Better Days

So much tragedy. It’s hard being a parent right now. Tragedy everywhere. May is graduation and prom for most colleges and high schools. It is supposed to be a reminder of the future. Your life begins once you leave those hallways. Or so it is assumed.

I read the horrific story earlier this month about an 8 year old boy named Gabriel Taye that had killed himself two days after being bullied. He was 8. A baby. The same age as my son.

The story last week of Kingston Frazier who was 6 years old and had been shot. His mother ran into the store at 1:15 a.m. and left her car running and the keys in it. Why? I couldn’t figure out why she would do that until I realized that her child was sleeping and it was probably hot outside and she wanted the air to run to keep him cool. Her car was stolen by three teenage boys. Her son was murdered.

The story of Lt. Richard Collins III who was murdered on the campus of my Alma Mater. No reason. Waiting for an Uber with some friends at the bus stop. A white student unprovoked attacked and killed him. Collins was a model student who was just commissioned as a second lieutenant. Set to graduate from another college three days after being murdered. Model citizen.

What do all these people have in common? They are all dead.  They are all boys. Two were murdered by other people. They are all black.

As a mother, my heart breaks as I think about my son growing up and leaving the safe confines of my house. Is it unreasonable? Nope. Given the state of this country, I would argue that it is very reasonable. I worry when he exits my home and goes to school. Schools aren’t safe anymore. Sandy Hook reminded me of that.

I worry because of the color of his skin. That beautiful caramel colored skin is a badge of honor. A combining of complexions of his father and I that reproduced and created this gorgeous melanin he proudly wears. I love it, but I monitor his toys. No toy guns. They are not safe. Tamir Rice reminded me of that.

I worry because he is sensitive. Too sensitive. He cares about other children, but I’m trying to thicken his skin. Teach him how to trash talk. Teach him how to defend himself.  To stand for right and be a good human being. But, he’s experienced bullying. No matter how much you try to protect your children they may fall victim to bullying. Bullies can hurt you beyond belief. Gabriel Taye’s death reminded me of that.

Do I overreact and not let him play in the neighborhood? Yep. Do I live in a bad neighborhood? Nope. But, I don’t trust strangers. Not with my Munch. I don’t leave him in the car. He begs to stay sometimes. He doesn’t like going in the store. Fear grips me but I make him come. Someone could steal the car, take it. I don’t care. Not my son though. So, I never leave him alone. We have to be vigilant about protecting our children. Kingston Frazier reminded me that my being overprotective is not in vain.

All the things that I can give and experiences I can provide that will make him a well rounded young man may not help him. I’m already looking into the top high schools in the area. A better opportunity. A future. A chance to go to college and make something of yourself. You are better than you think and smarter than you’ll ever know. Be of good character. Stay out of trouble. Pray. Give it to God. Lead by example. All those things may not be enough. Lt. Richard Collins III taught me that.

These are perilous times. So many tragedies. So many parents having to bury their children. It’s not supposed to be that way. We are supposed to smile as our children get married. Laugh and love on our grandchildren. Be their support system when bad things happen. We’re not supposed to bury our children. We’re not supposed to pick out suits or a coffin.

Life isn’t fair. I know this. Tragedy happens everywhere. I get this. But, oh I pray for better days. We need them.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

the gf

I really enjoyed this read by a fellow blogger, Staci Beth over at From He Double Hockey Sticks and Back about co-parenting. She really discusses her struggles and I could relate on so many levels. Ideally we would like to think that everyone can have a great relationship with the other parent, but in many cases this doesn’t happen. What do you do when it happens? Check out her great post about her struggles:  Source: the gf

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Co-Parenting: Bonus

Last week some friends and I were discussing Mr. C and I and why I’m not rushing down the aisle. LOL. Multiple reasons, but love isn’t one of them. I explained that I’m not ready and we’ve just created this great space and relationship and do things in our own time.

I started telling them about Mr. C’s son getting accepted into the school he wanted to go to and how he was heading to college in the fall and I’m super excited for him. Sad for my man because he’s going to miss the hell out of his son, but excited that they are embarking on this journey together. Mr. C calls me for advice about college and questions he should ask and I try to dole out tips, information and suggestions. I like it. I feel like I’m providing valuable input.

