I’ve had it with school choice. Speaking as a white mother of two, I am convinced the most profound thing we can do to defeat racism in this country is ensure our white children go to the same public schools as all of our other children.
Enough with the specialized charters, private schools, etc. etc. White mamas, you want to really do something meaningful? It’s not enough to quote Martin Luther King one day per year in your 99% white charter school. Send your kids to public school, most especially in elementary school. Allow them to have day-to-day interaction with…
Our First Eggs
Our first eggs! You scream triumphantly,
causing amusement and consternation
amongst our guests
then call me down
so I can terrify them again
perfect and small
they are the new eggs of adolescent chickens
chicken periods, my daughter calls them
perhaps feeling a little sisterhood
she, a sun in the same part of her arc in the sky
the next morning, I fry one carefully
low and slow, no burned albumen for this my first
and precious egg
in eating, I taste the heaviness
of every bug and piece of corn and drop of water
Judging The Science Fair
The Central Texas regional science fair in the events center downtown
is full of high school students and balloons
nervous-eyed teachers and parents
that’s a new one
science fair used to be about rockets and teaching mice
now it’s either dreary pH experiments about acid rain
and anything that might slow extinction or global warming
what began as racing starry-eyed promise
now squats in vacant descriptions of futility
we know this shit is useless the students are thinking
it’s for the grade
and they describe again, ruthlessly, how acid kills…
What To Do During Christmas When You Don’t Have The Kids
If you’re a parent with a split-custody schedule, the holidays can be a particularly rough time. Your usual traditions don’t work, and you may feel tempted to resent your ex-spouse or battle for specific time windows with the kids. I get it. It’s hard.
The first time I had to spend Christmas without my school-aged children, I flew to Mexico on Christmas Day. I thought the distraction would be perfect, but I wound up ugly crying in the galley to the flight attendants, who were marvelously sympathetic. …
What Happened When We Cut Off the Halloween Candy
If you’re anything like I am as a parent of little people, you understand that unrestricted access to sugar is a bad, bad, bad thing. It rots their teeth, it sends them on a sugar high, it creates bad dietary habits that will haunt them into their adulthoods. Besides which, every mommy blog post and helpful article suggests multiple alternatives to sugar because if you are a good mother, you make this an absolute priority.
Chocolate milk is a no-no. Applesauce should be chosen to be unsweetened, lest we learn to…
the first cold front of the year
swings in trailing happiness behind it
neighbors you have not seen in months
emerge from their house-shells
blinking stickily and breathing deep
children laugh and run a hell run
directly towards joyous trouble
the cool air sweeps away years in an instant
all the crummy accidents of summer
the foul tempers, the bickering
all gone now, just like that
it is amazing how everything can turn in a season
or in a breath of air
who said everything can’t change all at once?
who said anything about getting older?
— and Why We Chose It
Attending your local public school is not fashionable these days. At least, not in our demographic — admittedly privileged, educated, liberal-leaning, white. This fall, while Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were bashing it out in the first democratic debate over the history of busing, parents in my city were busily making plans to hoof it out of the urban areas where they lived in a scramble to self-bus anywhere but their neighborhood school.
It seemed as though any alternative would do — private, public charter, montessori, other public schools that weren’t the one we…
Songwriter, poet, science and nature writer, and parent. Some of these things overlap.