The first thing I do everyday day in the morning is read the newspaper. I am not sure this is a good way to start the day, as usually newspapers do not contain good news. They mostly shout about discord and tragedy, dysfunction and injustice, all in a neutral voice. This morning with tears in my eyes I read about Baltimore, I thought about my black nephews and the world which seems to want to swallow them whole. Yesterday, with Foos on my lap, we read about the earthquake in Nepal, complete with photos of bloated limbs and sooted lids. Her little eyes widening with every picture. She does this often, she sits on my lap while I read and reads too. This doesn’t bother me. I see these moments as opportunities. Yesterday, after a photo of a woman distraught by a funeral pyre, we talked about Nepali funeral rituals. We spoke about earthquakes and fear, the inevitability of death. Oh, how lucky are we that get to sleep in our own beds at night! That we have food to eat, and don’t have to walk miles for water. That we get to enjoy warm showers, and poop in a toilet, and ride our bikes for pleasure, and have a car that takes us to and fro with ease. How privileged, how lucky. I do not think my job as a parent is to protect her from the world. On the contrary, I want to present it to her; this is your your world, these are your people, this is what you are inheriting. I want her to know there are billions of people in this world, and billions of ways of being. Reading the newspaper together is a good way to begin these conversations in a way that isn’t contrived, that doesn’t feel like over reaching.


photo: Seth