We are segregated. Stop trying to change the world. (A day after MLK day)

I had to pick up my son early from school today and I keep re-running the conversation that proceeded to take place in the office, over and over. I happened to mention to our principal, and two other staff members that were in the office, that my daughter took her high school entrance exam over the weekend and she felt it went really well. Which in turn, reminded the principal that my daughter had asked the principal to set up a “shadow” day at a specific high school that she was interested in. We discussed the shadow day briefly when the conversation turned to my daughter not liking the school she had visited the week before – hence the reason she went to the principal and asked to see another one. My daughters reason for not liking the school was it felt very segregated; whites were with whites, blacks were with blacks, Hispanics with Hispanics, Asians with Asians, there was very little “combination” groups. My daughter did not like that. My principal said “Yes, she said she didn’t like the school. It surprised me as I thought it would be a good fit.” “You and your daughter need to stop trying to change the world. When she gets in high school, it will be segregated. Look around that’s the real world. We are segregated.” I think she meant it lightly (although not sure how that can be taken lightly but I am trying to be positive). I replied with “Well we aren’t going to stop trying to change the world, someone has too”. Both of the staff members laughed and one said something  like “Yeah, indeed”. I said “Right?! Someone has to try. And not that I don’t try but my daughter takes it to heart and that is why she came right to you after her visit to the last high school. She is vocal about it and I’m not gonna squash that.” The principal just sort of laughed. Mind you – this all took place ONE DAY AFTER Martin Luther King Day?!? Didn’t he preach that we could all be one, that we would walk together, “that all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands”.


Chin Whiskers

I’m pretty sure I go through razors and shaving cream faster than anyone I know.

I had my legs waxed once because somebody told me that it would last for weeks, but all I got out of it was about three days.  And my leg hair is wiry and black, so it’s not like I can get away with letting it go for very long.

I blame it on my European ancestors.

All the women in my family all have chin whiskers. We laugh about it and share our various methods for keeping them at bay.  My sisters actually Nair their faces.  That can’t be good for the brain.

My cousin waxes hers.  I prefer a tweezer.  I had to buy an extra pair just to keep in the car because the natural light is so good for finding the hard-to-get ones.  Once, before I had bought the car tweezers, I  was stroking my chin while waiting in line for the car wash when I discovered a doozy.  The only available tool was a tiny pack of Post-It Notes.  Being the resourceful girl that I am, I clamped the paper around the whisker and yanked it out.  Then I looked out my window and noticed a man staring at me with a look of utter confusion on his face.

Shortly after I started dating my husband, I was standing in his living room, backlit by the windows.  He reached up to remove what he thought was a stray dog hair from my jawline.  You should have seen his face when he realized it was connected.

That’s the thing about these hairs – they sprout in random places.  It would be one thing if they were all clustered together – a little hairy “problem area” if you will.  But no, they occasionally pop out overnight in the middle of my cheek.  One night I’ll do a thorough scouring and come up clean.  The very next morning I’ll find a thick black one on my cheek or in my cleavage – easily a half-inch long.

I briefly considered doing laser hair removal but that seems so vain, so extreme, that I can’t justify it.  I guess I’ll just keep hacking away with my Schick Quattro until winter comes.  At least it buys me some alone time in the shower.

Too beautiful?!

Is that possible? Too beautiful?! Something is too beautiful?! Hmm, is it possible to look at something and not just see the outside? But what if it is beautiful inside too? Then, do we hate it, want it, crave it, wish to destroy it? What actually makes beauty? Is it really in the eye of the beholder? Do we sometimes say something isn’t beautiful because of envy?

Neighborhood or Gifted in CPS?! It’s making me sick!

Why are we putting labels our kids? Shouldn’t we be taking labels away? So then why are classes at some schools give the title “gifted” and the other class is given “neighborhood”? What happened to the days when it was just level 1,2,3, or 4. You all knew who was in each group but it was so blatantly spelled out.

