Editorial Author Nicole Herrera

Nicole Herrera FAM

Trans_visibility

Sometimes it’s a meme shared on Facebook. Or an off-hand comment or joke about bathrooms or sports participation. Maybe it’s the conflation of sex and gender , a fundamental misunderstanding

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The Arc of Forgiveness

Please. Thank You. Excuse Me.  I have methodically embedded these good manner phrases into my children’s malleable little craniums for over a decade. I beam any time a restaurant server

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Do as I Say, Not as I Vote?

 “Do as I say, not as I do.” My mother repeated this phrase on a multitude of occasions throughout my youth, especially as I grew into a young adult. On

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You Can Do Hard Things: Navigating Conversations about Race with Our Children

While the composition of our families are unique, one constant remains: We ALL have the responsibility to talk to our children about racism. For too long, white parents have considered racism to not be their problem and have been placing the burden squarely on the shoulders of people of color. If we truly want an equitable world where all of our children thrive, white parents must take it upon themselves to first educate themselves and then add one more difficult series of conversations to their parenting Must Haves.

In order to help parents navigate the treacherous terrain of race and racism, we’ve put together a quick tutorial with important guidelines and helpful resources.

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Hometown Improvements with Sisterhood of Jewels Community Connections, LLC

How do we create a home where everyone feels included and welcome? What happens when many of those living in a community don’t realize there is a problem or are resistant to change? It seems like an impossible task, to be sure, but after an hour and half chat with the founders of Sisterhood of Jewels Community Connections LLC, I’m more optimistic than ever that change is possible.

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Sociology Class with Professor Sharp-Grier

Education is a foundation of our democracy and a key to stability and progress in our communities. Educators play a fundamental role in helping citizens acquire the knowledge it takes to face fundamental challenges and make good decisions that benefit the common good of our communities.

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 Beyond Kindness

That resilience and willingness to do what’s right for all of us is a lesson our children are learning and accepting right now. Kindness is important to teach and practice, but prioritizing the common good can help our children’s generation build stronger and more resilient communities in the future. Our children are learning this lesson, and we adults must also take note.

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There’s Something About These Girls

Sometimes mothers who only have boys will joke about being happy they never had a girl. I will chuckle and tell them, “That’s because you don’t have a Lucy.” She is a light and a wrecking ball- kind, fierce, loving, and tough. I am in constant awe of my daughter.

So if moms just need a Lucy to understand the joy of having a daughter, it seems I just needed a Hannah, Haley, Cori, Payton, Amaria, Myana, Kaitlyn, Kiley, Leila, and Addy to learn that I was meant to coach girls.

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Christmas List Conundrum

Fast forward to Christmas 2019 where I am now Santa. This year may be the last when both of my children believe. I want our first Christmas morning in our new home to be special and magical. I want the gifts under the tree to be something that only Santa could have brought. I have their Christmas lists and I want to check each and every item off of them. And therein lies my problem.

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Climate Change is Not the Tooth Fairy

Both research and instinct to protect not just MY children, but ALL children, combine to fuel my passion for confronting climate change and all of the tangential environmental, economic, and security issues connected to the climate crisis we are experiencing. It’s also why I’m incredulous when I learn that so many parents view believing in this scientific Truth to be a choice.

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Summer School

This past summer could not have arrived soon enough. Submitting my final grades felt like reaching the finish line at a marathon: mentally and physically drained, I collapsed and was ready to recover and refuel.

Summer 2019 was powered by gratitude instead of apprehension, which transformed the experience. As summer ends, I’m grateful, not for the first day of school and break from my kids, but for the three months that allowed me to recharge and reconnect with them. This summer’s lessons came as I allowed myself to decompress and my children to lead the way.

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This is What 40 Looks Like

I turned 40 on April 3rd, 2019, amidst the turmoil of moving into our new home, an unrelenting barrage of grading, the daily challenge of balancing sports schedules and coaching duties, and the never ending stress of family concerns. My head has been spinning since last summer and I am just now able to breathe deeply, and come to terms with my new middle-aged reality.

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Life in Boxes

“Just like we were never here,” I mused as I stood in the empty living room. I bit my lip, trying to hold back the nostalgic tears that were predictably

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Vote Like Your Children’s Lives Depend On It

Parenting is political and the choices we make now will have repercussions that will resonate for a lifetime. My children are close to a decade away from voting, so I have the solemn responsibility to inform myself and vote for candidates and issues with their best interest in mind. Choosing not to vote or voting for candidates and policies that benefit me now, but do not invest in the future would be selling out my kids.

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Losing a Limb

The generational divide may be wide, but our grandparents are our connection to the past and a humbling reminder of just exactly where we came from. Once they are gone from this earth, they leave a void and we need to decide how to fill it. Just as we sort through their belongings, we need to decide which memories to keep and pass on to our children and, if we are so lucky, grandchildren.

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Buried in Stuff

Children need a lot of stuff. Of course we must provide the basics: food, water, shelter,  but then we add books, movies, toys, clothes, and other “necessities” in our efforts to nurture. The pressure to buy children all of these items comes from every direction and is not only felt by parents, but also friends and family who want to show children they love and care about them through these trinkets.

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I Love You Anyway

As I sat and listened to two people I have admired all my life talk about their newest and gravest challenge, I looked around, took a sip of my pinot and a jagged breath in,  exhaling, “Marriage is hard.”
They briefly looked at each other and then at me and my uncle bestowed his wisest advice yet, “Nik, someone once told me that there are three magic words for a strong marriage: I love you. I learned that there are actually four: I love you anyway.”

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Kids These Days

Of all the clichés my students rely upon in their essays, the “kids these days” fallacy has got to be the most frequent. It is especially amusing coming from my

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It IS Parents’ Fault

As I walked my children to the bus stop today, it occurred to me that putting them on that bus and sending them to school has become an act of

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A Look in the Mirror

“Whites only! White Power!” were the chants coming from a child at a pool party my family attended this summer. I immediately turned to chastise the young boy who was

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Embracing Failure

I lost. I cannot believe I lost. As I stared at the election results in disbelief, frustration built from my toes, boiling up until the tears began to rush down

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