Sunday, March 21, 2010

To King Krystopher

Dear Krystoper, we both love music so much. We both love to sing and dance. You love drumming. I can't wait for you to return to music lessons. In the meantime as I proudly call you my son, my Ajani - One Who Will Win the Battle, a beautiful reflection of the love your father and I shared and because I can't sing, I asked one of my favorite artist to serenade you. Introducing the beautiful Lauryn Hill.........

With all my love,
Mommy aka ~dIvA mOm~

Happy Single Parent Day

Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother.
Lin Yulang

I’m not a big fan of parent holidays specifically Mother’s Day. Not because I’m don’t have a great mom or because I’m not striving to be a great mother to my son but because as a single mom there is no one to take me out, send me to the spa or take the kid shopping for a gift to present me. If he does get me a gift it’s one I purchased and I took him to pick it out so the thrill isn’t really there. Well this year I’m not going to have a pity party. I’m going to start with a new but important holiday: Single Parents Day. We are being recognized. We are valued. Who cares about the reasons we are single or the gifts we don’t receive? What is important are the results: our children. So stop and take a look at your child or children. What are their behaviors/mannerisms communicating to you? They are a reflection of their environment. Are they happy? Sad? Depressed? Singing at 7:30am, like my son or dreading rolling out of bed to head off to school. Your kids are you. A display of the parenting they receive.

On Friday my mom sent me the following email:
“This Sunday is Single Parents’ Day. So I want to thank you for being a good mom to my grandson, KT - Hope there aren’t any typos I’m trying to keep from crying! -“I am not going to thank you for being his dad as we have our Heavenly Father to thank for that. He will look back and thank you for the life you gave him and how you taught him skills to make it in life.” –Mom-

As you can imagine, I was too thrilled. Honestly, there are times when I feel like no one notices. I don’t need 24/7 applause or validation but it helps to know that I am parenting well and my son is thriving. There are days when I feel guilty that I promised to play Wii but didn’t because I fell asleep on the couch after cooking dinner and didn’t wake up until 8pm. Just in time to check homework, help him get ready for bed, read a bedtime story and pull his covers up. There are days when I am sad that he only has me. I carry this guilt that it’s my fault he only has one parent. Every day I am grateful to GOD that I have KT to keep me going. I often say he saved my life.

I’m now a pretty good cook because male children eat an enormous amount of food daily. My financial status is improving because I want to teach him early that saving money is very important. My list of what I want in a mate is driven by what I want my son to become, the type of man I want as his role model. My decisions are weighted more carefully because I have another life to watch over. My heart is fuller because a part of me is here in the form of an angel that I’m allowed to love. My mini-me. I’m kidding. He’s a spitting image of his dad.
As I reflect on my life today, I stand tall, back straight, swagger turned up, cheeks rosey, lashes coated with a few coats of mascara and delighted that I’m not a forgotten single mom but an everyday hero on the grind shaping a life, my man child into some as great as I dream to be. Today is my day to celebrate that I’m a strong woman with an amazing African KING!
~dIvA mOm~

