Rose Water Lemonade

We woke up without heat. The landlord turned off the electricity for the basement unit, and somehow that meant the other two would loose their warmth.

There was a time I would have powered through, but I cried. I am a long way from being in my early twenties trying to prove to myself I can handle motherhood and whatever else without a tear. I cried when my son came in, and I realized he had had a growth spurt. He explained that every blanket in the house is on his bed, so he didn't notice the cold.

I hid my tears.

We made our way out the house and into Evanston for breakfast. It's not my fault we don't have heat. It doesn't change the shame.

Maintenace apologized. They are fixing the issue. We are headed to brunch. I still feel shame.

These past 15 months have presented more challenges than any other point in my life, and I have kept moving forward. When my sister called last summer to let me know my uncle died, my Lyft redirected the ride, and I got there just in time to hold his cold dead hand. We got lost. The Lyft diver got confused. My uncle died, and I wasn't there. A mistake is a moment in time.

Other peoples mistakes can have a considerable effect on us. They can change things significantly for us. Some moments stretch into a lifetime.

I needed to break, and it is the staw that does it. I needed to throw my hands up and acknowledge that I am not who I was before. That now I am someone who expects comfort.  I am kind to myself. I see that what I thought was being realistic was a thinly veiled expectation of suffering. 

Now, I will make the lemonade, but I want it with rose water and agave nectar.

and I do not need more lemons.

Admitting Your Child Is Dealing With Trauma

There are a lot of good reasons to be in denial about signs of trauma in a child. One being: it sucks. It's painful and terrifying as a parent. I can't only imagine what it must be like to be a child entirely dependent on their parent for supporting their healing. I use the word "good" loosely of course. I am sure when an adult sits down with their therapist they might not consider their parent's reason for remaining in denial "good." Maybe they are understanding, but I can't be sure it lessens the damage.  

I talk myself for a while that not admitting to my son's traumatic experiences were for his privacy, I imagined him feeling exposed and upset about my decision to speak out. It was my shame. Shame around how long it took me to understand what was happen even as he screamed and writhed, possessed with memories. Frustration and fear of the systems I am beholden to that seem to refuse to offer protection for fear of "vindictive baby-mama stereotypes." A freeze response to secondary trauma and pure exhaustion. 

There is value in secrets; they serve to keep us isolated. There is no value in silence it does not alleviate pain. There is no honor in shame; it only chains you to your oppressor. These are the things I remind myself. 

I will never speak about the specific traumatic events my son experienced. I don't know them all. The harsh reality that we are two entirely independently souls but what has been confided in me is not mine to tell. 

But I will speak about trauma. About parenting a child through trauma because many people are doing it yet, I keep reading that it is isolating. The two shouldn't be right simultaneously. So consider this a step out of the shadows.   


Flamin’ Hot orange + Ultrasheen blue

The museum is the backdrop of some of my most cherished moments. Saturday, my 30th birthday, E and I met up with the kids at the Museum of Contemporary Art for family day. Museums with a toddler, anything with a toddler really, isn't easy. I  appreciate how often the library and the museum provide the backdrop of the stories she recounts about her daughter.


Pointing your maternal bravery in the direction of libraries and museums, dance performances and theater shows is something I didn't do consciously until the recent past. In so many ways I marvel at the vision and intention E puts into mothering. The things she knows and considers.

We came specifically to take part in the awesomeness that is the creative mind of Amanda Williams. We had seen her exhibit before so it was wonderful for us to meet her in the flesh with a tag reading "ARTIST" slug around her neck. To hear him say, "Wait, so that's the artist with the exhibit downstairs?". To say "Yup." An artist as a human, a woman, melaninated. The type to speak to you, to smile at you. To help you peel the back of a sticker. To accomplish things that feel out of reach while staying within it.


On the logistics for parents, they had a break room with free snacks and water/juice for kids and I saw adults eating too. The room was designated specifically for family day participants. This really stretches the amount of time you can be there, especially if you pack sandwich.  All of the activities took place in open areas were kids could focus fully on the task at hand.