediately launched into my; “I am so glad Sam is one of several kids of color out there again this year,” conversation. When his partner joined us I immediately boasted about Sam’s choice of threads at Easter. Read: this Black mama will think I am a good mother of a brown skinned child if she knows I bought my son a three piece suit…I stopped myself before making her look at pictures on my phone. I had just met the woman ten minutes ago! Continue reading “From the bleachers, the slide and the street”

Wearing a hoodie and sweatpants or…

Wearing exactly what Trayvon was wearing, as he was described by his killer on the 911 call.

I wasn’t going to post this picture of my son, because it felt so intimate somehow. So innocent, sweet, and like I needed to protect it.

Then in my grief and confusion this week upon learning about another parent’s loss of their innocent, sweet, and hoodie wearing little boy, who they can no longer protect, I realized it was the least I could and should do, because their son Trayvon is my son Sam.

If you haven’t already signed the petition, or acted in some way to bring justice to the young man, who looked just like Sammy, only he was ten years older, and armed with a bag of candy for his little brother when he was shot dead, please do so here.

Love Isn’t Enough has a special Trayvon edition here.

Because Trayvon is ALL OF OUR SONS.

I lay awake at night praying that my sons will know what to do, when someone asks them what they are doing there, or in this car, or on that sidewalk with a tone they must recognize immediately as needing to know in a particular kind of way or else.  How will I, the white mama have any idea how to raise them to know what a white man might intend to do to them if they don’t know the right way to act, or else.

Trayvon was just seventeen years old, walking to the store to buy his little brother some candy,  talking to his friend on the phone, visiting his father in a gated community in Florida. His killer, a community watchman, has had no charges brought against him, after admitting to shooting and killing Trayvon 24 days ago.

Please join us in keeping national attention on the injustice. Please join me, in doing our part as parents of Trayvons everywhere to insist that a child is a child, is a child. A child is our responsibility to protect.

3/25/2012 I am adding a link to this post at Rage Against the Mini Van titled “Required Reading on the killing of Trayvon Martin

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My deepest sorrow reaches out to his parents, and as well to the parents of the Jewish children, and the family of the Jewish father shot in Toulouse, France Monday, another blatant act of racism and hatred. It is all unfathomable.

Love winter style (a relationship post from Mama C?)

Sam's snow pants with heart shaped duct taped patches.

There is a whole lot of wintery love happening over in Mama C ville. We love snow days. We love pancakes with lots of maple syrup. We love making music. We love each other. We’re in a sweet place. It’s moments like these in all their rare splendor that I am most inclined to ask–so what is working? What am I doing differently? Or more of? Or less of? How do I keep it going?

I owe a lot of this moment to an interaction I had recently with my dear friend Samantha that helped me to have a rather significant breakthrough in my relational life: Being critical is so easy. Loving someone with an open heart-in spite of them being human, full of faults & so imperfect for us-that is the real work of life. The real opening and realization of mature love. Not easy. So worth it. And the true nature in all of us.

For any number of reasons that quote allowed me to experience this dramatic shift in my relational practice recently. It is practice isn’t it? Periods of gentle ease and balance were almost always being followed by extreme periods dominated by a hyper critical voice that kept going into dissect mode.  Nothing was good enough for me, the apparent Queen of the World. Once in this mode, it is VERY hard for me to interrupt it on my own. The way the other person tilts their head can send me. Yes, it’s that bad.

This is a practice I don’t fall into with my friends. Why is it my fall back in relationship I wonder. (No, I am not asking for analysis here. My therapist is paid for that thanks.) I am just doing what I do best–sharing with you the process. Somehow that little quote gave me permission to step WAY BACK and STOP. To believe in the divine kindness and caring in front of me, and embrace it, tilted head and all. Talk about a shift.

Another ah-ha for me was the extent that  I am also hyper critical with my kids in certain scenarios-like when I think their behavior is somehow a reflection of me? Maybe I’m reaching here–but when I just look at their behavior as a reflection of who they are–I find I have 50,000 times more patience. She also reminded me how true this is about how we are with ourselves. That seems like another blog post entirely!

Did you like how I just jumped right over the relationship paragraph and went right back into parenting? Slick huh? Is Mama C dating? How long has that been going on? Who? What about the kids? How does that all factor in? All great questions, that I have no intention of addressing here at this time. (Was the emphasis on the here, or the at this time in that sentence?) Stay tuned. That’s all I choose to  say right now. OK, I will tell you that I did not have to dig my car out of the driveway the other morning, and my kids were off tubing so that I could have uninterrupted time to write this post, and then go run some errands and work out. Beginning to see why some of  you partnered folks seem to have a little more time on your hands to blog on occasion?

