Thursday, August 6, 2009

Who Is The Adult In This Situation?

My kids and I have many one liners that help them to understand what I expect of them. When they tell me about something some one else is doing I ask who are you responsible for? Or when they misbehave in church I say where are you? Those questions usually get instant results. The other is who is the adult in this situation? I ask this when they are trying to be too adult. I am in charge. My little one used to say mommy is the adult in this station. When I see things like the Professor Gates story I ask myself that question. Who indeed is the adult in this situation, or more to the point where was the adult in this situation. I have not shared my thoughts on the whole Gates affair because I figured there was enough people who did. But then I am ridding to work yesterday and I hear a story about an 18 year-old from Union, SC who is suing the police department over a strip search during a traffic stop. If you read the story it seems completely outrageous. Why would broken headlight or even drunk driving cause a strip search? I cannot see the reasoning in this but the part of this story that gets me is this:

Turner said she and her friend got out and the officer searched the car, even using a dog. Then, he called for backup from a Union County deputy.

Turner said the officers searched her car and then called for a female detention center officer to strip search her and her friend in the parking lot.

"First, she me made me put my hands up on the roof," Turner said. "Then she made me pull my shirt up and unfasten my bra. Then she made me, after that, she fastened my bra and pulled my shirt down. Then she made me pull my pants and my panties down, squat and cough."

OK WTF?!?! Who are these people who show up for this kind of craziness and then go along with it. If I were the female officer I hope I would have had the guts to tell them to call me when they arrest her and we can search her then. Or better yet tell him to go get his meds because this is some crazy shit. Why is there more than one officer and not ONE of them have the sense God gave them to quote Whitney and say HELL TO THE NAW! I am not doing that and neither are you. You have search the car and used dogs! You have found nothing we are going home now. Write them a ticket, let’s go! ALL every last one of them ALL of the officers involved in this stop need to reprimanded. That is the only way to curb this kind of craziness from happening. The officer is this case was reprimanded but only because the stop took too long. Apparently it took over an hour to let these kids go.

I know this kid is not Black but this is the same behavior that happened at Professor Gates’ house. All of those officers on that porch and not ONE of them had the courage to say take those cuffs off and let that man go back in his house. NOT ONE. After the whole crazy affair go down they all go on TV to say they support the guy. He goes on TV and acts like a 2nd grader saying I am NOT apologizing ain't gonna happen. Are you serious? Even if the arrest was legitimate he at least have to admit that the man was tired and maybe him the professional people server could have just let the guy go to bed. Who is going to really think that a guy robbing a house answers the door. This guy is 50s maybe 5'10 with a cane. OK you don't need to apologize but I bet the next person you stop is going to be very suspicious of your ass. Come to my door and I will be calling the cops to send someone else. If I were Chief ALL, EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM would be reprimanded. It is crazy to think that all of the people that have to be involved in a traffic stop or arrest and none of them step in and just say NO! Who are the adults here? Are we not supposed to be dealing with professionals? This is the thing that bothers me more than the rouge cop. It is the good cop that stands by at one of the bogus stops and do nothing. It is not just Crowley that owes Gates an apology it is every officer on that porch.

I have my own story many actually just as most of the people I know. My brother came to see me when I lived in Baltimore. He drove up at night after work got in about 1am sat at a gas station and called me to come get him because he feared getting lost in the dark at that time of night. He even joked about getting caught in the wrong place and me having to spend the weekend trying to find him. I get to the station and just make a U-turn so he can follow. As soon as he turns on his lights and get behind me the blue lights go on. I think they are after me for the U-turn so I pull over. They are stopping him. The cop gives us some story about a woman reporting her boyfriend violating a restraining order and breaking in to her home. I ask the back up officer, who is pointing hi gun at me because I am trying to explain that I cannot leave because my brother has no idea where he is and I need to get him to my home, would the woman not have said first and foremost that the guy has SC plates? After he figures he is not going to get me to leave he finally looks at me and says I am just backup. Well just backup is pointing a gun at a pregnant woman and her 2 sleeping kids. Needles to say I called any and everyone I knew after that incident. I did get an apology but I wonder what my son would think of the police had he been awake for that? How then am I supposed to trust the police if he arrests my kid? I will not. My past experience has told me not to. Mr. Policeman the next time you wonder why the public thinks of you as public enemy no 1 look in the mirror.

