Tag Archives: nieces

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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Tennessee a coming…

Usually around this time of year I have already sped my nieces and nephew up to Kansas City to spend the summer with their mother, my sister.  But there is something different about this year… don’t know what but my gut has not allowed me to arrange air fare or time off from work to send them away.  Call it what you want.

Now before you get into all that, “you probably miss them too much” CRAP, allow me to politely shut you down! Of course I miss them but I immensely enjoy my silent time.

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I LOVE not worrying about cooking 18-21 meals a week for 4 people.  Only worry about my hair to comb, only my clothes to wash.  Hmmm, something about the summer of 2013…

So until I am moved to send them away I have appointed my middle niece to arrange a weekend getaway for us.  She chose Chattanooga!  She read about an amusement park we can go to, she read about Ruby Falls caves and some good eating places.  I am letting her fully arrange this getaway so she can pass on to everyone else just how much I have to do when I plan something for the family.  I can tell them until I am blue in the face but when they hear from one of their own it’s a different story.

Adventures of Chattanooga coming soon!

The Efforts of My Breath

I have been inside of my head for almost a month now. (translation: my nieces and one of my nephews are visiting with my sister, their mom, and their dad.)  When I came to the realization I would move down south to get custody of them, I made conscious decisions to listen to the silence of my Inglewood apartment.  I would lay in the bed and watch the sunrise chase the stucco across the ceiling.  I would pull my bedding to the couch and then lounge upon rising from my slumber with a cup of coffee and a movie from my dvd collection.  Time would be timeless and my day would plan itself.

Fast forward to five children: my calendar is full of their appointments and activities.  Waking up to their breakfast requests, me needing to be judge for who can watch their tv programs first.  In many ways I am more involved with my breath (purpose) versus chasing my daily goals.  There is nothing wrong with ambition at all but I suppose when it’s  yours,  you don’t see the immediate results.  Now, with the children, I can see daily the effort of my breath. 

I can see smiles of accomplishment on their faces.  I can see their sweat overcome defeat.  I can hear their laughter break through their fears.  It is immediate gratification everyday.  The current silence of my home is nostalgic to my creative life and purposeful meditation.  But I must admit, I look forward to seeing “the efforts of my breath” soon.

Breath and Sacrifice

Sunday – Wash clothes, wash hair, braid hair

Monday – Math Tutor

Tuesday  – West African Dance Class and Soccer Practice

Wednesday

Thursday – West African Dance Class and Soccer Practice

Friday

Saturday – Soccer Games

         pray.dream.hope.want.pray.laugh.dream.cry.yearn…  all fall in between the other days. 

 It has been four years since I took custody of my sisters children and moved my life from LA to ATL.  Right now I’m too exhausted to detail the differences between the two lifestyles, but they exist.  Dramatically. 

Where do I begin?  I am new everyday with challenges, fears and faith.  The boys are 19 and 14 and the girls 10, 7 and 6.  When I speak of becoming new, I am writing the dances of what to wear, how to speak, what’s the tone all in the note of love.  Love and care for them and where do I find the unselfish part of this parenting position.  They all made honor roll, made the traveling squad for dance and the traveling team for soccer… not too shabby for a chic who is an independent artist.  A chic who went from 0 kids to 5 kids in 32 hours of driving.

 Sacrifice has always been my breath as an artist.  For the love of receiving the stories and words, silence and solitude was the recipe.  I always dated and loved but a perfectionist at remaining detached was my sacrifice.  Not just mine, not a new decision and not even conscious… something that just was.  Now my sacrifice is the children and they are my breath.

             I miss my art.  I miss my muse.  Send her to me.  Tell her,  I am available June 16th…  

SUMMER TIME and the kids are gone for four weeks!  I made a SUMMER BUCKET LIST and plan to become selfish and hear myself talk again!

 I look forward to writing and growing as My person.  As an artist.  And becoming a better Aunt for my nieces and nephews when they return. 

 I haven’t been this excited about school being out since my junior year in high school!

Sunday – me

Monday – me

Tuesday – me

Wednesday – me again

Thursday – guess who? me

Friday – yep, me!

Saturday – If  I’m happy, everyone in my house will be, so… ME