Archive for the 'Family & Life' Category

J Man is Growing Up

July 24, 2007 | Family & Life

I will be the first to admit I’m an overprotective mother. Now I’m not so bad I won’t let him cross the street by himself, he’ll be seventeen in August. He’s about to take the test for his driver’s license and I’m not too nervous. Right.

J Man is the opposite of J Girl. She was the ying, he the yang. She was the social butterfly, he’s the video game tennis player. We were never sure when J Girl went out on weekends what story or adventure she’d have before returning home. J Man, well he is at home, unless he has a tennis tournament or begging to go to Best Buy. J Man is a young man of few words. I’ve been told this numerous times by many. I agree because unless they’re hiding in a closet when he and I are at home, they don’t know the truth. That boy can TALK!! Again, the opposite of J Girl. Of course since she couldn’t keep her stories straight, it was in her best interest not to talk. The truth always had a way of sneaking out.

Now I’ve always suspected J Man was growing up, maturing, but he’s sneaky. He allows me to mother him to a point, but as I discovered last weekend the boy is savier than I give him credit. Sorry honey. J Girl was always strutting her independence (of course it was all in her mind). J Man is sutle. He’s independent and initutive, when it serves his purpose.

J Man is a high school senior this fall and we’re doing the college tour this summer. We spent last Saturday visiting a college in Indiana and afterwards we went to dinner downtown. Now in Indy, most of the places are closed until four in the afternoon. We wanted to be home by five. Hubby chose Weber Grill (I don’t want to cook anymore after eating there, but that’s another story), mainly a steak place, but the fish was excellent. We drove past and hubby asked J Man to get out and make sure it was open. So he did, and it was. Hubby was parking in the garage across the street and I was going to get out and go with my son. Hubby said no, I stayed in the car until it was parked. Now here is where the overprotective part comes in. When we reached the street, no J Man. Some one had stolen my baby!! Hubby asked me to go inside and look for him. I did, he wasn’t and I freaked. “I told you I should have gotten out of the car!!” I shouted at hubby, who is very use to my hysterics. I walked down the street freaking out, while hubby stood quietly and patiently at the sidewalk. When I returned he asked me to go back and see if he was there. “At the bar?” I retorted. But I went in, and this time went upstairs, and asked the hostess if they’d seen a young, tall black teenager. She said calmly, “Table for three? I seated him.” Then I felt his familiar big hand on my shoulder. J Man had gotten a booth, the bread and butter had already been served, and he was drinking a Coke. Needless to say, my two men had a major laugh at my expense for thirty minutes. I ordered a cosmopolitan. Okay, so I was afraid someone had kidnapped my six foot three inch, almost seventeen year old son.

Now, the most interesting part of this story, if you can stop laughing at me for a moment, is that an upscale restaurant would actually seat a young black male with adults nowhere in sight. Kudos to Weber Grill for respecting my son and kudos to J Man for taking charge of the situation. Of course it didn’t hurt he was extremely hungry.


I Just Ran Into Myself

December 29, 2006 | Family & Life

There are only two days left of 2006, the holidays are over and Me, Myself and I are trying to relax. Especially after Me and Myself ran into each other the other day while trying to complete last minute preparations. Since we’re writers and use dialog tags, for this conversation I’m not using any. Needless to say, this Twilight Zone moment resulted in my sitting in the lazyboy with a TALL glass of white wine the next day.

