Thursday, May 22, 2008

Family Ties

My children are my life.

A recurring thought I keep having over the past few weeks. In many ways that's a good thing and sometimes it can possibly be negative. The love that I feel for my children rivals anything I have ever felt in my life. In a moment I can possess superhuman strength if they need to be rescued, saved, or kept from some pending evil or doom. I can turn into a cross between Rog's mom from What's Happening, Florida Evans, and Weezy Jefferson if I need to deliver the pain. I can soulja boy across the living room floor, play a quick game of Tekken, dress a few barbies, and even catch a cramp on the basketball court. I'll do anything for my kids. What happens when we can't save them from hurt, harm, danger, or even sickness. This morning I read an article about Christian Music Artist, Steven Curtis Chapman, his five year old daughter was killed by an SUV that hit her. The SUV, was driven by one of his older sons. How do you grieve for the loss of your child but at the same time console the one who caused their death. Life.

I watch this same dilemma with my step sister and her husband. Their oldest daughter became ill last fill. She had continuous seizures. Tests were done to diagnose her with epilepsy. Instead of determining that she had epilepsy, they found five small clusters of tumors on her brain stem. Medication and Chemotherapy followed. A vibrant nine year old was reduced to a sickly, bedridden child. Soon she regained her strength, appetite, and feisty nature. All while her family, friends, and church members prayed for the best. Nine months later, a reversal of fortune. The clusters are growing rapidly. More medication, chemotherapy, and now radiation. How do you tell a ten year old with gorgeous hair down her back, that it could possibly not grow back in the spot where the radiation will be concentrated. It's affected her life. She's no longer schooled with friends but home schooled because of the constant appointments and trips to the doctor offices. She can run and she can play for a while, but she has to stop when she tires out. Without a moments notice she reverts from ten to three. Crying and wanting you to comfort her out of fear. She's scared and how do you ease that fear. You can say all the prayers in the world but how do you take what she's feeling away? How do you tell her to ignore it? You can't, because her battle is real.

My children are my life.

I can put a band - aid on a cut. Pass my little girl her inhaler when she can't breathe. I can't imagine losing them or dealing with an illness as severe as what my niece goes through. I'm content being super mommy and I don't want to think for a moment that won't always be able to fix their problems. Right their wrongs. Kiss away the hurt. My children are my life.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Just Another Day On The Job...

Moments like these really make me ashamed to reside in South Carolina. I don't know why these family members took their frustration out on the African - American news anchor. Sad, that such hate still exists.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Preconceived Notions

Recently I had a conversation with a classmate. She asked what she thought was a harmless question and provided what she believed to be an even more harmless opinion. Why do African - Americans attend HBCUs? She even went as far as to ask why these universities existed? In her opinion, African - Americans were fostering a racist attitude by attending these universities, establishing scholarships solely for students from our community, and maintaining memberships with organizations that boast about African - American only membership. My grandmother has a saying and it’s one that I pretty much agree with, “If you never opened your mouth, people wouldn’t know you were a fool.” While I was having this conversation with this individual that phrase kept playing over and over in my head. Then I had to really evaluate the situation and look at it from her point of view. Which only brought about frustration. It’s difficult for me to understand, why when African Americans exhibit pride in their culture we are viewed as racist. I honestly don’t believe my classmate meant any harm. I think she’s possibly trying to search for understanding and hopefully our conversations will provide what she needs.

Still, this matter goes deeper than a poorly phrased question. We see this issue daily. Whether you’re in corporate America or a presidential candidate in an election. It’s almost as if we’re forced to separate ourselves from those who appear to be too “pro black.” We have two faces, one we wear for the world to see, and the other that we show when we are with those who understand our daily struggle. Why do we have to maintain this charade. When we display pride in our culture or ethnicity we’re often compared to another group, with three letters. Yet there’s a difference between trying to create an atmosphere of appreciation and tearing down another.

Monday, March 10, 2008

When I Say Bigtop...You Say Circus...

On Saturday, I took the kids to The Universoul Circus.

It has been a few years since, I attended the SOULLLLLLLLLLLLLLL CIRCUSSSSSSSSSSS, and I am kicking myself for missing the last four years. The show was awesome. I will never go see Barnum and Bailey again. Now if you are the type who enjoys the structure of B&B and you want a big stage, clowns, and lots death defying acts, don’t go to the Soul Circus. If you love music, laughing with your neighbors, and actually being involved in the event, go to the Soul Circus.