Not to say that I have not had good interaction with officers. I have. I got stopped in VA on my way home the night my Dad passed and that officer was going to give me a ticket but instead sat with me on the side of the road until I stopped crying and called me every hour until I made it home safely. I also had an officer let my friend come to my house to drop off her car and kids so he would not have to arrest her for a minor incident in front of her kids. He even called me when he processed her so I could be ready to get her when she could go home. When I thanked him, he told me we all make mistakes and he did not want to tarnish a single mom in her kids’ eyes. I know both these officers violated all kinds of rules to do these acts of kindness but I am glad that they were the adult professionals we would like to think exist in our police departments.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Adults Behaving Badly

Is it Ok to excuse an adult for behavior you would punish your kids for? This is a question I am pondering because I encountered a very very rude adult at church. While I was complaining about the behavior, two of her friends came to her defense. I was told that she is one of the nicest, kind hearted people I would ever come in contact with. They said she would do anything she can for you. She just has a “personality” and you just have to get used to her. My issue is she is old enough to know better. And, I remember a nice kind old lady in my church growing up just like her, Sister W. That woman was one of the reasons I had to be dragged into any kind of leadership role in successive churches. I always felt I would encounter a Sister W. I knew a Sister W was not going to bring out the best in me. I also felt that Sister W stole a lot of my worship from me. As an adult I get that I gave up my worship and Sister W was indeed a very nice person who would be mortified to know that I disliked her enough to hold back in church. But still, maybe things would have been different if her friends had said to her that she was rude and needed to check her behavior instead of telling me and others that she meant no harm or that’s just the way she is.

I read a piece by Blogher’s Mata H. on your ideal place of worship and this incident instantly came to mind. This makes me wonder if this is really my ideal place of worship. I want a place where I and my children can grow spiritually, be nurtured, loved and feel safe. I am not into having to walk on eggshells to account for someone’s personality. That did not work out well for me in my marriage, hence the EX husband. I am almost never rude I go out of my way to make people feel special and welcome. So why then do I get treated with such disrespect and then told ‘it just the way she is’.

Back to my original point why is it that we expect more from kids than adults? If either of these defenders of this lady had been told that their kids behaved this way they would have apologized to me and made their kids apologize. A friend of mine told me that she once took her son to a church service when he was 4 or 5 and he behaved very badly. She said she got him in the foyer of the church and said “you know better than to act this way. We do not behave like this in church.” He responded to her by saying “mommy this not a real church, because that man up there was drunk at pa pa’s house yesterday”. She said she was stunned and so were the people in the foyer. She said so we just left. Our children are watching us. Be it the child like me who just sat in church for years because I felt like all churches had a Sister W or this little boy who felt he was not in a real church because he saw the minister drunk the day before. Why defend the adult who should know better than to behave this way and esp in church. When is it appropriate to say to a friend that was rude you owe her/him an apology? If you are truly a friend why not have that conversation? How do you handle an adult’s bad behavior? Remember your kids or someone else’s may be watching.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I am one of those people who can be alone in a roomful of people. I do not know that I was ever really the social type. This will be news to people who know me and think I am a social butterfly. I am just a southern girl who learned to be friendly very early in life. For as long as I can remember I loved having people around but I always needed a moment to myself in the midst of it. As a kid I would go to my room and just sit for a few minutes or find myself a quiet place or sit in a corner. Now I just retreat into myself. In a room full of people I can shut down totally and completely and give myself a time out. I have always, it seems been alone. And fine with it. But up until now I have never been lonely.

