I’m Weary of the Ways of the World

I don’t know if I’m back to blogging here or not. I’m overwhelmed with many projects , work and of course the world. It’s a good thing. Hope to have a bit of a respite soon. Like you Ive been thinking about the current political atmosphere but specifically how families are dealing. Are we all a bit desensitized since we live in a world where social media is seemingly all negative or lewd. Trying to sift through to find real news and the truth is difficult. As a parent it all comes down to listening. I’ll share a peek into what we do and how we navigate.

For the past 3 years we have weekly family meetings. For busy, progressive parents with teenagers who all have our own lives and passions; it’s necessary for us to intentionally connect face to face  in a slightly formal/informal format. We take turns leading. We each share our concerns and positive things that went on during the week whether it was amongst us or in-house or in the world. We also share our goals for the next week. We offer thank yous to each other. If we forgot to do a meeting on Sunday we have it in the car Monday morning or another day. We try to be as consistent as we can.  We don’t take notes. We have strong opinions and emotions. We’re thankful we have this open forum to communicate and be open as much as possible. We’re real people.

If I could offer anything to any parent right now it would be to have family meetings if you don’t already. Use that time to listen to each other to not be afraid to share anything. Let it be a judgement free zone that provides real parental guidance and rules with love.  It’s not easy. My kids are used to it now. Structure the meetings how you want. Add topics. Most importantly inquire if there’s anything in the news that’s bothering your child or children? Ask if they feel safe? If not discuss solutions on how they can feel safe.  Set media breaks including the tv. Come up with an action you can do as a family. Reiterate and encourage your kids to share their voice however they can via art, letters, postcards, songs etc, joining clubs etc.  All outlets are welcome and helpful. As parents manage your own engagement with social media. Your kids are watching you. Some of your kids may even be following you. Educate them on self-care early on. Discover what that looks like for them. Have them write out affirmations and post them on their bedroom doors or carry in their book bags. Many of us who believe in inclusivity, democracy and FREEDOM to speak out are being supremely tested right now.  Reference other challenging moments in history and throughout the world. Share with your kids how people that looked like them rose up to fight for their rights however they could. Have your kids share any moments they felt powerful despite being scared or nervous. Lastly, always continue to work on making your home a safe sanctuary of peace, love and freedom.

Seasonal Sounds

The sounds below are currently in household rotation and will be forever. Get you some. It’s a rare occasion in which I’ve played a record over and over in its entirety. That is true for all three of these artists’ latest offerings. Soulful. Bouncy. BoomBapship. Sexy. Lyrical Splendor. So Musical. So R/B with so much more.  I’m here for it all. Sitting on it. Mediating. Healing. Thinking of a Masterplan to these records. Cheers.  Click the photos to listen, support and feel.

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A Preview Into Our Existence

Earlier this year I became a member of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture. I knew I’d become a member since the first time I learned about the plans to build the museum. For the 20+ years I’ve lived in DC and frequented the Smithsonian museums I never joined as a member. Despite the many great programs, exhibits and campaigns it just never happened. It wasn’t until last year that I finally joined the Smithsonian as a member. I mean these are things I need and should be doing. You know like get memberships and join boards. For me these small investments serve as other ways I contribute my voice.  Joining the NMAAHC was certainly necessary as I’m directly connected to its mission and what it means to black people.

A month ago I unexpectedly received an invitation for a charter member preview of the museum. Talk about membership having its benefits. My best friend homie (husband) was out of town and my daughter had an orientation to attend. So naturally I took my son. Our invite was for 9am. We arrive at the museum by 830 to find a long line of other charter members. They scanned our tickets twice before entering the museum’s vast and open entryway. We were given a map and were welcomed by a large brunch spread out in the main lobby. Having missed a full breakfast we were beyond happy and thankful as we politely indulged in such offerings as deviled eggs, croissants,  fruit, tarts, ice tea, cupcakes, lemonade and more. Glory!

I’m an architecture fanatic. David Adajaye’s design with its openness and structure, in particular, the filigree is !!!. While the structure is somewhat rectangular the interior managed to see intentionally circular.  We were informed to start from the bottom of the museum which housed artifacts, stories and actual factual on the slave trade.  There was so much to take in from Harriet Tubman’s shawl to the prices of the slaves, auction blocks and quarters. Whew. Overwhelming can’t even describe it all. We followed the walkway up to the other floors which displayed videos, sounds, media and more all from the civil rights era to Today. The other floors consisted of a community museum, music, and visual art. We spent a lot of time in the music exhibition mainly due to the interactives there and my son’s adoration for all things music.

