Free People, Free People

Standard

The other morning, I woke up with some special people on my mind. Those people are people like me who never fit into gender stereotypes and have felt less womanly or manly because of it. So, like most millennials I took to Facebook to express.

It was a stream of thoughts. I’m gonna post them here the same way I posted them on my profile.

If your kid cries a lot, try saying “use your words” instead of “stop crying.”
1. It’s ok to express emotions.
2. Tell them what you want instead of what you don’t want.

Your son has tear ducts. He’s supposed to cry sometimes. That doesn’t make him like a girl because he does it.

Let’s agree to stop using “like a girl” as an insult to little boys who we want to grow up and respect girls and women.

Playing with dolls and enjoying hanging with girls doesn’t make a boy gay. Stop listening to your emotionally inept family members.

If doll play is so damaging, girls shouldn’t play with them either. A four year old girl doesn’t “need” to practice mothering either.

Let’s raise children who don’t have to heal from their childhoods.

Respect =/= fear.
Take that out of your parenting tool belt.

The things that damaged you as a kid will probably be harmful to your children. Break the cycle.

Learn your child’s love language and love them how they need to be loved.

You can prepare your son for the harsh realities of the world without crushing his spirit. In fact, you should.

Let that boy play with dolls. You might have a playwright in your womb if you don’t extinguish the gift.

Let your daughter play basketball if she wants. I know it sucks, but odds are she wouldn’t grow up to be a princess anyway.

This morning’s messages come to you from a woman who hates dresses and who hated dolls and who has spent literal decades (20 of my 28 years) trying to figure out how to perform “girl.” Ever since a girl told me that girls don’t play the drums when I taught myself. Her words coupled with the stares I received until I started again at 25 (thank God for my time spent at Shekinah) crippled me.

Your words have power and they shape your children’s lives.
Your silence is also meaningful.

I woke up feeling liberated this morning so I thought I’d pass that on.
Free people free people.

“This is a true confession of a life learned lesson I was sent here to share with y’all.” India.Arie

1, 2, 3, JUMP!

Standard

20140312-192839.jpg

Mom says, “1, 2, 3 Jump!”

This is a daily ritual for two parents and their two sons at my job. It’s part of how they say goodbye every morning. The tricky part is that after the jump the boys are supposed to wrap their legs around their mom as she lifts them after saying “1, 2, 3 Jump!” The older one (4) does it perfectly every time. The younger one (2.5) not so much.

One particular day, Mom started getting frustrated because they did the 1, 2, 3 Jump three times, but the little one kept forgetting to put his legs up. She was clearly getting more and more upset and he was clearly having a great time. Finally, Mom said
“Ok, this is the last time because I have to go.”
He responded with a giggle and a nod. Try number four came and he still didn’t do it.
So she said,
“I’m sorry, but you’re not doing it. I have to go.”

Then she went on to the older one and he did it on the first try. The 2 year old started crying louder and louder the closer she got to the door until she turned around. When she turned she said,

“Ok, one more time.” This time, he got it.

In the moment, I cracked up through the whole scenario, but when it was over I started thinking about it and I think what was displayed was incredible.

There are moments in life where the instructions and expectations are simple and clear, but we still mess it up. But God allows you to keep trying even when we are enjoying the fact that we’re messing up. Eventually, though, we see the possible repercussions of our actions and what really happens when we choose to ignore our Father (Mom in the story). But when we cry out to Him and show that we understand what He’s trying to accomplish with us, He will show that He was there all along waiting for us to ask for another chance to get it right.

1, 2, 3 Jump into the arms of The Lord.