I’m a Conqueror

I woke up this morning excited. I have been sick for the last week and a half and it felt good to be out and about and even back at work. I was pumped. Yes, I have some things that are going on. Some worries I’m working through. Some concerns that are on my mind, but I was thankful for another day. I woke up feeling like superwoman. I told myself, “Girl, today is a new day. Yesterday was the past and today is a gift. Be present in the moment and know that no matter what happens today you are incredibly blessed and highly favored.”

Even when it doesn’t seem like it, I need to remember that I am a conqueror and this too shall pass. So, my #motivationalmonday message is based off one of my favorite chapters in the bible: Romans. Romans 8:34-39 which reads:

“Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.[a] 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all day long;
we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

So, I want to tell you the same thing. You’re a conqueror. Nothing we can do will separate us from the love of Christ. Trust me (I’ve done some things I thought would separate me and He still loves me).

Listen to Estelle’s song “Conqueror” and tell me that you are not inspired. No matter who is counting you out. Estelle sings “I’d rather stand tall than live on my knees because I’m a conqueror and I won’t accept defeat.”

Neither should you. God has already determined that you will win, so love, know that it will happen.

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Guess Who Got Published on MBB?

Happy Friday Folks!

If you haven’t heard, I was honored to get an article published on one of my favorite blogs…MyBrownBaby (yep, one word). MyBrownBaby is an incredible blog started by Denene Millner who states that “MyBrownBaby isn’t about pointing fingers at or putting down white moms. It’s about helping black moms. It’s also about providing a service for those who need the information but can’t find it or who just want someone to commiserate with them—help them sort through the beautiful struggle that comes with being black parents in America.” You love it right?

It’s a great blog with a wealth of information, articles, tips and stories from both men and women about children. I have been following along for the last couple of years. So, in light of #domesticviolenceawareness I decided to share my story in hopes of getting it published and bringing home what I’ve been sharing all month with you.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Domestic Violence is a topic that is close to my heart. I’ve shared more with you than I’ve shared with my own family. (I guess you guys/gals are my family). This writing has been therapeutic for me and I’ve grown through it. Which is incredibly helpful. Well, I decided to submit an article for publication earlier this month and I got notified on Wednesday that it was accepted and went live. I am overjoyed and I hope you have a chance to check out my latest piece and to subscribe to this incredible blog!

Click here for my post –  Suffer the Little Children: The Effects of Domestic Violence on Kids

Be blessed loves!

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I Wish I Could

I wish I could is the most hopeful phrase I know. It’s filled with possibilities. I like possibilities. They give me hope. Hope is promise. I like promises.

I was sitting there watching my son sleep last night and reflecting on how people say that I’m a good mother and I love my son. Great! But, doesn’t everyone? Doesn’t every parent love their child more than their own life? Doesn’t every parent’s heart swell with joy every time they think about their child?

Parenting is hard. Yes, I get tired. Yes, I get frustrated. Yes, I want to run away sometimes and lock myself in a padded cell and not hear the words, “Mom” or “Mommy” for a full 48 hours. That sounds ungrateful though. Not appreciating what God has blessed me with – but it’s the truth. It’s not his fault that I’m tired or this is my busy season at work. It’s not his fault if I get sick and he feels the need to check on me every (and yes I mean EVERY) 10 minutes to see if I’m okay. He’s just concerned.

This weekend was rough. I woke up this morning like “Ugh, I can’t believe it’s Monday already!” We had a great and exhausting weekend with visits to the pumpkin patch, swim class, my nail and hair appointments and dinner with his friends at Pizza Hut. As I stood above his bed watching him sleep (like I do many nights) my heart swelled with immense joy. I was truly grateful and blessed that I have an incredible little boy. As I stood over him seeing him in all his innocence, I started a list in my head. A list filled with hope and possibilities.

I Wish I Could:

  • Capture the sound of your laughter at this age because it is the best sound I’ve ever heard. It instantly makes me feel better and gives me hope that I’m not a bad mother when you get disappointed by me telling you no.
  • Teach you how to recognize, acknowledge and respect God’s favor over our lives. I don’t know why God has continually blessed us and keeps us even when I’m not the best person in the world, but I’m thankful. Truly thankful and blessed and I want you to be better than me in that munch.
  • Kiss away the scary. Sometimes you will wake up and I may not be there to kiss away your fears, but know that I am never far away. I believe in you and I believe in the fact that you are a big boy and this too shall pass.
  • Videotape your memories and thoughts when it comes to expressing your love for Jesus. You continually amaze me when you want to talk about Jesus, tell me about the Bible, be Jesus for Halloween or analyze how God is always watching over you even when I’m not there. You didn’t have a problem yelling out at Courtney’s 5th birthday party last week that we had to sing “May God Bless You” before we cut the cake because you want to honor God with everything you have and I am overwhelmingly in awe of who you are.
  • Always remember that I never wanted children. Because until you came along, my life was just ordinary and it was fine. But, the moment you were in my womb, it became extraordinary and I NEVER EVER want to forget that. It allows me to appreciate you and what you have done for me. Your very existence changed my world view. I am eternally grateful for that.

