To be young, gifted, and Black

I just dropped my son off for his 5 day Japanese intensive at the CSUS Academic Talent Search. I first want to say that I am not paranoid and I am not a bigot. I had to have what I like to call the “uncle Joe” discussion with him before I signed him in. I wanted him to recognize the lack of diversity in the student body for the program.
“Milo, do you notice anything about the students you see here?”

His first answer was that they were all alone. Then I clarified my question.

“Milo, do you notice anything about the kids and the color of their skin?”

He said they were all white. I don’t think I am creating a paranoid kid when I explained to him that many of the kids here were white and Asian for a REASON. I explained that in special circumstances such as this enrichment program, it is EXPECTED that whites and Asians be here. The general thought is that they have parents who either recognize the importance, have the money, have the time, care enough about their child’s education or a combination of all of these to want to send their kids here.

I can’t wait to see how Milo’s first day went. Either way it will be a teaching moment to remind him that it should not be a special case to be “Young, Gifted, AND Black”. It should be a blessing and an opportunity to grasp the brass ring as well.

Why is it not “important enough” or “out of reach” or unaffordable” or “just for those rich white and Asian kids”?

Why does society allow us a window of opportunity to doubt ourselves that continues through generations and leaves whole sectors of certain nationalities in the academic dust?

Read more later… I WILL share my opinion on these thoughts later.


It takes a Village of Whup Ass to raise a child:back from the dark side

Perhaps I am being naive. Maybe I am being negative or maybe simply ignorant, but I am NOT angry. The last time I checked, no matter how much you study a particular culture you will never be able to rename your identity.

There is a possibility that I am just bitter with or tired of dealing with young teachers who believe they are being treated unjustly because they aren’t whatever ethnic group they have studied, researched, hung out with, or grew up around. So much that they may deem themselves “experts” on that topic.

Don’t get me wrong, if you were raised in a black family, then you for sure are as black as the next one. I know how it is, you trip when people grip their purses tightly as you walk by or guard their children in the playground because THEY are intimidated by little children.

My belief is that it takes far too much energy to think past the color of a person’s skin and see them for who they really are… HUMAN!

Learn all you want about a culture in your studies. Offer an academic perspective based on studies but don’t write the “cultural education bible” based on what you assume as opposed to what you have LIVED!

Just a thought from your friendly neighborhood


It takes a Village of Whup Ass to raise a child…

whoever decided that it takes a village to raise a child must have been out of their damned mind when they coined that phrase. granted, it is a phenomenal phrase to use when you are trying to convince a new parent to ask for help from family and friends before they toss their baby out into the swirling currents of the local river in a torrential downpour.
a can of whup ass can be defined many ways. depending on the culture you participate in, it can be a pat on a diaper with a hand when the baby repeatedly pulls the dogs ear or picks the cat up by the throat, to a parent out of their mind with fury, love, and a passionate need to correct offspring so they don’t lose their job at the other end of a section of water hose and a visit from CPS!

yes. it is a broad category of love,structure, and consequences.

is there a way to have a serious discussion with regard to how children should be raised as opposed to how the textbooks tell us they should be raised?

i believe there is a middle ground that allows for “spoil the rod, spoil the child” without warranting a call to CPS.
it is perfectly okay for parents to determine the environment in which their children will be raised. the parents create the environment, set up the rules and expectations of the CULTURE are what are exhibited by the children.
the difficulty is managing your household and family culture against what society has deemed “acceptable”.

i dare the village that used the can of whup ass principle to raise children to define “acceptable”.

here is my account of interviews that occurred within a fictional village that i visited on my way to Vacaville State Hospital.

Goddess: how do you utilize a can of whup ass?

Bettina Mae: A Can of Whup Ass is best utilized to light up a child when necessary.

Oscarlisha Jean: heh heh! you said that right girl! snatchin’ up a child ain’t no sin. when you want it quiet, you just say you gon’ open up a Can of Whup Ass and they snap right to attention.

Bettina Mae: now don’t get us wrong Missus Science Lady, we don’t beat our children and leave them in misery. we beat them with love and we make sure they know what a real beatin’ is. they don’t go to the school tellin’ folk they go a beatin’ on tuesday on GP (general principal). they tell the folks that they “got in trouble”.