One of the things that I may not have mentioned is that Mr. C raised his son by himself. He is an excellent father and one of the things that I love about him is that no matter how busy he was providing, he was always there for his son. That speaks volumes for me. He and I definitely have different parenting styles, but he loves being a dad. It works for him.

So, knowing that we are dating for the purpose of marriage it comes as no surprise that I’m excited about his son’s next phase of his life. I love being a mom and although his son is 9 years older than Munch and headed to college this fall while Munch heads to fourth grade, it warms my heart to know that I will have a bonus son when we marry.

My friends were asking “Bonus son?” I said “Yep, he’s the unexpected bonus I receive when I marry his dad. I didn’t have to give birth to him, but my life is immeasurably better because he’s in it.” They smiled. “I like that” said my friend.

Just like Munch and I are a package deal, Mr. C and his son are one. We are going to be a blended family someday and I don’t expect everything to be perfect, but I expect that we’ll try. I will be the bonus mom that won’t quit. The best bonus mom ever! He may get tired of me sending care packages while he’s away, but I honestly can’t wait.

Bonuses are a blessing. Unexpected blessings that are extras and while I will gain a bonus son, he’ll gain a bonus mom and a bonus brother. We’re going to be one blessed family.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Life’s Not Fair

I had an amazing weekend. Busy, but I got everything I wanted to do done. LOL. You like that right? Everything that I wanted to do. Not everything that I should have done, etc. But, it was perfect.

However, I wanted to tell you what happened when I picked up Munch from after care at school on Friday.  I missed the heck out of that little boy.  It was like my world was set right laying eyes on that beautiful kid of mine. He smiled this big grin and gave me a hug, but I knew something was wrong the minute he hugged me. What’s wrong I asked? “Nothing” he replied. I said, “Munch, I know something is bothering you baby. What is it? What is wrong?” He then told me how he got in trouble today in after care. He said that they were lining up for snack time and a young boy (in kindergarten) yelled out that he wanted to be second in line, but Munch beat him to be second in line. The little boy said to Munch, “Hey, that’s not fair. I wanted to be second.” Munch replied “Life’s not fair”. He said that the little boy was upset and then told the director. Munch said that he didn’t yell at the little boy. He said “I said it matter of fact mommy. I wasn’t mean or yelling” but the director told me that I shouldn’t have said it.

His little eyes were wide with fear. Fear that I would be mad at him. I said “Munch, you did nothing wrong. You were right. Life is not fair and as long as you weren’t mean to him, then you are giving him a dose of reality.” Was I wrong? I don’t think so.

Munch is very sensitive and feels for everyone, but I’m trying to toughen up his exterior to know that not everything will work out for you. You can try your best and still fail and you know what? That’s okay. Life’s not about being fair. Life is about doing the best you can and being a good human being. No one is going to give you anything.

But, could Munch have just given him the spot? Sure, but should he have too? The child wasn’t going to not get a snack. He just wasn’t second in line. I know that some people make think it harsh that I support what he said, but it’s cool. I believe that we should be good people, but we shouldn’t deny ourselves if we choose not too.

I would have been more hurt had the child not gotten a snack and Munch didn’t offer to share his. The reality is that I’m raising a black boy in a “post racial society” where many people think racism is dead. It’s not. He may get pulled over for being black and even though it may not be fair, you need to know how to act. He may be unfairly judged in the classroom or on the streets and it’s not fair, but it is the way it is. I’m teaching him how to survive when life’s not fair, because that’s all you can do.

What are your thoughts?

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful mother’s out there. This day is about you. You who love and labor without recognition. You who kiss and cuddle and make boo boos okay. You who help on homework, cook meals and give baths without ever having taken a break. You who clean messes, care for your sick and bake cookies. You who do none of those things but are a mother figure regardless – know that you are loved and appreciated.

This Mother’s Day, Munch and I will go to church and then grab a bite to eat. Nothing fancy. I don’t want to cook and my mom is out of town celebrating with her mother. Munch and I will cuddle on my bed and watch Disney movies and laugh. It is this memory that I will remember. He’ll make me a beautiful card and I will hang it in my office to remind me that I have the greatest son ever.

