I flew to South Florida to hand off the two oldest for the summer. It was hot but not so hot that I felt helpless. It was humid but not so humid that I felt stymied. J does not force me to eat on these short trips. We run errands together and she cooks and we make fun of each other. I promise to figure some things out and she promises to make the boys do homework. The boys are anxious for me to leave them to their life away from me. Their life away from us.
The smaller boys handle the transition in expected ways. They don't expect it, of course, but the rest of us brace for impact. Loss is not new and written into their bodies and their bodies respond in kind. They navigate the hits and we all get through. I am struck by how much easier 4 is than 6. I'm sure it should seem obvious to me, but it isn't.
Truly tells me all the time that she wishes she "wasn't the last one born" even though she will probably end up with the best of us-- the bits where we are too tired to object or too tired to find a reason why not or too tired to do anything but laugh. The boys and I were talking about traveling to Japan and bullet trains and all the places we could go see. They immediately think about our friend who's family is from Japan and visits often and decides that he will only go if she is going with us. I think: "we will probably never go/I wish I could take them right now".
The house that saved us is the house that is demanding a lot of us (isn't that always the way). It gets whatever the children have not already claimed.
This is a wonderful article about education and living in Portland and reflects a lot of our experience within this system. If you are an educator I am curious to know what you think. If you live in a place that prides itself on being progressive, same drill. My friends offers up the critique that the author centered herself heroically (as we white women are want to do) and I would say that her editor needed to be a bit more ruthless in her approach.
It's what's on the inside that counts will not heal the deaths of all of the Black and indigenous people who have died, to date, from the largest genocide in the history of the planet. It's what's on the inside that counts will not bring back Trayvon, or Emmett, or any of the millions who died in the chokehold of White power, but for God's sake, Portland, we cannot go on like this.
May I Have this Dance (On Repeat)
I’ve come to realize that people like myself—white do-gooders, to be more precise—have not been taught adequate theology for our times. My neighbors do not care if you have a robust urban missiology. They would like secure, affordable housing and good schools for their children. They have practical, tangible needs that are altogether forgotten in a capitalistic, consumeristic society where those with plenty ignore the realities of others who would never buy a latte at the new corner coffee shop. In the few spaces where the ideas of theology and urban renewal are brought together, something is missing. The overarching themes of American exceptionalism and triumphalism, tinged with colonialism, have made it nearly impossible to adequately engage with an economic and social reality as complex as gentrification.
Canada tried to celebrate a 150th birthday last week and America rolls onward with the 4th. I am no patriot. We are going to try and build a fence tomorrow because ours is about to fall into the alley. A friend asked who all was coming for dinner and the number is pending. I've already overcooked the eggs for the salad and I'm sure we do not have enough beer. I'm hoping to yell very little (or not at all) and that these days and our shoddy attempts at/resistance to celebrating them will translate as only love.