the blessing of girls (and how we’re failing them)

The blessing of girls.  Their tough and tender souls.  Their passion, their wit, and the way they cut straight through your bullshit to get to the core of the matter.  The size of their hearts and the strength in their fight.

And the power of girls.  How their intuition and empathy help them become outstanding natural leaders.  Their vision of what is as well as what could be.  Their instinctive belief that all things are possible.

But oh, what we’ve done to them…

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Sunday Snapshot: our tornado

There’s no greater joy than watching Bear grow into herself as she revels in her strength.  She is a powerhouse – a tornado raging through life, confident that her courage and convictions will carry her over the finish line.

Our girl: beauty, bravery, strength, love.  It’s quite a sight to see.

cheeky, extra cheeky, and the pursuit of full coverage

Bear’s turning out to be a pretty fun chick.  Funny, smart, silly…opinionated and not the least bit afraid to say what she thinks.  Hanging out with her is a good time.  Can she be a little hormonal at times?  Sure.  But then again, so can I.

Me and my girl, my girl and me.

Which is how the two of us have managed to survive not just jeans shopping but the pursuit of the ultimate retail unicorn:  swimsuits.

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Sunday Snapshot: you are worthy

2017dance

February 2017

Lessons for our Daughter

You are worthy.

Helping you prepare for the father/daughter dance was a precious gift for me.

It’s not your fancy dress and shoes I’ll remember years from now.  It’s carrying an armload of dresses into the fitting room together.  It’s seeing you decide what makes you feel good.  It’s watching you twirl in each dress and laughing ourselves silly over nothing at all.

You sit patiently as my fingers work braids into your hair, and with each one I’m weaving my love into your heart.

You take my breath away when you’re zipped into your dress, and wearing your grandmother’s earrings is my undoing.  I explain they are happy tears but you fold me into your arms anyway, accepting my love and giving yours in return.

We see you, inside and out, and are dazzled by your beauty.  Everyone you love should be willing to recognize your true self and celebrate you for all you are.

You should see yourself for who you truly are.  Recognize your gifts and live into your potential.  You bring your own light into this world.

The look on your face when your dad pulls up is priceless.  Remember this.  Anyone you give your heart to should make you feel as if you’re about to begin a new adventure together.

Someone who cares about you will show respect.  Walking you to the car, opening your door, looking for ways to make your day better – the little things can be the most telling. 

Life will never be perfect.  Those you love should bring you joy and help share your sorrows.  You may squabble, but you should also be able to work through it.  In the grand scheme of things, the scales should always tip enough that you are happy to see one another at the end of the day.

Stand tall, sweet girl.  You are loved truly and deeply.

And know that you are worthy.

SoCS – sometimes even options aren’t enough

Hair!  Down to there!

Okay, that’s all I remember, some snippet of a song about hair down to there and now it’s stuck in my head, thank-you-very-much-Linda-for-that-prompt.

It’s funny that “hair” came right after yesterday’s post about, well, hair.  Sure, cultural standard of beauty, too, but also hair.  You might be wondering why that’s popped up on the radar lately.

Bear and I have been through quite a few hair stages, from the very beginning puffs to cornrows, box braids to french braids to twists and more.  I’ve always told her how lucky I think she is to have so many choices.  To decide if she feels like going curly or straight, having her hair up or down.  Since my hairstyle choice is ruled by two conditions – frizzy or non frizzy – I know that of which I speak.

Options are a good thing.

But there’ve been a few times now when Bear has asked for extensions.  At first I thought it was just a whim, something she’d seen on a friend or admired on the college players who coached her basketball camp.  But then the request got a little more…intense, for lack of a better word.  I could tell it was more than just a wish to experiment with style.  She actively wanted the extensions themselves; she wanted the long hair.

I realized how much it meant to her when she broke down in Sally’s.  You see, we told her we wouldn’t pay for them (because BIG TIME MOOLA) so she did her research.  Bear found extensions on Amazon that she could afford, so I took her to Sally’s to feel the difference between “affordable” (aka synthetic) extensions and the ones that are Big Time Money.  That was when it all really hit home.

Shortly thereafter the walls came tumbling down.  Wanting to know what it’s like to have long, straight, beautiful hair.  Cruel comments made at school about her hair, months ago…comments that still festered deep inside.  How the pain of even talking about it was almost too much to bear.

All this over hair.


SoCS 2

Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturdays are open to anyone who’d like to participate.  Pop over and give her blog a visit.  This week’s prompt is “wood/would.”

Forever Family: beauty’s in the eye of the beholder

It’s been years since I watched Whoopi Goldberg’s “long blond hair” segment in her stand up routine, but it’s something I’ve never forgotten.  Whoopi plays a young black girl who dreams of being white.  She drapes an old white skirt over her head, smoothing it as if stroking her luxurious hair.  The character wistfully hopes to become white with long, blond hair so she can appear on The Love Boat.

The implications are clear: beauty is measured by a white world’s standards, and those standards are what you aspire to if you want the American Dream.

While we talk a good game about diversity in American culture – models of all shapes, sizes, and colors; movie roles for minorities; increased visibility for people of color on television – you can’t expect the tide to recede just like that.  It took a long time to shape our culture, and it won’t change back overnight.

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parenthood, survival, and the clothing conundrum

This too shall pass.

The phrase passed from generation to generation, words meant to soothe souls and convince adults that they will indeed survive parenthood without killing their offspring.

It’s used to dull the pain of countless nerve stripping phases of your brood.  The screaming-through-the-night phase.  The unending-diaper-changing years.  The YOU-CAN’T-MAKE-ME, foot-stomping chapter.

But-everybody-else-has-it…If-you-loved-me…What’s-wrong-with-$120-sneakers?…Who-cares-that-it’s-30-degrees-I’m-fine-in-shorts…

One simple phrase intended to keep us from tearing our hair out or running wild in the streets.  So far, so good.

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