Surviving Sixth Grade

Jalen and me – December 2018 (Trinidad)

We are nearing the end of sixth grade, and I’d like to share some things I’ve learned along the way.  This year has been a STRUGGLE.  Jalen has been frustrated, his father, teachers and I have been frustrated – it’s been a mess.  I’ve cried, gotten angry, cried some more and realized now, looking back, that I’ve also spoken things into my child that didn’t do him any good.

I’ve learned so many things about me and things about Jalen this year – and for those of you who may be struggling with a middle schooler, hopefully this may be helpful to you.

1.  I am not alone in the struggle.  What I am going through is not unique to me.  I’ve realized that just about everyone with a child older than sixth-grade age faced some or all of the things I’ve looked at this year – and made it through!  I am not the recipient of some “brand-new-to-the-universe” problem.  There are lots of people who can say, “Been there; done that”.  I need to get over myself.

Continue reading

Tears of Joy

Little african american baby girl crying - Black People

Source: Dreamstime | http://www.dreamstime.com

I sat at a traffic light this afternoon crying because Hanya Yanagihara had just done something so amazing for Jude St. Francis – something so deserving, so perfect – that it brought tears not only to my eyes, but down my cheeks.

I am a reader.  I’d like to say “avid” reader but…life.  Fellow readers know the enjoyment one experiences when a book makes you truly care about what is going to happen when you flip the page.  How words on a page can cause you to feel rage, anger, sadness, desperation, indifference, happiness, triumph, love – toward people who may or may not exist!  Yes, Hanya Yanagihara is an author, Jude St. Francis one of the protagonists in her fictional book – A Little Life – and yes, I was crying because of a book! Continue reading

Get You A Village!

villageEarlier this evening, I took these two rugrats and unceremoniously dumped them off at their aunt and uncle.  I was this close to sending them off to meet their Maker!

Yesterday was Christmas.  They were showered with all manner of gifts from adoring family members.  Today, their loving mother chauffeured them to a playdate with friends and cousins, after which they enjoyed a favorite meal of their choosing.

What did they do when they got home?  Smile and think contentedly about how fortunate they are, when compared to the millions of children in the world who didn’t even recognize that yesterday was Christmas because all they wanted was something to eat?  Continue reading

You Said What?

accusations-blog-e1510342093934.jpgWhen I was about eight or nine years old, some family friends visited us. The son was a few years older than I – he might have about 12 or 13. We were playing, and then he asked me to go into the bathroom so we could play some more. When we got there, he proceeded to pull down his pants and attempted to get his penis into my vagina. I was totally confused about what was happening, and more than a little scared.

We heard my mom calling for us, and he told me that he would go out of the bathroom first and then I should follow after and pretend as if nothing happened. I did.

I didn’t tell my mom. I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t tell anyone until I told Vaughn. I can’t remember if we were married or not at the time I told him, but I would have been about 27 or 28 at the time. Continue reading

Cautiously Optimistic…

back-to-runningThe last time y’all saw me, I was icing my foot and reporting that I’d done something not-so-good to one of my tendons.  I didn’t run at all that week.  Last Sunday, I went for a short jog, and then I did three miles one day during the week.  Spoke to Lloyd last night and his instructions were to try 10 miles today – if things went well, we’d get back into the swing of things.  If they didn’t, we’d rest again this week.

I’m happy to report I did 9.5 miles this morning, with no (so far) noticeable issues, apart from the regular soreness one feels when one hasn’t run in two weeks and one decides to just up and do 10 miles.  (What happened to the other .5 mile?  Laziness.  Lol). Continue reading

My First Running Injury

strained-tendonIt has happened.  I’m injured.

This morning while I was running, I noticed a pain near the bottom of my leg – the more you run, the more you become in tune with what are normal aches and pains and what’s different.  This was definitely different.  I was at about mile 10 or 11, and it wasn’t intense pain that I had to stop – more just something that didn’t feel normal, so I kept running, and finished my 12 miles just fine.

Anyway – later in the day, I realized that the pain was still there.  I started quietly freaking out – had I fractured a bone?  Would I need x-rays?  Lol – you’d think I was a real athlete.   Continue reading

I’m Alright 

Some days the smallest things get you. 3 miles should be a no brainer for me by now. But I struggled this morning. I had to turn on my iPod to get some extra energy to keep me going. But I was so glad I did. Kirk Franklin’s “Road Trip” came in about halfway through the run and I had that song on repeat till I finsihed the three miles. Probably gonna play it all day. 

I get tired, but it’s alright. ‘Cause I see what’s coming. And I’m alright. 

Oh – that three miles? 4 minutes faster than my 5k race on Tuesday. In almost 80-degree temperatures at 6:30 in the morning.  Sometimes when you’re struggling, you really can’t see how well you’re doing.  Just gotta keep pushing through till you finish. 

I’m alright. 

Today Sucked

mm16

Image courtesy bsim.org

I found this image and laughed.  This morning I was like “Forget training!”  It was rough out there in those streets, folks!

I got up on time, had my oatmeal, filled up my Camelbak (this is now my absolutely favorite gadget), packed my protein bars and energy gels, and headed out.  The first 8 miles were cool.  Then I decided to be adventurous and do some road running. I headed to an area that seems very flat when I’m driving it.

Note to self:  These streets are not flat!

To be fair, they are definitely not hills, but when your quads are burning, anything that doesn’t stay level feels like a hill.  I had to take two walk breaks between miles 10 and 11. Continue reading

This is also a head game…

paramedics-running-memeMy friend Marlon sent me this picture; he said he thought about me and my running when he saw it.  This could have been me today, actually.  Lol.  I ended up not running today because on Thursday and Friday nights, I was working on some stuff and got only a few hours sleep each night.  We did a quick trip on Saturday, and when I realized we wouldn’t be home until early in the morning – I decided to push my Sunday run, as I totally didn’t feel prepared for it.

Because it’s so hot these days, and because I’m as slow as molasses, I try to get my runs in as early as possible, so that I avoid the heat.  Had I done that this morning, I would have had another night of just four or so hours sleep, and I wasn’t feeling doing 16 miles on a tired body. Continue reading

100 Days Left!

There are 100 days left until October 8 (it’s actually 99 days now – I should have sneakerswritten this blog this morning!  Lol).  I vacillate between thinking that’s a lot of time and that’s way too little time.  🙂  The one constant thing about time is that it really doesn’t care what you do – it just keeps moving along.  Today I ran three miles; Sunday I will run 16.  That seems mind-boggling to me.  The other day I told Lloyd that I’m feeling intimidated by this race.  He told me if I wasn’t feeling scared, then he’d be worried.  No coddling there. Lol. Continue reading