Saturday, March 31, 2012


The following conversation took place last week after I picked up my 14 year-old from school:

S: Today I heard that a boy likes me.

Me: (Trying not to drive off the road. Blink. Swallow hard. Breathe.)

Me: Oh really ? (Keep calm and keep her talking) Do you like him?

S: I don't like him like that.


Me: Well, remember to respect yourself and make sure he respects you. He hasn't made a move on you, has he?

S: NO. Could we talk about something else?

Me: Well, he'd better keep his hands to himself.

S: (Putting in her earbuds, probably ascertaining the risks of jumping out of a moving car)

Me: But I can see why he would like you. You are witty, funny, beautiful - I know if I were an 8th grade boy --

S: (Dying. Visibly.)

Me: Too weird?

S: Uh, yeah.

Me: Good talk.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hooded Fears

My son has been known to scarf down Skittles candy and delight in the sweetness of an iced tea. He can be naughty at times, but he is my child and I couldn't imagine life without him.

And I couldn't imagine his life being senselessly taken away.

I'm not going to debate what happened to Trayvon Martin last month. Only two people know for sure and one of them is dead. For anyone willing to listen, the facts speak for themselves.

This incident has put a mirror up to my face. My own issues with judgement. I have made assumptions about the young man coming toward me down the sidewalk. The way I have surreptitiously locked my doors at a stoplight while driving through "da hood". But I don't go looking for trouble. And I know far too many bright, witty, intelligent, gifted, young black men who are up to ALL good to paint them with a broad brush. Truth is, our irrational fears and ugly generalizations make me sad and fearful for my children. Especially my son.

If keeping Isaiah safe were only as easy as throwing away all of his hoodies...

Thursday, March 22, 2012


"Don't let yourself get cold."

That was the advice of the experts as I faced my first winter separated.

Get a goose-filled jacket. Buy flannel sheets. Wear layered outfits.

The less cold I felt, the less cold I would feel. Winters here can be notoriously uncomfortable and terribly inconvenient. Freezing temperatures, windchill factors, and Cabin Fever would do little to squash my Personal Season's feelings of isolation and sadness. I wondered aloud how was I going to get through.

Mercifully, winter proved to be one of the mildest on record. Spring had sprung before I even had a chance to pull out my big coat. Boots went unworn. Despite an early, brief surprise snowfall - we had no measurable winter precipitation. The dark days I dreaded? Sure, they happened, but not nearly as often as I had anticipated. And it always seemed like the next day restored sunshine and promises of better weather to come.

I believe God sent me a few gorgeous days in the middle of winter to remind me His promises for my restoration and renewal were not only on the way, but upon me.

When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun's love
In the spring becomes the rose

~ The Rose

Tuesday, March 13, 2012