Bill put her back on the paddleboard to distract her, and she sat on the front in stony silence, a disapproving figurehead. As they pulled up alongside me, she wanted to hold my hand. “You swam AWAY from me, Mama,” she said accusingly.
Pen’s friends excitedly lined up at the edge of the pool. When the instructors beckoned them towards the water, Penrose turned from child to koala, clinging fiercely to my leg and whimpering. Five kids gradually entered the pool to practice bobbing and kicking. One child eventually sat with her toes in the water, poking the surface and muttering to herself.
I’m caucasian and Jewish. My ancestors were making a go of it in the Pale of Settlement when the Civil War was raging over here. But I can imagine what seeing images of the Confederacy embraced and exalted by individuals and communities might feel like to someone who does have enslavement in their family history.
I was that kid, that flower munching, rock collecting kid. I spent hours trying to dam up our frog pond and fed my sisters goutweed root, thinking it was Queen Anne’s Lace (oops). Now I want the rocks to stay put for drainage, weeds to stay out of the lawn, and slugs and snails to stop eating the garden.
Hello from North Haven! My daughter Penrose turns three on Sunday. When she was born I imagined her growing up in cargo pants and overalls, t-shirts and jeans. I’d describe my own style as comfortable low-femme – I’m happiest with bare feet wearing something loose and cottony – but of course my female offspring wants to […]