Well today the teenager turns 18. I am writing this at 9:34am so technically she hasn’t been born yet, lol lol She came into the world at 10:05am after an arduous journey. My initial name for her was Sonali after my favorite Indian restaurant in NYC and it had my surname built in – but when I looked at her and really got into her spirit, she became the “Calm and Tranquil” that her name means. Instead of having some kinda ’emotion’ per say about the entire thing, because truth be told, she’s still my full time ward, I am still her most prolific teacher and provider of knowledge and that doesn’t end just because she can go vote – I laid in bed this morning pondering what have I learned about this whole process of being a parent, having a parent and knowing other parents.
1. Procreation is something that should really be thought out. Everybody’s chemistry doesn’t mix. I am a prime example (in my opinion) concerning this. I always wondered just why my entire being was different than my siblings and then when I found it it’s because I have a different Father, I really began to think about the fact that there’s a lot more involved in the act of procreation than a sperm meeting an egg. These two things have a lot more than what color eyes you are going to have – they have soul and spirit within them and maybe, even though on the surface you and that person are made for one another, combined you might not make the best combination to have to raise. It’s like you are getting the core of two people and that might be a hard pill to swallow. Be Wise in the choices you make as you lay down with folks, shack up with folks and get pregnant by folks. I feel blessed that I lucked out in that front because that is half the battle, the combination produced the soul of the person, I just gave it flourish by helping it grow.
2. It’s ok to NOT raise your child like you were raised. Who said you were raised in the best way possible? 95% of us are royally fucked up and our parents did a somewhat decent job. If you see something out there that is more agreeable with the spirit of your child – then do that. Mom is a good barometer but they are not the end all by all on raising children.
3. Be a real live person to your child. One of my main pet peeves at this point in my life is that my Mother has turned into just that Mother. There is this ‘role’ that she is not a person, she never had a life, she doesn’t remember a life and therefore she can’t relate to anything because hell she’s just MOTHER. Well I’m not. I’m Pam first and foremost and I bleed like everybody else. I can remember and have actually documented said life since I was 13 years old and can pick up a book and read all about at my hearts whim. Therefore, that’s how I have raised my child. I am a person who has chosen to be her Mother and add that feather in my cap. I don’t approach advice from the angle that I just happen upon this wisdom – some of it comes from actually REMEMBERING what it was like to be 16, 17, 18. how crazy is it to get beserk because you child wants to date as if you don’t remember wanting to date? I always chuckle at the reformed hoes (both male and female) of the world who get a child and then go overboard with the rules and restrictions. There is a balance in taking what you have learned from experience and adding teaching and nuturing and letting the child have some rope – I have learned that ultimately that rope comes back to trip you up. Remember what it was like and tweek it for now.
4. I do believe if you give them everything now, you are going to run into a problem. Exactly why is there a kindergarten prom and graduation? What is the hurry for them to do everything now. There should be earned memories and mile stone memories. There should be the roll out of a new level when they turn 13, when they turn 16 etc. All you doing is stressing yourself out to top yourself.
5. Change ONE thing that you have decided sucked when you were a child to change the course of the dysfunction in your family. By hugging and kissing and telling my child I love her – she now will take that on to her family and her children (my future Grand Children) and hopefully love/affection/emotion will now be in my family thread.
6. Just as all the evil flashy shiny things outside your house seem magically and magnetically drawn to your child – so does all of that inside your house. When they start to show you what is REALLY going on, sometimes take a look at yourself and see if they are just mirroring you. They don’t only mirror the good in you, they also mirror the bad. So when you all disappointed and upset cause you child took almost the exact same route as you – remember you didn’t give them a new route to follow.
7. Take the time to check into your child’s temperment and believe that about them. If your child is the soft sensitive one – validate them in that and organize their lives as such. We got these children doing so much, stressed out so much, trying to accomplish so much and it just might not even be their personality. I had to learn that the hard way and when I did I backed all the way up and only then was she able to flourish which leads me to…
8. Sorry but you CAN’T relive or re-imagine your childhood through your children. You better ask Michael Jackson, lol lol You had one- however fucked up it was and hopefully you had some time to go out here and live it up and further create memories – but trying to be 16 simutaneously with your own 16 year old just ain’t cool.
9. Stay in your lane when it comes to Social Media. Let them have that space, besides why would you run yourself crazy seeing that part of your child. You hid that part from your parents. If you don’t approach it from the angle of I run this and I can come up in here and delete it all and then some – then you are opening yourself up to ‘doing to much’ on the friend trail. It looks Thirsty (this is my opinion) to be all up on your teenagers page commenting, liking some of the ignorance their friends are saying and interacting with said friends. Why are you friends with the 16 year old girffriend? Check in from the back! Yes Check In cause you angel probably has at least one thing up there that is making you look bad. You think it’s cute they all up in there cussing, passing around nasty notes and acting a plum fool and you cool cause you they ‘friend’ nope that makes you look crazy. Believe me – I’ve had conversation about you, lol lol lol
10. It is VERY HARD to not project all your issues on your child. Recognize this and when you see it happening STOP YOURSELF! It ain’t they fault.
11. Every blue moon – apologize to your child for something outlandish that has went down. It makes you human and it makes them understand that those in authority are not always right, but until they some authority – they might have to take some shit off the world.
12. Stop pretending you are RICH to your children because in today’s world that will make you POOR. Have the money conversation in front of them sometimes. KEEP IT REAL in this arena.
13. Just accept the fact that a whole heap of the youth today don’t do SHIT and don’t wanna do SHIT and then move on with your life. They are lazy – mainly because we felt like we were worked to the bone and wanted to give them a ‘break’ don’t get mad now cause little Tony hasn’t come out his froom in three days because he’s on a marathon pokemon adventure on the play station.
14. Actually love your child and not what your child can make you look like as a parent. Sometimes I have seen folks on level 12 as their child achieves and they all in the front waving I’m the best parent in the world banners, but if you talk to that child they are very unhappy with the entire scenario. They feel like the parent is pimping them and they are not getting the overall love and attention even when they mess up. Take off your spirit wear and put on your clean the bathroom clothes. Parenting is a dirty nitty gritty job.
15. As you go into parenting, you really have no idea how that little ‘egg’ is going to turn out and even with our best intentions, they can really send you for a loop or be a complete surprise. You really did do the best you could do and you usually get exactly what your best is.
16. Make sure your child sees an abundance of healthy love.interactions!! Even if you don’t have a partner – take the time to express love for having a partner, remember some good times in front of them. I used to always talk about how FINE black men were and be quite expressive in my love for them, even if she never saw them around me (LOL) I made sure that her vision of having a mate and what a mate can do for you was positive, even if I was on a roller coaster with that whole thing – I had her all about the MEN, lol lol She’s pretty healthy in a lot of that area now.
17. It’s selfish to bring someone into this world and then fuck them up because you ‘doing yo thang’ . Don’t produce people that the rest of the has to deal with in a negative way while they have to figure out how to heal on the run. You have wasted their valuable life time and others.
18. Even though they don’t provide anything (for the most part) to their well being while they are in your care, don’t exclude the consequences of your actions on them as you make life choices. They are people, even if they are little people and though you don’t have to do anything they say – remember they are watching, listening and learning. If not today, maybe tomorrow the decision you made that you didn’t take them into account about will come back and haunt you. I am living proof that though the intentions were well – the disregard for our long term feelings about situations has had a horrible and in some cases irreversible impact on our lives and the lives of our children.
Now of course these are just my musings and ramblings as I look back over some things – you ain’t got to take any of this to heart cause believe you me I’M STILL LEARNING!
Happy Birthday to my little one!!