Love and Candy

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. The rush for big teddy bears, boxes of chocolate and roses has been going on all this week. Delivery men rushing to deliver the flowers and gifts to people at work so they can smile and feel that their significant other is a romantic. The gush of the gift from the ladies in the lunch room as they swoon about how lucky they are to have a man like (insert name). All of the things that men hate and of course women with no man hate too.

I will spend tomorrow giving my son a card, cake, candy (he likes Skittles) and balloons. Explaining to him that I love him just the way he is and every day he has my heart. Not just today, but even when he’s manipulating his teacher, rough housing with other kids or reminding me about something he did when he was three years old. I still love him. Always.

Relationships are fluid. Love is constant. Enjoy each other. Appreciate each other. It is not the cost of the meal or the cost of the gift, but the true heart of the giver. My wish for everyone is simply to love. Love until you can love no more and then love again.

Happy-Valentines-Day-Photos

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The Power of Daddy

There is nothing more important than the bond between father and child. I don’t underestimate my role in my son’s life, but there is nothing like the power of daddy. I can see how Lee’s relationship with Brennan is shaping him into the man that he will become. A few posts ago, I talked about the importance of me being there with my hectic schedule. I now want to point out the power of daddy.

In today’s changing society, many women are single parents. I recently read that more than 70% of black children are born to single black women. I was astonished at this number because I do believe that a lot of black women want to be wives as well as mothers. Being a product of a single parent household, I will say that it was the hardest thing growing up feeling like I was missing something because I had no dad at home. I didn’t want the same thing. I actually ran from marriage. I didn’t know if I was marriage material or if there was anyone who could deal with me and all my “baggage”. However, God had other plans and sent Lee my way. Lee and I were married almost 6 years before we had Brennan. I was terrified of being a mother. I felt that every time something went wrong in a child’s life, society blamed the mother. I feared that I would be a failure as a parent and I didn’t want to mess any child’s life up, especially my own. It was Lee’s love for me and faith in us that we decided to be parents. I never knew that God would bless us with Brennan. Brennan is a rambunctious, questioning, argumentative and hopefully future successful prosecutor who believes that at the age of two, he knows what is best. It is crazy to watch my son’s argument form in his mouth and be expressed in his lips. He is really a funny little boy. He is his father’s son.

Last Sunday, Brennan and I were lying down getting ready to go to bed. Brennan screams “Mommy, I want a lollipop.” I politely say “No.” He says, “Mommy, I want a lollipop.” I reply, “No.” He screams, “Mommy, I want a lollipop.” I said “No, you’re not getting one, so please stop asking.” I called Lee into the bedroom and said, “Brennan, tell your daddy what you said.” He froze. I told my husband, “Brennan wants a lollipop.” Lee said, “Brennan, do you want a lollipop?” Brennan replied, “No, Daddy, I don’t want a lollipop!” I was stunned. Did he just call me a liar without ever saying those words? How could this be? I then realized, it was the power of daddy.

Dad’s have a powerful and positive impact upon the development and health of children. The way Lee plays with Brennan also has an impact on Brennan’s emotional and social development. According to the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, U.S. Children’s Bureau : “Fathers spend a much higher percentage of their one-on-one interaction with infants and preschoolers in stimulating, playful activity than do mothers. From these interactions, children learn how to regulate their feelings and behavior. Rough-housing with dad, for example, can teach children how to deal with aggressive impulses and physical contact without losing control of their emotions. Generally speaking, fathers also tend to promote independence and an orientation to the outside world. Fathers often push achievement while mothers stress nurturing, both of which are important to healthy development. As a result, children who grow up with involved fathers are more comfortable exploring the world around them and more likely to exhibit self-control and pro-social behavior.”

This forming and attached bond could explain why Brennan felt that he really didn’t need the lollipop when confronted with his wants by his dad. Dads have power. I will never underestimate the role my husband plays in our son’s life. He is shaping the gift we were blessed with by being an involved and hands-on dad. I don’t think we give men, especially dads the props they deserve, so I want to say thank you to all the wonderful fathers who are involved in shaping their children’s lives. You make me proud. You are loved and appreciated for all you do in making us better mothers because of who you are.