Thursday, March 31, 2011

Book Lover and Reader in Training

We have been in a state of wonder as we watch and listen to our daughter these days; she is speaking so many new words, putting sentences together and surprising us with the clarity of her communications, memory and the list goes on!

Today, I stood at the sink, mindlessly, washing dishes when Makiya came around the corner. She had her hands out, palms up and was shaking her head as she walked up and looked at me. “Mommy, I can not read books.” She was obviously feeling a little frustrated, and needed to express her concerns. That beautiful, sweet and innocent voice; my heart melted in that moment.

We spent a few minutes talking about it, as I pointed out that she IS learning words, and is amazing with her letters, so it would only be a matter of time before she caught on.

She appeared satisfied, and went on her way, back to her books. I went back to finishing the dishes and beginning dinner preparations.

About 20 minutes later she calls out to me. “Mommy, Mommy!! I CAN read!” Smiling to myself, heart thumping, mind turning back to the stories of my own early reading capabilities, I raced out into the living room. I found her sitting there in a pile of books, holding up one of the books that I know would be a FAR stretch in regards to her actually reading it. She was beaming as I came to her, she placed the book atop one of the several stacks surrounding her, proceeded to grab another and went about her reading.

I ruffled her hair, beaming myself, placed a kiss on her head and thought, “Maybe not today, but in the near future, she WILL be reading to me.”

What a special moment to have shared; the pride that comes with it, inevitable. I AM teaching my girl. She IS learning. She is AMAZING.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Those Things Our Kids Say

A few days ago, my 26 month old daughter spoke words to me that I thought would be, at the least, a few years away.

We sat at the table with her lunch sitting in front of her. A typical meal, she twisted and turned in her chair as she ate sparingly. Also normal, was my continual utterance of “Makiya, please turn around and eat…”

Today was different though. This little girl turned around, sat on her bum and put her head down. Then she said “I merry mad Mommy.”

Stunned a little, I shook my head, perhaps something was blocking my ears from hearing my girls words correctly? I asked her if she said she was mad at me.

“Yes. I merry mad Mommy. Merry angwee.”

I tried very hard not to laugh, a little smirk creeping across my face, “I am very sorry to hear that, but you still need to eat your lunch.”

She’s very mad at me, angry even?!

Takes me back a few months, to the morning I asked her to please clear her toys off of the table so we could get up and eat breakfast. She said no, her then favorite word. I repeated my request, asking where she would eat if she didn’t move these things. She turned back to the table and proceeded to take the tablecloth by the corner and pull. In one movement, the table was cleared and she was looking back at me quite pointedly. No words required there!

Oh this little girl is growing up so quickly; a little too smart for her own good we often remark. Or is it too smart for OUR own good?!

She certainly does take it all in.

Nap and bedtime battles have gotten the best of me recently, and she is now showing, or more accurately telling, me the message that she has gotten and chosen to ignore; EVERYTIME we prepare for the sleep routine. This is what I hear:

“No toys, no stowee, bed. Okay? Okay.” That’s right Makiya, “If you don’t clean up your toys, we won’t read a story, it will be bedtime.”

“Bedtime bedtime.” She says. Yes Makiya, “Bedtime is bedtime.”

“Dettin ohd.” Yes, “This is getting old.”

“No moah.” That’s right, “I am not doing this anymore.”

Oh yes, this daughter of mine is keeping me on my toes!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Women's History Month

Growing up I remember being asked the question from a variety of sources, “Who do you look up to?”, and even then I was a little mystified. And yet, although I realized that there was no specific role models that existed in my mind in that sense, I didn’t ever really bother to take the time to dig deeper, or investigate what that could mean to me; to HAVE someone I really looked up to, maybe like a mentor, perhaps as someone I really desired and aspired to be like. There were times through the years when I was faced with this question that my mind would drift towards Oprah, but I would quickly dismiss it as cliché and perhaps just an easy answer.

I just simply don’t recall EVER having anyone, even more specifically, a woman, that I looked up to in this sense. We didn’t ever discuss anything close to celebrating Women’s History Month, and I certainly didn’t realize there were even such occasions back then! In fact, the majority of my life I have either had more friends of the opposite sex, or, as now, simply spent more time in the company of myself; so for really examining the relationships of women in my life, my grandmothers, etc., it has really never been in the forefront of my mind.

Being completely honest, my thoughts on many things have been transformed, or altered over the past year. This would include the relationship with other women; something I have lacked understanding in the value of. I am learning, slowly. I can see it, and am beginning to realize the necessity that actually exists in having a friend or “sister” (of course mother, but I am speaking in the sense of relating to any other woman).

As I look back now, of course I can see that one of the women, one of the most important women, that played a role in my life was my mom. They do say, in the ever popular cliché, that a new bond begins between a mother and daughter, when the daughter becomes a mother herself! But going many years before that, as a young girl I looked up to my mom. I remember being proud, even bragging at times, of having a young mom in comparison to some of my friends; and of course adding that she was pretty! As I grew, amidst the chaos that often exists between moms and their daughters, I still was able to acknowledge the strength that my mom had; dealing with my dad and yet being able to not only go to college, but to excel at the top of her class, only then to move on to working quite successfully for a large company. She had two kids, one of which, ahem, was horrible to deal with, and yet she managed to do not only what was necessary, but she was able to build for herself the life that she truly wanted and deserved. I can certainly say that my mom has taught me many things, whether she is able to see it or not. She has shown me what strength, courage and dedication are all about. Her journey, in so many ways, was/is the lantern that lights my own path.