Two years ago I packed up my kids and gave up over a decade of living in Baltimore. A city I loved dearly. The thing was it did not love me back. I had some of my greatest moments in life living in that city. All of my children were born while I was a resident there, I got married and divorced while living there. I found some of my best sister and brother friends while living there. But, truth is, Baltimore did not have room for a single mom who collected child support on a spotty basis to live a full and prosperous life. At least not what I would call full a prosperous. I wanted a life without waking up sitting on my deck and watching drug deals go down, having to put my kids in private school because the public one were beyond shitty and then there are the politicians. I would be remiss if I did not mention the near perfect record of over 300 murders per year. Somewhere in the 200s is a good year. Yet I paid $950 bucks a month to watch drug deals go down and tell crackheads to stay away from my porch while hoping the rats stayed in the alley. Yeah, full and prosperous.

Back to being lonely. Even though Baltimore did not offer me an abundance of love I had friends. Dear, wonderful, in tune with me, lovely, accepting, diverse friends. I went on ski trips, and had wine parties did girls night ins and could disappear for days into myself with no problems I also had friends from church and mom friends so all of my bases were covered. Although I have a great delegation of friends here, it is not the same. I do not have a guy that I can call up and say take me out. Or a girlfriend I can go to a bar with or tell sex stories or fantasies to. So I am lonely. For the first time in my life I am missing not having a man. I have been single off and one for 10 years but I was never lonely. This is such a new and unnerving feeling. Our quality of life is soo much better. No more drug deals, the schools are great, we have a great space that does not kill my budget, the politicians…… well everything cannot be great! But being lonely does something to you. I am starting to wonder if the rats and the schools were really that bad. I know they were. I am starting to feel like the abused lover who only remembers the good times with the ex. I know that, like a man, Baltimore is my ex for very very good reasons. But still. I miss it.

Lonely permeates you to the core. It keeps you up at night while making you want to sleep all day. Lonely can make you defensive and scared. I am at once wanting a relationship and leery of starting a new one least I choose badly out of desperation. Lonely is not a good place to be. I am fighting to get out of this place because it eats at your soul.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Salad a Day

OK last year this time I was dieting. I was eating very well and exercising but was losing weight slowly. I told myself that it was best all the while I really really wanted to get this weight off! Then in August I went on vacation. Although I continued to eat well and exercised I never really got back to the diet. Then, in October my knee started to hurt and the exercise started to lapse then Christmas, my birthday, valentines day, any day everyday happened and I never ever got back into my routine. I told myself every week that next week would be it but here I am a whole year later only 5 pounds lighter than I was this time last year. So this time I am starting TODAY on a Wednesday not next Monday. My first feat is a salad each and everyday. Not the lettuce, tomato and cucumber salad restaurants call a “garden” salad. I mean a health boosting, great tasting, not your everyday salad kind of salad. So here is today’s installment:

Spring mix
Boiled egg
Mandarin oranges
Red pepper slices
Green pepper slices
Red onion
Cherry tomatoes
Blue cheese
Half roasted bone in chicken breast warmed
No dressing.

I would love to hear your thoughts for a great salad. Or how you decided today is the day!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Party of the Century (at least at 6!)

