I am very saddened by the tragic events across our country. I am disheartened by the hurt happening in our communities. I stand with those who are in pain. I know there is a lot I still do not understand. I wanted to share our story in hopes that it may open your eyes.
Our story began in 2003 when we hired an Aupair to take care of our triplets when they were babies. We went against the grain. Our Aupair was a black male!
My triplets were blessed with the calming presence of Frank, a 21-year-old male from Zimbabwe. For the first four years of their lives, he changed diapers, feed them, strapped them in car seats, washed all their clothes, picked up their toys, and clean three high chairs five days a week.
I will be the first to admit when I found out I was having triplets, I did not want to quit my job. I loved my job. However, as a middle school art teacher, I did not make enough money to pay someone what they deserved for taking care of three babies every day. However, I could provide them an opportunity to live in the United States and place in our family. As a mom, I had to be ok with doing what I wanted and what was best for them.
Anyone that saw them together, saw how he treated them, and how much they loved him.
He was a blessing to our family.
I do remember, one time when he was in a fender bender with Neal's truck, he was asked to allot more questions than he would have been if he was white. It was eye-opening.
I don't tell you this story to make our family look good. I tell you this story because I understand that change need to happen in the good old USA. I want to be part of that change. I want to open my eyes and others to what is really going on. I want to use books and my place in the industry to help give a voice for positive and generational change.
The future of our world depends on the education of our children. I understand that children need to read about book characters that they can see themselves in. Just like my kids who have dyslexia they need to read about other characters who also have dyslexia and their struggles. The need for increased diversity is real and I am committed to doing all that I can to continue our mission of fostering strong family values and touching the lives of children for a lifetime.
In closing, here is a quick video that shows the diversity we have in children's books at the moment.
Usborne Books & More will continue to intentionally build a catalog of titles that can act as both mirrors and windows. Mirrors to see not only a reflection of ourselves but also areas where we can grow. Windows to see into the lives of others to find common ground, gain new insights, and appreciate the beauty of diversity. (Credit given to Rudine Sims Bishop, Professor emeritus at Ohio State for the concept of books being mirrors and windows.)
I want my children (and I am sure you do too) to see the diversity, to appreciate the diversity and let it open their world and their eyes to the blessings of this world, like Frank was to ours. Just to think, we might have missed it. :)