I was in high school and had gone to a slumber hangout and took JaLisa with me. She always wanted to go with me EVERYWHERE and was never shy; cautious of new people but never shy.
As a child JaLisa was loud, ridiculous, funny, compassionate, loud, talkative, smart, friendly, generous, kind-hearted, spoiled, loud, imaginative, thoughtful, resilient, courageous, loud…
Here we are all these years later and she is still all of those things. She’s lived through a lot; more than most women her age and she’s still standing.
From birth I watched her scoot, crawl, walk and run. There was stumbling and falling but she got up and kept going.
From adolescence to adulthood, I watched her go through the same process from scoot to crawl to walk to run. Sometimes, things got out of order but Tomi & I, her grandparents and the rest of her ‘village’ were there to help guide, dress wounds from the falls, counsel and keep her moving ever forward.
And today, she enters her 27th year. She’s out there moving through life…from a scoot to a crawl to a walk and then a run. She stumbles and falls and we’re still here to guide her; kiss the boo-boos and hug the hurt and tears away. She needs to lean on us less, as is God’s design. More independence; less hand-holding. It’s like I blinked and my Baby Bean became a woman and I wasn’t ready.
Twenty-four years ago on January 23, at 12:05am, a 14 year old girl gave birth to a little 8lb 9oz butterball of a baby girl with a head full of soft, curly hair.
I didn’t know then that my life was changed forever.
We grew up and learned to navigate life together.
Times weren’t always easy but I tried to make sure she always knew she was special and loved. I always wanted to make sure she laughed more than she cried and knew more joy than pain.
Through it all, we’ve survived and thrived.
We’ve laughed together, cried together, prayed together and fought together. Your smile has gotten me through a lot of hard days.
I’ve been blessed to see 38 years on this earth so far and the best part has been the 24 years I’ve had the privilege of being your mom.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BABY GIRL!
Recently, I watched a clip from when Janelle Monae was on The Queen Latifa Show. It was beautiful to see her surprise her biggest fan on the show. What affected me most was Janelle being overcome with emotion at the idea that “little black girls would want to look like me”. Are you kidding me? There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
My thoughts went to my daughter and who she looked up to and emulated as a child. My baby was a child of the ’90s/ ’00s and was a huge fan of Taina, Hillary Duff, Raven-Symoné and lots of other age-appropriate things. She wanted to be a Cheetah Girl and loved reading Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants..
But what about her personality? Her morals? What was/ is she presenting to the world? Where is she getting those things from? Oh shit! I should be her example for those things. I freaked out thinking back on all the times that I’m sure I got it all wrong; this whole mom thing. Deep breath…in through the nose, out through the mouth.
After I calmed down, I realized a few things. I did my best. I was a mom at 14 so I know I stumbled along the way but I had my grandmother, mom and aunts to help guide me. I was there. I made mistakes but I was there; volunteering at school, helping her through homework and heartbreak. I taught her to love her light-brown skin as part of the beautiful spectrum of little black girls.
I taught her to love her natural hair in all its wooly beauty. She’s growing dreads right now.
I taught her to love
and value herself.
And you know what?
My little black girl loves music, singing and dancing…just like me.
My little black girl loves books…just like me.
When I asked friends and family who know us both they say that my little black girl is sweet, funny, articulate, kind, giving and gorgeous…just like me.
My little black girl (although she’s a woman now) likes Beyoncé, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott but regardless of all the other influences, she’s always wanted to be like…Mommy.
I usually do this on the last day of the month but we were traveling and I had no service so here we are on the 1st. This has been a busy time and I have an abundance of things to be thankful for so here we go…
1.) Faith – God has kept me and continues to keep me and my family. Without faith, it would be difficult to get up everyday.
2.) Tomi – My wife is AMAZING! Since I’ve been unemployed, she has taken up the slack without any complaints. I know that having all of the financial responsibility thrust upon your shoulders can be quite the heavy load to bare but she carries it as though it ‘weighs’ nothing. I am so thankful to her and for her.
3.) Friends – There aren’t many people who can say they have friendships that have spanned two decades. I have several! My 20-yr high school reunion was awesome evidence of that.
4.) Being a granny – I’ve gotten to spend quite a bit of time with my Jaydie Bug lately. She is a pure joy! I wish I could spend more time with my California grandbabies; Desmond Jr. (Scooter), Da’Liyah and De’Zha. Perhaps we’ll plan a trip.
5.) Music – Helping me feel my feels!
6.) Reading – Being unemployed brings lots of spare time for reading. I am thankful for my nook and my library card.
7.) Nature – God definitely puts on some amazing shows and I am thankful to get to experience them.
8.) Concerts – My honey took me to see Montgomery Gentry & John Michael Montgomery at the fair. AMAZING! She’s a country music fan now.
9.) Bundles of joy – possibly being the care provider for this little one.
10.) Life – Regardless of the ups and downs, I am thankful for every day.
“Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone. Nevertheless, still my own.” – Unknown
These are my children. Though birthed by my wife, they are mine. I couldn’t love them more if I had given them life. They are wonderful and loving and I am blessed to have them in my life. Plus, they have given me grandbabies! I am so grateful for my family.
These two lovelies had birthdays! Our daughter Megan and granddaughter Jayden.
My BugABoo & I at her b-day shindig.
Happy Mother’s Day to this gorgeous woman. I am so grateful that God chose her as the vessel to bring me life. She is my best friend, a great hugger and…let’s just say I could go on forever about my Mommy.
Happy Mother’s Day to my wife and bestie. Parenting with you is AWESOME!
We had our annual Mother’s Day brunch at the La Quinta Inn & Suites in Tacoma. Its always a good time.
I am a few days behind but this has been a busy few days. At any rate, here we go!
1.) My mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. Some days are harder than others but I am here and every day I’m blessed to see is another opportunity to be better.
2.) Tomi – If I could have created my perfect mate, I couldn’t have done better. She is honest, supportive and loves me just the way I am.
3.) Ideal Protein – down 11.6 in two weeks; just the boost I need on my weight loss journey.
4.) Veronica, Michelle, Jay, Keely, JaLisa; my children in order from oldest to youngest. JaLisa is the only one I gave birth to but the others know “Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone. Nevertheless, still my own.”
5.) Employment – I am so thankful for a job that I love with co-workers that don’t get on my nerves most days.
6.) Music – I have an ever-changing playlist for every aspect of my life. If my life were a movie, everyone would want the soundtrack.
7.) Books – Whether or not it’s my nook or an ink-to-paper book from the library; I appreciate the distraction.