Heels, Heals, & Concrete

My Sunday…20160626_150107 (1)

Teen: “Ms. Michelle you play?” Me: “I can show you better than I can tell you.” I missed my first few shots so I took off my heels and we began to play. He is 15 years old, plays soccer; he has never held a basketball, heavy accent, overdosed once. He is the new kid, the quiet shy kid. My third day on post and I cannot remember his name. He shoots, misses horribly. I begin to teach him the techniques of holding a basketball, of bouncing. He continues to miss. He bounces the ball to me saying, “You try.”

I get’em all in! Sundress, barefooted, happy, sweating and connecting. During our conversation, I learn that he speaks nothing but negative statements about himself. “I can’t do it.” “I won’t get close to the blackboard.” I learn that his parents are from Honduras and El Salvador. I learn that he is a US citizen and that when others call him, “Mexican” its the only time he corrects anyone. I learn that I cannot pronounce his ethnicity but I continue trying until he laughs. He doesn’t mind repeating, teaching me.

It is just him and me. All the other teens have gone elsewhere along the park. I see him relax. I see him smile. I see him continue to try. I am learning to be his biggest cheerleader. I clap and yell when he gets a shot in. He then asks about me: “How did you learn how to play?” Me: “I have older children and I like the game of basketball. I watch it. You have to keep trying. Find a spot on the court you feel comfortable with and go from there. Keep practicing. Don’t give up.” Him: “Okay, Ms. Michelle. You got WNBA skills!” We laugh. I did outscore him.

After our interaction, sitting at the counselor table, Older Guy, smiling: “You have to meet them right where they are.” Me: “It was nice.”

Our moment healed my “self-tearing” struggle from last week. “Don’t give up.” They tell me I am no more than 32 years old. I dare not correct them. They know I am not a recovering addict and my first day they dismissed me as confidant. Yet today…today was a good day.

 

 

 

 

Autumn and Brutus: Summer Vacation 2015

My Two

More than I expected. Summer 2015

This is our first Summer vacation alone, no big brothers or friends to join us. Of course we head to the Beach. They love the water and they swim like fish. While planning, I am little apprehensive…. can I be the “fun” Mom on vacation and still protect them with only me watching. My older ones are off in the world, living and they are happy. How much relaxing will I be able to do and will the retreat I need from “the world” be enough for Self? I have a few things coming up in the next few weeks I need to prepare for mentally.
 
So I make the reservations and the Little Ones’ excitement doesn’t hit until the day we leave. Now there are all these rules….Brutus: “No electrics Momma. No homework. You can’t be busy, it is our time.” Autumn:  “I just want to have fun. I can take my stuff to create, right? What is our itinerary? Do I need to make a list?”
 
Our last few days without “electrics,” just being with them is what life is all about….getting back to the basics, remembering why you do what you do, counting my blessings as I see them jumping the waves….Brutus laughing, screaming and running from Autumn in glee because he tagged her….they are simply beautiful. Their happiness is genuine, unique, theirs. How amazing they are. As a mother, a single mother there are so many times and things you believe you do wrong. Yet,  as I sit here listening to the Ocean with tears running down my face….I love their love. Their resiliency, their capability to forgive and move forward, their ability to stand. So we are good, we are better than ok…..I’ll remain in the journey not just on it. 
 My phone rung a few times, each time Brutus, very protective: “Who is that? Don’t answer it. Our time.” Of course, their Auntie Keyna called. She is my little sister and still treats me like I am the youngest. I gave up Facebook and Instagram. I actually tuned away from the world, the white noise. I am not the type of person that becomes engrossed in Social Media that it becomes my emotional dumpster. I don’t use it as a vehicle to hurt anyone nor as a pedestal to attack or voice my opinion on matters of the heart.…we have to encourage one another. It wasn’t just their laughs I enjoyed. I observed others; other families, children, extended families, couples that were happy, enjoying the present. 
 
Of all the stresses we endure to protect, raise and educate our children…its worth it. I will continue trusting in God . I have to continue being the best in their world because I value who I am and what I am to my Autumn and my Brutus.
 
As a parent, a father, a mother, be coupled or single…if we continue to do what is required of us God will do the rest. God works diligently behind the scenes. Remain in the fight, it is so worth it. 
You are amazing by choice.
~A. Michelle