Me (Standing at the bottom of the stairs): Hey! Where are you going?
Myself: (Standing at the top of the stairs): Huh?
Me: Where are you going? Are you coming down, because I’m coming up.
Myself: I’m not sure anymore. I forget. Thanks for interrupting my train of thought.
Me: That doesn’t take much. (Me said under her breath)
Myself: I heard you. Anyway I came up here to do something. Damn, what was it? (Tapping foot and shaking head) Oh that’s it! I was going to fold clothes and then read.
Me: You can’t fold clothes now. JGirl isn’t feeling well and we may have to take her to urgent aid.
Myself: Can’t that girl come home without being sick? I really need to finish cleaning upstairs before one of us takes her.
Me: I just mopped the upstairs bathroom floor and cleaned the shower.
Myself: (Silent) You did? When?
Me: (Rolling my eyes and sighing): About an hour ago?
Myself: Really? I just changed the sheets?
Me: What? Really? I just changed them too? Damn! Did you clean the bathroom too?
Myself: Are you crazy? Of course not!
Me: Yeah, I thought not. Okay, why are you coming downstairs?
Myself: Hmm, to see what you were doing? You’ve been talking to yourself all day. No one in this house is listening to you.
Me: I was mumbling because no one put Christmas decorations upstairs.
Myself: I didn’t want to. At least I got the tree up.
Me: YOU!!
Myself: Well, JMan helped.
Me: You couldn’t remember where the tree lights were.
Myself: You threw them out last year. Said we were going to get new ones, better ones.
Me:(Silence) Oh, I said that?
Myself: Told you, you’d forget. Now why are you coming upstairs?
Me: I forget. I’m tired. Can’t we just lay down and take a nap?
Myself: Sounds good to me. But remember, Hubby, JMan and JGirl expect dinner and you realize that means the three of us must cook.
Me: Why? We’ll have to do it again the next day.
Myself: Get a grip. Have you seen our glasses?
Me: Nope, you had them on last while you were addressing holiday cards.
Myself: Frack, I was doing the cards. Have you seen ‘I’?
Me: Nope. I is nowhere to be found.
Myself: Hey hold it a second. Let me look in our bedroom. (Myself goes to look in the bedroom and yells from the door) I is already taking a nap. And our glasses are on the nightstand.
Me: Save a space for me. (Runs up the stairs and slams the door shut behind her)
JMan: Hey Mom! What’s for dinner?

Lesson: Multitasking sucks!



November 13, 2006 | Family & Life

I’ve been rather busy the past month or so. Fixing the little fixes in my manuscript, finder bigger fixes that need to be fixed, and helping JGirl move out on her own. Yep, the college grad found a job in her major, in the city (out of state) she wanted to live in and she moved into her own apartment. All in two and half months following graduation. Now I can hear a lot of parents shouting ‘Congratulations! She’s got a job, she’s on her own!’ Yeah right. I realize how difficult the job market is right now and how lucky she was to land a position she truly likes.

I made the trip with her to move and it was the first and perhaps last time, she and I will ever ride in a car for over ten hours. Not enough Starbucks, because I was afraid I’d have to make pit stops every hour, prolonging our trip. Once I dropped her off, we found an apartment the day I was leaving, that is ten minutes tops from her job. I flew home and happily thought about how proud my parents would be of her. I also wiped my brow with relief, just a little more helpful assistance from her Papi and me and she’d be flying solo. So what happens the next morning when I turn on my computer? There she is, “Hi Mommi.” What the f**ck! Her company has Yahoo Instant Message. So now, every weekday I know when she arrives at work and when she leaves. It’s the inbetween hours that are interesting. We can converse briefly about how she’s doing, but this is also a way for her to ask about problems with her hair, her car, her stomach…. JGirl is grown alright. Let me give you an incident which proves when they grow up, move out, but they never really leave. JGirls’ mantra when she experienced a problem with, her bank not getting her information correct was, “My Daddy will be here this weekend and if you haven’t fixed this, he’ll be in to see you.” Yep, Papi was on his way down that weekend, but he had no idea he was going to have to do battle with a local bank. I bet they were scared.

