The game on Thursday night was absolutely fabulous. He scored 20 of the 22 points, he ran, he blocked, he picked, he tackled, he led, he threw, he missed, he got upset, he got happy, he got angry and he amazed. He is good. My husband and I and a good friend whose son is on the team and a handful of other team parents attended each and every game that our health and our job allowed. We woo woo’ed, we yelled, we stomped, we cheered, we laughed, we criticized the referees, we criticized the coaches, we sat in stunned silence when one of the boys were hurt and we collectively took a knee, we cried, we got mad, we jumped up and we high fived; each game was a triumph of the spirit of what family really looks like. Whether the boys won or loss – we showed up.
About 3 games ago grades came out. What that means in the high school career of sports is that if your child has less than 2.0 and any F’s they are not allowed to participate in any sport. My son’s team who had about 30 players was whittled down to 14!! Can you say OMG!! Now keep in mind that in order to make sure that the boys grades are monitored, every week or so they have to have their teachers sign off on what their grades are, this information is given to the parents, every week there is study hall for the team, the school sends out progress reports, there is a website accessible for the parents to take a peek at what their children’s grades are and what assignments they have missed, there are parent teacher conferences and quite frankly there is no excuse.
The boys are 14 and 15 year olds. All of my sons friends have the same laid back and non urgent manner. If you ask them how they are doing their response is ‘good’, if you ask them how they are feeling they say ‘good’ and if you ask them how was school they say ‘good’. So, as parent our task is go get through the ‘good’ and get to the truth. That requires not only asking but peeking into the website and into their rooms and see what they are or are not doing every day; not just once in a while. There is no reason for any child to get an F and the parents to be caught unawares. But at this high school this is what happened. So a team of 30+ was reduced to 14. These 14 played the last 3 games with all of their heart, they lost the game but won the respect of not only the parents and the coaches but they won the respect of each other. They proved to themselves that are baaaaaaaaaad not only on the field but in the classroom!! And that bad is good!!
Ever since I have had children I have visual evidence that when the parent is involved in the child’s passions, the child does better in that sport and in school and of course in their life.
I have been watching what has been going on for several years and it appears as if politicians and athletes are in need of an intervention. Sex scandals, lying and cheating on their partners are the themes that appear to be what these so-called elite of our society continually engage in and get caught doing. It is a trait that plagues those in power and has done so since Jesus’ time. Remember the Pharisees who believed that their way was the not only the right way it was the only way that a person could even get close to the pearly gates. David not only had sex with another women, but he had that woman’s husband killed.
Eliot Spitzer, David Vitter, Mark Sanford,Anthony Weiner, Christopher Lee, Herman Cain, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Edwards, Bill Clinton, General Petreus, Jim McGreevey, Mark Sanford, Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods. This is just a small list of those people who we know because of their extreme celebrity. There are many more who are just not as well known and therefore their mis-deeds are not publicized.
All of these men abused the power that they were blessed with. Each had the ability to make it to their positions in life through hard work, long hours of doing the thing they loved without pay, hours in the gym or on the field practicing, years obtaining the degrees necessary to move from one job to a career and yet what allowed them to throw it all away was “that thing between their legs” that my play grandmother says all the time. She is in her 80′s and has seen life through the eyes of her generation; without masking and without pretense. She said it and I agree. What happens with this increased testosterone is that these men forget that they are mere mortals and believe that they are above and beyond the average man. They believe that they can have and do and get whatever they want and the unfortunate reality is that there are young women/men that allow themselves to be used for the pleasure of the powerful. Power used in the wrong hands causes destruction. The politician and the athlete destroy those close to them emotionally and financially. The media attacks and finds reasons to justify the behavior and if the person who has done the unthinkable lays low for several years, he is able to come back and vindicate himself in the eyes of many.
What he fails to realize is that his indiscretion; his own I ‘Am-ness’ takes over and wives, children and family are left to fend for themselves. Growing up labeled the child of a man who would so publicly dismiss them and their moth, has got be a hard thing. The intervention that those in power need, can come from the outside with the family or with a therapist or it can come from the inside. Inside work always is best and yet it is the hardest. We often times have to go inside first, then move to a therapist and then come back inside. This second reflection of going inside is the one that if consistently practiced will work. Bill Clinton comes to mind. What happens next, to be truly repentant requires an all out sprint to convince your kids that you will never do anything like that again. And once said, you need mean it.
