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We All Gotta Start Somewhere

8 months ago

1289 words

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.

 

6 Replies to “We All Gotta Start Somewhere”

  1. First of all Gurrrlll, that sauce looks so good. Second, my father was born in Baltimore, my blog started out as a way to document the writing of his biography and so far I have managed to stay pretty much on point.

    Regarding this snippet from your blog ” Mothers of Children of Color should be courted”. My daughter and my grandson are grown now, but as for myself I have felt lately that women like me (the person who has never gotten polled-the truly Average American), should be courted. Getting heard by those in power for people like me who get up early, take the bus, go to work, shop for groceries, pick up the kids, etc., is difficult. I feel ineffective as a citizen trying to be heard. I write letters, send email. I wish there was a huge box that I could stand on and be heard.

    My blog and doing research for my book has helped me find ways to make a difference, such as writing inspiring and informative posts. It just seems so difficult for the “little people” to be heard by our representatives. Anyhow, I love my blog and my followers. I too have friends from here to there. I think the most positive people I have found Blog on WP. Looking forward to reading more of your shares.

    1. I followed your blog a few days ago and noticed your book. I’d like to read it, but couldn’t easily find links… is it on Amazon? Would I find it in a local book store?

      I hear you about being unheard. I absolutely believe that you are right: there are communities and an entire class of Americans who are utterly unseen by the powerful of this country. I’m frustrated that some people are forgotten while others are straight-up passed over. I’m frustrated because I know there are some women who are active and awake citizens who are trying to do the right thing (Black women consistently vote in higher numbers than any other cohort. We went almost 100% to Clinton) yet we get overlooked time and again. It’s infuriating. It’s exhausting. Sometimes I want to turn it all off and walk away. Other times I want to roar and shout from the rooftops and tear out all my hair.

      Anyway… I’m here for you and I’m here with you. I admit to not being an “Average” American. My suburban experience is sheltered as hell, utterly walled away from how everyone else lives. We live right on the bleeding edge between suburban and rural, and even then the ruralness is “quaint” and “pretty” and, most of all, productive. No urban poverty, no rural poverty. Just stone fences and fresh air. It’s hard to get people here to understand that the world we live in is a bubble, and it doesn’t take too far of stepping out of it to see how everyone else is living. I try my best to stay attentive and focused, to keep reaching out my arms in service. I know I’ll be able to do better and do more once the boys are a little older.

      Anyway, I’m glad you are here. Thank you for following me and commenting! I’m looking forward to really getting into your blog and I’d love to read the book if it’s easily available!

      1. Hi. You can find my book on Amazon or at http://www.bearmanormedia.com “Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer”. I need to figure out how to link my book to my blog. You can also get an e-book through my publisher BearManorMedia. Glad we have connected. I know little boys take a lot of looking after, and I think raising them the best you can is a part of being in service to humanity. Keep those posts coming.

  2. I love your honesty within your blogs. It’s something I’m trying to do but it’s still hard for me because I’m not quite the Wordsmith that you are. I do understand about raising boys and a world that is changing ever so quickly. I have 3 that our part Korean and part Caucasian. I teach them the importance of what their grandmother went through including their mother and this wonderful country that sometimes have people that forget that we all belong in it. The hurt, the struggles, the bullying and sometimes the violence. I explain the scars that grandma has as well as some of my own. Hoping that one day they will understand that the stories I share along with role modeling values will make them the men I know they will be. Thank you for sharing your stories and also just sharing your thoughts on motherhood and life in general.

    1. You are so kind to me. I’m no wordsmith. 🙂 There are significantly better writers out there than I am. I’m grateful for your kindness and the little boost of confidence, though!

      I’m so grateful for this comment and for your sharing. I can’t imagine what your experience is, though I can relate to the struggle of sharing the pains and sorrows of experience with children who are young, bold and innocent… who have no idea of the sacrifices… and who we know will eventually have to make their own. Indeed, we all belong here. We all lay down something, give a bit of ourselves, so that this wonderful country can be what it is. I can only pray that the sacrifices that we make are seen and understood, and that what is asked of us is something within reason.

      I’m sure your boys listen and they will come to understand. Sometimes I think I’m screaming at a brick wall when it comes to my two boys, but then they will do something or say something that will let me know that I’m sinking in. I also remind myself that my two little boys, because they are bi-racial, will never ever see the world the way that I see it. They shouldn’t, really. It wouldn’t be right for me to force them to see only what I see. So I guide and I teach and I observe and I pray and I poke and I prod… knowing that their worldview will come together in its own time and with good teachers. It’s my job to facilitate, and that’s a big, big job.

      Anyway, I’m rambling. The bottomline is that I’m grateful that you are here and I’m delighted to share. Thank you for sharing as well. I hope you’ll continue to come back and share with me. I’m looking forward to reading your blog and learning more about your family!

  3. I love it. The Republican Motherhood. A great introduction into your life. Thank you for participating in the challenge and letting your new readers know who you were when you started your blog.

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