It’s back to school time and this morning LittleTDJ headed off for his first day. He’s returning to the same school that he attended in the spring of this year but he has a new teacher. It’s his first day of school without his dad there to kiss him and cheer him on. It’s the first of many, but the sting of the first is definitely strong. My heart aches and I wish I could make him appear to put an end to this awful, cruel joke. **deep sigh** I’m trying to take comfort in the idea that MrTDJ is smiling upon us and watching over our steps. Have a great day sweetie!!!
. . . just wait until tonight, girl. Mr. Womack surely put his heart and soul into those lyrics, and they’ve defined the weeks since my husband’s passing. During the day, it’s a bit easier to fill my time because I’ve returned to work. My head isn’t really in the game, but I’ve got a super supportive boss and great colleagues. Outside of work, I’ve got Little TDJ, my family, friends and a village of others to fill the minutes.
In the evenings, once our household is settled in for the night, the darkness starts to invade my head. The loneliness pushes in from the edges of my heart and fights to take control. It hurts to reflect upon my work day and want to share something a coworker did or said, but not have him to share it with. It’s heart wrenching to see a show that we loved to watch together on the preview guide and not be able to force myself to watch it alone. It is so painful to think of a funny joke that we’ve shared for years, and not have him there to deliver his part of the punch line.
Sometimes I can look down upon my son’s sleeping face and feel a few moments of comfort, but that is short-lived and followed by the desire to share the highlights of his school day with his father. **sigh** The endless hours of reflection and thought during the midnight hours remind me of how deep my loss is. The stillness of the night allows my mind to drift, dream and remember. In the hours before dawn, even my best memories come coated in sadness. The good memories all begin with smiles and joy, then they change stained by the inevitable fact that I don’t have my other half to make any more. MrTDJ isn’t there to laugh at my corny jokes and I can’t laugh at his crude ones. I’m not the first person to lose their friend, love mate and spouse and unfortunately, I won’t be the last. This is a pain that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.
I continue to pray my own strength and I receive the collective strength from those that are praying for me. Your calls, texts, emails, FB messages and blog messages mean more than I could ever tell you. Thank you for not stopping even when I don’t respond. Know that none are falling upon deaf ears. Sometimes the communication comes when I’m in a “good” place and stepping out to confirm to someone that I’m good makes me not so good. I hope that makes sense. Sometimes the communication comes when I’m in a not so good place and although I’m lifted that someone is thinking of me, I’m not able to compose myself enough to respond.
I printed the following lyrics from Yolanda Adams, The Battle Is Not Yours and I taped them inside my husband’s wallet, which I have been carrying inside my purse since the morning he passed away.
There is no pain Jesus can’t feel
No hurt He cannot heal
All things work according to His perfect will
No matter what you’re going through
Remember God is using You
For the battle is not yours, it’s the Lord’s
But at night, even these words aren’t able to help me through the painful tightening in my chest. Lonely is something I’m not used to feeling and it hurts more than I could ever imagine. Conventional wisdom says that one day it will begin to hurt less. I doubt I’m anywhere near that day.
Writing is very therapeutic and it makes me feel good. So many things have happened since my husband’s passing on June 9 that I couldn’t possibly blog about every single instance. Overall, I’ve received tons of love, prayer and support and I’ve chosen to focus on that rather than some of the uglier things. However, after the calls that I received last week, I changed my mind and decided to let a few things out.
Longtime readers, as well as friends and family know that MrTDJ and I came from two different worlds. He called my life, “The Cosby Show” and I called his, “Boyz In Da Hood”; two loving households, set against very opposing backdrops. Neither of us took offense to the others perspective. We agreed and laughed about the parallel yet dissimilar experiences often. He found it especially humorous that although I’m a Huxtable through and through, folks don’t recognize my gangsta because they let the bougie fool ‘em. I’m nobody’s fool and when necessary, I can handle foolishness with a quickness. I’ve always had a good amount of street smarts and my dear husband helped to instill tons more into me over the years.
