Early Mornings
Written by Dave Fulton   
Sunday, 18 March 2018 07:16

As usual my son awoke at just before 6:00 to two sleepy parents who on a Sunday would've liked to probably stayed in bed past the 7:30 mark but I guess we had our chance to lie-in when we weren't parents, so be it. Considering I was supposed to be climbing either in the alps or Scotland and had no gigs I was the one to get up and escort him downstairs where I got him his favorite morning drink, equal parts of apple juice and warm water and settle him down in front of his new favorite thing, an iPad playing some Netflix animated series about a girl living out in the American west who befriends a wild horse. I have no idea why he identifies with this being a black kid born in London and only seeing horses ridden in Richmond Park by privileged white women and their offspring but there it is. He also likes watching a cartoon called Clifford and another called PJ Max and we watched the first Harry Potter film and he liked that so I guess it all evens itself out in the end. I guess the fact he can operate the iPad and load up what he wants speaks to his generation and those before who have never known a life where there was only 3 channels and your favorite cartoon was only on one time every Saturday morning. People my age or thereabouts talk about those times with some nostalgia like it was better then but time has filtered out reality. Warner Brothers cartoons i.e. Bugs Bunny, Road Runner and the lot where great and violent but it was only on for 30 minutes so when it was done it was either hope the next Johnny Quest was one you hadn't seen or go outside and look for friends and hope you weren't kidnapped or run over I guess. Also more of the cartoons on offer these days have characters who are not just white with white sounding voices. This is something you begin to notice when your son is not white. I think back about what I watched and how you would never hardly see a minority in a cartoon and if you did it was so racially stereotyped it bordered on being called out as blatantly racist. The only ones that come to mind are Johnny Quest Indian friend Hoji (sic) who wears a turban and is apparently orphaned so just tags along and does rope tricks (in hindsight, creepy) and the maid from Tom and Jerry who makes Hattie McDanie, the Mammy from Gone With The Wind sound almost not as racist. Burn Hollywood Burn says Chuck D. It's amazing what we've encountered having this little man in our lives and the questions that need to be answered. I have no doubt it'll never stop. The big question on hand now? It's snowing, he's got the right clothes and he wants to get out on the sled so why aren't we sledding? Lucky for me I have clothes that'll keep me warm on a frozen waterfall so I think I can stay warm while he does his best to sled in an inch of show covering the ground. Also it's fun to watch the white parents give us side glances and when I catch them doing it they smile and nod. Poor bastards.

 
And so it begins
Written by Dave Fulton   
Saturday, 17 March 2018 07:38

Long time no post. Just as well. Quick update? I'm older, my dad died in June 2016 which was inevitable as it is for everyone but still sucks goat balls and lastly I'm a dad. That's right, a father, me. My wife and I adopted a little boy 3 years ago and he's five, was born in London and is black. Never thought I'd be a dad at this age but as my friend Joe told me, 'better an old dad than no dad'. Gosh, not used to doing the right thing but here we go; the big adventure. Considering one of my favorite pastimes is climbing frozen waterfalls my thinking was I can probably endure most anything. The problem with thinking like that is with climbing it eventually comes to an end, with raising a child the end comes when someone dies, in this case preferably me. I've come to love this little guy who is now my son I hope to spend as much time as I've got left being a part of his life. The lesson's I'm learning are staggering! It's crazy but I'm learning its one thing to adopt and raise a white boy but it's not necessarily the same when raising a boy that's black. In reality there's no difference, a boy is a boy however it's other people who like to think there is and will tell so much in ways that range from subtle to just down right ignorant. Examples I've heard from people some of which I'd like to think are friends? I tell them about him kicking off like all kids do and they come back with 'is it because he's black?' Amazingly ignorant. Then I'll take him to a play group and the white middle class mother running things is all smiles and welcoming then directs us away from the white kids and towards other children of color. In her mind she's trying to make us feel comfortable but in reality of course she's the one trying to feel comfortable. One of my favorites is when people ask where he's from and I tell them he was born in London. They pause in an effort to process this because they were expecting me to name some country in Africa. Some even go so far as to want to know what his ethnicity is so I ask them if they'd like to hear mine first. This calls them out and before they can answer I tell them in America I'm considered Scotch/Irish. My family came over to America before the American revolution and settled in western Pennsylvania and even participated in the whisky rebellion. Me rambling on like this usually gets them to forget their original question. What's great is my son has my last name so I guess by default he's inherited all that as well. How cool is that? On the flip side I hope to expose him to as much as the origins of his ethnicity as I can to not just educate him but to satisfy my Idaho raised curiosity as well. Gotta go, he wants hard boiled eggs for breakfast.

 
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