Bedtime stories for my daughter – The cake

Once upon a time in life lived long ago, there was a darling little girl. She lived her life as care free as any at her age. As most people do, she was turning a year older and excited about her birthday.

There were only two things she really wanted. Those two items were a bicycle and a Raggedy Ann cake. Since she loved dolls, of course she would want a doll cake.

Her father promised he would bring the cake and bicycle to her party and he did. When he walked in the house with her cake she could barely contain the enthusiastic, muffled shout of glee. He didn’t look as excited as she was.

He knelt down and said, I’m sorry baby. I accidentally dropped your cake. She looked him in his eyes, smiled and said, it’s okay. I love my cake.

He thought he ruined the party but she was happy to have her cake, her new bicycle and her dad. She still remembers that day so many years later.

Night night punkin

When I Was a Little Girl – 2

When I was a little girl, I loved school. I really mean it. I loved everything about my elementary school. I loved the library. I loved piano lessons by given by the music teacher, Mrs. Walsh. I loved all the games we played during PE including red rover, kickball, four square, dodgeball and tag.

All of that was before “everybody is a winner” became a thing. I’m convinced that movement was started by the people who were always picked last. I was typically a team captain. Now that I think about it, the teachers were kinda savage. They never let the last kids picked be captains of the team.

Bless their hearts.

I didn’t have a backpack or book bag to carry my books. I remember searching around the house for something to hold my pencils. I found the prettiest purple bag with a string at the top that was just the right size.

One day my mom saw by bag and took it from me. I remember being confused. My mother was never one to give explanations to her three children. She took that bag and replaced it with something else around the house.

As an adult, have you ever had a flashback to a moment in time from your childhood? The first time I saw a crown royal bag, I flashed back to my beautiful purple school bag. Now I understand why my mother took the bag from me.

My pencil bag.

I wonder what our teachers thought of us as students. We were from low income families but I personally never felt judged. I’m thankful for my elementary school teachers. They cultivated a love of learning in me and encouraged me to achieve goals I had not thought of.

To the teachers who are teaching students who are socioeconomically challenged, and helping them see themselves beyond their circumstance, thank you!

Bedtime stories for my daughter: Belly Button

My second child and favorite daughter graduated high school in May and is away at college.

The other night I asked her if she wanted me to read her a bedtime story. I was not shocked or dismayed when she declined my offer. I told her I would use my blog to write stories for her to read when she’s awake during vampire hours rather than sleeping.

Once upon a time, there were two little boys whose ages were three and one. They were living their best toddler lives when their mom suddenly disappeared. Where is momma!? They were distraught and confused. She hardly ever left them.

Their grandmother made multiple attempt to console them. Nothing seemed to work. They cried and whined until she finally had enough. She bathed them, gave them warm milk and put them to bed. (Side note, this was a black household back in the sixties so they probably got a spanking or at least were told to be quiet but in this post corporal punishment world, we will go with warm milk and a bath.)

After a few days, their mom came back home. The boys were so excited to see her. What they were to young to understand was, their mom went to the hospital to have another baby.

The mom removed the blankets that covered the newest edition to the family. The baby girl was introduced to her brothers.

The brothers looked upon their sister with amazement and curiosity. They inspected her from head to toe. The one year noticed something protruding from her belly button. What could it be? Being the curious fellow that he was, he pulled it off.

The curious brother was confused when the baby started crying. His mom was upset. But why? Momma ran out of the door with the baby. Momma!!! Momma! He was inconsolable.

He unknowingly pulled of his sisters umbilical cord causing his mom to rush his newly born sister back to the hospital. She survived the ordeal. This story became part of the family oral history. Now it’s yours to share.

I may be taking a leap here but I think this story was the inspiration for this Silly Song. Veggie Tales: Bellybutton

Night night Punkin…

When I was a little girl (1)

When I was a little girl I loved to read. I was always checking out books from the school library. Sometimes I read several books a week. I didn’t spend all of my time watching the few channels we had on tv. I spent my days and evenings exploring a variety of places and living different experiences along side the characters in the books.

Then summer came along and I no longer had access to a library.

My neighborhood didn’t have libraries or bookstores. We could buy books or magazines from Eckerd Drug store or Tom Thumb but the selection was limited and I didn’t have any spare change.

I looked for libraries in the yellow pages and could not find any within walking distance. Waking distance back then was a few miles, not across the street or around the block. In the end, I road a city bus and walked a mile or so to get to the closest library and check out as many books as I was allowed at one time.

As I grew up and moved to the suburbs, I realized that libraries could be within walking distance of your home. I took my children to reading time at the library and they participated in summer reading programs.

It has been proven that reading has a very positive effect on children and adults. Why don’t all neighborhoods have libraries within a certain mile radius? Why isn’t that a priority? If we invest now, we pay less later.

Happy Birthday to You

Dear Melody,

You were planted in my dreams before you became a reality. I loved the thought of you from the beginning.

Did I ever tell you that I always wanted a daughter? I wanted to experience the mother daughter bond. You are everything I hoped for. Although it would have been nice if you would have tolerated bows and tiaras.

I want you to know that I’m proud of you. I love who you have become as well as the thought of who you will be.

When you go to college in the fall I’m going to miss you. I’ll miss the moody mornings. I will miss you staying in your room until after five pm. I’ll miss seeing your developing coffee obsession. I’ll miss your quiet judgment as we sing karaoke. I’ll miss your laughter and quick wit. I will miss you bouncing and almost stumbling downstairs to tell me a tale of the latest happenings. I’ll miss our quiet evenings sitting together on the sofa.

Happy 18th Birthday to you!

Love, mom

Five Second Delay

I am a huge proponent of organized sports. I believe in the team work, losing and winning, developing skills, exercise and learning how to deal with people in general. All of the kids played a sport early on.

The daughter stopped after an unfortunate soccer season. For some reason she was hit in the head with a soccer ball every single game. I’m not exaggerating. Every game. The coach gave her an award at the end of the season for that accomplishment.

My youngest is a good athlete. He’s competitive. He’s coachable. He’s going to give his best.

He’s also fast.

Usually during baseball practice I would take the opportunity to walk around the complex or run errands. One day I arrived just in time to see the boys run from home base to the back fence. I also noticed my son still at the home plate while everyone else took off running. I asked him about it after practice.

The coach imposed a five second delay on him because he kept beating all the other boys during the race.

I could have played the race card here since my son was the only brown kid on the team. I could have gone to the coach and complained. But instead I told my son to beat them every single time. Show them that they can set you up to lose but they still won’t win. Show all the boys and coaches that you are a force to be reckoned with. And he did.

I don’t believe in leveling the playing field in competitive sports. I don’t believe in holding people back to make someone else feel better about themselves. Teach the others to try harder.

Nashville Carpet?

Apparently #nashvillecarpet is trending on Instagram. I just so happen to have a quick stop in Nashville on my way to NY and decided to give you a glimpse of what you’re missing.

While we are chatting, can we talk about the number of people who take up seats in the waiting area with bags and stuffed animals?