Your Shoes are Fake – Continued

In last week’s post I explained how Munch was hurt because this girl at school was telling him his shoes were fake. Sitting in the car listening to my young man hurt about something that I never thought he would have to deal with really punched me in the gut. What do fourth grade children know about name brands or fake stuff? Where do you even buy fake tennis shoes? Who are the parents of these children and what values are we teaching them.

I called a few of my male friends to get their perspective on the situation and what I should I tell Munch. The advice was pretty much consistent because they have sons who went through something similar or they were young men who dealt with this at one point in their lives. They said to tell him to ignore it.

But, one of my friends who was born and raised in Washington, DC said that other areas around the country are not as “up on the latest fashion and tennis shoe styles as the Washington, DC metropolitan area”. He told me to explain to Munch that “if someone comes up to you more concern about the shoes you’re wearing and the clothes on your back more so than the content of your character or who you are then that’s probably someone you should not play with.” Great answer, right?

So, I told Munch exactly what he said and he seemed to take it all in and just listen. But, when he saw my brother the next day and my brother complimented him on his shoes Munch said “But, people are saying my shoes are fake”. My brother told Munch that there is nothing fake about his shoes and he had a pair when he was in the 11th grade. He explained that they are Jordan Trunners and designed for runners. He told Munch “to tell the kids that his shoes are not fake and his uncle owns many pairs of Jordans and that they are real.” Munch seemed to accept that.

It’s funny because in many ways Munch seems to accept what other adults tell him over me because he views me as always loving him and telling him what he wants to hear. My brother made it better for Munch. Although, I wish I could have, I’m thankful that Munch knows that there are men there who will tell him the truth. Ugh, I wonder what 5th grade will be like.

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 @mskeeinmd.

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Happy Father’s Day

To all you wonderful men out there that are fathers or who are role models to young men and women. We salute and honor you for being you. Your continued support is invaluable to our children.

I pray that you have an amazing day and you know how appreciated and valued you are.

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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 @mskeeinmd.

Your Shoes are Fake

I sat there stunned thinking about all the times that I’ve heard the saying that “women can’t raise boys because they can’t teach boys how to be men”. Today I wondered was there any truth to it. I mean Munch and I are really close and I know he’s still innocent, but would I be able to navigate him through the trials of life when he comes to me with a situation? I honestly felt inadequate at that moment.

I thanked God for the opportunity to love and raise this little boy and for all the men in my life that I call friends to help me navigate unknown territory because it was them that I called on for advice. So, here’s what happened…Munch’s feet are growing like crazy. He’s gone from a kids size 7 shoe into a men’s 9 shoe in one years time. Honestly, he only has a little room in the 9 and he’ll be off into a 9 1/2 shoe probably by the end of summer. I wasn’t ready.

He’s 10. He hasn’t gone through puberty yet. Do you know how much men’s shoes cost? I have always believed that my son should have nice clothes and shoes. It was something that I felt was required because he should always be presentable. That said he will always have name brand tennis shoes. I prefer Nike, but will buy a nice running shoe as he’s hard on his tennis shoes as evident in his daily playground time.

We went to the store last weekend and I had him try on tennis shoes to find the ones he liked. Munch hates tying his shoe laces and so we found a great pair of Jordan’s with no laces. Perfect for the remainder of school and through the summer. He hated shoe shopping and we wrapped it up and headed home.

He was excited to wear his new shoes to school on Monday and off he went. But, on Tuesday when I picked him up he asked me “Mommy, are my shoes fake?” I was stunned. Munch knows nothing of name brand shoes. I had gotten his shoes on sale at Foot Locker and stores don’t sell fake shoes. I responded “No baby, why would you ask me that?” He began to tell me how a girl at school had told him that his shoes are fake and that they aren’t real. He said that she told another little boy and they were saying the same thing. He said she told me to take off my shoes so she can see them.

I was livid. I calmed myself and explained this one rule…never take off your shoes. That’s how someone can steal your shoes. I told him to ignore her. To tell her that your mom doesn’t buy you fake stuff and to mind her business. But, I wondered was it enough? Was I equipping my son with the sharp witted skills required to respond to ignorance?

I called three male friends who are parents and asked for their advice. I needed help. What am I supposed to do to encourage my Munch?

-To Be Continued-

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 @mskeeinmd.

The Village Doesn’t Have an Idiot

Yesterday, the surgery center called to talk me through my upcoming surgery. I wasn’t available and they left a message. They then sent me an email and asked me to confirm that I received it and understood what it said. I started freaking out. I mean – I’m having surgery soon. I was now having a panic attack.

