Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Longing For Their Words

I wish I had my mother's words.

Something, anything in her own handwriting. Her thoughts, her heart, her wonderings.

The older I get and the more I look at my precious children, the more I know that if I do not leave my words behind, I've left them without an important piece of life. They need to know more about me than being their mother, the same I want to know more about my mother, the same as I want to have my father's words. They need to know their heritage.

I tell my children a lot about our family, in the oral history tradition. They know volumes. Will they remember to tell these stories to their own children? Will I remember them when I am old and the hair is gray and the memory is feeble?

It is hard to think about leaving this world, it is not a topic most Americans want to ponder, yet, like all things, it will happen inevitably. What do I want my children to know of me? How much can they handle? Who do I want them to remember?

My mother died when I was only four years old. Long before memory could be established like the cornerstone of my mansion, she was gone. All I have are the fading muses of my elderly aunt and scraps of phrases from people who knew her. I want an entire picture, a volume.

Someone told me once that I may not like her, that I may have had conflict with her like a lot of mother-daughter relationships. That may be true, my response, yet, I wanted to have had the opportunity to find out. Much like my two daughters and I, they have memory of me, they will know my story.

My story would be more than one volume. I know I'd write one for the sons, one for the daughters. They can not each understand the complete parts of me. Each of my children understands me in a different way, much the way someone would experience a written work, in my own knowledge.

There are questions I have yet to answer, questions that will follow me to the grave. I wish I had my mother's words and my father's thoughts. My heart longs to to know them as people.

I am forty-five, a year past the age my mother breathed her last. I will be a grandmother before I am forty-six, something my mother never lived to see. The coming generation brings the need to write it down, to leave the volumes, to give them words to connect for all time.

Memories are powerful entries. I wish I had recorded all the words my children. I long for the words of my ancestors. I must write because they must live.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Some Days Are Just Perfect

Sometimes you just have a beautiful day.

Saturday was a beautiful day.

The sun was shining, the weather was forgiving, and the kids were cooperating. It was a great day to enjoy the fall and take in the beauty of the changing leaves. The joyous sounds of their laughter topped it off like the creamy froth on my vanilla lattes.

We slept in, that was a treat. My daughters and I had a time of morning banter and play, relishing in the quiet morning, their brother asleep and their dad at the gym. We mused about what we could possibly do, finally deciding on going out to downtown Kirkwood. We ate cereal for breakfast and when the brother emerged from his bedroom cocoon, we left to hit the city.

There are rare moments when I have all three of the children on the same page, bubbling over with laughter, and agreeing to just enjoy each other. Saturday was a great day. We sat and had hot chocolate while the son studied at the library. Then we took to walking down the scenic downtown, taking in the people, families, and colors.

Lunch made the day fill our bellies with great Mexican from Amigos Cantina on Jefferson. It was absolutely the most flavorful and tasty tilapia tacos ever! Nothing like good food to make the laughter even more jovial.

I do not think the day could have been any better when it did. The girls joined their father in a visit to his mother. The son and I headed to Station Plaza to join other high school members of the Social Justice Club for an outdoor concert. There was not enough cajoling to get me out there to dance the electric slide, but the night was still filled with energy.

When I came home to shower and do my daughter's hair, I could not wipe the smile from my face. There are just some moments that will the spirit with contentment, yesterday was just such a day. I realized how blessed I am to have these amazing personalities in my life.

Some days are just perfect, Saturday was perfect.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rewinding, Unwinding, and Yep, Everything Matters

You know I love to read. Books are as important to me as my lattes, after my family and God, of course. You know what I mean.

So, of late, I have been devouring all these great books, almost as if time would run out before I have a chance to finish reading everything on my bookshelves and in my favorite bookstore. I was on a reading frenzie the past two days and now am kinda bummed that the event is cancelled.

Ron Currie Jr.'s book, Every Thing Matters, has taken the world by storm. He was due to be in St. Louis today at the City Museum for a reading. It was a collaborative effort by the four main independent bookstores, but alas, illness has prevented him from being here.

I am bummed out, hope he is ok, but bummed still the same. While this is not a book review, I was looking forward to expelling the air that has been caught in my stomach since getting on this roller coaster ride of a book! Then it got me to thinking, what if I had a chance to rewind my life, would I take it? Would certain events unfold differently?


That is the point of the book, in a way. Even if Junior is plagued or blessed with the knowledge of the exact ending of earth, the point is that one day, we will all face our ending. It is the space in between, the dashes, that define this life.

Sometimes I think I would go back to being 17 for just a day. Or 21. Or 29. Or 35. Times when major things happened in my life. Maybe with the mind and wisdom I have now and go back in time to my mother's era or foremother's era, just to sit in their presence for a moment.

