Pride and Community

2016 was the first time my kids and I walked in the San Diego Pride Parade with my then new company. Without a doubt, it was a blast. From the great energy of the Sony team members walking in the parade, to the fun music and awesome Sony swag we got to distribute to the hordes of people lining the street, the event was memorable. Exhausted yet energized at the end of the parade route, my kids and I joined the throngs of people visiting the food, education, and commerce booths, and we listened to music performed at the various stages positioned throughout the park. We hung out at the Sony sound stage for a while, first to help set up PlayStations for guests to enjoy, and then to help guests play the then newly released MLB game.

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Attending events meant to raise awareness, educate, and come together as an inclusive community has far-reaching benefits. Sometimes, those benefits are felt much closer to home. A few weeks after the event, during a drive to Michael’s to pick up supplies for a school project, my youngest child opened a dialog with me.

“Mom, I have something to tell you. I’m a little nervous. I know you’re going to be okay, I know you’re going to support me.” We were at a stop light, so I could give them most of my focused attention.

“You can tell me anything,” I said.

“Okay. Well. Mom, I’m Bi.”

I thanked them for trusting me. I celebrated their self-discovery and self-actualization. I knew they felt supported and was ready to move on when they asked, “What’s for dinner?” I can’t help but chuckle over my child’s resiliency; how quickly they transitioned from getting something off their chest to getting something into their tummy.

That night, after my kids were tucked into their beds for the night, I pondered what my youngest child shared. How do I support them and ensure their safety? What can I do to ensure they continue to feel supported and accepted? Oh, dang! I’m a writer and I didn’t think to ask what their preferred pronoun is! Something I addressed the next morning.

“Whatever, mom,” was their eloquent reply. “He, she, it. I like ‘it’. It’s all good” I then learned how many of the kids in middle school and high school figure out what gender use. They ask, “what’s your pronoun?” Huh, no guessing or making assumptions, just straight forward and accepting language. I find it fascinating how our youth can be excellent sources of information when it comes to navigating diversity linguistically.

Having volunteered with the Equality ALLiance at Sony for the Diversity Speaks panel put me in-touch with members of Sony’s LGBTQ community, and I feel fortunate to be an ally with this dynamic group. I have had the privilege of engaging in frank, open dialogues with many of the volunteers, which I believe has helped me better parent my gender-fluid child. I believe strongly in supporting the rich diversity of our community, and I am proud to work for a company who not only shares my beliefs but demonstrates their commitment to building an inclusive, intersectional world.

Happy Father’s day

Growing up, Father’s Day had always been an interesting event at my house. My brothers and I didn’t have a normal, male, father figure,HappyFathersDay per se; yet we never lacked for guidance, encouragement, a moral compass, and a role model for what it means to be an adult. There’s only one explanation for my having a sound fou
ndation for being a great mom, a good friend, a dedicated employee, and a positive, contributing member of society: I have a mom who deftly played the role of father, and for her dedication to her children, I am grateful.
Here’s to you, Mom: Happy Father’s day.
To my brothers who, growing up and into adulthood, are friends, mentors, staunch supporters, and became men who I admire: Happy Father’s day.

She has a voice

RachelGrad

My youngest child has been promoted to seventh grade. No longer will I walk the halls as a parent of a child attending the elementary each of my kids have spent so much of their childhood.

When my baby girl was in Kindergarten, her teacher made a point of pointing out my daughter’s writing examples saying, “your daughter has a gift.” While it’s true the writing examples were fun to read and were a little different from her peers, I thought it was a good teacher praising her student for the parent’s benefit. My ears perked up a bit when her first grade teacher made similar comments. I finally understood what her teachers were attempting to convey to me when her second grade teacher spelled it out in no uncertain terms: “Your daughter has a voice.” This teacher explained how second graders began exploring their writing in patterns, and she showed us examples of what pattern writing looks like for kids seven years old. Then she took several examples of my daughter’s writing, and, as the expression goes, I couldda had a V-8!”.

Writing became a hobby for my baby girl. She created worlds in Minecraft, and then wrote stories to accompany her creations. Sometime this past year, she got into writing fan fic. I’m surprised, delighted, and wow’d at my daughter’s ability to convey concepts, thoughts and ideas, using a style that is all her own.

When it comes to writing, showing is preferred over telling. Following is my daughter’s last elementary writing project: BioMe. I invite you to read her memoir.

Memoir of a Potato

By Rachel Showers

I take a deep breath. I was really nervous for the first day of school. I looked up at my mom as she held my and walked into class. I didn’t know what to think as people stared at me. She hugged me before walking out. I was scared. Keep Reading

My son has crabs

Yesterday, my son and his girlfriend spent the day at the beach. It was like any other day at the beach, warm sand, breaking waves, and the feeling of summer’s intimate caress in the sun’s rays and wind’s breeze. Oh, and there was a boatload of crabs all over the beach, mostly dead, a few alive. Wait, what kind of crabs did you think I meant?

IMG_3644When I picked up the kids, my son and his girlfriend showed me their prize possession, tucked safely at the bottom of a Styrofoam cup: a small crab. “Look!” she gleefully cried. “Isn’t he cute? We’re going to call him Mr. Crabs!” It was dark, I honestly didn’t see anything in the cup, but I’m a mom, and I know how this game is played. “Cool! How exciting! Are your seat belts fastened?” I am all about safe driving, ya know.

After we had arrived home, the kids put their beach gear away, took turns showering, and then settled down to watch a movie. Just as I was falling asleep, my son decides it’s time to find Mr. Crabs a more permanent housing situation. “Hey, mom, do you have a glass bowl we can put Mr. Crabs in?” Why is it they ask me questions after I have drifted into the state of relaxed bliss, ready to release the day and fall into Morpheus’s waiting arms? Foiled again! I’m sure I mumbled something mostly coherent, because when I awoke this morning, Mr. Crabs was tucked in his new home, safe from the cat and out of view of the curious (although mostly blind) dog.