Share Four Somethings

Here are four things I loved/read/treasured/looked ahead to in February.

Something Loved

My nieces, Jessica and Elizabeth, threw a shower for their sister, Olivia, on Feb. 8. I love spending time with my family in general. Specifically, I love the fact that I’ve gotten to hold my new great-nephew, Paul (Jessica’s son), both times I’ve seen him in the last few months. I don’t get to hang out with young babies very often, so it’s such a special treat when I do. I didn’t take a picture of him, but this was one of the decorations — his grandfather’s bronzed baby shoes and vintage children’s books. I already love Olivia’s baby and can’t wait to hold him or her too!

February 2020 Share Four Somethings

Something Read

It is so hard to pick just one! Here’s what I have read/am reading in February:

On Audio:

Running Against the Devil” by Rick Wilson

Smacked” by Eilene Zimmerman

How Dare the Sun Rise” by Sandra Uwiringiyimana with Abigail Pesta

Know My Name” by Chanel Miller

On Paper:

School Choice: A Legacy to Keep” by Virginia Walden Ford

Before I comment further, a note that Abigail Pesta and Virginia Walden Ford were both guests on the New York Times readalong, which I co-produce. Find Abigail’s recording here and Virginia’s here.

Each one of these books is good. It is interesting that the top of the list (chronologically) features a book by an author who spent many years deep in the Republican party who has spot-on (in my opinion) advice for Democrats as the 2020 election approaches.

The bottom of the list (Virginia Walden Ford’s book) challenged many of my assumptions about what Democrats and Republicans would/should believe about school choice. In general, I’m an avid public schools proponent. That hasn’t changed, but Virginia’s story is an excellent example of how extremely complicated politics can get. Many Democratic lawmakers, who I would have assumed would have supported the need for deserving children of color to get help when the school system in D.C. was failing them, were downright hostile.

Eleanor Holmes Norton, a non-voting delegate to Congress who represented D.C., displayed an animosity that surprised and mystified me. Virginia Walden Ford wrote, “What opponents like Norton feared, I believe, had nothing to do with funding and everything to do with optics. The sight of children and their parents lined up to apply for scholarships would serve as visual reminders to the entire world that families sought to escape the public education system in the District of Columbia.”

And I so admire Virginia’s candor: “Did my parents quit their fight for integration after the KKK burned a cross on their lawn? No, they didn’t. And if that didn’t stop my parents, an angry woman sitting behind a dais wasn’t going to stop me.”

I’ve interacted enough with Virginia by now to know that there isn’t much that stops her. I’m so glad I gave this book a chance; it showed me that very few issues are easily defined, especially when it comes to children’s welfare.

(I also encourage you to watch the movie, “Miss Virginia.” Follow this link for the ways to watch it.)

February 2020 Share Four Somethings

Something Treasured

Because we have moved three times since January 29 (out of our Hawk’s Landing house, into a rental duplex, then into our new house), Wayne and I have had conversations about what we should keep vs. what we should donate/discard more times than I can count.

Here’s something that made the cut and always will.

February 2020 Share Four Somethings

When Tenley was in kindergarten (back in 2001), the students had a “holiday village” where they could go and buy gifts for their families. I can still almost see the joy in her eyes when she presented me with this “bluebird of happiness.” It’s actually been packed away since I left Healthy Kids in 2014 and I’m so happy it has resurfaced again! It has a companion (this pink bird I gave my mom in honor of her surviving breast cancer). I treasure them both.

February 2020 Share Four Somethings

Something Ahead

I’ll be speaking Saturday to the Alumnae Panhellenic group in Tallahassee, at their scholarship luncheon. I’m equal parts thrilled and apprehensive, as I wrote here. Send good thoughts!

I’m linking up with Heather Gerwing.

February 2020 Share Four Somethings

10 thoughts on “Share Four Somethings

  1. What precious treasures – you bird pair!! I’m not much of a saver but those types of treasures are forever!! All the best with your speaking engagement!

    • They really are precious to me. And after all the moving, I have to say I’m grateful they’re so small! Thanks for the good wishes.

  2. Thanks for some book ideas. I usually read a book a week, but I’m stymied about what to choose next. I love that little blue bird — and the photo with it! Thanks for sharing these four things.

    • Yeah – it has been *intense*. Thanks for the linkup — I appreciated having a structure when my head was a bit distracted by the moving craziness.

  3. My grandmother and I bought Bluebirds of Happiness often throughout my childhood into college and I’ve kept as many of them as I can as I’ve moved multiple times. You’re lovely to keep these! I love mine as I remember the memories of buying them with my grandmother.

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