Whatever you’re doing today, I wish you peace and happiness. Whether you spend it with your families or doing what you want to do, know that it is about you today. We honor you and your commitment to your children. Happy Mother’s Day!

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Reblog: Mutterings of a Four Year Old

Here’s another great post about things Munch used to do and say when he was 4. He is still a hilarious kid, probably not as pushy. But, he’s mine.

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It’s been a full three weeks since we took Munch’s binky away.  Can you believe that he hasn’t asked for it at all?  I was so shocked that when I told my mom, she couldn’t believe it.  She had me convinced that Munch would need a “binky patch” similar to a nicotine patch to break his addiction for his binky.  But, thankfully he didn’t.

I attribute this success to the fact that I didn’t succumb to the pressure of other folks (doctors, dentists and people who don’t know my son) by telling me to take it away now.  Munch wasn’t ready.  I prepared this take-away by announcing it on a regular basis, that you’re going to be four and when you’re four, you can’t suck a binky because binky’s are for babies.  I think more than anything, that he finally figured it out and accepted that he was too old for his binky and that he really didn’t need it.

So, since it’s been almost a month since he turned four, I decided to share some of his mutterings, stories and sayings.  Munch has always been a child who knows what he wants, but sometimes it can stress even the most sane parent when he goes on and on.  You will see.  Here are a few of our stories:

When getting Munch ready for bed…

“Mommy, look at my wee-wee.”  I replied, “It’s a penis Munch, not a wee-wee.” He restated, “No, it’s a wee-wee.”  I looked at him and said again “It’s a penis Munch, not a wee-wee.” He said “No, it’s a wee-wee.” Not willing to engage in a back and forth, I asked “What’s wrong with it Munch?”  He replied, “It looks like a brown crayon.”

When learning to share…

“Munch, you need to learn to share your stuff.  Don’t make people ask you for something.  You need to offer to share first.” Munch looked at me and said, “But, Mommy I don’t want to share. It’s mine and why can’t they get their own.”

When asking me where I’m going…

“Mommy, where are you going?” “No where Munch”  I replied. Five minutes pass and he asks, “Mommy, where are you going?” “No where Munch” I replied again. Five more minutes pass and he asks again, “Mommy, where are you going?” Frustrated I respond “No where Munch and you better not ask me again where I’m going or I will leave.” He looks at me and then turns to his dad and asks, “Daddy, where is Mommy going?”

Munch and the gift

Munch is now at the point where he loves how you react to him when he makes something for you.  Well, for Mother’s Day, he painted the most beautiful picture at day care.  I told him  how much I loved the picture and I was going to get it framed.  I told him thank you so much and he started to cry because I loved it so much.

The next day, he went to church school.  They had his class create Mother’s Day cards for their moms.  Munch handed me the card when I came to pick him up.  I smiled and said, “It was the most beautiful card I had ever received and thank you.”  He said, “Mommy, it’s a present for you.  I made a present for you.”  I said, “Thank you love.”  Over the next four days, Munch would repeatedly say, “Mommy, it’s a present for you.  I made a present for you.”  He said it a total of 35 times.  I would reply, “I know sweetheart.  It’s beautiful.  Thank you.”  Well, when he said it for the 36th time, I said, “Munch, I know you made the beautiful card for me.  I love it.  But, if you tell me one more time that you made a present for me, I’m going to scream.”  He looked at me and then turned to his dad and said, “Daddy look!  I made a present for Mommy.”  My husband laughed and said, “Son, it’s beautiful.”

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Reblog: Munch Meets Magnolia Street Photography

Another memory about Munch. He was 2 and had his first professional photography session.  She’s still our photographer 6 years later.  Check it out…

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Munch and I had an incredible session today with Erin of Magnolia Street Photography. She lives in Maryland. She was absolutely wonderful. She did a terrific job and I was so impressed with the photos she took of Munch. She made both Munch and I feel relaxed as we went through the session. She is truly a great photographer. Munch gave her a hug and kiss good-bye which is a big deal for a kid who doesn’t like strangers. Here are some of the prints.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.