Yesterday, while walking NYC, I turned to my 11 year old son and asked if he enjoyed being home from Spring Break or if he would rather still be in Florida. Without hesitation, he said he was so happy to be home because he saw people that looked like him and much preferred that than feeling different when in Palm Beach. He explained that when we were in Florida, he only saw three other people that looked like him — his sister, his dad, and the mailman. I could not help but get choked up with pangs in my heart that he felt this way. And of COURSE he felt this way. With all the recent attacks against Asian Americans in the United States, and even more so in our hometown of New York City, my kids are very aware of what is going on. They know that they are Asian and they don’t yet understand why anyone would hate them because of their different shaped eyes…
My boy. And his almond eyes.
On Sunday, I ran my first LA marathon and my 15th marathon overall. I decided on the LA marathon as one of my close friends from Ken’s Business School class lives there and we decided to run it together. It was a glorious day — made even better to be with a good friend in a spectacular setting. WHY DON’T I LIVE IN LA????
Bib pick up downtown. All I wanted was a shot with some palm trees, and my friend, Katie, was a good Instagram Husband and took a million shots for this one. YOLO.
So far this summer, I have failed at most of my motherly duties of teaching my kids how to: (1) tie their shoes (big fail), (2) do their school summer math workbook (I am a nagging Jewish mother, my GOD, I want to punch MYSELF), (3) become a self-sufficient swimmer (the fact my younger Toosh is in the water at all is a huge success), (4) ride a two-wheel bike (what was I thinking – at least I succeeded last summer with Cruz), etc….the list goes on and on of what I have failed at. The one thing that I feel proud of in regards to my mothering is having the difficult conversation about race, religion, injustice, and the world current events with my kids. The thoughts and conversations have been far from perfect, but they have been a start. Although at times it feels rather forced or weird, it is a dialogue that we want to have with our kids. They are mixed children, in terms of religion, race, and culture, and we want them to see the world as a WHOLE. With the tragedies occurring in our world / country with race relations, it is imperative that we have real conversations about what is happening.
I recently found four books (at the library) that have been helpful with our daily conversations; I want the kids to understand that even though people may look different or have different traditions, they are the same, and should be treated with the same amount of kindness. Also, here is an interesting article on how to talk to your children about race (from last year, but still relevant).
Not that any of you asked, but for the 0.5% of the people that are interested in the running aspect of my recent marathon, here it goes! (I am an over-sharer, not an under-sharer). Marathons are HARD MOTHERS, like flipping H-A-R-D. Not only is it a physical exercise, but it is also a mental / emotional / spiritual challenge. Somehow, you have to dig down into your body and make it happen — and like I said before, it is only you yourself that can make it happen….so the race recap, begins!
I am SOOOO beyond heinous in this picture ( I AM A ONE EYED MONSTER!), but I think it is a good image of what a marathon feels like (this is post marathon — notice my medal). My eye is half closed, my body hurts, I am trying to smile but I can’t. I AM A HOT MESS. But proud of it.