Dear Parents of White Children (Like Me), 2

Dear parents of white children (like me), Imagine with me for a moment, please. Let’s imagine you were living in a world in which there was an epidemic that threatened to abruptly and violently end the life of your son or daughter. It might happen when they were a child. It might happen when they … Continue reading

What I Didn’t Say . . . But, Was Glad She Did

Soccer’s been in my blood since I was little. Watching my kids learn to love it has been awesome. For the first time last fall, my 7-year-old played with girls instead of playing co-ed. I wasn’t sure what I thought about that switch. I’d noticed that already a couple of the boys dominated the field in … Continue reading

A Letter to My (White) Son

Dear Beloved Son, Remember a year ago when I told you the tragic story of a teenager named Michael Brown shot to death by a police officer? Remember how we gathered flowers from our yard—billowing white hydrangeas and pink Echinacea cones, arranged them in a vase, then cut through the neighbor’s yard to place them … Continue reading

Failing White Kids

There’s long been a prevailing sentiment among white people of my generation, expressed in some version of the following: “Our race problem is mostly a matter of time. Racism will whither as the older white U.S.-Americans die off.” Other versions of a similar sentiment show up when folks tout the demographic changes poised to dramatically … Continue reading

White Anti-Racist Parenting

Last night at a vigil I heard a black elder in my community trace herstory through the bombing of a church that claimed the lives of 4 young black girls, the murder of Emmet Till, through the civil rights movement and the murder of King and connected it all to Charleston. She then wondered aloud … Continue reading

I Took My Kids to the Protest

“Children don’t belong at protests.” I’ve heard many perspectives on this issue in the years I’ve hovered around activist spaces. They all bounced around in my mind as I debated whether to take my own kids (ages 6 and 4) to one of the Des Moines protests after Darren Wilson was declared a free man … Continue reading

The Feathers Came to My House . . .

Here’s something we do during the winter months: have elementary kids make construction paper menorahs. In stronger curriculums we do this while teaching them some history of the Jewish people and something about Jewish traditions. Here’s something we don’t do: have these kids make construction paper yarmulkes to wear home. Now some of us may … Continue reading

Doc McStuffins is Black.

She’s African American. Kids know it—and not just kids of color. White kids know it too. And boys know she’s a girl. And that is all awesome. Doc McStuffins is a crossover hit ($500 million in sales last year). Her “blockbuster sales” suggest she’s adored not only by African American girls, but by girls and … Continue reading

One Thing I Hate About Parenting

I hate finding out later about that thing that happened at school. That thing that had a tenor and tone that suggests it was one of those moments when one of those itty-bitty, inside, innocent and vulnerable parts of your child got smooshed. Maybe just a little, but smooshed nonetheless. And deep down, or maybe less … Continue reading

One Little Perfectly (Obvious) Amazing Question

We’ve been fighting song #19 ever since we got Mickey Mouse’s greatest hits CD. No matter how quickly we hit “skip” when song #18 is over, I should have known it was inevitable we’d lose at some point. But when I heard our five year-old singing “one little, two little, three little indians” my heart … Continue reading

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