Category Archives: children

The eggs dropped by the birds nest for a little love 

A few days ago, my eldest child flew home to visit albeit briefly, so we could see each other before he went off to handle his real purpose for being here- his fraternity and the brothers he formed a deep bond with. I was with him for less than 12 hours but we squeezed priceless moments within and my soul and heart were full when he left.

I wrote about this son a while back in a post where he had an encounter with a police officer https://lawfultrainer.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/innocence-of-a-child-forever-gone/

Even as we worked diligently to be certain he was okay and told him to keep achieving, he continues to defy and exceed any expectations anyone could have of him.

Quite simply, he’s determined to succeed and writes 5 and 10 year plans to keep his purpose in the forefront always. So earlier this year, 2 weeks before his 24th birthday, he had already graduated from college, works for a Great company that values and relocated him to another state and after just 11 months of living in said state, he closed on his very 1st home.

As remarkable as that was, he also bought that home with no financial help from his father and I. In fact, he insisted it was something he wanted to see if he could do and he did. We couldn’t believe how disciplined he was to save by not buying a new car when he graduated from college even as his peers were stunting with new rides all around him. He paid his bills on time and kept his credit score in a place many adults do not have and he stunned the banks when they saw he really saved and had a stable job at his age. Once he bought that home though, I flew in and helped him to furnish and buy appliances. He smiled and said I was “such a mommy” as if that was an insult!!😂😂😂

He is now 24 and as I listened to him discuss what his next set of plans entailed, I teared up remembering all he had gone through to get to this point and that his adversities only made him grow to the place where he is an incredible advocate of his rights and can see things from a point of view most miss.

He is a really quiet and profound cat that I am so proud to call SON. I caught a brief glimpse of his need for parent love when he walked up to hug me and just laid his head on my chest for a good two minutes. It was cathartic and healing to us both.

He credits his tenacity to having parents who aren’t afraid to work hard and achieve-he astutely learned certain traits we carry that he found to be beneficial in business and life and built upon that. I have no doubt we haven’t fully begun to see what he will accomplish. and while the house was filled with both my children and all their friends, when the nest emptied and those birds flew back to where they came from, they all left a piece of their love joy and peace with me..

Parents- raising children is the most challenging thing we will do and it never ends. We want to protect our children from danger and harm while we coach them on being able to thrive in environments away from us. If we could, we would shield them and keep their innocence firmly intact but life doesn’t work that way. 

On this day, I pray you have the courage and strength to do what you know is right for your children and to seek advice when needed.

Those babies we carried and nurtured will one day become adults. How they get there depends upon you in those early years of learning and growth.

Dueces and mad love,

Diva 

when the oldest comes home for a visit

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Cutco oh oh..

There a few things that I love and aside from hubby and family, chief among them are cooking and young people striving to earn money honestly to pay for tutition etcetera.

But honey, someone at Cutco did a profile on what would make people buy their products and I swear, one of those avatars has my face on it.

Stay with me here.

I got a call recently  from one of the young people I love who wanted to see if she could come to seee me and do a Cutco demonstration on my home.

I already knew the deal because I have Cutco products in my kitchen that I use daily so I was prepared that my pockets would squeal a tiny bit so that I could support this “baby.”

Well Damn.

We are flipping through the pages and I saw a set of silverware that interested me and asked for a quote. The 5 place setting was $1,400 and plenty coins!! Did I say I was looking at the 12 place setting though? I told her never mind, collected myself and kept flipping those pages.

Whew!!

We decided on a few pieces in the end but I continue to be struck by how expensive those pieces are!  They are more costly than pieces of jewelry and probably brings more joy if you love to cook like I do. That cleaver slices through bone like butter but it requires mortgaging your kidney to buy it😂

Chile listen. At the end of the day, if you don’t like being in the kitchen much, save those coins but if you want an experience with cooking tools that makes creating meals a joy and your pockets can support it, go for it as they are worth every penny. 

For the rest of you who buys cutco simply as a status symbol in your house while they gather dust because you couldn’t find the stove knobs if you tried, cutco has an avatar with your face too. It’s called the label/status symbol junkie😂😂

For the record- while that child left my house with a sale firmly in hand, don’t yall send no more children to my door because it’s easier to just write a check to support their college fund. Ya dig? They are hard to resist but my pockets will force me to say no by hiding behind my door quietly when they come

Knocking 😂😂

Dueces and mad love.

