Bedtime Stories for My Daughter – I did it for him; He did it for me

Now I understand.

I was standing in my kitchen today, May 3, 2021 when the thought occurred to me that it’s been almost five years since I was in the throes of a custody battle. I wanted to take my youngest two kids out of the charter school they had grown to hate. Their dad wanted them to remain. We both had valid reasons. In the end, I prevailed.

I was fighting to get some help for my son. He hadn’t passed a single standardized test. They told me not to worry about it. But I did worry and wanted to move them because I needed someone to acknowledge my concerns and develop a plan. Thankfully, public schools are legally obligated to address the needs of every child.

Now, he is a straight A student who no longer just tolerates school.

But today, two days after winning our local school board election, I realized, He did it for me.

The move to this town and house was divine. I didn’t want to live here but I listened. I followed the still soft voice. Following that voice brought me here. To this day. To the moment of filling out the application to run. Then I won.

I moved here for my son.

I was moved here for something bigger.

Night night punkin

Bedtime stories for my daughter: Birds

It has been said, “The early bird gets the worm.”

I say to you, “The late owl gets the rodent.”

The initial phrase was coined to encourage getting up early as a measure of success. I can see that being the case in an agricultural environment.

We moved from agriculture to manufacturing to technology where time is fluid, electricity is plentiful and success is no longer measured by how early you rise.

I will continue to be the bird. You continue being the owl. I’ll see you before the sun rises.

Bedtime stories for my daughter- Draw my hand

I took a short break from bedtime stories while my daughter was home from college. Now that she has returned, I’ll recommence.

The year was 2004 and it was an election year. The two kiddos were attending a mom’s day out and the mom was working there for the free tuition. She was willing to do that for her children. The already strained budget would not allow any additional expenses.

The mom had hoped her children would be prepared for school. She had already taught the oldest to read, some writing skills and basic math. But a three day learning program was also an opportunity for her to get out of the house, teach other children and bring in a bit of income.

That year, the two year old daughter was excelling in one particular skill. She could place her hand in any condiment and create a perfect hand print on her napkin. She did this so often the parents were confused and not at all amused.

They went as a family of four to vote. The mom and the five year old son had an impromptu civic lesson. At the same time, in an adjoining booth, the dad and the two year old daughter were having a disagreement.

As he held her in his arms, he began to fill out his paper ballot. She, seeing the paper and pencil emphatically stated, “Draw my hand!” He immediately replied, “No!” They went back and forth a couple of times until finally out of frustration and realizing the lack of understanding, she provided him with additional instructions.

“Daddy, you take that paper and that pencil and you draw my hand!” He refused and she was upset.

At the end of the Mom’s Day Out school year, the families received a book filled with a variety of hand prints and drawings from their child. It was definitely an aha moment. It all made sense.

Rumor has it, she is still trying to tell her father what to do and he is still saying, no.

Toilet Paper

Let me start off by saying, this post has nothing to do with hoarding toilet paper but everything to do with change.

Sometimes my daughter shares my bathroom. I don’t discourage her, sharing one bathroom with her three brothers has to be an experience. I have two older brothers. For as long as I can remember, I had my own bathroom.

One day last week, she changed out the tp roll. No big deal right? You’d rather have a new roll than one lonely sheet hanging onto an otherwise empty cardboard cylinder, right?

Well, this is where things get a little complicated. This is when I began having conversations with myself. I think you know what happened. She didn’t put the roll on the way I usually do.

The way I see it, I had a few options.

  • I could talk to her about her mistake and lecture her on the right and wrong way to place toilet paper
  • I could ban her from my bathroom
  • I could change the tp back to the way I was accustomed (but she might make the same mistake again if I don’t say something)
  • I leave it alone and deal with why I was uncomfortable

I chose to leave it as it was placed.

On one of Oprah’s talk shows, she discussed toilet tissue placement on the roll. After expressing her preference, members of the audience informed her the bathrooms in the studio were opposite. She immediately had them changed. I get it. We like what makes us comfortable.

I like to embrace change. I enjoy pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I truly embrace Go With the Flow. I also encourage it with my kids and others around me.

Change is difficult. It’s can be scary or even upsetting. But change is necessary at times.

How do you handle change?

Bedtime stories for my daughter- Grandmama

I met the person you call grandmama when I was in the womb. She was momma, mom, or mother to me. She’s the reason I parent the way I do. She’s the reason I attended and graduated from Tech. She selected the school.

She began her mom life at 18. She had not graduated from high school yet when she got pregnant and soon after married. In those days, girls could not attend school if they were pregnant or married.

I suggest watching On the Basis of Sex. It’s the story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I think it’s on Hulu.

There are so many parts of her life that I don’t know. I don’t know where she attended school while she was pregnant. The schools in Dallas were segregated so if there was one for pregnant girls, she would not have been legally allowed to attend. I’ll have I ask Aunt Carolyn.

What’s my story for you?

My story is more of encouragement. You stand on the shoulders of some amazing women. It was not that many generations ago that it was illegal for our ancestors to read and write. The school that I graduated from and the one you currently attend became integrated in 1961.

Grandmama would have been proud of you. Your picture and accomplishments would have been posted all over her social media. As her only grand baby girl, she found a kindred spirit in you. Your love for reading was passed down from her.

You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

You are the daughter of Alicia who is the daughter of Bonita, who was the daughter of Johnnie D, the daughter of Lola, the daughter of Lillie. You are truly heaven sent, my melody from heaven.

Night night punkin. Sleep well

Bedtime stories for my daughter – the third proposal

Once upon at times there was this super fly chick who apparently had it going on. She was in her early 20’s, working two jobs, roommates with a really good friend and living her best single life.

She was the recipient of two previous proposals of marriage. One she said yes to but later realized it just would not work. The other she laughed off because they were not on the same page about education. When someone doesn’t value something important to you, keep moving.

This one was different. It was more of a pre proposal negotiation.

The two of them had known each other for years. They met through her brothers as children. They attended the same high school. They had many of the same friends. They were always friends but never had a romantic interest.

After they both graduated from college, they found themselves running into each other more often. There was still no attraction. Honestly, she liked on of his friends.

One day he dropped by the townhouse she shared with her roommate. They hung out for a while then as he was leaving he made a proposal. Let’s get married if we are both single at 30. She smiled as she pondered this request. It wasn’t a bad idea.

They had known each other forever. They had great relationships with each other’s family. She asked one question that would determine if this was a viable option. How do you feel about your wife staying home after having a baby? This was something she wanted as an option. She didn’t want it forced on her like the first proposer would have. She wanted to know that she had a choice.

He responded, that’s fine. Her heart beat quickened. Maybe… Then he said, I don’t mind if she doesn’t work for the six weeks of recovery. Her heart sank. She went on to explain why that option was important to her. He explained his vision of a dual income family. They hugged as he left and still remained friends.

Legend has it that she’s still fly and still has it going on.

Night night punkin