Monday, April 23, 2007

Mommy anguish

On and off over the past 3 1/2 years, I've gone through seasons of anguish about my ability to teach Rosie to be a confident, happy, strong, self-loving Black woman.

My anguish has recently reached a fevered pitch. Over the past 6 months she has become very aware of the colors of the people around her. I am so aware of the lack of diversity in the world we have created - especially devoid of close relationships with blacks.

I'm convinced it is my fault. Probably Bill's, too, but for once I focus most of my blame on myself! It is amazing to me how white all our activities and choices seem to be: Aikdio, Suzuki guitar, our choice of neighborhoods, homeschooling, holistic health care, organic foods. Perhaps it is less a race issue and more a class issue. Whatever the cause, Rosie's need for group identification are not being met.

For the first few years of her life, our main focus was on satiating her with love. Opportunities to connect with a more diverse community escaped me. Now as she gets a little older, the possibilities seem a little more open. Things like T-ball at the local community center seem simple enough, we can do that.

But I have a huge need for community - to connect deeply with others who share my values. I see groups and activities I am drawn to - self help and women's empowerment seminars that are right up my ally. But they are targeted to African American women and I fear not being welcome. Showing up and being turned away, rejected as being part of the system that pushes them down, rather than welcomed as a desperate mama of a beautiful black child who longs to find a community to support raising her to be and love all that she is. I suppose this is all part of my story, that each of these women knows in her heart the mama agonies I suffer, but I still cling to them.

It keeps me up at night - the struggle between the agony of seeing her unmet needs and my fears of being unwelcome or rejected. I wish someone could sprinkle our family with pixie dust and make everything easy and right for all of us.

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