I was created with intent

I was reading a post on this blog about teaching your children about their culture and race and it was so in synch with how I’ve been feeling lately.  As I watch the news (albeit a small amount) and respond to women’s concerns about marriage and dating, I am constantly dealing with my own feels about my race, my heritage, and its importance.  And its important to me that children go up feeling as positive about my heritage as I do, if not more.

I often ask myself the question, “Why did God decide it was important for me to be a Black woman?  What part of my ancestors had to be passed down to me so I could fulfill my created purpose?”  See, that’s how I look at being a Black woman.  I think about the great and powerful things our people possess inside them, and how I have the privilege of being one of that number.  It makes me want to read books, study my family tree, and draw from the people who came before me.  They were great and now I am a reflection that greatness in my own way.  And my daughters are great, with the same created intent as I have and as my husband has.  They are great children.  Greatness is their inheritance.

So, I think about the when and the how that I will begin to explain to my daughters that they are not just females, or daddy’s girls, but young Black daughters.  African-American women of the future.  (Boy, that has a great ring to it!)  I want to start with how awesome they are and how resilient their great-grandparents and their parents had been so they can continue to be great in their own lifetime.

I will tell them about the intolerance of others, but only so that they can withstand the sting of it as best they can, so that it doesn’t cripple them.  I want them to be able to handle it with grace, and forgiveness, but still from within them know how great they really are.

I draw my strength from the place that says I am perfect the way I am created, with all my faults and short comings.  I was created with intent, because it made sense to the one who knows all things.  And He looks at me with pride for what He has created in me.  And in Bob.  And in Robin.  And in Alecia.

I wanted to know how you ladies discuss race with your children, and if you feel a sense to want to pass on things to them.  If you don’t that’s cool.  You shouldn’t feel pressured.   I just enjoy celebrating all that I am, and the character flawthat challenge me to grow, so I wanted to know if you all felt the same.

I’m not trying to brag.  You know what I mean.  But there is nothing imperfect about my daughters eyes, her skin, her nose, her hair, her everything.  And I am shaping her mind to feel the same.

Christine is a wife, mother of two, and a business woman.

My Husband Can Never Die

I don’t care what the odds are — be it health or chance — my husband just has to live forever.  It’s for my daughter’s sake, especially my oldest daughter Robin.

Bob and Robin have such a wonderful relationship.  It’s something I wanted for my children to have.  I wanted them to be able to know their father, live with him, and have him a part of their everyday lives.  One of things I considered a priority when I was dating was that the man I would marry would be a man who was dedicated to his children.  And I am blessed to have just that, and so much more.

My father and I have a growing relationship.  I am one of six children — the eldest.  And although my parents were married and still are married to this day, the time we got to spend with my father was limited.  He worked to provide for us and my mother stayed home to take care of us. I saw way more of my mother than I did my father and I always wanted to make sure that being a present father was something of importance to my husband.

Not only does my husband feel a need to be in his children’s life, he has a knack for fathering the children in his area of influence.  We recently moved to Phoenix, AZ from the east coast, and wouldn’t you know it.  The children in the local playground naturally clung to him.  It was so funny to seem him try to ignore their hellos and waves.  He was embarrassed, but I was proud.  Here’s a man who makes children feel safe to be around him, without him trying.  And I get the priviledge of spending my life with him.

So, you see, my husband can never leave this earth.  When my daughter wakes up in the morning, and can’t find my husband because he’s working or out on an errand, you can hear the disappointment in her voice.  He is a constant in her day, and I am sure my youngest daughter will have the same attachment to him, as she releases her death grip on me. LOL.

I know this blog is about mothering.  But I feel what I want to give to my children, and what I am able to give them, would be so drastically different without my husband as the father he is.  We are a team, and I don’t think mothers praise active and responsible fathers enough for all the love and parenting they bring to their families everyday.

I love you bey.  I couldn’t what I do without you.  And I know Robin and Alecia love and appreciate you too!

Christine is a wife, mother of two, and a business woman.

My Daughter Has Short Hair

When my daughter three-year old daughter was born, she was a baldy.  It didn’t phase me at the time.  In my eyes, she was one of the most beautiful little angels I had ever witnessed in my life.  I didn’t look at her that first time and think to myself “Aww man, she’s bald.”  All I knew was that I loved her, and she belonged to me.  And all was well in the world.

Robin was a long and healthy baby.  She was curious about the world, opened her eyes two days after she was born, and was even holding her own bottle at 2 months old.  (I have the pictures to prove it.)

But with all of her growing and becoming, her hair just didn’t seem to grow.  As she grew older and taller than most her age, it became more and more apparent that her hair was not growing at the average rate.

So, what was I to do?  I didn’t want to instill negative implications in my little girl, just because her hair was shorter than everyone else’s.  But I also knew how important having hair would mean to her, as she looked around at the other children in her daycare, or even in our church.

So, I took on the challenge of paying extra special attention to each hair follicle.  I massaged her scalp, applied oils and creams, and even went as far as giving her a silk scarf of her very own.  Each time my husband and I looked at her, one of us made sure to tell her how beautiful she was — and why.  And I prayed “Lord, please don’t let my daughter feel bad about her short hair.”  It consumed me.  I didn’t want to be a bad mother, and ignore my daughters needs.

Then, something happened.  Something that would change not only the way I think about myself but how I think about hair.

I was watching Caillou with my daughter one evening,.  Caillou is children’s television show where the main character is a 4-year old little boy.  A little boy with no hair.  And it hit me.  Why didn’t the producers of the show give Caillou any hair?  Was he sick?  Did he not have hair in the first episode, and they just didn’t think to add any later?  I had to look it up on the internet.  I mean, the boy had NO HAIR!  Not even a few wisps like Charlie Brown.  Someone had to have noticed it before.

Well, it turns out that Caillou has no hair — because he doesn’t have any hair.  The producers of the show originally intented for Caillou’s character to be younger, but when it was brought to the US, they decided he should be older, and still be bald.

When children were asked why they thought Caillou had no hair, they replied “Because he doesn’t.”  They didn’t see him as lacking anything valuable, just that he was a little boy with skin on the top of his head.

As I read it this, it occurred to me that maybe Robin didn’t think of herself as having short hair but that she was who God created her to be.

“What a fool I was for worrying about how long or short her hair was,” I thought to myself.

There’s nothing wrong with having short hair, anymore than long hair, or curly hair, or straight hair.

So, from that day on the Internet, I decided I would change my attitude about hair and celebrate it in every length, shape and form.  Yes, I still take care of my daughter’s hair, and teach her proper hair management.  But my motivation isn’t to grow her hair before she realizes how short it is — as if short hair is a handicap of some sort.   I just want my daughter to learn and continue to embrace who she is.

Maybe one day, she’s rock a short cut because she enjoys it.  And that is just fine by me.

Christine is a wife, mother of two, and a business woman.