Nine years ago, I put my five-year-old son, Wyatt, on a bus for his first day of school and did what nearly every other mother does-- I followed it. I watched his little blond head bopping above the seat as the bus wound through the neighborhood. I drifted behind at every stop, watching the other kids get on and my son looking out the window. I hovered in the school parking lot as he walked into the building. And then I proceeded to cry at the loss of his childhood.
When my son was just about a year old, he began to show pre-asthmatic signs. He coughed and wheezed, and it scared the life out of his mother and me. We took him to the doctor who then administered a breathing treatment. He screamed his little lungs out. It was one of the worst moments of my life for two reasons; first, no parent wants to see their child suffer. Secondly, I have had asthma since I was a kid. I assumed I had passed this on to my son. Since then, he’s shown no signs of being asthmatic, and is an active, sports-loving nine-year-old, but I’ll always remember that feeling of passing on my defects through my messed-up genes.
I grew up in the age of “colorblindness” in America. We weren’t supposed to notice race, let alone talk about it. Everyone was supposed to be equal, and we were all just supposed to act like that was true, even though I could sense that people’s actions weren’t matching up with their supposed beliefs.
The night before our baby girl arrived, Katie was full-term, uncomfortable, and ready for the baby to be out. Multiple friends had told her that a specific Chinese dish had induced labor for them, so she took their recommendation and we went out for Chinese. We ordered the spicy dish, knowing full well how dubitable these labor-inducing claims were.