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Every parent has their war story. My own – and I imagine millions of others – will begin with a heavy sigh and the phrase, “Well, kids, it all started in early 2020 ...”
This god-forsaken year is barely half over, and we’ve already had to contend with a global health crisis and its devastating social and economic upheaval, and, here in Canada, a spate of police brutality against Indigenous people. Also gripping the world across borders is a reckoning on race, which while long overdue and necessary, adds to the emotional toll of this challenging year. For brevity, I’m excluding the excruciating task of homeschooling and countless other catastrophes and injustices that keep me up at night.
As an editor here at The Globe, it’s my job to make sense of the world we live in. But navigating these issues with a couple kids in tow (and lately, endlessly underfoot) adds another layer of complication and anxiety: How should I talk to them about race and white privilege? Is sending them to camp a mistake? What will the new school year be like for them? Is working from home making me a terrible parent?
Thankfully, I’m not the only one thinking about these things. This week I share with you the stories that are providing me guidance, insight, cautious optimism, relief and even laughter – and I hope they bring you the same. May your own war story have a victorious ending. – Lara Pingue
From CNN: “My son’s mental health and the negative effects of continued social isolation are a pressing concern. He’ll also be in an environment where care will be taken to minimize the risk he could expose anyone else. The way I see it, it’s a far greater risk to keep my son at home, bored and (I believe) a little depressed, than to allow him to get back outside and interact with other kids his age.” Read full article
- Also, from The Globe: My family can drive me crazy, but they are my everything right now
My Black ancestors fled America for freedom. I left Canada to find a home. Now both countries must fight for a better world
From The Globe: “A decade ago, I left Canada for the United States. On the eve of my return to the country of my birth, protests against systemic racism have spread across the globe. It’s left me wondering what it means to be a Black person in North America.” Read full article
From the New York Times: “We’re all in the midst of a global civics lesson right now, and we don’t have to be marching in the streets to take small steps toward changing ourselves and raising socially conscious, anti-racist children. Join your P.T.A., go to school board meetings, learn more about the curriculum. Demand accurate history lessons about race. Supplement your child’s education with books and documentaries, and don’t shy away from conversations about race.” Read full article
- Also, from The Globe: Opinion: Jessica Mulroney shows how privilege can be wielded
- I’m Black and privileged - and feeling guilty. You really don’t need to check up on me
- Talking to your kids about racism, early and often (New York Times)
“There is no slipperier slope when it comes to work-life balance. This slope is getting crowded, and not just because of the pandemic-fuelled office exodus and rise of the gig economy. Nap rooms have become common workplace amenities. Pet-friendly, foosball-equipped offices aim to emulate the comforts of home ... Do they make it easier to achieve a healthy work-life balance? Or do they ensure that productivity will always triumph over personal time?” Read full article
- Also, from The Globe: Women missing from the workplace can’t become the new normal
What else we’re thinking about
In another lifetime, this weekend was supposed to mark the kickoff of our annual family vacation to Texas, where we’d indulge in some serious barbeque and spend hours baking in the Houston sun. Alas, it’s not meant to be this year, so I’m finding escape in reading about travel instead of actually doing it. This piece by Mary Jane Grant explores the notion of “mindful travel,” a phrase I admit to rolling my eyes at initially. But who can argue with the idea of slowing down and paying attention on their next trip? I’m tucking this away for the next time – fingers crossed, 2021?? – I board a plane for vacation.
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