My daughter is now offically a 6-year-old. My how time flies. My baby was born a month almost to the day of my mom's passing. I thought I would be sad on each of her birthdays. But instead I am amazed at her growth and really at her period. I tell people all the time that she has indeed done this whole life thing before. Old soul only scratches the surface on this little chick. My heart just swells looking at her, not becuse she reminds me of how long it has been since my mom has been gone but becuse she is an amazing kid. I cannot wait for what the future will bring us.
Back to the party. She had a princess pampering party. We go this idea from Realhousewivesofatlanta (yes I watched a few episodes) OK now that I have admitted my bad taste in TV. Back to the party. We had a princess pampering party (sleepover). My friend came and did nails my neice and another young friend did toes. We had a catwalk and some very loud singing (who knew a wheelchair ramp could be so glam!) Every great spa offers water and we had our own signature water with birthday girl's name and date of the party. We also had miniatures wraped to spell her name thanks to Deisgn. Rinse. Repeat. We got a lot of great ideas and templates from Vintage glam blog in her freebies section. These were mainly ideas for weddings but we took them down a notch and applied some cute touches for the party. In all we had a great time. It turned into a really really cute affair with all of her friends and a few of mine in aatendace for less than the mice in the pizza store 2 hour party. My baby is 6!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pictures.... 1001 words

I have come to realize just how special my childhood was. Not just that I spent my childhood between SC in the winter and NY in the summer. I was a village reared kid. I grew up where we never went to a sitter we went to auntie’s or grandma’s house. I was the first and only grandchild and niece in my family for many years. Spoiled was not the word, my grandma used to call it ruient (ruined, I think). I had it good and I highly recommend it if you have the chance. But I was surrounded by good decent men. Not just men but Black men. From my father to my uncles to my older cousins they were loving responsible men. I never had to look far for a man that I knew loved me for no other reason than that I existed.

I keep coming across all of these beautiful photos of President Obama with his girls and of he and Michelle. That look he has when he talks about her or is seen in the pictures where he is looking at her or the girls. I realized that these are not media image we see often of our men. He looks at Michelle the same way my dad used to look at my mom. I remember those looks of pride during some of her sermons or his smiling when she was dressed up. My dad used to joke about how the men would be lining up the minute he closed his eyes becouse his girl was beautiful! But sadly not many of our kids get the chance to live in the world I did nor see great images of men that look like them or their daddy. I used to believe that the absent Black man was a myth. I have seen and experienced first hand that he is not. It is a sad thing.

I know that Blacks in general have placed a lot of our hopes and dreams on President Obama’s shoulders. In some ways this is very unfair to him but this is the reality of any public figure. The good news is he knows and seems to accept this. In an interview he had this to say: “I grew up without a father in the home, and I know how hard it is for a lot of young men and boys who maybe don’t have a father,” Obama said. “To the extent that I can serve as a role model for them, where parents can say here’s somebody who stayed in school and dreamed big dreams and has accomplished something, I’m happy to be used in that way.”

For me though I think one of the most important contributions the Obamas have made could just be in the pictures. The pictures of him with is family are to me the perfect counterbalance to the negative images we see of Black men and families everyday. I know that there are critics out there who are in Obama overload but these images are long coming. In looking on the web I see these images of only Will and Jada Smith. There are many Black celebrities with healthy marriages and happy well adjusted children but those images are not often captured for our children to model. Samuel L Jackson has been married to his wife for over 20 years but a few years ago when he spent time with is daughter on vacation she was reported to be a mystery woman. Because the images of him as loving father are not there. Michael Jordan is another that comes to mind, he has 2 sons and was married for many years, there are thousands of images of him but I could only find one of him with his kids and wife. Denzel Washington is a father and a man who has a long lasting marriage. There have been reports of him in the stands for his son’s college games but none of him watching little league games or just hanging with his kids. Maybe these men have opted for their family’s privacy. But maybe nobody thought these images were important.

For people of all races these are important images. Not only do Black children need to see positive images of other Blacks so do children and adults of other races. Imagine seeing the Vogue Cover of Lebron James, any cover of Fifty cents, watching cops and then going to kindergarten to find a Mr. teacher. Maybe just a little scary? Maybe if there weren't so many negative images of us the incident in Philly would not have had to happen and 65 kids would not have that hurtful experience forever sealed in their memories. Just. Maybe.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How To Be a Hero For Less Than $20

You know there are many many charts out there that tell us that raising kids is expensive business. As a single mom I can tell you that is is very hard work as well. But, there are those days when the rewards are soo great that the costs and time seems frivolous compared to the reward. Friday night was one of those nights. You see for less than 20 bucks I was the hero of the day. We had outdoor movie night. So as with all good parenting stuff I feel the need to share with you how you too can be a hero.

