Michelle Acker Perez, a white mother of a biracial daughter, explains the five reasons why she teaches her toddler about race. After noticing her daughter chose different crayons to match the different skin colors in her own family, she decided to start the conversation about race acknowledging that children are not colorblind. Just as children learn that the sky is blue or a car may be red, talking about skin color is important. While there is more to people than the color of their skin, the author argues that to “deny skin color is to ignore part of who they are. White people are the only ones who have the privilege pretending that skin color doesn’t matter…So when your 3-year-old points and asks at the grocery store, “Why is he black?” Don’t hush or ignore him. Instead help him. Reframe the question, “Yes, he is black. Do you want to go say hello and ask him what his name is?” Toddlers ask, “Why is the sky blue?”and “Why is his skin black?” in the same breath. They don’t associate meaning until they intuit our discomfort.”


Awesomely Luvvie dissects The Daily Beast’s tender reporting of the death of Kiersten Rickenbach Cerveny, a white woman who overdosed on cocaine and was left in the lobby of a Manhattan “cocaine apartment.” The details the reporter, also a white woman used, paint a sympathetic portrait of the former beauty queen, successful dermatologist and mother of three, who tragically died after a “night of blowing off steam.” If she were any other skin color would the details have been so gentle? Would it have been called a “cocaine apartment” or a “crack house?”  As Luvvie elegantly puts is, “This is what you get when people see themselves in victims. The woman who wrote that piece is also white. What is happening here is empathy. When our media is full of white people telling stories, they get to color the way they tell stories involving Black people and other people of color. There is no empathy when they report on us because they don’t see themselves in the people they are reporting. They see thugs. Sympathy is feeling sorry for someone. Empathy is seeing yourself in them. Media lacks empathy for people of color so we get lambasted. We don’t get our full humanity recognized. We get finger pointing and strong language that blames us for the state we were found in.”

A KISS DEFERRED BY CIVIL WAR | Modern Love, nytimes.com (Animated by Moth Collective)

Nikolina Kulidzan, a Serbian woman, reconnects with her sixth grade boyfriend, Marko, a Croatian, 16 years after fleeing her hometown and a bloody civil war. 


A foster mom writes the letter she really wants to write the people of her kids’ life about the damage and harm caused by their visits. While a huge proponent of birth family connections, she is also a huge proponent of protecting children.  “Security and love are fragile things to rebuild when they’ve been shattered. When you’re up somewhere that feels safe and protected and then all of the sudden the bottom falls out, well, you feel like everyone who helped you find that safe protected place lied to you.  Secure attachment is built by stitching together many experiences, good and hard.  It is so not as easy as “he attached once, he can do it again.”  We know that to be empirically untrue and any Mama or Papa who has cared for a kiddo who has had their heart broken over and over can tell you that’s anecdotally untrue as well.  We’re building back up from ground zero over here again.  Hopefully the good stuff we’ve done together over the months help us get there quicker.”  

WHEN BABY J. CAME TO STAY | Jillian Lauren

After being approved for adoption proceedings with LA County DCFS, Jillian and her family receive a phone call about a six-month-old baby in need of respite care for three days. Although they had never expressed interest in respite care, there is a crisis-level need in Los Angeles. Despite fearing she was not strong enough for the emotional challenge, Jillian and her family welcome Baby J. into their home and their hearts for three days. “I just kept looking in the mirror and telling myself: you’re strong. You’re a warrior. You can do this. This isn’t about you and what you want. This is about a baby who needs a place to stay and a lot of love. And you have all of that to offer. I’m sure we needed Baby J. as much as Baby J. needed us.”

Found on ivankatrump.com


Nicholas Kristof breaks down how to regulate gun control by looking at the statistics surrounding gun deaths. Since 1970, more Americans have died from guns than all of the U.S. wars dating back to 1775. He adds that in America, more preschoolers are shot each year than police officers while in the line of duty, and also includes that more than 60 percent of gun deaths are from suicide, while most of the rest are homicide. In Great Britain in the 1950s, when half of all suicides were caused by sticking your head in an oven leaking coal gas, the country switched to natural gas and the suicide rate drastically dropped. He suggests that we should look to safety laws put into effect for cars as an ideal model.   “Actually, cars exemplify the public health approach we need to apply to guns. We don’t ban cars, but we do require driver’s licenses, seatbelts, airbags, padded dashboards, safety glass and collapsible steering columns. And we’ve reduced the auto fatality rate by 95 percent.”  A compelling, practical and progressive read. 


Watch this video on The Scene.

A pre-K teacher describes the terrifying lock down drill with her students that lasted long enough for her to make the mental shift into wondering what kind of teacher she would be in a real life situation. As she struggles to keep her students as silent and motionless as possible as they hide in the closet, she battles an internal voice that reminds her that she is a mother, too. She wonders if she would run and hide or risk everything in the hopes to save her students’ lives.  “Instead of controlling guns and inconveniencing those who would use them, we are rounding up and silencing a generation of schoolchildren, and terrifying those who care for them. We are giving away precious time to teach and learn while we cower in fear. It’s time to stop rehearsing our deaths and start screaming.”


The Oregon school shooting is evidence that the US response to gun violence ‘has become routine’, Barack Obama says. The data compiled by the crowd-sourced site Mass Shooting Tracker reveals an even more shocking human toll: there is a mass shooting – defined as four or more people shot in one incident – nearly every day

Found on bloglovin.com

SPORTS PARENTING IN 10 SENTENCES | annejosephson.wordpress.com

Number six. “6 words: I love to watch you play.  Best six words ever.” 


Part of her Motherhood Around The World series, Joanna Goddard interviews a mother in Sweden who talks about the many surprising perks to parenthood in her country. “On parental leave: Parents have a whopping 480 days of paid leave to share — that’s about 16 months. Recently, the law has allotted 90 of these days as non-transferable days for fathers only, to encourage men to take their paternity leave. There’s also a “gender equality bonus,” where parents receive slightly higher pay if they split the time evenly. Parents can even take up to one month off together, and they can spread their time over the first TWELVE YEARS of the child’s life. Since most Swedish fathers take extensive paternity leave, I’ve noticed that they also get to play an active role in running their whole family household, too. When compared to Central and Southern Europe, Swedes are definitely less traditional in their household gender roles overall. Men are expected to pull their weight with cooking, cleaning and childcare the same way women have traditionally.” 


Loads of theatre and activities in Los Angeles this month! For family-friendly activities, check out the photography exhibit, Life: A Journey Through Time, at the Annenberg Space for Photography or the awe-inspiring Noah’s Ark at the Skirball Cultural Center. Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios is coming to Dodger Stadium (after we win the playoffs, of course), and two musical favorites are in town. Annie is at the Pantages Theatre and The Lion King returns to Segerstrom Center for the Arts. For something new, check out  Toni Morrison’s Desdemona, directed by Peter Sellars, at UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance. 

New York families looking for a last-minute night out might want to check out The New Victory Theatre’s Robin Hood, presented by Seattle Children’s Theatre, closing this weekend.  The Big Apple Circus will present Circus of the Senses, specially adapted performances of The Grand Tour at Lincoln Center for those with vision and hearing impairments. And if you are looking to leap frog over Halloween and get into the Christmas spirit, the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College is putting on a fun adaptation of a classic, presenting The Colonial Nutcracker.