An early morning stroll through the greenmarkets of McCarren Park, Union Square, or Havemeyer Street is rarely complete without seeing the black and white houndstooth check pants of young line cooks, tottering in their clogs as they balance great flats of pears and Swiss chard back to their kitchens.
Ekavi Valleras of Astoria, Queens bursts into exasperated laughter. Shes recounting the untold machinations of her youth and the adult frustrations of the biannual kalanda carol rounds where she was raisedAstoria and Athens, Greece. On Christmas Eve morning and New Years Eve morningand I mean six oclock in the morningthey are leaning on the doorbell.
“We ran so fast,” nods three-year-old Benny emphatically as he tumbles, sweaty and breathless. A small boy with a mop of curly hair grabs him and they both fall on the ground with a squeal before zooming off into the crowd of families gathered at a children’s soccer practice for the New York City Home Educators Alliance (NYCHEA)—a.k.a., the home-schoolers.
Step out onto Brooklyn’s streets this month and you won’t miss the outpouring of mothers and their charges returning to sidewalks and playgrounds from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade to Dyker Beach Park. Watching this springtime resurgence, it’s easy to forget that mothering today is as politically charged as ever.