Apparently, it will become a ‘good interview question.’ What did you accomplish in lockdown?
I was surprised to realise I am fit now. I haven’t been fit since before my first child was born. And let me assure you that I have not become thin – no matter how many kilometres you cycle, if you come home and eat crisps and drink beer, then…
I can cycle many kilometres, though. Up hills and everything. It’s a pleasant side-effect of taking the kids outside every day.
However, I didn’t write the great British novel or anything. You must be kidding! I have two kids – and our homeschooling was excellent – but I was required to be there while they went tippity-tappity on their laptops. I didn’t manage to write much beyond this blog. Which helped me feel connected –
for sticking around.
We cycle most days at the moment – changed days indeed! I remember early on in lockdown puffing and panting up a hill (to be fair, I have just been diagnosed with asthma, but also to be fair there have been a lot of crisps lately). Some ‘well-meaning’ gentleman made a comment that he was walking faster than I was cycling.
That was kind.
A couple of weeks later my lovely next door neighbour saw me saddling up my two-wheeled steed and said there would be nothing left of me soon. This, despite the fact that he has probably never seen me fatter.
That was kind. He’s a great guy.
As a family, we agreed this morning that some people could benefit from being a bit more aware of the people exercising around them. But if they can’t say something nice…
As the parent of a non-binary child, I find myself often – too often – in the position of ‘calling out’ certain behaviour online.
I used to enjoy grammar policing until someone accused me, correctly, of snobbery. I spend a lot of time trying to remember how to respond when Mr HB says, ‘Stella, that’s racist.’ (Top tip: defensiveness is not how we learn. Top tip 2: we are all racist, whether we care to admit to it or not.)
I don’t relish calling out a person for pronoun use, or transphobia, or just a not-thinking of making an online comment that is damaging/othering/offensive to the community that parent the LGBTQ community. Maybe it looks like I enjoy it.
I can assure you: I write the comment.
I worry about it.
I brace myself.
But not saying anything at all? Not an option.
Listen to Code Switch, 2 Dope Queens, Caught by WNYC Studio, Race Traitor on the Heart, and The Stakes with Kai Wright.
Follow Rachel Cargle and Waste Free Marie on Instagram.
Read Roxane Gay, Alice Walker, Nadine Aisha Jassat, Hannah Lavery, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Otegha Uwagba, Salena Godden.
Read Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo. Read Queenie, by Candice Carty-Williams.
Read this. Read this. Show your kids this. Read Malorie Blackman to your kids.
This is not a US specific thing. Sheku Bayoh: not a name you recognise? More info here.
Find out what kettling means here.
I need to do the work, too. There are not enough books by people of colour on my shelves. I don’t have enough recommendations for follows on Instagram or Twitter. I need good, clear articles at my fingertips. I have work to do.