Tonight's main event? Brayden's grade school choir concert, an exciting choral extravaganza featuring the charming classics "This Land is Your Land," Zippity Do Dah," and--for the neo-hippie Portlandians--the new hit, "Don't Throw Trash on the Moon." While Brayden's singing, dancing, and outrageous drum-solo were outstanding, it was the excitement happening behind the scenes (i.e. the back row where Kasey, Maddy, Beffers and I were piled haphazardly into two chairs, overflowing with coats and cameras, after offering our third, "relief chair," to a friendly neighbor).
With Elven working and Jorma sick, Kasey and I were Brayden's representative parents for his concert. Now, in order for you to envision our little family unit for the night, I need to provide a little back-story:
Very recently--last week, in fact--the four parents were in Mexico. While there, we marveled at the women braiding hair on the beach. In excitement to have the experience, and save money, Kasey and I decided that I would braid her hair into cornrows. It looked awesome. After we arrived home, we realized that the "80's Prom" event at McMenamin's Kennedy School was only a week away, and what better way to produce perfectly crimped hair, but to have Kasey leave her braids in for the week and take them out the day-of? If any of you white girls have ever tried to keep braids looking tight, you know what happens next: an array of hats and head-scarves to try and camouflage the cracker-fuzz.
So, tonight before we left for the concert, I carefully wrapped Kasey's fuzzy-noggin with a subtle-cheetah-print scarf, and we headed out the door with the kiddos. To all tolerating, hyper-sensitive, modern parents, it looked like Kasey and I were there as two moms (Kasey, the doo-rag wearing lady-thug, and me, the feminine wifey; we basically could have been cast-typed characters on "Modern Family"). Watching people smile politely and nod, thinking they understood that we were a "different" kind of family, then force a friendly, accepting greeting was quite the experience. Both of us felt a stark difference from the ways we are generally perceived and interacted with when we go to events with our husbands. Aside from our inside-joke chuckles as we watched the shock in their faces fade to over-compensating friendliness, the experience makes me consider how my responses to others might be hurtful.
Food for thought: instead of dropping our jaws or working too hard to be over-accepting, why not just attempt to love all people the same? Now, I'm not naive enough to believe everyone is capable of simply dropping all our preconceived notions about others or completely do away with the biases resulting from who we are and where we've come from, but why not make a conscious effort? Then we can worry about bigger issues... like trash on the moon!