Saturday, December 21, 2013

Where have you been all my life?

Dear Reader,

Where have you been all my life? Well, where have I been for the last half of year? Sorry to leave my readers wondering what happened.

I have been in successive seasons of Gemini/Pisces, You know good and bad, up stream/down stream, ying and yang. It has all been great. I wanted to write it all in one blog entry but it would be too much for your attention span. To encapsulate my Spring, Summer and Fall would be like trying to take three horse pills at the same time. TOO MUCH. So I just want to prep you with some orange juice with what’s to come:
  •           Doula Certificate Completion and Birthing
  •           Hippie Nights and Epic Summer Days
  •           Being in Love
  •           Urban Agriculture Certificate Completion
  •           Tea Party
  •           Leaving the West End
  •           Redefining family, loyalty and friendship
  •           Dream catching and other spirit happenings

I look forward to sharing my stories with you,

Sweet Le Lovebird

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

In the Shadows of having a Natural

Is it just me or is being natural hold as much social pressure as having a weave. Its like having natural hair puts you into a "conscious" crowd. Others expect you to smoke weed, wear natural oils, only listen to cultural sounds, and mediate three times a day. Don't go somewhere and you want to eat some fish or meat, take a drink, bum a square or know the lastest ratchet sound on the radio. I'm told "I THOUGHT YOU WERE NATURAL." What the hell?

When I cut my hair in high school, I was just tired of getting a perm. I figured it was easier to manage with it all gone. Its been 11 years and I've played with a press, color, braids and wigs. I'm not a vanity fair women so i can go a few days without even picking my Teenie Weenie Afro. I naturally am not into hair like that or my image. I have my spurts. So, I go with how i feel. Isn't that the purpose of natural? BE YOU, DO YOU. I'm confused cause I feel like I am under the same beauty microscope as having a perm. I just didn't think when i crossed over it would hold so much judgement and scrutiny. I'm not gonna lie, I assumed natural people held some higher morale code.

But in the great words of Andre 3000 " Everyone with dreds ain't for the cause, and everyone with perms ain't for the fall." Be cool with your extentions, s-curl, afro, mohawk, hot pink highlights. I remind myself to know myself and know that being natural is being me, as long as I don't harm anyone.

You can always go, Downtown!

Last night the children and I had a good lil time in downtown Atlanta. A great friend of mine named Tammie Jenkins has two beautiful intelligent daughters.  Check them out on FB. The eldest participated in the August Wilson Monologue Competition at the Rialto Theater. The children and I made it right on time to to hear the talented teens. Copper was in awe as the high schoolers recited their pieces. No one can tell me that our youth are lost. Last night everyone exemplified leadership and creativity. I was impressed and happy to be amongst such proud parents and educated minds. My toddlers sat through 12 monologues and decided to leave. Hehe. I thought they did an excellent job sitting quietly. Oh and Anais made it to the finals which will be on Feb 25th at the Southwest Arts Center.

So off we went to the lobby. There was a beautiful exhibit of Cultural New Orleans: Pre and Post Katrina. The children were amazed by the colors; as was I. The African and Native spirit in many of the pics opened my mind to a new view of New Orleans. The children's grands are from there and my great grands migrated from there to Chicago. New Orleans is definitely on our list of places to go. The exhibit is free and open to the public, Take a Look.

 I decided it was time to leave once the chicks attention went to running around the open lobby. We all held hands and strolled to our car on Broad St. We made a lil detour into one of GSU's  building. The big glass windows attracted us. We walked quietly as students studied. The staircases going up and down were huge to me, I imagine they were gigantic for the babies. Copper was the brave one to look down through the rails. It was a long drop to the bottom floor. We scurried out once a security guard started approaching. I am sure we weren't part of the usual setting. But I think we added some life to the study party. Copper pointed across the street to the Woodruff Park water wall and pool. He said "let's go see what it is". As we got closer, Ami guessed what it was "Water". They got so happy and ran ahead to get a good look.  The wall of water and pool was so relaxing. Copper and Ami were so tickled. You know children are fascinated with water. 
admiring the relaxing 
wall of water at woodruff park

Going down Peters St. Copper remembers my lobby cop friend Bob. So we take a detour and head to City Hall East to pay Bob a visit. Bob is a retired Lt. from APD. We met at one of my jobs after college. Bob is a funny funny man with a big heart. He decided to give us a history tour of the building. We ended in the city council chambers. Not sure if it was a breech of security but we had  fun playing on the president's mic. I told the children "this is where decisions are made for the city."

