Category Archives: Parent
What a week this has been. I am still recovering from Hosting Thanksgiving dinner in our home and all the shenanigans of love that took place within.
My husband was feeling especially mushy for some inexplicable reason and at one point, sat on the porch with me saying how grateful he was for us. I reminded him we had guests after telling him I was grateful for his love too and so as we walked back into the confines of the house, he says from behind me to the entire family, “we have news to share, Andrea is having a baby.”
I kept walking to the kitchen as his crazy family members clapped in glee and without turning around I replied ” what the hell is wrong with you?”
He cracked up and told them he was playing and I thought that was the end of it.
Later on that night, I learned from his mother that she would not be opposed to us having a child and in fact, she was looking forward to it.
Now see here.
Did they forget I was a clapback of 50?
When I reminded them of my not so tender years, I heard ” Janet Jackson is 51 and she’s doing it!”
Ummm… my name ain’t Janet. It ain’t Jackson if you nasty either. Not to mention I am sane enough to know these eggs have done their final drop some two score and plenty years ago and they fitting to scramble and retire for good in these Fallopian tubes. And I have an excellent retirement plan called menopause awaiting their arrival
I spoke about it at length with my husband this morning and it seems he seriously has been thinking about it. I refrained from asking him to get his brain checked as we are now grandparents and instead worked hard to see and connect with his sentiments.
He agreed the baby-ship has sailed for us once I laid out the facts but was happy I heard him out.
Lawd have mercy..
Men should be able to get pregnant. I bet you it would alleviate some of this baby talk. Women aren’t toaster ovens who pop out little humans on cue. This is a lifetime thing and honey, our “baby” will be 21 in 3 months and seeking to live abroad once he finishes college.
I seee the horizon and it has no wailing babies that I can’t send back to its parents in it.
Hell does indeed go with no.
Dueces and mad love,
I often wonder if we fully grasp what it means to have a long term relationship with anyone. It could be romantic, business or platonic in nature but they all require work in order to sustain them fully.
I look around me and see these relationships fall apart for many reasons but it all came back to not maintaining the health and viability of your partner.
Someone asked me a question last week that led to my wanting to delve into the romantic aspect of relationships here.
When we first meet and begin the process of getting to know a person, we should check the temperature of those feelings regularly by asking ourselves things like
–What are my motives?
-Do I truly like this person or is it something to do that deflects/detracts from loneliness?
– What shared values do we have beyond the initial attraction?
-Will we openly communicate in ways that works through any issues that will arise?
– Am I in this relationship to rebound from a failed one?
You get the gist right?
The way we enter a relationship, sets the tone for how it flows and it still requires work and checking in with each other regularly because life will get in the way.
Unhappiness breeds all kinds of malcontent when not addressed in a timely fashion. When we add marriage to the mix, that flame goes way up because you are now dealing with blended families and lord knows, everyone has an opinion whether you asked for it or not.
Leave and cleave is not a cute catch phrase. It really means something. If you gotta run back to momma every time you have a question, how do you develop relationship with your spouse?
If you allow your children to dictate your lives through whatever means they choose to employ, that will cause a serious rift.
If you gush about another person without fully acknowledging and routinely appreciating the one that lives with you, it’s cause for a situation.
Do not invite the opinion of others into the seriousness that is your life. Learn about your mate enough to know when to draw the line and pull back with compromise and love.
We say that we know relationships won’t be a bed of roses but the first time we get pricked with the thorn of life and see blood, we run for cover and end what could be a long term partnership
The flip side of that is hanging around and grasping at someone who consistently shows you with their actions you are not valued.
A relationship that begins on shady ground will feel like a trick from hell. One that is nurtured becomes a treat that keeps on giving. You decide through your choices.
Know thyself. Love thyself.
Dueces and mad 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,
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.”
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.
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
Dueces and mad love.
I had to attend a funeral of a dear friend today who died suddenly last week from an asthma attack of all things, and as I sat in the church numb from disbelief, I learned through the lens that was her life, to make our days count. She made every day count by being a tireless volunteer and example for people across all genres and did it with humility, grace and hellified style.
We are not on this earth to be about ourselves but rather, the impact we leave on others. Judging from that full church, she did just that.
So when I got home, I took some time to reflect on my porch about a few things while listening to my Husband moving about the house.
And then, an angel stopped by to visit and what she thought was solace for her, became so many lessons for me when she walked in the house, took off her shoes and literally curled up on my shoulders and exhaled..
I almost cried.
What she did said she completely trusted me with her heart and we sat in silence until I asked her how was her day.. she began to share and we spoke like mother and daughter for the next couple of hours while she had a bowl of soup and I drank a cup of ginger tea.
I looked at that precious face and saw the daughter I never had. I impressed upon her to come visit any time she wanted to because I became clear, her love and trust were not easily given and never to be taken for granted.
That for me, was a part of our service here on earth. How are we choosing to show empathy, listen and be vulnerable?
People watch us all the time. It is never our words but more our actions that makes all the difference.
