Swimmom’s Weblog

Diary of a Stay-at-home Mom, motherhood and beyond

Reality Check August 26, 2008

This morning, while my kids where watching their usual PBS shows, I announced that I needed to take a shower. My son startled me at what he said next.

“I need to take a shower. I’m all dirty and stinky.” I said. (I had just done my usual morning workout)

My son looked at me and explained, “You do need to take a shower. I like my color, not yours,” as he pointed to his cheek.

I hesitated, not knowing what to say next.

“What do you mean?”, I asked. ” You don’t like my skin color?”

“I like Sophia’s white shirt.” He explained. That should have been key enough that he didn’t mean what he said, or what I thought he meant.

Probing. “You don’t like me skin color?” I asked again, trying to get into the head of my 3 1/2 year old son, an impossible task itself.

“No, I like your skin color.” he said.

I don’t know why, but I was close to tears.

I called my dad.

“George is 3. He has no idea what he is saying. If he was 10, then you discuss it, but he is 3. You told him you were dirty and stinky. He probably relates it to when he is in the dirt and you tell him he is dirty and stinky and needs to take a shower.”

I know this is probably true.

But still.

I don’t know if I am ready to talk about race stuff or if I am ready to handle it. I know it’s not now, but it will be some day. What if your child, who now looks at you with such unconditional love, all of a sudden has questions to why mommy is “different”?

My dad, who is part Caucasian and part African-American, insists that even though your kids probably will ask questions, they will always love you because you are there parents.

And I guess that’s true. I remember being called an Oreo Cookie (kids can be mean) at school but it never made me not like my parents for being one race or the other, it made me not like the kids calling me names.

So I guess all I can do is tell my kids that there are many different types of people in the world and being one way or another doesn’t make you better, it just makes you different. And differences are what make our world what it is today. People are different sizes, shapes, races, religions, and so much more.

Besides without all these different people we wouldn’t have Sesame Street, Spongebob (a sponge) wouldn’t live in the Ocean with a squirrel and a star fish and Bob the Builder wouldn’t be good friends with Scoop, Muck or Dizzy.

Now that, my 3 year old should understand.


And she’s up…. January 30, 2008

…..and she’s walking!


My daugther, Sophia, who turns one next week is now a walker and a pretty good one I might add (it’s just the proud mommy in me).She started taking a couple steps at a time just about 2 weeks ago and now she walks across the room, or from one room to the other. She’s not running yet, but I know once they walk, there is no stopping them.

Now that my household contains 2 walkers, I have been promoted to head referee in charge! Instead of yelling calls, I have moved to immediate separations.

No time to negotiate!

Sophia breaks all the rules.

She’ll climb on anything and use her brother as a ladder in the process. I once saw her step up on his leg to climb onto the couch in the play room.

She is relentless and persistent.

I couldn’t be more proud!




Celebrate diversity January 6, 2008

Looking for something to do with the kids in January and February?

Why not introduce them cultures from around the world.

The Garden State Discovery Museum in Cherry Hill, New Jersey is starting out the new year with a celebration in diversity. Join the staff and special guests as they introduce you and your kids to the traditions of cultures around the world throughout January and February. Regular admission to the museum applies, $9.95 for children 12 months and up and adults, $8.95 for seniors. If you live in Philadelphia, this is just 20 minutes over the Ben Franklin Bridge.

Here is a summary of the events. Check out the website for more information.

Saturday, January 12th 2:00pm. Kick up your feet with musicologist Jose Obando with the sounds and sensations behind Salsa Music.

Saturday, January 19th, 1:00pm. Learn about the strength and courage of “the chosen one” Harriet Tubman and the underground railroad.

Sunday, January 27th, 1:00pm. Join the festivities of the Irish Festival. Watch the award winning dancers and musicians from the Next Generation Traditional Irish American Dancers, listen to music and make crafts!

Sunday, February 2nd, 1:00. Celebrate Mardi Gras Madness! Join dancers and musicians on a musical parade throughout the museum as you learn about the history and traditions behind Brazil’s biggest celebration.

Saturday Februray 9th. Learn calligraphy and search the museum for lucky red packets as you jump into the history of the Chinese New Year.

Saturday, Februray 16th, 1:00pm. Africa: The roots of it’s rhythm. Join the Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble in a performance you won’t want to miss!

Saturday, February 23rd. Korean Kraze.Tour through the exotic world of Korean music and dance complete with traditional costumes.

It is important to celebrate and embrace diversity!

I found this picture and beautiful quote at Celebrate Diversity from Barbara Kolucki,

“It all begins with accepting who we are and extending this gift to every human. Our uniqueness and diversity is evident each time an infant is born. We marvel at how could it be possible that no two babies look exactly alike – yes, even twins. Somewhere down the road, societal and cultural norms together with the media, pull us to try to be more alike than different. And then we tend to view difference and diversity as having less value. There is an old tale about a man named Rabbi Zusya who said “In the coming world, they will not ask me, ‘Why were you not Moses?’ They will ask me, ‘Why were you not Zusya?'”
Perhaps, if we help each child – girl/boy, disabled/not, poor/rich, from North/South/East/West, from any culture or religion – to celebrate who they are . . . perhaps these children will grow up just wanting to be themselves. And encouraging others to do the same. “

It is important for me to introduce my children to diversity. We are a very diverse, African-American, Irish, Native American Indian, Italian and Lithuanian. I want to show them diversity extends, not only through their family but through out the world. It is what makes us unique, special and beautiful.