Whose Perception?

January 2018

“There is no truth. There is only perception.”  – Gustave Flaubert

I’m sitting here thinking about perception or rather yet the verb of perception (perceive) and trying to understand how police are trained to view threats. Is there some secret to this? How can some officers discern what is real from what is fiction before shooting to kill?

It’s something that bothers me. I’m trying to gain clarity and understanding about this. I have a black son. I don’t like having different rules for him that some of my other friends that aren’t raising black sons don’t have. Are we perceived threats by the color of our skin? By our tone? By our clothes?

As Munch is getting ready to enter the double digits in a couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around the fact that my son will begin to drive in six short years. That he’ll want to go out and have fun with friends, get a job or get back and forth to practice. On his own. In a car.

However, before that happens, I have to teach him things that could save his life if ever pulled over…

  1. Let me do a visual check before you drive. I’m checking for all working lights so that can’t be an excuse for you getting pulled over.
  2. No more than 2 other friends in the car. Keep your head straight and both hands on the wheel.
  3. Stay calm and clearly answer the questions that are asked. Don’t let someone rile you up. Be respectful.
  4. Call my cell phone before stopping and record the entire conversation on my voicemail if I don’t answer. Speak loud and clear.

  5. Keep your license and registration card in your wallet and your wallet in the cup holder. Don’t reach for anything.

 

I guess I’m perceiving that the officer that stops my son will see him as human. A young man. A man worthy to make it home to mama.

P

 

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “P” is for Perception. 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/.

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Mom

November 2008

I went home to Tennessee to visit with my family. Specifically my cousin Boo-Bop. I needed to see him. The time is getting near His cancer is getting worse. I’m praying that he lasts until I give birth. I just need more time.

I did get to tell him that my son would be named after him. He smiled. He only had girls. He seemed excited. We talked. Really talked about me being a mom. I told him that I’m scared. I was unsure of what kind of mother I would be.

I wasn’t the mothering type. He laughed. He told me that no one truly knows what kind of parent you’ll be. You just wing it. You live, you love and you teach. He told me that there wasn’t too much to it.

I sighed.

I told him that I tell my baby every day that I love him. I know he’s in utero and probably can’t hear me, but that is what I need him to know. That I love him. I didn’t hear it growing up. He told me how my aunt, his mom, didn’t tell him until he was diagnosed with cancer. I was shocked.

I asked him did it bother him? He said no. He said that he knew she loved him but that his cancer diagnosis made her remember to tell him. He understood.

Later on that evening, I talked to grandma about our conversation and she explained that she never told her kids that she loved them either. She said that loved them, but never thought about it because she was busy being a single mom and trying to raise them. But, she said it was her fault that her kids didn’t learn it. She said many black parents didn’t tell their children that they loved them. She was one of them.

Many things scare me about being a mom, but I know that love isn’t one of them. So, I will continue to read to him and tell him that I love him each and every day. Inside and outside my womb. I need him to know that his mom means it more than he could ever have imagined. I promise to change the dynamic of this mom thing so that when he grows up – love won’t seem foreign rolling off his tongue.

M

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “M” is for Mom. 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/.

Love

I’m late. This should have gone out on Friday. Please forgive me for just getting out this post. It’s about love…

*************************************************************************************

April 16, 2018

There are times as a parent when you realize that your job is not to be the parent you always imagined you’d be, the parent you always wished you had. Your job is to be the parent your child needs, given the particulars of his or her own life and nature.

Ayelet Waldman

Love. There is no greater gift than to love the young man that God has blessed me with. He’s pretty amazing. I thank God for him every day. He is a child that challenges me to be better. I’ve grown because of him into someone that finds joy in the everyday simple moments of rushed kisses, determined hugs and high fives. I will support his dreams and help him understand his failures are a part of life. I will encourage him to just be himself because that is what the world loves.

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “L” is for Love. 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.

L

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/.

Heavy

September 2008

Heavy is the crown that comes with trying to be a good employee, wife and mother. I am failing miserably. There is not one day that goes by that I don’t see the looks of disgust as I leave on time to get my son. I have no help. I am a mother first.

H

I chose to be a mother. But, apparently I’m not afforded the same privileges as my co-workers that have children. I have to choose work over mothering. How the hell can I do that? Why would I do that?

I can’t help that I’ve been out on leave for the last 6 months and that as soon as I get back to work, my husband is now sick. I have a strict schedule. It’s the only thing that makes sense about the situation…

  • I get up at 5 a.m.
  • I shower
  • I get dressed
  • I pack Munch’s diaper bag
  • I leave the house at 5:45 a.m.
  • I arrive at day care at 5:58 a.m.
  • At 6:01 a.m. I am handing him to the teacher in the infant room
  • I leave at 6:05 a.m.
  • I arrive at work at 7:30 a.m.
  • I leave at 4:30 p.m.
  • I arrive at day care at 5:58 p.m.
  • I leave for the hospital to see my husband
  • I arrive at 7:00 p.m.
  • I stay until 10:00 p.m.
  • I get home by 10:45 p.m.
  • I get the baby bathed and in the bed.
  • I crawl in the bed at 11:45 p.m.
  • I sleep to start it all over again.

