These Are Perilous Times

I didn’t want to write this. Another post about the injustices of those who are supposed to serve and protect killing two men last week. The videos. Social media. I couldn’t. I was too emotionally drained. Angry. Frustrated. Scared. Heartbroken.

So, I prayed. I prayed for healing for our nation. I prayed for the families of the victims. I prayed for the families of the officers who committed these heinous crimes. I prayed for the officers murdered in Dallas. I prayed.

In times of trouble there is not much I can do but write, protest and pray.

I can use my words to talk about the things that black parents feelbut you know.

I can talk to you about how I’m afraid for our black men dying at the hands of policebut you know.

I can talk to you about how I feel about our black girls dying too – but you know.  

I can tell you how it feels to be the mother of a black boy – but you can probably guess.

So, what is the purpose of this post? To simply ask you to look through a different lens. A lens outside of your own. Take me for example…Let’s see, you know that I love my son more than life itself. That he is the reason that I truly understand God’s love because he gifted him to me. You know that. You know that I spoil him, chastise him, kiss him, run him back and forth to the many activities and I record every moment of his life. Afraid to miss anything.

He is valuable.

He was wonderfully created and made by God.

Just like each of you.

But, I can’t understand why in this country we wear blinders and act like racism doesn’t exist. Let me break it down for you…It does. I’ve experienced it first-hand.

Do I believe that every white person is a racist or that every situation is about race? No, I don’t. Many black people don’t believe that either. But, I need you to understand this…we have to stop acting like we can’t talk about race or that racism doesn’t exist. 

When you can justify the killing of two black men as “they were probably doing something wrong” you’re part of the problem.  When you can write about someone’s past as fact and they are the victim,  you’re part of the problem. We have a problem people. Let’s own the problem and find a solution. 

Will you ever understand what it feels like to be black? No. No more than I can imagine what it’s like to be white, gay, Jewish or Muslim but that doesn’t mean that I don’t empathize with other human beings when things happen in communities outside my own.

We’re all human.

We all matter.

We were all created by God!

A righteous and just God that I have faith will heal this hurting nation.

Can you understand that?

I, like most black parents, fear for my son. I fear that he will be presumed guilty if he ever encounters a police officer. Judged on the streets and not the courtroom. He will be judged not by a righteous and just man. But, by someone who will see his beautiful skin color as a threat. It won’t matter that he’s a child or that he has no criminal background. He will be assumed guilty because he is black.

So, I want to know that the public servants (law enforcements) who may encounter my son treat him fairly. The way that they treat others who look like them. If they do shoot my son unjustly, I want the person to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. It’s that simple.

Do you know what it’s like to not let your son play with certain toys because you don’t want him to get gunned down like Tamir Rice? No toy guns. No real guns. Even though you have a right to bear arms in this country, the second amendment wasn’t designed to protect you Munch!

That’s what I have to explain to him. That’s what I have to tell my son someday. Our dirty laundry that the history books leave out. Do you tell your children the truth about our country’s history or do you omit it hoping and praying for better days?

The whole “if you don’t know your history you’re bound to repeat it” rings in my head. Are we repeating history? Silently. This thumping with the songs from my ancestors playing lowly in the background…We Shall Overcome!

We shall overcome.

When we stand united.

When we stand as one loving people knowing that we won’t allow the bad apples of our society to taint our generation.

To stain the fabric of our humanity.

We shall overcome.

 

Party Planning for 8

Some bright news dear friends…I’ve secured Munch’s requested swim party. Thankfully, I found the only location that hadn’t been booked through our Parks and Recreation in my county. I found out last Saturday that they had an opening on his birthday and was ecstatic. I told Munch and asked him was the location okay for his party. He said yes. So, we are having a swimming party for his 8th birthday. A Sonic the Hedgehog Birthday Party because this boy loves Sonic.

1445814625115

Unfortunately, the location doesn’t hold that many. Adults and children are included in that count so it will be a tight squeeze. However, I have secured the photographer, the custom cake has been ordered, invitations ordered and I’m still working on decorations. I am excited. I decided to order rotisserie chicken, salad, rice and bread for the party. I didn’t want pizza. Everything has to be store brought except the cake. I’m going to buy boxes of Capri Sun, bottled water and sodas for the adult. Still working out the other details.

Here are some ideas that I’m playing with for the 8th Sonic the Hedgehog Birthday bash:

 

Sonic-the-hedgehog-Birthday-Party-Theme1

sonic invitations

Sonic-Boom_gaming

603593GUg_sonic-birthday-cake_900

900x900px-LL-e9ddf5c9_gallery8167781337154308

Even though this is another task in my quite busy life, I am overjoyed and excited about my Munch’s 8th birthday party. I know that he will have a ball and you know what? He needs some joy. He needs some laughter. He needs some people loving on him for his birthday. So, I will happily plan this party (with the help of my BFF) and not complain (too much).

 

Disclaimer:  I own no rights to the included photos. I did a Google search to find them.

Munch, Bailey and The Stinky

Here’s some afternoon parenting humor from a prior post. Enjoy.