Motherhood is not always roses and laughter. I know there will be days that we will probably be ready to strangle each other, but I can’t take it for granted. The good or bad both matter and they mean that I am doing something right. I am not perfect. I am trying and I love being his mother because I now have purpose. To do what it says in the Bible, “Bring up a child by teaching him the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn away from it.” – Proverbs 22:6 (NLV)
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Mondays are for Mary

A couple of weeks I gave you insight into how Beyonce’s songs helped me through a particular rough period, but now I want to give you a list of songs by Mary J Blige that will help you through your blue period where you’re hurting because a man or woman has hurt you. This is for my ladies…Mary’s Monday Music List is all about getting you to a place where you can reflect, respond and resolve to be in a better mood than yesterday and get past the hurt. Not for them, but for you. Trust, you will love this.

Let’s go…

My Life

Mary sings about letting go and letting God. You are not alone in your struggle. If you don’t believe in her, that’s cool, believe in HIM. Love it.

“Take your time
Baby don’t you rush a thing
Don’t you know, I know
We all are struggling
I know it is hard
But we will get by
And if you don’t believe in me
Just believe in “He”

 

I Can Love You

Haven’t we all been there and thought…I can love you better than she/he can? I know I have. But, sometimes we just need to understand it’s not about us but the person we’re trying to convince. If it’s meant to be…trust, you won’t need to convince someone.

 

Not Gon’ Cry 

But after you get to the point of realizing that the person is not going to love you the way you love them, you have to tell yourself that I’m not gon’ cry. Because that person is not worth the tears.

 

No More Drama

Okay, who hasn’t had drama in their lives? Whether you invite it in personally or it slipped in with someone you know. You have to get to the point of saying No More Drama. Drama doesn’t allow you to find and seek the good things in your life because you’re dealing with hurt. Hurt emotions. Hurt people. Breathe and release yourself. Mary sings…

Uh, it feel so good
When you let go
Of all the drama in your life
Now you’re free from all the pain
Free from all the game
Free from all the stress
So find your happiness

 

Just Move

Now, that you’re at the end girlfriend…Work it! No time for moping around. Get your happy back and keep it moving because you deserve it. Get it together and just love you.

 

So, if you’re going through a particularly rough time or break up know that it does get easier. Sometimes the hardest thing we can do is walk away and say no to foolishness. Surround yourself with friends who will love and listen and you can get through this. Trust.

5 Things Having a Boy Taught Me

I read this article entitled “11 Things Only Parents of Boys Understand” and smiled. Some of the things were definitely similar and relatable, but others I’m sure I will experience as Brennan ages. But, that list got me to think what things have I learned since having a boy? What are tips that I could share to other parents to prepare them? Have I learned anything or am I surprised by some of the things I’ve learned?

So, before we begin you must understand this…I never wanted children and when I did get pregnant, I knew it was a boy. I never doubted it. I didn’t need a girl, my sister already had a girl so a boy to love me unconditionally was perfect. My mom warned, “You could have a son that could be a daddy’s boy”. I scoffed and said, “Get real, he will adore his mother.” And you know what? He does. Now, he loves his daddy, but our bond is super strong and I love him more than I thought I could ever love someone.

His Hugs & Kisses Improve My Spirit

Whenever I feel overwhelmed with life or work, I just look to him to wrap his arms around me, kiss my cheek and say “Mommy, I love you.” It makes me smile and I begin to feel better. He is the best comforter I could ask for. Small in stature, but a big heart that beams with his love for me. Last year, I was going through an emotional rollercoaster and my son was the anchor that kept me together. I would literally have breakdowns and fall out on the floor and my son would come over and kiss me and hug me and say, “Mommy, I will protect you.” Not his job, but knowing that he was willing to protect me when I felt helpless improved my spirit and helped me to realize that I needed to get “a grip” because I am the adult and I need to be healthy and functioning for him.
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He Can Rationalize Anything