Okay, that wasn’t the incident, but this is. Halloween, I’m trying to pass out candy to the multitudes that show up on our doorstep, when she calls. JGirl is at the gas station and the gas door won’t open. Of course, she’s on empty. ‘Hang on Chicka’, I almost said, ‘Mommi will be right down in nine hours, eleven if I stop and get a Starbucks Venti.’ I didn’t think she’d see the humor. So we discuss what she should do. I tell her to go to Sears, she tells me Sears isn’t open. It’s six o’clock here, so it’s only seven there, but she says it’s not the same, they close early in the south. Huh? So I answer the doorbell one more time, then I google Sears, and from Illinois call the Sears automotive in her area. Hey, they are open!! Then we discuss what happens if she runs out of gas on the way to Sears. Well I tell her, as I open my front door three more times, she has AAA, so if she runs out of gas, they’ll come and they’ll be forced to open the gas door. Now she’s upset because I’m choosing to answer the door and pass out candy instead of devoting one hundred percent of my time to her problem. We go through a few more scenarios each one spelling increasing doom, ending with her needing a new car. Finally, she makes it to Sears and they pry the door open, but she must take it to the dealership to be fixed. Long story short, she does and the repair work takes a day longer than she wanted. Meanwhile as she waited for her car to be repaired, being the mature, on her own woman she is, she IM’s me and ask me or Papi to call the dealership and see what the holdup is. Outcome: her car was fixed on time. Conclusion: A parents job is never done!


JGIRL: One BIG Leap!

August 25, 2006 | Family & Life

JGirl has moved on with her life. She graduated from college in May, of this year and was determined to begin her adult life somewhere other than Chicago. I’ve got to give credit and respect to my daughter, when she sets her mind to do something, good or bad, she does it. She sought employment here, but concentrated her efforts south. Did it work? Yes, indeed. JGirl, is now employed in her major public relations and she obtained the job she wanted. Although, she was a nervous wreck after her interview. I listened her to whine all the way from the airport home. I thought I was drunk by the time we reached our driveway.
“Oh, they’re not going to hire me. No one’s going to hire me. I’ll never get a job. My interview went bad.”
My motherly advice was simple.
“Shut up. You probably got the job. How’d you like to be in my shoes? I’m trying to write, find an agent and get published. Why did I ever think I could be a writer at my age. You’re young, you’ve got your life ahead of you, me, mine is downhill from here. I’ve got, what, maybe another twenty, thirty years to live? You’ll just be hitting your stride?”

Well that shut her up, she went to sleep in the car. Of course, the following Monday, she received an email offering her the job of her dreams. Spoiled, intelligent, beautiful brat! I’m so very proud of her.

We drove to Atlanta last weekend and the trip was uneventful, except she didn’t like the way I drove her car. Operating on just one cup of Starbucks, she’s very lucky I didn’t crash. We looked for apartments and after viewing one gated complex with lighted tennis courts, a large swimming pool, a great fitness center, I was convinced this was the place she needed to live. JGirl reminded me, she would be paying the rent and we’d only be providing financial support for a couple of months. Stop laughing, yeah like that’s gonna happen. And Atlanta will have ten inches of snow this winter. We did find an apartment complex, within her budget, ten minutes from work, the neighborhood she wanted to live in, and one I was very pleased with.

Now, it’s Popi, her father’s turn. There’s furniture to be bought, first month’s rent to be paid, a computer and television to be shipped, along with at least sixty pairs of shoes. Okay, not sixty, more like seventy-five.

I left Atlanta, numb, expericing all sorts of mixed emotions and unable to pin down just one. I recalled when I graduated from Howard and moved into my first apartment. My parents bought my furniture and sent me on my way with love, admiration and pride. Mommy and Daddy are dead now, but the generation trend continues and I know I’ve done right by JGirl and their legacy. Neither of my parents had beyond a six grade education, but together they raised me, paid for my Catholic education, college, graduate school and two cars, one used and one new. Don’t get any ideas, JGirl, I was an only child, we’ve got JMan, your brother. I feel their pride and I see my pride in my daughter. Our relationship is changing and I love it. She’s more like me than she realizes, but that’s okay, I turned out pretty good.

I salute you JGirl and all the other JGirls who are experiencing life on their own. Much luck, prayer and success.


Recent Posts