A Thomas Point of View

It was a horrific night last night in the Thomas household. My 3-year-old and the dog had a comedic yet disgusting episode. Here’s what happened…

Munch came in our bedroom last night with his hands held out with poo in both his hands crying “It’s stinky mommy! It’s stinky!” I immediately freaked out and asked, “Munch did you put your hand in your pull-up?” He didn’t respond. He just kept crying.

I led him to the bathroom to thoroughly wash and clean his hands while trying not to vomit. I stopped by his bedroom to see the damage that had been done… a pile of my son’s poo was laying in his red Lightening McQueen chair. I was disgusted.

Before I could clean it up, the family dog Bailey walks his happy doggy tail right by me and proceeds to eat the poo out of Munch’s chair. I was so…

View original post 252 more words

Animal Love

In honor of our furry friend, the family pet…Bailey Potter Thomas. He died September of last year.

I never wanted a pet until we got him. The love this dog gave was immeasurable. He was smart, lazy and very protective. My only pet and my son’s best friend.

They were brothers. Munch would shop for him every Christmas and Valentine’s Day and then keep the doggie toys for himself. LOL!

I loved my boys.

image

image

image

image

 

Co-Parenting and Death

Hey Everyone!

Sorry for the delay. It’s been a rough weekend compounded with a bad Monday where I didn’t feel good and was home in the bed.

As I’ve stated before, co-parenting can be a real drag when the parents think and do things differently. As a strong personality (yes, I will admit it) it can be hard for me to not intercede my opinion on what is in the best interest of my child. I’ve learned that I can’t do that. My ex often referred to me as a controlling b**** and I have to remember that what he does on the week’s that he has my son is what he chooses. Do I like it? Nope. Do I think you should follow that logic? Nope, but to keep the peace – I do.

That being said, let me tell you how that dang logic can fail. Last Thursday, my son’s father stopped by to see munch at his request and then proceeded to tell him that the family dog, Bailey, will have to be put to sleep soon because he was sick. My son had a major breakdown and ran in the house crying to see me and talk to me about it. I asked his dad, “Why would you tell him that?” He replied, “It’s true, the dog hasn’t eaten or drank little water since last Friday.” “So, you’re letting him suffer and wait it out?” I asked. “No, munch said he wants to say good-bye to Bailey first” was his reply.

I disagreed with this logic. Our child was 7. He didn’t need to see him dying. WTH? I said nothing though. You know, that dang co-parenting thing.

Bailey had been sick for two years. Two years. The longest two years of my life. I watched his slow decline and offered to split the vet costs with my ex. He never responded. Last November, I decided that I would no longer split custody of the dog. My ex wasn’t taking good care of him and I had hoped that my decision would have forced him to give Bailey up or take him to the vet. I said that I would keep him if they should go out of town.

He said nothing. “Okay” was his response. In April was the last time I kept Bailey. I told my ex that Bailey’s health is failing and this is ridiculous. You need to get him to the vet. It didn’t happen. My ex was hospitalized in June on a Friday. On Sunday he asked me could I get Bailey. It was 48 hours later. Didn’t you think of him Friday when you were hospitalized? Why are you now thinking of him on Sunday? I replied “No.” He called me all kinds of names and told me how I failed Bailey and threw him away like I did our family.

I was hurt. I didn’t throw away our family. I ended our relationship. I cried. But, I resolved to not give into the bitterness and let the pain suffocate me like a wet blanket trying to extinguish a fire. It was no good. It did suffocate me.

I told him through text that Bailey needs to be taken care of by someone else. My ex couldn’t walk him anymore. He was in denial and couldn’t see beyond his own need for Bailey to remain with him. Bailey was going to the bathroom on pee pads in his house , no exercise or medical attention.  I said a prayer and let Bailey go.

It pained me to see him when I would drop off things at my ex’s house. He looked so sick and sad. I prayed. I let him go in my heart. I begged my friends who were friends with him to please talk to him about giving up Bailey. They didn’t. It wasn’t their place. Whose place was it? Mine? Nope, he didn’t listen to me.

Bailey was getting sicker.

That suffering ended Friday, September 25th when my son and his dad walked in their house and found Bailey dead. He was 9. Would have been 10 on November 4th.  My son had a breakdown.

When I spoke to him he said, “Mommy, Bailey’s dead. His eyes were open and he had a scratch on his eye. Mommy” My heart broke. My munch was experiencing first hand the pain of losing someone very close to him. Bailey had been in his life since he was born. We introduced them as brothers. I tried to calm him down. My son asked, “Mommy, don’t you care that he’s gone?” “Yes munch, but Bailey is in a much better place. He’s not suffering anymore and I need you to calm down. To know that he is not in pain.”

Saturday morning my ex calls and tells me that he needed me to take munch to therapy. He can’t take him. He has to deal with the proper disposal of Bailey’s body. Yep, I had a WTH? moment but couldn’t say anything right? My munch spent the night at his dad’s house with Bailey’s body. I was hurt. I was angry. What is wrong with his dad? Why can’t he see past his own pain and take his son out of the house? But, I’m not allowed to ask questions.

