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Today: Lightness and Burden

Posted by | March 19, 2012 | Uncategorized | 12 Comments

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This week is K & O’s school spring break. Braydon and I will be taking turns as we attempt to provide them with some semblance of a fun week and also keep ourselves from completely drowning in neglected work. Such is the life.

Anyway… today was an absolutely blissfully gorgeous spring day. The boys and I took Meera to school and then spent most of the day out and about before going to pick her back up. It was a fun day for us three, and it felt like luxurious lightness to have such a day, and each other, all to ourselves. Amongst other errands and activities, the highlights today were: a) playing basketball at Lehigh [we had to run to campus to pick up some papers at my office, and the boys took the opportunity to play b-ball for awhile while we were there], and b) the three of us went out to lunch at a place we’ve driven by numerous times and been wanting to try — a “sushi and hibachi buffet” [just about a dream come true for my two boys: all-you-can-eat Asian-themed food]. There were over 200 items on the buffet and K & O probably sampled at least 100 of them. Not even kidding. Watching them enjoy that lunch was an experience I won’t forget for a long, long time! [And neither will the restaurant… they are surely questioning their rationale for charging only $4.95 for kids under age 10!!! The entire bill came to $19, including tip, and Owen alone probably ate at least $20 worth of dumplings!]

But throughout it all (the incredible weather, the fun company I had for errand-running, and the very enjoyable lunch), my mind was struggling to not be distracted by the dark cloud that has been looming these past couple of days for me. No matter how hard I try to shake it, this article is just really doing a number on my Mama-psyche… read it and weep my friends:

“That is the burden of black boys in America and the people that love them.”


  • Gail McCormick says:

    Yes, Heather. When I read about and saw news dealing with Trayvon’s death I thought immediately about Kyle and Owen and was heartbroken. We can only hope that perhaps somehow it will make some difference, no matter how slight, in the way that needless deaths like his are avoided in the future. Unfortunately that doesn’t lift the dark cloud.

  • Elizabeth Costantino says:

    Hi Heather, That dark cloud is a life long one as I have my adopted 43 year old black-Vietnamese son that I still worry about at time even though he acts, dresses, and is a well educated, middle class man. Police also make assumptions especially in certain areas of the country. When he was a teenager I was especially careful and he had a nice but conservative car fromthe time he could drive as I did not want him walking around by himself. I think I accompanied him long after other parents let their kids go it alone not because I didn’t trust him but because I didn’t trust others. Now I have a Haitian grandson ( age 7) and have the same worry for him. It is sad but somehow we parents have to caution and train our kids about this. This loss of innocence makes me weep. When my son was the age of your boys I was also very careful where he went to play. I always wanted to know the parents well but still had some sad and unexpected experiences. And this is CA the land of so many races and ethnic groups. Just know there are lots of us out there who have walked in your shoes and I am so glad you are using your blog to have a voice about the treatment of black males in America. As always, you are right on target and I enjoy your blog so much. Elizabeth

  • Emily says:

    Thank you for opening my eyes to this tragedy. I will be following the story, and am also burdened.

  • Kate says:

    Sounds like a wonderful day spent with your boys. I read the article with a heavy heart – so very tragic.
    – Kate

  • Kendall says:

    There are no words for this article. The injustice is disgusting and so painfully, painfully heart-wrenching. Even if (and from my perspective that’s a big if) Zimmerman was acting in self-defense, the events that have followed Trayvon’s death are still deeply heartbreaking and completely inexcusable. If the two males’ skin colors were switched, there is no way Zimmerman would not be in jail right now. Oh Heather! I feel for you and every mother of every dark-skinned boy in this upside-down world!

  • Julie says:

    I read and am weeping. My children have always attended very diverse schools and I see many of their friends stereotyped…I have no answers.

  • Ashley says:

    Oh, Heather, that article just pulls at my heart. My kids are 1/2 Dominican, and it pains me to think that anyone would react so violently (and fatally)towards any one of my beautiful 4 children. Thanks for sharing the article. I just sent the link to my husband who has suffered his own share of racial profiling despite being a well educated, professional man. Unfortunately, some ignorant people only see the dark skin, and nothing else. :(

  • Bonnie says:

    I share your heartache. May we be able to brighten the future.

  • Melanie says:

    I’ve been following the Trayvon Martin case obsessively, reading everything and anything I can get my eyes on. This has lead to an enormous racism fatigue and melancholy that I can’t shake. I look at my beautiful son and my heart aches for what his future will become and I am powerless to prevent.

    I hope those that read your blog continue to spread the word about this tragedy, not the first by any means but certainly well publicized, and not keep silent vigils.

  • Yve says:

    Oh Heather,

    Had not heard about that over here in Australia. Truly heartbreaking. Words seem to cheap to offer any support, but know that there are so many of us who find this deeply disturbing as you do.


  • Kelly says:

    I have a 9 year old, adopted, black son who looks like he is 13. I was waiting to have this conversation but I think now is the time….

    I found this article in Time magazine that will hopefully allow me to have this conversation in a way that doesn’t hurt his awesome zest for life or self-confidence.

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