As it turns out you can’t work full-time, parent a school-aged daughter, keep in touch (what really feels like occasional, too-infrequent, keeping in touch these days) with friends and family and a college-going nephew nearby and put on a Passover Seder for 19 people in your respectably sized, but not-so-big apartment, followed by a very small and short and sweet visit and Seder with your daughter’s sister and her mom– and still write about any of it. Or about anything, for that matter. As it turns out you can’t even start writing about the Seders or the other things happening for weeks– you’re too tired. Or too something.
I did do all that, those two Seders and more. Then somehow I just fell off the planet– well not literally and not even figuratively, but some part of me just disappeared. Most of all I woke up nights and early mornings, worrying that I was inadvertently breaking up with my blog. You, my little blog, are actually a piece of lifeline for me. But whew, here I am. Back.
As I tend to do, I start with lists–my lists are like the sherbet I’ve heard is served between courses in a multi-course meal– which, I am told, having never had such a meal, clear the palate to taste the next course fresh, clear of other tastes. My list clears my mind. Allows me to focus on one or two things. I make lists on my iPhone and I still keep at all times a huge pile of unlined, white 4′”x6″ index cards around for all kinds of lists and big notes to myself. So here is my mind-clearing list. It covers only a fraction of where I went while away from the blogging planet.
1. There is a still-unwritten post about racism, the kind very subtly aimed at my daughter and the kind she noticed and about which she said for the first time (of a teacher in her life) “I think he’s kind of racist, and A. (her friend at school) said she thought that too.” I’d thought it about this teacher but not said anything much about it to her and I’ve talked about it a lot– the racism she encounters–some with her and some with my partner and trusted family and friends. But this time she said it.
2. As follow-up to that, I could publish the letter I wrote to school– not to the offending teacher, but to a counselor and an assistant principal both of whom I trust. I wrote after careful thought–and long delay. The letter doesn’t say race or racist– because I wanted them to be able to hear something. So I talked about class and culture– the noisier kids vs. the meticulous rule-followers. It may have been a mistake to not say racism directly; I will have to live and learn, but it seems to me that these days if you say “racist” white people think you are calling them Klan members. We white people feel so crummy about ourselves and so crummy about racism and get so defensive about being kind of racist as we are (well not kind of). I got an amazing short response from the (Latina) counselor– saying it was a wise letter and that she read it very, very carefully and we should talk more.
3. There is a lot going on in my local legislative work world in the governance of the school system in my city that has me riled up and ready to write.
4. I had a visit with a very special and really one of my two (or maybe three) only– remaining high school friends. It was wonderful to see my friend– she was great then and is great now. I am feeling age– time passing. I said to her when we said good-bye–we can’t wait 20 years this time–we will be officially old women by then.
5. There was a visit with my older daughter, former foster daughter, younger friend/family (don’t know what to call her) and F’s husband and two-year-old son, both of whom we all three really adore in addition to our love for F.– all those relations quite something and worthy of a nice blog post itself. F. says I am permitted to tell one of my versions of our story.
6. And I did get to go with daughter and partner to an Atlantic Ocean beach for four days of my daughter’s spring break after missing all that last year because of the budget season in my legislative world. But we went and rented a decent sized one-room place, right out on the ocean and we loved it even though it was raining and was parka-weather cold much of the time. I woke up in the middle of each night at some point, stumbled to the front window and listened to and looked at the vast ocean just about 100 yards or a bit more away. Then back to sleep. Ocean is ocean and not at work is not at work and all packed into one room is very, very good, even if you don’t get to write on your blog.