Go Ahead and Pray – It’s a Copout!

My heart has been heavy the past few weeks because of the confusion that is currently happening at the George E. Peters Seventh-day Adventist School.  I don’t know what it is about Adventist education, but we have a hard time getting it right.  And I am tired of us being the “tail” and not the “head”.

I struggled when deciding to send Jalen to GEP.  I decided to mostly because we are an “Adventist education” family.  My siblings and I matriculated from Adventist schools from elementary to tertiary.  Same for my husband’s siblings.  There were problems (some very serious) at each level.  Everyone knew this, but the prevailing sentiment was, “Don’t worry; God will take care of it.”

THIS.  IS.  A. COP-OUT.

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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.

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My Stubbornness Caused My Child’s Unhappiness

sunshine-kids-seat

Image courtesy Buy Buy Baby

When Jalen was born, I developed an unhealthy fascination with car seats.  I read somewhere that the majority of children die in car accidents, either because they weren’t in a car seat, or the car seat was not properly installed.  I joined car seat boards.  I had my seat professionally installed.  I double checked the installation of any seat that I knew my child had to ride in.

Then it was time to buy a “big boy” seat.  I went nuts here too.  After hours of research, I decided on the Sunshine Kids / Diono Radian brand.  This was the perfect seat because it could hold kids up to 80 pounds, which meant I would be able to use this seat until he could use the car’s belt.  And, they didn’t expire for forever (yes, car seats expire!). 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

The Hoodie: A Perfectly Good Piece of Clothing – Ruined

hoodieI think the hoodie is probably one of the most functional pieces of clothing invented.  It’s basically a hat that goes where you go, and stays attached to your clothing, so you don’t forget it someplace.  It protects your ears from the wind, and your hair from the sleet.  Depending on the style of the neck, you can tuck your chin in and run.  You usually have a nice set of connected pockets for your hands.  It’s made for cool weather.  It’s perfect.

Except if you’re a black or brown male. Continue reading

What Vaccines Taught Me About Prayer

joshua-vaccine

Image courtesy Melissa Andrews

Yesterday Joshua had to get four shots from his pediatrician. The experience reinforced some things I have been trying to sort out about prayer recently.

I didn’t tell him about the shots on the way to the office, but after the nurse checked him out and we were waiting on the doctor to come in, he asked if he was going to get a shot. I nodded and told him he would be getting four.

His little face fell. I asked him if he was scared. He said yes. So I told him we could pray about it, and he said ok – so we did. Here’s the thing though: Continue reading

Shut Up!!

stem-jalenYesterday I called my parents to see how the boys were doing, and Jalen couldn’t wait to get on the phone.  “Mommy,” he said excitedly.  “Guess what?  I got second place for my STEM project!”

And the first thing I almost said – the sentence had already formed in my brain, but I somehow stopped myself from actually saying the words – was, “Who came first?” Continue reading

Reflections on Race in my Life

Today I took the boys down to the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial on the national mall. The Park Rangers were holding an educational event for children, and I wanted them to participate. I didn’t have much hope for Joshua, the three-year-old, getting too much out of the visit other than exercise, but I hoped that Jalen would start to learn some things.

After we parked, we had a little hike to the memorial. Jalen asked me where we were going and why, and I started trying to explain the nuances of racism and how Dr. King fought for equality for all. Joshua interrupted to ask, “Why are we black, mommy? Is it because we have black clothes?”

You can always count on Joshua for a laugh!  Lol.

I remember a time I went to my dad with my own questions about racism. It happened my first black history month in college. Continue reading

Reality Check

I am listening to What is the What as my current audiobook.  It’s the autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng, written by Dave Eggers.  It’s taking me a while to get through it.  For one thing – it’s a long book.  I’ve finished the first part and am on the second part which, where I have about 6 hours more to listen to.  Then, I’ll move on to part three, which is also another six hours.  But the real reason I’m moving so slowly is that the story is awful.

It details Deng’s experience as one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan”, which, according to Wikipedia, ” is the name given to the groups of over 20,000 boys of the Nuer and Dinka ethnic groups who were displaced and/or orphaned during the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983 to 2005).”   Continue reading

Burt’s Bees and My Overactive Imagination

Tonight, my cousin told me that she thought something was wrong with her two-year-old son’s bedroom.  He seems to have fits of coughing when he sleeps in there, but seems much better when he’s in other rooms.  She’s having her air ducts cleaned again and will be turning his room inside out – also again – all in hopes of eliminating whatever it is that may be causing him to cough.  The poor little man has already spent a couple of days in the hospital due to respiratory problems, and we’re all praying that he doesn’t have asthma.  Of course, asthma is completely controllable, but it’s not something you want to deal with if you don’t have to.

My cousin is dealing with a real health issue with her son.  This morning, I manufactured a health problem for mine.  I was eating breakfast with my youngest, Johsua the three-year-old, and he asked for a piece of my English muffin. Continue reading