Brennan has always known his own mind and can rationalize any situation. Doesn’t mean that I agree with his rationalization, but I’m always impressed with how his mind works. Here’s an example: A couple of weeks ago his school had “Lockdown Drill” and he was telling me how he was the best hider and you have to be really quiet and hide so that no one knows you’re in the classroom or they may come in. I was mortified. I cried and his dad tried to calm me down saying “It’s okay. It’s the times we live in.” I was still hurt that my baby had to be taught that after the increased school shootings. He’s only six. The next night when I called him at his dad’s he said “Mommy, I need to talk to you about something.” I replied, “Okay, munch. What’s going on?” He said, “Mommy, daddy told me that you were sad yesterday when I was telling you about lockdown at school.” I said, “Yeah, I was kind of sad.” He said, “Mommy, you don’t need to be sad. Remember on Sunday when we were going to church and I saw that man get arrested and I said I hope I never get arrested and you said, you won’t because even if mommy and daddy are not there to protect you, God is always with you and he will protect you.” I replied, “Yeah baby. I remember.” He said, “Well mommy, I wasn’t scared. God was with me and he was protecting me like you said.” I just cried and thanked God for allowing me to be the vessel to carry this beautiful boy.
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His Aim May Never Improve

It’s true. Brennan can’t pee standing up without getting any on the toilet. It’s hilarious. I’m like dude, “I need you to work on your aim”. I know it takes practice and there are even some men who can’t get it in the bowl, so I’m not that hard on him. I just take the Clorox wipes and clean up the mess. Is it the end of the world? Nope. Do I actually sit on a wet seat if I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom? Yep. You get used to it.

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 He May Never Be All Star

One of the reasons I constantly put Brennan in sports is not because I want an all star athlete. I want a healthy child. I figure with one day of Physical Education a week, he really needs to get active. So, I put him in sports. He’s taken swim, soccer, T-Ball, basketball and Tae Kwan Do. Basketball and T-ball were an adventure. He never got the hang of dribbling the ball. He would pick it up and run around the court hoping the other players would tag him to try to get the ball. He liked tag. Basketball, not so much. His adventure with T-Ball was hilarious. He literally refused to play, practice or do anything other than sit on the bleachers next to me and his dad. When the coach would ask “Who wants to go up and bat?” He would raise his hand and run out with the other children. He would hit the ball and sit back down. Yeah, that was fun. How about soccer? The very first day of practice he begins to dribble the ball down the field and after 10 minutes grabs his soccer ball and walks over to the bleachers where his dad and I are sitting to announce…”Mommy, Daddy? Can we leave now? I’m no good at this?” We stared at him in shock and said, “No, practice hasn’t even started.” By the end of the season though he improved dramatically, it was his attitude changing that impressed me the most. So, soccer, Tae Kwan Do and swimming are it for now. He enjoys those sports.

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Jake from The Neverland Pirates is the Coolest

Yep, he loves Jake. According to Brennan, Jake is his best friend. He’s smart, has friends and has cool hair. Jake always gets the gold da blooms and defeats Captain Hook. Bored yet? I learn so much about cartoons and how my son’s character is developing because of his love for his favorite television show. He was Jake last year for Halloween and I still can’t get the sound of my niece and nephew laughing at his wig that came with the costume. She asked, “Is Brennan wearing a weave?” Nope, it’s a wig. He even made his real best friend Lauren be Princess Sophia for Halloween. When my best friend asked me to take her son trick or treating because she would be out of town and told me that her son wanted to be a pirate, I was concerned that Brennan would be upset. She said, “Don’t worry, his pirate costume is less flashy than Jake’s. He’s more authentic looking.” What? Yep, Jake doesn’t really look like the pirates in the movie. He even has a Jake book bag, lunch box, pajamas, swimsuit, towel and jacket. Not including the toys, books and action figures. Jake will rule your house!

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He Will Get Dirty & Sick

When I was younger, my best friend and I would say that we would grow up, get married and live next door to each other. Our children would grow up to be best friends like us. I would say, “Only mine will be in bubbles because I don’t want them to get sick or dirty.” She teased me for years. When I first had Brennan he had a wardrobe when he was still in my womb. Whites, creams and pale blues were optimal colors. Nothing was to light because he wouldn’t get dirty. I was too naive. The minute he couldn’t digest the formula and we went on a hunt for something that he didn’t hate was a wake up call. Formula stains don’t come out of a white Ralph Lauren romper. And surprisingly neither does a bowel movement from an exploding diaper. I had to realize it and just say I will buy him what I want and be okay if it comes out the wash looking dingy. I exhaled. But, sickness was something I wasn’t prepared for. It broke my heart when my baby boy needed a breathing machine because of all his respiratory infections at 8 months old. What about when he got bronchitis, got diagnosed with seizures and got swine flu? Yep, he was a sickly child and I had to accept the fact that kids (especially those in daycares) will get sick. It’s life. You just comfort and take care of them, use  your sick leave and thank God that you had the good sense to have a job where you have sick leave.


