April 15, 2014

Black or white

by Michele Dortch

I was raised in a black or white world, and I’m not talking about the color of skin.

Before children, my perspective on life only had two sides: black or white, right or wrong, up or down. There was little “in between” and I always avoided it. People who couldn’t chose one way or the other were indecisive and wishy washy. Successful people made a choice. They took a stand!

Then I became a mother. Suddenly there were no clearly defined lines. No boundaries. All the perfectly defined boxes where I neatly placed the parts of my life spilled open into a congealed mess.

It’s ironic, really. Ethnically speaking, I’m neither black nor white. I’m an “in between,” a blend of two cultures for certain – Black and Japanese – with a splattering of Haitian and Irish to make it interesting. It’s funny to look back on my life before children and see how fervently I worked to create divisions in my life when my very being was a blend.

Motherhood has taught me that life is a hue, a perfect shade of “in between” that integrates the life that defined me before children with the life I’m creating today with children.

Intellectually, my brain is fixated on black or white. It longs for the order that the perfectly defined boxes of pre-motherhood offered. But, when I move past my intellect and get to the heart of motherhood I realize the joy that comes from just hanging in the hue, and I’m growing to love it.

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  • http://www.weparent.com Talibah

    Beautiful post, Michele! I love the concept of “hanging in the hue”! I really get it. And, I find that the more that I do it, the more peaceful my life is. Thanks for the words of wisdom!
    .-= Talibah´s last blog ..Book Giveaway: Lifelines-The Black Book of Proverbs =-.

    • http://www.integratedmother.com Michele Dortch

      You’re welcome Talibah and thanks for the comment. Here’s for hanging in the hue together! :)

  • http://www.thecubiclechick.com TheCubicleChick

    I too can identify with your post. My 15 yr old son is so concrete when it comes to problem solving. He makes it seem so easy, and I guess in his world it is. But of course you grow up and face dilemmas that can’t easily be solved with just a yes or a no. So I try to remember that when communicating with him.
    .-= TheCubicleChick´s last blog ..Blogging Full-Time =-.

    • http://www.integratedmother.com Michele Dortch

      So true! I was a linear thinker before becoming a mom, but quickly learned that life neither offers a straight path nor does so in a “black or white” manner. Thanks for your comment. :)

  • http://www.kristinabrooke.org Kristina Daniele

    I love your philosophy and I hope to teach my daughter the lessons that you eventually learned- that life is way too complicated to be summed up in one word. I want so badly to enable her to see past the definitions and boundaries. Thank you for sharing.
    .-= Kristina Daniele´s last blog ..Poor Customer Service and The Power of Social Media =-.

    • http://www.integratedmother.com Michele Dortch

      Thanks Kristina. That’s the most powerful thing about being a mom of hue – appreciating the boundaries that make us unique, but also enjoying a boundary-less life that enriches us.

  • http://blasianbabynotes.blogspot.com Nikki @ Blasian Baby Notes

    I also saw things in black and white so to speak. Either something is or isnt. How can there be a maybe in life? LOL. Your right that motherhood helps to change how we see the in between of things and life. I still do the black and white thinking but now I allow for the middle hues. Great post.

    • http://www.integratedmother.com/blog Michele

      Thanks Nikki. Also found that hanging in hue expands our possibilities. Black & white has it’s place, but the hue is much richer!

  • http://lovesgumbo.com Love’s Gumbo

    I can totally relate. Black and white is how I thought about everything before having children. Little unpredictable humans can force flexibility.
    .-= Love’s Gumbo´s last blog ..Dating Over the Holidays – Are You Ready For Romance? =-.

    • http://www.integratedmother.com Michele Dortch

      Yes they can! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment.

  • http://christiecrowder.com Christie – The ChatterBox

    So beautifully said! I am a big fan of the “in between.” Love this post and sharing it with my friends and family who are blog-challenged.
    .-= Christie – The ChatterBox´s last blog ..Get That Elf Off My Shelf! (A Sunday Confessional on Tuesday) =-.

    • http://www.integratedmother.com Michele Dortch

      Thanks Christie and appreciate you sharing the post. :)

  • http://teanhoneybread.blogspot.com t. allen-mercado

    Aah yes, “hanging in the hue”. Becoming a mother at a young age has gifted me with a deep awareness and appreciation of life’s nuances, parenting a young adult has tested that appreciation, but further honed my awareness. Great post!
    .-= t. allen-mercado´s last blog .."Today" for Today =-.

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