Picking colors

Battle ‘fro hawk: Bring it on!

The inadvertent war between these ‘parenting partners’ continues. It is, indeed, an epic saga marked by periods of peace and prosperity and poignant battles of little importance to the larger scheme of this child-rearing project.

It began with issues of tradition. My son’s once soft, curly locks soon shed from his infant head and left him with a baby Mohawk. I thought it was adorable. How could I not? Everything about my son is jaw-droppingly, sickening-sweet cute – – even his mean looking frowns with the downcast eyes and furrowed brow. I’m not biased, I speak truth : :wink:: The debate was whether or not we should trim the left over locks and give him a more modest, even do. I refused.

When he turned two, I was so devoted to his baby ‘fro that I was afraid to sheer much of it off. His first cut, then, was a scissor trim that left a rather high, totally cool high top that suited Ya’s over-the-top personality.

Daddy M disliked it and the first chance he got, shaved it all. I received my son with a nearly-bald big boy sheer that I was not prepared to see and was predisposed to hate. I did.

The next cut was a necessity. In the midst of growing out his too-shorn hair, the school announced it was readying for school picture day. Uggh! Well, my child wasn’t going to be the one with the funky, unkempt hair, so I had to have it cut again. I sent PopPop to the barber (any barber) with simple instructions: short sides, keep the top, but shape it. The cut was incredible. I loved it! Suddenly, I was okay with my little boy’s ‘big boy’ look.

Daddy M, however, was not. You don’t, apparently, under any circumstances, “edge up” a child’s hairline. Disgruntled, I inquired “And why? It looks well-groomed.”

The reply? Because it causes the hairline to recede; and, as a result of my awesome, well-received haircut, my son will be bald.

I retorted: Balding is a trait passed from Mama*. If you look at my grandfather Poppy, Ya is going to bald right across the top of his head and look much like an owl with hair along the edges.

I knew I was right. My brothers, still in their twenties, have been seeing their heads thin for some time. They’ve coped with short haircuts or shaved heads. We pretend not to notice the progression. And really, who cares if they are bald? Bald can be sexy.

I continued to get cuts, searching for barbers who could handle my son’s short patience. He’ll sit only so long before beginning to shake his head, twist to look in every direction – – except the one the guiding barber’s hand has tried to set, and will even slide so low on the barber’s chair that he can no longer be reached from behind the back of the seat (with the booster in place). A few times to appease Daddy M, I skipped the offered edge-up. Most times, however, the cut just didn’t look polished without it. So I let them finish the style with lollipop bribes holding Ya impatiently in place.

Most recently, however, I decided to be a little frugal. I borrowed my brother’s clippers. I asked Ya if he minded Mommy cutting his hair. He said I could. I did.
Ya's Iro, Mommy did it~

Ya coin throw

Ya passing time in the vacant lot waiting for big sister to finish practice.

What resulted was what I consider a fantabulous Iro (aka frohawk) of über cute appeal. It suits my little star perfectly and he’s rocking it.
Daddy M’s reaction came by text shortly after he picked Ya up from school: “Looks bad. U do not cut hair.”

Now, I suppose, that when challenged on points relating to my parental judgment, I am a bit defensive. I live for my kids and would never purposely cause either harm. So what may have been a mere statement of hair preference initiated a textual onslaught.

Ya’s Iro will, apparently, cause ignominious judgment to be cast upon him. (Though the term ignominy did not enter into his commentary.)

Is it wrong that I don’t care? He is, after all, only three. And this is not really a point of debate that will gravely affect our child’s upbringing, or his future prospects.

It is important, I think, to note that I’ve looked up “receeding hairlines resulting from edging a child’s hair” as well as “hereditary balding.” Retired journalist faultered here and did not write down the resulting sites I consulted, but I found information. My father’s hair is the best indicator of my son’s adult hairline. And PopPop has an amazing head of hair that even now is pretty thick and resembles his boyhood hairline closely. If the resources presenting genetic research on hair trends and loss is correct, Ya has been blessed with some good hair genes and will enjoy his tresses well into a mature retirement age.

Why I love autumn #1 : a corny situation

The temperatures are quickly dropping. Crisp, cool breezes take over as we rush to find jackets just in case there’s more chill than we can handle. Replaced are the warm and humid days of summer.
And just as quickly, the stores changed from beach and vacation themed displays to Halloween and harvest. Some are even showing off Christmas trees!

But I love the months of Autumn. I love that there are celebrations paying homage to Native cultures and to the importance of maize. I love that my kids can enjoy hours of fun outside together relishing in the harvest splendor.

And really, whoever invented the corn kernel “sand” box is one of my new favorite inventors. I so despise sand and how it remains long after the play is over. And while we did carry home enough kernels for a nice bowl of popcorn, it was pretty easy to find and eliminate.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday: Street Memories

{I’ve decided to skip the explanations this week and let my interpretations speak for themselves.}

Street Photography

From a Distance (Paper Heart Camera prompt)
sunday at the park
learning the role

Saw MLK and the earth shook…

We’re okay. That’s what is most important right now. When the earthquake hit Mineral, Virginia, we were some 130 miles north in D.C. visiting the newly unveiled Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. As we walked across the bridge away from the Washington Monument toward the Mountain of Despair, the ground began to quiver. The movement was slight, but the lamp posts shook ferociously from side to side.

