school forms, school climate, multi-parent families, assumptions, inclusive language, grandparents, cultural support
Tara: So ideally, if the school um, were, ah, to be set up in a way that would work for your family, what would that look like?
Mita: It wouldn’t have little checkmarks for mom and dad.
Mita: It would have who are the people…
Nicole: Who are you caregivers?
Mita: Who are the parental figures that um, have authority to deal with the school?
Mita: Um, what does your family look like? That it doesn’t have a limit of two. It may be three, it may four, it may be six as it is in our case.
Mita: But the—that limitation is very frustrating.
Mita: And then the mom and dad, the automatic assumption of if there is a male person and a female person coming in, that they are the mom and dad, which may or may not be the case, um, it’s a parent. Can we just use the word, how many parents do you have?
Tara: Six, yah, So, let’s talk about the six. There’s the two of you, and who else? Your sister.
Mita: My sister, her boyfriend.
Tara: Her boyfriend.
Mita: Um, her hus- her ex-husband and his wife.
Tara: Okay, so all six of you.
Nicole: And the grandparents too play a role with them also.
Tara: Right. Tell us a little bit about the grandparents.
Mita: So technically it’s eight.
Tara: Eight, yah.
Mita: Um, the grandparents are very, very active. My mom—they’re in their eighties.
Mita: Um, and they provide a level of cultural support, um, rooting, that they’re very, very intent on making sure that the girls have a sense of place and time.
Mita: That this is your background on both your sides. Who are your people, who are your, um, your roots.
Mita: And to stay connected to that, they ground the girls. They are the storytellers and the recipe givers and you know, they, they spoil them in ways that only grandparents can, and should.