Give me all the Graphic Novels, Fart Jokes and Boy Books!

Sometimes you have to WORK to look for the “opportunity in crisis”.

Yes, count me among the working moms who has thoughts about my workload during this quarantine/pandemic that are unprintable.1

Bright side? No time spent commuting anywhere (or in sports) means more flexibility and more individual focus on my kids.

Like many families of color in our community, I’ve long had some concerns about how well our kids’ needs were being acknowledged/advocated for in public school. Throw in my obvious physical limitations, stutter, memory issues (thanks truck driver) and often school personell feel empowered to classify me as some loser whose kids don’t need to be taken seriously.2

Enter the educational psychologist who gave us some strategies on how to help me and my husband understand our kids’ academic profiles better and help them get the most out of school.

It wasn’t cheap, but we couldn’t afford not to. I am grateful my husband and I have the resources to do this; and wish it were possible for all children.

The tiger parent doctor confirmed: HG, our nine-year-old, is the epitome of left-brained. While he can probably be the next Elon Musk without winning a Newberry or Pulitzer; he still needs to learn to read and create content across formats. Sorry little man, but this is one of Gen Z’s educational struggles.

I’ve never been as anti-graphic novel as some. As a tech employee, I’ve seen so many times that how the information is displayed visually is almost more important than what the information is. But as a writer, my kids learning how to read and write prose is a non-negotiable.

Since I’m responsible for physically supervising him3 during the day, I get to decide how to get him to read. We’ll be making regular pilgimages to the bookstore (Library, feel free to reopen any day) to get this kid to love reading. That means more books with POC, more graphic novels, and more fart jokes than your normal elementary school curriculum would allow.

So, welcome HG to this blog!

He’s actually happier than he looks like… we live in a COVID hotspot (where people often don’t respect the six feet) and that definitely creeps both my kids out.

1 I worked in IT in a Federal Prison for three years. Not to brag, but my profanity skills are out of this world.

2 My kids have had some amazing, loving, inclusive, and dedicated teachers. But in the macro picture, we are 100% made to feel stigmatized and unwelcome by both my kids’ school and by the district. I’m continually appalled at what people feel comfortable saying out loud to our family.

3 And tech support, and… *screams in suburban mom*

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