Monday, July 30, 2012

Clever Parenting 101

Happy Monday!

I am often over talking to my kids (I say over because, I know sometimes they long ago stop listening and I have just become the Charlie Brown "whomp, whomp, whomp" adult). It sucks, I know! But they are teen aged children, it happens and I am aware of when it starts. I can see your faces!! I am convinced they think I am less smart than I really am, but every once in awhile I surprise even myself with how clever I become in talking to them... and maybe it should be shared with you.

This one time (not at band camp), I was in the car just me and Kai. Idk where we were going, where we were coming from but it was just us... a rarity, and she asked me "you want to talk?" To which I respond "sure, what do you want to talk about?" Her, thinking she is smarter than me, acts as though she didn't have a set topic already running in her mind and leaves the convo completely open to me. So I simply ask her, "is there anything you've been wanting to tell me but never had the chance? or felt you couldn't talk to me about? I am ALL ears now. Go ahead."

Kai: Well, my friend David (boyfriend, yes) asks me to go places sometimes and I never ask you because I just know you're going to say no. But sometimes I really do want to go, are you ever going to let me? I think it isn't fair that you never even think about it, you just say no.

Now, did MY 12 year old daughter just ask to go on a date with a boy and expect me to just say yes and be ok with it? I'm losing my mind, right? This all started when I allowed Nae to go out (that's a WHOLE nother story, for a whole nother day... remind me!), now they think they all can. SMH! So I was about to just give one of those 1996 Gigi responses, where I am the mom and I have the right to veto whatever I want and just say "no, because I said so!" But I recall that never really working out in my 13, 14, 15 year old mind. As children, we don't really understand parent reasoning. No matter how much sense it makes to us now, back then life just wasn't fair. So I didn't want to give her that, even though I could have justifiably done so... I am the mom! I know what's best! NO! So instead of that response, I was so impressed with myself for the response that came to me in a matter of moments... here goes just for you!

Me: "Kai, you know how you feel about your new ipod (she'd just about a month ago gotten a 32gb 4th gen ipod, loves it, sleeps with it, doesn't let it out of her sight)? You love that gift, it means a lot to you, you really wanted it, weren't expecting to get it but you did and it was the one better than the 8gb you expected? You don't let anyone else see it, why?"

Kai: Because it's expensive and I don't trust anyone else with it. I know that if they drop it or break it, you're not going to just buy me another one. And I'd be really mad I let someone else ruin something of mine, I dont trust them.

Me: :) that's right! It's important to you, you know you'll take better care of it than anyone else would and you'd rather keep it near you, in your sight than to trust it with someone else? Well... (and here comes the lesson!) You are my ipod nano, except you are waaaayyyy more than that to me. I don't trust David, or his parents really . None of them feel about you the way I do. They don't  love, cherish or respect you and they won't take as good of care of you as I would. I just need to keep you by me where I know you're safe and well taken care of. What if you did let JJ (her least trusted sister at the moment) see it and she dropped it and it cracked? You'd be more mad at yourself that you even let her see it, right? Well I don't want to be mad at myself for giving someone the opportunity to even scratch (rape, molest, take advantage of, coerce into some foolishness) my ipod, or in this case my precious daughter. One day, after you've super locked, password protected and app'd up your ipod, after you've got the best protective case on it and feel like it can stand it... and you feel JJ has been more reliable, maybe you'll consider letting her sit and use it for a sec. But even then, you're going to keep a watchful eye on her and not let her out of your sight with it. I need to finish password protecting you, make sure you're prepared enough to be held by someone else other than me. I need to know that you're in the best shape to handle any situation that may happen when I'm not around to protect you and that only comes with time and trust. Right now, you're not there. You barely tell me everything now and that lets me know you're not ready to be out with anyone without me. Cause if they drop you, just like if JJ dropped your ipod... I'm going to want to kill them. And all damages, drops, and scratches can't be undone. So you're just better off with me!

And you better believe she understood that analogy. Now this is NOT verbatim and I'm sure I went on and on and over talked til it became a whomp whomp whomp, but you BEST believe she heard me, she got it, she understood and she likely appreciated the response more than the "I'm the mom and I said so". I made it real for her! Trust me when I tell you, I am beyond open and vocal with Kai... that "drop you" was prob a "rape, kill, touch or hurt you" in my convo with her. I am prob too hardcore with her when it comes to our convos but I can't/won't sugarcoat it for her. It's real out here in these streets!

