Topic: Parenting Inspiration

Watching from a Distance

 

 

 

 

 

I have to say that the sibling bond stands out during moments of stress and fear. The bickering, the competing, the tattling and the noise gives way to gentle encouragement in these times. I watched my daughter face her on again off again fear of the ocean. Re-acclimating to the fun and surprise of crashing waves on the shoreline is a distant memory, as today the waves seem bigger and scarier. My son takes his sister’s hand and talks her through the fear, the same fear he felt moments ago when faced the same ocean.

“Twerking in The House of the Lord” Dr. Amina Humphrey

“Twerking in The House of the Lord” Dr. Amina Humphrey

 My friend and colleague Dr. Amina Humphrey blew the house down in an out of this world one women play. She talked about sex, the church, dancing, and to the silence of sex education or any hint of it in her house, in her school or her community. She shared about how her colleague, another black woman in her 40’s, an academic, competent, successful women still did not understand her body. She was disconnected from her sexuality, detached in a way that was painful to understand. Unfortunately, it was a familiar conversation.

The stereotypes of women and sex, revolves around the notion that women have power over men with their sexuality, there is hypnotic seduction; think Eve.

REeee-wind… there are some women, who take total ownership over their sexuality, who are comfortable with their body, who know their body, how it works, what it needs and how to take care of it; but then there is, everyone else.

Just think about the cultural differences, the generational differences and where technology and taken us. Sisters, we are struggling out there.

We need a life preserver or at least we should cough up $20 bucks to see Amina Humphrey’s blackwomensexuality.com, a one-woman show and learn something.

I would not have imagined that a middle-aged Jewish man from New York had any connection to a black, southern woman from Arkansas, but he did. Just like the Mexican lesbian sitting near him, we did.

This conversation was alive, there was laughter, there were tears and we were moved to reflect on our stories of sexuality. We were there with Amina as she shared her life in the church, in grandmother’s house, going through her deceased aunts belongs, the audience there with her when she claimed, liberation.

If only we could learn from osmosis. Until then, we must talk. Open the conversation to our children, to our friends, to our sisters

Our body is a barometer for our emotional health; our bodies hold what we cannot speak.or

Invite Amina Humphrey to speak to the issue of sexuality in a small intimate setting or at your university. You will hang on to every word she speaks and feel like Twerking too.

 

Meditation

I drove into the valley for my meditation session. I am trying to catch up with my American history as I listen to the brutality and trickery of the soldiers on the Native American in the audiobook, Bury My Heart and Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown.

During the drive I am trying to memorize the names of the Native Americans as I am reminded of the soldiers names that we have branded into our minds as heroes. As the story goes on my rage is palpable as I am gripping the steering wheel until my forearms ache. I park the car and go into the session taking a moment to write down the name I mustn’t forget, …., ….. I enter the room and do the customary 5-minute mediation before we speak.

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Dinner Parties

One of my family’s favorite things to do is have neighbors and friends over for dinner. In fact, my kids have come to expect it and even ask if we can invite the neighbors over for dinner. Lucky for us, we have an incredible loving relationship with out neighbors. So much so, that on days that we are too tired, too stressed out or just don’t want to cook, we check in with our neighbor and ask what she and her family are doing for dinner. Most of the time, we bring over our left overs, she takes out hers, makes a vegetable tray, and dinner is served. Not only is dinner made quickly, clean up is a collective effort. Ah…we often joke that we should just live in a commune, it sounds grand, minus the creepy cult association.

Parent Recharge

Yes, it is difficult to imagine your angelic children without their parents for a weekend. There may be tears and “Please don’t go,” as they attach themselves to your pant leg, but keep going. You can have your own breakdown en route to a sweet little cabin in the woods. If you have children, you deserve a get away; it is only fair to them and to you.

Some parents have a very strong reaction to the idea of leaving their children in the care of others; I am not sure if it is an insult to their parental obligations or an injustice to the role of mother or father. Please, lighten up. Don’t be afraid of judgment anyone that does is simply envious. Go with gusto.

We have a handful of friends that we trust implicitly with our children. In fact, our children love them and have a great relationship with them. Any other dynamic would be disastrous. So, lets clarify they must be safe and responsible adults.

Be sure that that you provide a schedule*, extra spending money, food, a safety plan and permission to have some fun. We have a schedule template that we use for our caregivers, we change the dates and details as needed, we have a safety pouch we leave visible, that contains a current photo of each child, medical information and a copy of their insurance cards. We also have a consent form** that allows that specific caregiver to give consent for medical treatment in our absence.

Whew…all bases covered. Go and have a good time.

*See Sample Schedule for Caregiver

**See Sample Medical Consent

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