You are the tipping point.

My dad threatened to kill my mom if she left him.

The threat was effective for some time. My mom had kids to think about, after all.

But then she reached her tipping point. There came the moment where my mom realized my dad was going to kill her if she stayed, but that her death would be slow and each day preceding that death excruciating for herself and her children.

So she left. She left, and though most days in the rest of her life were a struggle, they were her struggles. Read more…

Freedom to walk outside without fear

Last week I wondered about the color of justice in my country.

Last night’s delivery of the Ferguson grand jury decision played out about as I expected it. Even anticipating it, I awakened feeling gloomy about prospects for real change in the United States. I continue to wonder

What it will take for police officers everywhere to approach men of all melanin levels in the exact same way, treating shooting as a last case resort in all cases.

I wonder how change can take root when bystanders support status quo by focusing attention on property damage over fatal violence.

changeAnd yet, with all this heaviness in my heart, I find reason to smile in the tiny men who own that heart. I can’t help giggling at how my baby is doing headstands–yes, headstands–while my husband tries to change his diaper.

I watch him dance and wonder what else will inspire him to dance in the years to come.

I pray freedom to walk outside without fear will carry his dancing feet far.

The loss, love and life of baby J

Tonight I attended a memorial for a baby I never got to meet.

I knew baby J’s parents wanted to share the joy of his life, but I wanted to weep when I stood in front of pictures and keepsakes from that short life.

Two onesies. A pair of booties. A pacifier.

How is he not still here to wear these?

This makes no sense. How is he not here?

How?

My husband introduced me to his friend, J’s mom. Read more…

Casting light over fixing grief

A week ago, my husband congratulated a friend on the birth of her child.

Today he asked me if he should say anything about the baby’s death. The baby had stopped breathing and could not be resuscitated.

“Yes,” I told Anthony, “Absolutely yes. From reading blogs by people whose children have died, I’ve learned that so many people–friends–disappear when a child dies. Don’t do it on social media, either, where we communicate at instead of with each other. Tell her directly. Please.”

Anthony sent her a text message, which set off a flurry of text exchanges. He relayed the gist of some of the messages as I drove, but my mind had wandered far away.

Why do people disappear? Why do we fade into the background when we are most needed?

I don’t believe for a second the answer is Read more…

Hollywood Wrap Party VS. The Traffic

My husband recently became an assistant director for a children’s TV show.

I didn’t name the show when I wrote about visiting set last month. It didn’t feel right, somehow.

Visiting the set again a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned this reluctance to “the leading lady” from my earlier post. She–like my husband, Anthony–didn’t see any problem with naming names. (Indeed, she shared my post on her social media pages!)

This time around, I took a picture of the lovely leading lady with my baby son, Littler J. And I thought maybe, just maybe, I’d mention names if I wrote about the show again.

bethandlj

Last night was the show’s season three wrap party. Read more…

What’s in a follow?

pirate spideyNearly a thousand people have followed my blog the last two weeks.

Astonishingly, most are actually bloggers, not just folks marketing deals for “raulssupercheapcarpets” or “splendiferousbalicruises.”

Most have followed quietly. I’m not sure how they found my blog or what they liked enough to bother following it. I always yearn to know, but it never occurred to me to ask.

Is it my stick figure drawings? (Can’t imagine it.) My animated GIFs? (Likelier, but there aren’t too many of ‘em.) My husband’s work? (But surely that couldn’t be the whole reason? I mean, look at me as a pirate! Compelling stuff!) My words on motherhood and my own mom? (Because who doesn’t like wallowing in melancholy?)

Wait, I have a novel idea! How about I ask you?!

Why did you follow this blog? Why haven’t you unfollowed it yet?
How might I entice you to talk?
Also, how you doin’?

Categories: Blogging, Communication, Silly Tags: ,

Ferguson: the color of justice

Tonight I asked my husband permission to discuss Ferguson with our five-year-old son, Li’l D.

That wasn’t exactly how I phrased my question. What I said was, “Are you OK with me explaining why I’m listening to talk radio tonight?” The Missouri National Guard has been activated due to protests anticipated around an imminent Ferguson grand jury decision.

“Yes,” my husband replied. “Tell him the truth, in simplest terms. Tell him some people are silly and believe skin color is important. We don’t, but some people do.” My husband and I believe honest, open conversation is the best policy, preferring that our sons learn about important issues from us instead of from classmates, strangers, or media representations.

“Good luck,” he added before dropping the call.

I took a deep breath. “Sweetie?” I asked.

“Uh-huh?” Li’l D replied.

“Do you remember learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. earlier in the year? Read more…

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