It seems that some folks think I’m 100% Huxtable and born yesterday without the ability to to know how “the game” is played. M’kay, they’ve got me confused with someone else. Just to be 100% clear – calling the widow of your deceased “friend” at 1am sniffing for signs of weakness is NOT o.k. Nope, sure isn’t. The convo went a little something like this:
Vulture #1: Hey MrsTDJ
MrsTDJ: Who is this?
Vulture #1: This is Vulture #1, MrTDJ’s buddy
MrsTDJ: How did you get my number and why are you calling me so late?
Vulture #1: Oh, I got it from Vulture #2 and I was calling to check in on you and the little man. Seeing if y’all needed anything.
I scrunch my face up and consider the comments. I’m pretty sure that I’ve never spoken to Vulture #1 on the phone before. He certainly was not a “friend” of my husband’s. Acquaintance – yes? Friend – NOT! The audacity of the person that ponied up my cell # so easily along with his gusto to proceed with the call rubbed me all kinds of wrong.
MrsTDJ: It’s late and we’re sleeping. I’m not sure who you got my number from, but I’m gonna need you to never call me this late again.
Vulture #1: Oh, I’m sorry about the time. I know MrTDJ was a night owl, so…..Anyway, you know, if you need anything, I got you. I mean anything at all. I hate to see you all lonely and trying to raise little man by yourself, so if you ever -
MrsTDJ: Look dude. I’m not the one. Go prey on someone else because I’m not THAT type of grieving widow searching for a hero to take away the pain. Damn! And if I was, it damn sure wouldn’t be you. Please lose my f*cking number.
Later in the week, another call came in while I was driving. Again, lets be 100% clear – calling the widow of your deceased “boy” in an effort to fleece expensive electronics equipment from her is NOT o.k. Nope, sure isn’t.
Vampire #1: Hey baby girl. How you holding up over there?
MrsTDJ: Who is this?
Vampire #1: Oh, this is Vampire #1. You know me and MrTDJ was boys.
MrsTDJ: I know who you are.
Vampire #1: Yeah, I’m still messed up behind him passing away so suddenly. I remember the last time I saw him a few months ago.
MrsTDJ: Uh huh. Is there something specific you wanted?
Vampire #1: Yeah, well Vampire #2 and I were rapping yesterday, and thinking back to rolling with him in that Suburban he loved so much. Man, that was a serious system he had in that truck. Everybody used to talk about that system. I know you’re not really into all that stuff, so if you were needing a friendly face to help take it off of your hands, Vampire #2 and I could help with that.
MrsTDJ: Oh yeah?
Vampire #1: Right, right. Most of that stuff only meant something to him, you know? Like it was a nice setup he had, but the parts didn’t cost a whole lot. So you wouldn’t make too much money off of it and we’d only take a small cut, but yeah, it’s the least we could do for our boy.
MrsTDJ: So, now trying to trick a widow out of material possessions is what’s popping in the streets? You and Vampire #2 can kiss my ass. Kindly lose my f*cking number.
**smh** Really y’all??? Really??? That’s the way the game is played, huh? Hmph. Well, I’ve got a different set of rules and folks don’t seem to recognize. I wasn’t the shrinking violet type before my husband’s death, and I’m damn sure not it now. In the moment, both of those fools irritated me, but in hindsight, I’m forced to laugh. I suppose they both really thought their cons would work. How sad but I’m happy that my sense of humor is not completely lost and I can see the comedy in their desperation.
During a business meeting today in regards to my husband’s recent death, I was stunned by the comment that a stranger directed at me. Through eyes glistening with tears, she said, “My heart aches for you and I’m so moved by your grace during this difficult time. It’s obvious that you are sad and grieving, but your composure is amazing.” Hmmm. I’ve heard a variation of this a few times over the last 26 days from family and friends, but hearing it from a stranger gave me pause. I can hear my husband’s voice in my ear, as if he were still lying beside me in our bed. “Girl, you’re one of the strongest people I’ve ever known. You don’t see it, but everybody else does.” Ironically, one of MrTDJ’s favorite Whitney Houston songs was, “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength”. That’s one of the songs that has been on repeat over the last couple of weeks.