This is just one of the many examples of my clever parenting responses... I just figured I'd share it because I was chuckling to myself about it just yesterday. "You not smarter than me, I got an answer for everything!" Just wait and let me think of something. LOL!

I am preparing my thoughts for a sex talk with 4 of my 5 girls soon... so stay tuned! I got an analogy fitting the talk from church yesterday and I'm gonna run with it.

Hope this blessed someone. I pray when these scary talks come up for someone else, you'll remember this and feel better prepared...

That's my peace! Love, Tam

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Tam I Am

good morning and Hallelujah Friday! Sorry I've been gone for so long, but I've had a lot going on and sometimes I need to deal privately... but I always miss you when I'm gone. Do you even notice? o_O lol

Anywhoozle, what's been going on? I have been spending alot of time as a newlywed *cheesy face*. Summers, my girls are at camp so we've had an opportunity for a bit of quality time. It was soo nice... while it lasted! Now we're back to being full time parents during the week because our other 3 girls are staying with us. Fun, fun! I love our girls, but I would be lying if I didn't say I enjoy the time alone with my husband. I love that man!!!! But alas, it has come to an end. Soon the summer will be over, school will be back in full swing... I am trying to soak in the last of this little bit of calm before it gets CRAZY! and trust, it will get crazy. But it's all good, I would go crazy if there wasn't at least some madness. I relish in it, I am prepared.

What's been going on in my head? 1. I am loving my natural hair. J pointed it out the other day that he hasn't heard me complain about my hair in awhile. I had to nod, think on it and then majorly agree... I have been LOVING it! I don't claim to have it completely figured out (even after.. WOW 7 years!), but I am at a point where I am really appreciating it. J is still looking forward to my Winter straight hair, it's our compromise... but I am going to appreciate this last 2 months of heat/humidity and rock my fro!

another thing on my mind... all around me, my peers are turning 30. Revelation? I will be 30 in 5 months! OMG!!! I've kinda been ignoring it because I was feeling like I just turned 29... having a December Birthday does have it's perks. (Took me 29 years to find that one, lol). But I will be 30 soon. It has made me think of the Tam I Am (unintentional rhyme, but I'm gonna go with it). Who am I? I am a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend, an almost 30 Christian woman... am I ok with the Tam I am? I know, for certain, I can improve in most, if not all of these areas and aside from being those things, who am I for myself? I am a woman who loves herself, (recently.currently) loving her hair, wishing I loved my body more, and hoping to age more stylishly and gracefully. I think alot of my style issues factor in with my body issues, but going into 30 I want to feel better about both. Now, don't get me wrong... I'm not walking around looking like any body's bum. I love me some Tam! But I am a woman, of course there is some insecurity there. I just want to spice Tam up a little. I want to be the Tam I see in my head, a little more refined, a little more attention to the details. I have this style in my head, but I don't carry it out. (And I won't blame it on J trying to constantly dress me like a little boy, he claims he is just appreciating my natural beauty... how can a girl not love that?) These things are things I can alter, work on. I want to go into 30 Loving the Tam I Am in all facets of my life. Let's make it happen! I feel like turning 30 is giving me this new motivation... I am excited! :)

I am also excited about BYOB (book club) tomorrow! woohooo!!!! I had to put BYOB on hold for a few months to get through the wedding and all it's foolishness, but now that all that is over... BYOB in the house! I love reading, I love the book discussion with my lady pals, I love the time away from life and everything. It just feels so mature and classy. Maybe I need to give BYOB a makeover too! I am going to research book clubs, see what other clubbers are doing... Right now we read (sometimes getting folk to read the book is a challenge in itself), meet, snack, talk, talk... maybe I should consider themes and such. We'll see, all in due time. I hope BYOB continues on for years to come, it is my therapy. I appreciate every one's dedication to it. READ or Die (trying)!! Maybe 1st step should be to come up with a less "hood" slogan, ha!

I am going to leave you all for now, but I hope to see you all again soon. Maybe at book club tomorrow? ;)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Inspiration Gospel Tour Blessings!

Happy Tuesday! Happy 4th of July Eve! I am excited for the holiday. A day off in the middle of the week? Hallelujah! I'll take it. These last few days have just been filled with blessings...

