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a letter to my husband…and son November 5, 2008

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november 5, 2008

well, well, well.  where do i start dear ones.  last night was an exciting one, no matter if you were voting red or blue.  as you both well know, i am the a news junkie, flipping from one channel to the next in between commercials.  over the past twenty plus months that obsession has kicked into high gear.  i never told either of you who i voted for but you knew and saw that i was going to be enthusiastic either way.  i may not agree with all of what the candidates stood for, but the power to make a difference, win or lose, was exciting. 

we all had the freedom to vote, but we did not have to cast a ballot if we didn’t want to.  as a family we saw the importance of putting in our two cents to make a difference.  this letter is an urging and reminder to our immediate family of what our motto is – do your best no matter what

as we move past november 4th 2008, a  day that has forever transformed what and how this country and others watching will view itself.   the excitement and possibilities for people from all walks and beliefs is electric. 

when we as a family take a step forward to do our best in all things from the health and welfare of our family, our education, our careers, our emotions, our recovery from trials and missteps, our grief, our love for each other and others that we care for, the purpose to which God has called  us together and individually and the belief that we as a family hold firm to through the best of times and the worst of times.  i think that a ready and willing soul can be so propelled forward and transformed in a way that influences and inspires.  this is the way i believe that life is worth living.  Christ expects that we are not resting on our laurels and chilling with apathy.  lukewarm is not the way and i know that through me the men in the household in which i live will be supported all the way into your greatness.  not your greatness by man’s puffed up standards but the standards that count with God. 

looking at you two, i see far beyond what i know that you see.  my hope for you is that you will know the rocking fantastic persons that you really are and that you will always live up to that and never shrink into a shell of something that you will look back on a not be proud of.  yes, flawed is a condition all humans experience, but to believe that it is the sum total of who you are and then begin to live up to that is not what and who the best of you really really really really is.

please know (dude that i married), that when your six foot slender frame walks through the door after a day away at an occupation that makes you feel heroic at times, the three foot something little boy whose heart begins to palpitate with excitement upon hearing your keys enter the front door is enamored with you.  not only is he enamored with you, he stands at the door with you as your remove your shoes waiting for you for you to swoop him up in your arms and bring security into his world.  when he looks up at you he sees the man that he admires.  the man, who as far as he’s concerned, makes the world go around.  the man who can do anything, including bring happy times into his life and disappoint him all in the same day.  he wants to please the man whose idea of him matters the most.  the man whose support and love he will need and desire as he grows into his own and begins to pursue happiness for himself.  the man whose ideas, advice, suggestions, approval and listening ear and heart he will need.  the man who will help shape the man he will become.  the man who he will look to as he grows up and follow the calling upon his life.  the man whose example matters to him even when you’re wrong, he’s wrong or even when he takes you for granted and vice versa.  all of you matters to him.  yes, you, the man and all of who you are.  he is proud of you the real you, the flawed you, the funny you, the cool calm and collected you, the silly you, the you who let’s him climb all over you and silently scream as he kicks you in the woohoos, the you who is caring, the you who is loving, the you who is warm and fuzzy, the you who is kind, the you who prefers to sleep 18 hours a day but instead plays withhim and helps to take care of him, the you he demands what sometimes seems like all of your attention, the you whom he dares to challenge with his strong will, the you who is in his two person boys club because “mommy is not a cool boy like us”, and the you who tries to correct him and put in his place because he thinks that he can remind you of the good manners you taught him.  yes you.  the man who will show him what transformation, growth, love without conditions, grace, honesty, strength and the courage to do your best no matter what. the you who he is watching in how to treat others.  you…the man.

be inspired by what’s happening around you. be encouraged by the words of thoses cheering you on. be guided by the Holy Spirit in you.  be who God ccreated each of you to be. be transformed.  be energized, strengthened and live life to it’s fullest.  compromise none of your principles and embrace a full and honoring life.  don’t doubt the support that you have as you pursue a cause and a ife of responsibilities that’s bigger than yourselves…it will be here for you.

