Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Telephone Call

Today was one of those days where I just watched the clock and prayed for 5 pm.  I was clearing my desk and shutting the computer off, when my cell phone rang.  I picked it up and saw Man-child’s face.  Now, a few weeks ago, I would have been in a panic- is something wrong, did something happen, did he need something, do I have to go over there, did somebody hurt my baby.. and the questions could go on and on.  
Inhale... Breath.... 
I answered the phone:

Me:  Hey.

MC:  Hey Ma

Me:   Everything OK

MC:  Yeah.. I just wanted to call you and see how your day went.  (me – getting choked up)

Me:  I’m OK.  Just getting ready to go home.

MC:  Ma.. I just wanted to tell that I really should have listened to you.

Me:   What happen?

MC:  Nothing. It’s just that now I realized that a lot of stuff you told could have helped me and I just wanted to do what I wanted.  Now I have to pay for it.

Me:   (swallow) hmmmmmm

MC:  I mean - I know you went to college and stuff and had to do some of this stuff and I just should have listened. 

Me:   You know I am not going to tell you something that will hurt you or will not benefit you.  

MC:  I know.  Classes were good today. I had a quiz in History but that class is so boring – half of the class went to sleep.  But other than that I am ok.

Me:  Well you only have about 4-5 weeks left in the semester and Thanksgiving will be here very soon.

MC:  I know.. well I am going to let you go so you can get the subway home.  Text me so I’ll know you go home ok.

Me:  I will.. Love you

MC:  Love you more

Can you see me smile  J  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October 22 - Happy Birthday Brandon Geoffrey

Today is a very important and emotional day for me.  At 3:50 pm on October 22, I delivered a 7 lb. 6 oz baby boy.  I remember how scary it was.  Correction – it has been scary from the time he was conceived until now.

 I look back at some of my blog post and think HOW DID I SURVIVE.  I remember holding him in the recovery room.  The nurse turned on the radio and Barry White was singing “My First, My Last, My Everything … At that moment, he was all of that and more.  I had ONE prayer

 To raise him to be a God Fearing Loving MAN.  Here is how I raised him….

With God First...   
18 months 



Lots of Love and Support from my Family and Sistah Friends 

Man child at 13 yrs. old

Today, My Man-Child is 18 Years Old.    ((SIGH))

Can you See me SMILE and CRY!! 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Career Day at Morgan State University

Last week, I participated at Morgan State University Annual Career Day.  I had so much fun on the campus among all of the students. The atmosphere was Awesome and the students were great.  They asked a lot of great questions and they were very eager to learn about the various employers and what they had to offer. 
I called Man-child to let him know that I was on campus.  I was so excited that I would get a chance to see him in his new environment.  He called me at lunch time to let me know that he was there. 

When I looked up, I saw this young man dressed in shirt and tie.  He looked my son but I was not sure.   It was him.  I could not believe my eyes but then I could. (Naturally, he got mad when I pulled out my cell phone to take his picture - Smile) 

 We hugged and I told him how proud I was to see him.  I started to tell him about the various employers and what was going on.  Man child said “Ma, I already know.  I have been walking around talking to people and handing out my resume”.  I blinked.  And I blinked again. 

Did he just say he was handing out his resume?  I had to blink again.  Who was this young man  and where was my Man child?  He smiled and said he had to get ready for his next class.  He gave me a hug.  I watched this young man walk away from me. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Adjustments - Part 2

Last week, while sitting in a meeting, I received a 911 text from Man-child.  I immediately got up and went in the hall to call him. 

Me:  Hey. What’s wrong?

MC:  Ma, I don’t think I can do this anymore

Me:  Geoff, what’s wrong.?

MC:  *sigh*  I’m not doing well in math

Me:  What’s the problem?

MC:   I got two “Cs, a “D” and a “F”

ME:   Did you go to the tutor

MC:   Well, she was 20 min late and I only get 45 min with her.

So, you can see where this conversation was going.  

I tried to explain that it’s all part of adjusting.  College math is different than high school math – he just needs to be patient, talk to the instructor and maybe look for another tutor.  Man child was not ready to hear it.  He said that he would prefer to drop it and not ruin his GPA.  He stated that he does not want to take this course over and have to stay in school an extra year.  I explained that the goal is to finish in 4 years; but realistically, most people finish in 5 years.  I told him  not to look or think of that right now – just take one semester at a time. I told him that most freshmen go through this. I have faith that he can do this and that things will turn around.

