A Study in Tenacity: My Son, the Graduate

With degree
My Son with his Degree from Emory University in Atlanta Georgia
When he left for college…

We prayed for him.

We encouraged him.

We guided him.

We supported him.

We cheered for him.

We consoled him.

We pushed him.

We pulled him.

We LOVED him…

But the one thing that we could not do was go to school for him.

 

Nevertheless, we did all that we could.

And now…

After enduring any number of set backs, this young man soldiered on and did the DAMN thang!

He NEVER gave up!

And we expected nothing less.

So, please join us as we celebrate the accomplishments of my beloved son.

First, a word about his alma mater, Emory University.

Emory is a private university, nestled within the tony Druid Hills neighborhood of Atlanta, GA–actually it’s more so Decatur but anyway….. 🙂

The University was ranked by The Wall Street Journal as number 17 of 500 US national private and public universities.

It is the only University in Georgia to make the top 20.

Some notable alumni include, Robert W. Woodruff of Coca-Cola fame.  In fact, Mr. Woodruff’s family and charitable foundation remain huge supporters of the University.

Other notable alumni include:

Dr. Bernice King (Daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Robert Jones (Professional Golfer and Father of The Masters Golf Tournament)

Kenneth Cole (Famous Designer)

Notable Faculty include:

39th U.S. President, James Earl “Jimmy” Carter, Jr.

19th U.S. Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey

His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama

It is also important to note that Emory University Hospital accepted and cared for American physician and Ebola patient, Dr. Kent Brantly back in 2014.

So….

I’d say, this kid was in good company huh?

But seriously, I am so proud of my sweet boy—now young man!

That said, we don’t get to celebrate the accomplishments of African-American men very often, so please indulge me as I do that here.

Here is a short video and a collage of pics.

First, a 30 second video of the Graduation Processional.

The music was provided by Atlanta Pipe Band.

Bag Pipes!  YAAAAAYYY!!!

 

Additional program music was provided by The Atlanta Symphony Brass Quintet.

 

 

Mama loves you Rod!  And in the words of the great Theodor Geisel aka Dr. Seuss, “Oh the places you’ll go!”

Oh the places

Thanks for allowing me to share this with you.  Please be sure to comment and offer any words of advice to my son as he starts a new chapter in his life!

Love and light to you all!

Lady G

😘💋

 

 

 

 

Listen to Mama…

 

mamasideeye
Mama throwing serious side-eye!

My 22 year-old son and I are very close.

We always have been.

From the moment he was born, he and I were inseparable.

I can remember turning down plenty of opportunities to go hang out with friends; opting instead to stay home with my baby boy.

People would say, “I know the perfect babysitter.”

To which I would respond with something along the lines of, “Well, I don’t know that person and neither does my son…so there’s that.”

Sounds harsh doesn’t it?

Oh well!

Anyway, suffice it to say, whenever my son (or my daughter) would ask to do things that were borderline ‘iffy,’ I’d think long and hard before deciding whether or not I would allow them to partake.

And, whenever I decided NOT to allow them to do something, I would explain, sometimes ad nauseum,  why I came to the conclusion that I did.

Then I would punctuate that explanation with the following statement, “Baby, you are extremely valuable and you cannot be replaced.”

That said, Mama watched them babies like the proverbial HAWK!

But then…

My son graduated high school and went away to college.

At that point, all bets were off!

He was his own man and I had no control over his choices.

My only saving grace was the fact that I still had influence.

Luckily, my son and I had always been able to talk about ANYTHING…and I mean anything.

He valued my opinion and often sought and listened to my advice.

YAAASSS!

He sought and listened to my advice…

Until he didn’t.

And that’s when I had to come to terms with the fact that this dude was now an adult who was more than capable of making his own decisions.

In short, I needed to fall back!

So nowadays, when he tells me that he’s leaving to go on a tour of the Moon and Mars, I just have to say a quiet prayer, be still, and know that God is watching over him wherever he goes.

Now…

Having said all of that, I recently told my son, “Listen to Mama…but just not too much.”

Friends, I said that because I want him to benefit from my wisdom and experience but not be paralyzed by my fears.

He got my point.