Diva 

Raised with love, laughter and lessons

Either God has a sense of humor, or I’m crazy. I’m placing my money on God. Every single morning between 2 0r 3 am, I awaken like clockwork. I kinda know why but more about that later.

So I’m up as usual and happened to check the space where my siblings and I chat daily to check in with each other about our lives, what’s happening with our aging parents etcetera.

I clearly wasn’t prepared for the conversation I began reading but I felt a chuckle bubble in my soul, that erupted from my mouth into  full blown laughter as I read comment after comment that went from The ridiculous to the sublime.

You see, 2 of my siblings were trying to get a third to look beyond the scenario of dogs being taken to church  and to the altar to be blessed by a priest and see the lessons within but she was so STUCK on what our Jamaican culture dictated that she couldn’t see  why this particular scenario was happening. The hilarity that ensued, warmed the cockles of my tickled heart!

They teased her mercilessly and she wouldn’t budge but reminded them that she is able to look clearly enough at something and if it didn’t make sense to her, she wasn’t going to do it no matter what  her wretched siblings said to the contrary 😂😂😂

The older we get, it’s become apparent that we have similar traits to either one or both of our parents that we SWore would never happen.

Sounds familiar?

We prayed and asked God daily to let the idiosyncratic cups pass us by but alas!😂😂

Our father has been a sage offering all kinds of advice and lessons within everything he sees and encounters. It drove us nuts as children but we have some of those same tendencies. Some of us more than others and I ain’t pointing no fingers. Ha!! He also believes in using natural ingredients for everything. It better come from the earth or he ain’t touching it.  This is the man that went to the dentist and they could find zero plaque on his teeth because his regimen daily with brushing and flossing lasts a good 15 minutes after each and every meal.

I can’t make this stuff up.

Our mother is a class act who was steadfast in teaching us how to grow up and be responsible and classy women that wouldn’t compromise our souls for anything. She is much quieter than our father who talks from the minute he awakens until he falls asleep and she is the ying to his chatty yang.

Our childhood friends love our parents and we couldn’t understand their constant craving of two people we tried our best to  never cross hairs with but as we all age, we see the value in how they raised us to look after each other, showed us that prayer is a powerful tool, that giving back goes beyond the basics, that we are to treat others well and lord were they ever excellent examples of how we raised our own children. 

My sisters are the solid backbone to my very existence. They hold me accountable like only siblings can, they show up in ways big and small no matter what is going on and they pray hard when I take off on another adventure that I will return unscathed because none of them wants to be the one to explain to our parents, why they allowed me to go off on what they would consider a reckless folly.😂 As if anyone could stop me and they know this from raising my precocious self!

Our mommy celebrates another turn around the sun today and as I give thanks for her being here with us among the living, I also give thanks that she raised four girls into beautiful women who found their purpose and continues to walk with mankind in our own unique ways. She is an excellent grandmother to 4 grandchildren as evidenced with my oldest son dancing with her in the featured photo. She dotes on them in ways that makes us wonder  who she is because the drill sergeant mother became the pudding pop Grandmom.

Family is a blessing and it’s wonderful to live to a space where the value of it can be fully appreciated even in the roughest of times. 

Love and appreciate yours in ways big or small- meet people where they are-try not it judge but seek to understand and always remind yourself we aren’t going to be here on earth forever so make the best of each moment we have here.

Deuces and mad love,

Diva

Dangerous meanness.. 

Allow me to preface this piece by stating the obvious- I don’t know everything, cannot solve everything and am still learning, sometimes moment by moment.

What I do instinctively know? When you spend your very existence choosing to do major shifts that ultimately becomes all about yourself, the price for that is incalculable.
Let me stop speaking in a parables and tell you what’s brewing on my mind.

There is a phenomenal person who  took it upon themself to bring a solid vision they had to life and has had some successes with said vision. Almost immediately though, despite being supported by large swaths of people and organizations so this vision could continue to grow and bear fruit, this person alienated many by dismissing their efforts and making it all about themselves and that they did all the work etcetera.
Just mean, cold and nasty in a way that left a distaste for said person and folks began walking away.

