Archive | Growing Up RSS feed for this section

Musings on parenting…almost 19 years on this job

4 Jan

Well we’ve made it successfully to 2011 which is more than we can say for the birds dropping out of the sky in Arkansas. What the hell is up with that? Anyhoo, I’ve had this blog post in the back of my mind for a few days but only now have I had the time to sit down and actually write it.

I just said good bye to my eldest child as he returns to the Midwest to take care of some things though it looks like he might try to fly back before the next semester starts at the end of the month. When he was last here in August he was getting ready to transition into life as a college student and I must say after having had the pleasure of being with him the past two weeks, he is a fully functional college student. He came home with lots of bags and lots of books and Mama Santa graced him with tons of literary goodies to make my philosophy major happy. The other night I was watching my baby and realizing that while in my heart he will always be my baby he is indeed a young man, recently he gave his girl friend of over a year a promise ring and wants to bring her up to the Maine abode this summer. Big time stuff for this Mama.

It’s funny because on the one hand I have a grown child; I also have a young child with the girl who is only 5. I have spent my entire adult life parenting, I learned I was pregnant with elder boy only a few months after turning 18 and he was born a mere two weeks after my 19th birthday. I have said it before and it bears repeating; when my son was born there was no internet, for my knowledge and insight I relied on family and friends and books and a lot of hands on experience. I suppose had I not had the girl child I would never have learned just how much parenting has changed.

Parenting has happened for as long as humans have procreated but now we have a generation of parents that to be honest rely more on what the experts say and less on instinct. By all means I am glad that as knowledge has become more widespread that certain behaviors have changed. Children are in safety seats, folks aren’t smoking in front of their kids and corporal punishment is deeply frowned upon in most corners of society. These are all good things. Yet as an older Mama and I mean older in that I have raised one child to adulthood, I sometimes worry that young Mamas are getting hung up on things that in the long run are just not that important.

I fear that in the information age of parenting we are becoming overloaded on doing the “right” things we read about and less inclined to trust the instincts that exist within us…going so far in instances to cut off family members who don’t follow our party line when it comes to parenting kids. I am a believer in the village method of raising kids, I was raised with a village…some of my greatest memories are of the times spent with my Grandparents on weekends. I truly believe the time I spent with them as a child directly related to how much as an adult I loved spending time with my Grandmother. My Grandma died 6 weeks after my daughter was born; she died a few days after receiving pictures of her. I am convinced she stayed around long enough to lay eyes on her so that when she left this world and was reunited with my Mom she could tell my mother all about it.

I raised my son relying on my village as well, a village that was comprised of my parents, grandma, mother in law and others…my son is very close to his paternal grandmother who I still consider my mother in law despite the fact I divorced my ex well over a decade ago. I was a young Mama and these women (and men) guided me and yes at times we clashed but really the battle over the green army men that my father insisted upon giving my son did not scar him though I admit at the time I thought they would. Yet today’s young Mamas are less inclined to have a village made up of folks with different views instead relying on voices that mirror theirs. Frankly I think this is a mistake. To be honest if you are an old reader I have said this before but it was really talking to my son a few nights ago that made me think of this. My son was sharing that despite the rather unorthodox he was raised he wouldn’t change a thing. Which is funny because Mama Guilt often eats me alive thinking of all the things I did in raising him including letting him live with his Dad. Yet all those experiences made him the young man he is…including eating less than stellar food as a kid and having to spend Saturdays from age 3 up and hauling groceries with me and cleaning the house. Turns out in college he seems to have quite a few skills that many of his peers who were raised a bit differently don’t have. Namely survival skills since as the off-spring of a woman who was working class when he was born and later became middle class I carry a lot of working class ways into my parenting. Chiefly in that while his peers have unlimited access to funds he gets a small allowance monthly and must learn to live with it. He admits at times it’s a tad awkward when he can’t just run out and do XYZ but he is a superb user of thrift shops and bargain shopping.

In the two weeks I just spent with my son the vegetarian eating philosophy studying young man; it seems all the times I had to sit him in front of the TV so I could make dinner did less harm than I thought. Kids are not only resilient but it seems they are studying us when we don’t even realize it and they absorb our depth when we are focused on other seemingly important things. In my son’s case he saw beneath the surface things that now make me cringe (sorry son for feeding you those horrible kool-aid drinks) instead he understood I was working 2-3 jobs to create a better life not only for me but for him.

