Monday, May 18, 2015

Recital Weekend

Recital weekend is over and we have survived!  Not only survived but the kids had a blast and did really well with their numbers. These are their 2 favorite costumes--KC's is from his jazz number and Lissa's is from her jazz number.  They also had ballet, hip hop and KC had tap and a final production number that was only open to older students.  I am proud of how well they did but most happy that they enjoyed it.  Lissa does not enjoy it as much as KC but I think that she still had a lot of fun.  If nothing else she adores wearing makeup. This picture is mostly sans make up but I love it.  She looks so relaxed in the shot.  Typically she does not love having her picture taken but this one is a real keeper.  Any dance picture you get of KC is a keeper- the boy lives to dance. He is all ready counting the days till dance camp. Presently he sees himself someday owning his own dance/art studio combo.

This is also the weekend that their long time best friends moved from next door to us to their new home across town. We will still get together but it won't be the daily back and forth between the houses that has dominated most of the littles lives.  I think KC was about 4 when B and his family moved in and Lissa about 2.  The thought of losing the close proximity of their best friends have deeply saddened KC and Lissa.

Friday night when he was lying in bed KC told me he wondered who would move in.  I said I hoped it was someone with kids as maybe there would be new friends to make even though we would still be friends with B and his family.  He looked at me with concern and said "I don't know about that."  I was baffled and asked why.  He said that the family who lived there before B was "mean" and they wouldn't play with them because they were black.

Whoa!  Say whaaaaat?  Cue the clueless parent face as first off I can't honestly remember who lived there before B and his family.  Secondly, as my 11 year old tells me that this kid always  swore at Rob I am wondering why I never heard about this.  I am pretty darn sure I would remember that.  KC said he didn't tell me because  Rob told him not to.

Hmmmmm.  I have read about kids who are adopted transracially who are not comfortable telling their parents about issues of racism.  I have talked about that with my kids and made it (at least in my little brain) 100 per cent clear that I have their back. That I want to know if something is wrong, if they are treated unfairly.  I have visibly gone to the mat on racial issues that I have seen--most noticably ones that involved the kids and I in stores or gift shops.  I have never ever been the parent who didn't want to talk about race.

Granted, this would have been years ago, as KC is 11 now. So Rob would have been about KC's present age when this happened. I think he is much more open in his relationship with me now because I have worked every single day of our lives on it.  But for Rob 11 was a hard time. I do remember that.  I wish I had known about this.  I might have somehow made it a little easier for him. Discrimination is not ever easy, but I always want my kids to know that I am there with them in the fight.  Here's to working for open honest dialogues. . . and good neighbors.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mothers Day

Mothers Day is always the day we celebrate my wife and my partner in our life's journey. This morning the kids feted her with roses, a journal, gift card and breakfast in bed.  Chores were odne with out complaint and her day began in a very peaceful and loving way.

I love mothers day and taking that pause to show her and my mom how much we care.  It is also a time when I think of my kids first mom's.  Some we are able to keep in contact with and reach out to, others, I don't know.  But I love them.  I honor them.  And if I ever get the chance to, I would love to share that with them and let them get to know their amazing child(ren).

I know too, that for Fiona at least, that this is a hard day.  Though we have contact with Mom J her feelings remain conflicted about J and her past.  Loving me I think sometimes feels disloyal and it is hard for her to process all of this.  This year Fi has struggled a lot in the past 6 weeks and we opted not to have her home for Mothers Day weekend.  I don't want to look like I am waving the mother hood flag in her face or asking her for gifts or expressions of feelings she may not be sure she has.

Our conversations of the past few weeks have had lots of volatile conversations followed by tearful ones the next day.  I am trying to make sure she knows that I am always going to love her and always going to be there, while still imparting the fact that I have feelings and that her really big feelings don't give her the right to verbally abuse me. It is, as they say, a work in progress.

Today instead of having her home, I am driving up to see her.  I have bought her hair for extensions she would like to have put in and have her spending money for the month. We will go out to a coffee shop and get a coffee and something light and spend a bit of time together.  It will hopefully be the connections she needs without causing her pain.

Friday, May 1, 2015

For Baltimore

Fire lights night skies,
glass breaks and angry
voices shout--
my friend asks why?

Why torch a senior center
or loot the neighbor store;what
did they do.
They are not the oppressor.

I fumble my words. I am not black.
But I see.  I see with eyes wide open.  I see
promises unkept.  I see lives deemed worth less.
I see death.

And I think that we are watching the fires
of desperation hoping for a phoenix of hope
to rise from the ashes of  the flames.