Category Archives: sons
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,
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,
Today, six years ago, I went on my very 1st date with the man I had been friends with for 5 years prior..
How that happened was fate because he called me on Valentine’s Day to ask who was my ‘hot date’and was shocked when I replied no one.
According to him, he took a huge risk when he offered to take me to breakfast the next day since it was President’s day and he also wanted to see the new car I had bought all on my own.. He was shocked when I said “sure!”
And so began our journey.. We met at Michaels restaurant and spent over an hour laughing with each other. The change happened when I got up to use the ladies room and was pulling my shirt down over my jeans and heard him say ” don’t pull it down. I like what I see.” I spun around in shock because not ONCE in five years had he ever made a pass at me and I asked him to repeat what he said to which he replied ” you heard me.”
I blushed and went on about my business but the wheels began turning in my head at that point. When we got back to my car, he retrieved a bag and handed it to me. There were chocolates with hearts, a mug with hearts, pencils with hearts and this cutie right here
It was a wrap after that.
Our journey for the next three years was loaded with honest communication, ( like seriously) all kinds of road trips and flights to the unknown, lots of laughter and some tears. We spent our 3rd anniversary in Chicago climbing out on glass ledges at the Sears building, exploring the city and food and having dinner on the 96th floor where he first broached the subject of marriage to me.
It simply felt like the right thing to do and I told him I would consider it. On July 4th of that year, without telling me what he was up to, he told told his entire family he was going to marry me.
I was stunned but it’s one of the things I love about him. He is a man in every sense of the word. Kind, honest, generous, not an ounce of pretense.
If you have been following our journey, you already know two years later in June 2015, on the island of Puerto Rico, we got married at Sunset.
To say I love him? Gross understatement. We have been husband and wife for 8 months and it’s been a journey filled with everything imaginable. So when my oldest son had a medical emergency last week when I was on my way home from Louisiana and had to divert flights to him, my husband not only understood, he booked a flight home for me and when I got to the airport, I learned it was in first class.
I literally stood at the counter in shock and when I was seated and served a full breakfast on real dishes with silverware and was given a hot towel while my tea was constantly replenished, I was finally able to fully exhale after a long week and catch a nap after I thanked God for blessing me over and again.
My husband knew, without my saying a word, what I needed and this was my very first time flying 1st class. I could get accustomed to this😜😜
The view from my plane spoke volumes and So today, on our 11th year of knowing each other, our 6th year of our very first date, it’s my turn to treat him.. Stay tuned..
As you can see, I kept ” Hot stuff” too and he will remain in our lives…I love and appreciate my husband. More than you will ever know.
Oh by the way? He said he knew immediately on that first date, he was going to marry me. He just had to work out the minor detail of convincing me it would be a good thing. His actions spoke volumes which is why I’m his very happy wife today.
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.
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..
Imagine this scenario if you will: man meets woman, falls in love and decides to take her with stars in his eyes, to meet his family.
He is happily introducing her to everyone but his new girlfriend feels a tad funny because there is a “vibe” in the air she can’t put her fingers on. She smiles, answers all their questions and pretends to not see the furtive eye glances between family members.
Months go by, and it feels like maybe, the family are now accepting the new girlfriend. She learns her man is the backbone of the family and everyone calls him for everything. This piques the interest of the girlfriend because it is assumed that all it takes is a phone call for her love to drop everything, including her, to see about their needs.
As time goes on, he becomes more involved with his girlfriend and while he is still available, he is no longer as accessible because he is building a life with her and creating a family of his own.
And then, it happens. His mother, begins to make snide comments that since he has his woman, they can’t find him and it’s beginning to feel like he is a stranger to them. She goes further to say, this is how every woman he ever had, took him away from them and she sees that his girlfriend may be too strong of a personality for her son, who is easily “manipulated “when he’s in love.
The smiles and hugs they had for his woman, becomes half-hearted hellos and once warm embrace are now so cold, she needs a blanket to recover.
Try as they might, the family cannot “rid” themselves of this woman, who by all accounts, has made their son very happy.
It’s is a few years into the relationship and the son decides he wants to marry his girlfriend. Folks have just now gotten downright hostile and begin leveling accusations that their dear son/brother/ nephew deserves better than a woman who would keep him away from them.
Man stands up to his family and in no uncertain terms, let’s them know he sees what they are doing, he’s grown and is capable of making good sound decisions without their input. The family backs off because they don’t want to lose him but his poor girlfriend/wife has never been treated the same or has to spend years proving herself.
Sounds familiar to anyone? The
Scenario above has played out a thousand times in households where mothers feel no one is good enough for their child and will go so far as to create a wall so thick and high, thereby forcing their grown child to choose.
It is a self defeating habit that must cease if you want to have peace in your families. We all have choices to make. We all make mistakes. We all learn from them
But life cannot be handled for us by meddling family members. It makes no earthly sense that a grown man, still has to report to his mother daily or she will be upset. Something is very unhealthy with this scenario and it all begins when our children are yet small.
