Skip to main content

My Life's Just Fine

It's been a long week, I put in my hardest
Gonna live my life, feels good to get it right

Mary J. Blige, "Just Fine"

This was the first week of a huge educational experiment. My (great)nephew came to stay with me during the week for the purpose of going to PS 7. Since he has a cousin and a family friend who also go there, I drove carpool.

And BMNB has been out of town, chowing down on Southern food in South Carolina, calling me with restaurant dispatches while he's ordering ("I'm at XYZ restaurant ordering seafood gumbo, and one of my colleagues is ordering shrimp and grits . . . ")

So, for two and a half days this week, I was the equivalent of a single mom.

I had absolutely no appreciation of how difficult that is. I am in awe and I bow down to your organizational skills and sheer will, single moms.

First, I realized that if I don't get up on time, nobody gets up on time, except maybe the dog, and that's because she's hungry.

Second, I learned that dinner delayed is pretty much dinner denied. A hungry child is irritable, unfocused, and just unable to function. Not unlike a hungry BMNB, but at least you can tell an adult to go fix his own damn dinner.

Third, I learned that I have to be at least as organized as the child I'm trying to organize. I have no excuse for being late for not being able to find something to wear when I've told him to lay out his clothes the night before. My nephew has an organizer for his homework. My Franklin Covey organizer is a shambles. Maybe I need to be going to PS 7.

Fourth, I learned that you can't give up or they'll give up. And you can't show doubt or they'll have doubt. It's like blood in the water to sharks -- they can smell defeat and doubt in an adult from miles out.

Fifth, I've learned that those last words you say to them when they leave your presence really, really matter. So choose well.

Sixth, I've learned that there's nothing more fun than bopping to Mary J. Blige's "Just Fine" while driving with a 'tween niece in the backseat, hearing her sing out loud, "So I like what I see when I'm looking at me when I'm walking past the mirror," hoping that this self-esteem anthem sticks with her in the years to come, and ignoring protests from my nephew that it's a "stupid chick song."

Or walking your dog with that same nephew and just listening to him talk about his hopes, joys and fears under a starlit sky.

Between cooking dinner, making lunches, checking homework, driving carpool, doing laundry, and coordinating with the village of family members who are all working together to make sure these kids take full advantage of this educational blessing . . .

Yep, "I wouldn't change my life, my life's just fine . . . . "


Popular posts from this blog

Retired Man Walking: Too Young to Retire, Too Old to Take Shit

A while back I ran into a friend and fellow professional employed by the State of California, and he offered me his perspective on State employment as a tail-end Baby Boomer like myself -- someone who can't retire because he lacks the requisite age or years of service, but, unlike myself, is tired of taking shit from superiors who don't know what to do with you.

Although my friend gave his permission for me to use his name in this blog entry, I decline to do so because what he does is so specialized that it would not be hard for anyone to identify him as one of the few African American men, if not the only African-American man, in California state civil service who does what he does. For purposes of this blog entry, I will refer to him as he now refers to himself:  Retired Man Walking.

Retired Man Walking, or RMW, has an interesting philosophy he applies to working for the State as a professional who isn't old enough to retire but has been around long enough to know the s…

Hillary Clinton Can Stop Trump -- If She Releases Her Electors

Hillary Clinton isn't going to be President of the United States.  At least not yet.  And not in 2017.

But she can possibly stop Donald Trump from being President by releasing her pledged electors  in the Electoral College to vote for a compromise Republican candidate.

This is part of the strategy of the Hamilton Electors, members of the Electoral College who see that Donald Trump is not qualified to be President.  They argue that the Electoral College's role is not to rubber-stamp the popular vote -- which, in this case, would belong to Clinton -- but to serve as a check on the popular vote to make sure that no one who is unfit assumes the office of President.

According to the Hamilton Electors, named for Founding Father Alexander Hamilton (Yes, he of the very popular musical for which I can't get tickets) Hamilton stated that the Electoral College's test for fitness to be the President was as follows (and I'm quoting):

Election of a Qualified Person: As Hamilton s…

My Prayer and Mantra for 2017 -- Do Not Waste Time on People and Things That Don't Matter

In this era of fake news, fake political candidates, and fake people all around, my prayer and mantra for 2017 is simple:  Do not waste time on people and things that don't matter.

In 2016, I spent too much time and money on things and people who didn't matter.  I allowed myself to become distracted by stuff that, for me and Black Man Not Blogging, didn't really matter for our happiness.  These distractions not only didn't improve the quality of our life together; they decreased it with additional and unnecessary stress.

The good news is that, for the most part, we're okay.  Yeah, Trump and his ilk really suck, but instead of a lot of hand wringing and commiserating, I'm going to do the one thing my late mother She Who  Is Exalted (SWIE) did better than anyone I know:  Play the hand you've been dealt.  My mother was a black female without a college education and with six kids, so playing the hand she was dealt was her survival skill.  Now it will be mine.