Oscarlisha Jean: mmmm hmmmm. you said that right girl. our children don’t run and hide from us. we ain’t messin’ wit they minds! we correctin’ they SOULS.

Bobbie Smooth: preach on OJ! if yo child ain’t right with the Lord then you ain’t done yo job right.

Goddess: so if you were taken into court and charged with child abuse, what would be your defense?

Bettina Mae: I’d tell ’em that if they think they can do a bettah job, they can take ’em and raise them theyselfs

Bobbie Smooth: *slaps knee with hand* hoooweee! my baby momma did just that and you know what that judge said?

Oscarlisha Jean: who dat?

Bobbie Smooth: that judge shook his head and said “take yo kids home and make sure they know the right story to tell next time someone wants to go snoopin’ in bidness they ain’t got no bidness in!”

Bettina Mae: Missus Science Lady, the fish fry is about done and it is time to stir the grits, can you come on back round later and we will let you know mo later.


Happy Mother’s day

Not a day goes by that I don’t sit and thank the heavens above for my little Milo. When i think about the difficult decisions that I had to go through to have him, I would never choose a different struggle. He attracts the hearts of many around him. He gives you all that he has inside and sometimes gives too much. I am thankful that he can do that. I can’t truly say that I taught him, I think he’s been doing for quite a few years. he’s got something of a been there, done that frame of mind and it helps to take the stress off his living. He is mine alone and belongs to the world as well.
I continue to dig this mother thing.
Happy mothers day to all the otha mothas!!!



Motherhood… How I love thee… Pt. Deux

Sooo… The father who threatened to beat his son’s f**king ass in front of the sheriff decides that I can’t have a moment alone to hash out the story with my son away from the emotion charged attention paid to the situation by him. He decides he wants to listen in and I continue with my run through of the situation at hand. I know how it goes… You already have the story, but you want to hear the child’s version of it.
I shot the man a few “if you can’t say anything nice…” looks and he restrained himself but not forint. He decided he could handle no more and broke into the conversation about how doing things like he did that day could land him in jail.
His father went on to explain what happens to people in the penal system be it juvenile or adult. He said that if he went to jail, Milo would for sure find himself someone’s boyfriend. You can just hear the gears turning in this boys mind. His father then goes on to tell Milo in quick succession before I get a chance to throw my damn shoe at him that men get fucked when they go to jail. Yes he used the word “fucked” I think I missed the throwing of the final wrench into Milo’s mental gears because I was too busy trying to pick my jaw up off the floor. He said to Milo, literally, that men get fucked in prison and asked his son if he wanted another man’s dick in his ass…. Yeah he said it JUST… LIKE… THAT… I guess when you have a 14 or 15 year old who is sliding off track you can be as graphic as Milo’s dad was but uh, this child is 9!!! What an idiot. By the time I picked my jaw up off the floor and picked the cat hair out of my teeth, Milo had come to the conclusion that all men in jail were GAY!!!!!
Criminy !!!
to be continued…..

Motherhood… How I love thee…

So here’s the story on Milo’s errant behavior. Milo decided to leave the house while I was taking a nap against my wishes. he and a “friend”went to a neighborhood home and got into a bit of mischief.
Milo and the neighbor kid down the street broke into an empty home and proceeded to light fires on the stove.
I know been there done that simple. kids. door unlocked. Break in. gas still on. lighting things on fire. fine. but no. that’s not how it went down in this case. the kid down the street decided that he would take a rock and pitch it through the glass sliding door!!!!
While the boys are inside lighting fires the guy who was cutting the grass. By the way, the house was not abandoned it was merely vacant; called the cops and the cops came out and busted the kids.
I got a call during my catechism class from J telling me the cops had the boy. What possesses children to do things like this is beyond me. However I had to remain calm and calm did I remain until I spoke to the ex-husband. He immediately launches into how good a father he is because he would NEVER EVER EVER allow something like this to happen while Milo was under his care.
Yeah I stayed calm and listened to his ranting as I prepared my class for a last minute sub who would take over. While I’m doing this, I get a call from the sheriff asking me if o could come pick up Milo because he did not feel safe releasing Milo to his father. Apparently the father of my child rolled up on the scene screaming and hollering about how he was going to “beat your fucking ass”. Not too bright sayeth the ex wife. The sheriff was bent out of shape over the idiotic entrance of my intrinsically asinine asshole former spouse….
To be continued

