Saturday, July 18, 2009

Quiet Time

My twins, Faith and William are playing in the toy room for Quiet Time right now. They weren't grown in the same belly and they don't have the same blood and they don't have the same birthday. But my twins they are, nonetheless. She is brown-skinned and bossy to his lily-white passiveness. They adore each other.

They are playing a make-believe game that involves a vacation. The destination? Mississippi. I am waiting with trepidation for the day that they realize that one of them is "black" and the other is "white" and that this is only part of the reason that we don't go there to visit my old family who doesn't acknowledge half of my True Family (Again, see how I show respect with capital letters) and so doesn't actually SEE the half that they do acknowledge because "their" half is so in love with the "others." Poor stupid bastards.

Mississippi. What a disaster. I have had such mixed feelings about the place of my origination. Not my birth. I wasn't born (became full of life) until Dawn saw me. Before that I was just a hollow body being magnetically or chemically drawn from stop to stop, like the beginning of the old Oregon Trail game where you go from the general store to the farm to the cart-makers shed until you had all the supplies/experiences that would get me to Fort Rucker, Alabama where she was waiting.

Mississippi. I have no idea what to tell my children, especially my brown children. Will the white-guilt that I was brought up with show on my face and in my words when I am faced with the darkest eyes I've ever seen asking me about the N word or about Ole Miss or about Medgar Evers or God Forbid It!, about myself? How can I possibly explain how I managed to pull myself from the mucky sludgey hypocrisy that is modern Misissippi?

Will I tell them that their little faces sealed the deal? That they are why I will never go back?

Will they look at me differently? Will they look at my mother differently? Is that the day that they will finally be able to pinpoint what her fucking problem is? Oh, God, will they look at their brothers differently and hold them guilty by bloodline?

All this is Ms. Moon's fault. She wrote about that little red-haired baby being so adoptable because he's "white" and "cute." The truth of that pissed me off and made me ashamed again to be who I was and from whom I was from. Shame is such a haunting emotion. It periodically raises its ugly head and stirs my scarred but newly sensible soul into a mid-season tornado of regret, anger and cheap wine. Shit.

Mississippi - My Muddy Monster.



  1. Our kids will change the world.

    We're teaching them love, acceptance and compassion, and they will live their truth.

  2. I'm not sure what I want to say here. So i'll save it for a later phone conversation.

    Love you tons. Like BIG time

  3. they're darling kids. they truly are.
    someday when they are older and you tell them all the fine print details, they will love you just the same, if not more so.
    you are an amazing mother. and we all know that we do anything we can to protect our babies.

  4. One of the greatest lessons we can teach our children is how to rise from adversity and learn from our mistakes. The beauty of your chidren is they don't see the differences, they only see each other's heart.

  5. My guess is that they will never notice that one is black and the other is white. Not in the way that you fear. And neither will they hold you or their brothers accountable for anything other than loving them.

  6. i think that the best you can ever do is be truthful. My sister's 3 kids are absolutely gorgeous,their dad is from Africa and they are so increbibly proud to be from Africa. (I told them that they were also English and Icelandic like me but they weren't very impressed) When my sister-in-law told her kids that their cousins were half balck (it just came up somehow) they were stunned-- they had no clue. All they knew was that they had fun cousins. Funny, eh? It only matters when someone insists that it matters...

  7. You know, it's funny. I've read about which kids are "yours" and which are Dawn's but I somehow refuse to acknowledge any of that. They are yours and Dawn's kids. To me, you two and your kids are the very best of what a family means.
    Get over that guilt and shame crap. There's no time for that. There's not enough energy for that. You have so much love and wisdom that your children are going to go through life knowing that they are who they are, no matter what. NO MATTER WHAT!
    Love and compassion- that's what we need to raise our children.
    You and Dawn have that to spare.
    Love you and yours...Ms. Moon

  8. I agree that our kids are the future. They are the first generation that truly sees people as people. take heart in the fact that you are helping to raise this next generation to be the people they are. love is all they need and you give them that and more.

  9. two hot chicks and four amazing kids... thats it in a nutshell!

  10. oh Shane. she has such a way with words ;)

  11. I think rather, they will see THEIR relationship as the world, their world of fishing and egg-hunting, of time-outs and seashells on beaches... of playing pirates and driving the scooter off the boardwalk... I think they will see everyone ELSE as the weird ones.

    Don't underestimate the love they have for each other... that you both have nurtured.

  12. Don't worry about all that. The south has lots of issues, to be sure. But, it's not all bad. It's were you can from, where you met your love, and where you are raising you babies.

    Also, North Florida isn't exactly known for it's high "tolerance" levels. Don't you entercounter ignorant BS here too? Lord know, I do.

  13. I can say, from experience, the friends I have that have kids (some now grown and in college) are so well rounded. Your kids will be this way .. be proud of that!!

  14. You have such an amazing family, all the rest is petty, forget about those who can't accept and love those who can.

  15. Ignorance is everywhere ... but you have a home full of love, and that's the best defense. And I think no matter what, your kids will know you love them and did your best for them.

    I love the way you write, with vulnerability and authenticity. Thanks for that.