Tag Archives: tween

Learning to Let Go: Year Eleven

6 Oct

Slowly, I realize your pencil is sharpest while my eyes are averted. Your attention is focused on the page, on the numbers, on the words you are meant to memorize when I hold my tongue.

You are every day so much more your own person – conscientious, creative, sharp-witted, smart – and you prefer not to filter yourself through the words or the gaze or the systems designed by your mother. I get it. I was where you are once.

I respect your choices. I respect your desires. I appreciate that good work, good grammar, completion of anything you begin matters to you. This is everything. This is … you becoming you.

As I, again, become me.

I am still your mom. I will always be your mom, wanting you to succeed, offering to put myself, my life, my own choices, desires, preferences on the line for you, even as you silently show me this isn’t what you need. Or want.

But this is my struggle: Being me, just me, knowing I am enough on my own. I am enough when I step back, when I talk about something other than you, when there is space between us. I am enough when I do me.

This is a middle school lesson I must learn – and not only for myself, which is why it may stick.

This stepping back is how I let you do you, too.

Flip Flops - Cabo

Email sent WED at 3:30 p.m.

17 Sep

It’s 3:30. School’s out. Middle school auditions are today, directly after school, and I am sitting at my desk downtown, acutely aware of the time.

I will not text Miss E
I will not text Miss E about her audition
I will not text Miss E
I will not text Miss E
I will not remind Miss E to introduce herself
I will not text Miss E
I will not send Miss E emoticons like kissy faces or thumbs extended upward
I will not text Miss E
I will not text Miss E
I will not text Miss E
I will not text Miss E
I will not tell Miss E to please use excellent diction and speak slowly and don’t overact and enjoy the experience and breathe deeply
I will do none of this because SHE’S GOT THIS

I will not text Miss E
I will not text Miss E

I promise:
I will not text our daughter today.
Unless she texts me first.

Time for a Change

15 May

Lately, I’ve been thinking about my name. My blog name. About changing my blog name to something like Poet by the Side of the Road or From the Parking Lane.

I do my best writing – or most consistent writing anyway – parked in my car. Between other activities. Blissfully alone. In fact, the only time I can count on being alone is in my car between other things.

Do you feel me?

My youngest certainly appreciates the screen time I allow her while I’m trailing words across the page in her presence – but then the mom-guilt kicks in, my words get messy and eventually whatever I’m writing implodes. Often. Not always, but often. Which means I’m better off in my car while she’s doing something else – making bracelets, practicing yoga. Okay, she hasn’t made bracelets in a good long while. Maybe ever. But you get what I mean?

While the tween is busy with something besides a screen: That is my best writing time.

That time with sun streaming through the car windshield. With chirping birds, newly arrived. With wind chimes, lulling me gently.

I need a name from my own point of view. From the driver’s seat. Right? Not from the point of view of my daughter’s friends.

But even if I change my name, my fonts aren’t quite right. My colors are abysmal. My photos are busy. My poems are spotty. My vision is muddy. I feel like the puppy is trotting around the room with my bra in his teeth.

* * *

Our puppy scampers

around the couch,

head held high, my

bra tucked in his teeth.

* * *

When Company Comes:

Our puppy scampers

round and round the couch , my silk

bra tucked in his teeth.

* * *

It isn’t my bra. It’s my Honey’s. And it hasn’t been – to my knowledge – trotted out in the presence of company. But it could have been. Right? Poetic license.

This is how my brain works.

Not long ago, the dog almost ate Miss E’s homework. For real. For weeks, she prepared for the academic fair: One hundred facts onto note cards –> a 10-page paper –> a visual display –> everything back onto note cards for an oral presentation.

wpid-20150426_125848.jpgI pick her up from school, where her display board waits safely in the gym with all the others. I shuttle her to YogaKids, breathe through the next hour with a mom friend on the couch beside me and a pen in my hand, and as we get back into the car 30 minutes before she needs to get back to school for her presentation, she says to me, “Mom, we have to go home and print my paper.” Again. Apparently, she needs two copies – one for the academic fair and one to turn in.

Home is 10 minutes away from yoga class and 10 minutes away from school. We haven’t eaten dinner yet. You do the math.

As soon as we hit the front door and we’re in WiFi range, Miss E deftly opens her research paper on the school-issued iPad, converts it to PDF, and sends it to print. She staples it together (quickly, but still, 5 minutes have passed), she sets it on the dining room table so she can use the bathroom before we leave.