What is even scarier though, are the “yes” foot soldiers who sees all of this happening but say nothing and continues to support the mission despite the abuse because it’s one that supports and empowers impressionable minds.

The problem with that? When you leave that kind of behavior unchecked, it becomes a monster and now even the impressionable young minds are complaining about being marginalized and emotionally abused at the hands of said person, and parents are questioning the meaning of it all.

So, I am speaking now not just to self serving leaders but those who follow them even to their own peril- woe unto YOU because nothing you put into the universe comes back to you void. You will find no peace until you make right, the behaviors that continues to destroy from the inside what looks glorious on the outside.

Find your center-do your work with intention and speak up followers when you see your leadership going down a path that isn’t healing. Your silence is not golden and you should never fear anyone to the point where you cower and continue to allow the dismantling of fragile children to keep the peace.

Because at the end of the day? The stifling of what is right to be likable or not rocking the boat because you don’t want that level of meaness  aimed your way, means you too will be held accountable for those lives. One way or another.

So what’s it gonna be?  The price is to pay is too steep and there will come a day when you will have to balance that account.
Mad love and peace

Diva.

The lesson that came in a small package

I tend to hum all day. 

Like seriously. 

It is not unusual for me to break out into some random song because of a word someone said or I just simply make humming sounds as I move about without realizing it.

I know I need help and it amuses Mister to no end,  But stay with me here…
Hubby and I were invited to the birthday party for a one year old cousin and aside from being shell shocked at the amount of babies running or crawling on the floor like human ants, I clearly recognized that we are officially in the “seasoned” category of life, because I was so unable to can with the over stimulation of visuals and sounds in front of me.
My brian cells were not computing what was happening. At all. The baton clearly had been passed to the younger crew who were now popping out babies and starting what we had happily finished years ago. The only thing we desired to do, was babysit and send those human ants with sticky fingers and toes,back to the incubators they called parents.
So there I was writing quietly  in a safe corner and probably humming because out of nowhere, this darling little girl was sitting next to me. What she said next, made me perk up and pay attention..
Her: you can sing!

Me: maybe. Who is asking?😂

Her: sing something for me please?

Me: like what? How about “happy birthday?” I do have one rule though; you must sing it with me. Deal?
She agreed and we began singing softly. I could not believe what came out of that child’s mouth!! She sang soprano like an angel and while I didn’t stop, my mind was clicking as we wrapped up.
Me: How old are you?

Her: eight

Me: my goodness!! Your voice is amazing.. Please keep singing as it is a gift. My husband loves to sing but he sounds like a belting frog on a good day!
She laughed and said with conviction, she was going to become a nurse. I ain’t mad at her. She can do anything she desires.
She was a wonderful example of what is possible when we nurture our children to their best selves.
In that sea of little people, I was able to connect, sing with and learn from one of them.

The lesson here for me?
Never judge a book without at least cracking the cover.  No matter how small it may seem. Inspiration and lessons comes from a word, deed or even a behavior. We miss them when we choose not to see beyond what we tell ourselves. Limiting beliefs lead to limiting attitudes. See the possibilities no matter where you find yourselves.

Deuces and mad love,

Diva

Learn a trade because beauty fades

My childhood came full circle a few days ago, when someone I had lost contact with 28 years back, popped up and every memory I had of my young and teen years came rushing to the forefront like it was yesterday.

You see, We lived on what was a quiet suburban street filled with upper middle class families who worked hard and raised decent children with substance. That meant that the girls who hoped to be anything other than ” loose” worked hard to follow the regimented instructions we got from our parents while remaining average teenagers as much as we could.

Those of us who enjoyed very few freedoms that our other peers were given without regard, often felt baffled and unheard by what we considered overly strict parents.

We had gorgeous friends who had no curfew, could attend any parties they wanted to and allowed to wear whatever they desired. I could hear them at night while I was tucked in bed reading a book and wondered what a great feeling it must have been for them to have so many freedoms.

My parents would always tell us that ” freedom isn’t free and if you give away all you have without leaving anything to the imagination, when it came time for us to get mates, we would suffer for it. I thought they were nuts but here we are almost 30 years later and the fruit that bore from the trees are quite telling.

