Sweet Summertime

Oh sweet summer, you have been good to us! In June we moved and although packing and then unpacking was overwhelming, we had lots of family and friends that helped make things go a whole lot easier! We are now all settled in…except my bare walls…and the kids all adjusted seamlessly.

Our new neighborhood has 2 schools with playgrounds as well as a small park, all within walking distance. Although we had a park in our old neighborhood, it wasn’t near as close as the ones are now.

While David golfed one Sunday morning, I got brave and took all 3 kids and Bentley for a walk and to the park….after a decent nighttime rain. Aria and Myles were playing so good as I watched from the stroller in the shade where Evan napped and Bentley cooled off. Aria, in her adorable white tank top, came up to show me the handful of pea gravel she had from the playground. Along with that pea gravel was a handful of mud, mud caked on her white shirt, sandals, forehead, and hair. I went to gather Myles to head home to get cleaned up and he had it in all of the same places, with the addition of in between his upper front teeth…

On the walk back home, I wondered if it’d be better to give them a bath or just put their swim suits on in the front yard and let them play in the pool (which would double as a good enough for now bath). By unanimous vote…the pool it is!

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Myles loves playing in the water….as long as it’s on his terms, at the perfect temperature. A degree too cold and he grumps out majorly.

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Aria’s definitely our little fish. We are certain she thinks the world sounds better under the water than it does above. She loved baths…until I had the great idea one night to put bubble bath in their tub to make it a little more fun and neither her nor Myles would sit in the water as they both cried, David and I did our best to dissolve the bubbles at record pace so we could resume to bathe them.

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And little Evan, who is now 6 months old! That smile is permanently on his face (minus a few instances of ear infection/eczema/colds) – and even with all of that, he still is the happiest, giggliest guy around. He has learned to splash from watching his brother and sister, and if they are near him – nothing else in the world matters.

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#BeTheChange

My son has soft, dark brown skin. Tightly curled, coarse black hair. A handsome, dimpled smile. Defined arms with a broad frame. He lives to make people laugh. He’s a lover and gives big, intentional hugs. He has beautiful deep brown eyes. Innocent, beautiful deep brown eyes that some day will be tainted from society’s ignorance.

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I haven’t had a chance to blog in quite some time but my heart and stomach have felt unsettled and sick for the past week and it’s time, as our children’s biggest advocate, that I speak up.

I want to start and say that this has nothing to do with police brutality. Nor does it have to do with arguing the meaning of hashtags. It’s not meant to be in protest. It’s also not meant to cause more division. Aria will also face these same challenges, but today I focus on Myles.

The first step in solving a problem is to admit you have a problem in the first place. There’s no better time than now for us in America to admit we have a racial problem in our society.

I encourage everyone to take the time to read this article for some first hand experience on what it’s like to be black in America, specifically the Midwest. First hand experience from an educated, law-abiding black man. Read >>

What makes me sick to my stomach is that our children have already experienced, mostly innocent, yet just as damaging, stereotypical comments at the ripe age of one. I pray the world changes before they are old enough to comprehend and take to heart the ignorance of the world and people around them.

I do not want our family to be seen by colorblind eyes. I love Aria and Myles’ brown skin, I love it when little kids see us at the park and refer to them as our brown babies. They are brown. Black. And African American. It’s a feature of who they are and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I actually jump up and down inside when children have pointed out this fact before, until I see the horrified, embarrassed look on the parents’ faces and my heart sinks. That look tells their children, and mine, that the color of someone’s skin matters.

Some day, Myles is going to be a grown black man. Probably a fairly strong and tall black man and most likely look older than he is. And my fear is that he will be seen differently held under ignorance, stereotypes, and prejudices.

Now’s the time society has to admit we have a problem and face this reality. It’s not a perfect world, but it’s also not impossible to change people’s prejudices if we focus on the problem at hand instead of clouding it with division, blame, more hate, denial, and excuses.

Want to make a difference in this divided world? Want to really ensure all lives are equal?

Remember your children, my children, they are watching and learning from us. All children see skin color as just that, skin color. Somewhere along the way, their views shift—we as adults and parents can change that.

Join me to shed the discrimination, stereotypes, and ignorance that exists in all of us and stop passing on these prejudices. Work to change the ones that you’ve been tainted with, even the innocent ones, and think before you speak or act. 

#bethechange

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