I asked about his other classes and he said he was passing in them but since he has been putting in extra time studying math, he is afraid that his grade are going to drop.  We went over some things that may help and I told him that I was glad he recognized that he was having a problem and has been addressing it.  Again, I stressed for him to go back and talk to the instructor and to request another tutor.  He sighed very heavily and said “OK”.  I told him that I LOVED HIM and to remember that “ NO Weapon formed against us will Prosper”.. He laughed and said he had to get to his next class.

When I went back to the meeting, all I could do was think of my Man child.  I did not call him for a few days.  I did get my support group, my friend Stephanie (who was his first grade teacher) and cousin Jay, to give him a call of support. Man child called three days later and simply said things were ok and that he had another tutor.  I told him I was proud of him and to just say the word and I will come on the campus and  straighten those folk out.  He laughed and said "please don't".  He was OK.  

Praying for Man child

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Adjustments - Part 1

It’s been a month since Man-child went to college.  And today, I am really missing him.  He has been home twice – once to pick up books that he ordered for class and another time to do his laundry.  I try not to call him- every day - or text.  I wait until he calls me –which is never as often as I would like L  But I am OK.

So here is what I know so far:
1.        He hates the food in the cafeteria.
2.       He tried out and made the Lacrosse practice team.
3.       He joined a mentoring group – Morgan M.I.L.E. (Men In Leadership and Excellence)
4.       Classes are okay
5.       And he said “it’s hard trying to eat and manage on a budget”

All in all, Man-child has adjusted very well to college life.   As for me – I am still adjusting.  I still come home and look for him.  I hate taking out the trash and I have had to cut the grass (YUCK).  The Rugrats miss him too and ask daily when he is coming home.   Sigh   

Pray for me!! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The start of a New Journey

It is hard to believe that the summer has come and gone so quickly.  Since Man-child’s graduation, everything has been moving at full speed.  There was little time for fun because he worked and I was engrossed in school.  Time proved that it waits for no one. In July, he spent a a week on campus to get acquainted with dorms, placement testing, selecting a schedule and meeting advisers.   He said it was no big deal but he enjoyed it.

Getting him ready for the fall semester was difficult.  There was the issue of whether he received enough financial aid to cover it, applying for loans and packing his things.  As always, Man –child moves at his own pace causing my anxiety level to increase.  Weeks, days went by quickly and we seemed to be at a stand-still.  All I could do was BREATH and continue to have faith.

Finally, the week arrived for him to check into the dorm and Man-child had not packed a thing.  Everything on my list was packed and waiting.  Man-child insisted that he had time.   As a matter of fact he waited until the day he was scheduled to move in to pack – correction to wash his clothes in order to pack.  Talk about going crazy. I should have listened to Debbi when she said “pack the dirty clothes and keep it moving”.  He moved at a snail’s pace.  I sat and watched and tried to be patient.  Then it hit me – maybe, he was nervous and was prolonging the move.  Hmmmm…… Nevertheless, he finally got it together, we packed the van and headed to Morgan State University.  Of course, he complained because I took pictures of everything but like I said, "Since I am paying for it, I can take as many pictures as I want". 

Man –child is a lot like me… he prefers to do it himself and not ask for help.  He would not let me carry anything to the room (the dorm doesn't have an elevator so he carried everything –including the refrigerator) by himself.  I tried to help him unpack and he only fussed some more.  I laughed when we met his roommate – a Washington Redskins fan.  Man child does not like football.   He unpacked that HUGE computer he spent the summer building and slowly began putting his side of the room together. I stood in the door and watched.  It was not until he hung a picture of the Beatles on his wall that my face drew a blank.   I was speechless and so was his roommate.   I was expecting a picture of one of those anime characters he likes or that Family Guy character that everyone thinks is funny. I smiled.   I realized then that my son was going to be more than alright.

The first week was difficult because he did not call at all.  When he finally called, the first thing he said was “it’s hard trying to take care of myself”.  I asked if he was having any problems and he just explained his trips to the bookstore, finding classes, remembering to eat, and checking his email.  He surprised me when he told me he registered for work study and a mentoring group.   Man child said he wanted to try to work to help with his tuition since he did not follow through with the scholarship applications.  I just smiled.  I also reminded him that school is still his first priority and the money will come. 

I have miss him being in the house and yelling at him just because I can.  I miss hearing that funny Japanese music he sometimes listen to.  I really miss my SON.   I am even more PROUD of the young man The Creator has Blessed me with raise.  