We celebrated our 1 month anniversary on November 5. If there is ever a time to say it, it is right now, so here you go. Time flies when you are having fun and I would add it flies even when you are not, when you are busy, when you sleep, when you walk and well just as you live. Time flies when you live. Each day gets us closer and closer to the end of the beginning of our lives. For me that reality, the fact that time flies so fast helps me to stay in the moment. It helps me to understand that in becoming wife I have added an entire history to my current reality. It is teaching me to value the fact that family is all encompassing and it requires pacing. Pacing yourself and pacing the interaction so that it won’t burn them or you out.
Celebrating a month and counting is a good thing. We are in the final stages of moving houses and that process has allowed the things that bother a person to come out and up in the forefront of whatever happens to be going on. The thing about my husband is that he gets me and I get him. He knows what lights my fire and I know what lights his. I know what irritates him and he knows what irritates me. We are grown folks in reality. In order to merge one entire house, home and way of living into another persons entire house, home and way of living can be challenging and can add pressure to any relationship. Having remodeled one home and purchased two homes with an ex-baby-daddy who refused to compromise or talk it out, being married to the man that God sent – husband – continues to make the little girl heart jump with joy whenever I hear his voice. I like being in his presence and he likes being in mine. I like being alone to think; he likes sitting in the red recliner watching the television programs that he records to make sure he doesn’t miss one of them. It is a peaceful home and one where the kids have made an amazing adjustment. I woke up early one morning and my middle son was walking out of his bedroom at 5 in the morning humming. Yep, humming!! If anyone knows my middle son, mr. 15 year old, you would know that humming is a big deal. He is comfortable. I am comfortable, my daughter is comfortable. And we are comfortable. As Oprah would say, that is a good thing.
I am elated to be a Mrs. My new drivers license came in the mail, with my new address and my new last night! My heart smiled.
Today is the day. After years of thinking that I knew what was right for me. Dating and hanging out with men that I thought I could marry, I am finally marrying a man who God picked for me.
He sent him to me and me to him. As I sit in my solitude this morning away from those who love me and in my own hotel room alone, I am at peace. My diva’s, children, friends and family are busy setting up the wedding and reception hall, my friend and hairstylist is taking me to the MAC counter to have my make up done and then styling my hair to make me look even cuter than I am now (smile). My cousin has made and designed beautiful wedding cupcakes, the cake lady is finishing the all white/butter cream with roses wedding cake and the caterers and party warehouse folks are on their way. Things are being done on our behalfs and all we can do is say Thank you Lord.
Today will come and go before we know it and so I write this personal blog of what it feels like to be loved by a man who really does like you and want to be with you and one that I like and love.
It has been a year and some change in the making and with each day he shows by example that he loves me. His love is action and not just sex and more sex and more sex. Now the making love is off the heezy don’t get me wrong, however that is not ALL it is. He likes my kids, he goes out of his way for them; he loves to have friends and family over for parties and he helps with the set up and entertainment and he loves to cook. We talk every day, several times a day and we see each other every day.
When I call him he answers the phone. For me this is a big thing. Every man that I have ever dated and even the kids baby-daddy-ex-husband would not answer the phone when they didn’t feel like it, when they were angry or just because, and we are talking about men in their 40′s and 50′s!! They would say they didn’t hear the phone, didn’t think I wanted them to call them back, would hear the voice message and not call back for days on end and often time weeks. I thought this was just to be tolerated so I did. My feelings would be terribly hurt, I would question the relationship but felt that it was the best I could get, so I settled. I tolerated. I pretended it was no big deal. I held my truth to make their outright juvenile behavior ok and for many many years it was just okay. I wanted to believe that the 3 words “I love you” were enough. Young women please listen – they are not.
Love is action. Love is not sex, strange positions, cooking and cleaning and picking up kids, doing homework all alone and paying bills without help – this is not love. Love is more than what they say it is what they do. It may take you years to get it but when you do – OMG, you will look back and say what was I THINKING???!! Oh well lessons learned are ingrained.
Around the age of 51 or so, I stopped tolerating it. It is sad it took that long, but I finally got it. I am indeed the prize. My divasisters told me over and over this truth. They got it years before I did. Finally I got it. And when I got it, the Lord said okay now here you go – a good man, a man who seeks and loves the Lord, a man sent. I say thank you.
We talked this morning – he at our new home and me in my hotel room, finalizing the days upcoming activity. Talking about what we need to do and realizing that we are both starving – hung up to get something to eat.
