Monthly Archives: August 2010

This Mother’s Heart

I used to check his breathing while he slept. Newborns have this knack for seeming like they’ve stopped breathing but they’re really just taking shallow breaths. It freaked me out every time. Sometimes I would prod him and hold my breath until he moved out of irritation.

I still check on him occasionally. I wake up in the middle of the night and make sure his belly is rising and falling with his breaths.

I developed a fear of driving. I foresaw a collision of twisted metal every time a another vehicle got near my car.  All I knew is that I had my heart seated behind me in a rearfacing carseat. It didn’t matter how much my friend, the Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, reassured me that the carseat was crash-resistant.

One of my mandates of motherhood was “Protect.”

It’s why I paid attention to the way I ate while I was pregnant.

It’s why I educated myself on birth matters.

It’s why I chose not to circumcise.

It’s why I choose to breastfeed.

It’s why I choose to parent the way I do.

It’s probably why most of us choose to parent the way we do.

But then we realize that no matter what we do, we can’t always protect them.

It’s why they say that motherhood is like having your heart walk around outside of your chest.

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Soapbox Sunday: Mixed Bag Edition

It’s yet another Sunday where you get another glimpse into the way my mind works. Today’s theme is “mixed bag” only because I couldn’t think of a unifying theme for all of the links that I wanted to share with  you this week. This week’s selections range from serious-serious to gut-bustingly funny to somewhere in between. Let’s get cracking, shall we?

Earlier this year, Kelly Hogaboom of Underbellie wrote this beautiful piece on raising equality-minded children. I’m taking lots of notes from her.

There were also quite a few breastfeeding posts that I enjoyed (Surprised? I didn’t think so). Arwyn of Raising My Boychick touched on the tendency to compare racism and breastfeeding discrimination in “Dear White Lactivists“. Taking her lead, August of  She Has My Eyes followed up with “Lactivism is not Work for Whites Only” and “Trans Women, Lactation and Exclusion“. Then Analytical Armadillo wrote on one of the many booby traps that sabotage women’s attempts to breastfeed in “Guilt if you breastfeed, guilt if you don’t“.

By now, most of you might have already heard of Antoine Dodson, who shot to internet fame after protecting his sister from being raped in her own bedroom by an intruder. Unfortunately, he’s not famous simply for stopping a violent act, but because of an interview he gave with the local news station – an interview that has been passed around the internet as comedic fodder. Various writers have already chimed in about Antoine and what his fame means for him, and within a greater societal context. The Crunk Feminist Collective took it a step further with examining how in all the hullabaloo about Antoine, someone very important to the story seems to have been erased — his sister who was attacked in the first place.

Last week, I posted some links in response to the hideous Dr. Laura incident. Here’s one more – Elon James White’s most recent hilarious episode of This Week in Blackness.

Last but not least, I present for your immense enjoyment, two links from the comedy blog, Hyperbole and a Half: “Expectations vs Reality” and “Cat Safety Propaganda“. I dare you not to laugh out loud at those stories. Double dare you.

As always, feel free to share some links that you think everyone should be reading.

Then check out other Sunday surfers: Authentic Parenting, Baby Dust DiariesMaman A Droit, and Hobo Mama.

Soapbox Sunday: Dr. Laura Edition

By now you’ve probably become aware of the incident between Dr. Laura Schlessinger and a caller to her radio show. Unfortunately, much of the narrative in the mainstream media seems to focus on her use of the “N-word” while glossing over the other offensive elements of her rant. Yes, her use of the “N-word” was offensive, regardless of the context in which she assumed she was using it, and she should be called to task for it. However, she had no right to accuse a person of color of being “hypersensitive” toward racism. She had no right to presume that she was a better judge of racism than the person of color who was experiencing it. She had no right to outright dismiss this caller on the basis of her (the caller’s) race. I could go on, but I’ll sum up the rest by stating that she was failing Racism 101 in a hardcore way.

The sad thing is that Dr. Laura is not the first person to espouse those views publicly and I doubt she’ll be the last. I also doubt she’ll receive any significant sanctions over her behavior. I’ve personally encountered her type of thinking. I’ve been treated as less than equal by those who think this way. I’m “lucky” that I only suffered hurt, humiliation, and a hard-to-shake, mild anxiety while shopping because of those encounters but far too many others have suffered worse. And because this type of thinking still exists, I have to somehow prepare my son, a child of color, to be wary of this world without damaging him in the process. But according to Dr. Laura, that would mean I’m “hypersensitive” and that I engage in “black think.” Unfortunately, I think that instead of this incident leading to a mainstream deeper reflection on race in the US, it will be forgotten in a few weeks and go down in history as “that time Dr. Laura said the N-word on air.” Hell, we’d already forgotten her attacks on the LGBT community.

So, I dedicate this edition of Soapbox Sunday to Dr. Laura and those of her ilk. May they learn the errors of their ways (but I won’t hold my breath).

Renee at Womanist Musings gives her take on the incident.

Danielle at The Black Snob explains, hilariously, (for those like Dr. Laura who are confused) why using the N-word is not appropriate.

Countdown with Keith Olbermann votes Dr. Laura as Worst Person.

Arwyn at Raising My Boychick sums up the fact that Race Affects Everyone.

Tamara Winfrey Harris notes on Change.org What “So Ghetto” Really Means.

As always, feel free to share the links that made you think this week.

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