Monday, July 15, 2013

Here's what I have to say

Since the verdict in the George Zimmerman case, I have been still.  I've listened very carefully to the prosecution and the defense teams after the verdict was read.  I listened to the attorneys for the Martin family.  I listened to every news channel and commentary that broadcast that night.  I silently read all of the post on Face Book and a few on Twitter.  The song lyrics by Marvin Gaye continue to ring in my ears – “Mother, Mother…there’s far too many of you crying.  Brother. Brother. Brother… there’s far too many of you dying”.   I listened to and read the President’s message to the country:

"I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son," the president said, calling Martin's death "a tragedy."

"We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities. We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis," Obama said. "We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this.  As citizens, that’s a job for all of us.  That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin."
Here is what I have to say:
   We live in a country that will always be divided by something – race, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, neighborhoods, money or class.  We live in a country where laws that are passed to protect us have so many loop holes and interpretations that they hurt us.  We live in a country where the elected officials we choose fail to do their jobs.  We live in a country where people continue to criticize and disrespect the President.  We live in a country where police officers seek their own justice.  We live in a country of fatherless children and overcrowded prisons.  We live in a country where local and national news is filled with opinions and little facts.  We live in a country where a young man, on February 26, 2012, was profiled and killed by a man on neighborhood watch. 
My heart cries for Mrs. Fulton and the Martin Family.
Nevertheless, no matter what the situation or circumstance, I STAND on FAITH and the words of Our CREATOR.  Though I am scared, weary and at times I feel helpless, I wrap my arms TIGHTLY around my only child, MY SON, and I PRAY.  I PRAY. I PRAY.  I PRAY.  I Pray for my son, your son, your children and the Martin Family.
I TRUST that as He said “Vengeance is Mine” and He will seek justice.   

Monday, June 24, 2013

Man-child's New Job

            Man child started his summer job through the city’s youth works program.  We are very excited because he has applied in the past and has never been selected.  The program is only for 6 weeks but it is better than nothing.

                Preparing for this summer job came with my usual reminders and hints – make sure you have something clean to wear; make sure you have all your paper work together; be sure to check the bus schedule so you know when to leave and how long it takes to get there; make sure you have exact bus fare; make sure you have your cell phone and it’s charged; and if you are not taking lunch, make sure you have money to buy something to eat.  I got the usual response “I know Ma”.  Man child asked “do you think I should set my alarm clock?”  My reply “Yes, since you will be heading to college in a few months, you need to get in the habit of setting your clock and getting YOURSELF up cause I am NOT going to be there”.

                The big day arrived and at 5:45 am his alarm clock rang and I heard him hit the snooze button.  For the next 20 minutes the clock sounded every five minutes and he hit the snooze button.  I sat at the dining room table, drinking my tea, wondering how long I should let this continue.  Finally, at 6:20 am, he headed to the bathroom.  Then, he decided that the shirt he wanted to wear needed to be washed. He ran to the basement to put a small load in the washer.  I said nothing.  At 7:15 am, he was looking for his hair brush, the iron and his wallet.  I asked again, “do you have everything you need and enough money?”  His reply “Ma, I got this”. 

                I left my house for work at 7:45 am.  Man child was still running around in this underwear.  I estimated that he should have left the house by 8:15 am to catch his bus at 8:25 am.  It is about a 20 minute bus ride so he should arrive at the job site on time.  I sat on the train with my kindle reading a scripture to start my day.  Then, I let out a HUGE breath and I said a prayer for my Man- child.

Monday, June 17, 2013

And the next journey begins.....

Now that school is out, Man child and I have been having long detailed conversations about setting goals, staying on task, independence and a whole lot of other things.  I will admit – I am nervous as heck but I have FAITH that I have prepared him enough for this next journey in his life.  What I did not see was his new found interest in my next journey.

A few days ago, I went out with some friends.  That’s no big deal because I go out often and many times by myself.  But this time it was different.  First, Man-child was very critical of what I put on (It was a Semi-formal All White Affair) and he offered to iron my blouse.   He must have told me three times to call home to let him know I arrived safely- he has NEVER done that.  Nevertheless, I called home to let him know I arrived and jokingly, I told him not to have any girls in the house and if he did, to keep the noise down since his grandmother was downstairs.  We laughed and he told me to have fun.

When I got home, somewhere after midnight, Man-child greeted me at the door.  He gave me a hug and began to sniff. Here’s our conversation:

Me:  what are you doing?
MC: Making sure you weren't drinking
Me: Boy, what’s your problem?  You know I don’t drink when I am driving.
MC: Did you have fun?
Me: yes
MC: Who was there?
Me: People
MC: Did you dance?
Me:  Yes
MC:  with who?
Me: Did you have company over?
MC:  No, I was in battle tournament on the computer
Me: did you check on your grandmother?
MC: Yes, Gramps is fine. Why are you trying to change the subject?  Who did you meet and was dancing with?