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history in the making (from kindergarten to president) November 4, 2008

Posted by jonesgurl in all about change, children, history, president 2008, raising children.
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historic day for you, for me, for the whole dang country.  i will document this day in my scrapbook for a couple of different reasons. i always vote but today i voted in this, need i say it again…historic election with my myles AND i had my very first parent/teacher conference for my five year old and i did it all in the same building! 

parent/teacher conference reports for kindergarten was fairly simple.  i remember when my parents went to parent/teacher conferences when i was little.  we would be in such suspense waiting for my parents to get home from our school.  regardless of what we thought the teachers would say, for added security and insurance for ourselves, we would make sure that all chores were done and the house was in tip top shape.  we would make sure that when they walked in the door they would find nothing out of order (including us).  that’s kind of funny now to think back on those memories.  it’s like we were trying to buy ourselves out of trouble with completed chores and good behavior even if we had good reports…you know, just in case a bad report was on the way.  funny stuff.  (teehee)

imagine ME at parent/teacher conference…i’m a grown up y’all!!! (as she laughs at claiming adulthood for the first time in life)

the ’08 election time has been a riot.  we have our potential first oldest guy, our potential first brown guy and our potential first woman vp and then there’s joe the biden.  the neighbors came over and we whooped it up.  whoo whoo whooo whooo whoo.  i think it was just an excuse to make noise and experience the big event in a fun way.  kids were making lots of noise, eating junk and watching and waiting as this country realized a new something for our generation and the generations to follow us.  you notice that i said our generation?  we’re still young and  still have lots to contribute to society…ya know.

anyway, we did vote and it was kind of cool getting a chance to do it with myles in the booth with us.  he got a chance to help andre’ with his ballot and before he could help me, he was off to the potty. 

anyhoo, all of it was a blast to witness.  emotional. engaging. so on and so forth.  now the country will be going through election time withdrawal. cnn, fox, msnbc, cspan, abc, nbc, cbs will all be taking a pause in my house to allow time for the withdrawal process.

note:  excuse the mixed past and present tenses in this post.  i started writing this before election night and wrote some more of it after election night.  i’m sure you followed it fine…right? also, some of the following photos indicate that i need a new camera.  if i make that my one and only christmas wish item…maybe i’ll get a really good one with all the bells and whistles (hint to the family)

shots from the night…

me and myles after voting

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daddy and myles after voting (no, i don’t really call him daddy:)

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he voted for thomas the tank engine (teehee)

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checking the stats state by state

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a lady never tells 🙂 all you need to know is that i voted right?

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say it loud…i’m brown and i’m proud!!! (a la james brown) November 4, 2008

Posted by jonesgurl in brown boy pride, children, gotta love it, my baby. my boyl my joy, raising children.
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if you open your eyes and drop your guard long enough, you can get a better perspective on things, ya know. 

my five year old never ceases to amaze me.  i know that i talk about him lots, but, you really have to be around him a while and you too would say that he is worth the conversation:)

so, lately, he seems to be really proud of the fact that he’s brown.  proud, as if he just discovered that he is brown and is truly fascinated by this.  when he looks at television and sees other brown people like him he would proudly shout out, “they’re brown like me!” it was quite funny at first and surprising to hear him say it (as if he had never seen another brown person before).  anyhoo, i was very proud of him for embracing the beauty in being brown.  and for that, i can take no credit.

we took a bit of a vacation to texas and we visited friends that are family to him and us.  we were at a market and myles looked around and asked me, “mommy, do all brown people live in texas?”  though i didn’t notice, he certainly did.  i guess, where we live, he wasn’t used to being in the market surrounded by many of his fellow brown people.  this is the kind of stuff that i take for granted and have simply lived with difference.  i really didn’t think much about when the topic would come up, with him.

anyhoo, as election day approaches and i tell him how exciting it is to vote and i let him know that when he is 18 years old, he too, can vote.  i tell him that he will get to vote for whomever he wants.  he then asks me, “who are you going to vote for?”  as i try to adhere to what my mom told me “your ballot is all your own and you don’t have to tell anyone”, i explain to him that i’m going to keep my ballot a secret.  he then proudly informs me (even though he’s only five) “i’m going to vote for barack obama!”  surprised and interested in picking his brain, i ask him, “why are you going to vote for him, myles?” he says, “i’m going to vote for him because he’s brown like me.”  he then continued to play with his trains.  my silent response:  there goes that brown pride thing again.  i guess people really do relate more to people that look like them…tiny tots and all.

