Tag Archives: childrearing

A Woman Possessed!

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Ian and Imani have been through a great deal in their short lives.  My husband I go the extra mile to assure that they are safe. When Ian and Imani first arrived at our home they referred to our house as “Husband’s and Rhonda’s house.”  One day while driving home Imani wanted to know where we were headed.  Ian replied, “To Husband and Rhonda’s house.”  I spoke up, “Ian and Imani we are going home.  You guys live there, too.  From now on you can say, ‘We are going home.’  Do you understand?”  Yes, they responded uncertainly.  Of course I had to provide this gentle reminder to them a few more times before it finally sunk in.

Everyday Imani and I have a game we play. Whenever I come in from work Imani takes off running.  I can hear her little feet charging across the floor.  The first time Imani started this game, she hid under her bed.  Imani called out my name over and over again.  I went to her room but she was not there.  So I turned around and went back down the hallway thinking she was in our bedroom.  Nope.  She was not there either.  Imani called my name again.  I went back to her room and did not see her.  I finally figured that she was either under her bed or in the closet.  I checked in the closet, she was not there.  I lifted the bed skirt on her bed and there she was.  Laughter filled the room.  “You found me Rhonda!”  “Yes I did,”   I always affirm. Imani hides under her bed every time.  One day she tricked me and pulled her “blankie” in front of her and slide back against the wall.  I did not see her at first.  I left her room thinking she had finally changed the hiding place.  Then I heard her call out my name.  I went back in her room and found her.  Imani loved how she was able to trick me and told everyone so.

Ian loves for me to read to them before bedtime.  I let them choose the book and we take turns sitting on their bed.  After the story, we say our prayers.  Then my husband and I give Ian and Imani hugs and kisses before tucking them in for the night.  We always exit by telling them how much they are loved.

 Ian is like my husband’s little shadow.  I think he enjoys having a male role model.  One evening I had to run to the store and took Imani with me.  My husband and his friend were watching the game so I thought that Ian would want to stay home with the guys.  When I returned, my husband pulled me aside saying that Ian was upset because I didn’t take him.  Wow!  I did not realize that he would feel left out.  I really didn’t think he had even noticed.  Since then, I always make sure to ask Ian if he would like to go with me.

My attachment to the children is growing by the minute.  I check on them constantly just to make sure that they are comfortable.  Even though I am not their bio mom I find myself being really possessive of them.  Morocco talked about this in an earlier post titled “Life in the Village.”  She talked about being territorial with her son.  That is how I feel about Ian and Imani.  It feels surreal.  I did not go through this emotion with Kierra.  Maybe because Kierra has never lived with us, and more importantly, she has a mom.  I am Ian and Imani’s mother figure.  Ian and Imani know that I am not their mother but when they are talking to others, they refer to us as their mom and dad. 

I have an issue concerning Ian and Imani being in the presence of the BM.  I feel so much anxiety over this.  My husband is attending a meeting tonight at Kierra’s school and I am unable to attend.  Ian and Imani may have to go with my husband if we do not find a babysitter.  BM will be there.  I know this may sound crazy but I do not want them around her.  I know she will walk up to my husband and the children and strike up a conversation.  (Background note…whenever we attend any of Kierra’s functions together, BM is very standoffish toward me.  She does not speak.  She walks all around us as if we were invisible.  In the earlier years BM would snatch up Kierra and leave before we could see her.  This morning I found myself trying to rearrange my schedule so that the kids don’t have to be around her.

However, I stopped myself and pondered the situation and oh, my goodness!  It quickly dawned on me that this is what BM must have felt when I came into Kierra’s life.  In some weird way I want to reach out to BM so I can let her know that I get it now!  But I’m afraid to do so given the fact that I have tried to “break the ice” with BM on numerous occasions with no luck.  I am never sure what to do where BM is concerned.  She runs hot and cold.  At times she can be so sweet and then at other times she is frightenly aloof. BM will be one way this week and the next week the total opposite.

So my question to you reader is: should I reach out to BM again or let it go?

 

 

 

Life in The Village

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Over the last couple of years I have grown to realize that the no doubt clichéd African proverb it takes a village to raise a child is quite true.  I think parents in general are very territorial and protective of their offspring, much like our animal friends.  Because we grow, birth, and bond with our children, we assume that they belong to us, and only us. Sometimes we are reluctant to share our kids with others, sometimes the other parent even.  It is almost like asking a three year-old to share their favorite toy. 

Growing up I had one toy that topped all others.  I vividly remember my Cabbage Patch doll, Adah Marie.  I would comb her hair until it gleamed, change her clothes at least three times a day, and keep her impeccably clean.  I even put lotion on her chocolate-colored face.  Adah was the one gift that I never shared— for who else would treat her like I did?  She was my most prized possession.

When I became a parent, it was not much different. I didn’t want too many people holding my son, fearing that they would drop him, handle him too roughly, or pass their germs to him.  I even made an excuse when my aunt asked to keep him so I could get some much needed sleep.  I could not bear being without him for a few hours. He was my living, breathing Adah.

As he grew older I slowly began to lessen my eagle grip.  It didn’t mean that he wasn’t mine anymore.  It just meant that others could be apart of his life, too.  His circle was widening as was my perception.  I had learned to share.

I came to see that everyone played a role in his life.  I had to build trust that others would care for my son, perhaps not the way I would, but adequately enough.  There would be no way that I could prevent him being in the presence of others and possibly being influenced.  I could only hope that the majority of his encounters would be positive interactions.

  His circle grew to include people such as teachers, dentists, doctors, babysitters, and coaches to name a few.  While I can meet his educational needs through home schooling–I don’t know how to fill cavities or diagnosis health problems.  I can’t take him every where I go or teach him how to make a defensive play. But I do know that I need every single one of these people for the wellbeing of my son.

            So when I received an Easter card from Eliza thanking me for relaying a message to her from “our sons,” I was dumbfounded. It was quite a generous gesture on her part—especially considering that she is the “mama bear.”  Her words acknowledged the important role that I play in the life of her sons.  I was the stranger in the village who had finally been recognized for my contributions.