I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster that seems surreal and dizzying most days, but I suppose my internal struggles aren’t visible to the world. I feel as if my heart has been shattered into a trillion pieces and there’s no such repair kit available. I’ve always heard the term that everyone grieves differently, and now I actually understand what that means. As the minutes, hours, days and weeks begin to pass, the loss of my life partner has actually gotten harder. Since I’m an event planner by trade, my brain outvoted my heart and I put on my business hat to make it through the moments and days right after his death. I’ve not really allowed my deepest emotions to show because it’s been easier to focus on the “to do” actions.
Our love was strong, flaws and all. There are moments when I simply crave the perfect imperfections of my life prior to June 9. Allow me a few minutes to talk about my dear MrTDJ. Often in death, the deceased is unintentionally canonized into a model of perfection. Um, no. Not gonna happen here. No one walking this earth lives as such and I don’t seek any such illusions for my husband. My statement isn’t meant to color him in a negative light, rather to say that he was as imperfect a creature as any of us.
When he and I met, we were both young and new to love however we knew from the beginning that we’d found something special in one another. Folks around us weren’t quite as certain because we appeared to be polar opposites, but we naively and innocently dug our heels in pushed forward. From 1992 to the morning that my husband passed away, humor united our hearts. Laughter stayed at the core of our relationship, through all the highs and lows that a twenty year relationship can traverse. Thinking back, I can’t help but smile at the memory of teaching MrTDJ to tie a necktie, and in return, he taught me to shoot dice. LOL! See what I mean? We were so different, yet alike in the areas that mattered.
I am so happy to have shared the milestones of my youth and adulthood with my husband. I am blessed with a son who looks just like his father. Looking into my son’s face, I am transported back to the hallways of T.C. Williams High School and the first time that I laid eyes on my husband. There are moments when the similarities between the two are a little too much for my fragile heart, but I am hoping that one day those things will bring me nothing but joy. As a testament to the strength that he believed I possessed and with the support of my family, friends, neighbors, listserve and facebook friends, and this amazing blog community, I am holding it together minute by minute. I’m wearing clean clothes, keeping my pedicure fresh and not crying in line at Sam’s club. Being told that I look composed, graceful and calm is a good thing, I suppose. But please don’t let the glowing skin that’s due to consuming more water than food in the last month fool you into thinking that I’m ok. My wounds are deep and raw.
Monday, July 2 was my 36th birthday and I was without MrTDJ for the first time since 1992. He and I celebrated my 16th birthday with Good Humor bars from his neighborhood ice cream truck, and he gave me a shiny new “Virginia is for Lovers” key chain as a gift. I wanted to write a little something for a few days, but Monday took me to a low place and I wasn’t yet ready. Today I felt compelled to write. I debated if I wanted to write in my journal, or share things on the blog. Words have always brought me peace and comfort, so I decided that a blog entry might be a baby step toward my healing. MrTDJ was my biggest fan and always encouraged me to write something every day, whether I shared it with no one, him or the world. He even mailed me an actual “fan” letter once. That dude. ***deep sigh***
My husband was known for his loving heart, his quick wit and certainly his smile. Do a little something for me, would ya? Please share a laugh and a smile with someone today. Tell someone you haven’t talked to in forever how much you miss and love them. And, if you wouldn’t mind, please continue sending all the positive energy and prayers.