It seems the puppy’s legs have grown. Before we know it, he’s snatched the entire paper off the table and is prancing around the living room, pleased as punch, shaking his head while a trimester of work dangles from his puppy mouth.

“What?! Wait! What does he have?!”

His bite marks are only on the title page, happily, so out the door we go. Snip Snap! We rush through a drive-through for dinner and reach the academic fair hardly late at all. Sweet!

Maybe my new blog name could be Things the Puppy Has Chewed.

When I started this blog, my intention was clear. I was writing to make space for lesbian moms. I was writing so allies would have something to share. I was writing for younger lesbians who couldn’t imagine becoming moms. I was writing to say: We’re here. We’re queer. And the kids are alright.

But times have changed, both inside my house and outside it. Mombian is fan-flipping-tastic – has been for a whole lot longer than I’ve been in the blogosphere – and of course, there’s the truly awesome Village Q. And both sites, besides sharing their own stories, list blog after blog after blog worth reading.

Lesbian moms are everywhere in real life, too. There are lesbians parenting kids in every grade at my daughter’s school. We’re in the news. On TV shows. We are VISIBLE.

It’s fricking amazing.

Even more important for me, though, and for my blog… my 5th grade daughter doesn’t want her business out in the world for everyone to see. I mean, if my mom had a blog when I was her age, I would have died. Truly. So I get it. But what do I write about now? Where do I steer? Where is my new true writing north?

Maybe a new name, once I land one, will give me a place to begin.

in the blink of an eye

7 May

My girl unfurls herself

from my backseat,

slips each arm easily

into her backpack straps,

and emerges from my car.


I reach

for the project

she’s taken

three months

to create,

while students stream

into the school.


“I want to carry my poster, Mom,”

she says, and

takes it from me,

proudly nods my dismissal,

offers a smile

full of love,

accepts my hug

and carries her poster

down the sidewalk,

stepping lightly,

head held high

while I

start the car

and

drive away.


wpid-20150412_150953.jpg

When you were one or two

26 Mar

When you were one, you did not dress yourself. You did not undress yourself. You lifted an arm, a foot, waiting for your clothes to go on, to come off. Passive. Peaceful. Mostly. Except for that time you got really mad, pulled your pants off and sat against the wall. Teaching us all that you could do a bit more than we knew.

When you were three, you were fascinated with boxes, climbing in and out of them, bringing your treasures with you, making each box a house, a hat, a tunnel, a castle, a place to hide in plain sight. It was important to you that we knew where you were, even if you giggled that we couldn’t see you.

When you were four, all the girls at preschool came running up to me one day, telling me how your friend would not let you play with them and over the weeks that followed, we learned slowly that this was only one small piece of what she wouldn’t let you do. We met with your teacher and the principal. We changed your class. We spoke with you about friendship and empathy, loyalty and being your own person and you were four, mostly mad at us because you weren’t in the same class anymore with your friend.

When you were five, you started Kindergarten. While I walked you to school that first day, Mama helped your big sister move into her first college dorm.

By the time you were eight, I had started this blog … to savor the richness of random moments, to try and make sense of my life as a mom… a practice I find gets buried lately under homework management and errands and laundry and remembering what you need to bring to school.

And slowly now, I am losing track of what each box means to you and which skills and desires you acquire day by day. It’s the way of the world. It’s the way of growing girls and growing moms, I know. But still…

When did we start reading our own books side-by-side in bed each night?

What was the first fact about science or history or life you told me that I didn’t already know?

Was it just this year that you stopped needing me to wait with you on the school blacktop until first bell?

Monday, you will be eleven.

Eleven.

Packing your chorus shirt into your backpack because you have rehearsal – long before I ask,“Honey, do you know you need your Chorus shirt today?” — because you do know and you’ve handled it.

Eleven.

Still trying out every box. Still not much interested in clothes. Still proud of how mysterious you can be. Making up your own language sometimes.

Eleven.

Still throwing your arms around my waist every once in awhile without being asked, words tumbling out of you – real words I’m meant to understand – about something that happened in your day.

Eleven.

Still wanting me to know where you are, even as you giggle that you can’t be seen.

Eleven. Still my darling, growing girl.

Happy Birthday!

I love you.
❤ Mom

We didn’t change the world. Now what?

