Friday, June 15, 2012
My children are from the new millennium. Their names are Justin, Joey, Tabitha and Nico aka KING KONG, DING DONG, QUEEN KONG. And my godchild Nico, I used to call MOCO because when he was a toddler he had a lot of snot. I’m not sure if I do right by them but they all seem to want to spend more time with me. Sometimes they just want to talk or want me to join them in some physical adventurous activity.Im okay with that. I’d be fatter if it wasn’t for them making me move a little more than I would if I was childless. Now what is hard for me is shopping for frilly things with Tabitha, or telling them about the ugly things our society has set up for them to face like racism and sexism.Or that we live in the class system where money before people matters.
Nico and Tabitha are the oldest. When Nico was born, I tell him that I saw him come out of his mama’s belly. I was there when she had a Caesarean. In that moment he was born, it was if I had forgotten what joy was about. That’s all I felt when my eyes first saw him. My eyes still tear up when I think of that moment. I felt absolute most divine light room filling JOY. My heart burst open more than it had ever been bloomed before.
When Nico was 2 years old I didn’t want him to learn how to kiss from soap operas. I didn’t want him to learn sexuality or affection from fucked up television. I want him to learn all that naturally. I have talks with Tabitha daily that her intelligence is as important as her looks or body. That I don’t want Nico to be oppressive and UN thoughtful about women and that I don’t Tabitha to demean herself and yet I want them to be free about their sexuality and not have any hang-ups about sex. Tabitha freaked me out when she wanted to wear big hoop earrings to 5th grade! Already she is more concerned about her looks than writing or reading.
I am trying to prepare them for reality but also plant hopefulness so they can carry with them all their lives. Hope.
Hope is like corn. Gotta plant it to grow it. But you can’t tell a lies. And I’m not about to lie to my babies.
My children are full of themselves. They love to look at themselves in the mirror. And they think they are so cute. They are. Then again at times, they tell me they feel terrible about themselves. But we all feel like that at times. Sometimes we feel cute and other times we pick at ourselves where we are not perfect.
I was definitely Asian in my past life. I love beauty and order. I admire the Zen of perfection but I don’t my children to be afraid to make mistakes. I’m not looking for perfect looking ear of corn although corn is perfect with all its imperfections as it IS. I like that corn is imperfect just like my children. My friend, Jane, who is growing corn in her urban front yard, said that her organic corn is smaller.
My children have been judged as imperfect. And they are. I like them like that. My boys have been diagnosed with ADHD blah blah and getting them off meds was easy and at times like an exorcism. My plan is to defy the labels and diagnosis. They are intelligent humans and my goal is to help them discover and recover from the hurt that has been placed on them. This is where I refuse to be defined by white colonization and medical model of illness and intelligence. The wildest colts do make the best horses.
I don’t want my children to be good workers in our slave system or what I call the madness. But I do want them to be good workers that love to do a good job. Work is good. That doing nothing but being depressed or drugged not the way they would want to spend their time. WORK IS GOOD. Perfection isn’t the goal. Doing their best IS. I tell the must learn to struggle and that they can whistle why they work. I am reminded of the Buddhist saying: before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. You have to know how to chingar. That means endure struggle and suffer thru things. If you can’t get over it you have to go thru it and that is that.
My boys Justin and Joey know suffering. They were taken by the state from their parents who struggle with drug addictions. Those boys know fear and hurt. They also know how to check out from emotions. They had to learn how to get thru the pain when no one was around to help them. Yet I see them as so tender. I worry that they will be too tender that they will be brutalized by other men. And I also worry will they be brutal men? I asked them one day, “WHAT KIND OF MEN DO YA WANNA BE LIKE? LIKE SO AND SO? OR SO AND SO?!!!!!” Joey said so matter of fact, “Like you, Ari.”
It hit me like someone punched me in my chest. There was no smile in his face. Real serious he said it. I wanted to burst out laughing. He knows I am a woman. He wasn’t being a smart ass or clever. He meant it.
I hope my children know that when they really need someone that they have me. When do I be there for them and when do I let them figure it out for themselves? Just when I think I am being too hard they ask me to not go to work and stay home. Sometimes they say I am being mean. I say, “I mean business”. My word means something. I promised them, I would never lie to them and that I would keep my word. I dunno But I do know one thing. If theres trouble or they are scared, they look for me. That’s because I DO MEAN BUSINESS. And yet I can’t protect them everything.
I confess. I struggle with my commitment to nonviolence. I used to have a poster that I lost and found again years later. I was excited when I thought it was a poster of acupuncture points but instead it was a poster of Martial Artists strike points to kill an opponent. My friend, who was with me when I found it, laughed and said, “Oh yeah that’s from the days you wanted kill people not heal them!!” Non violence Principle 1 of Martin Luther King, Jr. is “Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people. So far, all I can say is Love gives me courage. I hope my love helps me finds the ways to do right for my children. I tell myself that how I am with them NOW is how they will be with their children and how my grandchildren will be with their children. I take the next generation seriously. I hope I pass the skills and information I have so they can learn how to heal themselves and help other people.
I do mean business.
Each kernel makes a lot more corn. Our children are the children of the corn.And for whatever reason, these four are in my path, surely they must be extraordinary, and Creator wouldn’t have blessed me with just anybody. Any child that happens to stumble in my bunny trail has got to be special.
Gotta go plant some corn with all my love and hope.