Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I have to get up and make a visit to the bathroom twice during the night. I know that is more information than you wanted to know about me but I promise I have a point to telling you this. I also have to get up another two times during the course of the night because I have to walk off charlie horses. When my sleep is interrupted like that before I do anything I have to grab my eyeglasses because I can't see where I'm going without them. If you think I'm pathetic you haven't heard the rest of it. Out of the clear blue sky just like clock work I nod off at four in the evening where ever I am. You can imagine I don't leave my house from three thirty on. If my house caught on fire, I would run to my long winding staircase and know I would never make it down in time (bad knee) so my plan is to jump from the second story window and try to land on the bushes. My point is....if I am feeling like this at 55 what could Sen. McCain be thinking about running for president past 70. I'm not a McCain basher but what if that phone rang in the middle of the night and he is stuck in the bathroom. He look so fragile and well ...old. I feel sorry that no one loves him enough to say you could better serve your country doing something a little less stressful. The secret to aging well is knowing your limitations. I compensate for restless nights by not getting up before nine the next morning. I keep busy until three thirty then nod off until four thirty in the afternoon. Hey it's not a bad life. Sen. McCain might want to try it. What have you had to change as you got older? Do you feel there ought to be an age limit for running for President? What are the good things about aging? I take it in stride and find it funny, do you?

Monday, July 21, 2008


Sweat fell off my face like rain. My heart pounded and hands shook as I stared down at the blood in the seat of my panties. A few minutes later I was showing them to my mother. "Oh that", she said with a wave of her hand. "You see, the egg and blah blah and you are a woman now, more blah blah and here are two safety pins and this pad". What the ..... I thought as mom left the bathroom .Not understanding a word she said I searched desperately for a place to get rid of the offending panties. I was ten years old. The next month, same scenario this time I went to my father. Where as mom sugar coated everything, dad was straight to the point. "Every month for the rest of my life", I wailed as dad tried to explain the dreaded "period". "Dad what did I do wrong", I sobbed into his shoulder. "Every girl goes through this even your mother", he said patting my back. "My stomach hurts, dad you have got to do something", I pleaded. "I've got just the thing", he said . He left the room and came back with a bottle and a tablespoon. "Take this and you will feel much better", his voice was so soothing I really began to feel better already. After the third tablespoon, he asked me how I felt. "I feel good dad real good", I said noticing a slight slowing of my words. "What is that stuff"?, I asked feeling good but sleepy. "It's peach brandy" my dad said with a wink, and it'll be our secret. "Whatever you do don't tell your mom" he said gleefully as he returned the bottle to it's hidden place. From that day on I looked forward to getting my period long after my cramps went away. It was a bonding thing. A father child moment that lasted way past the time when I could legally purchase my own bottle and pour it into a glass. The three tablespoons of brandy became a prelude to other things that I needed to share with dad when I didn't know how to get the conversations started. Sex, marriage, money, college, boys, marijuana, whatever I needed to discuss just flowed after that last tablespoon. What's my point? Seven out of ten black children are being born out of wedlock. Groups of white teens are making pregnancy pacts to bring babies into this world without thought to the male parent. Being a boyfriend's baby's mama is not the same as my child has a mother and father. Fathers are so important in a child's life I think it is atrocious to have a baby without one. My mother nurtured and loved me but it was my dad that drilled into me my "worth" in this world. "Know your worth in every situation with a man", he use to preach. "I'm a man and men want a woman that demands respect, know your worth little girl", he use to say. I couldn't have gotten that perspective from my mother. Children need both perspectives if they are to function successfully in society. What is missing in the lives of young women today is that no one has told them what their worth is. No one has told them having a kid without the father around is not worth it. How important was having a dad around to you? Is a two parent household an idea that has come and gone? Who pays the price when children have children? Make it a point to tell a young lady how important she is.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Gift Of Confidence

"There is not much to plea bargain, the law is the law when it comes to stopping at a stop sign, " the city prosecutor said hurriedly looking over a single sheet of paper in front of him. You can plead no contest and take a course. The ticket will stay on your record for three years. "What if I decide to take it to trial", my daughter said through shaky vocal cords. "Do you feel lucky today Ms. Johnson", the prosecutor's voice boomed. With that he reached into his drawer and threw two large plastic dice on the desk. I thought my girl would have a heart attack right there in the office. "Her birthday is tomorrow", I chimed in. "Maybe today is her lucky day", I was overly cheery. "I have pictures that the stop sign was not at a proper distance from the road" she countered clutching a blue folder with pertinent data she had collected to win her case. "Let's see, there is $99 court cost and $200 for the ticket", and by the way you are not obligated to tell me about your evidence", the prosecutor said after the fact. My daughter looked at me with eyes wide that screamed MOM! I dropped my hand down beside my chair with four fingers pointing towards the floor. That meant, be still, I have this. My daughter seeing the signal turned back toward the prosecutor and stared straight ahead. "Do you like to eat out"? he asked looking at me. "Yes, of course", I answered. "Well there are places that offer the driving courses with the meals for $35", he offered. Silence. "You are welcome to wait back in the hallway, you have fifteen minutes to decide to accept the plea or go to trial", he said and stood up. We walked past the court room and I peeked through the window, the court room was empty except for two people and the judge. My daughter plopped in her seat, turned to me and said,"mom I am scared, I don't have $300." "He's bluffing", I said coolly. "There may be witnesses", she whispered. "They're irrelevant to the proof you've gathered, just present your case", I urged. I could smell her fear. I've got to say something to make her believe in herself. She turned and looked away from me. "Whip his ass", I whispered, " make him regret that he ever got out of bed this morning", we both laughed hysterically as others looked bewildered as to what could possible be so funny in a place like this. It was so out of character for me to say something like that, but I could tell my daughter loved it in a hip teenager way. "Of course it is strictly your call I reminded her. I watched her out of the corner of my eyes and saw a crooked smile cross her face. I could hear the wheels in her brain turning. The prosecutor came from behind the double doors strolled up to my kid and asked, "have you decided?" "I'm going to trial "she said even toned her eyes meeting his in a standoff. It was my time to look away as I didn't want her to see the moisture in my eyes and quivering bottom lip, then a crooked smile spread across my face. "Fine, won't you follow me", he instructed. I was puzzled because we passed the court room and followed him back behind the double doors to his office. "It seems", he pondered once we were seated, "no witnesses showed up, not even the police officer that issued the citation, so I am going to ask the judge to dismiss", he said in one breath. "If it is alright with you", he asked without looking at us. "Yes, that's fine with me", my daughter cooed as we both dropped our hands besides our chairs and entwined our pinkie fingers one around the other. The prosecutor walked fast now as we trailed him into the court room. The judge beamed at me as he almost raised from his seat in acknowledgement of someone he saw grow up from a kid. "How can I do my job when the city doesn't place stop signs in the right places and witnesses don't show up, then this young lady brings pictures and proof", the prosecutor whined. The judge looked back and forth, from me to my daughter, then looked down to sign some papers as a crooked smile crossed his face. "Thank you your honor", my daughter blushed. It was hard for me to keep up with her as she raced through the court house door and into the hot sun. She quickly pulled out her cell and in seconds I heard her say, "Dad I won my case". I thought to myself as she waved from her car, "Happy Birthday" my daughter, tomorrow you'll be twenty. Have you ever lost your confidence? What are some things that make you confident? How do you instill confidence in your children?