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I think that’s it. It’s hilarious how quickly they grow up and boys teach you so much about yourself. I’m looking forward to learning more lessons being with Brennan in cub scouts, a team mom and an officer in his PTSA. It’s an adventure with many trying times, but I promise you that you will love every moment of it.

Truth: Success is Possible

“I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.”

― Abraham Lincoln

I love this quote. I think it sort of captures how I feel. I am afraid of success. Not failure. I think the possibility of disappointing those that love and believe in me sort of keeps me from stretching beyond my comfort zone. I’ve heard for years, how I’m good at this or good at that, but what if my friends are just being overly generous because of their love for me? Would I be a disappointment if I actually was a success? Think about all the one hit wonders and how they thought they would become a multi-million dollar franchise only to flop on their next album.

It’s pressure to be on top and more pressure to stay on top. So, what do you do? If you’re me, you stall, drag your feet and believe that maybe you shouldn’t do what your heart, voice and spirit are telling you to do. You delay yourself in the “what if” stage. Who’s guilty of that? Me! I am so guilty of thinking what if. What if I’m really not as good as my friends think? What if no one likes my stuff? What if I can’t pull off that big presentation? What if I stumble over my words and fumble the entire speech? What if…

What if’s hold you back from understanding your true potential because instead of pushing forward to your destiny and utilizing the best you, YOU get caught up in a trap of your own disbelief. You question whether or not what is happening is real or should it be real. You question whether or not you can actually change your environment or get out of your own way because so many people have tried and failed to do so. You actually hold up and hold hostage your gift out of fear.

Sound familiar? It’s my story. I’m not alone though. Hollywood has made many movies where people actually do the same thing and then have a moment of clarity and want to change. Think “Baby Boy – 2001”. Wasn’t Jody a grown man who was in essence a baby boy? Fear of growing up had stalled his ability to be a man and take care of his responsibilities. How about my all time favorite movie “Purple Rain – 1984”? Wasn’t the Kid’s whole issue was fear of failing because his dad never got his “big break” and his family life was jacked up? Let’s not forget the movie, “Cocktail – 1988” which is where I fell in love with Tom Cruise. The main character, Brian, had high aspirations, but gets sidetracked in foolery and then hesitates to believe that he can actually accomplish his goals. The main underlying theme in all these films is simple: Fear.

Fear of success, failure, standing out, etc. They feared something. We all do. We fear being happy so we sabotage our relationships. We fear abandonment, so we don’t form close bonds with anyone out of fear that they will leave. We fear love, so we block ourselves off from people and become guarded so no one can break down that wall. We fear success because standing out in a crowd and having people shower accolades on you is scary.

My fear is your fear. It’s hard because I have faith and faith and fear can’t coexist right? You have to choose. So, I’m choosing my faith. I’m remembering like it says in Hebrews 11:6 (NRSV) “And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” I believe. Faith of a mustard seed right? I need to remember that. From this day forward I am taking my life back and claiming this…I will not fear my own strength or success because I have faith. Faith that God will have my back.

Still not convinced how God can do it? Well, how about this powerful quote from Marianne Williamson.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

Be blessed and remember this my loves…

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Yep, I’m Scared

I get scared sometimes. I think back to all the times I’ve hid my true self, my feelings or my insecurities in an effort to put on a brave face for everyone else and how that has somehow held me back all these years. I get scared. I am sometimes too afraid to tell someone how I feel about something because I don’t want to seem argumentative. But, if it’s how I feel, does it matter?

I’ve been exploring and self-evaluating my life a lot lately and I realized that I’m a scaredy cat. I get afraid to reveal the real me and let folks in. My friend gave me a great piece of advice last week when he said, “You can’t go through life being afraid to let folks in and keeping pieces of the real you hidden. Life is about taking the plunge and just wading through the water and see where it goes.” (It was probably less poetic because he is a man, but you get the gist right?). I do hide the real me and don’t like to let people in. I’m guarded. I’m closed off when in unfamiliar territories. Especially those that deal with the heart.