At 3 o’clock today I will see my friends and family. My 3 fabulous children and my new son will be with us celebrating our wedding. My sons will give me away. My mom and brothers and sister and my new family will be our witnesses. A room of about 200 will promise to help us be true to ourselves and to each other.
At 3:30 I will walk down the aisle, knowing that I am marrying a man that I like and that likes me.
At about 11 pm tonight I will be his wife and he will be my husband. We have talked and know that there will be bumps in the road, however we are committed to our plan to fulfill each other, support our children, welcome the excitement of friends and family.
In each others arms tonight – Mr. and Mrs. Knight!! Woo hoo!!
So many people refuse to see the glass is half full. And today I happened to be one of those people. I woke up feeling great. Realizing that today is one month away from my wedding date of October 5th. We booked the Community Center months ago and picked out our table linens, silverware and flatware for the reception. We hired a caterer, a cake maker, a photographer, designed our own wedding programs and spent about 6 hours together on the couch one evening listening to music and picking out must haves and definitely nots and maybe’s. The children are all doing the right things and life is great. I pulled my back out over the weekend and survived that by being proactive and resting before it got worse.
Once at work, I was productive and happy and in some back pain. I went in because it was going to be busy and I know that soon I will be gone on my wedding vacation. I am dedicated to doing the best job I can do.
Today I allowed a bit of news to irritate me to no end. I have a great job with great benefits and am extremely blessed. Today I found out that there was going to be yet another change afoot and from the onset, I felt slighted. As the day progressed the thought of what could happen just p’d me off. I made it through the day and left for my hair appt. At the salon, I heard stories of women dating married men, women looking for love with men who are only looking for poonanney, woman not looking for anything and accepting bad behavior from men, women not recognizing their own inner greatness and a lot of whining and flapping about nothing. Negative influences.
I had allowed an outside influence, to influence me outwardly. This is not a good thing. When too much negativity begins to ooze into our lives there has to be a place to put it so that thing cannot irritate us and throw us off our game. This can be hard to do unless you learn to concentrate on the positive; what is the takeaway from this situation and what did I learn? The fact of the matter is that I cannot control what others do, I can only control my own actions.
Inside of me, I believe that I am destined to do Big Things. Not sure what those things are yet however what I do know is that negativity will be left on the sidewalk so when the garbage guys pick it up they will throw it into their truck and driveway. If we spend too much time with folks whose entire conservation is about what someone else did or did not do for them, we may soon find a flaw in our relationships. Negativity breeds negative connections. I will turn the negative experiences to positive ones so that my sleep will be restful. Perhaps we should all work toward releasing negativity into the atmosphere and calling to us Peace.
I left my oldest son in Atlanta on August 9th. He is attending Morehouse College.
When he was accepted and we decided that is where he would go, I encountered so many people whose reaction to my news began with congratulations followed by I know you are going to miss him because he is so far away. I would and still respond with complete joy followed by I may miss him; yet I am glad he is going. That still holds true today. However the difference in the missing is not one of regret or fear, it is one that is similar to one missing their favorite ice cream. It is good to have, I love it when it is there yet I can go on without it if I have do.
I have to go on without him for many reasons. The first two are my other children who have yet to graduate from high school and the third is because in order to be completely there for him and them, I have to be whole. Today I look forward to hearing his voice. We have decided to chat once a week on Sunday evenings. There is a 3 hour time difference, so I try to chat with him when has done all of the “chillin’ ” on campus and then he can focus on talking to his mother without distraction.
As I speak to him he is still my little boy. However the bass in his voice snaps me back into reality because he is not a boy, he is growing into a man.
The professors at Morehouse College were amazing for New Student Orientation week. They each in their own style said that they have mastered the science of changing boys into men. They continued by telling us parents with emphasis on the moms, that if you let us raise them we can do it. There is no need for the moms influence in teaching. The moms job is to nurture without nagging. The principal is to listen and when needed step in for guidance not for telling them what they can or cannot do. As the one who is paying the bills, the freshman mom and dad can feel that if they are paying then they should have access. In all other walks of life that principal holds true; however not on college and not quite frankly in the medical profession. When your child reaches a certain age, the parent can no longer have access to medical records or be present in the doctor’s room when the physical is being performed. That is understandable’; however now that I am the mom, I kinda’ don’t think that in all instances the ability to examine our children by themselves is well a little unnerving.
That being said, the child whose parent has sacrificed to get them into college also has no access to the child’s class grades. Once in college and over the age of 18 our children control our access. To deter that from happening in my case, my son and I have developed a communication style and expectations that we both agree on.
