I Sing and Dance!

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My Son:  “Mom…please…please…please…you gotta stop…you’re embarrassing us!”

Me:  “I don’t care what these people think about me…I gotta get my happy however I can!”

I can’t tell you how many times my son and daughter have decidedly hidden from me in the midst of grocery shopping.

They simply CANNOT  with me and my impromptu performances!

That said, I must come clean and confess that I am that lady who dances and sings up and down every aisle at Publix…and sometimes Kroger.

Supermarket sound systems…I love ’em!

Yep! That was me you saw twirling past the tomatoes and rocking by the waffles.

And you know what?

I DON’T give a hoot!

I’m gonna sing and dance until I die!

Why?

You see, it all started long ago…

I always wanted to be a ballerina or perform modern dance.

Alas…there were no funds for such!

To put it bluntly, Mama and Daddy didn’t have the money for lessons.

Further, they lacked any appreciation for that realm of the arts.

And so…

I made believe and danced my little dance…

And I did it everywhere…

All the time!

Dancing and singing all the way through life.

Even into motherhood…much to the chagrin of my children!

Oh, but not to worry, they’ve grown accustomed.

They’ve learned to let me be.

Because if they try to shut me up I’ll only sing louder and dance harder!

And there…right there in the produce section… I find happiness with two of my favorite people!

🙂 🙂 🙂

I danced with both of my babies at home and all over the stores to this song!

 

Still dancing to this one!

 

I play this whenever I’m about to take a flight!  Go Rod!

 

For my son!  I wish him a safe flight into the sunset— headed to Seattle and Portland!

I love you man!  Have a blast! See ya when you get back home 💋

Me-7-18-2

Love and light to you all!

Enjoy your week!

LadyG

😘💋

My Very First Post Revisited #MyFirstPostRevisited

 

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Here is a nice little blogging challenge!

Lisa A  from “Life of an El Paso Woman” hit me with this “Very first post revisited” tag!

Okay, you should know that I love Ms. Lisa to pieces!  She’s been a great supporter of my blog for quite some time and I value our blogging sisterhood.

Thanks pretty girl!

If you don’t know Lisa, you SHOULD!  Go check her out!  Tell her Lady G sent you 🙂

Anywhats, this challenge was started by fellow blogger Sarah Brentyn.

Thank you Ms. Sarah!

So…my first blog post was/is entitled “Why I chose Montessori.”

I posted it on January 7, 2016.

Imagine that, these are the very first words that Lady G scribed on the ethers of the interwebs!

WordPress is a serious thing 🙂

YAAASSS!

And now for the rules:

  • No cheating. (It must be your first post. Not your second post, not one you love…first post only.)
  • Link back to the person who tagged you (thank them if you feel like it or, if not, curse them with a plague of ladybugs).

Other rules:

  • Cut and paste your old post into a new post or reblog your own bad self.
    • (Either way is fine but NO editing.)
  • Put the hashtag #MyFirstPostRevisited in your title.
  • Tag…um…tentwotwelve five (5) other bloggers to challenge.
  • Notify your tags in the comment section of their blog (don’t just hope they notice a pingback somewhere in their spam).
  • Feel free to cut and paste the badge to use in your post.
  • Include “the rules” in your post.

 

I nominate ANY of my readers who would like to participate.  Just follow the rules–even though I didn’t.

Drum roll PLEEEEZ!!!!

And now……

My VERY first post–revisited!

Why I chose Montessori

In the late 1990’s, I was a graduate student and single mother of a preschool aged son.  Like most mothers, I promised myself that I would do all that I could to provide my child with a lifestyle where he felt loved, encouraged and equipped to reach his highest potentials. In order to keep this promise, I decided that I had to make his education a top priority.  Don’t get me wrong, I know that most mothers count their children’s education as a major concern.  However, as a black mother, I also knew that the stakes were extremely high for black children; and even more so for black boys.  During my graduate studies, I couldn’t help noticing a couple of research studies that seemed to indicate that young black boys were often inappropriately placed in special education courses or misdiagnosed with any number of behavioral conditions.  In my mind, this did not bode well for my son’s wellbeing; not to mention his educational outlook. Hence, this was an urgent matter.

