Tag Archives: children

nothing to manage

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Saturday afternoon truth
told by thick brown hands,
stories of survival and struggle until both
sound like all the names of the black mamas in the neighborhood

Hymns and laughter
imparted in between sections of greased scalps
that smell like coconut or yesterday’s frying oil

Here, little girls get to disappear
feel their mother’s heart beat
as her fingertips massage away her little girl worries
of
not turning the jump rope fast enough
getting picked last during recess for dodge ball

on the floor between her mother’s legs
the little girl’s father appears in a new light
fresh and foul
like discounted gizzards
she learns why to save
why the pulled out back seat of her grandfather’s Cadillac is a
treasure in the garage

safe Saturday rituals become
sanctified Sunday religion
and all this from sitting in between her mother’s legs
getting her hair
did.

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Article: 40 Words of Wisdom Every Parent Needs to Give Their Child

40 Words of Wisdom Every Parent Needs to Give Their Child

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future woman leader, my sister Erika

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My sister Erika loves to dance. I like that some of her hobbies are to play, dance and sing. When she grows up, she will give the world her gift of dancing. Everyone should have a sister like her because she’s fun, she doesn’t give up on anything, she’s smart and listens to what people has to say. And that’s way I love her.

Written by Kayla:
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some days i feel like water, like erika

all month I have been writing prose to acknowledge women that have directly influenced my life and perception on living as an artist. this week, I have decided to let these little women that are living in my home to write and express for one another and for women that they want to share information on.

last but not least, my eldest, the first one out the blocks. my scorpio. the fire and water supplier, Erika.

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where do I begin? my pre-teen… who would now rather be on the phone or in front of the television than bonding with her aunt. let’s see… the messy room, the junky school back pack, the fearless one… yes, let’s start with that. the fearless one.

not afraid to turn an event into the “Erika show” if she needs to! she has always been the popular one, ever since pre-kindergarten. you ask, “pre-kindergarten? she was only 4 years old?” I know! her theme song should be, “I AIN’T NEVER SCARED!” until she sees me waiting for her at the school bus stop or standing in the doorway at home. then that changes until school the next day and then it becomes her world again. and how does one maintain a healthy balance of that for a little girl? a little black girl?

she is a leader. she is the organizer. she’s cautious enough not to make the first move all the time. oh, she’ll send someone out ahead of her to test her plan! she’s strategic. she studies you. she’ll stare at me while driving. so, I study her back. I show just as much interest! where? who? why? I let her be the first to try things. the first to go to the theater with me, the first to go to the hair salon, the first to get a bedroom makeover, the first to try ballet, the first to play soccer… she’ll be my first out the gate. I have six more years to panic over that but like most parents, I wonder if I’m preserving as much of her fearlessness as possible? After all, God sent her this way.

she is the popular one at school. she is witty and going through her goofy 6th grade phase. she is an honor roll student and the one that the teacher’s say, “she could easily be an all A student if she just…” she is my fire starter who carries the water in her bag to extinguish it out when she’s done. get it? she’s feisty and “ain’t never scared”. she’s easy going with me, she understands I’m still figuring this parenting thing out but I’m in it for the long haul. with that, for me she stays true to her scorpio sign with water and flows with me.

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future woman leader, my sister Kayla

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My sister, Kayla, loves to sing. I like that her hobbies are singing, dancing and she can paint and draw. When she grows up, she will give the world her gift of singing to everyone. When my sister sings, it makes people feel happy.

Everyone should have a sister like her because when people pick on me at school she protects me. She plays with me every time I’m sad. She loves me and she is smart and playful and nice.

Written by Kyra

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some days i feel like air, for kayla

all month I have been writing prose to acknowledge women that have directly influenced my life and perception on living as an artist. this week, I have decided to let these little women that are living in my home to write and express for one another and for women that they want to share information on.

next up is the middle girl, kayla. my mini me. my virgo. my cuddler.

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kayla is about patience. to love her you need it. she requires it. my sensitive, emotional little lady. she has always required attention, never the one to watch Dora the Explorer alone while you washed dishes. if you were in the kitchen, she was in the kitchen! if you were in the study room, she was in the study room! if you were in the bathroom she was waiting for you in the hallway! I usually stay up late to write and she would get up early, like most kids, so I would lock my bedroom door to get some extra sleep. this chick picked my lock one morning and got in! YES YOU HEARD ME! (haha)

I don’t recall kayla every drawing outside of the lines when she began to color. if she did color outside, it was her creating a totally different picture. she has always been meticulous. my mother hums and sings all the time and kayla has picked this up. she sings walking down the hall, in the shower, riding her bike… and she is a dancer. kayla is no doubt my artist.

she is also my follower. remember, she has never liked being by herself. God made her this way so I just have to continue to encourage her to trust her talents and what her heart is telling her. I believe she is so talented, she doubts herself just to fit in with everyone else. she is a gentle little woman, very giving and shy. not to toot my horn, but I really feel she mirrors me in a lot of ways. she is my art show award winning, talent show singing, honor roll having middle girl. not to the left, not to the right. just in between flowing to and fro, kayla.