5 Feb

After my daughter asked, “Why aren’t there two brown girls together?” about her pages and pages of stickers of American Girls playing and reading and living their lives … after I agreed that it wasn’t right … after she set her lips in that way she has that’s new and disturbing, I had a few choices to make:

Call her on her attitude? No. Not this time. Leave it alone? Let things be as they are? Again: No. Then what do we do?

Write a letter? Write an email? Make a call? Enlist the help of friends – her friends? my friends? Who starts it off? Me, the mom? Her, the kid? Me, the ally? Her, the one whose life is not represented by her favorite brand? And then – what if it doesn’t change? Because probably, it won’t.

We wrote a letter. Mostly, I wrote it and she sat on her iPad nearby, jumping up to add her commentary and make a few edits over my shoulder before we printed it off to stamp and send. She didn’t want to sign it, but she wanted it written. She wanted to be heard.

Here’s what we said:

Dear American Girl,

I am the mother of a ten-year-old who loves your dolls. She loves them. She lobbied my partner and me for one of your dolls for two years before we granted her wish and when we finally did visit your store to choose her doll, she did cartwheels in the aisle. She selected a brown girl that looks like her – from your historical series – the girl most like her in color and facial features – and she has played with her American Girl Doll with love and enthusiasm, over and over and over again.

We have your books on friendship and self-care and puberty, and both she and I appreciate the approach you’ve taken, the stories you’ve chosen to share, the facts, and the tone you take with your readers. We also like the pictures. A lot.

You’ve done a very good job with many things.

A couple weeks ago, though, my daughter and her friend and I were making cards and badges and crafts with your scrapbook sticker set and we noticed something upsetting, especially in the middle of our country’s overt and strong racial tensions. We noticed that while brown girls were shown in a variety of activities, there were no brown girls together. When your brown girls were social, they were social only with white girls. We also noticed there were hardly any Asian girls. And we wondered:  Why is that?

Respectfully …

I took a picture before we mailed it. Then we left town to visit family for Christmas.

wpid-20141221_101753.jpg

By the time their response arrived – and it didn’t take long, really – we had both forgotten about the letter we sent.

But then I saw the return address, the logo, the postmark, and called her over. “American Girl wrote back. Do you want to hear what they said?” She gave me that guarded look again – not entirely cold this time, still hopeful. I could almost hear her heart beating in her chest. Or maybe it was the heart in my own chest I heard. It’s hard to tell sometimes.

Here is what they wrote back:

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with American Girl. We appreciate your feedback and are happy to hear how much your daughter enjoys her doll and our books. At the same time, we’re sorry to hear about your disappointment with our recent catalogue.

Our mission is to ‘Celebrate Girls’, all girls, so we’re committed to having diverse options within our product lines and marketing efforts. While we do not always have the luxury of reshooting catalogue pages to create better balance, one edition may have a better balance than another. However, we believe being a girl, any girl, is great and that the girls we inspire today will become the women who make the difference tomorrow. You have our word that American Girl will continually strive to maintain our reputation for inclusiveness.

We appreciate your interest in an Asian American doll. With the re-launch of the historical collection, we’ve decided to move away from the friend-character strategy within the line, which means we no longer offer Julie’s best friend of Chinese-American heritage, Ivy Ling ®. However, we’re constantly exploring various time periods and cultures to add to our line. We believe the Asian-American story is a very important one to share with girls and we hope to have the opportunity to do so at some point in the future.

In the meantime, we currently offer dolls which are considered Asian American in appearance: Bitty Baby ® (DFN00), Bitty Twins® (F4991-GF1A), the My American Girl® doll (F1253). In addition, our 2006 Girl of the Year® character, Jess®, was of Japanese American heritage. Each of these dolls has light skin, dark brown or black hair, and dark brown or black almond-shaped eyes.

Ms. … we value your opinion and hope this information is helpful. Customer comments are important to us as we strive to make our products as appealing from as many vantage points as possible.

Sincerely…

I couldn’t get through the letter without commentary. Hers. Mine. Kelly’s. Reshooting? Inclusiveness? 2006? Julie’s best friend?

“That’s stupid!” my daughter finally said, and I agreed. Again.

But again – now what?

When you try to change the world with a few tiny words and you’re not really heard and there is no change, what then? What’s next? What do you do when your child is watching, waiting?

“Do you want me to post it on my blog?” I asked her. “To see if anyone else has an idea?”

“Yes!” she said. “Do that.”

And she nodded. Decision made.

I took out identifying info ’cause that’s just how I am, but here are the letters in their original form:

AGD letter 12 21 2014

AGD response 1 8 2015

Our letter wasn’t perfect. Neither was American Girl’s.

