Topic: Parenting Inspiration

Summer Safety: College Orientation, Sleep-away Camp, Sports Camps, Day Camp, etc.

This is a great opportunity to talk to your kids about being safe, travel in pairs and always let someone know where you are going and where you will be.  Remember, that a young high school student on a college campus for orientation, academic or sports programs will be exposed to college students and college life. This means they may be confronted with drugs, alcohol and or being invited to parties they have no business going to.  This applies as well to adult and or teenage counselors with young children.  Remind your kids that they should always be in groups with their peers. No safe adult is going to ask to be alone with a child, for any reason.

Talking Points

Always go to the bathroom, back to your cabin with a friend(s)

Stay in groups when wondering the college campus or field trips

Don’t go anywhere alone with an adult or counselor (unless it is an emergency, injury etc.)

 

Our Community and Our Children

So, I came upon this a few weeks ago and could not believe my eyes.  When I initially drove past this spot it was full of young middle school kids.  I decided to go back after dropping my child off for practice.  When I arrived, the kids were gone, but the backpacks, sweatshirts, and debris were still there as was the small airplane size bottle of liquor.  My first instinct was to find out who had left the mess and have them clean it up.  So, I took it upon myself to open the abandoned backpack and read the name on the school work. Bingo, I got the name.  A few minutes later the boy to whom the backpack belonged came for it. I asked by name if he and his friends had left the mess.  He said they had.  By this time James from the Pali Garden Cafe was looking at the mess, the man who owns the office building where the brick wall is was out surveying the mess too. He stated that the kids often leave their trash on and around his property.

I told the boy to please go find his friends, get them to clean up as he would be responsible for it all.  He left and returned with a few boys and girls.  They immediately started cleaning up and a few boys even apologized to me.  I reminded them that this community belongs to all of us and we are all responsible for keeping it clean and beautiful.  No one claimed the liquor bottle, but they gave up the name of who brought it and drank it. So, someone’s Paul Revere middle school son is drinking, this is an important detail.

My second instinct was from a parent’s perspective. I would be extremely upset with either of my children for participating and contributing to such a mess.  I challenge my kids to be upstanders, not bystanders, I want them to have the courage to interrupt a bad idea whether it by their friends or acquaintances. The box of cereal was dumped everywhere and pulverized, there were boba beads thrown and smashed against the wall, ketchup dumped, food containers left, and other contents smeared on the sidewalk.  Please talk to your kids.  Know what they are doing and with whom. These are our boys and girls who have the freedom to hang out in the neighborhood, ask them to me mindful and stand up to their friends.  This is a benign result to a bad decision. It no one stands up to this why would they stand up to a friend who is drinking and driving?  It is part of the same continuum if you ask me.  P.s. If you see my children behaving poorly, being disrespectful to others and or vandalizing property, please tell me.

 

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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