Nevertheless, with my son’s 4th birthday approaching, I began researching local learning centers in hopes of finding a good preschool program. I spent several weeks observing primary classes at various schools.  Suffice it to say I was not impressed by what I had observed.  In fact, I was completely turned off during one specific school visit when a preschool teacher told me that “kids just wanna learn their numbers, colors and letters.” To make matters worse, she went on to say that most kids are simply not interested in learning much more than the basics.  Needless to say, my eyes completely glossed over and I politely, yet abruptly, ended that conversation.  After taking immediate leave of that insanity and regaining my composure, it occurred to me that most of the schools that I had visited seemed to share the belief that younger children should spend time playing, rather than engaging in robust learning activities. To be honest, at that point, I was beginning to feel a bit dejected.  I worried that I might not find the educational setting that I had hoped for.  I wondered what to do about my son who, at age 3, had already met the “numbers, colors, letters” milestone and was, by this time, reading, adding and creating rather sophisticated Lego superheroes to boot. Was I supposed to allow my child to settle for a subpar early learning experience? Were my expectations too high?

After spending a few weeks feverishly seeking but not finding, I ran into a former co-worker and friend whom I had not seen in quite some time.  Naturally, we began to play “catch up” and I mentioned that my son would soon be starting school.  I also mentioned my dissatisfaction with the schools that I had visited thus far.  After patiently listening to my gripe fest, my friend encouraged me to check into the local Montessori school where her daughter was in attendance.  Montessori? What? Do black people even go to Montessori schools? My curiosity was immediately peaked!  I asked and she answered about a hundred rapid fire questions about the educational philosophy as well as the social and learning environment. At the end of the conversation, she assured me that the school strongly encouraged diversity and that we would feel very welcome.

The next day, I contacted the school and within a few days my son was scheduled to attend a class on a trial basis; I was invited to observe. After the observation, I was brimming with excitement!  I was intrigued by the practical, hands-on learning techniques.  I also loved the fact that the students were encouraged to think independently, work cooperatively, and to respect each other as well as their larger environment.  I also liked the practical nature of the learning activities.  I was thrilled to see 3, 4 and 5 year olds happily and successfully engaging in activities like identifying parts of the human anatomy and locating world continents!  But, above all else, I loved the fact that my son was genuinely happy with the Montessori experience.  After we left the school that day he told me that he couldn’t wait to go back.

This Montessori school seemed to be the answer!  So what about cost?  Naturally, I had to seriously contemplate the price tag.  Granted, this was a private school, but after doing the math, I determined that the tuition was not much more than the cost of a “good” local daycare.  And with that, I began the application process.  Within a month he was enrolled in primary class and ultimately completed each grade level though grade 7.  It is important to note that at that time, our local Montessori schools did not extend beyond grade 8. As a result, my son ended up graduating from a traditional college preparatory high school.

All in all, I cannot stress how happy I am with our Montessori experience! In later years, I enrolled my daughter in the same Montessori school that my son attended.  She is currently a 4th year student in upper elementary. I love to tell people that I am the proud mother of two “Montessorians” and to answer my previous question; yes, black people do go to Montessori schools!

Today, I am proud to report that my son is doing well and is a Biology Major at Emory University.

I would love to hear your thoughts on education in general and Montessori or other alternative education philosophies in specific.

 

Happy Birthday to Us- Pt 1

 

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Lady J (October 2016)

Greetings friends!

January is a month of birthdays around here!

First up is Lady J.  

She turns 11 this week.

If you guys follow this blog then you already ‘know’ her as my youngest child.

Talk about a spirited chick?

That’s our Lady J!

Not only is she feisty, but she’s a smart and witty one who enjoys cooking, crafting, writing, reading, drawing and playing piano.

Wise beyond her years, Lady J is, as many of you know, a self proclaimed “Protector of the Animals.”

