Dearest Daughter: Sweet 16

Dearest Daughter,

Today is the day! Jesus lawd my baby is 16 years old. I’m not sure exactly where the time went or even how much time has seemed to escape me without my permission but it has. It has and yet I still feel as lost, angered and upset as I did on every other birthday. Please do not feel like these emotions are directed at you because they’re not in any way whatsoever. I’m mad because I could and should have done better by you. I should have done a lot things during those four days in the hospital but I didn’t. And for that I’m so very very sorry.

As I try to write this letter without crying, I wonder what your “mom and dad” did this morning to celebrate your 16th. I wonder if you’ll have a party or get to go out with your friends. I wonder if your friends at school will surprise you with something wonderful. I wonder what the aunts and uncles will do for you. So much wonder yet only one of us will ever know. I’ve tried talking to your biological grandmother about you and have asked about you your entire life. Needless to say I really don’t know a whole lot. But I imagine you being a grand chip off the ol block. I imagine the facial expressions you’ll make today. I imagine you feeling a tad bit more grown up yet at the same time not really at all.

It is my hope baby girl that your sweet sixteen is special. That it surpasses all other birthdays before this one. Certainly, it will not be the absolute hands down best birthday because I’m sure there will be other that will top this one and more. I want you to know that more than anything in this world at this very moment I’m thinking and praying you’re everything I’ve always imagined you to be. I wish you not only the greatest of great birthdays but one full of laughter, joy, presents and many many blessings.

I love you so much baby girl. I love you beyond the moon. Beyond the universe. Beyond everything God has ever created.

happy happy birthday mi mariposa!

❤ mami

Dearest Daughter: 15 years 5 months

Good Morning Daughter of Mine,

How are you this chilly yet very sunny day in February? I’m sure it’s just as chilly if not chillier where you are than it is in Stepford today but it’s cold nonetheless.

So how bout them Broncos huh? Well, more importantly, Peyton Manning’s performance Sunday night at the Super Bowl? I didn’t see the whole game as I “had” to watch Downton Abbey @ 20:00CT. Yaaaaaaaaz I put my British soap opera before football. It’s unheard of for me but it ain’t like either of my teams were playing Sunday.

On normal occasions, I would miss the show for football but Downton Abbey is just a different kind of show. I can’t even tell you why I love it so much but I do. But then again, I love British culture. There’s something about the Brits that fascinate me to no end.

Speaking of Sunday, how did you like the Halftime Show with Beyonce, Bruno Mars and Coldplay? I can’t say that I was disappointed with it. I thought it might be a train wreck but it was pretty good. I even thoroughly enjoyed Beyonce’s portion of the show. You can close ya mouf nah. Stranger things have come out my mouf before guh. LOL #beyhivedontgetme

Anyway… how are things? Is school going well? In a few short months you’ll be done with your freshman year of high school. It boggles my mind every time I think about you that you’re a high school student. I feel like you were born just yesterday afternoon. I know I know. I’ll stop now. I just… I remember your chubby little cheeks and your cute little nose. You had piano fingers like I did (and still do) when I was born. Everything about you was just perfect. Okay… I’m stopping now..

Well I hope your Monday is going well my dear. Do you get President’s Day off too? I do not believe any of the school districts in the Houston Metro get this day off but I could be wrong. I’m just grateful for a three day weekend! Those don’t really come around often for me.

Anyway baby girl. I should probably sign off now. Hope all is well with you.

Love you always and forever, mami ❤

P.S. I purposefully did not mention Valentine’s Day. It’s one thing to process the fact that you’re a teenager in high school. Dating is a totally different can of worms. I’ll cross that bridge when you’re 18.

Amurica

I’ve been mulling over this post for months now. MONTHS! I’m not sure why though because the topics of choice have been in the news since the Ferguson Riots; which was in 2014!  And yet every time I start this post my fingers and brain stop communicating. I can’t seem to formulate a clear and understandable thought. I can’t figure out how to sound intelligent and well versed in the fundamentals of linguistics and language but nobody got time fa that shit.