But I’m posting them here and now I’m asking – I really am asking – in case one of you has an idea that sticks:

We didn’t change the world.

Now what?

What would you do?

Who’s Driving this Car?

15 Jan

That’s the question I want to be asking because lately, my questions are all about power. Who has it? Who wants it? Can I have some? Do I have some? Can I let some go? Who has the wheel? Who must step aside?

Whether I’m talking about my tween and homework, my life, or my work, it always eventually comes to this: Who’s driving the car?

But let’s back up. I posted a question on Monday, and I aim to answer it. Here’s a refresher . . .image

Do you know where you are on your journey?

~ Kobi Yamada, ever wonder

After curating our year-end campaign for work — inviting staff, allies and supporters to map their journeys and share with the hashtag #MapYourJourney — I was supremely tickled by this question. There is a synergy at play, or perhaps it’s simply that “journey” is the word for 2015.

My word, anyway.

But which journey do I address?

* * *

I began my blog shortly after my stepmother died, acutely aware of how little time we have on this earth, how any impact we’re going to have must happen here, now … imperfectly, passionately … and here I am, still bumping around inside the heart of imperfection.

* * *

To pinpoint where I am on my journey as an activist for equity and justice, a too-quiet activist these past few years . . . I’m drawn back to something I wrote in my journal a few weeks ago . . . The morning after a Grand Jury failed to hear the case against Darren Wilson, I was livid. Quietly seething, truly horrified. There are not enough adjectives in my lexicon to reflect all the sparks, or all the tendrils, of my emotion. I stayed silent on social media. I didn’t have anything helpful to say.

Even as I left the house, even as I rode the train, walked down the sidewalk, smoldering inside – still, I had no words.

I walked directly into my coworkers’ office before removing my coat, my hat, before opening the door of my own office – I needed human contact, perspective, SOMETHING. I need to talk with someone as furious as myself – as hurt, as angry, as appalled.

We shared our outrage. I took off my hat. We told each other how we’d each heard the news, how it impacted us, what it reminded each of us of. I unzipped my coat. There were flushed cheeks. Tears. Intensity. Hugs. We come from different places, but we stood together. In that moment, we stood together.

I would have imploded without that.

Silence is not an option, not over the long term. Which means . . .

My opinions and my mistakes – so many of them – are coming out more and more now because even if I’m wrong or stupid or sheltered sometimes, even when I see it wrong or say it wrong, I know I have to keep talking until I get it right.

* * *

And listening. I have to keep listening, too.

I landed in nonprofit communications as a drifter with drive but no direction. I’m learning as I go — as we all are, I suppose.

I am learning not just how to be an online marketer or a non-profit storyteller, a social media manager or a website content creator – it’s bigger than that – I am learning what it means to listen. To be humble. To sit in a room with people I respect, people from many walks of life, and to support – truly support – one another as we grow.

It isn’t easy.

For any of us.

* * *

I consider each journey. To each journey, I bring my full attention.

Where am I? Who’s driving the car?

I am a poet, a mom, a blogger, a dreamer, an Aquarian in the middle of my life. I am a woman, a mom, a stepmom, a wife. I’m an auntie, a mentor, a daughter, a friend, an activist, a writer, a communicator. I am sometimes a bridge. I am overweight and under-styled. Down-to-earth. True to my word. I have never been happier. I am lonely sometimes.

Rilke says, in his Letters to a Young Poet:

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

I had a really hard time with last week’s question, I have to confess. I nearly scrapped the whole question-and-answer idea, except that … I am loving the conversations.

I love to see how we’re all on a journey, each of us with our own answers, our own ideas, our own responses or explorations, our own blinders, stumbling blocks, strengths, insights and passion – and it’s okay – it’s really okay – to see all these words we share back and forth across the screen as a living, breathing conversation. I can still change my mind. You can still change yours. We can change direction. Over and over again. And we will. These words do not need to box us in.

No.

I put words out here on my blog to be examined. I write them where I can see them, turn them over in my mind, rub them smooth with my fingers like shells or stones found on the shore, gifts from the sea, something I can hold onto, a kind of magic, daring me to make them into something liveable and real.

Where am I on this journey?

I am learning to love the questions.