That said, she knows just about anything that can be known about pretty much any animal you can think of.

Trust me on that one 😉

I’ve heard it all!

Naturally, she wants to be a Veterinarian.

Of course, some of you may remember this post where she staged a school bake sale to raise money to help support dogs awaiting adoption.

Poor baby, I think the final tally was only about $25.00…

But hey, it’s the thought that counts.

Anyway, please join me as I celebrate my sweet daughter, Lady J.

 

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Baby Lady J
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Lady J creation (age 7)
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Lady J’s current work (in progress):  A hand knitted winter’s scarf
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Practicing for Winter Recital (2016)
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Baking Brownies
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One of Lady J’s many sketches

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LADY J!!!!!

With love,

Mom 😘💋

Get Outside and Play!

 

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Me and Mama

 

“Take your a$$ somewhere and sit down!”

“Don’t you see grown folks talkin’?  Go on outside and play!”

These were a few of mama’s favorite commands especially after me or my brother had asked one too many questions.  To be fair, mama wasn’t the only one to say that to me… and damn near every other kid in the general vicinity.  In fact, we were just as likely to hear those declarations from aunts, uncles, family friends, neighbors and so on.

You see, in those days, every responsible adult kept watch over all of the children in his or her presence.  That said, there was an unspoken agreement that if a child misbehaved, he or she should and could be disciplined by just about any sensible grownup.

Talk about neighborhood watch!

Anyway, whenever  we took our a$$es outside, we played all sorts of games.  Some of my favorites were:

Mother May I?

Blind Man’s Bluff

Dodgeball

Kickball

Hide and Seek (When I got older the boys wanted to play something called ‘Hide and Go Get It!’)  But intuitively I knew better than to play that game.

Moving on…

Needless to say, my cohorts and I played all of these games at school as well.  But, at school, we also engaged in something I like to call ‘hood cheerleading.’

Confused?  Ok, let me explain.  Basically, a ‘hood cheer’ is a chant that sounds similar to the formal chants that you might hear from a ‘real cheerleader.’  However, ‘hood cheers’  had a tendency to lean more toward the omlish side.

By the way, ‘omlish’ is a Southern term for a little girl who acts like a grown woman, probably a corruption of ‘womanish.’

Either way, I loved ‘hood cheers.’  Believe it or not, I can still vividly remember the excitement of engaging in these little ‘call and response’ masterpieces!

Now, if you will, please check out 9 year old ‘me’ as I say my rhyme in one of my favorite ‘hood cheers:’

 

ALL:  Hooley, Hooley! Who think they bad?  

Me:   I do!

ALL:  Hooley, Hooley! Who think they bad?

Me:   Well I think I’m bad and Gwin is my name.  Boys follow me ’cause they like what they see.  I got this dude on my mind, don’t you worry ’bout his sign!  I got his picture in a frame, don’t you worry ’bout his name!  

ALL:  Um! She think she bad!

Me:  BayBEE… I know I’m bad!

ALL: Um! She think she fine!

Me:  Finer than the best red wine!  

ALL:  Hooley, hooley!  Who think they bad?

And on it went until each girl had her chance to tell us why she thought she was bad—in rhyme form!  It should be noted that my rhyme was pretty standard; most of the girls said something very similar.

That sh!t makes me die laughing as I think about it today!

Side note:  I went on to become a well respected high school varsity cheerleader for 3 years.  I was also Co-captain my senior year.  Suffice it to say, by that time, my cheerleading style was much more refined, precise and sportsmanlike!  LOL!!

At any rate, I hate to be the old fogey lamenting over “the kids today…”  But I do have to say that children’s games these days lack the creativity and imagination that accompanied the games that we played; not to mention the exercise 😦  Frankly, schools are partially to blame because they opted to remove recess and physical education from the curriculum. Honestly, I think we need to rethink that move.

So now that you’ve  heard my take, what games did you play?

As for me, I’m glad mama’nem made us take our a$$es outside!