A couple of weeks ago our six-year-old was getting her hair done for school as we watched NFL player Michael Bennett being interviewed on TV. Mr. Bennett was describing a recent incident in which he was the victim of police brutality by Vegas police, “ I felt helpless as I lay there on the ground handcuffed facing the real-life threat of being killed. All I could think of was “I’m going to die for no other reason than I am black and my skin color is somehow a threat.” My life flashed before my eyes as I thought of my girls. Would I ever play with them again? Or watch them have kids? Or be able to kiss my wife again and tell her I love her?”

Chloe’s ears perked up during this and she glanced at her sister and then herself. Chloe is fair skinned while her 3-year-old sister Sofia is tanned like me. “Does this mean I have to be extra careful with Sofia if I see the police ?” I wanted to say no while my brain screamed yes but I didn’t trust myself to have that talk right then and there with minutes left before she had to head out to school. Instead with tears in my eyes, I changed the subject by asking her what color bow she wanted in her hair.

That was the incident that inspired this piece.

Jester & Ballerina

Every year per family tradition her birthday cake was decorated with itty bitty teensie weensie porcelain ballerinas and every year her grandmother would take one of the ballerinas as keep sake. Several days after her 12th birthday the little girl was dusting her grandmother’s dressing table when she moved the jester figurine closer to the ballerina figurine.

“Honey, move him away from her I don’t like the way he’s looking at her.”
The little girl laughed and said, “Ay abuela, you’re so silly.”
The grandmother smiled and pointed to the little ballerina she’d taken from her granddaughter’s birthday cake. “And where do you think those little ballerinas came from?”
And that was how my mother learned about court jesters, prima ballerinas and the birds and the bees.