If I were to talk to a young mother today who is bombarded with so many messages about what she must do, I would say turn off some of those voices and follow your own heart when it comes to your child. The occasional Happy Meal is not going to create a monster; a week with too much TV is not going to create a zombie. Too many plastic toys won’t hurt your child…worse case they disappear one day in a fit of spring cleaning. Or as I am doing with my youngest we either give em away to someone who has nothing or we save em for a yard sale. The girl child is driving me crazy asking when we are going to have that yard sale so she can earn some money.

Family members who love your child are one of the most precious gifts you can give your child. My son fondly remembers times spent with both my mother and my grandmother, women who had wicked sweet tooth’s and loved to share the goodies. One of my biggest sadness’s is that my daughter won’t ever know those moments spent with loving family members but I am thankful my son had the time and can speak fondly of Grandma S and Granny R.

As I struggle with my new role in my son’s life I realize that parenting is a journey and like all journeys you must be willing to change plans based on road conditions.  While technology allows us to know more than our parents did and in some cases create our own communities we must not allow ourselves to lose our own instincts when it comes to our kids. Above all like all journeys we must be open to going with the flow and having fun!

It’s not all about us

24 Aug

Once upon a time in a world not that long ago, people who chose to have children understood that the end goal was to raise the kids to be productive members of society. It was understood that well, the babies don’t stay babies and that while it’s bittersweet to think of our precious babes as grown ups… fact is it happens. Then my generation (that would be Gen X’ers) started having babies and well, many of us were unhappy with our upbringing and we swore we would do better than our parents. Damn our parents for working, divorcing or whatever crimes against us they committed. We would become Super-Parents! All the things we never got, by Golly Miss Molly our precious babes would get…and before you get snippy please know I am guilty of this. My folks had very little in terms of financial resources and I have struggled with being overly generous and never saying no to either of my kids as far as things and possessing things. It took getting a child who I swear was born with a materialistic streak to realize this never saying no is not a great idea.

In modern day parenting being a super parent often means always being with our child and never allowing them to quite grow up. I remember at 18, I was definitely an adult, shit I was married and with child. Now I definitely don’t think most 18 year olds should follow that path and I am quite thankful that elder child now known as college boy did not choose my path, on the other hand I think 18 year olds are most certainly capable of being the young adults that developmentally and legally most of them are.

The problem is super parenting creates a screen where we never quite see our kids in the correct developmental stage and well you have issues like this. For those not interested in clicking, the piece talks about how more and more colleges have to create diversions and tricks to get parents off the college campus when parents come to take their offspring to college. Many of us are so used to guiding the process for our kids that we are having a hard time letting go despite the fact its healthy for both parent and kids to let go.

However the way I see it this problem now starts early, in our eagerness to enjoy our kid’s youth many of us no longer feel the need to start the slow dance of growing up at the early stages. Home schooling which I have no beef with has surged in this country, and while there are plenty of places in the US where the schools are shitty, homeschooling is most certainly a better alternative to sending your kids to the shitty local schools. (There are also kids and situations too numerous for me to delve into where again homeschooling is a great choice) But in some cases people choose the homeschooling path because they simply cannot bear to be away from their progeny the 6-7 hours a day that kids spend in school. Hey, if that works for you and yours who am I to complain? But just remember generally speaking a day will come when the birdies will want to stretch their wings beyond your nest and you need to be prepared for that.

On the flip-side we have folks who send their kids to school yet cannot abide by the rules in matters such as dropping kids off and not walking the kids to the classroom. This is a big hot button issue for many, the kidlet starts kindergarten in two weeks and I have already be warned by my Mama friends who have kids at her school that even for the little’s, the expectation is that we the parents will drop them off with their teacher and classroom outside and the class enters the building together. I admit last year when I heard this I was emotional and weepy about it, now at 5 though and knowing that my girl is ready, this policy makes sense.

