We Threw Up – Should Feel Better Now

“Sometimes I wish you hadn’t chosen to complicate your life as such” and with those words, I could have very well began putting in place the beginning of me losing my child.  Let me back up, this morning as I drove to the school to pick her up and take her to the Mosque to pray for EID, I just got annoyed with the entire thing.  Yes I did.  Since the beginning of this journey, I have been supportive and gotten on board and been understanding and I still am – but now that she’s no longer in the nest…….

I still am supportive and she is free to choose her path, and I’ve really been pretty good at keeping my own ‘issues’ and ‘thoughts’ about Religion out of the mix, but again, I’m annoyed.  If she had of came to me with this at say 30..ok, you’ve lived out here, you’ve made grown decisions and comparisons – but you haven’t even lived at 16-22 and what should be (and still can be) an exciting exciting time is all bogged down with Halal meat, can’t wear a tank top, where’s the Mosque, Cute guys don’t exist, the girls don’t live on campus so you’re the only one – it’s all just…….

You know truth be told, I had religion up until I was around 11 or so, then it was….something.  It is cool and all and I ‘claim’ like most of my siblings the religious upbringing of our youth, but the Faith may have offered comfort as an adult, but the ‘Religion” not so much.  None of us have even successfully been able to pass it effectively to our seed (as far as I know) and most of us keep just enough to (1) pull it up against each other with the one word more that we may know/remember (2) recite something prolific at times and (3) not upset our elders. Deal with it.

As much as we like to think and believe and pray about it, when groups of people get together, the overall fact that based on most faiths we are living in hell takes over and as part of that hell comes some of the following: Separation within the group based on all types of things, class and ethnic distinction etc. etc.  We are hopeful that it’s not that way, but it is.  She may look like a ‘native’ of the Land of Allah, but she’s a black girl born and raised in America by a single, religious askew mom and eventually by a bit more of a base Step Father.  They may smile and invite her to dinners and what not, but her collective experience is different – go down to the west end area and ask them.

So she stopped talking to me, and when she did she spit out the usual rhetoric that has been spoken about Islam and Muslim Woman and those of us who ‘don’t get it’ – I just told her this:

“We are both adjusting to a lot and I AM your support system. I have no one to lean on as I adjust to my only daughter going out here in the world.  This will NOT divide us we both are emotional right now.  I didn’t say you or any woman was oppressed.  I said this was complicated.  I have your back not just in words but in actions on a daily basis.  Tomorrow you will around and meet all kinds of folks. This won’t be the first or last time you will have to start at the beginning explaining who you are, who you want to be and the type of life you want to live. Get used to it.  That’s life we all have to do it.  I just tried at 46 years old to explain myself and pretty much got rejected for it. I haven’t turned my back on you, I don’t have the right, because its’ natural that you leave and grow and build your own life, and I hope you don’t turn your back on me, because I’m not turning it on you.

I will just leave you with this, don’t EVER worry or think about trying to live and be whoever you think I might want you to be.  DO YOU. I’ve spent most of my life with the shadow of that and I’m not repeating that with you!  We will make it through this transition and you will fly and I will be alright with it.

We are continuing to talk and are both feeling better as we maneuver through this. I have said the way to stop dysfunction is to do something different.  I thank GOD that even when there are bumps in the road, I changed it enough that I can catch it in myself and we can work through it.  We will be alright.  Whewww this has been one hell of a year thus far. One hell of a year.

Taking Attendance

This DID NOT and I mean DID NOT go the way I would have liked it to go, nor the way it looked on paper. In fact, I am amazed I pulled this off to begin with, BUT she will be there.  Some things will be slow coming, but yes it benefits that she is staying in State;

I thought I’d have separation anxiety, however, it hasn’t hit yet.  I think that’s because I’ve gone months without seeing her before.  I feel like, I will have a stronger reaction when she Graduates because by that time she will have morphed into an….adult.

What I have had is an overabundance of shock at the fact she’s even old enough to go.  I keep seeing her  as this little girl with a whole lotta hair and jet black eyes being sassy as a toddler, teetering around in her favorite pair of pink plastic slides, singing and dancing to me with her Barbie microphone.  I keep seeing the one who I ultimately didn’t have to share – suddenly making her World Debutante Debut.  Where did my baby go?