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My workshop-I can talk about race (in the classroom)-was postponed until next month–due to snow. I was so disappointed. But apparently the universe wanted more time to get the word out on this one? As if 75 folks wasn’t enough! I was feeling so pumped up and ready for it too. (That’ll teach me to be on top of things! ) Then last night, I was contacted by a national organization, and asked if I would present the workshop in March to members in Maine. Apparently word travels fast. I woke up this morning thinking it might be time to begin a new blog. One devoted to my professional work on it’s own?

A magical 36

After that big week, the family was due a little Maine magic. Although there was no “real” snow, we were able to check one of Sam’s bucket list items off in grand fashion this weekend–his first snowboarding lesson. As a way of getting more folks interested in the sport, “Free Snowboarding Week” was introduced. A friend managed to snag Sam this two hour lesson, complete with gear and lift ticket for free. We just had to get there. And get there we did!  When I stopped thinking about the fact that we were probably one of the only mixed race families to stay at this amazing old Camden Inn  (could you please stop starring at US?!?) I could accept that the boys loved having the pool to themselves and found my way to this very restful and joyful place too. Continue reading “A magical 36”

Race, ethnicity and place: A conversation considering all things

Summer Sam/ Mama C and the Boys 2010

I’m excited to launch something a little different here at Mama C that will hopefully invite my lurkers, and my steadfast contributors alike to join. For months, well more like years now, I have been thinking about how living in 86% White/ 6.4% Black or African American/ 3.0 Asian/2.4% Biracial identified/.5 American Indian/Alaska Native/ .5 Native Hawaiin/Other Pacific Islander and / 1.0 Other race/ Portland, Maine can and will impact my children.*  Bottom line: as a TRA and biological parent is it in my children’s best interest all things considered to stay here?  I’ve read John Riable’s writing on the subject, memoirs by TRA adult adoptees, like Black Baby, White Hands: A View from the crib and recently crumpled in a heap a few times over, when this post by a very dear friend who left Portland, Maine with her transracial family made me wonder it all all over again.  She is at peace with her decision, another friend said after reading the post. That was it. Peace. That’s what I want too. Peace with my own decision, as the head of the household to raise my family, here. Continue reading “Race, ethnicity and place: A conversation considering all things”

Friday’s New Friends to Follow

Milk shakes and popcorn with protein powder for dinner. You catch my drift? I’m spent. Blurry. Toast. So, I’m handing over the keys to three relatively new friends (two in real time and space to me), with relatively new blogs who all share something in common with at least one if not more of the reasons you stop by Mama C. Be one of the first on the ether to stop on by, share an encouraging and thought provoking word, and let them know you’re out there! Continue reading “Friday’s New Friends to Follow”

My Own Racial Awareness Evolution at Adoption Mosaic

Several weeks back one of my gurus in the adoption world, Tara Kim at Adoption Mosaic Blog, invited me to become a guest blogger there. My first attempt at tackling what my own racial awareness evolution looks like appears there today.

And for those of you looking for more back story, my “Spotlight” profile at Mom’s of Hue sheds a little more light.

The boys are waking, the day begs my attention.  This instant coffee is not quite enough for a Wednesday.

Was it the boots?

I went out to dinner last at a new Korean restaurant in town, Happy Teriyaki, followed by dancing to a popular local cover band, The Delta Knights. The drummer, Larry is a warmhearted large black man, who exudes calm, and has endless talent. He took a liking to Sam many years back on a summer’s day when we saw them play an outdoor venue. He gave me child rearing tips then, impressing upon me how important it would be for Sam to know his musical heritage as part of  his cultural background. Last night Larry was dutifully impressed by pictures of the boys that I thrust at him, nearly knocking over the drum set to do so, when we arrived minutes before the set began. Continue reading “Was it the boots?”

Race Fast Forward Fifteen from a Jaiya John’s Passage

I picked this up again last night, when I was gathering all of the books I have on adoption from an adult point of view. I am working on a resource list for the blog, and would love suggestions from my readers. Depending on the breadth of the list, I would like to create an “Adoption Challenge” too. ( Color Online has inspired me to create one my own. ) Please let me know if your suggestion is geared toward a particular group (transracial adoption, or Korean Adoption for example).  I have read about two thirds of this book on several occasions. I may never  finish it. I don’t know that I need to. I use it like some people pick up a tarot deck or a bible. I pick open a page, and root around until I find what I need at that moment. Continue reading “Race Fast Forward Fifteen from a Jaiya John’s Passage”