I hope you do too.

But just in case you didn’t…

Remember, whether you are seeking advice from Mama, Daddy, or whomever, use your own discernment.

Take what’s useful and kindly leave what’s not!

***Said the woman who has been white-knuckling her way through motherhood!

LOL!!!

Love and light to you!

LadyG 😘💋

PS:  This is dedicated to my children, R and J, and for ALL of my “babies” in the blogosphere!  

You guys know who you are 🙂

This is also for every parent and child, no matter where you are in the process 🙂

 

The Scalloped Potatoes Standoff

potato-gratin-61106_1280

 

Warning:   This is a 20th century parenting strategy that will land you in jail if you tried it today. Also, be aware that this post includes a whole lot of Southern vernacular/ dialect or whatever a linguist might call it! 😉

I love scalloped potatoes!  I can eat them on any given day of the week.  I like them with cheese, chives, cheese and chives, onions-whatever.  Any iteration of scalloped potatoes is all good with me 🙂

But it wasn’t always that way.

In fact, when I was a kid, I HATED scalloped potatoes!!!  Baby there aren’t enough exclamation points to help me stress this point.  Now, do you think that this fact mattered to my mama?  Ummm…NO!

Note:  If you don’t know my mama, go back and read the post “Mama and the Balloon Man.”

Anyway, I grew up during a time when you ate whatever your mama cooked.  There was none of this ‘meals cooked to order’ business!  Either you ate whatever was placed in front of you or you stayed hungry.

Well, there was also another possibility. Let me explain.

One 1970’s-ish day, mama cooked meatloaf with butter beans and…you got it… freaking scalloped potatoes! I remember quickly gulping down the meatloaf and butter beans–baby they were delicious!  After doing so, I politely used my napkin to wipe my mouth (mama taught us manners) and I commenced to go outside.  Mind you, those scalloped potatoes were still sitting on my plate, just as mama had placed them.

My dear hearts, before I could reach the door, mama said, “Where you goin’?”  I said, “I’m going outside to play jacks.”  Friends, I could tell by the scowl on mama’s face that she didn’t like my response!  I remember how she looked at me–then at my plate and said, “Get your butt back over there and eat them scalloped potatoes—and you better eat every bit or you gone sit there all night!”

Baby, she threw the gauntlet down!  And so did I.  The scalloped potatoes standoff was on!

Ok, I knew not to completely defy her so I sat my butt down and stared at the scalloped potatoes.  My brother, who was very young said, “Gwin-Gwin (that’s what he called me back then) you better eat your food!”  Mama looked at him and said, “Don’t tell her nothin’, she gone see!”

No matter, I just sat there looking at the plate.

Before long, I looked up and realized that I was the only person left sitting at the table; but that didn’t bother me.  I simply REFUSED to eat those potatoes and I was prepared to stay there all night to prove it!

As you might have guessed, sitting at the table alone got pretty boring so I remember adding massive amounts of pepper and salt to the scalloped potatoes; I literally made them inedible-or so I thought.

A few minutes later, my dad walked in the front door; he had just gotten home from work.  As a railroad conductor, he worked 16 hour days so he usually got off pretty late.  When daddy saw me sitting at the table he said, “Bay why you still sittin’ at the table?”  To that, I replied,“Mama making me!”

Well, daddy knew better than to contradict any of mama’s edicts.  Baby, everybody knew that, when it came to disciplinary matters, my mother had the last say. That being the case, dad put his work bag down on the floor and proceeded to move on to another area of the house.

Friends, just as I turned my head away from daddy, I felt a sharp pain!  It was mama coming down on me with a belt!  She was wearing me out!  All I could hear her say was “Now eat them damn potatoes!”

Baby when I tell you that I “ate them damn potatoes,” I mean, I ate ‘em!  In fact, I didn’t use a fork!  I shoved them down my throat with both hands! Tears and snot was everywhere!

Um hmm… It looks like mama won the standoff 😉

Anyway, many years later, mama and I would laugh about that story.  One day, right before she passed away, we talked about that little episode and she smiled at me and said, “I couldn’t let you win.”

As a mother, I knew exactly what she meant!

What do you think mama meant?