As he speaks to me about the classes, the night life, the cafeteria and other new things that he is experiences, I am impressed with his conversations and with who he is becoming. This school is perfect for him and for me. I rest at night because I know that he is in the place where he wants to be for his college career. Things are going to get tough and times may get hard however what I know and he knows is that in time, this too shall past. King’s Chapel is in the middle of the campus and the boys can make a choice as to whether or not they will attend service
Going away to college is what I think all college children should do. Living away and having to make your own decisions is by far the best experience for how to be grow. We shall see.
When I have overdone it in my life something happens that will slow me down. This morning I woke up with a pain on my right side. This is the same pain that I experienced some months ago. The first time I felt that pain I just let it go, I chocked it up to the fact that I was tired and by the end of the second day I could not move, and went to the emergency room in excruciating pain. Turns out I had thrown my back out. The days before, I had over-exerted myself in doing house work, yard work and a lot of bending and pulling and lifting all in one day. This had taken its toll on my back. This morning I could feel it again. Yesterday I washed and cleaned the van, cleaned the fish tank, clean the kitchen and my room and went shopping – all before 4:30 because I had to go to a birthday party for 6:30. I danced, I laughed and I enjoyed myself with my fiancée and this morning I had to roll out of bed.
Today I missed service, I laid down and my brain could not go to sleep. So many things are going on in my life and my children’s lives and in the world – some of which I can control and some I cannot. I am not obligated to have the final answer in any discussion. I am obligated to take care of myself so that I can continue to take care of those that mean the world to me.
I have missed writing and looking inward. I have missed being still and quite so that I can write. When I need to slow down and reconnect my God makes me.
I am on course to retire and in order to do that I have to slow down and know that I am now 53 and not 33 – good and bad in these numbers; I choose the good.
Visiting Georgia in August to take my son to college, there have been several things that I observed. One was seeing the numbers of entire families engaging together as family. I watched moms, dads and kids shopping together in the grocery store and in the mall, sitting together in church and walking the family dog together in neighborhoods. Another observation was the politeness, manners and friendliness of the people that worked in this small city outside of Atlanta. There was a lot of direct eye contact, no sagging, yes and no ma’ams and firm handshakes. The sales clerks were easily approachable and the children in the stores were not left alone to be babysat by mall security. All children were accompanied by an adult. I found out that there was some kind of ordinance in this Southern community where children are not allowed in the mall after 6 pm without an adult. I say hip hip hurray. The ability to grow in this kind of environment far surpasses the protective boundaries of this kind of structure.
Sometimes, “Californians” think we have the lock on what it is to be family. Having grown up in the real south; Mississippi (not Los Angeles), I know that this Huxtable-esque and Normal Rockwell depiction of a present day city in the South is in fact the truth for many. Being a California transplant, I have adapted and yet realize the core that makes a Southerner a Southerner, is still deep down inside of me and in many of you. That common thread is that family is the place where purpose should begin to manifest.
Here in this college town I feel the intensity of passion possessed and pursued with family at its core. It would be the beginning of something more, if we could prep all of our children to move forward in the pathway to success. Parents should strive spend real time with our children; not texting, washing dishes or putting in a load of clothes while they follow us explaining their day. Children need our unfettered attention.
We need to create a space where our children know that we believe in them and in their potential. Potential can be guided in the confines of an adult influence. Some children know their greatness and some children are shown their greatness. In this town I have seen that the ability to be proud of oneself is an internal work in progress. The nurtured child is constantly changing and morphing into something that no one knows what the change will look like. Our children need to encase themselves in the chrysalis of positivity. We as adults and parents are the casing that keeps kids safe and nurtures them into the beautiful butterfly that flitters and moves through the breeze effortlessly. This mother believes that growth requires that all of our children’s wings be allowed to expand and glide, being tossed around a bit by the updrafts of a cool breeze and sheltered amidst the thundering and lighting that booms and splits the sky.
George Zimmerman was able to shoot and kill a defenseless 17 year old child, Trayvon Martin, because as he stealthily followed him he had the gun in his hand. He had un-holstered the gun and was walking with the weapon as he talked to the 911 Operator. The 911 Operator that asked George “are you following him” knew that “following” was not something that the police ever want a citizen to do. George who was the captain of the neighborhood watch was violating the tenants of this organization. He knew the rules and yet he chose to disobey them.