“Okay, boys and girls, the kids in the gifted class are smarter than everyone else in the school, they will achieve more than their neighborhood class, they will get ice cream just because, they will get to have non uniform day, and they will definitely succeed, just because they are gifted. What a fabulous, nice class to work with”. And then let’s turn to neighborhood…”well, kids you are neighborhood. We don’t expect a lot but you will probably learn. However, you won’t amount to anything after school and you are certainly harder to teach than the gifted, dang (teacher shakes his head) this would be so much easier if you were all gifted. But you aren’t so I think you need a silent lunch. You haven’t done anything yet, but we know you will.”

My daughter had a girl kick her out of a classroom “You aren’t gifted, you can’t be here, hahahaha.” Hmmm, but someone it isn’t bullying because it came from a gifted student.

I despise labels to begin with but the labels at school are out of hand and I am tired of it!

What’s it all about?

Some days I just want to scream out that song from Jesus Christ Superstar, I don’t know how to love him, but the part I am referring to is when Mary Magdalene sings “What’s it all about?” I think that so often, but therein lies the dilemma, how do we really know where we are supposed to be and if we doing what it is we are supposed to do?! I sat with a good friend at the park yesterday and we contemplated these deep thoughts, lol. At times it was deep, at times we just laughed. She is in a lull, a quiet and almost boring time before a new chapter in her life begins in the fall, yet she is struggling with that emptiness she feels in her quiet time. I get that. I sat at the coffee-house today and it felt incredibly lonely, almost surreal, as the rain poured down & sad sort of jazz music played. I was by myself, intentionally, but didn’t expect the lonely feeling. It was a quiet time in my day and I should have cherished that quietness & felt peaceful. How do we lose those moments and have them turn into loneliness?! Yesterday I felt on top of the world – perhaps it was the change in weather as yesterday was hot & sunny, today was cloudy, rainy & stormy. Perhaps I just need to stop thinking for a bit, maybe ignorance really is bliss – and that’s what it’s all about!

We are all dying…

Two funerals in a month. No one exceptionally close to me, but rather parents of extremely close friends. Life does not last forever. We all die. That is one thing that doesn’t change.  So why are parents so afraid to speak about death to their kids?  Often a distant family member or friend will die, yet, parents will “shelter” their kids from it and not even take them to the funeral, wake, or memorial service.  What happens then when a close family member or friend dies – which will inevitably happen.  I have a close friend who lost her husband and father on the same day.  Her feelings on death before that were practically non-existent.  Not that she didn’t think death would happen, she just never expected it to happen to her.  It did and it rocked her world.  My daughter was 3 months at the time.  Although she doesn’t remember any of it, she went to the wake, she went to the funeral, we have spoken to her about it, she knows it happened and she knows she was part of it.  We had another friend who lost their 10 year old daughter, lost her before we were even friends with them, yet my kids know Sarah as if they had played with her.  We talk about how Sarah died, how she is now in heaven, how life does end (and I have chosen to teach my kids that when people die they go to heaven, you can choose your own “place” based on your own spiritual beliefs).  My son once said he is excited to die so he can see heaven and all his friends and family who are in heaven.  What a great attitude about death!  It shouldn’t be scary for our kids.  Why do we feel that they will not be able to handle it?  They are probably more capable of processing it and handling it than adults. Don’t hide death from them, it is all around us.  Trees die, flowers die, pets die, and people die – people who we know and love, they die.  Embrace it, talk about it.  Don’t put your head in the sand and never speak to your kids about it.  Pretending it doesn’t exist or that they are just too young to “get it” is doing your children an incredible dis-service.  God forbid you are the first one in their life to die – then what?  You, the person they counted on for everything is now gone, and they have no idea what to think , feel or do with it.  Give them the emotional tools to look death in the eye and know that it happens and it isn’t something to be afraid of, not talked about, or swept under the rug like it never happened.