i realized a couple different things, i felt a little weird and almost inept that i did not purposely speak to him about what it means to be a proud little brown person.  but i’m not sure if that is something that any of us were taught.  perhaps it’s learned from one’s environment.  i’m not sure. but for some reason he has it.  he has pride and confidence.  although, there was one day (earlier in the school year) that he came home wondering about not being brown.  it was kind of a sad conversation because in his homework folder, there was a picture that he drew of two people.  one of the people had a sad face.  i asked him why the one person was sad and he responded as he pointed to the sad face person, “he doesn’t like to be different”.  that indeed, was a hard moment for me.  so i guess, through that conversation, maybe i instilled in him something that stayed within him.

it really just goes to show that it is innate that most people just want to relate to something that is familiar to them, that looks or reflects them.  don’t ya think? 

whenever he gets excited about something, i make sure that i explore, celebrate and make a big deal for him.  as is with this election season.  he somehow understands the shift, within people, that is happening in our country and he is passionate about it. 

out of the mouths of babes, you will hear some surprising and honest stuff.  over these past few months we’ve had the news on, nonstop.  yes, you can be attributed that to me, the news junkie.  anyhoo, he’s asking lots of questions and seemingly understanding most of the answers.

i can’t wait to see what this kid does in and for this world we live in. 

he’s proud to be brown and i’m proud of him.  he recently heard the term – african american, and he did not know what it meant.  so he asked me, “mommy am i an african brown boy?” my response…oh, what a beautiful little african brown baby you are!”

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for sure he is going to be our new president!… November 3, 2008

Posted by jonesgurl in all about change, my ramblings..., our new president in 2008, voting.
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                                  him?                          or                  him?

yes, the winner is him.  you know him. the guy claiming to not give us another 8 years. the guy claiming that he is not like that other guy, you know the other guy…the one currently in office.  the guy that says he is going to pull us out of this bad economy. the one who is going to do something about the direction this war is heading into or not.  the one that says he can reach across the aisle.  the one who says that he cares about everyday citizens. the one who says that he picked his running mate because his running mate has got the “stuff” to help him lead this country.  the one who says that we are going to turn this country around.  the one who has attracted all kinds of people to his rallies for various reasons.  the one who has convinced you to “vote for me“.  he is the one the people will have elected come tomorrow night (unless it runs over…again).  it better not run over this time cuz  people are ready to party!!! whoo whoo!!! i think people are going to party anyway even if their candidate does not win. ya know.  people are ready for this to be ova!!! (as she laughs).  so we will all be cheering or disappointed to find out that he and he are president and vp or he and she are president and vp. 

this was a historic election process.  it was actually kind of fun in a weird sord of all riled up and heated up debate kind of way. 

did anyone get the sense that we all got a chance to see and hear some deeply hidden, i never meant to say that out loud kind of, ooooooooooh i may actually be a bit judgemental kind of, whoa where did those words come from kind of, i’m not as apathetic and couldn’t care less as i may have projected all these years kind of a person. 

strangely enough, all this hullabaloo was actually good for our country for a few different reasons.  this election process has stirred up conversations that needed to come up a long long time ago.  now we all get to deal with some long ago emotional baggage.  yo people, open up that closet and let the emotional baggage fall on out.  fortunately it opened up some minds and expanded some relationships.  unfortunately, it strained some others.  however,  i hope that the strain that it has caused on some folks will provoke them to deal with some things.  so i sit here for a second laughing because the song that just came to mind was that old michael jackson and other artists song, remember it …”heal the world”.  okay, the song itself was corny as all get out but for some reason i thought of it.  not a fan of the song but hey, i’m just saying. listen to the song.  it’ll either may make you cry or think a little deeper about  something other than yourself, myself, him, her, pres., vp, pant suits, hair bun hair-do, brown man, old man, democrat, republican, right, left, independent, whatever.  it’ll give you a bit of a break from all the political tension and perhaps you can think human for a moment.

in four years, we’re going to see another level to the whole election process.  better voting machines…i hope.  good grief, it is the 21st century.  i sooooo bet that there will be at least three women in the initial process (primaries) running for commander and chief.  what!?! that would be like so 21st century people. 

you guys know that the polls are, well, ummm what the hay what is the point of them…the polls that is.  we keep hearing all the poll projections and who is up in what state by whatever percentage points and such.  come on.  the most important poll is on election day when we all get our butts in a voting booth.  is money being spent on the extreme amount of polls being taken? for real? that much money huh? perhaps i don’t understand why and what they (polls) are useful for because anything can happen far different from the polls, but hey, i’m just saying.

so, yeah, i’m going to vote for him.  he might win.  but then again he night not.  who knows. 

exciting stuff people!