Happy New Year ya’ll! I hope that everyone had a lovely weekend. LittleTDJ and MrTDJ were nursing colds on Friday and Saturday, so we stayed in and kept our germs to ourselves all weekend. Finally, yesterday they both felt better and MrTDJ made a request – coconut shrimp. Um, ok. Since he’d eaten very little since Thursday and only taken a few obligatory bites of the traditional New Year’s Day fare (collard greens, black-eyed peas and cornbread), I figured why not hook him up.
Full disclosure – both MrTDJ and I have a mild shellfish allergy, so we do take one Benad.ryl tablet before consuming any. Hush up! I love shellfish and couldn’t imagine living without it. He doesn’t worry often because he doesn’t love shellfish the way that I do. I guess that he only eats it about 2 to 3 times a year. I couldn’t recall him ever having tried coconut shrimp in our many years together so his request seemed random, but whatever. I’m a happy, smiling, dutiful wife on occasion, so I hopped online to find a recipe for coconut shrimp. Surveyed a few, checked the cabinets for the ingredients and I was off to the races.
While prepping the dish, I asked, “Hey babe, what made you want coconut shrimp?”. He chuckled a little. “Don’t laugh, but remember when we took your Dad to Outb.ack for his birthday in March? Ya’ll ordered it and I tasted like half of one. They were good. I’ve been meaning to ask you to make them.” Since March? Yep, I laughed.
MrTDJ went and got us both some Benadr.yl, which we popped while waiting for the shrimp to cook. Fairly easy dish actually. The trick seemed to be the dredging/battering and then refrigerating the shrimp for at least 30 minutes before frying.
They looked and smelled quite nice when I had finished frying them. Golden brown, with little shreds of coconut bursting from the center of shrimp bodies.
Yummy! We sat down to eat our treat and about halfway into the first shrimp, MrTDJ coughed once. Allow me to replay our conversation:
MrTDJ: These are great babe.
Me: Aren’t they? I’ll definitely be making them again.
**MrTDJ unbuttoned his top button and bites into another shrimp**
MrTDJ: Do you think I took enough Benadryl? My mouth is starting to itch a little.
**munching and barely looking up**
Me: Yeah, one is enough. That’s all I ever take.
**large red welts appear on MrTDJ’s face and his voice become hoarse**
MrTDJ: Babe, something is wrong. Maybe it’s the coconut?
**nervous now as I watch his nose turn deep burgundy**
Me: Coconut? You’re allergic to coconut? But, but, you love Almond Joys!
MrTDJ: Babe, YOU love Almond Joys. I only buy them for you!
Me: Oh. Um, damn, maybe you’re allergic to coconut.
3 hrs later, we return home from Urgent Care. It would seem that yes, MrTDJ is allergic to coconut as well. So, one puny Benad.ryl tablet wasn’t enough to combat 3 jumbo prawns covered in coconut.
I’ve known this man for 20 years and had no clue he was allergic to coconut. Hell, neither did he. I carry an epi pen just in case, but things turned kinda scary in a matter or seconds last night and I thought my little pen might not be enough. Sorry hon. Wasn’t trying to kill you or anything.
Do you know all your allergies – food and non-food? What about your partners’ allergies?
I don’t love animals. Tons of people seem to shy away from making such a statement, but not the kid. There’s nothing wrong with not being a lover of animals. I don’t hate them, I simply have no specific interest in them or desire to be around them.
Specifically, I’m terrified of cats. Here’s the story about the one that tried to kill me. During my childhood, I had the requisite puppy for a few years. In case you didn’t hear the story, click here – I loved him for a minute, but I nah, I wasn’t super attached. Later, my dad had a Doberman. He was kinda cool, especially when I was young enough to take rides on his back. *lol* After he died, I was relieved to not have any more pets around. I have a few family members and friends with animals. I avoid some and I can tolerate others. I’ve even grown quite soft and fond of Creole in DC’s dogs, Lucy and Jaru.
