Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cynicism Can Suck It: Day Three

This Park Place house has seen generations of school children rise bleary-eyed from their beds to face the ritual of getting ready for school; on this morning Portia Hyman’s youngest boys Day-Day and Dion start their day in the bedroom of their grandmother, Denise Green, where outfits are picked, hair is brushed, and lotion is slathered on dry arms and legs before the boys bundle up for the short walk to James Monroe Elementary.

When Denise gave birth to Portia, it was this house the young mother came back to. Though for much of Portia’s childhood her grandparents were her primary care givers, her mother has always been a part of her life, in varying orbits. Their lives unfold in close proximity now, as the mother and daughter share the house they both grew up in with a new generation, and Denise takes an active role in raising her grandchildren.

“My mama starts the day,” says Portia, “helping the kids get ready for school. It’s always such a headache. Day-Day’s deciding which sweatshirt to wear, and I’m doing Dion’s hair. Ever since she moved in, she’s been a lot of help with the kids."

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