So, I wait. I try to analyze, micro-analyze every problem and situation so that I can’t see the forest for the big tree in my vision. I am a runner. I justify my running away as a part of life. It’s me. If things get to complicated or too emotional, I’m out. I don’t want to get hurt. So, I shield myself, my heart, my mind from folks who just want to get to know the real me. But, the real me is too sensitive for this world. She’s not someone use to sharing pieces of her soul.

Until now. I have bared more of my soul in the last year than I ever have. I’ve let my guard down (that 100 foot barbed wire wall around my heart) and started letting people see the real me. Nothing fancy. Just a glimpse of who I am. I had to. God said it’s time. It’s time to let the wall down and share. But, I keep dragging my feet. Slowly because I’m afraid. I don’t  want my heart to get broken. I don’t want to be uncomfortable.

But, you have to be uncomfortable to grow. I need to face my fears no matter how scared I am. I remember my pastor preaching about growing in the valley with the myrtle trees and I am reminded that life is just that. Growing in uncomfortable places and situations.

I’m terrified, but I know that I need to move forward and grow. Just grow.  Whether it’s my branches that spread to support the leaves in my life or my roots that grow deep in the ground, I need to grow. Growth is good. I’m not saying that it won’t be hard and I will continue to guard my heart, but I can’t move forward if I’m too afraid to jump.  I may get hurt, but I will learn. I will grow. I will survive.

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Vacation Chronicles: Tampa

I returned from a great weekend in Tampa bonding with my best friend yesterday and I wanted to share some things that I’ve learned about me on this mini-vacation of self-reflection. As many of you know, I’m doing a lot of soul searching during this time to try and find out what my needs are and what my wants are. Apparently, they’re not the same. LOL. So, I started from the minute I got to the airport and decided to jot down a few things that I learned or rediscovered about myself.

▪ I like flying. It’s only when I am taking off and my stomach does that flip and I think “Oh God, please don’t let us crash” that I truly realize what a blessing it is to be able to fly in an airplane. The best part about flying? When your airfare cost $2.10.
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▪ I can travel with one carry-on and not the whole world. I’m trying to downsize my wardrobe when traveling and only packing the essentials. This Tampa trip allowed me the opportunity to see if I could do it. You know what? I could and I did.
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▪ I like hotel living. Even after living in a hotel earlier this year for 4 1/2 weeks, there is something sweet about not having to make my bed or pick up my towels, wash clothes, cook or clean. Yep, I’m spoiled.

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▪ I can relax. I can actually sit back, relax and have a vacation without planning out every single aspect of the trip. I am letting go of my controlling tendencies and just going with the flow. Taking the road I think I should travel. No matter the length, I’m enjoying the ride.
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▪ I love sisterhood. My best friend and I have known each other since we were 13. This was the second time that we have traveled together and the first time for us traveling by ourselves. (not counting when she visited me almost every weekend when I lived in NYC) to sort of commemorate and renew our friendship. We had a very relaxing time.
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▪ I love the beach. I love water and I love sand. I love the feel of the sun kissing my skin so gently that my skin color turns a golden brown or as my friend described “a pretty orange color”.
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▪ I love trying new drinks that I’ve never tried. Especially when they’re cheap. I am a nerd with cool tendencies and I love it. Check out this cool drink I had called the purple nerd.
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▪ I’m simple. I like good food, family and friends. I also love a good book. Finished reading the entire Divergent Series. On to the next one. I think I’m going to read Black Women in White America by Gerda Lerner next.
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▪ I’m sharing. I’ve always been very private in my writing and sharing of information about myself, ideas and family and through encouragement from my bestie, I’ve learned to open up and let people in. This blogging and writing has become real and I love when people say that they can relate. It means you get me.

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This year has been one for the books. But, my faith has been strengthened and I am taking charge of my own destiny. I am looking into my future with courage instead of despair and believing, no knowing that I will be fine.

A Bucket List?

I was reading on a parenting website about parents creating a “bucket list” of sorts for their children. The “bucket list” is things they would like to do with their children before they become adults. I was surprised at some of the responses from parents from fishing in Alaska to an African Safari to making sure to kiss and hug them every night before they go to bed. So, reading this article got me to thinking…what things do I want to do with Brennan before he becomes an adult?

