Mona Lisa and Me

Me at 3
Me at 3

“No matter where you go in the room, Mona Lisa will be looking right at you.”

I remember wondering how that could be possible as I listened to my Godfather talk about a picture that was on display in his living room.

Believe me when I tell you that I was NOT convinced that the lady pictured could do that. So, I tested his assertion. I mean I went to every corner of that room to try that thing out and, sure enough, Mona Lisa continued to look at me- no matter where I went.

I should’ve known he was right.

By the way, my Godmother, who looked like a beautiful Black Betty White, loved laughing at my Godfather as he carried on this sort of ‘grown up’ conversation with three year old me.  Best believe that there was nothing that he could ask me or tell me about that I didn’t have a quick response or answer for; well except for the Mona Lisa thing.  And to be honest, when all else failed, I’d just dip into my vivid imagination and make something up!

Making stuff up is a child’s prerogative isn’t it?

Who knew that my Godfather was teaching me to become a creative communicator 😉

At any rate, during visits with my Godparents, I loved watching and listening to my Godfather play jazz tunes ‘by ear.’  From what I understand, he and his sister were raised in a household that placed a high value on education.  In fact, his sister, who was highly intelligent, went on to become a professor at a prestigious American University.  One of the things that I remember most about her was the love that she had for her dear poodle, Zora.

By the way, you are correct if you guessed that her dog was named for Zora Neale Hurston, the Black novelist, folklorist and anthropologist.

Well to me, at that time, “Zora” meant nothing more than small, yappy, white poodle-period.

Anyway, while my Godfather challenged my intellect, my Godmother, who was a nurse, but had the skills and knowledge of today’s Nurse Practitioner or Physician’s Assistant, kept close watch on my physical wellbeing. To be frank, she had been doing so prior to my Earthly debut.  In essence, she handpicked my mother’s OB/Gyn and my Pediatrician; both of whom were top-flight. All in all, she took my parents under her wing the minute they arrived in Augusta. So it was only natural that she and her husband would become my Godparents.

By now you are probably wondering why I have coerced you into accompanying me on a promenade down the streets of my memories. In other words, what is the point of this post?

Well I am glad that you asked!  So here we go!

The purpose of this post is to encourage you to pour into the lives of young children -much like my Godparents did for me. Realize that this does NOT have to cost you anything but a little bit of time.

Here are a couple of suggestions as to how you might do this:

Take a child to the public library and show them the process of finding and checking out a book.  Then, read to them.  You might also take them to free events that introduce them to different cultures.  Look for museum specials so that you can also introduce them to the arts.

Teach a child how to prepare your favorite simple dishes like salads and sandwiches. If they are older, you might show them how to use the stove to prepare a cooked meal.

Allow a child to accompany you to the bank, store or any other place where you take care of business.  While there, explain to them what a checking/ savings account is and allow them to watch you conduct a transaction like making a deposit or cashing a check.  If you are fully automated in the banking realm, show them how online transactions work.  Likewise, take them to a grocery store and show them how to select food items and how to pay for them.

Talk to them about money; specifically, about how it is earned, invested, spent, donated and saved.

Allow a child to watch you as you engage in a favorite pastime or routine activity. Help them to research activities that they may be interested in learning how to do.

To be honest, you can apply all of the suggestions above to any person that would benefit from that knowledge.  Get creative about sharing your skills, abilities and knowledge with others. Remember, you can adjust any of my suggestions in order to make them age appropriate.

Now, before I go, I’d like to have a word with anyone who has been named the Godparent of a child:

Godparents, take your job seriously!  Feel free to use my suggestions.  Please don’t think that you are functioning as a proper Godparent if your only involvement in your Godchild’s life is taking them to get a hamburger and a T-Shirt once a year. And for those of you who simply flaunt the title “Godparent” while adding NO value to the child’s life, I would like to challenge you to step up your game in a major way!

Lady G, is now stepping down from the soapbox!

Honestly, I thank God everyday for my Godparents; especially my Godmother who continued to watch over me through my high school years.  I also thank God for my daughter’s Godparents who have always been so very loving, kind and generous to her and my family.  They remind me so much of my own Godparents.

May God always bless and keep these four souls for all the days of their lives; even until the end of time.

Friends, I also urge you to take time to think about and remember the adults who poured into you when you were a child.  Challenge yourselves to pay it back and forward.

21 thoughts on “Mona Lisa and Me

  1. Great advice indeed even for parents. I don’t know to much about Godparents – most I know are in name only. But this is good for mentorship and role modelling for anyone. Great post Gwin!💞

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you cous! That was so sweet!
      Remember when you and Eric used to try to trick me into shutting up by asking me to play “The Quiet Game?” I lost on a technicality!
      Them boys ganged up on me! LOL 🙂
      Where was Leshia and Lenel when I needed them?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Woebegone but Hopeful

    Congratulations Gwin on a post filled with wisdom, optimism and a strong challenge.
    Your Godparents come across as a wonderful hands-on couple; they made their good contribution to the world and no mistake.
    It was also very encouraging to read of your thanks to and for your daughter’s godparents.
    Thanks for brightening up the world.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Yessuh it shole bout is!
          I hate it when autocorrect fixes my improper English. I had to rewrite this response about 3 times to get it to understand that I meant for it to read exactly like I wrote it.
          Hope you had good day cous!


  3. This is the freshest, most enlightening, and informative piece of writing I’ve read in a long time. I mean that. You are right on point with the direction grown-ups should take with children. The things you mentioned like banking,and library procedures, are things that contribute to a solid social foundation for growing adolescents that they take into adulthood. I believe all adults to some extent are responsible for sharing experiences, wisdom, and direction with any child willing to listen.

    Now about that Mona Lisa. I thought I was the only one that walked all over the room, crawled on the floor and jumped up to see if I could break her gaze. To be honest when I was little I was scared of her ass – always watching me.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for that kind compliment G. Again, coming from you, that sort of assessment means a great deal.
      I honestly believe that we better take it upon ourselves to mentor and teach our children –otherwise it will NOT happen—hell in come cases, we might have to teach the mama and the baby at the same damn time.
      I like the fact that you punctuated your point by adding this “…any child willing to listen.”
      Now that’s where the difficulty comes in. Some have said that if you wait too late to work with a child it will take a massive amount of intervention to effect change. Much more than what I have suggested in this post.
      But, with that said, all we can do is the best we can do.
      Thanks again for checking me out! 🙂
      Oh yeah, I was rolling laughing at the thought of you crawling all over the place trying to dodge Ms. Mona’s gaze!

      Liked by 3 people

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