Thursday, May 25, 2006

The 11th Commandment

Jamila -23
1 child - girl (11 mo)

As a young single mother I have become accustomed to people, particularly older women, constantly trying to usurp my authority.

Case in point: I told a woman that I did not want my daughter drinking kool-aid. Why did this women insist that my daughter needed kool-aid and attempt to give it to her anyway - right in front of my face?

Another case in point: I told my aunt that I did not want her placing stickers into my daughters first year calender because it was something that I wanted to do myself. Why did this women put the stickers on the calender anyway?

Tonight I told my mother that I did not want my daughter doing something that my mother wanted her to do. So, while I am ironing my mothers jeans, why does she allow my daughter to do what I had told her several times I did not want my daughter doing. And then my mother laughs and says she let her do it because I've done things in the past that she didn't want me to do.

I'm angry and I'm giving my mother the cold shoulder until I leave this house on June 12th.

While I type this post my mother is sitting behind me on my bed trying to have a conversation with me and frankly, I'm not having it. Furthermore, for the entire remaining duration of my vacation I am not going to allow my mother to babysit. Just because I am a young mother does not give people the right to go behind my back and try to parent my child in a way that I have made explicitly clear I do not want my child being parented.

If they will not respect my wishes they will not be allowed to be alone with my child. PERIOD.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Kenya* - 28
Newark, NJ
1 daughter (19 mo)

I got the call on thursday night, as the clock neared midnight. She was having mild contractions, and she didnt want to be alone. I made the 80+ mile trip, tired from the days' festivities, and sat in the dark as she tried to sleep. We breathed, we rocked, i rubbed her hips with almond oil as she raised and lowered her fingers in time with the chants. I held her in the shower as she swayed. I brushed the hair from her brow as she cried.

She was a wild animal in her "sacred" habitat... there was incense burning - sandalwood - and a rubber pool. There were grapes and nasty brown rice crackers that we laughed at and I refused to try. We sat on her bed, piled with pillows, and talked about how powerful being a woman can be.

The phone went out because of the rain, and we kept the lights off. She shouted the title of the next cd that should be put on the stereo. Decency was not a thought at all as we stood near the windows - one nude, one clothed but still soaked from the shower - and moaned the word "ooooooOOOOOPEN!"

We went to 7-11 for slurpees.

And it took hours upon hours upon hours. But the opening gave way to pulsing, screaming, thoroughly electric energy.

And he was there. And we sat in awe.

So beautiful.

Welcome to the world, Adonai.
*Kenya is a Doula in the New Jersey area. She writes about motherhood at Me vs. Rut