Brown, yellow and divinity for dinner.

Mama C and the Boys 2011

Open thread at dinner:

Marcel: My soccer games. I don’t really like it. I’m only going to try it one more time.

Me: Why?

Marcel: Because there are too many people.

Me: On the filed, or watching?

Marcel: Watching. I just want it to be me and all the the soccer players. I don’t like other people that I don’t know so close to me.

(pause)

Sam: I don’t know.

Marcel: What do you want to talk about Sam?

Sam: Um. That um. Sometimes my brother says I did things that I didn’t do.

Me: What about the fact that Kindergarten is almost over?

Sam: I’m a little freaked that I’m going into 1sr grade.

Me: How is that different?

Sam: I’ve never been.

Me: What is one great thing about being a Brown skinned person? Something you get to do, or be that I don’t know?

Sam: I have more girlfriends then you have boyfriends.

Me: What is it about being Brown that is special?

Sam: Only I can do a flip in a pool.

Me: Anything else I should know?

Sam: Only that White people are better than Brown.

Me: (Insert a couple of minutes dispelling that here) Do you feel that way in school?

Sam: All the time.

Marcel: I am creamy. Sometimes I feel like I am yellow.

Me: Yellow? Why?

Marcel: I’m just kidding.

Sam: Brown is Pele’s color, and he is the best.

Marcel: Sometimes I am like a god.

Me: Huh. What does that mean?

Marcel. No! I am in God.

Me: What does that mean?

Marcel: I don’t know.

___

When was the last time you asked your kids if they could tell the world anything what would it be? If I didn’t force the issues, I’d probably learn a lot more. (It’s hard for me to just listen.) I have the laptop open as the boys talk, and catch it verbatim. They understand that this is for “Mama C”. That may influence their input. I always read these posts over to the boys for their “OK” prior to publishing.

Grand S(l)am: bragging rights are not biological

Beachball with Sam/ Mama C and the Boys

He has a gift.

He can hit.

Hand eye coordination doesn’t begin to explain it, either. He aligns the speed of the ball, and the contact with the bat, with every muscle in his arms, legs, and eyes in harmonic syncopation. This has been going on for years, and with his first coach pitch game only two weeks away, I am getting ready.

Ready for the joy he radiates when he hits.

Ready for the heads looking up and over as the ball soars beyond the scope of expectation. Continue reading “Grand S(l)am: bragging rights are not biological”

Mixed Nuts: Lunacy reigns

two square in the basement/ Mama C and the Boys

This is the basement.

This is the two square court (masking tape on carpet).

This is a game I can not only play, but can smoke Sam in.

This is what we renamed the winner square: Queen’s square.

This is what Marcel says when he gets one in: This lunatic can play. Uh huh. Uh huh.

This is Sam’s reaction to my victory dance; That is so annoying of you.

This is the Mama C machine feeling the benefits of creating more time to play.

Marcel Monday: Stretchers don’t hurt? (book review)

The firefighter and his keeper/ Mama C and the Boys

Marcel’s new favorite book is hands down This is the firefighter by Laura Godwin. I love it because the firefighters are female, male, Black, White, and in between. I love that the crowds in the story wear saris and dreadlocks and whatever they choose. We call the one with dreadlocks Tree (Marcel’s donor’s name) because Marcel decided that is what he looks like now. Continue reading “Marcel Monday: Stretchers don’t hurt? (book review)”

Runaway Sam’s not so reluctant return

In a blur/Mama C and the Boys

I could not take a picture of Sam rollerblading yesterday, that captured him face on, in the frame. Talk about an omen. His brother on the other hand, was easy to snag in his roll as the ever cautious “CAAAAAAAAAAR” caller. Continue reading “Runaway Sam’s not so reluctant return”

Sammy and the Snow Plow (slideshow)

It was one of those perfect moments where Sam felt like a star, and I got to bask in his sweet joy.

An auction win that was worth five times the cost: a snow plow ride to school. It couldn’t have worked out with greater ease. Sam walked into school wearing his reflective vest, and a beam the size of one of the snow drifts he got to move in the parking lot according to Eddie, his driver. If you look closely in the “take off “shot you’ll see a school bus waiting behind them to go.

I asked Sam if he wanted to write about it this morning, and he said; just tell everyone I got to use the radio, and move the levers that make the plows crash into the snow.

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Off Frame Friday

A variation on the wordless Wednesday. This first picture, although accidental is such an apt momento of the past week.

