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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?

Not Everyone Will Like You (or vice versa)

Do you like everyone?  Do you get along with everyone?  No one does and it’s impossible to put such expectations on our children.  They will not be liked by everyone in their class, on their team, or even in their extended family. And that is OKAY! Nor will they like everyone in their class, on their team or in even in their extended family. And that is OKAY too. We need to let our children know that it’s okay to not be invited to every birthday party (note to schools- stop insisting that if we send invitations to school, every child in the class must receive one), they will not be invited to every sleepover, and they won’t always have a friend to play with on the playground.  And that is OKAY!  I can think of quite a few people who don’t like me and I am sure you can think of a few who don’t like you.  As adults it’s a part of life, so why are we sheltering that part from our children, which is essentially lighting a fuse that explodes in middle school and high school when kids really start to realize they don’t like some kids. I once had a principal try to tell me that if a certain girl wanted to play with my daughter, my daughter had to say yes “it was the Christian thing to do” – well, I respectfully disagreed and told my daughter that the next time the girl asked to play or (in this particular case) insisted on playing, she state to the girl, “I’m sorry but I don’t feel like playing with today, maybe another time.”   There is NO NEED for a child to be rude when they don’t like someone, but you can kindly decline an invite to play. Adults do not have a problem saying to each other “No, not today.” Or “I’m just not in the mood for that.” Or just plain, “Sorry, no.”  Our kids have to see the same people every day at school for 6-7 hours a day, just like an adult at work.  Adults get tired of seeing the same faces everyday and they don’t like everyone they work with, nor do they want to go to lunch with the same person every day.  Children certainly feel the same way, they get tired of the same kids each day, they don’t like everyone that is at their school or in their class, nor do they want to play with the same person every day at recess. I went on a road trip with two friends and my kids once, one of my friends truly got so far under my skin I was losing my mind. My kids noticed and we discussed it when we arrived back home. It’s human nature (and by the way, still love that friend, just can’t travel with her). When any human is with another human too much, they get annoying.  Let’s give our children the tools to understand when someone has had enough of us, and learn to walk away and not be hurt when someone doesn’t want to or doesn’t like playing with them.  And let’s give them the tools to say, kindly, to another child that they have had enough of their company.  Teach our kids to use their words!

Make them try it!

Eating is an essential part of life.  It plays a large role in families, business, and entertaining.  Children need to learn to eat – and when I say eat; I mean eat what is put in front of them.  We have a rule at our house, that whatever is made for dinner, it must be tasted.  This rule was established when we only had our daughter and it has been one of the best rules we have followed for both of our kids.  They do not have to eat the entire serving, but they need to taste it, everything and every time I serve it.  For instance, broccoli, the first time they tasted it, neither of them liked it. The second time they still didn’t like it but ate a tiny bit more.  By the third and fourth times, they loved it.  Now broccoli is one of their favorite foods.  My children will eat what is put in front of them – be it oysters, sushi, brussel sprouts, tofu, steak, or salad.  They love it all and they will try it all.  My daughter and her best friend actually just requested that her school start serving brussel sprouts. This rule is especially important when they start eating at friends houses or you take them to a dinner at a colleague’s house.  It is incredibly rude when a host or hostess has made a fabulous dinner and a child chimes in with “Ew, I don’t like that or I won’t eat that.”  Or you have the even more difficult child, who asks the host or hostess if they will make something else (and the parent of the child who just stands there and lets the child ask and then lets the host make an alternative ). Yes, that child & that parent have been at my house, I do not like it! And when they leave I always point out to my kids that they better NEVER say to someone who has welcomed them in their home and made  dinner. Children should eat what was made and thank the chef, whoever it may be, for making it. Yes, we all have food we don’t like but insist that your child sit down and taste what is served several times (and when I say several times, I don’t mean several times in one sitting.  I mean have them taste it once each time it is served) before you allow your child to pass judgment and claim that it is a food that they don’t like or won’t eat. In the end, you will thank yourself and other parents will thank you.