Neighborhood watches are not vigilante organizations. When suspecting criminal activities, members are encouraged to contact authorities and not to intervene.
So, here we have a child talking to his friend on the phone. Both involved in conversation and totally distracted about what is happening. I don’t know about you but when I am on the phone with someone I really am interested in speaking to, I am totally involved. My brain tunes out all other outside influences until I am distracted by that outside influence. So, Trayvon and Rachel Jeantel were on the phone chatting it up, him walking from the store with his Skittles and tea, it was raining a little so he keeps the hoodie on so he wouldn’t get his hair wet. He keeps on walking and talking and then notices someone following him first in his truck. He doesn’t notice the guy on foot until he is so close that Rachel hears Trayvon say get ‘off me’. Now Rachel who some in the media have denigrated and implied that she is inarticulate and lacked social graces and who could not read cursive, could not have possibly made this story up. Unless however the fact that she is depicted as inarticulate, lacking in social grace is not true; how could such a poor black girl who can’t read cursive, craft such a perfect alibi for the fact that Trayvon was attacked first.
And after all of this, we have a grown man scaring the begeezers out of a child. A 17 year old child who was in fear for his life. A child who after all is said and done was shot through the heart by a man who he did not know. A man who stalked him and a man who so desperately did not want to see “them” get away, made sure they did not. Trayvon’s life was a short one and yet it will change the dynamic of the conversation about our black boys and our black men. Trayvon defended himself and what is wrong with that? So, what the defense tells us is that it is ok to kill a child who you think might be doing something and the prosecutor lacked the fortitude to fight for Trayvon’s life.
So many times while listening I wanted to say give me the foam life-sized dummy, I can show you how he shot him!! He shot Trayvon because he already had the gun in his hand. He was watching, skulking, profiling, commenting and scaring a child. Rachel told Trayvon to run. Trayvon saw this stranger and hid from him. This is what happened during the 2 to 4 minutes when no one knows what is happening. When George got close, he saw Trayvon and Trayvon saw him. Trayvon young, scared and petrified and using his 17 year old undeveloped frontal lobe attempted to fight his way for his life. Trayvon saw the gun and realized that if he was going to live and go home to his fathers’ house, he had to fight. He jumped on him and in his attempt to prevent him from shooting him there was a struggle. Trayvon did the best he could to make him drop the gun by hitting his head. George did not drop the gun, instead he pointed it at the child and that is when there was a scream. I don’t think he was saying help, I think he was saying momma. Most of us call out for momma when we are in fear. Children are afraid of the dark and afraid of strangers. After all the fear of strangers taking our children is why there are amber alerts. Trayvon and many of our children have unfortunately had to grow up in a world where the fear of being taken or killed is a reality.
I know that this child was afraid and I am sure George was also, perhaps between the two of them we have one voice and perhaps both mothers are correct. They did hear their sons’ voice. George’s mother heard George and Trayvon’s mother heard Trayvon.
Mothers know their child’s voice. We know because we are often times the ones who wake up in the middle of the night when our children were little to their screams in pain or just because their diapers are wet or even to pick them up after a fall. Mothers know their children’s screams of pain. Friends do not. Both mothers could be right. This is just what I think. These are my thoughts and all I can say is I think I know how he killed that baby and today and forever more I agree with Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin.
“The Trayvon Martin Foundation was established to create awareness of how violent crime impacts the families of the victims, and to provide support and advocacy for those families, in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin. The scope of the Foundation’s mission is to advocate that crime victims and their families not be ignored in the discussions about violent crime, to increase public awareness of all forms of racial, ethnic and gender profiling, educate youth on conflict resolution techniques, and to reduce the incidences where confrontations between strangers turn deadly. “
I was just standing up to go and dance on the dance floor at the family reunion. One of my cousins came over showing us her phone. It said NOT GUILTY. I sat down and held my head low. Tears wanted to come disbelief came before. I had to check it my self, could it really be true. It was. My heart hurt, and my stomach felt like someone had just made me swallow an anvil.
I didn’t know the young man but I know what he was like. Young, silly, a little cocky, possibly thinking he is the ladies man and even though he had been told a million and one times to pull up his pants and then take that hood off your head you then you realize that your child is useless.
My heart hurts and a feeling of sadness overcame me. It wasn’t about color. The hurt that I saw is along color lines. Those lines that no one, not anyone, could see during the trial. He was a child. He was a child.
My prayers go out to these parents whose grace under extreme and unimaginable circumstances has been good to see and witness.