It takes a village to raise a child. . .and a woman/mother. . .and a man/father! Today I want to express gratitude to our village!
When I think of our village, the first people that come to mind are my family, especially my parents, who our daughters affectionately call “Jeddah” and “Pop Pop”. They come through EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I mentioned previously that our daughters are in GA right now. Let me tell you how they got there. The conversation with me and my mom went something like this:
Me: I think we are going to send them down
after the baby comes. They’ll stay for a few
weeks, then after a month or so we’ll come.
Mama: Why don’t you go ahead and send those babies here so you can get some rest?
Me: Well, I don’t know, that is a LONG time for them to be gone. Plus, it will be Ramadan. Fasting (no food or drink during daylight hours) 15ish hour days dealing with a 3 and 6 year old might be too much.
Mama: Well ok, I’m just saying, you might want to send them down before Ramadan starts, that way they are here. Think about it.
Me: (still not convinced) Are you sure?
Me: Are you SURE? SURE?
Me: ok, let me think about it
Me: (next day) Ok, we’re sending them down next week.
END SCENE. That’s it. That’s all. Mama talks, you listen!
She might not be close (A 12 hour train ride, 10 hour drive, or 2 hour flight to be exact, but who’s counting?) but do you know how much of a relief it is to have someone you can count on, AND fully trust to take care of your children for an extended period of time?!? We are truly blessed.
They will have their share of adventures; whether it's tending to the vegetables in the community garden, going through the care wash, simply running errands, or hanging out at the beach, or the kiddie pool in the back yard (it doesn't take a lot to please them!), they are learning through creation and exploring Coastal Georgia with their Jeddah! Next month they will go to the Black Rodeo!
They will eat, drink, nap, and sleep similar to the schedule they have here, except on the occasion where they spend the evening in prayer at the masjid and stay up late "until the next day". When they are finished will ALL of that, they will go spend time with their paternal grandparents “Mawgah” and “Granddaddy”, and enjoy their first experience at a two week day camp!
I couldn’t send Lady T and Joyful Y off without some trinkets! So off to Build-A-Bear we went where they made “Sprinkles” and “Berry” for their train ride and summer in GA!
There is the village you are born into, and the village you create and GROW with! While media seems eager to portray that women, specifically Black women, don't or can't get along, I'm here to tell you otherwise! I am truly blessed to be a part of a village of phenomenal women! Weather they live around the corner or across the country, we talk daily, or once in a blue moon . . .these sista-friends and I have been through it all. We have laughed, cried, travelled, fought (verbally, keep it classy 😉), danced, and yes, even RUN together. We have mourned parents, children, and husbands. We have seen each other through obtaining degrees, starting and growing families, moving away, moving closer, and everything in between. I have shared some of the best moments of my adulthood with these women! There is a mountain of wisdom, mother wit, women's intuition, and expertise among these women, student and professional; those yet to be mothers, first time mothers, and mothers of many children; single, married, and divorced; THIS is what sisterhood looks like! They have my back, and I've got theirs. Some I've known all of my life (literally. . .older sister) and some I met just last year. Sisters, If you don't have a village or tribe, you're doing it wrong! Words cannot express how grateful I am to my village. You have helped me grow into the woman I am, you inspire me to BE better, to DO better, and you mirror the woman I aspire to be, I THANK YOU !
This group of women pictured (minus some that already left and the photographer) are extra special to me, in that they hosted and participated in my Mother's Blessing. Unlike a baby shower, where the baby is showered with necessities and gifts, a Mother's Blessing places emphasis on the needs of the mother. It was kind of like a girls night before the baby comes! I got dolled up with make-up and belly henna (hence the wrinkled shirt!), ate nourishing and delicious foods, and DANCED! My sisters spoke words of encouragement, empowerment, affirmations, and made intentions for our space during labor and delivery. The best part was the positive energy that lingered long after they left, the warmth, and sincere, heartfelt well wishes! At one point in the afternoon, we were all connected by a string of red yarn that would become bracelets to wear as a reminder for them to say a prayer when I go into labor. It also served as reminder to me of my village, and the people cheering us on! I am truly thankful to know this group of women!