We have a small window to raise them but the ultimate goal is to make them self-sufficient beings who will make good choices in life. If the choice Is removed through coddling, meddling parents, too many people stand to lose too much.
Do your job. Raise your children and then stand down.
It was one hell of a week so filled with pain, shock, disbelief and yes rage, as the entire country reeled in the aftermath of the shocking details about a young man, Mike Brown, who was for all intents and purposes, murdered in cold blood by a police officer in Ferguson Missouri.
Like many others, I began this mental journey filled with rage and place a picture of my sons on social media asking when did it become okay for us as parents to raise them only to have them a moving target for rogue police officers?
My anger was so searing hot, it scared me. It was then, I became clear this was not going to be another incident that people eventually forgot, because the town of Ferguson literally became the ghost of civil rights past resplendent with dogs, tear gas, armor and people so angry, they were tearing up anything in their pathway. The country responded and folks began to choose sides but I’m heartened by the volume of white allies who are right here beside us as a people because that murder finally shocked them
Into consciousness about the daily realities of black and brown people in America.
I learned a few lessons and became much clearer on other things;
The news media, depending on who they were, reported in ways that were so biased, I hardly watched any of them.
Twitter has become the mainstream of “live” reporting and gave a much more accurate description as events unfolded.
Voting in our local and State elections were always important but never more than in this present moment. It is a right we must begin to fully exercise because each voting finger adds up to change in a powerful way.
Black men and boys are still seen as 3/5 of a human being by way too many and it doesn’t matter how educated and well raised they are. Black people have always been clear that we needed to be stellar in word and deed and we have been much clearer, that means nothing to a rogue cop who will ” tell a story” too many are willing to believe even it’s 100% false.
What is happening right now in America feels like 1963 revisited because we as a people have become complacent and forgot to remind our children of our history so this could not happen to us anymore.
Strong new black leadership has begun to emerge with our millennials who understands the power of social media and are not afraid to use it to create change.
Anger, when channeled, is a powerful force and if we really desire to make lasting change, we must start in our local
Communities and work our way out in our quest for changes in policy and practices at police departments, schools, courthouses and prisons to name a few.
White allies are stepping out of the shadows in ways that is heartwarming and are a reminder that not everyone in America is filled with judgement and hate.
The ripple effect of these unchallenged murders of so many black men have begun and will be felt for a long time to come.
Because America’s ugly scab has been scraped off for the world to see and you better believe they ( world) are watching.
The revolution is televised and many are now willing to die so that we can live in peace..
The man- code.. alive and well or dead?
Usually when we hear of scandalous scenarios being played out in relationships, it’s because women are jealous of each other and does something sneaky like dating her girlfriend’s
Man behind her back to disastrous results. It’s the stuff that made Jerry Springer wealthy. I recently heard a story that made me ask for some feed back from men because I was too outdone.
Someone I know, has been in a solid business partnership that led to a decent friendship and both men worked hard together to make their business thrive with much success.
I often felt like one was a tiny bit jealous of the other because my friend has a wonderful personality while his partner was more business minded and serious. For the sake of this article, I will call them
Steve and Jake.
Steve met who he believed to be a wonderful young lady and they began dating in earnest, displaying pictures all over social media. By all accounts, they were the perfect couple. Something happened and they went their separate ways but unbeknownst to Steve, Jake began quietly seeing his ex-girlfriend without giving him the courtesy conversation so as not to break the ” man-code.”
In fairness to Jake, his now girlfriend didn’t think she should have said something to Steve either and both carried on as it it was the most natural thing in the world to do with Steve looking on in surprise once he found out.
Steve of course called
Jake on his actions and was not only summarily dismissed, Jake plans to marry his partner and friend’s ex.
Talk about a strained working environment.
Since I’m clearly a girl
And coming from a ” hell no”
angle, I posted on my Facebook page and asked for men to give me some insight on this scenario.
A good friend and brother Jeffery C Weaver, summed it up nicely;
“The issue here is integrity. The first guy was blessed to have the “opportunity” to rid himself of two weak individuals, who were once in his life. It’s true many, if not most, of us have thoughts that we don’t act on. The difference is that those who don’t act on such thoughts, exercise “self” control or in other words “strength” of conviction. But, we are who we are and what they “did” to him, they will, no doubt, eventually, do to each other. No real man should ever be that “thirsty!”
Jeffery’s comments mirrored most of the men who responded but one young man in his early twenties, questioned whether the man-code was dying a quick
Death because he saw way too many of his peers
Ignore it to go after a girl their friend might be dating at the time.
