Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Power of the Woman

If you have not gone out to see Hidden Figures, what are you waiting for?

This movies had so many moving moments and scenes that brought a tear to my eye and made me feel empowered as a woman in general and as a Black woman specifically.

Dorothy Vaughn taught herself how to operate one of the first computers, an IBM that took up an entire room. The average woman today would do the same in an effort to excel in her field. But Dorothy took it a step further. She took the time to teach the other “colored computers,” Black female mathematicians who she worked with side by side, how to operate the machine as well. When it was time to form a group to operate these new machines, Dorothy and the other women were called. If all women adopted this mentality of encouraging and empowering each other, think of how far we would be by now.

Mary Jackson sought to be an engineer and fought in court to attend an all White high school to get the necessary credits to achieve her dream. Think about that. When faced with a boundary, she could have done what many of us have done and just given up. Instead, she went to the courthouse, got her case heard, got the judge to side with her, attended classes where she was the only female and the only Black person, juggled her classes with being a mother, wife, and full time employee, and earned a place as NASA’s first female engineer.

Katherine Johnson knew she had a gift with numbers and worked hard to manually calculate different projects at NASA. She never set out to make history; she simply wanted to do her job to the best of her ability. She knew she was a Black woman that most people passed the numbers to and then quickly dismissed. But even with these powerful White men dismissing her, when it counted, she made her voice heard. She never doubted what she could bring to the table, no matter what was said about her. We all have people that try to talk down to us, for whatever reason. But we have to believe in our skills and acknowledge our purpose. Every situation we find ourselves in is a chance to fulfill the purpose that God has placed in our lives.

This film was wonderful and inspired me to continue to fight, in my way, for what I want and what I deserve. The movie also served as a reminder to put more effort into nurturing the hopes and dreams of the women I call friends. Even with juggling my own family and my own projects, I cannot neglect the efforts of the strong and intelligent women I surround myself with.

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Traveling the World of Disorders III

Things have been pretty quiet when it comes to my lil big boy. There have been no new incidents since November which has been awesome. But, I am not one of those parents that will just breathe a sigh of relief and keep it moving. I am always searching for solutions and I am always striving for information on how I and my husband can give our son exactly what he needs.

When my son was in kindergarten, I took place in an Education Management Team ¬†(EMT) meeting with several professionals at his school. The meeting included his teacher, the school’s counselor, the school’s psychologist, the school’s speech pathologist, the school’s special education teacher, and the principal. In his first year of elementary school, his behavioral issues were more frequent as his adjustment to a new environment was not a smooth one. At that first meeting, I sat at the head of the table and faced a group of people who made observations based off what they had observed at school and what I noticed at home.

I sat there and listened to these professionals praise my son for being so smart and so eager to learn new things but then explain how his bursts of frustration and sometimes anger would disrupt the class. They told me whenever he had an episode, he would be inconsolable and unable to ¬†explain what he was feeling. I sat in that meeting and held back my tears because like most parents I just wanted my son to be “normal.” I hated that he was having these problems and yes, I blamed myself for not immediately knowing how to handle his issues.

He is now in the second grade and I had another EMT meeting today with several distinctive differences:

  1. This meeting was arranged and scheduled by ME. Seeing some of my son’s issues cropping up again, I wanted to be proactive and take control of the situation. No longer is my head stuck in the ground. Instead I am making a solid effort to gather information to help my son be successful in school.
  2. My husband accompanied me. At the kindergarten meeting, I was alone and felt like I was facing a firing squad. This time, my husband was right by my side. He got to ask his own questions and instead of getting secondhand information from me, he was able to talk directly to the people who are teaching and molding his son. And it also showed those educators that our son comes from a two parent household, and both parents are invested in his future.
  3. Because this was a meeting I called, I was able to prepare myself for what they had to say and I came ready to offer my observations and tips to the educators on how to best react to my son. I wasn’t on the defensive and came with a positive attitude. I left the meeting feeling like I had done what I was supposed to do and all I can do is to keep covering my son in prayer and to keep talking to him about how he feels.
  4. The biggest thing I got out of today’s meeting is that it is so essential to have a team of people when it comes to your child’s education. An education consultant told me this years ago. She said that every parent should assemble a team before their child starts school. The parent sets the overall goals for that child and shares those goals with the team. This way, whenever the child is away from the parent, those goals will still be enforced. Looking around that table, I felt a sense of relief that every one of those people truly cared about my son. They cared about him being successful and expressed sheer joy for being given the opportunity to know him and teach him.