Hubby has been applying gentle pressure to get a dog for about ten years. Ha, me bow to gentle pressure? I think not. I’ve been shutting him down with the quickness. However, now that Little MrTDJ is here and almost two years old, MrTDJ’s tactics have changed. “Every boy needs a puppy.” Ah nice move, tug on my heart strings a little harder why don’t you? But nerp, still not gonna happen. Little MrTDJ is my weakness but I won’t be swayed. No animals.
Imagine my horror and dismay when I realized that a huge mouse/rat groundhog appears to be living in our backyard; or more specifically, under our deck. I’m NOT amused. I want it gone immediately. MrTDJ laughed and said if we had a dog, it would keep the groundhogs away. I told him to zip it and called DaddyTDJ for a solution. I was hoping to bomb it, poison it, etc. He said that we needed to trap it. **crickets** We?? Trap?? Did he really use those two words in the same sentence, as if I haven’t been his daughter for 34 years? Um yeah, right.
So, ever resourceful, I called the Prince Georges County Animal Management Group. ***sigh*** After calling repeatedly for three days, they finally answered the phone this morning. They don’t consider groundhogs to be wildlife and no immediate assistance is available. Say what? It’s not our pet! But here’s the kicker – if we trap it, they’ll come pick it up.
Yep, let me break it down. We can either rent a trap, for 7 days, from the county at a cost of $25 or we can purchase our own from Ho.me De.pot. The person I spoke too encouraged me to buy our own because groundhogs are tricky and usually it takes longer than 7 days. Ugh! Trap it? She assured me that it would be kept alive in a “humane” trap. Dude, you’re not helping. I’d be fine if you killed the darn things. I was already disgusted with the whole situation, when she started to break down the “trapping rules”. Rules??????? GTFOHWTBS!
Groundhogs are omnivores, so traps should be set with fresh vegetables and fruit such as tomatoes, bananas, grapes, green peppers, etc. What? I’ve got to feed this sucka? You’ve gotta be kidding me. Can’t he eat a little piece of cheese or something? A big hunk of peanut butter like the big mouse that he is? Whatever. I’m not feeding his ass any expensive fresh produce!
Groundhogs can only be trapped Monday-Friday, from 7am to 10pm. No trapping between 10pm-7am, on the weekends and holidays. Um, how exactly does that work? Once MrTDJ or DaddyTDJ set those bad boys, they are staying set until something is caught. No, no, no, says the county. Traps should be taken down each night, over the weekend and on holidays. What? County workers are off during those times, so yep, you’re not supposed to trap then. They say that it’s cruel to the trapped animal to stay in the trap for long periods of time. Wait, didn’t you just tell me to feed that joker? With all kinds of yummy, fresh produce in that trap, he can stay in there for a day or two until ya’ll come retrieve him. He’ll be ai-ight!
So, this critter can come onto our back deck, knock stuff over, nibble our candle holders and placemats, eat holes in our otherwise maintained lawn and scare the living crap outta me at night, but I’ve got to try to trap him in the most humane way possible? Who’s torturing whom here? I don’t give a flying fig about the feelings of the groundhog. I don’t want to even hear about that damn Phil seeing his shadow or not next year. Get your ass outta my backyard and everything will be fine! PG County can miss me with that “humane” BS. This sucka has got to go. I think I’m gonna try to find Pookie and ‘nem to see what they can do about our little problem.
Have ya’ll ever had a groundhog or other wild animal on your property? Did it bother you? How did you get rid of it?
Lately, Mr. Insomnia has been stopping by my house pretty regularly. I try to ride it out while watching Nick at Nite or something. Last night, I finally fell asleep during “Everybody Hates Chris” and woke up during “The George Lopez Show”. Eh, it was my first time watching a full episode. It was so-so to me. I wouldn’t search for it, but if the tv was on that channel, I guess I’d let it ride. Anyhow, the episode was about their teenage daughter and her first experiences into the dating world. George Lopez was suspicious of her sneaky behavior (rightly so!) and the mother was very hippy, laissez-faire about the whole thing. They disagreed on the subject and I was transported to a moment in 1991 when I thought that I was grown and my mama had to remind me that I wasn’t.