Let’s just get right down to it…

Post-racial Amurica don’t exist. For those that think it does exist, I feel you may be blinded by a false sense of the “cultural” make up of the United States. This country has more issues with the standard list of -isms than most other countries. Only in the United States can you be made to feel like your life doesn’t matter because you look, talk, live, love and believe differently.

Does anyone see the irony in the above statement? Certainly you have to see it. Amurica is a cultural melting pot of many languages, religions, ethnicities and sexual orientation; yet, there is an overwhelming sense of discrimination everywhere. That is not to say that every nook and cranny of the U.S. is racist, sexist, homophobic or agnostic. It also means that not every damn stereotype is true for EVERYONE in a particular socioeconomic group.

Not all black folks are loud, uneducated, hood rats. Not all white people are carrying around the Confederate Flag and threatening to kill “all the n*****s.” No LGBT person is out to turn the children of straight religious conservatives gay. Not all devout Catholics or Protestants are out to condemn LGBT people or even atheists to a life of purgatory. even though that ain’t they job no way

Yet, here we are talking about church fires and shootings, black women dying while incarcerated, gay bashings, hate crimes against anything different from someone else’s norm and the presence of a flag that does not convey the same emotional sentiment that it once did when it was first flown a century and a half ago. In the two years alone, President Obama has had to make more emotionally charged “We the people of the United States have suffered a great loss” speeches than any other president in my life time. Within the last fucking year. And for what?

Why has this president had to deal with so much strife? Why has this president been more scrutinized and criticized than any other president in my lifetime? Is it because he’s half black? yep I played the race card

I’m just trying to understand the mentality of Americans and the freedoms that we all seem to have as citizens but are not granted if we’re not heterosexual religiously conservative white males. Having graduated with a degree in journalism, I understand and applaud active use of free speech. I do. Buuuuuuuuuut you knew this was coming at what point, did the freedom of speech become the right to publicly preach messages of hate?

At what point, did the freedom to assemble become the right to converge on the privately owned property of a person of color to burn crosses or yell racial obscenities at a child’s birthday party as a few hateful bastards some months ago. At what point, do we stop hating and loathing our neighbors and start loving them as we would love ourselves?

I’m fearful of the present and the future of the the country we call home. The country that often on paper prides itself on being a cultural melting pot. A country that is the epitome of the land of milk, honey and opportunity. Yet we don’t have free healthcare like some European countries and Canada does.

A country that was founded on the understanding that all persons should be granted the basic freedoms of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Yet there was slavery. There are religious persecutions of Muslims. LGBTiQ persons have to fight for the right to be married and miserable. There is literally a notion of “existing while brown!” Don’t act like there isn’t when we all know this is true.

What I’m saying is it’s hard to be and feel like a proud citizen when you’re part of the minority; in terms of race, sexuality and religion. It’s difficult to understand how a country that grants perhaps more civil liberties than other countries still does not recognize that each individual person in the United States deserves to live his or her life as he or she sees fit without governmental, religious or conservative influence.

———

Every year we “celebrate” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream for every one to be and exist as one country. We “celebrate” his and many others’ efforts to gain basic civil and equal rights for all. To bring to light the obvious and apparent prejudices against people of color. Yet in the midst of the “celebration,” we’re still to this day in 2016 fighting for the right to be ourselves without question. This is America. The land of opportunity and freedom. The land of milk and honey even. Yet not everyone born here is afforded the basic freedoms that are laid out in the Declaration of Independence. We are not viewed as equal under the law.

At what point in history will everyone in America finally be equal and free under the law?

At what point will individual races not only help their own but others as well? A few people helping is great but it takes a village to be great! It takes more than a girl with a laptop writing about peace, love and the pursuit of happiness.

We have to stop taking for granted the little shit.

We have to stop believing the notion that not everything affects me, myself and I because it actually does affect all of us.

The idea of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness isn’t just for Donald Trump and his constinuents. It isn’t just for those who can afford to have multiple cars, homes and boats.

