Gifts

—-“Mom, when you clean, it is like that Highlights game. I try to find what has changed. It is all the same stuff, but it is all in a different place.” (I love to rearrange and move tchotchkes and plants and call it cleaning. Gidge sees one of my gifts.)

—–“Our mom taught us all the great girl anthems. Dixie Chicks, Pink, Carole King, Joanie Mitchell, Patty Griffin, Nanci Griffith, Tracy Chapman, Dolly Parton, Emmy Lou Harris, Nora Jones …These are the songs of our childhood. My friends don’t even know old Christmas carols like Mele Kalikimaka. My friends don’t even know Carly Simon. (A conversation between Addy, Dolly, BeBe and George. I did somethings right.)

—–You can’t say that, Mama.

Ok. I didn’t know.

I know mama, we are all learning. (BeBe helps me with keep up with anti-racism. She teaches without shutting me down. She assumes I come from a place of love.)

She is meeting us at the dog park.

MOM, they are meeting us at the dog park.

Right. Sorry. They are meeting us and her mom said she is bringing her dog.

Their mom said They are bringing their dog.

Exactly, Sorry.

—–“You have gotten cooler as you have gotten older.” Addy thinks that I have come into my own since the divorce. She is proud of me. I couldn’t ask for more. ‘So have you, Adds. So have you.”

—–P. S. Tuck was very upset that I said it was yucky for white women to date Black men. I wrote it in a blog post. This has been the first time Tuck has had a problem with something I wrote. In addition, BeBe and Dolly thought it was a horrible thing for me to say, also. I’m sure Gidge and Addy didn’t appreciate it either but they let the vocal activists school me this time. They believe the truth that love is love. People are people and we do not rule out a whole race.

They were not persuaded by my argument.

I was attempting to learn from Black women of an older generation than my children. A group of Black women had discussed with me that Black men should be loving Black women. Black women have been the most underrepresented people. They have been enslaved, raped, kept behind the scenes, abused. The Biden election is in large part attributable to Black women- such as Stacy Abrams. After working multiple jobs for less pay while raising children and riding buses, to be forgotten by their own men. It is unacceptable. The women who I was speaking with are active in politics and civil rights. They spoke of Black men saying these white women don’t have anger or a chip on their shoulder. “Why would they? White women have wars fought over them.” I listened and I heard these women. I was ready to accept an uncomfortable lesson. To unlearn years of systemic racism, some lessons are going to be surprising and rub our white knowledge the wrong way. I am willing to conceded that Tuck and I are both right. We both have truth on our side. We are both speaking truth.

“You are the right mom for Mim.”

Photos- Baby George #4, George and I last winter, BeBe drinking twice #3, Baby Dolly #5 and Bebe, Addy and Ficken’s engagement picture, Baby Addy #1 and Baby Tuck #2 (14 months apart), Younger Tuck and BeBe, Tuck in the hayloft and Dolly, Me holding Tucky tight, Mimmy #6 last winter

P.S.S. You have been a great gift to me. This blog and the people who read my thoughts and paragraphs and incomplete sentences. I am grateful. I have often cried tears of recognition as you have read my words. Thank you.

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