Picture it – fall 1991, I’m 15 years old, a junior in high school and starting to push the boundaries every now and again. Once afternoon, I came home from school and my mother was sitting on my bed reading a “love” letter that my unauthorized “boyfriend” had written me.
Many thoughts floated through my head. Damn, how’d she find that? How much did she read? What can I say? Which letter is it???? Now my mother was no snoop. I’d left my diary out a hundred times and I was sure she’d never read it. How did I know? Because I tried to curse in it a few times and if she’d had read that, I’d surely know! *lol* Damn, I’d left it on my nightstand!!
Obviously, with so many crazy thoughts running through my head, it’s a miracle that I didn’t begin speaking in tongues. Instead, something so ridiculous popped out and I’d live to regret it for months.
“What are you doing in my room, reading my stuff? Can’t I have any privacy?” Then, I sighed, turned to leave the room and slammed the door.
Go ahead, shake your head. I’m shaking mine just thinking back to the scene. I can imagine my mother slowly putting the letter on my desk and ever so slowly, following me into the hallway. She walked over to where I stood and grabbed my jaw with her right hand, while speaking so calmly that it scared me shitless.
“Privacy? Little girl, have you lost your damn mind? You are allowed and expected to bath and dress in private, but that’s where it ends. Every damn thing in this house belongs to your father and I. We let you live here and we take care of you because you’re our child. If you ever twist your face to throw the word privacy at me again, I’ll knock your block off. Do you understand me?”
Didn’t I tell ya’ll a few weeks ago that Mama TDJ don’t play? Then she smiled, kissed me on the cheek and told me to come set the table for dinner. I stood there stunned for a few minutes. Is that it? Whew, I felt like I had dodged a bullet.
Um, yeah, until the next day. I got home from school and found that my bedroom door was gone. Yep, removed from the hinges and taken from my doorway. On my bed, she had written me a note that said, “TDJ, Those that slam doors don’t need them. Love Mama, XOXOXO”
So, erra, um, on the subject of privacy, I’m MamaTDJ’s daughter. She was old school, therefore, I’m old school. Privacy? Huh. Not for my child, in my house. I won’t be snooping (unless I my spidey sense goes off and I need to *lol*)
In the words of the infamous Senator Clay Davis, “Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttttttttttttttttttttttt!”
What kind of privacy did you have growing up? If you are a parent, what are your thoughts regarding privacy and your children?
MrTDJ and I are high school sweethearts. Well, kinda sorta. More like after high school sweethearts.
I moved to Alexandria, VA during my 11th grade school year. MrTDJ was born and raised there. During my first day at my new high school, I met two of my best friends, Diamond Diva who is still my BFF and Little Shorty. MrTDJ had a class with Little Shorty. He saw Diamond Diva and Little Shorty together before class, so after class he asked Little Shorty about her cute friend. Then, Diamond Diva, Little Shorty and I had lunch together in the cafeteria. When MrTDJ saw Little Shorty that afternoon, he said, “Hey, forget about this morning. Your other friend from lunch is cute too and her butt is bigger. What’s her name?” *lol* Gotta love teenage boys.
Little Shorty introduced us the next day and we became friends. For the next year and half we dated other people (ugh – more on those losers during another post) . Senior prom approached and we danced around the idea of going together, although neither one of us actually said it. Teenagers. Anyway, we somehow managed to go together to the prom as friends. I left right after graduation for pre-freshman extra credits at my university and we talked on the phone every day. Not sure when or how, but something shifted. My first weekend home in mid-July, we shared our first kiss and the rest is history.