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future woman leader, my sister Kyra

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My youngest sister, Kyra, loves to sing, run and play with us. I like that some of her hobbies are dancing, singing and mainly running. She runs everywhere she goes! When she grows up, she will give the world the gift of being a famous, fantastic Olympic track and field player. She will be in the 100 meter race and will be able to compete in the summer Olympics in 2024.

Everyone should have a sister like her because she is very playful, smart, fun to be around,and she acts like the big sister when I’m feeling blue. I love my sister very much. I would do any thing for her. I hope she makes it to the summer Olympics.

Written by Erika:
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I come from that good stuff

that stuff that dreamed. my generation had one of the highest high school graduation rates and college enrollment rates. we were at the cusp of technology. the apex of video games (Atari) and cable television. I remember when “God Bless America” played on the television channel before the network would turn off for the night. I’m from that old school learning of patience and manners being taught by everyone. I remember the bad kids being “paddled” in the principal’s office. I remember how long it took to dial a phone number on a rotary phone. (especially if they had 9’s or 0’s in their number!)

I come from that good stuff of after school programs and free summer programs at the local boys club or ymca. I come from organized marching drill teams and family reunions every year. I come from a grandmamma that got on her knees every night to pray. a family that knew how to hunt and fish for food.

I come from being nurtured to dream. a schooling with arts integration. that culminated in my generation being so inspired and viciously ambitious. we were provided an outlet to create, imagine and dream.

not so much for our kids now. they call them the “microwave kids”. they don’t have to go to the library. they don’t even have to go outside to play or talk with one another. they can do everything via internet and online gaming. now the arts are a privilege for those that can afford it. and that is the impression most have.

the impression is dancers come from wealthy families that can afford for them to train for years. and writers were all left family trust funds so they can sit around and stare out of windows while they write best sellers. the impression is theatre actors are funded by their wealthy family members that sit on the board of trustees for the winter and spring programming. art is viewed as unattainable. the absence of art has our children where they are today.

they are at a lose for individuality. they are born in a box of selections for a career. collectively our communities have shun anything outside of our “safe boxes”. the boxes created to keep us from being murdered or kidnapped or lynched. yes, we still battle that psychological warfare. my dreams were “I could be anything I wanted” and I was presented various platforms to fail and succeed. now our children are told, “you can be anything you want but..” and they aren’t given a safe place to test it out. after so many failures accompanied by laughs and “I told you so’s” from their peers, it is easier for them to stop. and to save their esteem we allow it.

arts is integrated in all studies at school. I believe it is strategic that it has been removed from public schooling and community centers. too many close calls of that next generation connecting their oneness inside of themselves. what if our children figured that out? they would become genius and critical thinkers and seek to remedy all their ills. they would then be from that good stuff like I come from.

God help us. Ancestors guide.

more memories to create!

Since I have made friends with other moms I learn of the little things they do to create sweet memories for their children.  Over the past couple of years I have had several friends tell me about “Elf on the Shelf.”  So you send a letter to the north pole and request  an elf or several stuffed elves to visit your house for a specific time.  Every morning your kids wake up and search for the elf in the house as it has done different “fun” things around your house.  I am planning for the holidays now and suggested getting one for my nieces… THEY HAD A FIT!

What was I thinking?  These are the same girls that flipped out about the tooth fairy coming in their room while they are sleeping!  And actually when I thought about it, who wouldn’t be afraid of the tooth fairy?  (Come on, the thought of someone sneaking in your room while you are sleep and reaching under your pillow… yep… I can’t blame them for being freaked out!)  I told them about the elf on the shelf and they were intrigued and interested until they heard that the elf would be doing stuff in the house while they are sleep.  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  I found this conversation to be so hilarious!  The oldest girl vowed a solid, “NO”, the middle girl is afraid but curious and the youngest girl is game to go because she knows her sisters will protect her.

It’s all about creating memories right?  RIGHT!  I went on amazon.com and ordered my elf on the shelf for the 2013 holidays!  Of course I’ll post the adventures of “elf on the shelf” when they begin in November!

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