All posts filed under: Essay

Backscatter

Feedback 1. Ooooooh, girl. I don’t know how y’all parents of small children are managing all this right now. Work. Homeschooling. Loving on your boo. All your creative endeavors. There isn’t enough time in the day! Hell, I’m super stressed juggling the full-time job and two side hustles I’ve got going. My teenagers? Oh, they handle school and the chores without me having to do too much. You’ll see. Ain’t nothin’ like this independent stage. Tuh! I know one thing. I am glad as fuck that mine are older! I couldn’t imagine chasing forty and some little ass kids. If you need anything, just let me know. I’m here for you, but I’m super busy during the week so if I don’t answer, just leave me a message. 2. I’m so sorry, babe, but I can’t have open-door meetings. I just can’t. You do want me to keep my job, right? I’m the only one on the team with a child, so it’s probably best that I save the FFCRA until we really need it. …

Keeping On

My son Kyle turned seventeen the same month when the shutdown started. My husband and I planned to take Kyle and a few of his friends to RPM Raceway. It had been our long standing tradition—birthday excursions like paintball, bowling, escape rooms, and DJ lessons to name a few. Because of COVID, we cancelled our plans. Instead, we had a quiet dinner at home. Just Kyle, his boyfriend, my husband and me. I thought that in a few weeks, we would be able to celebrate the way we had in years past. That things would get back to normal.   Except, they didn’t.   Before COVID, Kyle would wake up and pick out his favorite hoodie, sweatpants and throw on his 80’s styled rim prescription glasses. A few times a week I would prepare him smoothies to get him to stay for breakfast. Some days it worked, other days I had to chase him out the front door, urging him to at least take his coat. Kyle would fly down the stairs, his tall lanky frame skipping …

Eating in Pandemic Times

“Can you look at this?” My mother asked as we sat and waited in the car for our turn at the food pantry, masks on. She shoved a piece of paper in my hand. It was a letter from a life insurance company. My mom recently turned 73, which makes us 38 years apart. When my father died in 2003, she relented and purchased her own policy. Month after month, she religiously pays $120 for a $100,000 payout when she dies. “It’s just a letter stating that they updated your address,” I said in Vietnamese. “I told them a few years ago to add your brother Long to the policy, but somehow they never did!” she exclaimed and sighed. For all the things my mother and I talk about, life insurance is typically not one of them. I asked her what she wanted done for her funeral. “Oh, don’t worry about it. I already purchased a plot!” This was news to me. I had no idea that she’d already prepared for her death. It was …

School-to-Prison Pipeline: Disabled Black Indigenous Boys in the Time of Covid-19

RESOURCE: Are Native Children Being Pushed Into Prison? An infographic produced by the National Congress of American Indians http://www.ncai.org/policy-research-center/research-data/prc-publications/School-to-Prison_Pipeline_Infographic.pdf All poetry & collage by Se’mana Thompson Thanks for reading! If you enjoy Raising Mothers, please consider making a one-time or recurring contribution to help us remain ad-free. If even a fraction of subscribers signed up to contribute $1 per month, Raising Mothers could be self-sustaining!

New Motherhood, a Dictionary

Motherhood: Goddess squad gracing the walls of Hindu temples, wifehood and motherhood balanced perfectly in those slender waists and big breasts, ever ready to nurse. Motherhood of the Goddess Consort, a male fantasy like their Virgin Mother. Motherhood: a border, a wall sundering your life into prebaby and post-baby days. Wait till he grows up, they say. It comes back—the physical mobility, the energy, the yoga, the reading, brunches with girlfriends, happy hour with colleagues, the love-making too. Motherhood: your new role—now  that you’ve given them a legacy with a baby boy—as an addendum in their parties, neither the text you’ve aspired to be nor the footnote you used to be. Motherhood: its own game of power in heterodomesticity, one you keep fighting for dignity, one you keep losing for sanity. Motherhood: shield for your baby boy from the silence and self-hatred of those mother figures, wired to perpetuate toxic masculinity. Motherhood: quarantine before quarantine becomes a global thing, worthy of empathy. Motherhood: a feminine logic of love. How it strips romantic love of its luster, that transactional …