HASHTAGing it (BOITT)

IMG_1857

I have everything and nothing to say at the moment.

Please check on your family and neighbors.

Please be kind.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps.  If you need a break from the heaviness, since you cannot snuggle and hang out with my sweet little SonHerisme, google “Greg Davies.” I know I’m woefully over-late to that party (BIOTT), but holy heck he is full-on funny! Sweet baby BeeGeeZus, I hope he isn’t a misogynist/racist/bigoted douche.  If so, apologies!!!  If not, you’re welcome! And if by some totally bizarre COVID induced Thanos-esque universe twist, you ARE Greg Davies: apologies and thank you for making me laugh and take good care of yourself – healthy wishes to you and yours!

pps.  Be kind and spread your love – we are all hurting and our family, neighbors and friends of color, extra systemically so. {{{Hugs}}} and courage humans #listentothem #startwithIjeomaOluo #thenreadStamped #thenreadandlistenmore

ppss.  BIOTT = Blame It On The Trauma  Admittedly a victimy copout, but there it is nonetheless.  I can take your judgement, don’t worry.  I happen to be an expert on that bc BIOTT!

I like you xoxo

The Art of the Coven (aka, I am probably a racist)

The Georgetown Coven convened once again to give us some insight into my mother’s lingering life altering health issue. We heeded their summons, received their powerful collective wisdom, and are proceeding thusly, tout suite! It must be so, as we met directly across from the French Embassy.  Être au taquet *fingers crossed*

The procedure in the Georgetown Wound Care Center include a nurse escorting you to an exam room, taking vitals, and preparing you for the Doctor’s consultation.  On this day, a young(ish) man in hospital scrubs escorted my mother to the exam room, introduced himself (L-loyd, shout out Lego Ninjago fans), accompanied by another young(ish) man in business attire.  The businessy man did not immediately introduce himself.

Once the door to my mother’ exam room was closed, I immediately felt a general sense of unease.  Two men.  One silent.  Door shut.  Once Lloyd removed my mother’s bandage and took her vitals, the business man introduced himself as the manager of the wound care unit, explaining that he was conducting employee observations.  He reached to shake my hand, and as I was shaking his hand I heard this bizarre-o giggle burble out of myself, and I said, “yeah, you weren’t creepy at all,” before I could stop myself.  Except he was creepy until that moment. We both smiled.  Then both men left while we waited for our trusted Dr Ladies to arrive.

In those quiet moments (my mother was engaged with solitaire on her phone, attempting to control her own anxiety about her medical experiences), I was having an internal discussion about what was it that was making me so uneasy with those two men.

Was is because one of them was super silent?

Georgetown is a teaching hospital, so we have many silent residents and medical students coming in and out of various appointments and treatments.  I do not recall being uneasy with their presence.

Oh, did I forget to mention that both men have darker skin than mine?  No?  Why does that matter anyway?  Am I some kind of racist or something?  The underbelly of racism is fear.  I felt an unwarranted fear in the closed presence of these men that I was not feeling in the closed presence of others (including men).  I am pretty sure that I had a moment of ingrained racism there.

I deeply apologize, gentlemen.

On the recommendation of a friend, I began following a hilFREAKINarious mommy poster @HonestToddler on Twitter (and @LozFelizDaycare!).  As our societal/political leadership climate changed in the good ol’ USofA, @HonestToddler changed her tweeting focus up to include societal issues broader than wacky child/family/mommy dynamics (still locally sourced, sustainably harvested and organic, though, like, seriously).  @HonestToddler introduced me to @rgay, who in turn introduced me to @IjemaOluo (and others in this 7 degrees of fascinating).

Don’t get too excited about my tweet game, I still follow @carrieffisher…  *sigh* and saddnesses. May the Force be with you and also with you. Lift up your hearts, we lift them up to the … anywho, you see what I mean.

Consequently, I have been immersed into a whole new lot of things that otherwise would not have hit my reading radar.

Which brings me right back ‘round, baby, right ‘round like a record, baby, right ‘round ‘round ‘round to our incident with the Georgetown Coven.  Obvs I’m a middle class light-skinned lady person of a certain age.

 

I am reading this:  So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

 

I want to know more and different things so that I can do more and different things.  One take-away so far is that I am not in a position of defining what is and what is not racist for someone experiencing racism.

 

How about you?

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. Liam Neeson left *sigh* and *heartbreak*

Feet Bar

My sweet little bear is quickly becoming a sweet middle bear on his way to being a sweet big bear.

Through the precious months and years while he was learning to speak, he referred to himself as, “Momma, I you feet bar” = “Mommy, I am your sweet bear.”

So sweet.

So gentle.

So darling and delicious, just like all of our sweet babes.

 

And, like all of our sweet babies, he is growing up in this world, in this country, in this state, at this time in history.

All times in history have had their challenges, I am aware of that.  But, I am not handing over the walking talking embodiment of my heart and soul to those times.  I fought to bring this person into this world at this time.

Now is the time I dig deeper into the explanations of how and why others, and potentially he, will be treated very differently from others.  I have to explain about privilege and discrimination, hate and fear.

 

My son is mixed race.

 

I am not.  I am white, white, white, Northern European, pale fleshy white lady of whiteness.

 

When I was growing up, I prayed that I would wake up as a Native American with long glossy straight black hair, proud posture, magnificent history.  I prayed that I would wake up so Jewish that I could speak fluent Hebrew and dream about wearing a tight scarf on my head.  I prayed that I would wake up Italian, African American, Hungarian, Russian, really anything with deep rich cultural history, languages and traditions.

 

When I was growing up, my grandparents were very racist, classist and bigoted.

 

My father (their son-in-law), made it a high priority that we children all understood the evils of racism, classism, and discrimination of any kind.

 

I grew up believing that my generation was an enlightened one – one that believed, truly believed and lived the belief, that all HUMANS are created equal and they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

 

Yet, during my adult professional life, I have been professionally chastised for interviewing “those sorts of people,” for positions considered prominent and customer service oriented.  It took me hours to figure out that I was being told not to interview anyone who wasn’t white-skinned.  It took my perplexed confiding in a very patient dark-skinned woman, whom I admired, and her willingness to endure and enlighten my naïve altruistic soul.  Once she said the words, “You’re being told not to interview black people.  That is how Gayle operates.  She is a good businesswoman and knows that if you put a black person in those positions, we will lose business.  That’s the reality of this area and these customers. But, she isn’t allowed to say that you can’t hire black people, so she refers to us as ‘those people,’ which stops the lawsuits because that could mean anything”

 

This incident was in our country, not that long ago.

FOR REALSIES

WTeverlovin’F

 

The recent publicized incidents in the national news, are horrid grim reminders that outside of my little bubble existence, racism and discrimination, are rampant.

 

Having lived in, and traveled to, a few places around the world, I have been witness to modern-day slavery as well as cultural/economic/racial/religious discrimination.  All of it is disgusting and horrific.  In my world of Montessori school, karate lessons, swimming at the lake, and square foot gardening with my beautiful, mixed-race, light brown-haired, white-skinned boy, it is so easy to pretend that none of this exists in my world.

 

The real horror is in recognizing that all of these things do exist in my world, and as an unengaged bystander, I am a huge part of the problem.

 

And so begins the discussions with Mr8, so that he is aware and engaged.  His buddies come in all colors, all religions, all genders…

 

We have to turn that learned

deep rooted fearful awful human evil lure to be

CRUEL

into

Compassion, Respect, Understanding, Empathy, Love.

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xo