New Online Class for Parents-to-be and Seekers

f60ead_73c06bda70bd49c3947f23dc638eaacf~mv2.jpgBy Chelsea Page

Childfree Not Carefree

Years before I created my new online class about the virgin Mary’s motherhood journey and the reproductive justice ethics led by women of color, I wrote to a friend:

My decision not to birth a child and, later, not to adopt a child, has been so lengthy, messy, and labor-intensive that I feel astonished that I have literally nothing to show for it. I hoped that at least I have cleared space for a different kind of family or community in my life. I await it with some of the eager impatience that I imagine my infertile sisters feel when they long for a child. Continue reading

Learning from Laughter and the Trees: Yogurt and Blueberries

kiddos-2By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann. Written on January 11, 2017.

11 years ago today, I was heading back to school, to community two weeks after my mom died.
9 years ago today, I was getting off a plane from France having just met the love of my life.
8 years ago today, I was in Washington DC protesting Guantanamo as Obama prepared to take office.
2 years ago today, I was working on a Word and World school in Detroit on Environmental Justice.
1 year ago today, after a labor that was cooped by the medical industry, I gave birth to Cedar.
And today?….

Today I lost the battle to get Isaac to school. I couldn’t get him out the door. Knowing that I couldn’t let him just stay home and have fun if I wanted him to go next week, I told him that I could not play or engage. That this was my working time. I set a timer for when school would end. Told him I loved him and I would talk to him when the timer went off (a mantra I would repeat a hundred times over the next two hours). I handed him a yogurt stick and a box of blueberries and left him alone. After some protesting, he got quiet…so I peaked in. There he was in the living room, using his yogurt stick to make twenty yogurt circles on the floor and carefully putting one blueberry on top of each pile. When his work was finished, he yelled “Mommy!” He was good at this game. He wasn’t going to let us not engage for two whole hours. He was ready to destroy the house if need be. I took a deep breath and told him I would talk to him after the timer. Continue reading

Learning from Laughter and the Trees: Tell Me About Easter, Mommy.

cherry

Photo credit: Erinn Fahey

By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

“Tell me about Easter, Mommy.” Oh, Shit. Has that time come already? How to explain resurrection to a three year old? How do I tell my kid that Jesus died and came back to life? How do I explain our most sacred story?

We’ve spent the last year and a half learning about death, holding it sacred, singing songs, holding fish funerals, burying my Grandma Bea, and visiting my mom’s grave. We’ve tried to hold the tension of telling him the truth and also being gentle with his heart paying close attention to any moments of confusion or fear. We made a decision to be honest with him about the very earthly reality of death, something that even adults in our culture try to ignore. Death is a beautiful, ordinary, and hard part of life. Continue reading

Learning from Laughter: Sabbath Economics Support Group for Parents

cherriesBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

“But one of the greatest gifts we feel she can receive is a life in this community: we want her to know and feel the love of people who are alive, who don’t give a damn about money and who are willing to do with their lives what they think God is asking”                                             – Jeanie Wylie-Kellermann Continue reading

Learning from Laughter: Whose son?

family picBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

Sexuality is an invisible identity. We can walk around choosing not to be seen as lesbians in spaces we know would be unwelcoming. This comes with its own layers of grief and internalized homophobia. But we can hide it and we do.

Continue reading

Repenting White Supremacy

decolonizeBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann. Originally printed in On the Edge.

I am sorry. I am sorry for speaking too quickly. For saying the wrong thing. Or not saying anything. For speaking unaware out of my own white supremacy.

I am sorry for not learning the history. For the large blind spots I carry. For all the people and creatures hurt along my way.
Continue reading

Learning from Laughter: Fish Funeral

shovelBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

“Keep your eye on these fish for a few days. You don’t want him to be around if one of them dies,” she whispers so Isaac can’t hear.

For his two year old birthday, we got three fish which he quickly named “Two, Baubee, and Three.” He’s learning to count and there really isn’t anything more exciting at the moment than the numbers two and three. He can tell them apart and feeds them every day. And when bedtime comes around he refuses to turn off their light because, he insists, the fish do not want to go to bed- just like him.

Yesterday, one of them did died. It started growing something gross on its face and by the time we got home, Baubee was gone. The store attendant’s voice was ringing in my head, “you don’t want him to see if one of them dies.” Actually, I think we do. Continue reading