My son cried in my arms all Saturday. Heartfelt, deep and painful tears that came from the depths of his soul. He cried asking, “Mommy, why won’t God raise Bailey from the dead like he did Jesus? He knew we needed Jesus and he knows I need Bailey.” With tears streaming down my face I just held him and rocked him. I kept telling him, “Bailey wouldn’t want to see you sad. He hated to see you cry. He cried when you cried. He loved you.” But, what should I have said? What am I supposed to do?

Pick up the pieces of a child’s broken spirit? I’m trying. We made a memory box that we will be putting words, thoughts, stories, memories and pictures of Bailey in it. There are so many things that munch didn’t know about Bailey. I’m adding to the box. Encouraging his dad to do so and trying to  ease my son’s pain.

He will never forget the loss. We will never forget. We just have to do the best we can in the midst of his pain. Co-parenting through death sucks. You have to live with the other parent’s decision even if you don’t think it is in the best interest of your child.

image

image

image

image

 

From the Mouths of Babes

My son is a good child.

Simple in his wishes.

He is six.

He can’t figure out when is Christmas.

We tell him.

He forgets.

He asks daily.

He sings Christmas carols.

He doesn’t get the lyrics quite right.

We laugh.

He told me that all he wants for Christmas is a stuffed bunny rabbit, a fire truck and a gold fish.

We are lucky.

No, we are blessed that God chose us.

My Little Pony

I have an announcement to make:  My son loves “My Little Pony”.  He watches it religiously on Netflix.  He loves ponies.  He loves horses too.  He loves all animals.  That being said, I want to let the world know that I don’t have to defend my son’s love of a show, animals or magical creatures to you or anyone.  You see, when he was born we promised to allow him the freedom to grow and discover new things.  We said we would support him.  We said we would encourage him.  We said we would love him just the way he is. So, why does him loving “My Little Pony” bother some folks?  

Case in point, last month, McDonald’s had “My Little Pony” toys as part of their happy meals. We stopped by McDonald’s on a Monday night after soccer practice and he asked for a nugget happy meal with milk.  He wanted the nuggets in the purple package.  What?  He meant the mighty kids meal (6 piece nuggets).   He then said, “Mommy, I want a pony.”  I said, “Okay, love.” I went up to the register and told the cashier my order.  When I said that I wanted the pony toy instead of the other toy, she replied loudly, “So, you want a girl’s toy while looking down at my son?” I replied firmly, “Yes”.  She yelled to her runner (the person fixing my order), get the girl toy.

What kind of foolishness was this?  Why did she have to get loud as though I didn’t understand my own request?  Why would she think that I as his mother would not get him the toy he wants? I wasn’t embarrassed.  I was angry.  My son shouldn’t have to hear this foolishness.  He’s impressionable.  I never tell him what is a girl’s toy or what is a boy’s toy.  He can play with whatever he likes.  And he did. He was ecstatic to get the purple pony and happily sat down to eat his dinner and play with his pony.  People stared.  I stared back at them.  My son was happy.  I was frustrated and disgusted that people thought it weird that my son wanted a “girl toy” instead of the “boy toy”.  If you know what the show is about, gender doesn’t really matter. Why can’t boys play with dolls or ponies?  What is the big deal? Why can’t we view ponies as gender neutral?  Aren’t there boy ponies?


So, I did some research and wanted to learn everything that I could about “My Little Pony”. After searching on the web I found some disturbing news regarding boys being bullied for liking “My Little Pony”. How could that be?  Isn’t this a child like fantasy world where ponies are based on the six elements of harmony; loyalty, honesty, generosity, laughter, kindness and magic? Wow, they teach how to live harmoniously.  They focus on friendship.  Minus magic, I think I talk to Brennan everyday about these different elements as a basis of principles for how he should behave. 


What is happening that where boys can’t like toys that are based on sound principles that are non-threatening and educational?  Our society has to get better.  Just this year, all kinds of stories about boys liking “My Little Pony”.  Some were horror stories.  Like this one little boy attempting suicide earlier this year. Can a boy like a show that is fun and encouraging without being bullied?  Maybe not, after all this little boy was told by his school to ditch his “My Little Pony” book bag because it is a trigger for bullying.  Really now?


I pray that my son will grow up knowing that he is loved and that it is okay for you to play with any and all toys.  Toys don’t determine his sexuality.  He can play with dolls, trucks, ponies or anything that is not dangerous and parent approved.  His kindergarten teacher told me “I love the fact that Brennan has an imagination.  So many children entering kindergarten having lost their innocence and Brennan is still pure and innocent.” I smiled and thanked her and ran to call his dad to share the praise.  


My son has an imaginary friend and a love for the color purple.  How can I tell him that there is no such thing as magic when I’m trying to teach him about faith.  His imaginary friend plays with him, protects him and plays with him.  I accept that.  You see, I love him just they way he is and I refuse to stifle his spirit by pushing society’s pre-conceived notions of what my boy should play with on him.  He is mine. He was divinely created, grown in a broken vessel and given to God. Let him keep his innocence.

FYI – This is Twilight Sparkle from “My Little Pony”.  She represents the element of magic.  This is the one he received in his happy meal.