Writing a letter won’t change the world, but it’s something

11 Dec

“Why aren’t there two brown girls together?” my ten-year-old asks me. We are sitting at our dining room table with her friend after a sleepover, making cards and badges and art using colorful scrapbook paper and American Girl stickers. I shake my head, my heart breaking for my brown daughter whose awareness of racism is growing alongside the nation’s rage and despair and – thank goodness, finally – the outcry against the killing of Black men.

Her American Girl stickers portray a few brown girls. And Black girls. Even raven-haired girls who might be interpreted in a certain light as non-white. But the majority of the girls – kicking soccer balls, playing cards, setting up tents, riding horses – are white, and those who aren’t white are pictured alone, or with a girl who is white.

My daughter is beginning to say these things out loud when she sees them. She is learning to recognize how much of our lives are reflected back to us through a white lens – and she doesn’t like it. Not one bit.

I look from her to her friend, who is coolly cutting her next shape, setting it down, reaching for a marker. We don’t talk long. My daughter expresses her disgust. I agree. She asks me to pass the glue.

But it’s not okay. It’s not okay that everything from our stickers to our books, our schools, our places of employment, our laws, our expectations of society, our security forces, our healthcare system is viewed and reviewed through a white lens. It’s just not.

Especially when that white lens leads eventually to fear, and hate … and killing.him.before.he.can.kill.you. AS IF HE POSES A THREAT.

But what do we DO? How do we as a family respond to this tiny – insignificant? – symptom of a culture that elevates the perspective of people who look like me, and dismisses (both subtly and overtly) everyone else?

Do we write to American Girl and ask them to add more girls, more ethnicities, more brown girls playing together in their sticker sets? What does this change?

I want big strokes, sweeping change. I want to believe in justice. I want to require it.

The morning after Illinois passed civil unions into law, the lesbian moms with kids at my daughter’s school all walked our kids to school together – two parents together – just … because. We didn’t plan it. It just happened. Two moms walking a kid to school is… unnecessary, is … strange, is … empowering, is … magical. Remembering makes me want to cry. We’ve come so far in such a short time. We have. On certain things.

Now there are protests. And there have been protests, for months, for years, people crying out, raging, standing strong, saying NO. And other people – like me – are finally listening.

It’s just that the problem is so big and so many of us feel so small.

And – let’s be honest – it’s also that speaking out, standing strong means we risk losing people we love from our lives.

There’s that. While at the same time …

People are laying themselves in the street in solidarity with Eric Garner.

People are risking arrest and holding signs and saying NO everywhere they go.

There is so much that must be done.

Bit by bit. Piece by piece. Person by person.

Each one, reach one, right?

So maybe writing to American Girl is something, even if it only serves to sharpen my daughter’s voice, or to open a conversation with you. How else do you dismantle injustice?

Shaking a fist.

Writing a letter.

Lighting a candle.

Holding a sign.

…Bit by bit.

No one can go to battle every day, every minute, all the time. Can they?

And yet – so many people do.

…Person by person.

Pulling young family members aside,

talking with them about systemic racism

and the news.

It’s all something:

Speaking up.

Standing strong.

Not being silent

anymore.

It’s all something,

and there are

so many somethings

to be done.

Mental Hygiene

31 Jul

LilypadsLast Friday, I was gulping down my second cup of coffee, dressed uncharacteristically in creased slacks and heeled sandals at a meeting for work, sitting between a dear friend and a new acquaintance. They were catching up. I was taking it all in. And at some point, my new acquaintance referenced “mental hygiene” as an antiquated phrase which eventually morphed into “mental health.” I’m honestly not sure which phrase I prefer, but she dismissed “mental hygiene” as the foundational philosophy for electric shock therapy and other efforts to clean or sanitize the human mind.

I saw her point, sharing her disdain for our culture’s approach to mental health through the ages, and yet …

“Mental hygiene” also resonated with me. It suggested daily maintenance, frequent care and attention. It’s a phrase that could remind me to take those daily silent moments for myself, opening that deep, rich sense of myself with the same care and frequency I put into brushing my teeth, showering, or brushing my hair.

Did I find a new title for my blog?

For months, I’ve been hopping all over the place in search of a new theme for this blog of mine. Because Miss E now has an undeniable need for privacy, which means telling the stories of our more profound or transformative conversations feels to me like breaking her trust. She is experimenting with distance and intimacy. She is full-on tween. These are precarious days.

