Over 40 mama — Adventures in poop, patience, and first-time parenthood

January 21, 2009, 7:56 am
Filed under: milestones, notes to self

Yesterday was Inauguration Day.   As I sit in the quiet dark morning with the bug, I think of the future she will have.  How her first memory of our President will be a bright, articulate, compassionate, complex, honest man who also happens to be African American.  How she’ll see a man who has lived all over the planet, who has been an outsider AND an insider, whose guiding principle was taught to him by his grandma to “walk in their shoes” when encountering someone new and different.  

On Monday, I participated in the local Oakland Day of Service – a particularly well-organized effort to plant 80 oak trees along a scrubby stretch of MLK Blvd.  There were speakers – a black female archbishop who gave a prayer.  A Blackfeet tribal elder who had worked to prevent the destruction of acres of forests at the hands of developers.  A representative from the Dept of Forestry who was delighted to see community organization around such a precious resource.  The lady who owns Sweetie Pie and Poppy’s soul food, who donated their parking lot and a bunch of hot dogs to feed folks.  A man, who lived on that very block, who’d lost his son to gang violence.  A 10 year old boy who read Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech aloud, while his proud mama cried.

There were people of all races and ages there – and all were clearly moved by the unity of voice and vision. All were clearly witnessing the realization of so many of King’s dreams, and all clearly felt the dedication to work hard and work together to ensure those dreams that had not yet been realized might come to pass sooner than later. 

It was great to actually plant a tree.  To collaborate with folks from all over – young and old, black and white – picking up garbage and making this bleak urban stretch look good.  Others planted daffodils along a boulevard adjacent to the trees.  I know I will keep an eye on this patch of city to see how they grow and flourish over time. 

Coincidentally or not, the bug is now suddenly more like a little kid than a baby.  She’s changing at light-speed.  

Yesterday she said “mama” for the first time as she held out her arms for me to pick her up.


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