Maybe its because I did a brief stint as a teacher of kids before I taught adults some years ago but let me tell you, if 15-20 sets of parents bum rushed the classroom in the morning with their kiddos, let’s be honest…chaos! It’s already hard enough for a teacher to get the kids acclimated and adjusted to the classroom without a Mama Bear hanging in the wings. I know when the kidlet was in preschool, whenever I attempted to take her and stay a few minutes afterward, it was always a bad idea. My presence did not calm her instead she looked to me and often figured since I was present that listening to the teacher and following the instructions was optional since obviously Mama’s presence overrode the teacher. After a few weeks of sensing the teacher mentally sending me the “Mama Bear be gone” vibes, I kept my presence to a minimum and kidlet not only loved preschool but thrived and made deep connections to her classmates and teachers.

I wonder if because I was so young when my firstborn entered school that  many of the issues that are stressing my parental peers out make no damn sense to me. (I was weepy when the boy started school but it also seemed amazing that we had hit a milestone) Hell, in many ways going to school is a milestone, yes its an emotional thing but to actually say well fuck we are not going to follow the rules, well that is wrong. See I moderate a parenting discussion board and many Mamas have stated that rules be damned but they will be walking their kids in the classroom and staying to make sure little Dakota & Tiger are okay in the classroom.

Alrighty now…but let me ask you as parents we model the behaviors that eventually our kids will come to see as acceptable and maybe I am confused but blatant disrespect for the rules in an institution you have agreed to be a part of seems wrong. Yeah, if a rule is unjust definitely fight it, but even in choosing to fight unjust rules there is a way to go about it and do it in a manner that is still respectful.

Our kids are watching us and yet when they grow up and seem too focused on self if what they have observed us doing is thwarting rules and focusing on our needs well how can we be mad? Guess what? It’s not all about us…we live in a world with many and need to be mindful of others.

What do we owe them?

22 Jul

I have been unusually quiet in this space even by my own standards, I wish I could say it was strictly because it’s hot as hell (global warming is real, we had tornadoes in Maine last night!!!) but truth is I am bogged down with family issues. This is one of those times when maybe I am about to share too much of myself in this space, but the truth is for me letting things out is often healthy. So here goes.

Right now as I type this, my remaining parental unit stands on the brink of homelessness. I am talking the odds are high that tonight he will sleep on a bench or in a shelter. I wish I could say it was because he is a super asshole but really he is not. No, he is just an aging hippy turned preacher turned widower yet a man who instead of planning chooses to live on faith. Long story short when the feds decided to play games with the extended unemployment benefits, my Pops got caught up in that mess. It’s been a month since he last received an unemployment check and living in a rooming house where rent is due weekly this is real bad. Regular laws governing eviction processes don’t apply to him and while I have been able to ensure he isn’t starving, there is no way I can pay my bills and his damn near $200 a week room rent.

My father is a prideful man, so rather than go to his family and by my last count he has at least 9 siblings still alive, he waited a couple of weeks before sharing this news with my brother and I, neither who are in a position to do much. Like I said we are keeping him from starving and I have extended an offer that he is welcome out in my neck of the woods and I can probably pony up the cash for a bus ticket to get him out here but really that is the best I can do.

Having worked with the homeless in Chicago I am quite familiar with every shelter or source of help for folks in Chicago yet he has not wanted to discuss those options, though he did call 311 the city’s homeless prevention helpline though without a guaranteed source of income he was pretty much shit out of luck.

My heart is heavy this morning, but at the same time feelings of anger are creeping up. See, to some degree we have been here before. When my Mom was at the late stages of her battle with cancer I helped my folks out, spending thousands on rent and her insurance. When my Mom passed, I helped out even more. None of that money was ever repaid back and really it wasn’t my money I spent it was money I owed to the IRS. This is one of the reasons I have that pesky tax problem.

See, my natural instinct is to help folks but the older I get, and as my own responsibilities mount its pretty clear that I can no longer dive in head first to help loved ones because in my mind I owe it to my kids and husband to make sure their needs are met. Yet I am struggling with the very idea of what do we owe our parents? Presuming they were decent folks who loved us and raised us, do we owe them anything? Two old friends of mine admit they have always admired the lengths I have gone to, to help family but also admit they would not sacrifice their own financial futures to do so. On the surface that pains me yet deep down I am starting to think it’s true. Part of me feels like due to past help, perhaps I have set a bad precedent in helping. I have family members who assume based on silly superficial shit that I must be well off financially…um, no. I still struggle with money like many I suppose but I also know that I try to stay one step ahead and plan for shit and deep down it bugs me that others don’t.