So many highlights. So many stories and mysteries solved. Yet so many questions still remain. One: How might we respond and leverage this massive collection of our culture’s existence in ways that will shape our now and our future?

My son and I took our time. We spent about 2to almost 3 hours and still didnt’ see everything. We’re fine with that as we live here and now we will returning again and again. NMAAHC  will serve as an ongoing family reunion with all the love, comfort, scars and baggage we continue to unpack. Go.

 

Bmore Goodness

I’m taking a short break from working on a social media brief to write this while listening to Kaytranada who is not from Baltimore. I love Bmore.  We actually almost moved there years ago. West Bmore to be exact. My daughter was 8 or 9 at the time?? My son was 5 years old I believe. Whatever. I just remember them being mad young. So what happened was the movers were 2 hours late. BUT what really halted our moving plans was discovering the landlord/owner of the house was quite sheisty. I will spare you the deets. Moving produces so many mixed feelings. Excitement, Fear, and Super Fedupness! We knew Baltimore wasn’t meant for us at the time. Well in honesty neither is DC on many levels. However, I always love visiting Baltimore. Baltimore is such an authentic and real city to me regardless of any crime and corruption. Living in DC the political BS overtakes everything. Some people in DC assume there’s always a hidden agenda in simply doing things for the greater good. I wonder if local Baltimorian creatives, activists etc feel or go through the same thing? Anyway,  I also feel this authenticity about NOLA. In DC there are pockets  of authenticity that are constantly being exploited and marketed without benefitting the people that created them. I DIGRESS! Gentrification Blues. And not that Baltimore and Nola aren’t experiencing that as well it’s just I always felt that way. I remember being a pre-teen running down low-lit alleyways with my cousins and experiencing some of the best cookouts in Baltimore.

So we made a stop overnight after visiting the Falls. We spent the rest of the afternoon being slightly typical tourists cuz in all honesty, we don’t roll like typical tourists. The next day we devoured brunch at Terra Cafe with it’s distracting high ceilings and serene green decor. Before heading back to DC we visited Baltimore Museum of Art. Some highlights included the Imagining Home exhibit andFORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture.  Of course we checked out the contemporary art collection which featured favorites Yinke Shonibare and Nick Cave. My kids complained they don’t like art museums but end up enjoying themselves and dissecting the work once we leave. img_1131E

Ceiling scapes at Terra Cafe

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Yinka Shonibare 

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Kids so-called not enjoying themselves

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My son’s blurry face. Daughter in the distance.

Fall Break

We were determined a couple of weeks ago to do a little getaway before school started. We wanted to do something different. Explore new lands that were close. Kilgore Falls. We knew there were plenty of waterfalls near DC. Kilgore Falls is located in Rock State Park which is located in Jarrettsville Maryland about an hour and45 minutes from the city. We had never heard of Jarrettsville. We didn’t know what to expect or to make of random seniors biking down the main road, vast gated mansions, beautiful old barns, farm animals, small sturdy bridges and pay what you can fruit stands. Green everywhere. Not bad. And thankfully no Trump signs appeared!

We pulled into the main parking lot which is still a 10-minute hike away from the falls. The hike was cool and had me nervous a bit as there was no railing. We shimmied down into the water crossing. Swim shoes were certainly needed as we crossed over slippery rocks and branches to the falls.

We found a large rock to put our things. The kids and my husband headed over first. I sat on the rock watching barefooted kids leap from rocks onto other rocks. The falls and surrounding rock formations were naturally made for great photos and postcards. The moss, the water bubbling around me and the falls themselves were perfect.

I saw my son climb onto a large rock and leap into the water just below the falls. No fear.  I watched my daughter slowly shimmy into a fall. Partial fear. When they came back to the rock I went exploring. I fear the cold. The water was freezing! Nope, this is not the Carribean.  Twas a refreshing time.

 

Woke Life

My kids are keeping journals this summer. Sometimes they write what they want. Other times I may give them a prompt. I told my son to write a rap about Trump. What followed was simply put “hot fire burn” My son has such a deep understanding of things and can easily summarize a concept or idea. I hope he writes a book. Not someday. Now.

#imwithhimforlife. 

Trump Trap Rap by Dahvi

Donald Trump is a businessman/
running for president that’s a scam/
a fake toupee no way/ get him out! Today! Build a wall. Trying to stall.
No one to call. Forget the law.
His scalp is super raw. L
ooks like a red bouncy ball.
Probably got a luxurious life.
Probably bought his wife.
His views are nasty/
Probably Got em from Drake. Degrassi.
Trying to make drama from media attention/Probably for some evil henchmen.
Voldemort. Harry Potter.
Builds power plants. Kills Otters.
No Life and that’s just for starters