Heavy. My life is so heavy right now. But, I will choose my son over it all. I just need to work to make sure that the money continues to roll in. We have bills. We need two incomes. I am so very tired. No one understands that there is no choice but me. I watch other people afforded the opportunities that I don’t seem to have.

I sigh.

Adjust this heavy crown. Do it all again. Each and every day. Why? Because I’m a mother. I’m expected to figure it the hell out.

 

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “H” is for Heavy. 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/.

Motivational Monday Moment – 04.09.18

Happy Monday folks!

I pray that this day is amazing and that this week brings out the best in you. I saw this quote and thought that I wanted to use it in my Motivational Monday Moment.  It says “There’s going to be very painful moments in your life that will change your entire world in a matter of minutes. These moments will change YOU. Let them make you stronger, smarter and kinder. But don’t you go and become someone that you’re not. Cry. Scream if you have too. Then you straighten out that crown and keep it moving.”

Don’t you love it? How true is that? We’ve all been through some things that were designed to break us, but they didn’t. We kept moving. We learned to put our crown on and not let the events change us. I have to remember this. I have to remember that no matter what the enemy does to break me – I’ve survived.

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I’ve cried, screamed and cursed until I lost my voice. I still kept moving. The situations/circumstances are not going to be the end of my story. It shouldn’t be the end of yours.

I was on Facebook when this woman was asked about generational curses and how to break the cycle. For those of you unaware, generational curses are simply curses or bad things that are passed down in generations: alcoholism, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, incarceration, etc. They are things that many black folks don’t want to speak of but they are real. The Bible talks about them in Exodus 34:7:

Exodus 34:7  (NRSV)

keeping steadfast love for the thousandth generation,[a]
forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin,
yet by no means clearing the guilty,
but visiting the iniquity of the parents
upon the children
and the children’s children,
to the third and the fourth generation.”

 

She wanted to know how to break a generational curse of not having men in the family. It was divine intervention because it was like I had to respond. I explained that she just needed to make a conscious effort to do better. That she had a choice. When Christ died upon the cross he gave us free will. We all have it.

I explained that I understood about her concerns because many of my traumas ever experienced were caused by boys and men. Yet, God saw fit to give me a son to raise. You see how I thought God had a sense of humor right? He gave me a son to raise in spite of the trauma that man put up on me. But, with that decision He allowed me to know love and to pour in love so pure that my son won’t want to inflict trauma on another woman because his momma raised him right.

By living, learning and understanding the pain that I experienced and asking God to heal and love me, it allowed me to know love. A healthy love. I didn’t let my traumas break me. My pain had a purpose. A purpose to know love and a purpose to show love.

So, my Motivational Monday Moment is about getting up and not letting the pain distract you from your purpose. It’s okay to be emotional about your situation and your set back, but you have to know that it is only in your comeback that you show your true strength. Just keep getting up and moving.

 

 

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/.

Divorce

March 2013

It’s over. I told him in January that I wanted a divorce. He wanted to take time to think about it. Think about what? We’re not happy. We deserve to be happy. It’s not getting better. I just have to cope with this change. Wake up and repeat.

Some days are better than ever. I’m an emotional wreck. I don’t want Munch living in two separate homes. But, this is what I signed up for when I asked for a divorce. I just have to get used to it.

What about schools?  What kind of school will Munch attend? I don’t really like the public schools in my area. I picked out a great Catholic school. We both went. Munch is allowed to spend a day with them to get used to it. That’s good news despite the stress.

I’m trying not to think about the fact that Munch is now another statistic. A child of divorce. Will he be okay? What have I done? I don’t think I thought about Munch. Am I being selfish?

I pray not.

I have to focus on one thing at a time. This is stressing me out. I need to get my mind right. Focus on the logistics; the parenting plan, finding a school and getting through his day care graduation. I feel like everyone is looking at Munch and I when we go anywhere. Am I wearing a big “D” on my forehead. I’m consumed with thoughts of how Munch will survive and whether or not he will survive this. Truthfully, I wonder if I will survive.

It is as it shall be. Another black boy from a broken home. This was my worst fear realized. I never wanted to raise a child alone.

D

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “D” is for Divorce. 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/.

Cleveland

November 22, 2014

I’m standing in the kitchen trying to prepare dinner. Munch is in his room watching television and waiting for his dinner. I hear the news. A 12 year old boy named Tamir Rice was just gunned down in a park in Cleveland, Ohio by two police officers. The glass I was holding shatters.

He was 12. The picture shows a sweet smiling little boy. I watch the news with tears as I wonder how anyone could kill a 12 year old boy. What has this world come too? A mother burying her son. This isn’t how the world is supposed to work. We are supposed to have our children bury us after many years lived.

He won’t have that opportunity. I wonder is anywhere safe. I wonder if this little boy’s mom thought that the city of Cleveland was safe. If her street or neighborhood was safe. If she thought that those who were supposed to protect and serve would never harm her son.

Another boy dies. Another mother weeps. A life cut short. How can I protect my four year old son? No guns. No play guns. No Nerf guns. I have to keep Munch safe.

I clean up the broken glass and think that this is life. We’re all broken. The police are broken. This family is broken. The justice system is broken.

No rest for mothers tonight.

 

C

 

 

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “C” is for Cleveland. 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/.