Anyway that’s what’s up with me. Is there anyone out there that is struggling with family in need especially parents? If so I would love to hear from you.

He’s almost grown

4 Jan

Most of my friends with kids have small children, I only have 3 friends with grown children and it seems I am getting ready to join their ranks.

The holidays were great as both the kids were here, however it was over the holiday that the reality that elder boy is almost an adult hit me and hit me rather hard I must say. When our kids are small, we are so wrapped up in them and at times it feels like we will never have our own lives since with small kids they pretty much call the shots.

Yet one day you wake up and realize they aren’t so small……our path has been a rather nontraditional path since elder boy has journeyed between his father and I since he was 6. Two morons who couldn’t agree on anything so he has juggled life in two places for as long as he can remember, by the time he was 8 he had his own frequent flier miles.

However despite this crazy life, half rural, half urban he has thrived…at times I am amazed at how well he has done since if I were listening to the professionals, they would have me to believe he should have issues. The only common thread between his father and I is that we both love this child more than life, but he is no longer a child, he is a young man.

This afternoon I watched him prepare his bags and get ready to make the trip back to the midwest, a seasoned traveler, a young man confident in his future and while I am so proud of him, there is a part of me struggling to accept that he is no longer a baby though he will always be my baby. Already he is planning his summer as he knows this summer will be the last one free of adult obligations since after he graduates next year he knows he has to prepare for his future which right now looks like it will include college.

Where does the time go? For so long, I was a young Mama struggling to raise a boy on my own and somewhere along the line, we all grew up as evidenced by the fact that a family friend commented on the increasing grey streaks in my dreads that are the only visible sign that I am no longer as young as I once was.. now I am a grown up with kids (plural) a house and grown up responsibilities. Yet its all part of the life path we take, we get old, and hopefully we get wise.

Anyway for those parents that read me, hug your babies if they are still small because before you know it, you might be looking up at a young man whose a foot taller than you. If your babies are grown as I am learning, you can still hug em and let em know you are a safe harbor while they find their place in this crazy world.

Sorry, you are fired

30 Dec

Thankfully those are not words that I have heard recently however after many months of dealing with a client from Hell, I wrote the letter last night telling this client that I was letting them go. I must admit sending that email felt really good, I felt liberated and greatly relieved.

See, early this year I took on a client with a faith based emphasis, initially I was excited to work with this client thinking I would be able to help them grow and stabilize. Problem was that the powers to be, wanted quick solutions to long term problems and at the end of the day, I am simply a human, not a miracle worker.

However when you are self employed, the idea of letting go of a client is something you rarely want to do, but the client decided over the holiday weekend to annoy me one too many times. Yeah, I know the deadline and I don’t ever miss deadlines but when I tell you I am resting and relaxing with my family, don’t fuck with me.  Especially when you were unable to pay the full amount for my services which resulted in a reduction of 50% in my fees during these rough economic times. Truth is the only reason this client wasn’t booted last month was that I needed to make the holidays happen for the kids, that said I had gone from mildly annoyed with this client’s hi-jinks to down right pissed off.

I won’t lie it will hurt a bit to lose that revenue stream but thankfully I do have my job, but more importantly I have my dignity. See, I am a former people pleaser who used to hate to say no to others but as I get older, my desire to please others is waning. Nah, I am not a cold-hearted bitch but at the same time, I am convinced if we don’t treat ourselves well and let others talke advantage of us, we set ourselves up for heartache.

So I get ready to end this year feeling content that my days of allowing folks to step on me either professionally or personally are far behind me and it feels good. So for a woman who doesn’t do New Years resolutions but rather looks to just make changes in her life, it feels great to finally overcome that obstacle of not always standing up for myself.

As for the client…who knows what will happen since I have not had a response, on the other hand their response is irrelevant to me. I got my last check yesterday for the year and turned in the last batch of work so its all good.

Something for nothing

12 Dec

It just hit me the other day that I am indeed getting old, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However I am getting old enough to notice a disturbing trend that’s starting to bug the shit out of me, it seems the younger folks are always wanting something for nothing. Gone are the days of hard work and proving oneself. Look, I know that companies have changed the rules and they no longer reward hard work with things like a lifetime job and a pension.