I came up with a list of 21 things that I would like to do with Brennan by the time he’s 21. It is in no real order except number one. I would like to accomplish each and every item with him. I know that technically he will be an adult at 18, but we all know that you’re not truly an adult until you can legally take a drink. Here is my bucket list of the top 21 things I want to do with Brennan by the time he’s 21:
  1. Tell, show and help him understand about God. I want him to see and recognize that we are not alone and that God is the center of our life and all things are possible through him. He needs to experience the church, the Bible and the unmovable faith that his father and I have in God.
  2. Take him to Europe. I love the thought of travelling to Europe to explore the countryside, architecture, the Louvre, the Vatican and all the other landmarks that I have only read about. I want ten days so we can spend it on a trek through Europe just exploring.
  3. Take him on a trek through the slave trade. We know we came from Africa, but where? I want to chase our ancestry back to Africa and follow the trail from Africa to Portugal to the U.S. I learned when I was in college that my ancestry could be traced as far back to Portugal. I want to go further.
  4. Teach him to appreciate his heritage and explore many other cultures. I think you become well-rounded when you know many different civilizations other than your own. After all Mahatma Gandhi said, “No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive.”
  5. Teach him to speak another language fluently. Oh, how I wish I could speak another language fluently. The world is ever changing and the gift of being bi-lingual is one that he will appreciate throughout his lifetime.
  6. Take him to explore two states each summer. He needs to travel out of his comfort zone and see America the Beautiful. I want to increase his love for this country.
  7. Teach him how to swim. This is one item that we will never falter on. I can’t stand the thought of him not knowing how to swim.
  8. Teach him how to share. I want him to share not only his toys, but his time, his wealth and his abilities. I want him to know that God loves a cheerful giver and it is your right as a human to help others.
  9. Take him to the Caribbean. I want to watch him stick his feet in the water and his toes get sand in between them on the beaches of Mexico or the Bahamas.
  10. Take him to Disney World. I think that every child should experience Mickey’s hand on theirs or running through Cinderella’s castle. After all, he looks at my wedding photos (with my tiara) and says, “My mommy is a princess”.
  11. Teach him how to fight. I know many of you think fighting is bad and I agree that violence doesn’t solve anything, but I want him to be a strong fighter physically and mentally. I want him to learn how to defend himself against a bully. The best lesson I ever learned is that once you knock someone out, they don’t want to fight you anymore.
  12. Teach him how to love. I think children are taught the fundamental principles of love from their parents. I want him to see the love in my eyes that I have for him and the love I have for his dad. That is the love that will plant it’s way in his heart and make him crave what his parents have. I want him to know that heartache is a part of life and that you have to keep loving people.
  13. Teach him how to forgive. This is one lesson that is often overlooked when it comes to parenting. We are so busy teaching our children not to be bullies, play sports or play an instrument that we forget that they ultimately need to know that forgiveness frees you to move on. If God forgives me for sins how can I not forgive others?
  14. Teach him the importance of family. Your family is what you make it. It’s not always blood, but it could be your friends who become your family. We have a great group of people who love and support us at every turn and we want the same thing for Brennan. We want him to see that he needs to strengthen his familial bonds and keep in touch via handwritten letters, emails, calls and visits.
  15. Take him to Spain. I love the country of Spain and even though I can’t remember it much from childhood, I think it is a beautiful place full of great food, people and culture. I want him to swim off the Canary Islands.
  16. Teach him how to cook and sew. I know he’s a boy, but come on. He needs to know how to hem a pair of slacks and cook himself a meal so that he won’t have to wait on a woman to do it. He needs to be self-sufficient.
  17. Teach him the importance of money. I think that all parents should strive to teach your child how to balance a checkbook, credit and debt. It wasn’t a lesson we learned and we’re trying to rebuild for him.
  18. Teach him about politics. Not what political party he should be a part of, but the necessary fundamentals of our government so that he can be a concerned citizen that believes in exercising his right to vote.
  19. Teach him the lesson of defeat. Life is not fair and you won’t win at everything, but understand that you are the captain of your soul and it’s not always the destination, but the journey. Learn from every loss and regroup. I want him to know that you don’t have to be perfect, just try your best.
  20. Teach him the importance of abstinence. Abstinence may be a distant memory or myth in some circles and I know he may never listen to me, but I want him to know that his body is a temple and that if he waits on a wife, he will be giving her the best gift ever…the gift of him.
  21. Take him to Las Vegas to celebrate his 21st birthday. I want his last birthday party to be one that I throw for him and 21 of his friends in Las Vegas.
Whew! That is an exhaustive list. I hope that I can cross of all of the things on his bucket list. So, what’s on your child’s bucket list?