Category Archives: Parenting

Pause

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As some of you may know, I have not worked outside of the home for a salary in about three years. There are a couple of ‘reasons of record’ why this is the case. In my mind, in my spirit, however, there is one reason.  One that was not the the least bit obvious to me at the outset. But around which I have gained much clarity. I have a much better understanding why I was placed in this humbling position. Forced to assume a posture where I have had no choice but to be introspective in a way I have never taken the time or had the inclination to be in my previous 40+ years.

The way I see it, the only way I know to explain it – is that my soul has been placed in a God ordained time out. I recognize that now – and I am grateful in ways that I cannot clearly communicate. But I was not always grateful. Hecks, no! I have experienced a range of emotions, and baby, grateful was not the first one. Or the second. Or even the third.

My very first emotion set the mood for my year-long pity party. You know, the oft heard cry – “why me?”.  I did, this and that and the other thing just as I had been instructed, so why, why God, why are you doing this to ME?. Tantrums. Tears. Turning my household inside out with my emotional outbursts. I covered all the bases. If you’re going to party – party hard, right?

Then just like the college kid who partied a bit too hard, for a little too long only to be peeled off of the streets of fraternity row at the University of the Universe – I was hung over. I was irritable. Angry. Nothing pleased me and everything pissed me off. I ate to try to soak up the pity that had intoxicated me for the previous year, but it was of no comfort. It only made me angrier, as the number on the scale increased in increments of 10 until I was myself plus 40 pounds of pain. Now I had another reason to hate what was happening to me……what I thought I was unable to control.

Act three was perhaps the pinnacle of this tsunami of emotions. Depression. Hopelessness. Giving up, because there was no where else left to go with this shtick. Settling for existing because that was the best I could muster. And I had to muster something, because dammit, these beautiful babies didn’t ask to come here and they deserved a mother who didn’t give up. Even if she was only there in a perfunctory way.  A itstimetogetupforschool, whatdoyouwantforlunch, heregivethistoyourteacher, iloveyouhaveagoodday, illbethereforyourprogram, dontforgetyourwordmasterstestillbethere, howwasschooldoyouhaveanyhomework, whatdoyouwantfordinner, getyourkarateclotheson, itstimetogetreadyfordance, oktakeabathandgotobed, iloveyougoodnight, stepford wife kind of way. But I was functioning. For them.

Then I got tired. Tired of being tired as they say. And I had to do something different. HAD. TO. So I did. A lot of things. Some I’d always wanted to do. Some I never thought I would do. Some I’d never freaking heard of. Some I thought only freaks believed in. Some worked, some didn’t. Some I came up with, some I sought counsel for. I read articles. I started books (I only finished one Eat, Pray, Love :-). I liked Facebook pages. I spammed other peoples Facebook pages with stuff that inspired me (sorry!)

I stopped sleeping in the daytime. Which was much easier, of course, after I stopped letting my mind run in circles all night.  I changed my doctors – ALL of them. I changed my diet – (NOT all of it – I’m a pizza loving work in progress – lol!),  I started making green smoothies. I started moving more. Hell, I started combing my hair again!

I began (and continue) researching what might actually make me feel better. Because guess what? I wanted to feel better. Feeling bad, although it was a long time coming, got old. Who knew wanting to feel better was the first step? I certainly didn’t…..

Which is why I needed to be placed in time out by a higher authority. Because I would have never paused. Not on my own. Thank you, God, for hitting pause. For stopping the music and letting me have a seat in a chair. I’m still working on learning how to play the game – but at least now I know I need to listen to the music and not just concentrate on how to get the next chair…..

Thank God for a universe that has a pause button……

Love and Light!

The Body…..

imageI have tried so very hard to keep a ‘safe’ distance from the Trayvon Martin trial. My updates on its progress have come primarily from Facebook friends and real life relatives. Every since I became familiar with the case it has haunted me…..HAUNTED. ME. But seeing that picture of Trayvon’s body, as it lay lifeless on the ground, well it brought the ghosts in my mind to life in a way I had not expected.

You see, like the President I can’t help but to go to “what if that was my child”. And not just in the way that any parent would, but in ways that are all too uncomfortable for me to even acknowledge let alone speak about. I have a son. A sweet innocent son. A son whose persona is so unique. An intelligent boy, often immersed in his thoughts and distracted by his surroundings all at once. A sensitive child, who can sometimes say insensitive things with no idea how or why his words have offended. A soul who hangs his head in shame whenever he is chastised or faced with the knowledge that he has hurt someone or something. If you know him…..

But if you don’t know him, like George Zimmerman did not know Trayvon Martin…..

He can be perceived as aggressive as sometimes he does not modulate his voice appropriately. One might think him disrespectful when he does not immediately reply when spoken to. Social nuances are sometimes lost on him – he doesn’t always pick up on ill will directed toward him. And he often wears hoodies like a security blanket.

Hoodies that might give you a different impression if you don’t know him. Like George Zimmerman did not know Trayvon Martin….

My boy is highly intelligent, amazingly imaginative and dreams of a life as a computer programmer and astronaut. “I have no doubt that you can be whatever you choose to be, Sweetheart, as long as you work hard!”, I tell him – always encouraging his dreams and emphasizing hard work. But I am not 100% honest. With him or with myself. I have doubts.

Because if you don’t know him, like George Zimmerman did not know Trayvon Martin…..

In seven short years, in the eyes of way too many people he won’t be the child I gush over. To them he’ll be none of the things I describe. None of the things I know. None of the things I love. He will just be another young black male. A potential threat. A menace to society. A suspect. Black man usual. No matter what I, or his fathers, or my brothers, or my sister, or my mother, or his sisters do. He will be someone he isn’t…..

If you don’t know him, like George Zimmerman did not know Trayvon Martin…..