A year ago, I published my very first blog post, Wherever you go. I'd started the blog thinking it would be an open journal of sorts, reflecting about being black, a mother and an American in Germany.
What happened was an exploration of many other topics as well: human rights, religion, immigration, socialism and topics I didn't necessarily intend to touch upon. I opened my mouth, sometimes stood atop a soapbox, preached, (quite often to the converted), and let it all out.
Sometimes I just shared personal quirky thoughts about life here and you, my follwers, listened. Some of you were gracious enough to comment. And right on, too, to those of you who disagreed with me.
But in the entire year I've been blogging, I realized I never explained the title of this blog. While it may seen self-explanatory, there is also a story behind it.
It started in January 2008, when I began writing a series about my Haitian mother and my German mother-in-law for The Women's International Perspective. It followed the two different women along similar paths: through poverty, growing up in dictatorial regimes, leaving their homelands, becoming nurses, getting married, having children and growing older.
I guess I have been trying to find the similarities, the stuff that makes us alike, even as we complain and feel threatened by each other's differences. The multicultural journey isn't an easy one. It is, in fact, oversimplified. The truth is, it takes a long time to understand and respect another culture and I figured the easiest way to begin was by looking at how two people from such different countries could share similar biographies.
It's an unfinished story, my book will approach some of it. But the truth is, it's also my children's story so I'll have to wait and watch how that unfolds.
In the mean time, please stick around. It's always more enjoyable to travel in a pack.
A recent conversation between me and my six year-old son:
Son: Why don't we celebrate Chanukah?
Me: Because. . .
Son: We have a Menorah at school and we learned how to play Dreidel.
Me: That's great.
Son: So why aren't we celebrating Chanukah?
Me (pause): Um, because, well, we're not Jewish*.
Son: What is that?
How does one explain this? Me: Uh, it's a religion.
Son: What's that?
Me (in thought): God help me!
Me (spoken): It's different ways of believing in god and trying to be good people(this was the best I could come up with on the spot)**
Son: Do Jewishs believe in God?
Me: You mean Jewish people. Yes, they do.
Son: So do we!
Me: Yes, I said, that's true.
Son: So if everyone believes in god why doesn't everyone celebrate everything?
*not entirely true
** it will be interesting to revisit this conversation when he's 13 or so and aware of current events and irony. . .