We’re okay.

The significance of the day’s events is so heavy that my mind is still racing to grasp the experiences into a logical package.

It began with a play date – – a simple trip into the city to see the new monument.
friends' tag
I suppose, when you consider the monument we were going to see, that it was more than that from the start. Nickea, with her fair skin and bright hair, and I with my dark complexion and ebony hair strolled along with our children to see a memorial to a man whose dream it was to see prejudice eradicated and justice abundantly served – – the power of our contrasting appearances is not lost on me.
friends since the beginning

Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away, and that in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail


Kea teared up as we passed through the “Mountain of Despair” and saw the magnitude of the memorial site. I saw her glazed eyes and I chuckled. I don’t know why. I asked, “Are you crying?” as though her raw emotions were somehow unexpected. I hugged my friend then, stroked her back as she wiped her tears and regained composure. And as she slid on her dark sunglasses to mask her weeping eyes, I realized (far slower than I care to admit) the significance of being in this place with her.
Our friendship – our ability to share our pregnancies, to experience our sons’ milestones and life passages, to even sit down to dinner together and banter about nonsense – is something that would have been scrutinized, despised, and destroyed in the racially charged present of the 60s and 70s. And yet, our relationship is natural and it is cherished today. We teach at an ethnically diverse school. We live in an area where kids of every background frequent the playgrounds. We are living out the dream.

Rudi and Marie
While we stood reading the quotes selected for the walls around the King sculpture, we overheard Marie Davenport. “I was here with him at the March,” she said. “I was here.” Her companion, a jovial looking man, smiled broadly as he composed a picture of her standing next to one of the quotes. After he snapped his shot of Marie (whose infectious smile radiates on her face), the two wandered away from us to admire the stoically-carved likeness of Dr. King.

Kea saw the couple outside the memorial later and we struck up a conversation. Her husband, Rudi, native of Frankfurt Germany, stood off to her side while she recollected her work teaching for the Department of Defense schools. Marie, now 74-years-old, chatted with us for some time. She gave Chi her first person accounts of the Civil Rights Movement she was immersed in, and like any good teacher, tried to offer a context for my 8-year-old who’s not yet felt the sting of boundaries set before her due to her color. “I was here when he said ‘I have a dream,” she said. “I was a young woman then. And here today, I was standing there looking up at King and then I saw the earth move.”

Indeed, the earthquake came at a moment when hundreds of people were paying homage to a man whose personal convictions helped shape history and rocked – cracked, even – the foundation of inequality and injustice that the country was content to foster.
Our trip back from the city was harried. Fearing the Metro would shut down because of additional tremors (or full blown after shocks), we cut our trip short and sought the train station. Buildings along the Mall had been evacuated, leaving the many employees to loiter outside. Many Federal offices closed early as precaution, the workers leaving in droves. Access to the Washington Monument was halted, as Special Police lined the streets and redirected pedestrians to other walkways and spaces. It was controlled chaos.

The trains on Metro were confined to one track and travel speeds were reduced to 15 MPH. The subsequent wait for trains was endless. We were pushed into the opened doors of one train car amongst a frightening mass of would-be passengers. The woman announcer chanting “Please stand back, doors closing,” droned on and on as people pushed and shoved and fussed. I fought to keep briefcases and legs away from my son sleeping in his stroller, while I was mashed uncomfortably into the wall separating the train’s doorway and the handicap seating. Each stop brought more passengers, but there were few who disembarked to allow for the extra people. And the train moved slowly along the tracks while people bickered and whined about being touched, pushed, and squeezed.

When our stop finally arrived, we were pushed so ferociously out of the confinement of the train that I felt as though I had experienced some sort of rebirth into freedom.

Back home, I braced myself as I walked through the house assessing the damages. Pictures lay on the floor, their empty hooks mocking me from the wall. Several trinkets, framed photos, and other tchotchkes were strewn about. Papers, magazines and books were no longer neatly filed on their shelves. But, all in all, it was minor clean up. Except in Chi’s room. There, the newly placed shelves had pulled from the wall leaving gaping holes. Her television bore a hole and the picture on the flat screen is shattered like glass on one side. But what is devastating about the damaged items is the loss of the amazing painted figures Chi had done when she was 3-5 years old. She wept as she picked up the broken pieces of her art. I can’t replace them, but we will create something new from their remains.

And now, as both kids sleep off the exhaustion of their day, I sit here thinking. Today was historical. Today was something powerful. Today will shape our tomorrow.

From the archives: brief pile up

briefs layering
Potty training can be so much fun… especially when the little one can’t choose which pair of underthings he wants to wear. Ya’s solution? Pile them all on. And why not? They’re all cute.

Now, about two weeks shy of three, my man is a completely potty trained lad. He enjoys the freedom of his briefs and though we’re still wearing Pull-Ups for bedtime (he wakes up sometimes in the middle of the night and is afraid to get up to potty), we’re essentially diaper free. Oh yeah. We are so ready for the three-year-old class at his preschool.

Now if only I could convince him that he doesn’t need company in the restroom… I mean, really. If I hear “Mommy, I need you in here!” followed by “Don’t look at me, look at the wall!” one more time, I’ll… I’ll… you know, march right into the bathroom and assume my usual position in the corner observing how the wall has settled since our home was built. Mommyhood duties.

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