Three years ago todayDSC_0076

Just the other dayIMG_7638

It’s a happy 3rd familyversary!



I’ve had failures as a parent.  I knew before it all began that parenting would likely be the toughest thing ever. I just would have never guessed in what ways.  I’ve been surprised.  For example, I didn’t know I’d be faced with serious challenges and obstacles by such things as Pink Toothpaste and socks.   I didn’t know about missing socks, mismatched socks, socks not fitting, socks opted for with shoes they do not belong with and opted to be left behind even though shoes and weather indicate a need. I didn’t know until we were on our way home from a restaurant happily wearing princess pajamas that one sock had been replaced with a glove. A glove. A glove was being worn in place of a sock. A glove?!?  This issue would never have occurred to me when contemplating the possible challenges of parenting.  Why would I know that I needed to not only check for the presence of socks but that they were in fact socks. I don’t care at this point that socks don’t match clothes or match one another.  I do care that we have them on when needed and that they are in fact socks.  I’ve given up on the socks fitting perfectly, but would like two socks to be replaced by two clean socks each day and I’d like them to actually be socks.  Then there’s Pink Toothpaste.  Seems innocent enough.  Nope.  Pink Toothpaste has become a thing in our house.  Pink Toothpaste is my nemesis, my archenemy.   I’m not proud.  It’s an issue when it flies from toothbrushes because water is turned on full blast.  It’s also an issue when I find this pink bubblegum smelling partially dried goo on the ceiling and various other surfaces like every single wall (always higher than I can reach), towels, the mirror, the faucet, the sink, the shower curtain, the counter, afros and the dog.  Never would have guessed that ultimate flicking whacking sword fighting spell casting toothbrushes of five year old kids with Pink Toothpaste would be a thing I’d be dealing with.  At times, I’ve failed to deal with the Pink Toothpaste issue in a good way.  Parenting. It’s tough.

Can you believe a person would do this? ;)


Here they are being cute.




happy 6th birthday keta!




Francine often questions how long I’ll be her mom, if I’ll still be her mom when, who will be her mom when I die, what would make me not her mom anymore and lots of similar questions. She comments randomly on how much she will miss me when that time comes. She does not want to stick me “in the ground with a rock” on my head. I told her that’s not what I want either. Maybe she’s too young, but the girl is looking for answers and a feeling of security and she wants to know she knows what to do and she needs time to wrap her little mind around it all. This applies to everything, not just my demise. But, right now there’s a focus on my demise. So we talk about it.  She’s really worried. I’m sure Keta is worried as well, but in a much less vocal way. What if you die in bed?  Who will get you out?  What if you die about to…..? What am I going to do when you die?  Francine has accepted that she doesn’t have to stick me in the ground with a rock on my head and feels pretty good about it. She’s accepted that I won’t feel a thing when someone “throws a fire” on me and she is not responsible for performing the task. I told her to let the wind take my ashes and that I’d kind of be everywhere and I told her I’d always be with her, always be her mama. And just as suddenly as it comes up, the subject dies for a bit. I know she’ll bring it up again. I hate that at five years old she’s experienced enough loss that she’s worried about the next time. I hate that she’s worried.

Last night she told me, “Mama, I hope my  ashes get blowed where your ashes get blowed.”



kind of perfect

Keta was telling me stories when we were cuddling before bed, princess stories. This is a girl who can describe a two second scene from a movie in 94 minutes or more. She can describe at length everything about everything with enough fluency to make you wonder if she actually knows what she’s talking about. No short stories or getting right to the point with this one. Having had enough of the princess stories I finally requested a story about a regular girl who did something extraordinary. Hmmmm, she says, like Laura and Mary? Nope, just a made up by Keta regular girl who did something extraordinary. Here’s her story….
This is about a girl named Keta who was adopted by her mama. She grew up and was, well, kind of perfect. The end.

IMG_7404 copy


349 days

Keta has been looking forward to her birthday for exactly 349 days.  Since the day after her last birthday, 350 days ago, she’s been “’bout to turn six!” and she’s excited to inform anyone who will listen.

Keta — Mama, guess what!?

Me – Nothing, I’m rarely given an opportunity to respond verbally.  I’m making an excited and eager face to match hers.

Keta – I’m ‘bout to turn six!

On the phone with Bibi…

Keta – Bibi, guess what?!

Bibi – Starts to say something, but is interrupted in the middle of her too slow attempt.

Keta — I’m ‘bout to turn six!

This, for the last 349 days, with increasing frequency.

For me, it’ll be bittersweet when the birthday finally rolls around.  Not because of the absence of the, “Mama guess what I’m ’bout to turn six” thing.  That will be replaced with a new and improved version going something like, “Mama guess what I’m ’bout to turn seven!” but because she seems to be  getting older so quickly!  Soon she’ll be ready to tell me she’s ’bout to turn seventeen!

Here she is, ’bout to turn six!



dr. king

Mama, I know why we don’t have school on Monday it’s ’cause of Dr. King’s birthday.

Mama, he was shotted or something by some really bad people.

Mama, does people still hate black people?

Mama, I’m a black people.

Mama, does people here hate black people?

Even though I have brown skin I’m still a black people.

Mama, were they scared black people had germs or something?

Why did they make them go to a different school?

Are those people bullies mama?

Mama, I don’t want to be picked on.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 131 other followers