As an immigrant mama, I felt hope watching Kamala Harris

I had promised myself I wasn't going to cry today—I've done plenty of that this year between having twins, going through postpartum without any physical help and living through a pandemic that derailed our lives and finances. But then Kamala Harris made her speech accepting the nomination for VP and I'm a puddle of tears.

Let me start by saying that I'm an immigrant. I came from Argentina and my family is a long list of immigrants coming from all over Europe. I can't vote in the upcoming election, so I had the Democratic Convention playing in the background just to keep me awake while I pumped for the millionth time of the day. My American husband was way more into it, listening carefully to all those who spoke. Ironically, when Kamala Harris came on, one of our girls started crying so he ran upstairs to soothe her, leaving me alone, one-on-one, with Harris.


I held it together until she spoke about her immigrant parents—how they met, how they took her to political rallies when she was a little baby, and how proud they would be of her right now, especially her mother who passed away from breast cancer (which is what brought her to the U.S. in the first place, to find a cure for the disease).

In her speech, Harris said, "I keep thinking about that 25-year-old Indian woman—all of five feet tall—who gave birth to me at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, California. On that day, she probably could have never imagined that I would be standing before you now speaking these words: I accept your nomination for Vice President of the United States of America." And that's where I couldn't hold the tears back any longer.

I left my own country a decade ago and came to the U.S. to study, just like her mom, with the dream of changing the world for the better. I'm not a biologist, but a journalist, and I believe in telling everyone's story. I came here looking for a better future for myself, also, because despite having grown up on the other side of the world, I truly believed in the American dream.

And it has been a dream—for the most part—being here. I got a degree and found a job that sponsored my work visa. I also met my husband and had three children, and together we have blended our cultures in our everyday lives. My son asks for 'agua' instead of water, loves to make empanadas from scratch with his dad and knows all the letters to most of Pitbull's songs (his choice, not mine!).

Most days I don't even think about these little things that I love about our family. Other days, when I turn on the news, I am reminded that some people think I don't belong here. That my children, despite holding American passports, don't belong here. And it breaks my heart to pieces.

When Harris mentioned her mom, it made me cry because I saw myself in her mom. Coming here with nothing but hope, to study in a language that was not my own, to pursue a dream that I couldn't in my home country, eventually falling in love and building a family. It made me cry because my children could one day be where Harris is right now. My children, with their cafe con leche skin, a term I invented to describe the blend of my Italian olive genes and my husband's white English genes. It reminded me that they belong, that even when I get yelled at to "go back to your country," this is my children's country. And I will keep making all the sacrifices I need to ensure they have the absolute best life they can.

It goes well beyond politics and parties—it's only a feeling a mom can understand. So even though I promised myself not to cry anymore this year, these tears are welcomed. And I hope someday my children will understand everything we did as parents, and speak as highly of us as Harris did of hers. Even if it's at our dinner table during a Thanksgiving or Noche Buena toast, and not at a convention accepting a VP nomination (though who knows!).

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

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We've stocked The Motherly Shop with everything from Halloween must-haves to instant-heirloom gifts kiddos will adore. Whether you're throwing a party or just trying to make the everyday feel a little more special, we've got you covered.

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