Saturday, March 25, 2006

Who Wants to Battle?

February 18, 2006

Tiffany - 37
Claremont, CA
2 daughters - (6) and (7)

Before I knew it my seven year old daughter was on stage. We were in Los Angeles at Magic Johnson’s Theater at the Black History Month celebration for children. My daughter, who is growing up in Claremont, who is the only black girls in her class, who is not allowed to watch MTV, BET or any other channel that shows a bunch of half dressed black girls doing things that look more like pornography than dancing, is on stage because she had volunteered to battle.

I sat there thinking nothing about this situation could be good. Either she is going to get up there and do a lot of things I find inappropriate or she is not going to do it because she is scared and I don’t know if I can get up there in time to comfort her or save her any embarrassment. As I sit and think I know it is wiser to let her work it out. After all, she did volunteer and I will learn more about her if I sit and observe how she handles the situation. But, at the same time I want to make my way to the front to be near, to position myself so I can snatch her away – if necessary – from the moment. I want to protect her from being scared, and to take away the sense of humiliation she might feel because she cannot dance like them.

I waited, hoping I had made the right decision.

The first girl goes up, gyrating and thrusting and getting all in her opponents face. I see some hesitation in my daughter’s eyes. The second girl goes up; all of four years old. The same thing happens, pelvic thrusts, gyrating, dropping it like it’s hot. You name it, this girl co
uld do it. A lot of the parents laughed and cheered. A lot of us sat and observed silently with our mouths hanging open. I watched the hesitation in my child’s eyes turn into fear. I decided to be wise and let her work it out herself (Even if every muscle in body was ready to bolt to the stage). Before they got to number three she walked up and whispered into the host’s ear that she did not want to do it and took her seat.


She had handled it all by herself and I could stop worrying. When the show was over she ran up to me with a smile on her face and I told her I was proud of her. I told her she was very brave for getting on stage, while at the same time I was relieved to not have seen her compete with these girls who were dropping it like it was hot.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Mamahood: A Beautiful Tale

Idrissa -53
1 daughter - 26

Being Mama for me has been an awesome experience. My pregnancy was one of the happiest times of my life and the following years of raising a little African American princess, with shiny bright eyes and a quick-witted mind, were years of joy and total responsibility which bonded me to the wonderful young woman that my little girl has become.

Yet at the age of fifty three my duties as Mama have become those which I never expected. My adult daughter has been chronically ill for the past few years and I am her primary caregiver. Still, I thank God that I find JOY in my duties with faith and hope that her healing will one day be complete.

My daughter is 26 years old; educated, smart and very assertive. She is a spiritual being with her eye on the Lord despite her many challenges. She has faith that totally amazes me some days. Having struggled through asthma as an infant, juvenile diabetes since she was nine and orthopedic surgeries from a birth defect as a pre-teen, health challenges are not something new to us. But her recent crisis with end-stage renal failure brought new meaning to faith, patience and accepting what is, rather than what we hoped for.

Being Mama daily means that I must witness my child deal with frustrating limitations that would destroy the average person. My daughter is no average daughter and as a result, I am no longer the average Mama. Yet I still find JOY in my mamahood; the many, many hospital admissions, sometimes to the Critical Care Unit, the many medications and dietary restrictions, the home care professionals that invade our privacy are just something that we handle. We refuse to ignore the light at the end of the long tunnel we know as life.

My mother often advised me that motherhood is not something we are ever prepared for. "It's OJT (on-the-job-training) and you just have to do the best that you know how and to trust in the Lord." My mother ain't nevah lied!

It breaks my heart sometimes to see her suffer and to watch her struggle to climb the mountains that face her. As much as I want to I can not climb those mountains for her. But I am committed to climbing with her for as long as she needs me. Her faith is unwavering (even when mine is shakey) and I am encouraged by how brave she can be.

I am also strengthened by her faith in me; she knows that like God, I will never forsake her nor will I leave her alone. This bond brings me joy in my sadness. It may not be the party that I expected but I am still gonna dance! This is not the life that I would have chosen for she and I but I am still grateful for this life, for this journey of being a Mama to one of the most exceptional daughters in the world.

A mother's love has no boundaries. We give all that is needed no matter how deep we have to dig to find it. We find joy in our ability to be the Mama that God meant for us to be and we find strength in His absolute love.

Mama=equals love!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Mama Lesson #1,3206

March 1, 2006

Lisa – 30
Loganville, GA
4 Children- 3 Girls (11) (4) (18 Mo) 1 Boy (5)

We've had some beautiful weather lately and the kids have enjoyed every minute of it. I remember as a kid I used to love playing outside. I was a little 'tomboy', that's what I was called. I used to climb trees and fences. I would play basketball and touch football because growing up in Brooklyn we didn't have much grass to play in. I used to love racing. We would do relay racing and one on one racing and some how I would always win or be one of the best.

It's funny, that's how I like to look at my life today. Win or be one of the best in everything I do. With so much to do I've been wondering lately on how can I be the best at it all. How can I always win?

Today however I realized that I can't always win and be the best. I realized that I can just be my best.

Mothering-Absolutely the most rewarding job there is, although I may not see those
rewards until years and years and years later. For now I at times feel unappreciated and even over-looked. Yet, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Home Schooling-Courage, courage, and more courage. I don't think the question of "are they getting all that they need"? ever goes away, but experience tells me they must be because they surprise me all the time with how much they know.
Home Based Business-Now there's a challenge that I still haven't been able to figure out how I even fit it in. I've learned to do what I can and just keep moving.
Keep Moving!