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Revisiting an old favorite: a conversation with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Sonia Manzano from 2016.
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Host Anna Sale and the logos for Death, Sex & Money and WNYC Studios, all on a beige background.

It's after Labor Day during a presidential election year here in the U.S. That means that over the coming months, all of us are going to be barraged with messages about what it means to be an American and about the problems and the potential of our government. 

When I reflect on that, it’s not long before I think about this week's episode. It's a conversation between Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Sonia Manzano, the actor who you might know as “Maria” from Sesame Street. They recorded it back in the summer of 2016, when I was on maternity leave, but it's one worth listening to again now.

—Anna and the Death, Sex & Money team
This Week on Death, Sex & Money

Before Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor became a lawyer and a judge, she grew up in the South Bronx—just a few years behind guest host Sonia Manzano, who also grew up there and went on to play Maria on Sesame Street. The two Sonias didn't meet until a few years ago, but when they did, they learned that they have even more in common—including growing up in homes where money was tight, and having fathers who struggled with alcoholism.

In this special episode of Death, Sex & Money, the two also talk about overcoming insecurities, and some of the opinions that Justice Sotomayor has written for the Supreme Court, including those about racism. "I know that for people to hear me, I have to be able to explain it in terms that people can sit in the shoes of the other person," the Justice told Sonia. Hear more about their lives, and their friendship, in your podcast feed now.

Your Stories: When Childcare Feels Like Loss
As we put together last week's episode about childcare during the pandemic, we heard from some parents who now have access to childcare after months of taking care of their kids at home—yet have mixed feelings about sending their kids back. Like Justin, a dad in Texas:
"My wife and I just got back from dropping off our 2.5 year old at preschool. My wife is still crying and I'm stuffing my feelings down like most men do. The trauma of the drop-off only pales in comparison to feelings of loss. Our daughter has been having separation issues lately. Even dropping her off with friends and family has been hard. But now she is essentially being abducted by masked strangers out of our car. It's hard to express the emotions of seeing your child screaming, kicking and clawing and crying your name. It's enough to make even the most rational people question whether this is the right thing to do.

We have been fortunate enough to have survived the pandemic financially. While it has been hard balancing work and childcare, it's been amazing to see my daughter all day. I really don't think I understood what love really was until we had our daughter. Other than my wife, she's my best friend, and I feel so sad sending her back to school. It just highlights how our 'normal' way of life is such a house of cards. I should be the one raising my child, but instead I have to work to make money to send her to school so someone else can work at the school and have money to send their kids to school. It's a snake eating its own tail.  

I wish I had ideas for how to make it better. I think one positive is, since everyone is experiencing some version of this, maybe someone smarter than me can figure it out. For now we are just loving our daughter as much as we can."

—Justin, 37, Austin, TX

Listen to This: Audio We Love

Speaking of childcare, the team over at It's Been A Minute with Sam Sanders dove into the crisis in America's childcare system last week, and it's a great companion listen to our recent episode. Guest host Elise Hu talks with an expert about how we ended up with our piecemeal approach to early childcare in America, and Elise's three young kids also make an appearance. 

We’re pumped that The Cut's podcast is back—and that the new edition is is hosted by Avery Trufelman, whom we know and love from her years at 99% Invisible and her work on their special series Articles of Interest. There’s four episodes out so far, and we especially recommend the second. It starts as a meditation on how our relationship to nature is changing during the pandemic, and grows into a history lesson on how people of color have been excluded from natural spaces throughout time. Bonus: there’s great birdwatching tape. 

"DSM gives me an opportunity to hear others confirm for me that I’m not out here on my own despite being married and pushing 70."
—Marianne, Connecticut

Join Marianne in supporting our work at Death, Sex & Money!
Donate now at deathsexmoney.org/donate.
Words to live by this week (and all the time, really):
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