Monthly Archives: August 2008

If the Crown Fits…

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Remember a couple weeks ago I posted about Kierra’s Visitor? Well I almost severed a 17 year friendship because of the conversation I had with my friend reguarding The Visitor. Here’s why…

I was talking to my friend when everything was happening and I told her I would call her back. Later in the evening when I finally got around to, I filled her in on what was going on. My friend made a comment that I didn’t quite like and I quickly ended our conversation.

My friend, who is a BM, told me that she would be pissed too if her daughter was with her stepmom when she started her cycle. I was so offended by this comment. And let me just say that in the 12 years I have been a stepmom to Kierra, this was not the first comment made by her that didn’t sit well with me.

My friend has made many comments about things that she wouldn’t like her daughter’s stepmom doing. I took offense because I was doing most of those things her stepmom was doing and more for Kierra, and my friend’s daughter as well. What’s more confusing is the fact that I am her daughter’s Godmother and I do the exact things for her as I do for Kierra. And she does not have a problem what-so-ever with my involvement.

This is really upsetting to me. Stepmom vs. Godmother vs. BM. If Godmothers are allowed to be mom to these children with no problem, why not stepmoms?

I stewed over her last remark for a couple of days and even talked to Morocco about this situation. I was so upset. After I thought about it I decided to talk to my friend because it would be a shame to let 17 years of friendship go down the drain just because I didn’t tell her how I felt.

She ended up calling me first and asked how Kierra was doing. Perfect, this gave me an opening. I told my friend how upset I was that she made this comment and it hurt my feelings. I asked her if she viewed me as her daughter’s stepmom because of the comments she makes. I thought “WOW, she reminds me of Christine and must be wearing her (Christine) crown!”

My friend asked me why I didn’t tell her how I felt. I said that I didn’t know how to approach the subject. Even though she has hurt my feelings over and over again, I didn’t want to do that to her. She apologized and I accepted. Soon after we ended the call.

The next morning my friend called me crying saying that the night before she thought about all the things she has said to me over the years and she apologized again. She told me she could not relate to me because she is not a stepmom. But that she understands how I may feel when Christine does and says mean and hurtful things. I started crying as well. We ended our call on a good note this time and I am thankful that we were able to salvage our friendship.

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In the News

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Yesterday my senior class was featured on the local 6 and 11 o’clock evening news!  The broadcast was also on the station’s website.  It was such a neat experience and I was really pleased with my kids!

I received an email about 15 minutes before my class started from the district’s spokeperson informing me that a camera crew was headed my way.  They wanted to spotlight a teacher who was addressing the significance of Obama’s nomination.  Apparently somebody told them about me!

They are writing letters to the presidential candidates to persuade them to give attention to the issues that they feel are essential to their future.  This is a project sponsered by Google and the National Writing Project (I am a teacher-consultant for our local chapter).  The letters will be published on an online forum for all the world to see. 

Next week I have representatives from our state’s Republican and Democratic offices coming to present .  This will provide the students with more insight about each political party and allow them to write a more detailed and knowledgable letter.

I received many job well done calls, texts, and emails from friends, family, and former students who saw us on the news.  It was actually a pretty indepth segment.

However, only three of my colleagues commented on the story–the principal nor the vice principal was one of them!  Over the span of six years my students and I have been in the newspaper twice and covered on the news two times as well.  I have to say that this one was the best.  The reporter did a great job on this story. 

I am really proud of my students!

Meet Christine!

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BM has a name and it is Christine.  From now on I will use her name in my posts.  Using her name gives her an identity instead of referring to her as BM.  (See I am growing!!!)  Here are a few things I know about her.

Christine is 40 years old (six years older than me).  She has two chilrdren, Kierra and an older daughter from another relationship.

Christine and my husband were never married.

Christine has a pretty good job and has been there for over 18 years. 

Christine has a two year degree in business. 

Christine likes to read.  (I too love to read)

I just found out that Christine likes doing Sudoku puzzles.  (Also one of my favorite things to do.  I like doing the puzzles so much that Husband purchased a Sudoku game for my PSP.)

Christine likes to shop on Ebay.

I hear  that Christine has a nice personality.

On occasion she has been pleasant towards me: 

 She has sent me cards when I was in the hospital. 

She has given me a Christmas gift, twice.  (I have given her a Christmas gift twice).

She has sent me a Happy Mother’s Day text once.  (I didn’t see that one coming!)

She has sent a Thank You card when I sent her a Mother’s Day package  (a book, some aromatherapy candles, a spiritual bookmark, and a card).

Christine speaks on occasion when we see her at Kierra’s school functions (most times she doesn’t).