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Random but Essential Words

I spent Monday morning assisting with makeup testing for the FCAT. Sitting and watching students like a hawk is a dreadful task but it allows me to catch up on my reading. As I filliped through the pages of my favorite magazines random words stuck out in the articles I was reading so I begin to jot them down and here is what I came up with:
  1. HAIR (extended post coming soon) Cropping it gave me a sense of freedom. I felt liberated! Yes, there was the fear men wouldn’t find me attractive but that isn’t the case. Although I do receive more compliments from Non Blacks than I do from my own people or even sisters. What’s up with that?
  2. FASHION I am no longer addicted to shopping (though I still do so for really special occasions) but I’m not a puppet on strings for trends, styles or the latest must-haves. I have enough. No that’s inaccurate. I have more than enough! I can go months without wearing the same outfit during any season. I’m not boasting. Admit it blessed is blessed. I’ve learned that clothes were only a protective layer of the real me just like the bouncing and behaving hair. I can take a piece from Target, Wal-mart (ok so I’m not going to shop there anymore) and Forever 21 and step out looking well pulled together and magazine ready.
  3. PARENTING  The month of June my life was forever changed. I’m getting all teary eyed just thinking about KT’s birthday. Wooowwwwiiiiieeee! It didn’t start out that way. Maybe I’ll blog about that later but right now this is a happy blog. Those dark days are over and I’m now in a place of bliss. Ten and a half years later, I’m waiting to be asked to become a spokesperson for single moms .  Hmmm, maybe I should start working on this organization that will celebrate moms and dads who didn’t quit. One important factor in my success is my mom. Guess I’ll make her #4. J
  4. MOM She was also a single mom during my younger years. Before you judge… you a minute to rethink what you’re thinking - please know that we both have achieved many goals. Mother is the strongest, most reliable, honest, will put her kids first and does so even now and we’re all adults with our own kids, loving, anointed to preach the gospel, can get a prayer through with a beautiful heart and head of hair to go with it extraordinary woman that I will ever know. So my son is reaping the great parenting skills that I received. Thanks my fair Lady, you are the wind beneath your daughter’s wings. Love ya!
  5. LOVE Please see previous blog post. I’m just kidding. There are many forms of love. I’m currently absorbed in self-love. I have learned to say No can’t do. Sorry, I’m studying, relaxing or hanging with the kid. Before I felt like a superwoman because I was engaged in TOO many things and looking fantabulous to onlookers who cheered on my juggling act. Today the To-Do list consists of things I really want to be a part of, my God given and approved dreams and what brings me joy.
  6. EDUCATION This heading should read World Class. Knowledge that can’t be taken from me. Truths. Facts. Ideas. Success. Accomplishments. Stretching. Growing. Evolving. Leadership. Teaching. Discovering. From the moment I learned to read and write growing up in the quiet town with one stop light and courthouse in the center of the main streets, I struck gold. I’m a curious individual and learning feeds my inquisitive nature. My 91 year old grandmother calls me her ‘College Girl’ & my friends say I’m a ‘career student’. Either way ain’t no stopping me now I’m on the move.
  7. RELATIONSHIPS At the beginning of this year I decided to practice the spirit of goodbye. This included friends, family members, like family, desiring to be virtual friends (funny, huh?), potential dates or whatever category the person fell into. An accurate description of me would be I’m a caring and loving individual. I love being the life of the party but the spotlight is exhausting. As a matter of fact, it was! So I no longer work to maintain relationships being groomed only by me.  They say love is a two way street. Once I realize I’m the only one taking the drive it is time to save some gas. Side note: This doesn’t mean that I love any of you less, I just love me more and value my time.
So there you have my random thoughts inspired by everyday words. I almost feel bad there are seven words instead of eight. I get hung up on even numbers. I don’t know why just another random thing about me like this post. I like it. Hope you do to. If not I’ll be sure to randomly come up with another topic soon.
~dIvA mOm~

Friday, March 12, 2010

If It Isn’t Love, Why Do We Feel This Way?

I promised myself I wouldn’t touch this topic with a 10 foot pole but it keeps tapping me on the shoulder. One, I’m not sure that I can explain this topic since my experiences have been limited and sometimes rough, kinda sorta – I’m single. #2. This topic is so misconstrued by society that my 2 cents will probably fall on deaf ears and finally, I certainly don’t want anyone thinking I’m trying to capitalize personally by addressing this topic. Oh well here it goes…………………………………….
“L.O.V.E.” sings Michael Buble:

L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore
And love is all that I can give to you
Love is more than just a game for two
Two in love can make it
Take my heart but please don't break it
Love was made for me and you

And so it appears that everyone has something to say about who should be together, who shouldn’t be together, who just got together and who broke up using Twitter or Facebook. Yes, I’m into celebrity gossip (Why lie?) and I even check out my family and friends relationship status from time to time and the pics they post with “The One.”

I’m actually not writing this post to condemn or promote any way to find love. Various forms of media are bombarding us with images of sex, love, lust and happily ever after. Yes, I know this isn’t breaking news. What I’m more concerned about are the young girls I see everyday at work. Just this past week, I spoke with a 7th grade student who had a complete meltdown over the guy she was going out with. She said she’s in love. She isn’t allowed to date. She heard rumors. Umm, what does your mom think is what I always ask? I shared my suggestions. She shared a letter written to her baby. I gave her tissue. She stared at me like I was an old maid.

I’m often thinking what was I doing in 7th grade but I already know the answer to that. My nose was in a book. I spent my childhood and even my adult hood reading while walking. I read at stop lights. YES, I know that isn’t safe but neither is texting while driving. So Oprah has another cause to take on. I’m not trying to be a goodie goodie but I really did love school, learning and I feared the worst. What my mother would do if I had a boyfriend!!!! YIKES . An early death or worst being embarrassed in front of my friends if my older siblings saw me with a boooooyyyy.

So here’s what I’ve learned: love doesn’t resemble what we see on television or in the movies. I love good Black love stories in both film and print but let’s be honest the movie is two hours and a book is 30 chapters. The End. I am grateful to have successful married couples in my life who keep it real. Love, marriage, a relationship takes work especially when the rain is falling. Will you still be willing to share the same shelter?

No matter how hard we try ladies, we can’t make him love us, want us, marry us or leave her. Don’t be shocked because we’ve heard this one too many times yet we continue to give it up on the first day, see him after he’s been with her horus earlier, make excuses that you don’t want the hassle of a relationship and the list trails on. Everyone wants someone. It’s how we are wired by the Creator. I do eventually. I want to learn to love. I want to fall in love when I’m ready. Most importantly if I ever make it to the altar I want it to be forever.