I’m at work struggling to breathe and calm my heart down. I’ve been calm about the procedure. No surprises. I’ve had 3 surgeries prior so I know what it is like to go under the knife. No fear. Not even when my mother called to tell me that she can’t take off to take care of me. Basically, she’s on detail and will just be getting back from Hawaii and needs to finish out some projects before heading back to her original post.

Ugh! Minor setback. I breathed through that experience. She asked me can I reschedule my surgery so she can be there. Umm, nope. I’m getting ready to head into my busy season and the time is now. Pushing it back will only put me in a bind. Now, that I’m in management – I need to think realistically. To look at my schedule and be able to see what is coming down the pike. The date will stay the same.

I appreciated the fact that she wants to be there, but I now had to go it alone. I asked her could she take and pick Munch up from school and she said “Yep, I can do that.” Well that was the worst of it right? I can do this. I called Mr. C and confirmed that I needed a ride the day of my surgery. Mr. C started a new job and doesn’t have leave and has to be at work at 2 p.m. I may not be awake and moving around by that time so I need a ride home. No worries. I’ll figure it out. Called my girlfriend and she said she’ll be there. Tell him to call me when he leaves and I’ll be on my way.

Friends.

Damn, I’m lucky. Then my girlfriend started asking me questions like “Do you have a recliner at home?” Umm, nope. “You need a recliner.” I don’t have one. Research recliners I told myself. She then told me that I needed to get an app for the alarm so that I can turn it on and off so that people can check on me. I don’t like this idea. Still working through it. But, she’s packing up food so that my mom can feed me and Munch when she gets home without having to cook. She’s a great cook – my inner fat girl is getting excited.

Oh, I’ll be too groggy to eat right? Ugh! Another minor setback.

She then told me she would get me home and in the bed, but once I head up the stairs that I needed to be up there for about 3 days. Walking up and down the stairs is not good for my incision. Okay, no problem. I can do that. She said that she would go to the pharmacy and get my medications while I’m resting so that I can stay ahead of my pain.

This is a lot. I’m still aware that I will be alone during the day time, but I should be fine right? Sleeping and stuff.

Last week as I’m finishing up my staff meeting I mentioned that my mom can’t take off after my surgery and I needed a recliner and that my girlfriend was going to help me and go and get my prescriptions. My staff is awesome. Apparently, I can get my scripts in advance of my surgery. They told me to call the insurance company to see if I can get a nurse for a few hours a day. They confirmed that I needed a recliner and I remembered Rent a Center.

I talked to my niece who is coming home from college next week and she will be staying with me for a couple of days to get my meals and make sure I’m breathing. No real work to do. If the nurse comes, even better.

I’m excited. I’m working my plan. All is fine in my world that seems to be anxiously moving. That was until the call came that reminded me that I’m having surgery. I didn’t talk to the surgery coordinator at the facility. I responded to her email. The only issue is that she has a day earlier than my doctor’s office on when my surgery is taking place. How is that possible? I’m now confused as to when this dang surgery is taking place.

Finally, I’m running around like a mad woman to finish up some projects and make sure that my transition is smooth. I will not be checking messages or responding to calls. I’m going to let my mind and body heal. I will miss Munch’s concert on the 31st of this month, but I have a whole lot of people who will be in attendance supporting him.

Yes, it’s overwhelming as hell and I feel like a chicken running around with my head cut off.   But, hey…I’m proud to report that there is not one idiot in my village.

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/.

Flash Back Friday – 05.04.18

Hey Everyone,

I’m doing a flash back Friday to last Sunday when I gave Munch his 10th birthday party. He had a great time and I’m in awe and blessed over the friends and family we have. His cake was amazing and they took real good care of us at Dave & Buster’s.

Thank you for all the birthday wishes on social media and here on my page. He read every comment and relished the accolades. The cutest thing was that he asked my godson is it cool being in the double digits. He told him “Yeah.” LOL. Welcome to the Big 10!

 

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/.

Knowledge

 

October 2017

I’m sitting here trying to explain to Munch the importance of taking turns in class. He likes his teacher and is settling in, but he doesn’t understand why the teacher doesn’t call on him. Talking to him is like pulling teeth some times. I need definitive and direct answers about what is happening in class. I need to assess whether or not the class environment is working.