1. Three movies from the Redbox.
We got Marley and ME, Open Season 2 and Tinkerbell.

2. Hot dogs, popcorn, soda, 2 bags of chips, dip and cheetos
This is not the most nutritious meal but it is the movies!

3. Put the TV on the porch, line up the furniture like in the movies

We grilled the dogs on the George forman. Then in order to set up we put the TV on the porch along with the pop up table. Set up a bar with the soda, condiments and chips. We put the dip in individual cups (prevents double dipping) gave evryone a cafeteria tray (love yard sales) and off to the movies we went!! It is best to start your show at dusk.

I had a very bad week last week. But listening to the laughter and excitement of my kids and their friends melted all of that away. The best part was snuggling up with my girl and talking to her as watched Tinkerbell together as no one else wanted to watch it. It was just us girls laughing and enjoying Tink. I got all this joy for about $18. It was the best money I spent in a long long time.

Friday, May 15, 2009


You and I have had a long long history. When I was just 15 I watched you take my great uncle. I went to his house everyday to find him in horrible pain, while my aunt sat in a corner and tried to figure out how she was going to go on. She did but he died a horribly painful death. You really did not have to go that far. Years later you came for my mom not once or twice but 3 effing times. I know she was a tough one but you made sure to break her down first. Even attempting to take her mind. Then my auntee Bert another one that fought you tooth and nail. You came for my sister we sent you packing and trust if you show up for her again you will get another all out assualt. My church memebers, my coworkers and my friends. Now Wayman Tisdale. He was one of the guys that really got me into basketball. I followed him in his Jazz Career. He was 44 freakin years old. I know it means nothing to you since you go after kids too. Its been 25 damn years can you Please Please LEAVE ME THE F**K ALONE!!!!!

Friday, May 8, 2009


One monkey don’t stop this show.

This was what my mom said when someone she was counting on did not do as they said. I remember being all set to go to the park after church one Sunday and the other family we were to go with backed out. The problem was they had the grill we were to use to cook out at the park. My mom said oh well. We went home put all the food on our backyard pit to cook loaded in the truck and spent the afternoon at the park just like we planned.

But the time this struck me the most was one 4th of July when she was to drive from SC to NY for our annual family cookout. My mom was the backbone of our family. She was counted one to do the planning and most of the cooking for these things. She was counting on my cousin to do the driving as my mom was to have Chemo that morning and my sister was a double amputee who was still getting her bearings in dealing with her handicap. She goes to pick up my cousin and he says I just can’t leave right now. My mom with her handicapped daughter 12 year-old son and 3 grandkids got in a Tahoe with a trailer hitch and began to drive. When she got tired she passed the wheel to my sister. Yes the one with ONE arm. When they got to Maryland to pick up my son I asked where my cousin was she looked at me and said home I guess. I was a little reluctant to let my child join this ride along even if for only the last 4 hours. I whispered to my sister “What the hell were yall thinking” She said mom got in the truck and said “one monkey don’t stop this show. You ready to drive?” What was I going to say no? I said OK and here we are. I looked at my mom and knew that her picture had to be in the dictionary by the word strength.

From this I have learned to do the things I want to do by my self even if nobody else wants to. I have gone to concerts, movies, restaurants and even on trips solo and loved it. I have moved myself across 3 states with just my kids and have enjoyed my life to the fullest. If you want to come you are welcome but remember “one monkey will not stop this show!”

Remember who you are and whose you are.