I often ask myself if I’m in love with the idea of being in love? Can I allow someone to occupy my space 24/7? How will marriage and love fit into working full time, working part time, parenting, graduate school and now blogging? We know I would surely need to give up something. I’m too selfish to do so right now. I don’t want my son to feel unstable, neglected or unsure about my love for him. I’m not saying this would happen. I have just taken the time to go over the ups, downs, highs, lows, pros and cons. This is something many couples do not do. If they did, wouldn’t we see more people staying together?!?! I’m not talking just African Americans. I’m just talking people in general who stand before GOD and make vows they have no intentions of keeping. Children are born into unions that are more about appearance than it is a health love relationship where two people are firmly fixed on caring more for someone else than their own selfish desires.

So for now I’m going to keep encouraging the young middle girls that I mentor to focus on self-love, to learn as much as they can because guys do like girls with brains, to enjoy friendships and their parents. If I can in someway help a young lady from having to discover where a broken heart (a topic I know a lot about) goes then I am doing something positive. Like Janet Jackson’s Let’s Wait Awhile asks of him:

Let's wait awhile

Before it's too late

Let's wait awhile

Our love will be great

Let's wait awhile

Before we go too far

I get irritated when asked why are am I single when I have so much to offer? Death stare while thinking because love isn't like picking out a pair of the latest gap jeans (which I adore). My heart aches when I see other ladies sell themselves short. Actually, it hurts more when I sell myself short (all jokes aside). When I find out another teen is pregnant. Another not ready guy has left her and the baby to make their own way in a vicious world. I know where I’ve been and I thank GOD for his healing power. Single parenting would be much more difficult (because it is tough at times) if I had not loved and lost AND learned more about me, my wants, my needs, my willingness to give and what I could tolerate.

With that I’ll close this post by cranking up on the iPod a song by one of my favorite R & B divas, JHud. Check out her vid here:

A Lady Actively Waiting,

~dIvA mOM

Friday, March 5, 2010

And GOD Shall Wipe Away Every Tear

Today I will be traveling home to say goodbye to my Great Aunt. She was a mighty warrior. She was one who lived life with zeal until the very final moment. Auntie was a woman of prayer, praise and worship. She was a good cook, could beat a tambourine making the heavens tremble and was my extension of the Grandmother I lost 11 years ago. When I received the news, it took me back to that dreadful day in high school when I lost my father’s mom. The truth is I had a complete meltdown. I screamed and cried. We buried my Dad’s oldest sister in November and I haven’t gotten my bearings from that. How does one learn to accept death?!?!

After my breakdown, I turned on the radio (it was Sunday morning) and heard a song. The repeated lyrics were: Lord if you hold me I won’t fall. I was able to get my praise on and celebrate my Aunt’s life. I watched her many years in church as I did my Grandmother. They had so many similar characteristics, after all they were sisters. So I was able to catch my breath or so I thought.

And the saga continues….my Blackberry starts ringing. It’s my sister calling to tell me that a family friend (we’ll call her the Great Northern Bean Queen) passed away from complications due to a stroke last year. Now I was done! What? Why? Who? When? Where? Ok, GOD no more cruel jokes. This kind, caring and funny woman assisted my mom with rearing us. She fed us, jacked our clothes up when they weren’t fitting just right and was like a sister to my mom and aunts.

At this point, I’m living under a cloud of sadness. I call my mom to pray. I pray. I sit quietly and try to make sense of this life in my head. Yes, I know I can’t but GOD’S ways aren’t our ways. I thought GOD take this person, this person and the guy over here instead of the people I love. No, I wasn’t sorry for saying it. It was an honest emotion. Problem with that is GOD doesn’t operate according to what I feel. HE isn’t changed by my emotions. What I am confident in is knowing HE does act according to is HIS word. So guess where I went? YES, to HIM.

At this moment, I’m at peace. I’m filled with joy. I’m anticipating great things in my life and the lives of those around me. New babies are preparing to enter the world, new loves are beginning, old loves are wedding, people are dying and calamities are occurring all over the world BUT I’m still filled with HIS joy. In Ecclesiastes 3 (AMP Bible), we are reminded there is a time for everything:

1 There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under heaven:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace

 I reminded that if GOD holds me, I can endure anything in this life. Single parenting. Being a single successful female. Working in the educational system (teaching isn’t for the weak). Life. Death. Hardships. 45 degree weather in S. Florida. Doors closing. Change from new doors opening. A crashing Blackberry. Macy’s not having the boots I wanted, LOL! Why? There are going to be both bad & good days. Actually there are great days if I focus on the positive. There is a time for everything. I plan to use the time I’m given to help change the world. What about you?

Celebrating Life,

~dIvA mOm~

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