Thursday, May 31, 2012

Back to the Lazy Days of Summer

There is almost something commanding that the days of summer be "lazy" and "carefree."

Maybe it is a harkening back to the childhood days of old when from Memorial Day to Labor Day the only thing a kid had to do was decide which game to play, which pool to walk to, how many bike races, and if their mom would give them 25-cents for the ice cream truck.

The times has changed, some, maybe too much,  but perhaps something this almost-decade-long recession has given back is the lazy days of summer for the youth.

It seemed a mere couple years ago when Gen X parents were running around with their File-o-fax or Franklin Planners deciding how many more activities and learning opportunities they could cram into the twelve weeks of summer.  Every breathing moment had to be involved in something meaningful that would give their child just one more leg up over the competition for entrance into exclusive preschools, elementary schools, high schools, and colleges.

Then it all changed.

2007 came crashing down on summer dreams like the stock market and the dot com bust dashing of dreams and incomes.  Now, five years later and a stubborn business-driven-recession that has eaten away incomes and financial opportunities, the lazy days of summer are back.  Parents no longer have hundreds of dollars to fill up every space of the calendar.  There are more moms (and dads) at home (some reluctantly) and more neighborhood pick-up-games, ice cream truck begging (although now that 25-cents is $2), and time for kids to be a kid.

The summer of 2012 could prove to be a chance for renewal and recapture of what it means to be a kid.  Sure, there will be summer reading, kids have to stay up on their skills for the fall, and maybe a camp or two, but not more of that planning away their childhood, we've discovered there isn't a need to hurry up and grow up.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Graduate

I did it!

That was the look, sound, and thought of my son sitting in the audience for his graduation ceremony.

There was a sea of red as the Kirkwood High School Class of 2012 waited for their moment.  They were there, a great group of kids who were caring, charismatic, and courageous.  This group was so accepting and allowing of each other to have space to grow.  They were studious, playful, and easygoing.

My son, my youngest son.  When I was sitting in my seat, I had my "Harpo Moment" as my oldest son called it, I cried, like body shaking silent tears as I waited for the principal to lead in the graduates.  All the years and tears and drives and yes, mama fussing, to get him to this point.  The month of May with the endless schedule, it all came down to this moment, this blip in time, he was about to walk into the arena and graduate.

I am very proud of him.  He graduated.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Merry Merry Month of May


The transition from spring to summer. The official packing away of coats, boots, and winter clothes.  The month of more sun and easing nights.

The month of non-stop activity!

May 2012 presented itself with a calendar that has left me in a whirlwind.

Planned and executed a very good surprise 18th birthday party for my son, complete with one of his lifelong friends traveling to our somewhat-still-new-city and his friends surprising him with a jazz set (he sang wonderfully and had the crowd on their feet!)

His birthday then a violin recital then my birthday then Mother's Day then a couple field trips thrown in then Brownie Court of Awards then high school Drama Banquet (which I planned all by myself for over 120 people) to his last day to graduation activities to a guitar recital to his sisters' last day of school!

The merry merry month of May is leaving me breathless, but smiling.  Wonder what will happen in June?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Born and Celebrated

This was birthday weekend in my household.

My last son, my mirror at times, my reflection at others, my almost-birthday-twin, turned 18.

I wanted his 18th birthday to be so much more than mine was, I wanted him to know how much he is loved, celebrated, and cherished for reaching this milestone in his life.

He reached it without ever having been involved with the law enforcement, substance abuse, and frankly, girl troubles.  He reached it with scholarship offers in hand that allowed him to make a choice about the best fit for his future.  He made it having experienced his purpose and potential.  He reached it surrounded by an ecclectic group of friends who celebrated his essence.  And he was surprised.

It was my honor to arrange his weekend of celebrations for not only his birth but also his impending graduation from high school.  He will cross the threshold where only a few Americans continue to cross, his own graduating class in this part of Missouri experienced some 50 kids who could not cut it to diploma.  My son will be even more rare with the assault on black males happening in this country over the past two decades - he will be a black male high school graduate on his way to college.  That is cause for celebration.

I also had the honor and pleasure of relishing in my family's love and joy as I celebrated my 48th birthday.  It was sweet to see them come up with ways to make me smile from my daughter's rendition of presenter and poet, to my baby girl helping me to "just rip it" with the wrapping paper, to my new laptop on which I write this blog.  I received a handmade pen and a french press and wonderful items hand selected by my older son, here for my birthday, a place he hasn't been in years.  I loved everything they did for me.

This was a great way to rejoice in living.

2012.  What a year to celebrate milestones!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


18. What a magical, possible, wonderful number.

In a few short days, my fourth son, my youngest son, will become, officially, a "man".  

Have I given him all he needs to march forward into his destiny?  I've been primarily at-home 3rd grade.  My work has allowed me to be accessible to him.  To drive him to rehearsals, to be at all his performances, to guide him through the college process.  To witness this forming and becoming.  Have I given him all he needs?

This beloved son of mine.  The one whose name carries the promise of generations.  He is a true reflection of God's love for me, truly.  God allowed him to push through the impossible to be here and to be the possible, the one to carry the mantle that for three generations has waited for the right Ezra to carry it forward, this is the one.  Have I given him enough to move forward?

I can hardly contain my joy when I think about my youngest, my almost birthday-twin.  To say I am proud is an understatement, to say I am blessed, does not hold it all.  

He will march forward with a healthy outlook on his life, with his grace, virtue, and pride intact, with an assurance of who he is and whose he is, with an ecclectic group of friends who surround him with laughter.  

18. It truly will be magical, possible, and wonderful for him!