On the other hand though, I see young folks who think that just because they went to college they should walk into a high paying job despite having minimum experience. Look that piece of paper is valuable and it opens doors but when you are 24-25 and haven’t worked alot, to think you are going to be rewarded with a high salary and perks is just ridiculous.

This week at my gig, I have had to deal with a young lady who I think is trying but uses life circumstances as a way to excuse mediocrity…problem is I am not the one. See, I have been working since I was 14, got my first job by lying about my age, I was tired of being broke and a job was the only way to correct that problem.

Looking back even when I was a young single Mama after my first marriage crashed and burned, I worked, folks tried to suggest collecting welfare but back 16 years ago, the state of Illinois was only offering something like $270 a month, shit rent was more than that. There was a point when my son was little when I couldn’t find one decent job, so I had two, I did what I had to do to put the bread on the table.

No, I am not saying this to pat myself on the back, shit those were hard times indeed for us but I believed and saw in action that it seemed the universe rewarded those who worked hard. Even in the bible in the book of James, it says faith without works is dead, you can pray for change and having your needs/wants met, but what are you doing about it? For many folks, the answer is either nothing or not enough.

Yet I cannot help but think the growing laziness factor with young folks is helped along by the media, on the occasions I do watch tv it seems everyone wants riches and fame yet no one wants to work hard for it. Kids instead of hitting the books, want to come on tv shows and embarrass themselves for the one minute shot at fame, shoot, we only have to look at American Idol. Those audition shows are brutal, the few times I have seen them, its plenty of no talent having fools making asses of themselves. I shake my head and wonder…where is your Mama, friends? Someone to tell you sorry but you need a realistic plan not to make as ass of yourself for the world to review on a endless loop on You Tube.

No to truly accomplish something solid and lasting it takes hard work, when I first started in the non-profit sector many years ago, I had no degree and little experience in the field. However there was an agency that I really wanted to work at, the first job they offered me was the lowest position there and barely paid more than minimum wage. I took it and worked my ass off and in less than a year of working overnight shifts and doing everything that was asked of me, I was promoted to the lowest professional class position they offer me since I did not have a degree. The thing is had I come in with a shitty attitude, I may have ended up out the door and whereas that job opened doors for me, if my attitude had been wrong the doors just as easily could have been shut.

The thing is as the ole folks used to say easy come, easy go….you can get riches, fame or whatever quickly but many times when it comes without sacrifice, it goes just as easily as it comes. Look at folks who were driving SUV’s, living in fancy McMansions, many of them now are scrambling to survive. It used to be folks understood your first house wasn’t going to fill all your dreams, it was a starting point but now folks want their first house to be perfect, sorry kids it doesn’t work like that.

Well have a good weekend, its storming up here in Maine, so I am chilling this weekend in the house.

More on acceptance… no more comparisons

24 Sep

It wasn’t my intention to write another post similar to the last one but this morning while doing my daily prayer and meditation, I had a bit of an epiphany. I must stop comparing myself to others especially as it relates to parenting, its really starting to drive me crazy.

See, I spend a lot of time on-line. Back when I worked in an office or shelter (actually even at the homeless shelter I had an office), I could stop and take a break and chat at the water cooler or at someone else’s desk but seeing as how I work at home, that’s not really an option unless I want to wander upstairs and chat with the spousal unit who is hard at work in his office. No, what I do when I need to take a break is surf blogs and discussions boards, the past year or so I have become completely enamoured of crafty/Mom blogs. Oh, I love checking out blogs of crafty chicks who are either making gorgeous handicrafts or amazing meals every day from scratch. Don’t get me wrong, I do the cook from scratch thing except in many cases I keep my meals simple, I make a homemade soup but buy the bread from the store, you get the picture.

In some cases reading about the lives of others inspires me to try my hand at something different, like tonight I am making spaghetti from scratch but too many times I end up feeling inadequate especially when I end up talking to some of my local Mama buddies who don’t use childcare to work (yeah, the plans to take mini-me out of daycare went up in smoke, no way I can get my work done effectively so she is still in preschool/daycare 3 days a week) yet they seem to have the patience of a saint with their kids and still create beautiful meals from scratch when by Wednesday I am drained and ordering sushi for dinner.