This weekend I had the wonderful opportunity, thanks to Mocha Moms Inc. Blogger Network, of attending the McDonald’s Annual Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour at at Ebenezer AME Church in Ft. Washington, MD. The concert featured the Grammy Award winning gospel singer Fred Hammond with special guests Byron Cage and the Stellar Award-winning gospel threesome 21:03.

in line treat
Cherry Berry chiller!

I brought along my lovely little sister, Nae, to enjoy the show with me (after Gigi stood me up, lol). We arrived, what we thought would be, early only to have to stand in a line that wrapped around the building. It was ridiculous, but that is just a testament to how amazing everyone KNEW this show was going to be. As Nae and I stood in line, in the blazing heat, McDonald's representatives walked through the line passing out free samples of the new Cherry Berry Chiller from their McCafe line. Talk about relief! It was 100 degrees outside and that seriously hit the spot... blessing!

The show was hosted by Praise 104.1 personality "JC", funny guy. He really kept the crowd entertained between the performances. Mary Hopkins-Navies, spokesperson for Ronald McDonald House charities came up and said a few words about the work of the charity and how the charity works to improve the lives of children and their families in our communities.

The show got started with (2 members of) the group 21:03, talk about a party! I'd heard of them, heard their songs on the radio, but have never seen them perform live. I would not have known what they looked like before I saw them this past Saturday. And truthfully, I would not have expected what I did see. Two young, black men with "snap-backs and tattoos", sold out for Christ! They sounded so good, and started the show off nicely, had kids up front dancing. And of course (I hope I don't get in any trouble for saying so, but...) Nae thought Torrance of 21:03 was nice looking. "Make sure you get a picture of just him." Really Nae? Focus! 

Byron Cage

Byron Cage followed 21:03, pure worship experience. I wish I would've thought to take notes on the names of all the songs performed, but I was way too busy enjoying myself and worshipping. Byron Cage did sing "Great and Mighty", I love that song. He covered some of his new songs and also older songs. He did not do "Breathe", which is one of my favorite songs. I am not complaining though, or am I? :)

Headlining the tour was FRED HAMMOND! I have loved Fred Hammond since I was a child. My mom played Fred Hammond in the car often, she had ALL of his cd's, and he is just my go-to source of Gospel music. He has a song for every need and I feel like he played a portion of all of them on this night. It was so amazing! Gigi says "it was the best Fred Hammond concert I have ever been to." I always enjoy Fred's performances live, and this one was no different! I smiled, teared up or sang through every song. A blessing forreals! :)
"Prodigal son come back to my love, you are the one that my heart seeks for..."
"no weapon formed against me..."
and any other song you know and love... I feel like he performed it! Ok, maybe not all of them (he has a lot of greats), but it was an awesome time, praise happened, worship ensued... Blessings! I felt good. He took some time to talk about the work of the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
He performed songs from his new love songs album God, Love and Romance. Before he performed, he put the scripture Ephesians 5:22-28 on the screen. We've all heard this scripture, but I've never read it before in the Message Bible Version.

22-24 Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.
25-28 Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ's love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They're really doing themselves a favor—since they're already "one" in marriage.

On this particular day, my husband and I were not having a "good day". We did semi make up before I left for the concert, but Fred Hammond and this scripture right here... conviction! I felt so called out and guilty, but I took is as a Holy Spirit tap on the shoulder reminder to go home and LOVE, and more importantly, respect MY HUSBAND.

I think Fred Hammond played a little Chuck Brown, a little Frankie Bev and Maze and then he sent us home BLESSED! I am glad I got the opportunity to attend this concert, it was right on time.

All my followers. friends and family, make sure you to go The Ronald McDonald House of Greater Washington, DC 's page on Facebook and hit the "Like" button. Special thanks to McDonald's for sponsoring the event and to all the McDonald's volunteers who helped make it a success!

And on top of being blessed all night by some Gospel music greats, I ran into an old friend of mine, Christina, along with her aunt Beverly and her new fiance (shame on me, I don't even know his name). Now wasn't this just a good night!? :)

That's my (Gospel partying) peace!

Love, Tam

Nae and Tam enjoying McDonald's Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour

Fred Hammond's "All of the Lights!"

Specifically for Nae, photo of Torrance of 21:03

Praise 104.1's JC and MC for the evening
Kids having fun!
The McCafe Cherry Berry Chiller guy :)