So while I was saddened by One friend passing away, I was rejuvenated by the love of another who reminded me life continues and we are to make the best of every moment.
Dueces and mad love,
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.
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,
Friday October 7th was the premiere of the movie Birth Of A Nation and while I knew I was going to view it and psyched myself up to see what was sure to shock my senses in parts, what happened was something different. For me anyway.
That day began in an interesting manner where I had to circumvent and remind a few folks who were so entrenched in how they did things, they forgot education was about the children they purportedly served.
So I was already feeling some kinda funky from a long day filled with meetings, when I pointed my diva mobile in the general direction of the movie theater.
I had two sips of some kind of beverage and some appetizers but I was more engrossed in chatting with many of the folks who I hadn’t met before this screening and a few who knew me Well enough to be prepared for any and all Shenanigans I may spew forth.
After ALL of that preparation, I walked in and settled myself in the very back after taking a deep cleansing breath.
I would NOT be the sister who left disliking all white folks based on what I saw.
Listen. 30 minutes in? I was cringing, tears were flowing down my cheeks,
I was talking to myself and the screen, I called on Jesus more than
A few times and didn’t know IF I would make it through.
Here is what I learned- and let me be clear, you may get something totally different but our past experiences often shape what we see and feel.
I saw a man who was chosen to be a leader who was quiet, caused no trouble, did what his master told him and learned to read because the slave owners wife took an interest in him.
Lesson? Never dismiss people based on what you see. The eyes can be deceptive. Nat Turner had something within, that the outer facade belied and he was therefore trusted in places and spaces that gave him access when the time came.
There is a courage within people
Of African descent that isn’t often depicted anywhere as it serves to remind us that we matter, we are Smart, we Are Resilient and while everyone may not be on board when the time comes to act, it only requires a few to get a movement started.
Watching The constant raping of our women and children at the hands of slave masters, only for those broken women to be sent back to their men afraid, ashamed and hurt to their core, almost put me over the edge.
I also saw the courage, love and anguish of the men, who often risked their lives to protect their families the best way they could. That visual warmed my soul.
We suffered a lot as a people and it continues to present day but we also have more power and able to make choices instead of waffling in mired hurt and pain alone.
Many are called, FEW are chosen. We all have a purpose in this life and our one job is to find it and then follow.
Nat Turner and many others lost their lives
For that insurgence but it sparked a revolution that changed slavery after he died.
We MUST make it our business to learn
About our history and stop waiting for it to become
Curriculum in schools. There are too many books, not to
For that to even be an excuse any longer.
As a woman, I walk every day with the ancestry of Nanny of the Maroons from Jamaica whose blood runs through my veins. I am steeped in my culture in a way that serves as a reminder that I can and will continue to achieve with alacrity and I must serve those around me with same.
We had a discussion after the movie and I left wondering who were to two or three who would actually step beyond the emotions to spark the next movement.
There were a few Caucasian students from Arcadia university who watched the movie and I could FEEL the palpable
Discomfort coming from a couple. I walked right over to them and reminded them to not leave here feeling guilty but rather enlightened on how they could help to make this a better America for us all.
That movie shook my very core- but it did something that was so much more. It was confirmation in a way that I in particular needed.
Go see it. It’s worth every penny and the lessons are priceless.
Deuces and mad love,
My mother is insane 😂😂😂
I usually call her every morning at 5 a.m. But since one of my siblings is there with them temporarily, I don’t check in as much because said sibling lets us know daily how they are doing. So mommy answers the phone with an attitude and I know I’m about to get it..
Me: well good MORNING Momma!!
Her: uh huh. I was Just saying yesterday how you would call me daily and I can’t hear from you now. Yes I am still alive and no, nothing will be left for you when I die. It all Goes to my grandchildren.
Me:😂😂😂😂😂 good thing I wasn’t looking for a thing from you!
She cackles and we get into a great conversation which lead to her telling me that she was going for her daily walk later on and that she fell because the ridges on the bottom of her sneakers are now smooth.
Me: I know you don’t think you need to buy sneakers until there are holes in them and I’m tired of telling you that we will buy you what you need. So here is what we are going to do- every six months, I will send you a good pair of walking sneakers and you are to throw the other ones away so you can stay safe okay?
Her: yes ma’am!!
See? She gon be a smart butt about it too??
😂😂😂😂 love my momma…
If you are blessed to have your mother around, please love her until you can’t anymore. Our mother is a wellspring of joy and lessons. She gave up much to raise 4 girls into women while being a wife to our father. I gleaned so much and continues to daily.
While she worries she will be a burden on my siblings and I, she has no clue, how much we clamor to make sure neither her or daddy need a thing. It’s our pleasure to give back to them, a modicum of what they gave to us.
That being said- I’m never to grown to not mind that crazy woman who will smack me if I’m standing close by with a sassy mouth😂😂
Look at her walking in the dark with my sister right behind her..
She is our entire world… and like she reminded me
about the hurricane Matthew currently heading to Jamaica, “worrying solves nothing my daughter. Pray and the rest will work itself out.”
That’s my momma..
Deuces and mad love ❤️
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
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.