This week seemed to go on forever and a busy weekend makes it all feel ever more run together as Hope and I start another week of this life together. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since her first visit, and here we are planning a Thanksgiving meal, Christmas and some winter break shenanigans. The beginning of the week I was a witch on wheels. I’m almost ashamed of some of my parenting; I was crabby and Hope found my last nerve and jumped on it like it was a trampoline. Oy!
But we got through it and we’re better for it. The sun always comes up; sometimes we really need to work on remembering that. As usual, I learned stuff.
There are parenting moments that really teach you things you never forget. When I was in sixth grade I decided to really flex and cut up. I got my first detention (and a couple more for extra credit in wacky teen years). I wrote more sentences about how I wasn’t going to talk inappropriately in school. I went places I wasn’t supposed to go (and got caught). I learned to cuss in royal fashion. And I had to sit with my desk facing the wall between two file cabinets in Mr. Smith’s history class on a few occasions. Oh my parents were so over my drama.
During a parent-teacher conference Mr. Smith, well into his 60s at the time, told my dad that it was all really age appropriate, that it wasn’t so bad and that he really just needed to give me space to grow and mature a bit. My dad often tells this story about how a parenting light bulb went on for him that day.
In fact, he told that story (without revealing it was me cutting up) today while he was teaching Sunday school. He didn’t know I was sitting in the back of the church listening. I whispered to Hope that Grandpa was, in fact, talking about me. She needed to know that I acted a fool in my day, and I needed to marinate on Mr. Smith’s words to my dad in my own situation.
I have no idea if Smitty is still here with us, but that was good word. My dad commented to me later, “You know it meant a lot to me, you’ve had a LOT of teachers since then and his name was the only one I remember.”
Smitty gave good word, and I’m glad that Grandpa shares it. It’s a good lesson for me all these years later.
Sometimes you just have to drive and pay. Hope likes to wear her hair in kinky twists. I haven’t worn braids/twists since I was in college and I had someone on campus do it, so I honestly no little about getting my hair braided/twisted. The place that I’ve been getting her hair done is nearly an hour away—absurd in an urban area like DC with a braid gallery every few blocks—and it’s kinda pricey. So I got a great recommendation for a place much closer with a a better rate.
Except it wasn’t.
Six plus hours, lots of cell phone breaks, a lunch break and random putzing and futzing, and Hope and I were ready to just go run in traffic to get out of there. The mini-shop was in a barbershop (at least there was an endless stream of “yes we objectified them, don’t judge us” eye candy strolling about). But, with all of the menfolk around, there was no way I was leaving to even go get a street hot dog, so we were growing hungry (as opposed to hungry) and exhausted.
After dinner at a gourmet burger joint, I was in my pjs before 8pm.
We will drive the hour, pay more and be happy, comfy and home in less than 6 hours. #lessonlearned
Bougie lessons have started in earnest. If you listen to the Add Water podcast you’ll know that Mimi and I talked about raising our kids in this middle class life and what that meant for us and for our kids. Hope has had tons of new experiences over the last 10 months, but I’m finding that the types of experiences are changing. Some are subtle; some are more dramatic. This week I took Hope to afternoon tea at a local tea house.
We’ll work up to the fancy tea that is offered at some of my favorite hotels in the area, but this tea house offered the perfect setting for what ended up being a real lesson in bougieness. Finger sandwiches, truffles, scones and jam—it was all there and Hope tried just about everything even if she was apprehensive at first. I’m proud of her for trying things. I don’t know how bougie I expect her to be or to become, but I want her to have experiences to look back on, to draw on and to talk about as she progresses in life. Today we talked about skiing over the winter break and do Black folks even ski?
Um, of course we do. Duh!
Karaoke is going to change our life. By Friday of this week I had recovered from carrying a broom the early part of the week, which was an achievement worthy of note on its own merits. Friday night while searching for something to watch on On Demand we stumbled upon Cox Cable’s Karaoke channel.
O. M. G!!!!!!
If you’re a Cox subscriber, it’s under On Demand, Freezone, Music.
We giggled as we searched through the offerings, but then I found that the channel had Cameo’s Candy, and I lost my damn mind.
I had my own solo, Soul Train line. I was so hype. I wopped, prepped, snaked and robotted for 5 straight minutes to Hope’s delight and horror.
Listen, I was getting it. Do you hear me???
Getting it. Candy gave me all of my life and some of yours too. We will be adding Karaoke to our regular routine. There’s some Macklemore songs on there that I need to seriously breakdown for Hope this week.
Best part? The radio went on to blast the Cameo throwback 4 times today, and I was JAMMING like my life depended on it. Jamming while driving. Chair dancing and errrrthang!
It gave Hope and I something fun to do and bond over. The music mix is good, and it really is mad fun.
So that’s my word for the week. I’m planning on sharing more of my own musings about National Adoption Awareness Month this week, and what it means to me now that I have my darling Hope.