She is also nearing the age I was when my mom began to spin out, eventually shedding her role as a parent for many years…

Recently, I arrived home after a grueling day at work, calling “Hello!” as I unlocked the door. My two dogs came running to greet me. I pet them both on the head, cooing my love. Then I went searching for the humans. Kelly, my partner, was out with clients and our home was unbelievably, eerily silent. I walked down to the basement, where my eldest was sorting the chaos of her bedroom, working hard to make it peaceful and clean – and while she was lovely to me and kind, I had clearly interrupted. I tried to stay brief, sticking to: Hello. When is our company coming? What’s the plan for dinner? And finally – Is your sister here?

“She should be in her room,” she answered, shuffling her pile again.

Miss E had never in her life failed to greet me at the door, but I climbed the stairs, knocked on her Minecraft-decorated door, entered, and found her sitting on the bed with headphones on, iPod in-hand. I kissed her head.

“What?!” she said, scrunching up her shoulders. “I’m watching videos.” I hadn’t seen her in ten hours. At least.

Still, I nodded. “Okay,” I told her, leaning over and kissing her again. “I love you.” I stood straight and walked towards her bedroom door.

“I love you, too, Mom,” she said.

I told this story to my friend Helen the next day at work, this story of the first time I arrived home after a challenging day and my young one didn’t run to greet me at the door. She said it hit her right in the heart, which I needed to hear, and she said she’d been there with her kids, too, who are all grown now. “She’ll come back to you,” Helen assured me.

“I never came back to my mom,” I replied. I didn’t think it through; I just said it. But it was true, I realized as the words came tumbling out of my mouth.

So THIS is the trouble I’m having now, I thought. This right here.

… which brought me back to the idea of Mental Hygiene. And how writing for me is like flossing.

Flossing my mind?

Helen may be right. It’s possible. Miss E may come back. Or maybe she won’t go far when she goes. When she separates. I can’t predict.

After all, at forty-five, I am slowly coming back to my mom – imperceptibly perhaps, but STILL – I wouldn’t have predicted that.

And so I floss. And I brush. And I rest. And I write. As much as I can. For my own mental hygiene. Praying we’ll all turn out all right.

 

The truth about eggs

24 Jul

IMG_20140724_213440_582Writing guides a writer to what’s real. Or writing guides me.

“Write until you hit that nugget of truth,” we’re told.

Write.

Just write.

Kelly calls down the laundry chute to me this morning before work, “Roi, do you want me to make you some eggs?”

“Yes, please!” I tell her, looking up from the fitted sheet I’m folding.

“One or two?”

“Two, please.” Eggs are delicious.

I arrive at the table some time later. My daughter is gnawing on something which is not an egg. She’s reading, too. Breakfast in our house is rarely a family affair. We come and go from the table, pop in and out, sometimes only half-dressed, in search of a shoe, a necklace, a key, hurry through, distracted by the day’s to-do’s, by our books, and by our devices. Breakfast is rarely a family affair, but dinner is. At dinner, devices and books are banned.

But not at breakfast.

“Thank you so much, Honey!” I feel well cared for. It shows. Kelly smiles.

Then she asks Miss E, “Did you not like your eggs, cutie?” They are still on her plate, one tiny bite missing.

“No. You made them all runny. I don’t like that.” She doesn’t look at either of us. She crinkles her nose. She lifts the edge of her bitten egg white with her fork, lets it down again, and turns her attention back to her book.

I’m stunned, although I shouldn’t be.

“That’s good for me to know,” Kelly says. “I make them like that because you used to like them… runny.”

“I don’t like them runny,” Miss E replies without moving her eyes. Kelly nods. Because that’s the truth, Miss E’s truth, here, this minute. She does not like the runny eggs. And she does not like talking. Right now. To us. That is her truth and it’s clear, even before I sit down hours later to write it out.

A few minutes later, I ask her to please thank Mama for trying. She does. Mama seems pleased – which pleases Miss E, too.

Over time, I hope this sort of interaction becomes its own reward — this thanking, acknowledging, making people who care for you feel good. That’s my truth.

That’s my own truth about eggs.

And then I wonder… If we all tell our egg stories, no matter how mundane, amid the stories of spelling bees won, goals kicked into the net, gracious manners and lessons truly deeply learned … If we all tell the truth about eggs, will we see ourselves in one another? Will it make us smarter, wiser, kinder?

As bloggers, as writers, as readers typing in the comment box, as friends emailing with friends, can we build the elusive parenting village in this technologically (dis)connected world with stories as simple as fried or poached or scrambled eggs?

If we write.

Just write.

Just write our own truths about eggs.

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