I spent some time in my closet. I went way to the back and there it was in plastic, preserved as some sort of Antique Fashion Show piece.  The cloak of….Single Motherhood.  I hadn’t tried that on in 5 ½ years.  I wrapped it around my body and sat on the floor. It was a bit prickly, but it enveloped me like a good coat should.  I sat there and thought about all the decisions I had made, all the sacrifices I had taken, all the lonely no man having nights (ok maybe that had nothing to do with being a single mom, lol) and I could do nothing but exhale.  I had because of nuggets of wisdom of my youth, positioning myself in the right place at the right time, sometimes being slick, sometimes being harsh, sometimes being submissive, effectively took care of this baby mainly by myself.  Yes folks have helped me.  Family has helped me, but the bulk of it was on me.  I sat on that floor and preened because I gave that girl a life!! Yes I did.  She lived in a house with a yard and swing set in the back. She took dance, Tae Kwon Do, she played outside till the street lights came on. Her bike was Barbie with a basket, She had a complete Barbie room, she had Barbie dolls, Bratz Dolls, all kinds of damn dolls, she had a TV set to only show child friendly shows, she had new clothes and new school supplies every year, she did all four parks and Sea World In Orlando (before we met RG) two times, she traveled every summer since she was six years old, on a plane, alone. YES GAWD HONTEY I DID THAT!  I RAISED THIS CHILD!

The whole “what are you about to do with the rest of your life” thing is here huh?  I have a few things I’ve been thinking about, including I’ve applied for a job, I’ve made sure I will be getting my ‘meet ups’ so I can pick a few to go..well meet up, and I have been using my lap top more.  I am looking forward to crafting again.  I’d like to become more active with my HS Alumni stuff. This upcoming move is highly anticipated.

I am most looking forward to defining RG and my relationship in a new way.  We started as “family”.  I am looking forward (for however long) to just being RG and Pam – the couple.  How exciting is that?!  I tend to like to create memories with him as my husband, not to erase per say, but to make new memories as a wife to override the old ones.  When we come up out of this financial cavern we are in; we will have some fantastic memories to make, fantastic.

I really thought I’d have all this stuff to write about, all this prolific knowledge, wisdom and understanding about raising kids to impart…um Nope.  I really don’t have it like that.  I could say start by naming your child something that speaks to how you want them viewed in the world.  Calm and Tranquil/One Who Obtains Favors From Others/Most Intelligent.  This has been such a saving grace, giving her the name that will get her the world and then teaching her how to be humble in order to receive it.

Finally, this morning there was a distinct silence of her puttering around the kitchen eating before the sun rises for the day.  With two days left of Ramadan, if I had to choose anything that presents anxiety to me – it’s incorporating her beliefs and college life. Yes it can be done, but then again it might be difficult sometimes.  There is sooo much she is about to learn, experience etc. and all of it might not be pleasant.  That’s just how it goes in life.  Most Hijabi are kept at home and don’t live on campus only the boys.  So she’s already trailblazing.  She has to remain covered in the presence of the male species so her walking around in the attire she walks around in here with for the most part, depending on how much traffic they end up having, might not have long periods of just relaxing – who the hell wants to be ‘on’ all the time?  Then the room is not really conducive to prayer, but we are working that out with the lofting of her bed and basically making a space for her to pray under it.  Otherwise, she’s gonna be fine.  She’s who she is and she will learn being out here in the world how to be comfortable in her faith, how she ultimately would like to represent on an outwardly basis.  She will be fine, even if sometimes I get frustrated.  I guess the only advice I really gave her was “don’t let anyone define for you how you believe and how you practice”  Out of all the peer pressure lurking – Religious Peer Pressure can be a beast.  She will be alright.  She will be alright.

School Daze – Move In Day

As we crested the expressway hill and the downtown skyline and the giant Georgia State sign came into view.  We both shrieked and did a little jig, here we go!!

As soon as we pulled into the lot, the proverbial “I am ahead of the game” conversation entered my head as I saw all the other “ahead of the game” folks piling in.  It’s gonna be a long day.

This was a former hotel in the city, parking was underground, as we rounded sub level 1, sub level 2 and then sub level 3, I was wondering who was coming to help us….

CG had hopped out above ground to check in and get her keys, they had a huge sign NO PARENTS, I automatically went to my stand by concerning this issue, um is there a sign in the Accounts Payable office that says NO PARENTS.  I don’t think so!