Off center/ Mama C and the Boys

This next one was taken during a very sweet “driving test” culminating event at Marcel’s preschool this week. Marcel was the third child to drive through the race course. He made it through two blocks, and stalled. He was parked near Mama for the rest of the event.

I am looking forward to some down time with friends, and the return to middle frame. I am working on a piece for The Adoption Constellation Magazine, and accepting that my new life as chauffeur is weeks away.

Driving Ace/ Mama C and the Boys

Swim, dance, and basketball are on the late winter list for the six and under set. AA baseball sign up was last night for the spring.

When did he stop chewing on baseballs and start throwing them hard enough to merit this?

Sammy Saturday: It’s that easy

A 5 Star Day Ticket/ Mama C and the Boys

Me: What is this? Can you explain this to your audience?
Sam: 5 Stars. Me. 1-2-3-4-5. It was easy.

Me: Can we talk about this for your Saturday post?
Sam: I have a post every Saturday?
Me: Yes. If you’d like to.
Sam: Oh brother.

Me: Twice in one week, Sam. That is so great. What made it easier this week? It seems like it’s been a great week, start to finish.
Sam: I got the last star for helping my teacher pack up my folder at the end of the day.
Me: Is that not a great time for you usually?
Sam:  Actually that’s right. And I am done talking about this.

Me: One last question?
Sam: Oh brother. OK. What?
Me: How did you do it? I mean what is the thing, besides me offering to double the contents of your savings jar each time?
Sam: The dollars. I want to buy myself something.
Me: OK. But babe, what did you differently today? You said it was easy? Why? If you think about it, it might make it easier, and easier, if you keep doing the thing you did well today. That’s why I am asking.

Sam: (after a long pause) I looked at the kids who were listening and I did what they were doing.

***

Teaching a six year old to be self reflective about his good behavior is not easy. Actually, teaching a forty-two year old the same thing is proving hard for his mother. The above conversation is actually three conversations over the afternoon and evening knit together.

Sammy’s “star chart” was put in place at the beginning of kindergarten to help Sam pay attention to the importance of listening to directions (my words, not the teacher’s) the first time. The school reward: fifteen minutes of computer time at the end of the day.

The frequency of reaching the coveted 5 stars? On average Sam would bring home a 5 star day, about once every two weeks. In a one more last ditch attempt to amp up the allure of it working, I offered to double the contents of Sam’s saving jar each time he received the full five stars this week. (His teacher is amazing, and has maintained faith in the plan. Her goal: make it obsolete. Let’s just hope I don’t have to take out a new line of credit to get there!) A great chance to talk about exponential growth, and encourage him to start saving and actively listening again.

When and if did you bring a monetary reward into play? I’m sure people have big thoughts on the issue. For us, I have to say, it had undeniable results. And, yes, the doubling offer, was a one week deal. Which begs the question, what will I do next week?

S is for Shade

My bi-weekly post over at Mixed and Happy (posted last night) explores a young child’s (and my own) understanding of shade or shadeism (discrimination that exists between the lighter-skinned and darker-skinned members of the same community) and how quickly this seems to have emerged into Sam’s social circles already. Here is an excerpt:

It was a birthday party. Kids, adults, pizza, cake, the usual suspects. One of the young men at the party was getting along particularly well with Sam, my oldest. Sam has rich mahogany brown skin, and tight curly hair. The new friend had lighter, creamier brown skin, and looser curls. They were goofing off, talking about whatever you talk about at six and six and a quarter. Then the new friend said with undeniable clarity; “You know you are darker than me. And your hair is different.”

To read the rest of the piece please head on over to Mixed and Happy, and leave a comment if you feel so inspired.  It is a piece begging for input, really.

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Please come back tomorrow to Mama C and help me welcome my first guest writer a young wordsmith  from San Francisco, California with a provoking piece on human nature that in his own words; “..[is] an idea that just came to me.”

Linky love: books & kids & diversity & adoption and…

Reading with the pro!

I am always inspired by Our Little Tongginator’s Linkage post on Sundays. She does an amazing job searching the net, and providing the readership with links that she may or may  not agree with, but find worthy of note (almost all  of which have some major adoption/race related connection).  Whenever Mama C makes the cut, my readership jumps by a 100 or so for a few days. That tells you how valued her word is! Continue reading “Linky love: books & kids & diversity & adoption and…”