At that point, I told him to get out of my way so that I could get ready for bed.  After I showered, he came into my bedroom and said “So this is what it’s going to be like when I go to college”.  I thought about it for a few minutes and said “yep”.  He replied “I am not going to like this”. 

And so the journey has begun….

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Thank You

   I have been writing this blog in my head for an entire month and it has been difficult.  Looking back, just over Man-child’s high school years, I still wonder how we were able to get through it.  His first girl-friend, the break-up, her being admitted in a psyc hospital, the up and down grades, sports try-out, teacher’s conferences, dances, mentoring programs, Man-child hair drama, one uncle’s death and the other being shot, invasion of the Rugrats, college visits, SAT –ACT test, college applications, proms, and finally GRADUATION.  I am sure there is more that my mind cannot remember or refuses to acknowledge. 

   Through it all I GIVE THANKS to the CREATOR for trusting me to raise one of his sons.  I THANK him for giving me strength, courage, and FAITH.  I THANK him for providing me with AWESOME Sistah Friends from every corner of the United States for showering us with support, comforting words, friendship and Love.  I THANK Man-child for being my son and I will continue to PRAY that he continues to mature to be an AWESOME man of God.  I THANK the CREATOR for being the Almighty.   

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Family Mile-stone

WOOOOOSHHAAAAAAAA….. We have 47 days till graduation.  47… this is so surreal to me right now.  This is a HUGE event for a lot of reasons.  First, Man-child is about to step out into young adult hood.  I will find out whether or not all of the preaching, yelling, crying and praying has sunk into that hard head of his.  Like all parents, I am nervous and scared but like always, I have FAITH that all is well.   I know he will make mistakes and FALL… I just pray that he uses the wisdom I have given him and his FAITH will see him through it all.

Second, Man-child will be the FIRST of my mother’s eleven grandchildren to graduate from high school.  My nieces and nephews, there are six who are older than Man-child, dropped out of high school.  The girls eventually obtained their GED’s and are working and doing OK.  My nephews… we are still praying for them.   As many know, my nieces and nephews have been subjected to a lot from their parents.  At various times, they have lived with me and my mom.  Throughout it all, I have tried to keep things constant in their lives and I have put them first, sometime above Man-child.  But, in the end, they made their choices and they have to live with them – good and bad.  I have continued to support and encourage them.

Yes, this will be a BIG event for many reasons.  I Pray that this mile-stone will encourage Man-child to reach for Bigger and greater things in his life and that it encourage my nieces and nephew under him to REACH for higher ground.    

Monday, March 18, 2013


Since freshman year, Man-child and I have been visiting colleges and university.  I cannot tell you how exciting it has been visiting all of the schools.  Needless to say, he has never been impressed with any of them.  His response has always been “Ma, they're just buildings with people”.

Now it is senior year.  SIGH.  Man-child has been applying to schools up and down the East Coast.  After reviewing our finances, we agreed that he could go to any school in the state and live on campus.  I have been trying to stay in the back ground because I want him to be independent and make the decision on his own.  The letters arrive and the excitement begins.  Man-child was accepted at Frostburg State College, Salisbury State College, Chaney, University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, Virginia State, University of Bridgeport, University of Maryland-College Park, University of Baltimore, Capital College, University of West Virginia, Hampton and Morgan State University.  Impressive list – right??   The problem - he still does not know what school he wants to attend .

SIGH.  I have asked nicely.  He said “Ma, I got this”.  I stated “Geoff, made a decision”.  He said “I got this”.  My patience are running out.  After spring break, things will really start moving fast – Senior Farewell, Senior Week, Prom (which has already said he is going alone), and all those other activities.  SIGH.  Not to mention, I am trying to keep up with my school work, keep an eye on my brother, who still refuses to believe he is disabled, and my niece and the Rugrats.  SIGH. 

I ask Everyone to extend their hand in my direction and send me Strength and Patience until June 1 – Graduation Day.   

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Too many chiefs....

      I know you have heard the saying “too many chiefs, too little Indians”. Well, I learned the meaning of that the hard way.   Many people know that I help raise two nieces and two nephews. It was not an easy task to do.  Even though they lived with me and my mother majority of the time, they assumed they could live by their own rules.  Then, their parents, my brothers and their ex’s and other relatives, would add their two cents on how to raise them. It lead to confusion, frustration, and anger.  I was always called to “fix” everybody’s mess.   Eventually, I learned to just be quiet and step aside.