We had so much fun and the children were exposed to art, architecture and civics. Who would have thought that our trip to downtown would have brought so much laughter and joy? Honestly, i was a little anxious about the adventure. Thought the trip would tax my nerves, but it was actually invigorating and inspiring. I am so proud of my little people and happy to be there caregiver. I look forward to our adventures to come. Sometimes I miss my "child free" times but last night I realized that my life is full of laughter, love and excitement. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

When It's Cold Outside Who Are You Holding... My "Coldest Winter Ever" Experience

It was raining in ATL the other day. And the wind wasn’t playing around. I decided to take a “day off” and lay in my bed all day to read Sistah Souljah’s “Coldest Winter Ever”. My cousin in Chicago had posted on her fb page that she was reading it so I told her I will tag along and read it too. It took two weeks to get a copy at my neighborhood library. When the librarian scanned it for me he said “wow you got a copy, this book is hard to come by, it’s always checked out.” That reassured me that I was in for a juicy read. So from 8am till 7am the next morning I couldn’t put the book down. Now don’t think I’m a bad mother. I did stop to make meals, read to the kids, give them a bath and use the restroom. LOL. I was glued to it. I’m not gonna lie, I was jumping on trains with Winter and even knew when she was acting a fool before she did. That book had me going through some thangs, not to mention the rain seemed to bring it on. I had to take breaks and even found myself crying, replaying my own drunk and high nights as a young woman. I’ve never been in any robberies, fights or drug exchanges but the energy of the happenings in the book sent me on my own experience retrievals. Adventures I had stored away started popping back up. Moments I realized had lessons and was merely divine interventions. That book did more for me than I had imagined. It made me look in the mirror and review my life, my recent seasons and how I am handling myself. Am I operating from loss? Fear? Or love? I noticed this morning Copper hid the book; I guess he figures that was enough of mommy reading for one day. 

My First Male Relationships... The Confucius Way

In college, I took an Intro to Eastern Traditions course. It turned out to be one of my favorites. One of the study topics was Confucianism. Confucius aka K’ung Fu Tzu was a Chinese philosopher, political analyst and teacher. A key principle of Confucianism is love for your immediate family then society (Hsiao). If every parent loves their child and every child loves their parent then society will always prosper. Confucius sets importance on 5 relationships and the role the individual plays in each. These relationships bind a society and if practiced will sustain society (Many people disagree with the top-down structure):
  • King to subject
  • Parent to Child
  • Husband to Wife
  • Older sibling to Younger sibling
  • Friend to Friend
A meditation session prompted me to look at the first relationships I had with masculine energy in my life. This journey catapulted me into laughter, smiles and tears. I realized I missed my father and brother. I wrote a letter to both of them with hopes of reigniting our relationships. (I haven't lived with my brother since I was 11 yrs old and my father since I was 17 yrs old, I am now 28 yrs old). They both called me with excitement and love once they received their letters. There is power in reaching out to your family. It allowed me to relish in being someone’s baby girl and lil sis. I realized there still has to be a relationship with the first men in my life. In essence, I am made of them, shared my first words and took my first steps. I forgot about these relationships as I stepped into womanhood and unconsciously imposed this closeness responsibility on men that I dated. (I later did the same activity but verbally with my mother. You know us women like to talk. Hehe. It produced some soul stirring revelations for generational traits among the women in my family.)

By acknowledging my role as daughter to father and sister to brother, I believe it drew my dispersed family closer. Many of us can say “oh my family isn’t together” or “I don’t have a true home”. Well technology in the form of phones, letters and mail can bring our families closer. It’s more of a feeling in your heart than a physical place. 

You might say, "well I haven’t spoken to my brother in over blank years", or "I don’t know who my father is". Okay, well who are the first men that affected your life? Who had a masculine energy in your family that you respected?  Can you send them a letter? Or give them a call?

I know I have heard the stories of women with “men issues”. Well we all have other sex issues and family issues. This is not outside of us. I was prompted to solve mine and guess what, it helped. Don’t be bashful. Take joy in discovering hidden parts of you. I did. 

Open Society Secrets I Wasn't Told During Pregnancies.