No, sometimes comparing ourselves to others can create havoc and at this stage in life, I just don’t need it so I have decided to limit my blog surfing to Black or political issues, as a fairly uncrafty person why kill myself to be what I am not. Sort of how at the beginning of spring I had planned a large garden but when a good chunk of work fell in my lap, I had to give that up but truthfully digging in dirt is not my thing.

The good thing about getting old and with 36 only a few months away, I am getting older, its time to accept myself for who I am, and not some made up fairy tale version. Truth is I am not the most patient mama in the world and while I love reading to mini-me, after 15 minutes I get tired of playing in the floor with the little one and you know what, that’s ok. Elder boy at almost 17 seems happy and well adjusted and I rarely played in the floor with him and Lord knows my own folks didn’t get down and dirty with either me or my brother and we are ok.

So as we start a new season with the arrival of fall, maybe its a good time to survey your life and see what you can do to better love and accept about yourself. After all life is too short to strain to be what you are not..

A Season for Darkness

19 Sep

The past 6 years of my life have been a roller coaster ride of epic proportions. I moved away from my hometown, went to graduate school and got my masters, lost my beloved Mama and Granny and lastly had my daughter.. oh and have seen my income decrease by about 40%. Talk about being an overachiever, I feel I have hit many of the huge life issues in a fairly short period of time.

Any one or two of those things was enough to make a sista get a tad depressed but combined and I am being brutally honest but there are mornings I swear the only reason I wake up and don’t go mad is because of God’s grace. Now I rarely talk much about my personal faith here, but in a way I will today. I am a born-again Christian, that said, my faith has also been on a roller coaster ride. See before life got in the way, it was easy to praise God and trust that all would be good. Yet it was right after my Mom’s unexpected and untimely death that things got kind of heated between God & I. Now I will say I have made a lot of peace with the things that have happened but that childlike naive faith that initially had me thinking things would always be peaches and cream doesn’t quite exist. Instead I know that despite what happens I will be ok, its like that line from the Elton John song, I am still standing, in this case I am standing with God’s grace.

However despite standing there are days well, when I am a tad shaky and some might say even depressed. At one point I considered getting my MSW and becoming a clinician so I know a bit about depression from my case management days and while truthfully I do get depressed, reality is no I am not about to jump off any bridges or harm anyone else and though I have my moments, overall I enjoy life. Yet the reality that I have come to grasp as I recently shared with the spousal unit is that sometimes we just have dark seasons, but I am convinced they happen for a reason.

For me the dark season has lasted a while, yet in the midst of this ice storm known as my life there have been many good moments and I am at a place that while I sure as hell wish shit would change quick fast and in hurry. I have come to realize there is a reason and a season for everything, which is why I think rather than wishing change would happen quickly that maybe I should look for the beauty in the midst of this storm and see what changes happen in me that I can take from this time. I just started reading Thomas Moore’s Dark Nights of the Soul which from the first few chapters I have read so far really seem to speak to where I am.

I think its easy to get sucked in wanting and wishing we had what others have, but the fact is we have what we have and I don’t want to waste my life trying to get to the next level at such a rapid pace that I forget to enjoy the ride. KWIM?

Anyway its a gorgeous though nippy Friday here in Maine and since I am playing hooky from client work, I figure its time to head into the city and hit my favorite consignment shop. Have a good weekend, catch ya on Monday unless I am moved to write over the weekend.

We be Negros, now get away from me…

5 Sep

The past day or so has been personally challenging for me, I am going through my monthly leave me the fuck time of month, work has been crazy and we have family visiting from 2000 miles away. The sort of shit that makes a sista just want to scream.  So this morning, I called one of my good sista friends who lives not far away, and told her she needed to scoop a sista up for breakfast before I lost my mind this morning and snapped on everyone up in this beyotch which I would figured would be bad form when the in-laws are visiting. After a decade of officially being in the family, I suspect they still think I am bit out there but hey its all good.

So when my girl rolled up, I decided we should go eat at the local spot I eat at every Friday, they make a mean breakfast burrito sans meat plus I had my bottle of Thai hot sauce in my purse since I was ready for eggs and heat. (note: does anyone other than a Black woman carry hot sauce in her bag?) The particular place we were headed is a place I have been eating at for years, the folks that work there almost border on being friends, they are cool folks, of course being in Maine, they are white, but shit they cook right, so that is all that matters when my tummy is growling.

