I recently finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett. (No, I did not take this picture – I got it off of Amazon.) It is the story of three women who bravely cross the racial boundaries of 1960’s Jackson, Mississippi to write a book about the experiences of black women who work in white women’s homes. Each chapter in the book they write focuses on various white women that they work for – observations from the inside. Aside from the expected revelations about bigotry in a time a place I do not understand, the things that stuck with me most where the incredible strength and power of these black women. I was humbled as I read about them working all day cleaning someone else’s house and taking care of someone else’s children (many times offering more love and affection than the child received from their own mother), only to come home at the end of the day to their own homes and families that needed tending. I cannot stay on top of my own life, let alone two completely separate lives.
Another thing that stuck out to me and that I keep asking myself is: “What would my chapter look like?”. If someone were to silently observe my life, all facets, what would they see? And I guess, more importantly, how would my children write my chapter? And my husband? And myself? Because it is our little life going on here. So I keep asking myself: What do I see? And what am I doing about it?
One more thing, I want Aibileen to come live at my house for a while and teach me how to be a whole lot more like her.