These are only a few things about Christine.

How Dare He?!!!

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I am really incensed right now.  My brother asked if he could keep Jazmine for the weekend so I obliged and dropped her off.  She was very upset and did not want to stay.  We really didn’t want to leave her in such distress, but I thought it was a good thing that he wanted to spend some time with her so we did.

When I called yesterday to pick her up, he refused to let me get Jazmine because he wanted her to stay with him.  He had the nerves to say that I am not her mother and hung up on me!  I was offended beyond belief!!! I was not trying to be her mother!

Of course I was caught off guard because this is not what I expected.  When my husband and I dropped her off on Friday he was not even there.  My stepfather kept her until he arrived home after midnight (he is currently staying with my stepfather who has since returned home).

My brother is not very responsible and spends most of his time chasing women, drinking excessively, and hanging with friends.  In short, he is not stable.

I called him back and let him have it.  I was actually pulling out of the drive way so that I could go her when my aunt called.  My brother called her crying saying that I was trying to take his daughter from him!  My aunt was aware of the “real” situation and was only calling to calm me down.  She asked that I allow her time to talk some sense into him.  We all know that at this point he is not responsible enough to properly care for her.

I talked to my husband as well.  He agreed with my aunt and told me to be patient.  He also said he saw it coming because of how selfish and greedy my brother is. 

My sister told me yesterday that he offered to let Jazmine spend the night with her kids–so much for wanting to spend quality time with her!

My stepfather also maintained that she needed to be with me.  He informed me too that he only wants to keep her because he does not want to give me the measly $100 that he has given me once a month since June.

Unfortunately that didn’t make me feel any better especially if he was only wanting her for selfish reasons.  I could have told him that he could keep the money so that he would allow me to get her, but it is really the principle of the matter.  He wants to have more money in his pocket to waste instead of contributing to her upkeep.  How disgusting!!!

I could contact social services, but honestly, I don’t want to be bothered with CPS again.  The experience that we had with them when Eliza lost temporary custoy of the boys was overwhelming to say the least–and we were not even the neglectful parents!

And as my husband pointed out, I should not have to go through such a process with my own brother.  I was doing something to help him.

So what can I really do?  I am not her mother as he so astutely pointed out.  I did not even have guardianship over her.  I didn’t think it was necessary considering that I was not trying to take her from her parents.  And I trusted my brother enough (my major mistake) that he would not pull a fast one.

I just hate that Jazmine has to be in the middle!!!  She is the one who is going to suffer the most.

I am calmer today, but still upset.  I can’t think about anything else.  I prayed last night that if it is God’s will that he will find a way to bring her home.  If He does, I am going to take the legal steps necessary to ensure that this does not happen again.

Behind the Name

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In my Etymology class the kids are currently working on a project regarding the history of names.  They started by finding the meaning of their own names.  I knew already that I share my name with a country in Africa.  But I didn’t know that it is also defined as “a fine, pebble-grained leather made from goatskin tanned with sumac!”

Now I don’t know about the goatskin leather part, but I like that Morocco is described as a beautiful kingdom!

I began to do a little research of my own as I entered various names of people I know into the database.  Eliza was one of them.  Her name in Arabic means “light.”  In Greek it means  “pity.”  

The students had to select five friends and/or family names to research.  Part of the assignement was to determine if the name fitted the  person by including a paragraph containing examples supporting their claims.

Eliza 

Eliza’s name is fairly appropriate.  I find that she does have some “light” in her.  I see her “light” when she faithfully writes her children every week.  She is “light” when she smiles.  Being of help to others is another way that she displays the meaning of her name.  She helped raise her brother’s daughter when her assistance was needed.  Eliza’s “light” shines when she walks with God and tries to find her way through life. 

The other meaning fits as well.  She is a pitiful being–one evoking sympathy.  Even though I am often overwhelmingly angry at her; it is tempered with much compassion.  She has experienced a hard, tragic life.  Eliza’s innocence was stolen and she was forced to grow up too soon. I too pity her because she has yet to realize that she has the power to overcome her past. 

Does your name fit you?

Sister Act

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Several days ago I was told by a couple of family members that my 21-year-old sister got married last week.  I felt so distressed hearing that! I assumed that my sister was playing a joke; but was shocked to find that she wasn’t.  I am bothered that she didn’t bother to call me.  Plain and simple my feelings are hurt!

I must begin by telling you all that I am the oldest of five siblings.  I have two sisters and three brothers.  Chloe, my youngest sister was born when I was nine. 