Anyway T & I pull up and walk into the spot, I ask the waitress if she can still hook me up with breakfast since I knew breakfast was ending, she was like “Black girl for you no problem” So me and T sit down and I am ready to order. Now in case you haven’t figured out T is Black like me, we rarely get together because our schedules never mesh but we have the type of relationship that if one of us needs something we are there for the other. All this to say, we rarely are in the same place at the same time.

Well apparently it was the day for fools to look us up and down, I admit I was oblivious since I was just sipping my coffee but T who actually lives in the same town as the Bush family was like “why all these folks looking like they crazy” so I look up and sure enough I see a big homey white woman walking towards a sista, talking about my hair…. I am too tired to get too detailed but next thing I knew she is asking me about my hair and how I do it, then her husband gets in on the action and next thing you know these strange ass white folks is touching a sista’s locs. Noooooooo. The waitress is looking mortified, she is a bit of a roughneck so she tries to intervene, mind you I am already having a bad day.

Now nobody got hurt and I did end up having my breakfast and blowing off steam but not before the adult child of the two nimrods apologized profusely on behalf of her parents. After the dust settled my girl says to me that knowing my temper, she was surprised at how calm I was, truth is so was I. I hate people touching me and I hate people touching my locs even more especially since they were partially covered. That said, I knew it was the time and place to just be chill because I was already so mad this morning that had I snapped at the bumbling white folks, well.. a sista might not be writing this at the moment since I would be at the county lock-up and that’s no joke.

Getting old is teaching me when to let some things go and this was one of those times, but damn, yes I am Black, I have dreadlocks and yes I live here in town and I do know the family that runs this joint, so get the hell away from me, you crazy ass mofo.

Winding down

31 Aug

No, I am not winding down this blog. I actually have come to enjoy blogging and the variety of folks I get to connect with via this blog, I find blogging to be rather cathartic at times.

No, today’s title comes from the fact that living in Maine, the Labor Day holiday marks the beginning of the end of summer, less tourists, summer establishments will start closing soon and life starts returning to some semblance of normal.

However this weekend also marks the end of elder child’s summer time with me, tomorrow morning he will get up and fly 1100 miles back to his Pops house and get ready to return to school. Joint custody has ruled my life for most of elder child’s existence, in the early years he was with me but he has been with his Pops for a while now. I am blessed that despite the unorthodox way he has been raised, bounding between two folks who truly do not get along that the boy has always thrived.

This summer also revealed to me that the my first baby while he will always be my baby at 16.5 is not much of a baby anymore, at 6’2 and now shaving, he is a young man. I admit that having another man in the house this summer at times was frustrating but overall this summer was a blast but also a reminder that realistically  there is probably only one more full summer left that he will spend with me, since I suspect the summer after high school may be spent preparing for college which at the moment seems to be the path he wishes to take with his life.

As parents we spend so much time dealing with the day to day minutia of parenting that it gets easy to forget that the end goal is to raise kids who will turn into fully functioning adults. I was reminded of this after talking with an old sista-friend yesterday who is trying to figure out how to get her almost 24 year old son out the nest. Her son is a good kid but is on the extended college plan and for his Mama who had him early like I had my son, she always thought by 24 he would be out in the world by now. Of course part of the unknowns with parenting is that we never know how are kids will turn out.

I won’t get cocky yet since I know anything can happen, but this summer as I watched my son navigate travel to visit friends and family in the area, I was struck by his confidence. One night we debated about the Iranian president who elder child calls a goon the US should be mindful of since if we get froggy, the Iranians will not go out like the Iraqi’s. I marveled that at 16, he thought about this stuff, then was reminded that I raised him to think about more than his own life and to also think outside of the box.

While I don’t see eye to eye with my ex-husband on most things, hence why he is an ex, there is a real sense that my son took the best we both have in our souls and ran with it.

So today marks a time where I start the slow walk to letting go of baby boy yet knowing as the years go by, mothering will take on new challenges, after all adults still need their parents too.

For my baby boy who I know peeps Momma’s blog from time to time, its been a good summer and we eagerly await your return in November. In the mean time I will enjoy the last bits if summer before we fade into fall.

In light of elder child leaving this week and another critical client deadline, my posts may be a tad sporadic for a few days until I adjust back into being a household of 3, though by mid week I should be back with regular posting since I do have some issues I want to talk about. So stay tuned.