inauguration day: fight for your right. every right.

Claudia has been making some observations about identification of rocks, and what’s happening to them in the tumbler.


She’s got a tiny little notebook here — they each got a number of them in their stockings — in which she and Béla each keep a variety of casual notations.

Seeing her write in this reminded me of earlier this fall, when she was still in school, and struggling to recover from the early trauma of the year’s terrible start. She got 100% on a science test. I gave her this full-sized notebook (I had been saving it) as a treat.


She, however, was not allowed to use it at her school. She was told to put it away any time she brought it out.

It was just a plain, blank, ruled notebook. She needed plain, blank, ruled paper for any number of things she did in school.

But this notebook was not included in the very specific (down to the colors) list of school supplies that we had to purchase for both kids at the beginning of the year. And so she was not allowed to have it.

Do you know how hard it is to find a notebook — or anything appropriate for Claudia’s age — that represents a female black scientist?

Do you know how much representation can mean to a kid? Do you know how noticeable it is to a kid when it’s missing?

She was not allowed to use it at school. She was told specifically NOT to use it at school. Not that a word was ever said to me. No note sent home explaining the good reason why this would be. She was just told not to use her notebook at school.

So now, she doesn’t.


On New Year’s Day morning, we walked along the edge of the ocean, picking up rocks and noting how the ocean was like a giant rock tumbler.

I have had some of the most meaningful, exquisite days of my life — where I have felt most vital, like the parent I was meant to be — just since that morning.

We check the rock tumbler a couple of times a week. But what is going on outside of it is just as transformational. And it takes the same noise, tossing and turning, and, well, icky slurry.

The finished product will be beautiful, but so is the process.