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Abstract Structure

I had to remember, in the moment that my teen and I were talking, “THIS IS MAGIC.” Not the scolding. Or my forthcoming punishment to reconcile with the universe. Or how bummed I feel because I think of all the echoes of teen voices in the universe who thought but didn’t utter. Or, who uttered and got the stuffing kicked out of them.

1️⃣ THIS IS MAGIC. “What do you think would be the right conversation?” I said. So we had that one. Both of us less triggered. Everything from “Don’t walk out when I am talking.” To the moment when I laughed out loud when he asked with a twinkle “Do you think this is actually something worthy of an infraction report? Seriously?” 2️⃣ MAGIC because I could see how this conversation sets the tone for a lifetime of incidents. And, I listened to the whole story, reflecting on how many times I have heard the same discussion from coworkers to talk show hosts to political misfits. You know. Cross out teacher insert “my boss”, “my fans”, “the public” and then think about who you would want to have the right conversation with.

Unlike the teacher, I can tell the truth. I didn’t agree with the teacher’s actions but I do wonder how anyone can function in the classroom environment he describes.

We talked about how how he adds to the pot in the classroom. We spoke about gender bias and how girls are perceived to be better behaved. That’s a thing for boys. Like girls chatting about manicures goes under the radar but boys about video games does not. Having kids of both genders, those observations have been on the table for years now.

3️⃣ MAGIC because as one of his wise mentor's put it: “I’d like for all the kids to spend this much time in a theater school and then talk about whether they would thrive.” Let’s add or, a science only school, or some other specialty that isn’t there niche. I have plenty of opportunities through our son to see an academic school as a niche that is the norm but not the best and only way to learn.

4️⃣ MAGIC The physics of life seemed to me to be “the real lesson” and why we were still talking about a harmless incident from 8 days ago.

We talked though the infraction report. Authority. Abuse of power. Whether or not it’s right. Assessing what’s at stake. Sucking it up. “Cuz, once you set the ball in motion, it may no longer be about you.” The ball got set in motion and kept rolling. 5️⃣ MAGICAL ENDING I came up with a much better consequence. One that was mindful and matching the “infraction”. The GIFT: We tried to have the right conversation anyway.


Updated: Aug 19, 2023

Well, my mother would have been 79 today had she lived. What a funny sentence. Had she lived. She did live. And we loved her. We still talk about her amongst ourselves. Things she would’ve done, or said, or thought, or liked, or given or not taken. She would have given somebody “one hard watch” and not taken “that damn nonsense.” it’s a funny thing this part of life where the person lives on beyond their body, in dreams, or in funny scenarios. The other day we went to see Creed 2, my first ever big-screen Rocky movie. Creed was my first ever rocky movie and I had watached the film in flight. I wasn’t prepared for the on screen slugfest. I am softie. The kind of softie known to cover her eyes in cartoons. But midway through the movie, I remembered the glorious boxing days of Ali, Foreman, etc. And, my mother who was a great sports wife, even though that is something you would never believe unless you saw it. She usually knew just enough to provoke my Dad’s disbelief of her pedestrian understanding of the sport. It was mostly very amusing to witness. What did she care? She didn’t Our Mom was an amazing smack talker. It was the same wit and sharp mind that helped her negotiate at the office when black women had more of a hierarchy then they do now. But watching sports, she could say and do just as she pleased. Mummy method was consistent. She picked an athlete or two and then idolized the effe out of that person. My Dad would want her to look at the sport more objectively and she would fan-girl until you would think only Wayne Gretzky played hockey, by himself. Somewhere in Creed, I remembered Mummy watching welterweight through heavyweight matches. Instead of entering the land of my books or my dolls, like I did as a young girl, I remembered how she and her guy would holler at the screen. He would shake his head in disbelief. They would say in their Guyanese lingo, “We goin’ another round” "Punch, nuh man!" "Get off the ropes." “Hol’ on to he,” when the boxers looked more like a couple dancing. “Punch! Yes, knock ‘e flat!” At Creed 2, I remembered how it was to be watching and to see my parents lively interaction. I whispered to my guy “Hyo would have loved to see this movie ...”. Even though, I knew that somehow she already had.


Updated: Feb 19, 2022

We took away our son's phone on Dec 2.

It was pending after many heated, prolonged, entitled exchanges.

I know my husband thought it wouldn't happen; but, I don't believe in rocking the boat before an irreversible life event, especially if there isn't a possible do-over.

We let him use his phone all day and without limitations. Sadly, he was on it until he went to bed.

It was a great day from his #teenlife perspective but just another indicator that he would benefit from restrictions. For hours, he FaceTimed, blared music, watched YouTube and finally when he went to sleep, I removed the phone and that was that.

Time Period: Indefinitely

Resulting Miracles:

1) Learned he can use word of mouth and talking to people to find out about friend's party. Like we used to. Back in the olden days.

2) Asks how his family members are now. Since, he remembers he has family members!

3) Prints out his homework from a computer. Imagine the inconvenience.

On the lookout: We are keeping our eye on him and not letting other devices fill the void of the phone.

Best statement ever: Last Saturday, I loaned him his phone; he never asked for it but I knew he was going to a party and would want to take pictures. He was grateful and promised to return the phone without a fuss. When he got home, he handed me back the phone. He had taken only one picture. When I asked why only one pic. He said, "Other people took pictures, Mom. I was having too much fun. I forgot all about the phone."

I rest my case. His Dad does too.

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