Laura Ingalls Wilder. How could I have ever forgotten her influence on me from such a young age?! I was captivated by her books, the Little House on the Prairie series and many others. She WAS the “hero” of my childhood in comparison to the other “super heroes” that the kids were into. Laura was the strong, brave and determined girl that grew into an amazingly brilliant woman. I drank in every word of each new dilemma that was faced throughout her life; every new town, the storms, the illnesses. Everything that happened within her family was only a small obstacle in the whole picture of the love and dedication that was shared within that circle.

Oprah. Well, I can now easily admit that I do look up to her. She not only accepted and acknowledged the horrible things in her early life, she absolutely rose above. Above and beyond that personal achievement, she has and continues to do so many wonderful things around the world. The financial and otherwise opportunities that she has provided pale in comparison to the inspiration that she has provided to so many people. She has opened the hearts and minds of an immeasurable amount of people worldwide; she has shown us what it means to give, to receive and to truly live and love in our lives.

There is another woman that I think of now, in this context of great women, empowering women, strong women; I will call her D. She was my boss for a few years, but I also have thought of her as a friend and a teacher. I admire her in so many ways. In the short time that I spent with her, she was the one that seemed to pull the blinders off of my eyes. She brought back to life many things I had touched lightly on throughout my life, but she presented them to me perfectly, exactly as I needed, when I needed. She has shown her own strength in so many ways during her life, and she is truly an example, in my eyes, as to how we could live our lives purely; she makes living our true life, walking our ultimate path look simple!

With this newly opened mind, I could perhaps add a few more women to this little list; my sisters, my grandmothers, my BFF and a couple more well-known names; but I think I have said enough for now!

Women’s History Month…who are some of the women that you look up to and admire for their courage and strengths?

Sunday, March 6, 2011


What is this curiosity that has me looking backwards? What has taken such a strong hold on my mind that I seem to be driven to dig around in the past? What is that requires more exploration and understanding? What have I missed?

Is there something I have forgotten that could possibly make such a difference in my life now? Is it a person, a place or simply a moment? Perhaps there were words spoken that only my adult mind can now comprehend?

I am standing in the middle; being pulled into the future by one arm and one leg is being pulled out from under me in an attempt to drag me back… Am I stuck in this position until I take that step back and find what it is that seems to be calling out? Were I to move forward from this spot now, would I do so at the risk of straying from the true nature of my journey?

Maybe it is the voice of my true self that I hear? Is it trying to take me back to the place where I knew who I truly was? Is it trying to capture my attention in an effort to show me the strength and courage that exists inside of me, that which has always existed, even when I have chosen to hide it?

What do you want? Tell me, speak to me, show me… I am here, open to receive that which must be heard… Free me, fill me and nurture me. Show me what I need to know and what I need to do. I am ready…

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Cold Hearted Bitch"...Accepted, Proudly!

We wake up one morning and it’s like we are living in a new and exciting world. Everything seems clear and crisp. There is nothing that could take us down from this place that we seem to floating upon. Our resolve to step forward, into the unknown, like nothing we had thought possible. We know we can do anything we put our heart and soul into and no one will stand in the way of that. We know that what is before us is important, crucial and even critical for making the trek back to the true path of our journey. We are ecstatic because it all makes sense now, and that which we have longed for is finally within our grasp.

As women, there is a tendency for something strange to happen when we finally find that clarity that we have been searching for. Suddenly, this new strength that we have found becomes a threat to those around us.

There is another air, one of anxiety that tries to cloud our commitment. Those mixed feelings that come from those around us, those feelings that are purely their own. Those we love and care about, the ones who love us and really do want what is best for us become confused. Their own world has been shifted and they are frightened as to where they fit in, what their new role may be, or if there is one at all.

We become labeled. “Cold hearted bitch” is one name that rings out loudest. It can be uttered from so many different influences in our life, from the men to the women; our parents, siblings, spouses or friends. Our true feelings about what sits in wait ahead for us, become misconstrued and misunderstood. The lack of tolerance for that which we know must change in order to move forward becomes taken as something it could not be farther from. Our approaching success becomes something that others fear, for their own reasons and due to their own insecurities. They are afraid of things that are beyond our control, and in the end have nothing to do with us and our decision.

I am beginning to see how this scene has played out in my life, how my choices in the past have been affected; by worrying about how my own happiness and success would or could affect those few that were close to me in the moment.

I see, how as women, we have continued, one generation after another, to allow others to dominate our bodies and minds. I see how by denying ourselves of that which we were not only entitled, but that which was/is meant for our true journey, we have not only deprived ourselves of precious time, love and true living, but we have robbed those around us that we love. We haven’t allowed anyone to experience the beautiful gifts that we have to offer.

Eyes wide open. Ears, well, open, but sufficiently filtered from the noise that attempted entry…I took one step forward, then another…I realized this was my time and I could never be more ready than I was in that moment.
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