A full episode of “Sunday Best” popped off in my head as I leaned against the car after the discovery that the only way up out the hole to the sun and thing the room was to either take the stairs or the elevator.  I looked around and several sets of parents had started to hum whatever negro spiritual gives them comfort.

Is it just me or are the parents of girls a bit more stressed than boys?  She brought all of That?!

These kids have the biggest TV’s.

Because RG had to leave, there was the bright idea that taking the stairs to her room would be faster.  I had to stop twice to recover from Cardiac Arrest, but we got up there.

The dorms used to be a hotel, therefore the elevators were not made for the volume of stuff being put on them, so most of them broke and three levels of parking deck and all that shit these kids were bringing to campus had to take ONE ELEVATOR UP and DOWN.  I feel like just falling on the ground and just snaking.

The trick turned out to be, several trips with a little bit of stuff.  We could squeeze in almost all the time since it was just two of us,lol

I wanna give the North and their big bags were the BOMB.  I’ve had these bags for years and so many folks were like those bags are the truth where did you get them?  Ha!

We came to the conclusion that the people who answer the questions about the rooms shake a magic 8 ball and just tell you anything.  We could do anything but laugh, but the room is a nice size and three girls, three beds, three wardrobes, three desks,  3 chairs, 3 lamps, 3 TV’s/Fridges, 2 Microwaves, 1 Beverage chiller, a dozen different interests, and a prayer rug should fit just fine.

How did they forget her name on the door – ARTS and CRAFTS TIME!! She knows she was glad I packed her that stuff.

The boys didn’t look like that when I was 18, I would be in sooooo much trouble.  “Mom what bag did I pack my booty shorts in?”

The roommate has a lot of sneakers………

Hmm, this Mother wasn’t really friendly and not really interested in getting to know me, but her daughter was. She asked me right away was I nearby.  I told her yes like I told her Mom, I am quite happy to be the ‘on site’ Mom if the girls need anything.  She didn’t leave her info and left before I did.  Oh well.  Her daughter told mine, it was cool her parents were close by and when I left they both yelled See you tomorrow Mom!

Vin Diesel made the “Go to College” cut and is probably on the wall right now blessing the room.  I left a small Michael Jackson portrait, lol lol  When she texts me screaming, I know she found it.

I saw her smile with relief when the roommate cut the radio on and Two Chains didn’t come blasting out.  She actually listens to music similar to CG.  Let’s see what happens when the third roommate moves in tomorrow.

Her father delivers to her school, the hysterical moment when you see your pops downstairs waiting on someone who delivered pizza. NO SHAME HERE – but, hysterically funny.

I don’t think I’ve physically worked that hard on her behalf in like a decade.  Whewww Chile!

Hell I don’t think she’s done that much in a damn decade lazy ass, lol lol

I give her a whole heap of credit being on Ramadan and working that hard. She can’t even eat or drink till around 8:30pm! .  I’m not even feeling it like that.

Out of respect, I also didn’t drink anything during this time – I am now sloshing around from like 64 oz. of water

I smiled as she told me stories about folks she saw in the hall, she knew including the mean girls from her High School.  Baby this ain’t High School and you ain’t got to take not one ounce of that shit. (yes I said it like that)

I’m jealous she has such good phone service!!!!!!!!!!

She put in a request to loft her bed, doing that and then placing curtains will create…a private place to pray instead of the hall or bathroom.  Faith works.

Um no mam, friend going to another college 3 hours away, you can’t come and spend the weekend with CG.  She needs to focus on her School, dorm, friends, activities and prep for class on Monday like YOU should be doing the same.  You will be ok, just give it time.

CG’s text was blowing up the whole time and her social calendar the next few days with checking in, seeing old friends, making new friends, dorm activities, the end of Ramadan is going to be BUSY.

I didn’t cry, but on the way home “Can We Talk” by Tevin Campbell came on (folks who know me know that story I won’t tell it again) and I teared up to the point I just turned it off.  Just joyous that RG and I pulled this off. It’s hanging by a thread baby let me tell you, but we pulled it off and it can only go UP from here.

BTW, I will just hold my mule on the whole scholarship thing.  It hasn’t arrived yet…………….

The final text I got when I returned home “OMG OMG I left Pikachu!!Please make sure you bring him tomorrow OMG I’m gonna die.”

 

There’s probably more and probably the next several days will be non stop texts and phone convo’s since I wrote this around 1:30pm I’ve been on the phone no less than 5 times, and my text has blown up, lol