When you are pregnant, you have hundreds of questions and your imagination takes you to new heights. Pregnancy is like the beginnings of an initiation. I equate birthing as “Crossing the sands”. The ring of fire seals the deal. Hehe. You are officially in an open society. But the society members didn’t tell me all the tidbits. It is like some things I had to learn on my own.  So I’m gonna break the parental code of silence and share some things you are never told when you are pregnant.

  • There will never be a Me, Myself and I- Kiss the alone time good bye, even when you have to relieve your intestines aka take a shit, my children want to talk as if we are in the living room watching a family movie. You cannot imagine who would want to be in that small space with you at that moment, the child wants to bust open the door and come in. But when you need a hug, smile, or sweet nothing, your child will always be on time. He/she is so in tune with the needs of the family. Just be receptive to this love. 
  • It is not just the “terrible twos” – Each year of my children’s life brings new levels of challenges, processes and tantrums. My children have taught me so much about myself and about what it takes to grow. We are human. The process is beautiful and shows you things about yourself you never knew existed. Both of you grow- you discover how much of your parents you are and how much of yourself you didn't know existed.
  • Your body will never be the same - Creating a baby is a job!! The mother is the artist. Take pics when you still got your original PYT body. When I was a little girl, a mean one too, I told my mom her breast looked like raggedy ann. How rude was that? Guess who has them same breast now after breastfeeding two children? I do. Some might say its vain but it’s the truth. I am a habitat. You think once you have the child your physical work is over. Hah. Your body is now the jungle gym, pillow, crawl pad, blankie, snuggle buddy, snot/slob catcher and sometimes the potty. Even though my body is not the same, I see it as a plant that has produced beautiful fruit. The production took a lot of time and energy. An investment I wouldn’t take back.  
  • Breastfeeding a baby hurts at first!! We only see the happy pics of moms breastfeeding. Those first two days are make it or break it, show up or sit out. Your nipples are changing over. A natural bottle top.  I remember when my son was nursing and I called my dad and told him I wasn’t gonna make it. I was crying hysterically and told him how painful it was. My dad was so sweet and told me it was gonna be okay and drove me to a lactation counselor. That visit turned my whole outlook around. Breastfeeding is such a gift for both mother and child. It just takes a little work unwrapping that present. There are times when I became the human pacifier. Sometimes one nipple would be cracked or raw because baby has used it to soothe those itchy gums. Once those teeth “break” through your baby’s smile is the cutest thing in the world.
  • You will lose sleep even after the first few weeks. You realize that the saying “sleep is the cousin to death” is false. The truth is sleep is the ticket to life and sanity. Sure the baby needs to eat lots when he first comes home. After that, you will have some episodes of fevers, teething, upset stomachs, allergies, pee accidents. These will keep you awake or get you up during that good sleep. I don’t think my sleep has ever been the same. Some nights though, after I’ve gone through the hundred things I will have to do in the morning with only 3hrs of sleep, I smile. Why? Because I just lost sleep for such a delicate growing being. 
  • Lastly, This will be the best times of your life. Children are your confidants, teachers and truth sayers. There will never be a dull moment!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

"That’s just my baby’s daddy" Uh no boo boo, that’s your children’s father! Pledge allegiance to your family.

Many of us twenty somethings, 80's babies remember the hood classic “That’s just my baby’s daddy” 
The term is now colloquial vernacular, its seems more accepted  than children’s father. When i say “my babies daddy” I have  a sense of guilt. As if he “aint shit ,aint about shit and aint gone be shit” (what movie reference is that? I know it’s one) I cannot lie, I have talked mess about him in the past. I am now aware that it’s a reflection of me. I was once so trifling to have the song playing for his ringtone. As a community, we have alienated the idea of a supportive father. Yes, we are composed of masculine and feminine energy, and for me to negate that which created my beautiful children and talk about him as if he just my baby daddy, that’s foul and trifling. When we were lying together the act was not trifling. Lol. So why now? Some mama’s can say he hasn’t done anything or he left us for the next chick. Ok well that’s another discussion of acceptance and accountability. Practice referring to him as my children's father and you will feel better about yourself and the situation. Speak about the situation with your child's father in a more peaceful way. Visualize what you want for the children. And "I guarantee" (in that old Louisianan chef voice who came on pbs) that the situation will change. Leave the hate, accept your portion and speak with love. We are all humans!!!