The strategies my lil big boy has learned from me, his daddy, and the educators are working. He has not only taken them to heart, but he has also shared them with classmates when they have issues. He is growing and maturing and for the first time, I feel comfortable with where he is socially and mentally.

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The Year was 2016

In a whole day, we are awarded 24 hours in which we have the option of loving, living, and celebrating all that God has afforded us. And we pray that He will bless us with an additional 24 hours so we can do it bigger and better day after day.

I have a theory. In that time frame, let’s say 23 hours are filled with love, light, laughter, and everything good and pure in the world. But for the last 60 minutes, we are faced with the hardest and harshest things we could imagine: death, famine, debt, all things nasty and negative. If someone asked you to recap your day, you would only remember and reflect on the bad.

I found out a week ago that I did not get 2 jobs that I had interviewed for in the same week. When thinking about 2016, I realized that I had not held down a full time job all year. That was it. That was the culmination of my 2016. No full time job, low finances, and a slight depression was all I had to show for the past 12 months.

Then I remembered, my magical jar.

I stole this idea from Facebook last December. You buy an empty jar in January and throughout the year, you fill it with your accomplishments, your blessings, all things good. At the end of the year, you open the jar and get the chance to reflect on all of the positive things that took place in your life that you may have forgotten about. Here is what my jar revealed:

My Babies: Both of my little people were in extracurricular activities this year. My little big boy took karate and soccer. He successfully completed first grade and is earning high marks in second grade. He received a high score in a countywide math test and learned how to tie his shoe. My little lady started dance lessons, which she loves, learned to count to 10, and learned to say her Grace by herself. My babies traveled to Sesame Place and Dutch Wonderland in Pennsylvania. They visited several museums and attractions and took a trip to the zoo. My son had his 7th birthday party with 20 of his closest friends at a rock climbing facility. My daughter turned 2 and had a face painter and a storyteller at her party. My babies ended this year happy and healthy.

My Marriage: My hubby and I celebrated our third year of marriage and our 13th year of loving each other. We went to dinners, went to the movies, and went to a concert. We laughed and hugged every day this year, except for those days I was out of town. We had one of our biggest fights as a married couple, but heartfelt apologies were exchanged less than two hours later, the quickest we have ever made up. Our marriage grew stronger this year and we ended the year like we do every year: clinking our glasses and sharing a kiss as the ball dropped.

Me: I devoted more time to this blog this year than I have in years past. I invested in my future and attended a blogging conference in Atlanta. I had clients this year who trusted me to write their bios, edit their websites, and edit their manuscripts. I joined a book club with other strong minded and intelligent women. I forged new friendships with other mommies and renewed a friendship with a college friend.

One of the biggest lessons I learned this year was how to ask for help. Thanks to my amazing hubby, the bills were paid and we never went hungry. But thanks to my mother-in-law, my babies were able to get tons of stuff for Christmas in addition to taking karate, soccer, and dance. Thanks to my mommy, my son went to summer camp and when their feet got bigger and their bodies grew taller, my mommy made sure they had new shoes, clothes, and coats. When you have babies, you are forced to learn how to extend your hand for help on their behalf. And thanks to their grandmothers, my children had an amazing year and never knew the struggles that went on behind closed doors.

2016 was not as bad as I originally thought it was. Despite the setbacks, my family and I made it through and we still love each other. That’s what I call a successful year.

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