Many of us who were under strictly supervised homes, grew up on firm footing. We had convictions, worked hard, stood for something and understood our value. We faced trials like everyone else but we also knew we could find our way through and were not afraid to start over or look at things differently.

Some of our friends who were allowed all the freedoms they wanted as teens, are now adults who are slowly beginning to realize, a pretty face and a sexy body alone does not a long term and fulfilling relationship make.

These friends are sitting in marriages that have long stopped serving them or their spouses but they remain miserable because they never thought of anything beyond finding a man to support the life style they were seeking.

There is no voice to speak up, no grit and determination to be a change agent outside of being diligent mommies who are inadvertently teaching their offspring the same messages.

Smart is the new pretty and it’s about time. Men are seeking women who can not only hold intelligent conversations about most things, she challenges him through her actions to always strive for better.

If you have ever wondered why a woman who is far less attractive than you seems to have everything you desired, it’s because she used her brain not her beauty in everything she says and does.

So the next time you stand in a Mirror flipping your hair and pouting your lips just so to garner attention, be sure to remember that what is inside that head is way more valuable long term and give yourself the gift of stretching your brain to learn, experience and explore the world beyond your face.

That 28 year reminder came full circle and I was able to say thanks to my parents for keeping us from a life of mediocrity. The lessons we learned back then are the rewards we are reaping today.

Enough said

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Bitter Brew from the ex’s Stew…

I have often wondered what happened with some relationships that keeps the woman angry and dare I say, bitter long after it has ended? I have been divorced and had a couple of failed relationships and each time after a period of hurt and some anger, managed to heal and move on.

I’m am just astounded by the amount of women who are still trying to remain relevant years after the relationship has ended and it’s usually through the children. What purpose does that serve exactly?

The short term joy you feel from making your ex pull at his hair in exasperation, is nothing in comparison to the long term damage it causes the children who are the unintended pawn in it all.

And don’t let the man find happiness and marry a new woman. It’s like a holy war has begun. The time and energy spent trying to make him ” feel your pain” keeps you from experiencing your own new Joy with someone else.

I know way too many women stuck in a time warp of hate, only to look up years later and see how stuck they were in vitriol and essentially left behind. I’m sure men do this too but this blog is especially for my angry and consumed women.

When the children’s lack of performance in school is used to blame for daddy no longer being in the home, you are wrong.

When you encourage mediocrity in school so daddy will come calling or running in frustration, you are wrong.

When you tell your son consistently that daddy is the reason why you are ” suffering” and discuss daddy’s new love with anger and hate, you are wrong.

When you force the children to choose between you and their father, you are wrong.

I could go on but you get the point.

Instead of constantly standing over a cauldron of hate, anger and hurt, stirring all day, step away from the hot pot, take several deep breaths and own your part in the demise of this relationship.

Then remove that apron of guilt, take a bath in love and peace and move on with your life.

Nothing is more unattractive than a bitter person dressed up in heels and a fake smile.

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Sons, brothers, friends…

My youngest son was born 8 weeks early at 3lbs 14 oz. But we were thrilled to see that other than his tiny size, he was very healthy. So after five days in the hospital, he was sent home. He needed doll diapers but ate like a hearty new born. No one would touch or hold him except dad, my mother and his brother who was 4 yrs old.

It is the relationship between the brothers that prompted this blog..

My oldest son knew instinctively that he had to take care of his little brother and that he did beautifully. He fed him, hugged him, helped to dress him after a bath and would put baby powder under his thick neck as he grew and became chubby. His baby brother adored him and for many years would only address him as “brother” even as he knew his name and could say it.

One day when they were 6 and 2 years old respectively, I sent them outside to play with the warning to be careful and watched as they went and began to play. I quietly checked on them
Every few minutes and it was one such check, that I saw something that seared in my brain as a beautiful memory.

The baby was watching his brother ride his bicycle around and was begging him for a ride. He stopped his bike and said ” mommy will kill me if you get hurt but if I put you on the handle, will you be careful and hang on tight?” The younger one looked up at him grinning and said ” I promise bwother!! I will hold on and won’t fall!”