This is what my mom always said to us when we left home for a date or to go somewhere without them. In college I would get these little cards from her with this at the end. This little tidbit has kept me out of trouble and gotten my into some trouble as well. Knowing who you are is a powerful thing. Knowing who I am has given me the courage not to compromise my values and knowing whose I am has always let me know that I am loved totally and completely. For all of the important decisions in my life I try to keep in mind who I am and whose I am. When I do that I am rarely disappointed with the decision I made.

You are responsible for you.

This is one of those momisms that sticks in your side. It sometimes feels like this pain and other times it is liberating. It is a pain when people treat me badly and I want to strike back. That is when I hear “you are not responsible for how they treat you but you are responsible for how you treat them”. So, more often that not, I take a deep breath and try to be as polite as I can. On the other hand, I have reminded ex lovers and friends that I am not responsible for your happiness, you are. I will not take responsibility for anyone else’s life as I have a hard enough time handling the one that I am responsible for.

If you want to feel better do something for somebody else.

We would get so upset with my mom because even during chemo she would go sit in the hospital with people. She would always remind us that taking your eyes off self helps to keep you grounded.

This one has helped me get through my parents’ birthdays and all the holidays I have had to endure since they passed. When I feel the sorrow and pity coming on I go out and do something nice for someone and it gives me such a lift. A few mother’s days ago I gave a brunch at my house for ladies from the nursing home. We had a blast! We talked about everything from politics to sex. The brunch turned into an all day affair with great ladies who had not had anyone who wanted to listen to them in years. I got some great advice and funny stories for years to come.

Just keep on living.

This one actually came from my grandma. Every time we would say I would never …….she would say to us just keep on living. Now I get it. All those things don’t seem so crazy anymore nor do some of the things I thought made her crazy. Mix up the kids names, give a friend my last dollar, stay up all night cooking for a holiday, cry when I am hurt by a friend, stay in a bad marriage, let my kid…. Every time I cross over to one of those I would nevers I smile. Just keep on living.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What goes around comes around

1975 or so…

Me: I want to make clothes like you do when I grow up.

Mom: I want you to make better and prettier clothes than I do.

Me: You make pretty clothes.

Mom: But I want you to be better than me so you have to make prettier clothes.

Me: Why?

Mom: Because that’s what every mom wants for their kids to be better than them. Now stand up straight before you get stuck with a pin.

I had this conversation with my mom over and over again as I was growing up. The above instance was the first I remember. I was in 1st grade getting dressed for the homecoming parade in a dress my mom made the night before. I felt like a princess in this yellow dress with matching hair ribbons and socks she added lace to. What I did not know at the time was that my mom made the dress the night before because she got paid the day before and that was when she could afford to buy the material. Just thinking about that sacrifice brings tears to my eyes. You see I, like many of you had a superhero mom. Instead of the cape she wore this A line blue polyester skirt with matching light blue shirt during the week and the fiercest high heels with matching hats and suits on Sundays. This woman ran a household that included a husband, 6 to 8 kids and occasionally her mom, as well as, a business, was on the school board, worked 8 to 10 hours a day as a bus driver and was minister all at the same freaking time and she wants me to be better than her? Is she for real?

But now I get it. I have these amazing kids for whom I want every good thing life has to offer. Which is what lead to this:


Boy: I want to be a good cooker like you mommy.

Me: You mean cook. I want you to cook better than mommy.

Boy: You cook really good you make the best food! I want to cook just like you.

Me: I want you to make better food than mommy.

Boy: Why?

Me: Because mommies want their kids to be better than them.

Boy: I don’t know if I can but I think I will make more hotdogs for my kids and they will like that better.

Me: OK

I don’t know that I have done better than my mother in any area. I am sure my siblings would balk at the suggestion that anyone can be better than mom. But I do know that I have tried to be at least as good. I think my kids will be just fine with that.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Please Go Away

Michel Steele is causing me all kinds of conflicts. As a Democrat I love this guy he is priceless. Everytime he says or does something stupid it lets me know the other guy is suffering. But the Balck girl in me is kinda sorta rooting for him. Its like watching your kid play a little legue game against a friend's kid You really want your kid to win but would it really be so bad to root for your friend's kid too. At least let him get the ball. But There is just too much stupidity flowing.