He continues to talk and says well I answered that question right. I respond “So, your teacher did call on you today in class?” “Yeah” he replies “But, I wanted to answer more questions”. I smile and tell him that I understand but it is important that the teacher calls on other students as well. I explain how teachers want to give other children the opportunity to answer questions as well, regardless of whether or not they may raise their hands. She needs them to participate.

He smiles. I asked does he understand and he says “Yes, mommy.”

Crisis averted. I search for more in depth analysis of his days because it is important to me that I learn about the complete classroom experience in his words. Before he even started schools, I searched to try and understand the research that was basically telling me that my son would have it harder than I ever did in school. Research that told me the following…

Black boys are more likely to be placed in special education.

Yes, I know it. Read the statistics. Scared me to think that I was sending my 5 year old black boy into a school that didn’t understand him. To a teacher that may not enjoy teaching children or better yet understanding the culture of black boys. I read how teachers like to diagnose and place them in special education. Not my Munch.

Black boys are not reading on grade level.

We spent a lot of time trying to prepare Munch for school. The French Immersion program provided him many benefits of learning another language. I knew that it would boost his scores in English and Math for his ACT and SAT scores that he would take later. I also knew that learning a foreign language would increase the size of his brain. Those things were important. I had to set him up for success. I read to him while he was in my womb and continued to read to him after birth. I made sure that he knew his site words and could read going into kindergarten.

Punishment for black boys is harsher than for any other demographic.

Yes, so many articles told me that Munch would be punished harder than his other peers who may be of a different race based on the color of his skin. I had to teach him things like “No rough housing, keep your hands to your self, keep a minimum of 10 feet between you and the next person when standing in line, etc.” It’s exhausting, but he had to know. He had to know that the lessons that I was teaching him would be of benefit.

Knowledge is powerful. When I read too much I get stressed thinking that Munch will suffer a fate worse than death if I’m not an advocate for him. That’s probably why I am active at his school and in his school. The administration has to know that I appreciate and support them.

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This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “K” is for Knowledge. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

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/.

Parenting Lesson: I Will Not Chase You

Munch is the best thing that ever happened to me. But, sometimes I really feel like I’m sucking at this parenting thing. Not that I’m mean, but sometimes I have to teach him a lesson and I wonder if my teaching those lessons are having an adverse effect on him.

Last month we were working on homework and then we were going to review his oral presentation. He had to memorize a poem. He chose “A Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes. It was awesome, but he wasn’t in the mood. When he’s not in the mood to do anything, he pretty much shuts down. He acts like he’s bored and it’s really like time consuming and emotionally draining.

That being said I decided to push forward and chastise and ignore his negative attitude. I wanted to record him saying his poem. He was nonchalant and had no emotion. He was literally just acting like I’m forcing him to plow the field. It was draining. I had enough. I said “I love you Munch, but I’m done. I’m reclaiming my peace and you’re going to bed. Go upstairs and get your shower so you can get in the bed.” He was upset. “What about TV time?” I said “It’s not going to happen. You’ve tried my patience this evening with your behavior so TV is a reward that you don’t deserve this evening.” He cried.

Cried in the shower. Cried when he went to bed and then cried himself to sleep. Even when I tried to tuck him in bed and give him his kiss good night he cried louder and turned away from me. No problem. “I love you and goodnight” was all that I said.

I spoke to Mr. C and he listened and then commented how our parenting styles are different. I know. He’s told me before. I’m used to getting spanked as a child if I cried for no reason, but I left him to cry it out.

The next morning I did what I always do…cook his breakfast, pack his lunch, lay out his clothes and make up his bed. He then comes upstairs and criticizes me for all that I’ve done. “You’re not letting me do anything by myself. My daddy says that I need to do things on my own” he stated in frustration. I smiled sweetly and said “Love, you know what?” I don’t have to fix your breakfast each morning. I can sleep later and you can get up and fix yourself a bowl of cereal. It has always been important for me to send you to school with a hot breakfast each morning, but you want more responsibility so tomorrow, you got it. You can make your own bed and pick out your own clothes and fix your own lunch. I’m fine with it all. Now get dressed please.”

I was peeved. I couldn’t believe this child being defiant and first thing in the morning. I asked God for strength and we exited out the house headed for school. Munch didn’t speak to me at all. Ignored me on the whole car ride. I blasted gospel music to shift my mind and hopefully his too.

We exit and go into the school and as I’m signing him in for Before Care he doesn’t speak to the teachers when they say good morning. He walks away from me and is still ignoring me. I sigh. I said “Good morning” to the teachers, signed him and left. Five minutes later my phone rings and it is the Director of the Before and After Care program. She says how Munch had a breakdown and started crying because I just left.