If God made pie…

I am a foodie. If it smells good (and sometimes if it
doesn’t) I will give it a taste. I believe that all food deserves a
chance to be compared to dishes of excellence in the hopes that
their culinary creator can be hoisted above the shoulders of
foodies everywhere as the Sultan of Salami or the Matron of Maple
Pancakes. I believe that one such dish has been found!! *hoists
empty pie dish in the air* how was it made? Who made a deal with
the devil for the ability to create such a pie? A pie that causes
one’s mouth to water at the mere mention of it’s name? Not just any
old apple pie but a pie with the crust gathered from the soft
feathers of angels on high, a concoction of butter and flour with
time well spent making sure that the first bite tastes the same as
the last. Whose fingers took the time to create this magnanimous
feast of warm apples sliced so thin that they melt on your tongue
singing joyfully to reawaken your taste buds that have swooned into
a pile of spent casualties of the battle for all that is tasty.
“Mom’s Apple Pie”… TO BE CONTINUED…

She’s still around

A part of me still cares for the girl? The foster daughter who has moved on to another home has a few numbers permanently stored in her memory banks. She never stays out of sight for too long.
I got a call from her tonight telling me that she had a bit of a “situation”. All I could think was “I really don’t have any money to bail her out of jail or pay for an appointment at THE CLINIC!”
She had run into some issues at the new home she was at and was perhaps calling me to see if I could help her out of the predicament she was in.
I heard her story out and then proceeded to call her therapist to have her discuss some of her options.
I remember when there was a time when I would have dropped every single last thing to help a person in need. Where did I go wrong?
Did I actually go wrong?
If I am shouldn’t I feel guilt?
If I don’t feel guilt maybe remorse is a better word.
I know I experienced it at a young age…

Couple that with a little shame and you find yourself with a person not afraid to make mistakes and the dignity to admit when she is wrong.
My dear little former foster child has no ability to discern between a righteous act and an act of selfishness. I wonder how long it might take her to recognize that when it is time to, as my dear old dad used to say, “get somewhere and light”, which means be still and do not bring any undue attention upon yourself.

Sometimes it is nice to hang back in the shadows but in my case, there is a lot of battling to do. I started thinking about the parties involved with this scenario brought up tonight and I just shake my damn head.
When will she learn?
She can learn one of two things.
Learn to lie right and keep her story straight
Start telling the truth more often.
So much is missing from most of her stories … The other side.

The Playpen: Prison for kids or Early Release for parents?

I’ll tell you what I think of play pens. They will keep your kids from getting kicked in the jaw during your Tae Kwon Do class but is there more than?
I don’t think so. I practiced my Martial Art at a school every morning at 10am and he needed to be held back a bit.
Once he got that look that he was going to hop out and kick my butt for keeping him in there, he got to come out. He did get hit maybe once or twice (never too hard) because you are also more aware of your child’s presence when you are required to be aware of their location and well being.
There are animal rights groups that are against crating your cats and dogs in the house. I don’t want a dog who gets out of a crate ever morning and tears through my house looking for something ‘new’ to destroy the moment I avert my eyes and I sure don’t want a kid who gets out of a play pen and does the same.

When I was a kid, we barely had car restraint systems. We could climb out of a crib or a high chair with the dexterity of a kangaroo at the kiddie play area at the local mall. There is no reason to hold the child still because they have a tendency to learn better if they are out and exploring in their environment. Children are meant to get out and explore all of their world. How else can they learn. Their parents get to touch everything? Why can’t they do they same within reason?
How many toys can you put into a playpen to keep a child interested? I say as few toys as possible.
I see some folks get to the park with the playpen in tow and a soccer ball bag full of toys!!!!! WTF????
Leave that behemoth at home, put on your shorts and running shoes and chase the children. That is why God gave them legs… to run their parents insane heading for the curb with traffic whizzing by at 40 mph.
I am sure that every parent remembers “that one time… when I had to smack little Jimmy on his bottom as I caught him from running out onto the expressway”…. let’s keep those learning moments for both children kept safe by their parents and parents safe in the knowledge that they can continue teaching from the heart and not from convenience.

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