I really can’t put in to words, how much I enjoyed the show today. I was more excited than my kids. We’ve done the Barnum and Bailey thing and it had been four years since I took my son to see Universoul Circus. At the time my daughter was a baby and she didn’t get to go. So this was her first visit to the Soul Circus. I was worried, because when the first act came out she didn’t get too excited. When the lights first go down and it’s the ballerina/gymnast, how excited is a five year old really supposed to get. Right about this time the vendors start walking around. It doesn’t take long for the kids to pick up on the fact that if you raise your hand they’ll come right to you. So I bought a $3 soda, $7 cotton candy, and a light up toy that cost the price of sodas. I love the fact that although this circus caters mostly to those who identify with the African - American culture, you see representatives of every ethnic group employed at the circus. They’re training animals, working as part of the acts, or a member of the crew. It gave me a little hope. If they get it, if they know we can come together despite culture, background, or ethnicity to be successful then eventually we’ve got to get it in the real world. That’s a different blog and I digress.

I enjoyed it all. The Rough Riders - a group of men and women who do tricks while riding horses. Ladies, let me say, that some of the men will cause you to completely ignore the horse. How I love a man with long dreads, let me count the ways. One of the women did a trick where she goes all the way around the horse. She’s the only woman in the US who does this. My mouth was hanging wide open. There’s another group, from Beijing, that just went Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon on some poles. Amazing. There were just flying back and forth between the poles. The ringmaster Tony Tone and Z were a wonderful duo. Everyone was waiting for the Soul Train line and it delivered many laughs. There was even an Apollo style kids dance competition. Most of the kids stopped dancing mid way through the competition until Crank Dat by Soulja Boy came on. I thought the tent was going to fly away, the majority of the audience, grandparents, parents, and kids stood up to Crank Dat. I’m not going to lie at one point, Whodini came on and I got real excited. The kids looked at me, like I had lost my mind.

My two favorite acts of the show were the Sheer Romance Aerial Act who performed to Alicia Keys, “Like You’ll Never See Me Again,” and the elephants. The aerial act performed on sheers and it was absolutely beautiful. The ringmaster warned people not to try it at home. He didn’t want anyone’s neighbors calling 911, because everyone was twisted up in their good drapes. The elephants, were precious. If its possible for a two ton elephant to be precious. They really were, the performed part of their act to J. Holliday’s, “Bed,” and all three elephants laid down on one another. Cute beyond words.

This is the fifteenth year of The Universoul Circus. This year’s theme is Jabulani, which is Zulu for, joy, laughter, and happiness. If this circus rolls into your town, get tickets immediately. You will feel an overwhelming amount of each of those emotions.

Talk About Irony...

Casey Knowles, the little girl featured in the Clinton Campaign's 3 A.M. ad is no longer a little girl. She is 17 now, and an active supporter of the Obama campaign for President. Old file footage was used to create the ad. A situation like this, just reaffirms that truth is not often found in advertising.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wednesday Flashback

The Morning After

I have been M.I.A. lately. We're working on getting another blog started over at Wordpress and this one has kind of taken a backseat to that. It's rough to sit down and share my thoughts on Tuesday's primaries. I like every other Obama supporter in America had a jolt of reality last night. Hillary is playing hardball. She says one thing and does another. It's about the people but she will stop at nothing to win the nomination for her own reassurance not the people of the United States of America. Barack Obama is well positioned at this time. In order for Hillary to gain the Democratic nomination she will have to use every dirty and underhanded trick in the playbook. She's not above it and we all know that she is more than willing to use them, but what will happen to the Democratic party. What will happen to America. Again, we will see confirmation that its a power trip. It's not about what we want at all. It's not about making things better for the future of our children. It's about who can gain bragging rights for another four years. Now, as she playfully tosses around, adding Senator Obama to her ticket as second chair. His supporters are supposed to retreat quietly into the shadows and support her campaign. I cannot and will not. Come November, if Senator Obama is not the Democratic nominee, I will write in his name, but I will not support him on Hillary Clinton's ticket. She represents everything that is wrong with our nation. I've been reviewing other sites this morning. Reading news stories on Yahoo and CNN and one thing sticks out to me. Where there is Barack, there is Michele. She is supporting him in the background and the forefront. Where there is Hillary, there is Chelsea, or the "token" congressional member smiling for the cameras. Barack Obama represents unity. He's committed to this campaign with his family. Hillary is alone, with Bill out doing the dirty work. I guees its an attempt to distance herself from the scandal that comes with her husband. It's not going to happen. The picture is plain as day and this Democrat will not support you in November. In fact, should she gain the nomination, I may have to reconsider my party affiliation. I think I've outgrown the democratic label.