who’s that girl

IMG_6891

With that title, I know all you 70’s babies are thinking … Madonna!!! So here’s the 1987 video. You’re welcome.

Anyways, back to the point … since the announcement of Ma’s return (today!!), I’ve gotten a handful of questions. Maybe two handfuls. But who’s counting? So I thought I’d answer a few of them.

Who’s that girl?

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Ma … and for those of you who have nodded your suspicious head … or given a skeptical thumbs-up … or looked dubiously at Pippa when she has said she has a younger sister … here’s the 411:

Ma is a near 5-year-old girl from Cote d’Ivoire, Africa, who has spent over 2 years of her short life with our family being treated for retinoblastoma, eye cancer.… Keep Reading

rome

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Our recent family vacation took us to Italy. Our full itinerary can be found here. Today’s focus is on our first stop: Rome … the city of layers … where ancient walls are graffitied by artists and occasionally hit by passing cars.

Location:

We chose the city. Next up – picking a location or neighborhood within the city to stay. We like to walk and/or use public transport in the cities we visit, so we tend to pick a location based on its accessibility to most of the things we want to see. Makes sense, right?  We planned to visit the typical top spots in Rome, so decided to stay in a central location.… Keep Reading

madonna art

IMG_7811

As I wandered the streets of Italy last week on our family vacation, I became aware of all the Madonna art seemingly every few steps – on walls, in churches, in courtyards, in tiny alcoves. Paintings, sculptures, ancient, modern, simple, elaborate, colorful, plain, peaceful, painful.

I am a person of the Christian faith, though not Catholic. I am used to seeing brown-bearded, friendly-eyed pictures of Jesus. And like most Protestants, I don’t own a crucifix. No, we remove Jesus making it a clean and tidy cross. Pain-free, worry-free art. And Mary is not often seen outside the nativity, where she calmly sits beside Joseph and a few farm animals looking adoringly at the little bundle in the manger.… Keep Reading

italy itinerary

ItalyMap

It is with words like “Donatello” and “Michelangelo” meandering through my head like the bending Tuscan roads … and with the recent memory of the taste of ravioli in a light, buttery sauce melting in my mouth … and with dirty laundry up to my eyeballs, that I write of Italy. Our most recent family adventure took us to the beautiful chaos of Rome, to the rolling hills and nearly untouched ancient villages of Tuscany, and finally to the home of the Renaissance – Florence.

Our family of four chose Italy over a number of other European destinations this time around for its mild springtime weather, its fabulous food, and its generous nature towards children.… Keep Reading

white privilege

hand-children-child-child-s-hand-159827

Part of series of open letters to my daughters: mama always said

Dear white child of mine,

Last evening I attended an equity and inclusion meeting held in the library at one of your schools. I’ve been to a few of these meetings already, and I don’t think I’ve attended one where I haven’t shed a few tears. I got there a little early (unusual, I know), so I browsed through the books your librarian had highlighted for Black History Month. Picking up Hidden Figures, I read through the Prologue:

“Growing up in Hampton, Virginia, I assumed the face of science was brown like mine.… Keep Reading