Standing in the Shadows

Bullied, Blog Friends, Super Good Tuesday Three

I “met” Carrie Goldman the way so many of us did: I read her powerful blog post about her daughter Katie being bullied because she liked her Star Wars lunchbox. Along with the let girls be whoever they damn well please aspect of Carrie’s parenting, when I read about her daughter’s open adoption, I got really excited. As an adoptive parent in an open adoption, peers are basically treasures since there aren’t so very many of us around. That she also has children she gave birth to, that felt like another resonating detail. So, I wrote to her.

She wrote back. We’ve spoken a number of times; we’ve shared emails; she’s invited me onto her blog; we’ve cheered one another on. My copy of Bullied should arrive today. But I can’t wait for my physical copy of the book to share a little bit about Carrie’s experience of having the book be out in the world. Watch this blog—I will have a copy to give away soon (!).

Carrie wrote the book because the support she and Katie received after the Star Wars kerfuffle inspired her to see not only the terribleness of bullying but also the potential that communities can congregate around unacceptable behaviors and actually change things. What’s more, the way to change things has everything to do with broadening perspectives—rather than right and wrong, a greater comprehension of the tag line our radio station uses, which is ‘Different is Good” is necessary.

In some ways, long before the questions about whether girls can like Star Wars and not solely pink—or whether a boy could like pink—Carrie knew, because coming to parenthood in complicated mazelike ways prepared her for this, that there’s no one “normal” story. Not ever, even for the people who imagine life will follow one well-trodden and familiar path.

Am I saying a good idea is to get to know her? I am indeed. Of Bullied, she told me last week: “I hope people see this book as a long-term resource, one that would-be educators—and parents—come to in order to frame their thinking about bullying in the classroom. I share so many stories in the book; I learned so much and I’m really glad to be able to place something like this in the right hands.”

You know I’ll be certain the educators I know and love best lay eyes on Bullied. Meantime, if this is your kids’ back-to-school day or your own, remember that kindness counts. Respect for others is not always automatic; we all have to model it in order to teach it—and to live it. I figure this beats saying anything about homework!

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We wrapped up the three-day weekend or end of the wait until high school begins take your pick, with back-to-back neighborhood parties. I posted photos from ours on yesterday’s brief post and a couple from the actual Labor Day one here. I love my ‘hood. That’s one good thing; Arella and Addy both wanted help into this tree and then wanted me to let go (briefly!) so I could take a picture, which of course, I did. And yes, our neighbor James has a pedicab.

My second happy thing this weekend was having my second essay up on NYT Motherlode—lots of love for it (feel free to add yours, she says, shamelessly) and so, yeah, that (wooT).

My third good thing is that over the past few days, Remy’s ditched the hat. It’s not so much that he’s gorgeous (he is) than that he’s comfortable, or at least more comfortable in his skin (and hair). Um, phew. I don’t think he hates me any longer, even.

Three other things to share with you:

Much as I’m not a commercial-loving gal, this via Cup of Jo, kind of wowed me and I did watch it more than once.

I’ll write more about this I bet, but the latest Olivia book (Olivia and the Fairy Princesses) was good enough for me to forgive the lapse that was Venice (or as David Handelman commented on my Facebook post, he was surprised no one asked for a second draft; I really like David’s blog, just FYI).

This weekend I did some blog catching up time, and this included the blog that always makes me smile, my pal Jaime’s Found While Walking. Consider it an antidote to nervousness.

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