Point A

Point B

Point C

Ok there are too many instances to put here but you get the picture. The Black girl in me cringes everytime I see his name in a headline or sees that he is going to be on TV. I am sitting there begging him not to say something stupid. Just please, please have a coherent thoughtout conversation and move on. But more times than not I am left thinking will he just please go away. Watching him is like watching the news when the Black chick in the curlers and pajamas at 3pm with the baby on her hip, who is more often than not dirty, and wondering was she the only witness they could have found. I admit I am one of those Black people. I often am going "please don't let him be Black" when I hear of some crime. Oh and I have enough friends of other races to know that you all think the same way when it comes to soemthing that is sterotypical of your race. So don't judge. But, back to Steele I beg of you Micheal stop making a fool out of yourself. I should be used to it by now I remeber you being all upset because The Sun paper said that you were chosen to be Lt Governer becuse you were Black and you were all outraged. Then you put up these lifelike signs of you on Moravia Rd and in other mostly Black neighborhoods saying something to the effect of make history and vote for your first AA Lt Gov. You forgot to mention we would get old Bob with that package too. You can't be outraged when someone brings up race then use it for your benefit. It would be like me complaining becuse someone pointed out I was a woman and then plastering pictures of myself in a bikini all over the place. So Mike I say to you in the words of my dear Grandma stop actin' like you don't have the sense God gave you! The Democrat in me loves loves it but the Balck girl in me can't take much more of this. Give her a break please?

Whose Life is This?

I feel like a visitor in my life sometimes. There are days when I hear this happy person speaking and I am amazed to realize it is me. I don’t know who that person is some days. Because me, I am sad upset and wondering where my life went wrong. But this person who looks like me wakes her kids with love and gives hugs and encouragement to get out of the house. She is put together no makeup that is the one thing we have in common but she looks good. She has a great smile and shares it with everyone even the people in the cars passing her on the road. She has on music and is singing laughing and talking to her kids. She has that same smile for the crossing guards, teachers, parents and other kids when it is time for school drop-off. As she drives out of the loop I get to come back. It is my car, those were my kids she dropped off and she is wearing my clothes but the sadness that inhibits my heart has no place in hers. She takes the life she has and does with it the best she can. Me? Not so much. I like that I have a convertible but it would be better if it was a Saab actually it should be a Saab. If I could get my child support, and didn’t work in such a male controlled field, I would have that Saab. But she looks at child support as their responsibility. She says she is responsible for how SHE treats her children not how anyone else does. Me, I see all the things they are missing. Having to do only one activity at a time only being able to go to a week of specialty camp. I want them to pay and pay now! Our lives would be better, we deserve better!

Then there are those times when she embraces me. We spend a day watching TV, not getting dressed and eating to fill my sadness. All of a sudden she hears her/my mother say I am too blessed to be stressed, or one of the hundreds of little inspirational tidbits she has collected over the years and she moves on. She gets up puts on the best clothes in the closet and heads out. Leaving me to my worries, and hurts all by myself. I am not sure when we spilt but we have not spent everyday hanging out for some time now. We spent a week or so together after Dad died, and about a month after Mom but she refuses to spend a lot of time with me now. The most I get is a few minutes here or an hour or so there and then she drops me. I wish I could be like her. But all that smiling, hugging and doing for others is too much for me. I got my own problems. One of them is trying to figure out whose life this is. I no longer remember who got here first. Am I the visitor or is she.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This Little Girl

I have these kids who are just the light of my life. But, and there is always a but. I like it that they are growing up. I never cried at the first day of school, or got sad when they could dress themselves. None of their milestones ever bothered me. I celebrated each and every one as them being a step closer to the door.

