Brotherhood at camp (and a special request to my readers)

M&M 6/302011/ Copyright K. Mngqibisa www.littlelight.smugmug.com

What an incredible few days on the blog. Over 900 hits, seven new subscribers, and so many NEW folks joining in on the conversation–which is brave and so appreciated. Three people have started discussions with me about guest posts for the coming months, and suggestions for future “vignettes” have been emailed, tweeted, and one person even called! Keeping my eye out for a carrier pigeon.

Continue reading “Brotherhood at camp (and a special request to my readers)”

Mama C and the Girls! Meet Barbara

I “met” Barbara when we were both writers at Moms of Hue, now We of Hue. Our connection came from many directions. I suppose it would be easy to say that our mutual status as single moms was a strong reason we supported each other and connected with ease.  But beyond that we share an entrepreneurial spirit (please check her etsy space Baby Squares-where I just received two gorgeous hand crocheted Berets, and butterfly hair clips),  a love of blogging at Chasing Metamorphosis, and a passion for speaking our minds.

But while I was writing from the comfort of my own home, with a secure job, Barbara was doing all of that and more without a stable home for her and her daughter, or a steady job. Sometimes staying in a shelter, or living with her grandmother while working a temp job when her car wasn’t broken or broken into were just a few of the obstacles she surmounted with grace and determination over the last eleven months.  All the while keeping her daughter’s stability and joy at the top of her priority list.

In my initial vision for “Freedom Fridays” in my post a day layout, I was going to devote this space to allowing others to be free to speak their mind, and tell their stories.  Even though she is a prolific blogger in her own right, it is always powerful to write for a new audience.

In her own words Barbara said of this piece that it was; definitely about being on the “other side”, maybe a testament to being winners in our children’s eyes during the times that we think we may be failing.  Having to uproot my child without a clear destination definitely made me feel like I was failing, and it had a LOT to do with the fact that I was a college grad.  I just wasn’t supposed to be “there”, yet I was, we were.

Through the looking glass

Barbara and her daughter

I am still decompressing.

I wanted very much to come here a champion – the winner of a very humbling experience.  I wanted to speak of how we’ve (my daughter and I) emerged, survivors of 11 months without a permanent address.  Truth is, I’m still transitioning from the transition.  Although I am now nestled in my comfy bed, alongside my sleeping baby, under a roof that is ours alone, I still feel a sense of instability.  I’m here testing the waters from my side of the bed, not yet able to fully jump right in for fear that the waters are 8 feet deep instead of three.

So, I stop, take a breather and take Mama’s advice.  Words do not escape me, but they most certainly escape she who is a part of me.  How does she really see me?  Does she see what I see in my darkest hours?  Does she see what I strive to do for her and because of her?

I’ll let her answer that.

(Questions borrowed from Mama C’s original reflections from Sam)

1. What is something I always say to you?
I love you too.

2. What makes me happy?
I have a good day.

3. What makes me sad?
I have a bad day.

4. What was I like as a child?
You were beautiful and kind to other kids.

5. How old am I?
26.

6. How tall am I?
11 inches.

7. What is my favorite thing to do?
Write about things that inspire you.

8. What do I do when you’re not around?
Read books and magazines or take a nap etc.

9. If I were to become famous, what will it be for?
Writing a poem to the president and he/she loved it and you got to live in the white house.

10. What am I really good at?
Loving me and writing.

11. What am I not very good at?
Your good at everything.

12. What do I do for my job?
I don’t have a clue.

13. What is my favorite food?
Cucumbers.

14. What makes you proud of me?
That you’re doing a good job at work.

15. If I were a cartoon character, who would I be?
Dora.

16. What do you and I do together?
Watch movies.

17. How are you and I the same?
We have the same eyes, hair color, etc.

18. How are you and I different?
We are not different from each other.

19. How do you know I love you?
Because you do.

20. Where is my favorite place to go?
Home Town Buffet.

If this is the impression that I’ve made on my child in just seven years, I think we’re gonna make it.

Proposing

Proposal is such a loaded word.

I have never been proposed to, formally. Well there was my high school sweetie. AHHH. (Time warp.)

This weekend I am going to wrestle with a nonfiction book proposal.   I am hauling off to a friend’s house with no internet or children for twenty four hours. I have a lot of prep to do before that. I am not so good at the prep part. I rarely strecth before running.

I’ll be back on Sunday to report out on what happens. I see me as the one down on one knee. And my darling draft, in whatever form she chooses to take on a given day, as the coy creature awaiting my proposal to marry her to the publishing world in all her glory! What I am doing this weekend–is the ring! (Let the metaphor go Mama C…)

I feel like I need to birth the first book, because I am already writing the second one in my other head. And, having two heads is way to much work for one neck.

I have three guest posts that I have been invited to write in the last couple of weeks.  I am also designing a proposal for a workshop that I would like to offer to preschool parents/parents of young kids around the “How not to raise racist kids” platform.  All of this work is interconnected which feels hugely gratifying and intentional. I see so much need for the work I am called to do, and more and more links are appearing on how to make that happen. They are little links, in a long process. The best advice I have received comes from Sam’s namesake; “Don’t think about what you don’t want to do. Put your energy into asking the question; ‘What is it that I want to be doing.’ Then you will gravitate towards making shifts in what you are doing to accommodate what you want to be doing.”  OK she said it much better, but I love the idea. It is working over here.

To finding the permission to let yourself do what you want to be doing, and proposing it to the universe. She won’t say no!

Tuesday’s Teacher: Share Your Voice (and win an honorable mention at My Brown Baby)

My horoscope this month  said this:

You will plant many new seeds in the coming year. Many influential people will come to you with ideas and offers, and it will be up to you to choose among the best. Most Pisces put a high premium on creativity, and one of the sweetest parts of this trend is that it will encourage you to show a new side to your talents that you’ve never had either the courage or opportunity to display – very soon you will.

Let me be YOUR horoscope this morning and tell you that whether you believe in Jupiter’s effect or not, putting your voice out into the world when you have something to say is why you are here.

So many writers, yes you my readers who are writers have contacted me to say; “Your success inspires me to write too…”

Soon I am going to have to write the post where I list the six million people who encouraged me too. My poem,  Ancestors Unfold the Stories Untold was announced this morning as an honorable mention, (right after the winning post) on the My Brown Baby Something New competition. I can barely type here this morning because I am possessed with joy.

Joyful Mom over at happygirlhair.com encouraged me to enter it. Thank you to her!

You have so much to say, say it.  Write it. Share it. Blog it. Submit it. Send it. Glue it to your wall. Share it with a friend. Self Publish the book. It is our intended  purpose to record, to share the voice we were given.