Moments. That is what life is made of. Precious minutes, seconds that evaporate. Gone. Never to be repeated. Lived. Over.

In the book, there is this voice in Junior's head that already knows what is going to happen, but still let's him make the choices he makes. In many beliefs, that voice is God Himself. HE is able to stop us from making foolish choices or things that will harm us, much like Junior going without sleep for days on end until his kidneys fail while trying to find a cure for his father's cancer. The inevitable happens. Time happens. Yet, God knows that HE created us in a way that allows us to make choices, decisions, and then HE waits patiently for us to remember that we all have a purpose.

My life journey has served to make me who I am today. Not sure I would rewind. I would not trade it for it has been my destiny.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Journey to Becoming Me'Me' or is that Omi or Gigi or...or...or...

I had a full day to digest the news of my upcoming grandbabies. It seems that the entire fall calendar I had planned has been thrown out the window with this upcoming event. I can not wait until January 2010.

The same time that I am awaiting this event, I am also wisely, slowly, and quietly helping my son get ready. This is a major life change for him and in his words, "this was not how I thought I would have children." He had to first get over his angst over really, really, audibly telling me that I am having two grandchildren. Then he let his guard down a little so I could hear the voice of my vulnerable son contemplating this change in his life.

Children are a blessing. Even if they come in unexpected ways. We are celebrating the blessing. And preparing my son for this event.

His sister and I were chatting about the whole thing yesterday after school. She said "I am too young to be called Auntie. They can just call me K." She promptly began to muse about how she can play with the "twins" and how cool it would be to have them around. She is only five so she is excited about having someone younger than her in the family.

I love my children. It was never in my life plan to have six, however, it was divinely ordained for my life. I am mother, mama, me'me'. It is who the nurturing and giving side of me was meant to have. I am also, in the words of my friend, "too young and hip to be granny!" I hope that the mothers will receive what I have to give and will know that this developing me'me' is excited to welcome the 8th generation of our family. My foremothers are having a roundtable discussion about all this.

In my minds eye, I can just see this counsel of women, sitting around, sending me their energy, preparing me to prepare my son. What a legacy awaits these children.

What a future awaits my son. I told him he has to be mature and wise and honorable for the children. No, he is not married so will encounter some drama with the mothers. There is always a consequence to our actions so I told him to be careful. He said, "oh yeah mama, I am, this is it for me, no more children." We will see.

For now, it is exciting and we have about two to two and a half months to wait. I just hope he is sleeping now because come January, sleep will be a thing of the past. And for that, I am glad I am me'me' and not mama because I will sleep at night! I will love them up and send them home, oh the perks of being grandma!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Good News...Bad Delivery,,,What Does That Make Me?

So, does great news change because you are upset about how you received it?

Does it make the news any less great? Do you still celebrate?

I guess it all depends.

Today I learned I am going to be a grandmother...I think. Still not sure if this is a hoax or real. Do I run out to the boutique baby store in town and pick up all the cute little gifts? Or do I sit patiently, mourning my status as the one of only a few of my cousins without that moniker?

And what do I call myself? I am only 45. I am the Latte Queen for goodness sakes! I wear pink keds and fluffy pink scarves. I do not look my age. What is a grandmother supposed to look like anyway?

I am still not sure if this news is real. I've been rewinding conversations with my son, the renaissance man-writer-spoken word artist-rapper-artist type. He kinda mentioned a long while ago, "mom, I may have gotten a girl pregnant," almost in the same breath he said, "my CD is in another store and I have a performance Friday night." Was I to take that seriously? It never came up again. So, do unmarried 22 1/2 year old sons still freak out about what their mothers would say?

Maybe I should just wait to hear that these little cherubs have actually, really, kicking and screaming, changed my status before I believe my husband's inaudible, toothpaste filled utterance that he spoke to the oldest son and he is expecting two kids! Whew! I was caffeine-deprived this morning because the stove blew out and I couldn't make a latte so maybe I just heard the whole thing wrong.

I have been frantically texting my son and asking him to confirm this news? I need to know how much time I have before I move from being a mom with kids ranging from 22 1/2 to 5 1/2 to being a grandmother. I There has to be time to digest this news, time to figure out how to knit or at least sew a blanket. Or figure out my moniker.

My cousin, a few years my senior, is more adept at this grandparent thing. She is called GG by her grandkids. I can't take that...can I?

Mama Taye'...maybe. Big Momma? No, definitely not that. TT? What? I better get to checking. The last time I called anyone Grandmother was my dear Grandmother Foster. That just won't do for me.

This news is too much to digest on a lack of caffeine. French Pressed Ethiopian coming right up!

Queen Mother...perhaps that is about right. Caramel Latte Queen Mother. Maybe...