My response to him that a mature man would at least have the conversation first and that the bro-code is still very much alive in my humble opinion. If it is indeed dying a quick death, we need to do something and quickly because I can’t believe any man worth his salt would take a woman seriously who thought not enough of herself to hop between friends. It’s cold and it speaks of a character most men wouldn’t take home to
Just when I thought I had it all figured out, my friend Dennis Thomas said the following-
” There are a lot of guys, partners or not, out there who truly feel that once they’ve dated a woman she is off limits to all of his friends — no matter how long it’s been since they broke up. This is ridiculous thinking. We don’t own people; we just share our time with them. It’s your job to make the relationship that you have with her a great experience, and when that relationship comes to an end, you need to let her go.(In my Teddy Pendergrass voice) You had your time together and hopefully you created some great memories, but now it’s not your place to try to change and control anyone’s future or the way they want to live their lives.
I don’t believe that people are not possessions. I don’t care if it’s a casual acquaintance, I don’t care if it’s your best friend in the whole world, and I don’t care who broke up with whom. If I break up with someone — and I have broken up and been broken up with a lot — I have no problem with any of my friends dating my ex, falling in love with her and even marrying her. A great relationship, and great chemistry between two people, can be rare to come by. ”
Maybe I’m way off base here… What do you think? I would love to know your opinions one way or the other. Is the Man-code much ado about nothing or is it still alive and well?
I thoroughly enjoy sitting amongst teens and quietly listening to the things they deem cool, daily interactions with each other and the joy they find together sharing stories.
But man oh man- I heard a tale last week that made me sit straight UP bug eyed and with an incredulous look on my stupefied face!
A young teen was relaying this story to his brothers about a girl
Who called him last week after he deemed their friendship over, to say she was pregnant.
Messed him up for a good minute. Like cold sweat-hand wringing- ” my mom is going to make sure I never use my phallus ever again” messed up.
After he got past all of that, he texted the girl asking for proof. She sends him a picture of the pregnancy test. Still not sure because this girl has a history of lying in the past, he asked for the results of a blood test.
A couple days later, she sent him the blood test results on official Temple University stationary and all the proof he could need.
His goose was cooked.
Not sure what else to do, he turned to his older brothers before going to face his mother and they began, through a friend who was also pregnant, to ask this young lady a series of questions.
She got indignant with him.
He smelled a rat.
On a whim, he googled ” pregnancy tests” and Lo-and-behold, the picture She sent him, was an exact replica of what he saw on google.
He was starting to get heated, so he went back and looked at the results from Temple Hospital. Called the Doctor in the letter head. Does not exist. The numbers she used for blood count etc were clearly not ones a professional would use when looked at with the trained eye.
He had been taken by the oldest trick in the book used by desperate women.
When he called her on it, her delightful response was this- ” so you just gonna stop talking to me for this one little lie?”
At this point in the story, I am cracking up but fell over when he said this- ” two weeks later, I got a text from one of her friends that she died and was given the time, day and church for her funeral. I didn’t respond because this was the 3rd time she faked her own death”
As I’m shaking my head at the sheer deviousness of this 16 year old girl, I asked to see the Evidence she presented him with and I gotta tell you- to the lay person, this stuff looked legit.
Poor young man learned a lesson the hard way and I would dare say, be more careful where he lays his head. He did tell his mother after it was all over and his brothers were laughing their heads off at the memory..
Which leads me to this- the power if the internet is such that folks can fake all kinds of things anymore. Use your intuition. If something does not feel right, stop, wait and Check your facts several ways.
This young man could have been taken for money to pay for an abortion or saddled with a child that was not his. He got lucky this time and hopefully his experience will
Stop some of you, young and not so young, from getting caught up I the devious wiles of a woman hell bent on no good.
Let me get this out of the way before anything else- being a mother comes with no manuals and lord do we ever make mistakes as we raise the children we gave birth to or adopted. We mean well. I get it.
We don’t always do well.
It needs to be discussed.
In recent years, I have had more than my fair share of conversations with young people, who are just torn about their parents that gave up on parenting and they (children) feel they are forced to either parent their siblings and often- the parent themselves.
It is stressful to say the least and these young people second guess what they are doing and often miss opportunities, for fear of abandonment and wanting a life of their own.
Their wings are clipped with guilty tom
Said parent with things like ” I need you to survive” or ” you are the man of the house now” or even worse, ” if you leave, I will kill myself.”
Seriously. Can we talk? Some parents have mental health issues and with help, things can be bearable but there are others, who for whatever reasons, have deliberately stifled the growth of their children.
I hate to say this but that behavior is often borne from jealousy and it is just ridiculous to hold your child back because you, never took the time to get a handle on your own life.
Our children deserve better. They will make mistakes, fall down, make some bad decisions but that is all a part of life. We were given the opportunity to give birth to them and a small window to make a decent impact upon them. They are not here as our conscience, burden bearer and certainly not here to pay our way through life while we are healthy and able to do it on our own.
Messy mothering leads to burdened children. Give them a break by getting yourself together emotionally. Finding their way does not mean they no longer love you- quite the opposite. It means you have done a good job.
Allow your children to use their wings to soar because that guilt often becomes anger that is avoidable.