On one of my daughter’s study nights, I heard the sounds of various artists from Jill Scott, Yuna, Alina Baraz & Galimatias, Kelani, and then I heard Stevie Wonder! I thought to myself is that “As-I’ll Be Loving You Always?” Naturally I couldn’t help but start to move to the beat, dancing from side to side, and snapping my fingers singing the following melody:
Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky, ALWAYS
Until the ocean covers every mountain high, ALWAYS
Until the dolphin flies and parrots live at sea, ALWAYS
Until we dream of life and life becomes a dream
Of course she tilted her head to the side and looked at me as if I had lost my mind. All I could say in response was, “What do you know about Stevie?” She knew more than I thought and most importantly that his music gave her the motivation she needed to continue studying.
While others may not agree with the fact I allow my daughter to study with music, I say she got it honest. I love music and it’s my motivation when I am working on most of my activities. There were also many occasions I would sing to her and Stevie Wonder was one of my favorite artist!
I am proud to say that my daughter has come to learn how motivating music can be. So, if my daughter needs to have that extra tune to put her in the studying mood I am alright with that.This is the week we see our children in a studying frenzy for finals so why not let them have something to put them at ease? In the words of Stevie Wonder, “Until we dream of life and life becomes a dream.”
In my book, “Enduring the Single Mother Struggle,” I included a poem I wrote declaring that there were infinite possibilities of all that my daughter could become. Those infinite possibilities included being the next President of the United States, a doctor, an educator, and most importantly making a difference in the world.
As I reflect on this poem, I also recollect a conversation I had recently with my former co-worker named Erminia. We were both attending an anti-violence workshop and during the break we talked about our jobs and our families. We both were in agreement we just didn’t want to talk about the election but she also added something that was very profound. She said, “we can’t blame the election results on anyone but ourselves (parents) if we are not raising our children to be leaders.” A powerful statement that hit me to the core.
I thought to myself I am one parent trying to make a difference in my child’s life so that she can impact the world! Yet, this also takes a community to do this. Do our children have all the tools readily accessible and available to them that they need to become leaders? Do we as parents give up when resources are slim? Why are we not pooling resources to make this happen?
I know what my responses are to the previous questions and in some aspect I feel that I have made some strides for my daughter to gain access to resources that will enable her to be a leader. For instance we try to utilize the availability of clubs offered at her school. We are also involved in Girl Scouts and the ASCEND mentoring groups just to name a few. Yet, it doesn’t stop there. There are so many other ways to raise our children to be leaders. What does that look like for you? This post is a call to action and also an opportunity for you to share how you will work towards raising your child to be a leader. Looking forward to hearing from you! Until then, check out The Leader in Me for other ways to teach leadership at home.
PSA for Teens : Bills are real!
This week I had the pleasure of meeting my daughter’s new mentor assigned through Link Unlimited Scholars (this organization has been a blessing to our family). During our dinner conversation my daughter and some of the other students shared their aspirations and dreams. Amazingly enough they all are already talking about college and traveling the world. Reality set in for me but that is another blog post for another day.
Don’t get me wrong. It was great that they are planning for their futures but it was as if they are all ready and set to go to be on their own. The highlight of my evening is when my daughter daughter’s mentor said, “so you all ready to start living life on your own and paying bills? Bills are real! ” The parents laughed hysterically but our children didn’t seem to think it was funny. Suddenly, their reality set in. They realized how we, their parents, take care of them. Paying their tuition, buying their clothes, putting food on the table, keeping the lights own at home, driving them to point A to point B, and then some.
After gaining my composure from a good laugh, I sat back and thought about how I have told my daughter on so many occasions to not rush to grow up too fast and to enjoy her time now. I thought about how I have told her on so many occasions that becoming an adult and being on your own means taking care of responsibilities including paying your own bills. Yet, it took her new mentor to say “bills are real” for her to finally get it. Well, at least she got it and I am thanking God today for all the people who are mentors especially my daughter’s mentor.