Photo: That, my Dear Reader, is a big ol’ skillet full of spaghetti sauce and it’s gonna be the best thing I’ve put in my mouth all day. Kendra over at the Lazy Genius Collective (a cute little corner of the interwebs) has the most brilliant idea: eat a bowl of pasta on Mondays to make the rest of your week awesome. And you know what? I’m all about it. Last week it was pesto tortellini and lamb chops, this week it’s classic spaghetti, two weeks ago it was penne con pollo (I straight ripped it off from a local restaurant)… I’m just sayin’… it does make the week better. You should give it a try! And be sure to try different stuff every week to keep it interesting!
So two weeks ago, Sister Tikeetha over at A Thomas Point of View included me in her challenge post about her first blog post ever. She asked me to participate, but last week was crazy with the snow so I couldn’t make it happen. Well, better late than never, yeah? Now, I’m going to do this a little differently than she probably intended me to, just because I have to be difficult.
I started my blog on December 2nd, 2012. I was fresh off of having two babies and was feeling pretty low about things. I’d had a beer with a dear friend a few days before where I finally admitted out loud that I was a bit miserable. I felt like my talents were going to waste, I missed Maryland more than I ever had, I questioned every decision I’d ever made up to that moment, I wondered if I was a big huge fool. Forever wise and patient with me, my friend gave me great advice: figure out a way to love where I live. Figure out ways to become an active member of this, my adopted home.
So I decided to find an outlet, to start somewhere small and see where it would go. And this is my first post:
Hello! Thanks for visiting!
My name is Kay and I’m a mother. An African-American mother to two beautiful bi-racial boys, living in a liberal but segregated state in the North. I’ve lived here for years, thinking that some day I’d return to my home down South, but the Invisible Hand has kept me and my husband here. I never thought I’d start a family in a place so wholly different from the place where I grew up, and I find myself faced with a terrible realization: I need to put down roots, a foundation that is sturdy, and create a community for my sons that is as diverse and rich as I can make. This will be impossible without seeking outside sources. This is one of many efforts to make that happen.
This blog is also a place for me to release some pent-up energy. I’m a former teacher. A former good teacher. And I miss the classroom every day. I am excited about using this blog for the purposes of teaching and discussing without leaving my home!
I will also admit that this blog has an agenda. After this past election, I came to the conclusion that in a new political world where people of color (the collective of people of color) are the new majority voice in this country, Mothers of Children of Color should be courted and listened to in the same way that White suburban mothers have enjoyed for years. My sons are the future of this country. I take pride in raising them to be good citizens, good stewards of democracy, good leaders, good men. And I think that it’s high time that politicians seek me out and ask me about my wants and needs. I know that there are other women out there who feel the same way. I want to know you, I want to hear from you, I want to collect your stories and do something with them. Brown Motherhood, being mothers to Children of Color, in my point of view, is the new “Republican Motherhood.”
Now, don’t get all crazy on me. Don’t look at “Republican” in a red state/blue state sort of way. “Republican Motherhood” is the idea of linking motherhood and raising children to that of a civic duty. Now, of course, as a feminist, we can talk about “women’s spheres” and “men’s spheres” from back then at another time. I don’t want to resurrect the old usage and set us back 200 years. I want to redefine, rework the concept to come up with something powerful and new. We have the potential to be a very powerful collective.
I’ve been talking about this kind of thing for a long time. And every time it comes up, I’ve been told “Well, K, you should do something about it.” Fine. I’m going to be the change that I want to see in the world. Here is my first small step into something big.
I look forward to the discussions yet to come.
I hadn’t read this post in a long, long time. I’m really proud of it. Over these years (wow, almost five years), this blog has been less about some great and grand revolution, more of a chronicle of my struggles to follow my friend’s directive. Long-time readers have watched me fall in and out of love with this place. Ya’ll have seen my struggle with my hopes and cares, watched me ram up against the walls of motherhood, suburban-hood, Blackness in both contexts, and I have done my best to be honest and inclusive about my experiences. In many ways, I’ve met my original objectives. In other ways, my objectives have changed, or I’m still seeking what I set out for. I’m delighted to count regular readers of all shades and types from far-off places (High-fives in the general directions of Arizona, New York, the cool kids in Canada, and awesome writers in the UK). I’m so grateful for your readership. Your presence, comments and encouragement keep me coming back here and giving it my all. I really can’t believe it’s been almost 5 years. It flew by thanks to ya’ll!
I may write more about this for my Quiet Thoughts, but here is what I’ve done in this space:
Failed out loud: Remember that one time when I declared I’d be a published author by my 30th birthday? Yeeeaaaah…. about that…. And remember when I thought I would monetize this blog? sigh The struggle is real. It’s strange, mortifying and even a bit liberating to do it in front of others.
Grown out loud: I went from “you’ll never see me at church ever” to “weeeeeee I’m on my way to a church retreat at a monastery!” I still wrestle and have questions, but my church community really has made me love where I live and I know that I’m doing good work there that makes a difference. So, my good friend should know that I did meet his directive! Life is full of surprises!
Parent out loud: All the while, two little boys and their misadventures in suburbia have been front and center. None of this would be possible without them. There are still many adventures to come. Many. I’m glad of that!
Anyway, it’s time to get some water to boilin’ and some garlic bread to toastin’. I cannot even wait. I know that it is going to be another busy, crazy week, but I’m grateful excited to share it with you. What are you goals for the week, Dear Reader? What are you looking forward to? Let’s get at it together, yes?
Until Wednesday, take care.