My focus this month is to explore writing invitations, mostly through newly published picture books, but possibly some other mentor texts as well.
Mommy's Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
bookshelves: 2018-book, faith, family, diversity, mothers,imagination, picture-book, religion, women, weneeddiversebooks,muslim, multicultural
A celebration of the khimar/hijab, mothers, and a child's imagination. I love that Mom-Mom (their grandmother) comes over from church, and the child's line is "She doesn't go to the mosque like Mommy and Daddy do. We are a family and we love each other just the same." I wish there had been an Author's Note in the back to teach us a little more about the khimar. Lots of diversity represented in the this book! I loved how the daughter admired her mother's headscarves and dressed up in them. As much as this book celebrates diversity, and we learn about a religious custom, it also celebrates the simple admiration a daughter has of a mother.
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Writing invitation: Write about something you love(d) about a parent, an older sibling, cousin, aunt/uncle, etc. or a special bond you have with someone.
I remember sitting on my mom and dad's bed, watching my mom get ready for a party. I thought she seemed so glamorous. She was so methodical about the routine of getting ready, but chatty at the same time. Base powder or liquid makeup - not sure which, blush, eye shadow, mascara, eye liner, curling iron. Tall, blond, and whisper thin, she wore all her clothes and makeup expertly. Would I EVER look like that?! Would I ever be able to put makeup on like that? Smooth my hair golden and flipped back like that?
She was also gentle, kind, and accessible. I could talk to her, chit chat about this and that while she got ready, and laugh. But I also remember feeling wistful. She was going out. Without me. She and Dad had their own lives, they weren't always with me, and I was going to be with the babysitter.
I wondered if my own daughters ever felt like that? I had to ask them after I read this book and thought about what I would write. I told them a little about the book and what it was about, and how I felt about my mom.
They texted me back:
Libby: Your scarf box! We used those for dress-up all the time!
Katie: Ooooh I remember that. I remember admiring that Holly Ball red dress (that's a whole story in and of itself) - so so much even as a little girl.
Libby: Also your cow earrings (it's like I had two different lives - ha - the cow earring coincided with the 90s and teacher jumpers - ha) Your whole earring drawer! OMG the Holly Ball dress. Yes.
Do you still have the cow earrings....?
Anyway, apparently the mother/daughter thing is a similar experience. I wonder about fathers and sons? What goes on there? I don't know. But I do know that the mom/daughter thing, like the relationship in this picture book, is a special thing. I'm blessed to have the mom and daughters I have, and it's not the scarves, the dress, or the makeup that makes it special. It's that we have each other, and through those relationships we're taught that we matter, what we believe means something, and that beauty is more than what we apply or wear.