She said that Munch said “She didn’t kiss me goodbye and she didn’t tell me that she loves me and to have a good day.” She said that they couldn’t console him. She asked could I speak to him. “Yes” I responded. He gets on the phone crying “Mommy, you didn’t tell me you love me. You didn’t kiss me goodbye.” I said “Munch, I realized that you were frustrated when you complained first thing this morning, I realized that you were still angry when you didn’t speak to me in the car ride over. I knew you weren’t over it when you walked away from me and ignored the teachers this morning. I accepted that. I love you so much but I will never chase anyone including you. My love is always given freely but I won’t chase someone to force it on them and this includes you. I love you more than life itself and will always love you. I love you more than you’ll ever know so have a great day.” He said “Okay, I love you too mommy.”  We got off the phone.

This parenting thing is hard. I struggle some days and find peace with my choices on most. But, in the end I’m still a work in progress learning and loving this beautiful boy that I’ve been blessed with.

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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/.

I AM STRONG & BRAVE

This particular Saturday morning, I’m looking at my 2-year-old son playing with puzzles. He looked at me and said: “Mommy, this is too hard, but I got it.”

All parents have read about bed or morning routines. Even Daniel Tiger and Elmo have this covered. My family has always believed in the power of words or confessions. My mother confessed to my sister every morning: “You are the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath.”  I believe (& think my SiSi would agree) that these words resonated in her mind when she wanted to throw in the towel.

Every night we pray for my son to be thankful for family, friends, and provisions. But additionally, I pray (out loud) for my son to be strong & brave. I never saw that world as a scary place until I became a mother. These glasses of parenting put a filter on everything as terrifying. Most importantly, I know the world will be unkind to a young black man. The joy he has today is delicate and needs to be preserved. I want to protect him, cover him, shield him… but I know I can’t. I can only pray that he always finds the strength to be joyous, strength to trust God and Strength to be brave enough to keep moving forward when the world will feel cold.

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I guess, I never meant for this reflection to be so emotionally heavy. I am generally not that type of writer, but out of your heart flows the truth. Take the time to speak life over the children your world. Nieces, nephews, God-children,  neighbors, & friends every child deserves to hear that they are loved and amazing.

With Love;

Southern Fried Mommy

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This post was shared by Southern Fried City Girl. I love her blog. She’s one of the newer blogs that I discovered and I’m happy to share her work. She’s a wife, a mom, a woman of faith and everything in between. Go follow her at her wonderful blog called: Southern Fried City Girl

Motivational Monday Moment – 11.27.17

Today is the last Monday of the month. I was trying to think of ways to inspire you when I thought about what I’ll be doing today. I’ll be at Munch’s school volunteering to help the staff get the children’s fall photos done. Yes, we’re late. Yes, I’m disappointed about the time the school selected, but I’m so happy.

Why? Because I love to watch the children smile or hide smiles. Some kids grin is so wide and goofy that you have no other choice but to smile. Others think they’re too cool to smile and I’ll stand behind the photographer and make funny faces. Smiling is very good for you it’s healthy.

I think we all need to remember to smile. No matter what is going on in life you can’t let the enemy see you falter. You have to get up, keep fighting, keep pushing forward and doing it with a smile. There’s truth in a smile. There’s pain in a smile, but there’s also joy and hope in a smile. 

 

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/.

Day 13: My Parents

I have to tell you that my family is dysfunctional. My parents were kids when I was born. They didn’t know what they hell they were doing. They made many mistakes. I hated them both at different points in my life.

But, I’m thankful for them. I’m thankful for their DNA and for their ability to raise happy and healthy children despite a whole host of issues. Even though I struggle with my feelings towards my dad, I know that I wouldn’t exist without him. I see parts of him in my attitude and behavior. I am thankful for him.

I have a lot of my mom in me. I am my mother’s child. I realized that the things that I was telling my son she had said to me. Words and phrases that were interspersed into teachable moments. She really has grown on me and her and Munch are super close now. I am thankful for her.

I am thankful for the struggles and strength of my parents. It is never easy raising children. You do the best you can and hope that you don’t mess them up. They did. Individually. I understand that now.

It’s not about being a perfect parent. That’s impossible. Just be there. That’s half the job of parenting. Love and be there for your children. No matter how messed up you think your life is, your children need you. The real you.  It is Day 13 and I’m thankful for my parents in my #23daysofthankfulness.

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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/.