I attended college about 2 hrs away from home, but once classes started in August, I didn’t make any trips home until the 2nd weekend of November. MrTDJ’s birthday was in late October, so this would be a belated celebration. I’d spent weeks agonizing over what gift to get him. I liked him a lot. Maybe I’d even started loving him already. Hell, it’s been almost 20 years, I can’t remember anymore. I do remember that I was working as a part time cashier at a cheap department store and trying to avoid using that shiny new credit card that those tyrants had shoved into my under-age, under-qualified, under-employed hand.
The Thursday before I was set to head up the road, some friends and I caught a ride to the mall because it was crunch time and I still didn’t have a gift. I stumbled into Hall.mark and bought 2 cards – one funny and one sweet. Saw the cutest bear that was dressed like a little drummer chick, holding a heart in her hand. Perfect since MrTDJ plays drums, congas, etc. But what else to get him? I was clueless and struggling big time. Finally, my friend Backpack, our resident hip hop head, said, “Yo, didn’t you say God was into hip hop? Yo, these dudes outta Staten Isle is crazy. Cop their new CD.”
Those dudes were the Wu Tang Clan and their new CD was their first CD, Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers). I’d never heard of them, but since Backpack said that they were hot, why not? MrTDJ loved rap/hip hop. And, since the CD had just come out that week, I knew he didn’t have it yet. Perfect.
My ride home was uneventful and I was excited about giving MrTDJ his gifts. He picked me up from the Amtrak station and we headed to his house. I watched as he opened his gifts. He smiled and laughed appropriately at the cards and bear, then paused after opening the bag with the Wu Tang CD. He said, “Aww, thanks babe. I’ve been looking forward to this!” I’d done well!! Yes! First birthday jitters down.
It was many years later that MrTDJ would tell me that my gift sucked. *lol* Not the bear; he loved that. My musical choice of a Wu Tang CD. Think back with me to 1993 and the state of hip hop. The West Coast was KILLING the rap scene. This was a year before Biggie hit the scene. All MrTDJ was listening to at that time was Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, 8 Ball & MJG, etc. Remember, “It Was a Good Day” by Ice Cube and “Nuthin’ But a G Thang” by Dre and Snoop? Yet, that’d be the musical mood that MrTDJ was in back in ’93 when I presented him with the Wu Tang Clan. Can we say NIGHT vs. DAY? He said his first thought was, “Black Chinese rappers? Smile so she won’t know you don’t know who these cats are.” He would come to appreciate it just a little over the next few months, but I’m pretty sure that’s been the worst gift I’ve given him. We think about it often and laugh.
Have you ever given a bad gift to your significant other? What was their response? I’m sure everyone has received a bad gift from their significant other? Did you fake your interest in it? Tell the person? Regift it? Return it?
In my world, long hair is for women. Personally, I don’t like men with hair. I’m more than a little grossed out when I see grown ass men with big afros, cornrows, perms, curls, braids, ponytails and dreads. Ice Cube? Yuck with the Jherri curl, Nice with the low cut. Luda? Icky with the cornrows and afro, Cute with the low cut. Snoop? Ridiculous with the curls, perms and braid. Without? Well, he’d still be a NO, but you get my point. Grown men shouldn’t have that much hair. Why is it that I can only think of rappers or sports figures with an abundance of hair? Hmm. . . . . . Anyway, as adult men, they are allowed to make those decisions. However, I’m downright irritated when I see any variation of the same on little boys. I hate it! It’s their child so my opinion means nothing, but I get a little pissed at the parents too. Sorry if I’ve just described your son or the child of someone you love, but I still hate it! I know that many like it, love it even, but not me.
My son was born January 13, 2009 with a head full of hair. Ugh! His hair became my nemesis, my arch enemy, my Achilles heel, my kryptonite!!! I simply hated it; every long, curly strand. And, the longer it got, the more I hated it. Unfortunately, MrTDJ and my grandmother, LuLu the Great, were adamant about him not having a hair cut before his first birthday. They are both pretty superstitious and the folklore behind cutting a baby’s hair before age 1 is serious. “You’ll make him stutter”, “You’ll stunt his growth”, and my personal favorite, “He’ll become cross eyed.” There are a million more, but those are the three explanations that you hear most often on this subject. I knew that I would NOT be doing anything other than brushing and oiling my son’s hair until such time as I could cut it all off.