The average American citizen is not rich beyond comprehension.

The average American citizen is a dreamer praying for something more than what he or she is accustomed to seeing, doing and being everyday.

The average American citizen is not the person I see in the Stepford Starbucks in the mornings.

The average American is not Donald Trump, Hollywood movie star or Texas oil and gas tycoon rich.

The average American is not always college education or can even afford college.

The average American does NOT drive a Beemer, Benz or Bentley.

The average American citizen is me. The hard working trying to make ends meet while not getting caught driving while ________ (insert your truth here).

Thanks for reading….

 

the southern yankee

 

The Unexpected

It’s been a rough week. Well “rough” is an understatement. It’s been more than rough but I’m not even sure what other word to use to describe how this week has been.

We received some news at work. It wasn’t the best of news and it certainly wasn’t anything ANYONE was expecting just 32 days into the New Year.

But it wouldn’t be my company if the unexpected didn’t happen at the weirdest of times. Not only am I thoroughly confused by the events of this first not even full week of February but I’m sadden. Sadden that it has to happen this way.

Sadden that the possibility of the unknown and unexpected might even come more frequently sooner rather than later.

Perhaps this is a sign. A sign to start preparing my exit strategy. To start polishing up my venacular and writing skills. Working on skills that should come second nature to me but not really anymore because I allowed myself to become too comfortable in my situation. I decided to not be as overly cautious as I usually am.

But as the old saying goes, everything happens for a reason. Surprises and/or challenges, good or bad, can come at any time of a person’s life and what one does in those instances is what changes the future for the better and sometimes for the worst. But you go through it because every moment of life is a learning experience.

So here’s to being more cautious and aware. To keeping my eyes and ears open extra wide just in case the unexpected unknown affects me.

I know I’m rambling on and on and on and on in some weird cracked out code but I just needed to get some things off ma chest.

Thanks for letting me vent…

 

the southern yankee 

Dearest Daughter: 15 years 4 months (exactly)

Dearest Daughter,

First, lemme say Happy New Year! Hope the first fifteen days of 2016 have been going well for you.

Secondly, I’d like to apologize for not writing for so long. I don’t want to make up any excuses so I’ll just say I’m sorry. I must’ve started a letter two or three times a month and never finished it. I cannot promise I won’t miss anymore but at least you know I’m trying to make an effort.

Soooooo it’s been a rather long three months. Lemme think… what have you missed?

OH! Well you have a new cousin. Born September 25th. He’s the cutest little chunky monkey. He’s got big o’ cheeks and ham hocks for legs. How I wish you could meet him. You’d just fall in love. He makes my heart sing when your Auntie sends me pictures.

Speaking of cousins, I finally met one of your other cousins on his 5th birthday in November. He’s just as adorable in person as he is in his pictures. His little glasses makes him look so darn handsome. Your other aunt sent a text the other day and said he has pink eye and a respiratory infection. Poor baby! Hopefully he feels better soon.

Oh you’re gonna have a new cousin in March. My BabySis is pregnant with her first child. We’re all very excited about this baby.

Okay that’s all for the baby/cousin updates. You have more cousins that I can count. And I’m sure on your biological dad’s side there are even more. Speaking of your biological dad, your older brother just turned 16 in December. It’s pretty crazy thinking about the two of you because you’re so close in age. But I pray that one day you’ll be able to meet.

Have you started school yet? I know you’re going to a private school so I’m not certain if you start the spring semester at the same time as the public schools here. Hopefully school is going well and that you’re keeping up with your classes and homework.

I hope and pray you’re doing well baby girl. I miss you more than I can even stand. Every time my co worker talks about her daughter and niece, who are only but four months and days younger than you, a part of me just melts. I wonder what kind of relationship we would have. I wonder if I would be a good mom to you and give you a good life. Sometimes it’s just hard to think about you because in the back of my mind I still feel like I’ve failed you.

Anyway… I should sign off before I start bawling in the middle of Starbucks.

Hope you have a wonderful day baby girl. And please remember I love you I love you I love you!

Mami