I watched, rooted behind the blinds because my gut told me, to leave them be.

The older child helped his sibling up and off they slowly went. The joy on the baby’s face was indescribable as his brother concentrated and was carefully riding his brother around with his brow furrowed. He kept saying to the baby ” hold on for dear life! Mommy will be mad if you get hurt!” The baby kept saying ” I’m holding on!!”

They rode just a short distance and they were able to get down safely. The baby ran and hugged his brother’s legs with a big thank you and he patted his head while grinning with relief.

They went on to seek insects in the grass and I never shared with them what I saw that day.

They are now 22 and 18 years old. One has graduated from college, the other is in his first semester at college.

They remain close and share things I may never know about, but teaching them as babies to take care of each other, continues to pay it forward.

I love my sons… They remind us daily that being a parent is simply the most important job we have, when we are given the opportunity to bring children into the world.
Enough said
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Who are YOU calling a B&?!@???

Today told me for certain that I have indeed found my calling in life..

I was asked to speak to a group of young people at a local high school
(That will remain nameless for now) who were suspended and a part of their plan for getting reinstated was to sit and listen to people who looked like them about what it took to be successful in life.

Oh yeah, their parents had to accompany them.

I knew I was in Oz when I got to the school and as the young people were leaving, all I heard were words not worthy of printing. I cringed inwardly with sadness but kept going and eventually found the room I was to be in.

The folks started coming in and the attitude was downright hostile. Parents arguing they don’t have time for this and some of the girls were saying things like

we in here to listen to this Bitch? My momma going to cuss her out and we will get to leave.”

Clearly, they were in for a treat.

I waited until they settled down, pulled up a chair in the center of them, opened my mouth and laid them all out so flat, not only could you hear a pin drop, the parents were asking to be mentored along with the kids.

The Principal walked in an hour later thinking he was going to have to keep order and his mouth fell to the floor.

He said one of the toughest judges in the city walked into that school and gave up and walked out. He was shocked at what he found.

I’m going back there. Every Tuesday that I’m in town for the entire school year. Those young people needed support and they needed to know I was not the Sista to run game on..

We have got to expect more of ourselves no matter how low we may feel in life.. Everyone left respectful and said thank you after the girls asked for these sessions to keep going…

Say what now? 😜

That was by FAR, the toughest experience I ever had with young people and parents but what I know for sure is this, no matter how crazy a situation seems, if you command the respect with your presence, miracles can and will indeed happen.

I bet you not one of them will call me a bitch anymore AND they will think twice before they use it carelessly among themselves too..

Enough said.

The red frock ( dress)

My mother is the best. I call her every morning before 6 a.m. So we can have our daily chats. While it’s usually the mundane that we discuss, hearing her voice brings me such joy and if I dared to miss a few mornings due to work, I get attitude and an earful when the calls resume. I take it in stride because she has come to enjoy our chats too.

This morning, I’m giving her the news that three of my friends mothers transitioned which has left me with trying to navigate three funerals, as they are all on the same day.

My darling mother says ” that reminds me; I want no crying at my funeral. Please bury me in a beautiful red frock, red shoes, red undergarments and if you can find a red casket, I will take that too. Let the folks coming know they are to wear NO purple, black or white as those are funeral
Colors. Everyone should wear bright vibrant colors. I want my 4 grandchildren to be pallbearers as they are old and strong enough.”

I’m looking at the phone gasping for air and giggling because she is just stating things as she sees them with a threat that she will be most displeased if we fail to follow her orders.

So I asked, ” mommy, since you insist on having this conversation what would you like us to sing?” This mad woman chimed in ” hey! None of my girls can sing except you so please do not let the other three squawk until I sit straight up!” I laughed until tears leaked from my eyes at the thought..

What I believed would have been a sad conversation had some levity because my mother is clear, she cannot live forever and she prefers to go out on her terms. I love that about her.

I could not promise her that I wouldn’t cry but what I could do, was give her exactly what she required and I would wear a red frock to boot!

Love my momma and these daily chats are being stored for a time when I can no longer hear her physical voice..

If you are fortunate enough to still have your parents among you, love the hell out of them and forgive what you can because they won’t be with you forever..

Enough said.

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