Happy Birthday

My lovely and amazing first born child turned 25 today. I was 25 when they were born. This has given me…all the feels.

3 weeks after their birth in Oakland I brought the baby to my preschool classroom at San Francisco State. My students gathered around me, asking questions and being curious.

March 1996, Associated Students Children’s Center, San Francisco State University

I love so much about this memory. I love that in 1996 I was nursing my baby in front of other children and it wasn’t weird. I love that those children are frozen in time in my memory but are actually close to 30 now. I love that I remember many of them by name from the back of their heads. I love that I remember this moment, sitting on that classroom futon.

Piper was raised among these children, and in this place. San Francisco and Oakland in the 90s had electric innovative energy. We did so much work as teachers on diversity and inclusion, words we would call Anti-racist education now. It was an inherent part of what we did. A few years later Piper was a Kindergartener walking through San Francisco’s Chinatown as a Horse in the Chinese New Year celebration.

I’m so proud of you, Piper. I’m so proud of all of the successes you’ve had but also the sorrows, because they’ve all taught you. I’m proud that we started like this, nursing with a bunch of my students around me learning about you, about babies, about life first hand. I think we’ve been learning together through life’s ups and downs ever since, and the grace you have offered me as your fumbling mama gives me chills and humbles me.

There aren’t many things I feel really document who I was, and who I grew to be more than the faces of my children. Piper and Liam are a measure of me. They aren’t the only measure, but they are the most visceral.

I love you, my little one all grown up.

You are a bright spark in my sky, forever.

Happy Birthday.


  1. I’m so glad my grandkids are being raised in the Bay Area, where their preschool held pride marches and peace parades. My grandson made a sign “equity for all” when he could barely write.

    • It’s such a powerful energy. I miss that energy! I feel like it’s present in Portland, where Piper and their partner live.

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