I was excited for baby TDJ’s birthday because a baby’s first birthday is super special. That first year was hard, and I was proud that MrTDJ and I hadn’t accidently killed him, or deliberately killed each other. But, secretly, I was more excited about the haircut that we would give him on January 14. I was so anxious that I wanted to take the day off work to prepare for the event. I didn’t, but I wanted to. Due to circumstance outside my control, we didn’t get to actually do the cutting until January 16. And folks, it was the most miserable 3 hours I have ever spent with my husband and child. My little guy cried, moaned, wailed and made sounds I didn’t know were humanly possible. Our neighbors surely thought that his father and I were KILLING him. Because his hair was so long, we initially took some length off with scissors before going to the clippers. Lawd, that boy gave me and the scissors the side eye, while doing evasive maneuvers with his neck. Once MrTDJ went in with the clippers? **SMH** The little guy cried, I cried, MrTDJ got frustrated with the both of us while trying not to cry. I know that baby TDJ wasn’t actually in any physical pain, but it really hurt me to see him in so much discomfort. I think fear of the unknown mixed with the irritation of being partially restrained by me, frustrated and angered our little guy. I kept trying to reassure and soothe him, but it didn’t help one bit. No one of us was any better until the process was complete and the clippers were firmly back in their case. These early cuts don’t even include a shape up! Whew! It was an ordeal.
So, tell me ya’ll, why 3 months later did I think it would really be any easier? Last night, MrTDJ and I again tortured our little man with his 2nd haircut. I suppose I hoped that because he was a few months older, he wouldn’t be so upset by the process. I hoped that it wouldn’t seem as new and as scary as it had the first time. Well, I guess I was half right – it must not have seemed new, because the minute he saw the case to the clippers, he dropped his cookie and burst into tears. **sigh** I’m still drained from all the tears. My optimism, that this will get easier with age, is fading. I had hoped that one day soon, I’d have the little dude smiling below at the barber shop, but I’m not so sure anymore. I guess this is still better than having to braid the hair of little girl.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
5:15pm – Arrival at my mother’s home with my 6 month old son. Greeted by 2 female critters, ages 11 and 7
5:42pm – Mother departs and the children and I are alone. Completely alone. Until 3pm the next day
5:43pm – What in the sam hell was I thinking? Note to self – MrsTDJ doesn’t really like kids that much, with the exception of her own. They’re ok to look at and chat with for a few minutes, but bonding for hours? Not so much
5:44pm – 3pm tomorrow? Really? I don’t know if all 4 of us will make it. Somebody is going down and it’s even money on me or any of the kids
5:53pm – You’re 11 and you don’t eat meat. Seriously, just fish and turkey? Houston we have a problem because I’m making chicken quesadillas. Why didn’t you tell me before? Guess it’s just cheese and refried bean quesadillas for you.
6:39pm – Ok, I fed them, why won’t they calm down and go to sleep or something?
7:12pm - Note to self – correction to earlier statement. Amend, “doesn’t really like”, to “absolutely hates the kids”
7:47pm – Sponge Bob is not really for the kids, I see. I’m gonna go ahead and turn that off.
8:03pm – Note to self – although MrsTDJ is an only child and would do anything for her Mama, she hopes that her Mama will never again ask her to babysit
8:11pm – Mobile post to Facebook, “Someone slap me or save me!”
8:33pm – Hmm, responses from 2 friends who are in the general area. Maybe I really can get someone to come over to help.
9:17pm – Text from Mother, “How’s it going?”
9:18pm – Response to Mother, “We are surviving. No injuries or only minor damages to the house.”
11:56pm – Wait? They’re not sleep yet? Dear God, why won’t 3pm COME NOW????????