She was a gorgeous baby.  When I first saw the chubby bundle of cafe au lait that mother held in her arms, I was in love.  Her face was even shaped like a heart!  Chloe had dark, thick wurly (a mixture of waves and curls) hair with big doe-like brown eyes and a tiny button nose.  Her skin was soft and smooth.  She stared into my eyes as she sucked daintily on her petite thumb (a habit that she has not abandoned).  In a word she was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid eyes on.  Even to this day, there are not many babies that I would place on par with her.

Chloe was a good, quiet yet spoiled child.  My stepfather doted on her.  “Baby Girl,” as she was called by him, was the princess of the house.  She could do no wrong.

Shortly before she turned nine, I headed off to college. Therefore our time living under the same roof was brief.   I was also very involved in school activities, ballet class, and I worked part-time.  Plus, I spent a lot of time at my grandmother’s house so I really wasn’t home much. 

But I still made it a priority to spend time and do things for her as she was growing up.  To highlight her 13th birthday, I gave her a slumber party at my house.  I wanted her to know that she was valued as my little sister.  I took her on many outings and even involved her in my volunteer efforts as a “sisterfriend” to pregnant teenagers at The Birthing Project

As the years progressed we grew distance.  I am not sure how or why because I certainly loved Chloe. However, the older she got, the less she would interact with me.  As a teenager she developed a wild streak.  I didn’t like a few of her boyfriends which didn’t go over well with her. 

For a while she was a student at the high school where I taught.  I let my colleagues know and asked them to get me abreast of her progress.  Chloe, however, seemed embarassed that her big sister was a teacher at her school.  She would barely speak to me in the halls and would try avoid being in the same vicinity as me.  I guess she didn’t want me keeping such a close eye on her (considering that she liked to cut).

I tried to keep her on the right track, but I think this only served to increase the distance between she and I.  Thankfully her wild days were fleeting.

Over the years I talked to my mother often about how four of my five siblings seemed to view me.  She summed it up by saying that they just didn’t understand my good intentions. My mother knew that I had pure motives.  She also reminded me that they did not like being admonished by anyone, including her or their dad.  While this was certainly understandable I was still at a loss.  What else was I to do?  I always thought that they were too lenient with them.  She was a lot stricter on me growing up.  So I took it upon myself to get the job done.

As the first born I always felt obligated to set examples for them.  I viewed it as my  sisterly duty to correct them when they were headed in what I felt was the wrong way.

It always rested heavy on my heart that it was “me” and “them.”  Not only were we seperated by time, we were also divided by blood.  My mother’s first husband was their dad.  I often wondered if this was  part of the reason I was so hard for them to swallow. I felt like the wicked, half-blood sister. 

I know this concerned my mother as well.  A year or so before she died I promised her that I would always look after them and would not let their attitudes about me get in the way.  I know it troubled her to see us so fractured.  

When she died I thought we would all magically grow closer.  Of course, this has not been the case.  Don’t get me wrong, when we see each other we are social and civil.  In fact, a few months ago my husband and I had lunch at the restaurant where Chloe works as a hostess.  She seemed genuinely happy to see me.  She ran and gave me a big hug and chatted with us for a spell.  But I didn’t hear from her after that.  I called her once or twice but she never returned my messages.

Sometimes I get the impression that Chloe (and probably my other siblings as well) thinks I will have “something to say,” about what, I don’t know.  Since they are now adults I don’t try to fix them anymore.  I haven’t “said” anything about how they chose to conduct their affairs in many moons.  Now when hear about something that I don’t necessarily agree with, I immediatedly send a prayer up for them.  I now know that God is much better suited to correct them than I am.

I have spent the week pouting about her selfishness.  But today I sucked it up and headed to the store to buy a gift for the newlyweds.  I am going to invite my sister and my brother-in-law (one of the boyfriends from her youth that I did not like) over for dinner as well. 

Afterall, I will always be their big sister and I have to continue acting as one.  I won’t give up on them!

This is what being Bored will get you!

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I’m at work waiting for the IT department to figure out an issue with my computer.  While waiting I check my e-mail, nothing in my box. I check my cell phone for missed calls or text messages, nothing there either.  Then I look up the word dingleberry.

This is what I found:

A small clot of dung, as clinging to the hindparts of an animal.  I found this in the Encyclopedia Britannica.

A piece of dried feces caught in the hair around the anus.  An incompetent, foolish, or stupid person. I found this in an American Heritage Dictonary.

The reason why I looked up this word you may ask?  Well for one I was bored and for two this is what we (my husband and I) used to call BM.  The funny thing is (although not as fuuny now since it has a real “nasty” meaning) that I thought I made up the word dingleberry!