      My niece and her Rugrats have had to move back in with me.   They wear “Auntie Grandma” out in more ways than one. (Smile)   I am watching my niece, my mom and Man- child battle over how to raise them.  My niece and mom agree on just about everything but Man-child steps in and gives his opinion.  For instance, the kids like to come home from school, eat and watch TV.  Man-child said “Do your homework then you can eat and watch TV”.  My niece says “Well they need a break and they can get it done”.  Well, it doesn't get done and they are usually up at 7 pm trying to finish homework instead of going to bed.   My niece will allow the kids to eat snacks before dinner.  Man-child takes them and hides the snacks so they have to ask him for snacks.  It goes on and on. 

       I am often called to settle the arguments.  I have to tell Man-child that he can give his opinion but remember, he is not the parent.  He puffs his chest out and says “NO, they need to learn the right way or they won’t get it at all”.   I laugh at all them even though it drives me crazy.  The kids often look at their mom and Man-child and then come to me to tell them what to do.  I try to stay out of it.

     More than anything, it has made me look at Man-child in a different light – again.  I think where did he get it from?  I wonder “Is this how I treated him? Was I that bad?” Hmmmm…. It makes me wonder.  Then, it makes me raise my eyebrows at what kind of parent he is going to be – although he says he will never have kids after living with the Rugrats.   Laugh, laugh, laugh…how many times have I heard that one.  At any rate, after seeing him with the kids, I think he is going to be an awesome parent – PRAYFULLY, a long time from now.  

Saturday, February 2, 2013

What I learned today

        WOW!! Thirty-three days of the New Year have already passed and it has been very exciting.  I celebrated my 50th Birthday.  I did not want a lot of fan-fare.  I was extremely Happy and Excited with all the birthday wishes and a few surprises.

        The next big event occurred today.  Man-Child had to give a presentation at a PTA retreat.  He had to speak on his experience on the board as the Student representative. He stated that he did not realize how important parents and volunteers work to make sure that students get a good education.  Man-child stated that he learned a lot about rules, bylaws, funding and how much it cost to get an education.  He was asked “if you were CEO, what would you implement to make schools better for students"?   He stood there and thought for a few minutes then he said “there needs to be a better way for teachers to relate to students electronically.  I know that finding money to put computers in class rooms is hard but students are more in tune with computers and electronic and the old way of learning is not working and students are not paying attention”.   Everyone clapped and he just smiled.

    I cannot tell you how PROUD I was of Man child at that moment.  I was worried that he would not know what to say.  He proved me wrong.  I saw him in a different light today.  He really is not my little boy anymore and letting go is getting difficult for me to do.  He is a very knowledgeable young man. 

   I THANK GOD for Man-child.
        I THANK GOD for blessing me with one of his children to nurture and care for.
             I THANK GOD every day that I did not give up on him when things were rough.
                 I THANK GOD for All of my Sistah friends who supported and encouraged me during those rough times.
                         I THANK GOD!! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Today we celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  So much to be Thankful for .. so much to be grateful for.  A lot has happened within the first 15 days of the month:

1)  My niece and the Rugrats have moved back in.  She lost her job and was on the verge of being evicted.  She also acknowledged that she needed professional help and sort help.  Again my house is crowded and noisy but I am Thankful that I am here to help.
2)    I received a grade increase at work.  Thankful for employment.
3)   Man-child is maturing so much.  He volunteered to give his room to the Rugrats, he helps them with homework and he fixes me tea every evening.  Gotta love it :-)
4)  Man-child has also started to take the initiative to do things without having to be reminded; such as take out the garbage  and washing the dishes.  Now if I can get him to do his laundry and clean the room (I Know, I should just give it up)  Thankful
5)  I was featured Single Parent of the Month of January/February by I am Flying Solo  Thankful  and Honored

Each day, we have something to face.  Each day I am Thankful.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year- New Beginnings

2012 was a very busy year for me and Man-child.  So, what happened?

1) Man-child finished All of his high school course work early but I decided to let him stay his senior year instead of graduating early.
2) He surprised me and went to the Jr. Prom by himself
3) He was nominated and appointed Student Representative for the City Wide PTA Council and the Grandparents PTA Council.   He also went to the State wide PTA Convention.
4) I stepped out on faith and started graduate school in June
5) so far, Man-child has been excepted at 6 colleges.

Ok... looking at it doesn't seem like a lot but it really was. Man-child has matured so much.  Except - we still fight about his room (Smile)  As we move forward to 2013, we are looking forward to bigger and better things to come.  I can't wait to tell you all about them.

Happy New Year!!