That is until now. This little girl is different. I love her no more no less than her brothers but there is something soo sweet and loving about her, that I cannot handle the little things that indicate her growth. She was the independent sort from birth. She was here 1.7 hours after my first labor pain. She did not give me time to get the nice man to put that wonderful needle in my spine. (I was soo looking forward to it) I forgave her for it the minute she came out looking as long as a 3 month old with these little chicken legs and fingers longer than any baby should have. She knew I was tired so she cooed for a minute got herself some grub and went straight to sleep. She was my company in the height of the grief of losing my mother. I look at her now and I am so unprepared for the mix of emotions she brings. Every one of her birthdays is another year that I have spent without my mom. But she brings more joy that I could ever have hoped for. It makes my heart sad but my spirit joyous to listen to her tell me the story of her days in kindergarten. I am soo happy that she dresses herself yet utterly unprepared for the heaviness of my heart when she appears out of her room completely dressed shoes on the right feet and looking stunning. I wonder sometimes if this beautiful little girl is really the result of me the completely gawky, nerdy little kid with the off color hair. She is bubbly and giggly where I was sad and withdrawn. Yet here she is with my mom’s personality and her dad’s height and smile. I do not think I am ready for the big girl that is in my little girl. I want to always hear that wonderful giggle. But I know that all too soon she will be a teenager shutting me out and not wanting to snuggle with me. I am just not sure I can handle it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Where Are You On The List

I was reading an article about Oprah’s interview with Michelle Obama and there was a line that just got me. When Oprah asked her about getting up at 4:30am (YES, AM!!!!) to workout she said “Well, I just started thinking, if I had to get up to go to work, I'd get up and go to work. If I had to get up to take care of my kids, I'd get up to do that. But when it comes to yourself, then it's suddenly, "Oh, I can't get up at 4:30." So I had to change that.” The last part of that has kept me up at night thinking about it. Why is it that when it comes to us we are always on the back burner? Everywhere I looked I saw evidence of that. At home my room looks barren and my covers are hand me down sorta matching things that I hate. My kids’ rooms are completely decorated with NEW matching covers, curtains and beautiful accessories. My closet is full of thrift store finds while my kids have a good mix of new and thrift. My dentist appointment got canceled because it was at the same time of the Kindergarten circus. My personal workspace is a mess while I spend a lot of time making sure our shared spaces are neat. I am always last on my list, that is, when I make it to the list. I see that not just in me but many other women, actually just about every woman I know. My sister who is a double amputee is looking for a second, yes, second job to pay for my niece’s sweet sixteen. My one friend always jokes about looking like her kids’ nanny because they are all clean and very well dressed while she may or may not have cheetos or oatmeal stuck to some part of her outfit which consists of the same 3 pairs of sweats and tees. My co-workers all come to work sick because we need to save our time off for when the kids or husband or whomever else besides us are sick. My other friend drives a 6 year old Camry while her daughter drives a 3 year old BMW. Every where we look there is someone telling us that we need to take care of ourselves but it seems to fall on deaf ears, or maybe we are too busy listening to the next thing we need to fix.

I must admit that I have my vices. I may scrounge on the dollar rack for my clothes but my undies cost insane amounts that cause me to cringe when I think of where that money could go. I spent my childhood in white utilitarian undies because my mom loved, loved Clorox. It was after all the ONLY thing that got undies clean and sanitary enough to wear again (yes, she had germ issues). I always have wine in my house. I love wine, I cook with wine and occasionally I put some in the food. I have a wine cooler on my counter that I got BEFORE the new refrigerator in my new place (well I found it on Craig’s list first). These things are mine! I will not give them up. But my Dr. appointment, hair appointment, my room that I have grand plans for are always last on the list. Sick? Who has time for illness or the rest needed to get over it I certainly don’t. Where are you on your list? What do you do to take care of you? Will you take Mrs. Obama’s advice and change how you prioritize yourself?