“i’m sick of looking like an old man”… November 2, 2008

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okay, so the other morning myles and i were heading out the door to drop him off at school.  he checks himself out and decides that he doesn’t like what he’s wearing that morning.  mind you, he was not dressed any differently than the other mornings for school – cute, casual, preppy.  however, this morning he was singing another tune.  i’m not sure what style he was looking to sport that day but apparently i got it all wrong. 

anyhoo, our conversation went as stated in the next few sentences (verbatim. no quotes cuz i’m lazy)

me:  myles, go downstairs and get your shoes and put them on so that we can get going

myles:  (after returning back upstairs with his shoes in hand) why do i have to where these shoes today?

me:  because it goes with your outfit

myles:  i don’t want to where these shoes today.  look at me. i’m dressed like steve harvey.  i don’t wanna dress like steve harvey.  i just want to wear my red shoes. i like my red tennis shoes.  i can run really fast in my red shoes.  (then dramatic scene ends)

me:  (trying not to laugh out loud and in disbelief that he just compared how he was dressed to a man of 50 something years)  you do not look like steve harvey. steve harvey always wears suits.  plus, he’s a grown up man and you’re dressed like a little boy going to school.  put those shoes on and let’s go.

myles:  okay. (sigh) i still look like steve harvey. see (pointing to his ensemble).  tomorrow, i want to wear my red shoes

me:  yeah, okay.  you can wear your red shoes tomorrow because you have p.e.

         

steve harvey…

          sob-sob

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little myles…

the picture i posted of myles was not taken the morning spoken of, but here he is.  i didn’t think fast enough to snap a picture of the so called day of the “steve harvey” look alike

note:  he looked nothing like steve harvey.  he’s about 50 years younger and much cuter.  steve harvey wears suits and is always completely decked out.  my dear sweet little one looks more like an adorable little prep.  funny stuff. at least to me it’s funny. are you wondering how he knows steve harvey?  that’s another story for another day.  teehee

c ya

cussing out loud in the city… November 1, 2008

Posted by jonesgurl in bright lights bit city, children, coffee, cussing, my ramblings..., raising children.
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i really enjoy going to the city to hang out.  strangely enough, i like the crowds, the noise, the energy, the arts, all the very “interesting” things that you may not otherwise see out in the burbs. i guess you can say that i’m a bright lights big city kind of girl. 

my little myles and i took a trip to the city on the train which is one of his favorite things to do.  well, we got lunch, chilled out on the train, had fun with an eye spy book and exited the train once we got to our destination.  after walking through the crowds and taking in some fresh air (relatively speaking), we were enjoying our train date and were looking forward to the coffee date part of this little trip.  we walked down the streets with crowds of people around us and with the flow of foot traffic headed in a hurry to a myriad of places.  as we crossed the busy city street, a taxi cab so rushed to probably go nowhere or racing the other taxi drivers for the next fare, comes barrelling out into the street where we were crossing.  then it happens, the mother bear instinct comes rising out of me without pause or hesitation.  freaked out by nearly getting hit by a taxi cab, i pulled my son close to me and yell out “hey, you flipping idiot!”  instead of putting up his hand to indicate that he felt a little bit bad for driving like a bat out of hell and like he got his license in some dark back alley from some shady character illegally selling licences for five bucks, he decides to flip me the bird.  imagine, he flipped me the bird.   once we were safely on the curb, i kind of chuckled at myself for the little exchange i was just involved in. (in hindsight, the whole thing was kind of funny, but then again i have weird humor).

myles and i continued walking down the street and i wondered how was i going to  explain mommy’s little cussing moment. 

myles:  mommy, why did you call that man a flipping idiot

me:  well, mommy got angry because that man almost hit us with his car and he wasn’t being careful.  i shouldn’t have called him a name.  myles, saying flipping idiot is not a nice thing even when you’re mad, so we won’t use those words…okay

myles: oh, okay

whew…thankfully flipping idiot is all that came out of my mouth.  so anyway, the rest of the our train date continued without a hitch.  we couldn’t get a drink fast enough…me, a venti decaf coffee with pumpkin flavoring and him, a steamed vanilla milk…aaahhh.