Saturday, March 11, 2017

SOL #11: Tutus and Grit

This March writing challenge is organized by Two Writing Teachers

My day slipped away from me, and I'll have to crank out another quick one to get this submitted on time.

We started early for a Saturday, as I drove my 4th grader through the pouring rain to her first 5K.  Her technology teacher and a high school volunteer had put together a girls' running club, and this was their culminating event.  It had a St. Patrick's Day theme, so there was a sea of green, and the girls ran with green tulle tutus over their running clothes.  Their "training" consisted of four after school sessions in the last month, two of which my daughter missed (sprained her ankle, then got an eye infection), so she had to rely on will power and youthful energy rather than actually being in shape. 

The thing that struck me as I looked at the ten girls is that when I did after school clubs, all the kids looked the same.  There was one black boy in my school, a couple of kids with Hispanic last names, and two Asian families.  In fourth grade two Vietnamese immigrant families joined the mix.  That was it.  The rest of us were as white as white can be.  

My daughter's group, however, had only four white girls (and one is an immigrant, for what it's worth).  One girl ran in an hijab.  There was an also Indian girl, two Asian girls, a black girl, and two Latinas.  They all hugged and squealed and jumped up and down together.  They ran together, they took selfies together, they posed arms around each other for team pictures.  Nobody mocked the one who walked most of the course.  Nobody seethed at the ones who came in earliest.  Each girl took pride in her own achievement and supported her team members' efforts as well.

We do not live in a post-racist society.  Each of these girls will face limiting expectations based on their race, their weight, their religion, their attractiveness, their language, and their gender.  But seeing them gives me hope all the same.  As long as they keep building each other up, they will be okay, even with all the crap the world will throw at them.


  1. I'm so very thankful to have been running late myself, for it allowed me to see your post.

    It's beautiful and it's absolutely right. Each of these young women will be judged....but through the strength of the relationships and experoences they are building now, they will also be OK.

    Thank you for a beautiful slice.

  2. "Each girl took pride in her own achievement and supported her team members' efforts as well." This speaks well to the training the girls had as well as the event itself. Thanks for sharing and bravo to your daughter for participating even though she's missed some of the training.

  3. Love this! I'm hoping that this younger generation will learn lessons from the current (older) generation and continue to look beyond race, color and every other discriminatory ideal and stay open-minded. Especially in today's world. This is beautiful and thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Aww. Maybe this is a sign that the next generation will be kinder to each other than previous generations.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!


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