Last week the brilliant, inspirational soul savior Adrienne Maree Brown asked this question on her feed: “on being intersectional: what are the intersections you are most struggling with right now? how do you hold the complexity?”. My answer was parenting and activism.
I was reminded of this response again this morning while listening to the news. NPR has long been a safer choice than my itunes playlist when driving the kids to school because I never knew when some random “2 Live Crew” song might pop up. But for the last week with one distressing revelation from the new administration after another I find that I can not listen to any news segment for more than five-minutes without getting unnerved.
Anyone knows me knows that I’m far from a sailor when it comes to cursing—but maaan……do I want to drop some f-bombs in the car while listening to the news these days.
I want to be a good parent. I want to raise informed and conscientious kids.
But more than anything these days, I want the freedom to say “give me an effin break” when I hear a radio host (not necessarily an NPR host) says something foolish without having to worry about my 6yo repeating my words on the playground at school that morning.
As a staunch opponent of mass incarceration, I loathe advocating for imprisonment in most instances and sex crimes are no different. Therefore, a multifaceted counseling strategy is, in my view, the strongest resource to curbing child sexual abuse. I would include quality sex and general health education as a form of counseling because schools and curricula shape individual and communal behavior. Again, it is important for young people to learn as early as possible that sex is not something to be ashamed of or to be kept secret. Moreover, incorporating teaching about mental and emotional health in schools will help everyone learn throughout their lifetimes how to process and articulate what is happening in their lives, and more specifically, what is happening to them. Expanding knowledge about healthy practices will not only lessen the likelihood that individuals might commit crimes, but it may also increase awareness around unacceptable behavior for young people.
Apology notwithstanding, I wonder why the tweet happened? Not only was it foul, but it was inexplicable. And it has raised other questions.
Is it simple misogyny, because Davis is getting the kind of attention that Casselberry might want? In addition to the Disney movie, Davis has a line of shoes and a new autobiography — “Mo’ne Davis: Remember My Name” — and is the subject of magazine covers and interviews on ESPN. Maybe her success made Casselberry feel left out, so he reached for the most reductive word for women that he knows.
Or does this visceral association, this connecting of two unlike things, of 13-year-old and slut, happen because Davis is black?
Robert Lopshire’s Put Me in the Zoo has emerged as one of Turtle Biscuit’s favorite bedtime stories. I’ve also grown to appreciate this story over time. The main lesson that what you want is not necessarily the best thing for you, and in fact there may be something even better out there if you open yourself up to that possibility is one that resonates with a person of any age.
I’m not quite sure if Turtle Biscuit understands the nuances of this story, but it is clear that understands the plot twist. She appears open to the possibility of changing one’s ambitions.
Put Me in the Zoo was still on my mind this morning while I was at the gym and Kanye’s “Everything that I am” came on.
The two pieces are very similar. The refrain in “Everything I Am”:
Everything I’m not, made me everything I am
Reminded me of the moral of Lopshire’s story. Being forced to recognize that he was not a zoo animal allowed the leopard to find a home in the circus. Whether you consider his spot changing antics tricks, or as Turtle Biscuit likes to opine him “being silly,” the truth of the matter is that the leopard is an artist. Exiled from the zoo he finds a home in the circus.
And as Kanye makes plain his insecurities in “Everything I Am”, he too reminds the listener that like it or not, we are often defined by what we are not–therefore it is incumbent to embrace all that we are:
Damn, here we go again
Everybody saying what’s not for him
But everything I’m not, made me everything I am
I saw this video this morning and as one of my students is apt to say “it gave me life.” Nothing wins me over these days as easily as cute Daddy-Daughter video. I especially enjoy things showing Dad-Daughter combos doing things they both enjoy–particularly if they’re not sports related.
The video below is one in a series of videos by Mrcush featuring him and his daughter dancing:
DeFrantz provides a well appreciated historical context to the super-duper cuteness found in the Daddy-Daughter video. It’s also amazing thinking about the different connotations of history and tradition evoked when you look at these two videos side by side. DeFrantz is dancing history, as is Mrcush and his daughter, and they are all also telling a story.
I vaguely remember Mom Biscuit and I cracking a few jokes, maybe even dropping a few double entendres, the first time we set eyes on the tub in what would be our first home. Our realtor played along egging us on. And since we were two city kids from Queens there was of course an inevitable reference to the old Mt Airy Lodge commercials.
Never did we imagine that the “spa” that we thought would be our respite from long days at the office and occasional romantic date would become the domain of our baby girl
I currently have a Volkswagen Beetle Convertible parked in my kitchen. I was only able to excavate my dining room table from a deluge of laundry in the last 48 hours. The gaggle of changing tables, laundry baskets, rockers in my bedroom has turned it into a cross between a Babies R Us clearance depot and a place of rest. And I won’t even go into detail about the odds and ends that constantly find their way into my living room.
However, this is all worth it, because I finally have a gym in my office.
It dawned on me shortly after my wife and I welcomed our second child that I needed to revive my Turtle Biscuit series. After all, how would it look to the girls a decade from now when they both can read and they realize that I documented my experiences with one but not the other.
And the more I think about it, just as I was eager to share tales of the lazy days I spent with Turtle Biscuit while on leave in 2011, the forthcoming trials and tribulations of being a commuter parent of an infant are also important, and worthy of reflection.
With that being said, I introduce everyone to Baby Biscuit, Little sister of Turtle Biscuit, Singing Biscuit and College Biscuit (formerly Teen Biscuit).
So this post went in a completely different direction than I expected, but the point/question still stands, should schools be able to govern the snacks we give our kids? In one sense this already happens with peanut & egg free classrooms that have become ubiquitous these past few years. However, do schools have a right to take this a step further and ban items such as Twinkies–even if we can all agree that Twinkies are not good/ideal snacks for children.
As a parent who routinely packs oreos and the like in his child’s lunchbox this question hits close to him. Am I being hypocritical in espousing healthy eating then turning around and giving a child a snack that I know he will surely devour before he touches the fruits, veggies that also accompany his lunch? And let’s be clear here, homemade cookies on a regular basis are not an option…