Ready . . . Set . . . Go!

May 18

Ready . . . Set . . . Go!

I have two blog posts and five kids running through my mind right now.  No.  Wait.  Two blog posts are running through my mind and five kids are running through my house.  We have a cousin who stayed the night last night.  So, I’m starting this post at 8:36 a.m.  We shall see how long it take for me to finish it (especially since I’m also currently making pancakes for said five children).

First:

I just want to say thank you to everyone who reads my blog and, especially, to those who comment and send me nice little emails about my blog.  I believe you are helping me achieve one of the primary goals of starting this blog: to shake off all of the negativity and unhappiness I felt like I was drowning in due a string of unhappy events in my life and the lives of those I love.

I have found lately that I am much more comfortable in social situations than I have been in a long time.  And by this I mean I’m starting to have some participatory fun in said situations rather than just observatory amusement.  Does that make sense?

So last night I was talking with McH about how I’ve surprised myself with this newfound, though still somewhat unpredictable, ease in group settings.  When did I suddenly start being myself rather than holding back?  Is it because I’m finally really healing from four years of unrelenting stress (moved due to a stalker; couldn’t sell the old house; old house got trashed by “renters”; great financial strain; gave birth to Midge and didn’t sleep for the better part of two years; grandmother died; brother’s wife fully embraced her heritage of loopiness and left; grandfather, ever so slowly, died; a solid year of Tank Boy attacking and biting Midge . . .)?  Is it because I’m just now becoming more comfortable around the people with whom we normally associate?  Is it because I get a lot of positive feedback from my blog and, good grief it’s been so long since I’ve gotten any kind of positive feedback about anything from anyone?

McH thinks it’s a combination of all of the above.  I think McH is incredibly sexy.

So, again, thank you.

Now, having said all of that, I’ll probably completely freeze up at the blogger dinner in Columbus, Ohio the night before the Asian Festival.

Second:

Yesterday Tank Boy (yes, we’re back to him) unknowingly experienced his first bit ‘o peer racism (I think).

We had traveled an hour and a half to meet my mother and niece and take all the kids to the zoo.  But it was raining.  But we had a back up plan.  We went to a nearby mall that has a big Play Place Thingy in it.  The kids had a blast.  More fun than they would have had at the zoo.  As we were walking through and playing in said mall I noticed just what a strong Asian population we have in our area.  I noticed this because, at this far away mall, everyone was pretty much white.  Everyone.

It’s not like my own area epitomizes racial diversity, because it doesn’t.  But we don’t go to the mall, the grocery store, anywhere, without seeing faces that resemble Tank Boy’s.  Normally I don’t notice or care about this kind of thing, but I guess that’s because normally he’s not the only non-Caucasian.

So maybe I’m reading too much in to what the little girl at the Play Place Thingy did.  She was probably three years old.  She kind of cornered him in this tree/climbing structure thing and started Karate chopping at him with sound effects and all.  HI-YAH!  HIII-YAAAAAAAH!

She wasn’t hitting him, so I didn’t intervene.  I just found it interesting that she decided the best way to interact with my son was to engage in Karate chopping.  It lasted all of a few seconds before she moved on to play with one of the other zillion kids that were there, sans Karate chops.

This was not the first time, however, that I have encountered prejudice or racial stereotyping, or whatever you want to call it.  The first time occurred several months ago, probably a year ago actually, at a Korean market not far from us.

I took all four kids with me and when we walked in we encountered the same scenario I’ve described before:  whatever Korean women are in the establishment look at us and then begin talking fast and furious (yes, I’m sacrificing grammatical correctness for alliteration) in Korean.  Eventually, one of the women asks if Tank Boy is from Korea.

This particular time, when I answered in the affirmative, the woman running the place said,

“Ahhh, you very lucky.  He Korean.  He be very smart.  Very smart.  You lucky.”

I briefly thought about responding thusly:

“Oh, good!  What a relief to hear!  Thank you!  Because, you know, these three white kids here?  Dumb.  As.  Rocks.”

But, of course, I didn’t say that.  I just smiled and said nothing because:

A.  My girls aren’t dumb.
B.  I wouldn’t want them to hear me make a joke like that, misunderstand, and think “I’m dumb?”
C.  Though that woman’s English is infinitely better than my Korean, I didn’t think it was good enough for her to get the subtle nuances of sarcasm.
D.  She meant what she said as a compliment, and I’m all for giving people the benefit of the doubt and listening more to what they mean than to what they say.
E.  I’m sure I, like every single other human being on the planet, have said things that have come out terribly wrong.
F.  I have four kids.  My energy is better spent elsewhere rather than in taking and harboring offense.

But yes, I remember the comment.  I remember it because I found it funny.  I remember it because I wondered if she meant to imply that white people are less intelligent than Asian people.  I remembered it because it was the first comment made about my son that combined race and stereotype.

Well, there you have it.  My two topics for the day.  And what time is it now?  12:10.  But you have to cut me some slack:  we had some friends come over to visit and play and I had to go chase down our dog, Houdini the Great Escape Artist.  This, in addition to making the pancakes and taking care of other kid needs.

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says hello.

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