Category Archives: Mothering

Shock and Awe: Pregnant Teen Sues Parents

Every since last week, I’ve been going OFF about this pregnant 16-year-old who had the audacity to sue her parents.
So is that what they’re doing now? Teens are rewarding their parents by bringing lawsuits against them, eh?
In case you haven’t heard about this foolery, let me give you some background in what I’ll be ranting and raving about.
Parents of the pregnant teen were unhappy to learn that she was with child and so, they were pressuring her to have an abortion. parents and teen girl They supposedly issued threats (that her life was going to be ruined; she was flushing her future down the drain; she wasn’t going to amount to nothing; they were going to make her life miserable, etc) in hopes of steering her to abort the fetus.
Turns out her parents were indeed making her life a living hell. Plus they must have taken away the vehicle that they purchased for her.
This child got the bright idea to solicit the help of some group (obviously pro-lifers) to support and represent her in suing her parents.
To shorten the story, she won the case against her parents. They couldn’t force her to have an abortion (which we all already know. No clinic would ever perform an abortion on an unwilling patient) the parents can no longer go around making her life a living hell or uncomfortable. The parents agreed to let her use the car that they purchased, in order for her to get back-and-forth to school and work. She will be allowed to marry her 16-year-old boyfriend. The parents will also pay her cell phone bill and half of her health insurance.
This is what our country has boiled down to. Teens are being rewarded for their bad decisions and choices, while the parents are being punished. What responsibility are these two irresponsible “children” being taught when they’re being rewarded the “gifts” they seek in a court of law?
I agree. No one should be threatened with physical force when it comes to an unexpected pregnancy, but why would the parents have to be responsible for half of her medical expenses? Why do they have to allow her to enjoy the privilege of driving around in a car that they purchased? Why on God’s green earth do they have pay for her to have the luxury of a cell phone?
I’ve always been under the assumption that grown people take care of themselves. Grown folks don’t “need: anyone to pay their cell phone bills; they don’t “need” to use the car they someone else bought; they don’t “need” some to pay for half their medical expenses.
The mere fact that this child “needs” her parents for these minute things is a testament that she doesn’t “need” a child because she can’t even take care of the basic things that she needs (wants) to survive.
If she and her boyfriend want to make grown-up decisions, then why wouldn’t they be ordered to endure the grown-up consequences?

All-in-all there was definitely a better way for this unfortunate situation to be handled, besides this child dragging her parents to court.
If you found yourself in this situation what would your reaction be? How would you handle such a court ruling?

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Had it been me:

Chances are extremely high that I’d be held in contempt of court and ordered to jail for an extensive amount of time.
First, I would have taken my SUV and ran over the car that I was told to let her drive. I would have driven back and forth over the heap of rubble until it was obliterated! While in the midst destroying that vehicle I would have called the insurance company to cancelled my coverage before calling the cell phone company and breaking whatever contract I had remaining on the account.
The nerve of that child, the judicial system and whatever idiots represented her in court!
I know my reaction would be extreme, but I’m an extreme kind of gal. I firmly believe that when there are no consequences, these are the messes that you end up with!

Food for thought:

Did it not cross anyone’s mind that maybe it was the privilege of having access to a car and the luxury of a cell that got her into her pregnancy fiasco to begin with? Hmm.

She has all of these people in her corner now, but where will they be once this child is born? What help will they (especially the little loud mouth 16-year-old boy who helped to get her in this mess) provide when it’s 2-years-old? 5-years-old? 13-years-old? Matter of fact, where will any of them be when this child winds up pregnant (or has someone pregnant) at 16?
We all know how this fairy tale will end.
I’m so certain that it’ll end with a big fat, “I told you so!”

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Open Letter: To My Daughters

I think it’s every mother’s dream to have a precious little daughter. We all want a daughter to dress up all pretty and comb her hair up into pigtails with the world’s prettiest bows. Each of would like to have that little girl who’ll grow up and one day be one of our closest friends. How lucky am I? I got blessed doubly — I have two of the world’s greatest girls, as my daughters.

My Two Girls!

My Two Girls!

Dear Girls,

Every day I express gratitude for both of you. I’m so proud to call myself your mother. I’ve loved each of you since the moment I learned of your existence. You two have a long lives ahead of you, still I’m extremely proud of who you are today.
My dream is for both of my girls to go out and bless the world with their strengths, charm and sheer awesomeness! Priceless traits that my parents blessed me with, I hope to continue passing onto the both of you.
I have no doubt that you two will change the world, as you’re armed with an exuberant amount of intelligence, charm, wit and brilliance.
No matter who or what comes up against you, keep your feet firmly planted and heels driven in the earth and always remember who you are, where you came from and what you’re capable of.
You are priceless prizes and nothing will ever change that! Remember to always use your powers for good (wink).

Love You Both Always,

Your Proud Mother

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Open Letter to the NRA

Dear NRA Leaders,

Hello! My name is Mariann and I am the mother of four children, whom I LOVE more than anything. My love for them is what brings me to write this letter.
Midway through the year of 2011, I packed my four children up and moved across the country. I left behind my parents, my sibling, nieces, nephews, aunts, cousins, friends and neighbors, many of whom I’ve known for the last thirty years of my life.

Our drive down to Texas!

Our drive down to Texas!

Mainly, I did this because I wanted save my teenage son. You see, Detroit has become the belly of the beast, as it pertains to crime and violence. Crime has soared beyond the perimeter of the clouds and gun violence is amongst the highest in the nation. The homicide rate for black males is astronomical.
As I already stated, I love my teenage son. He’s my firstborn and I didn’t want to lose him to a bullet. So it was best for me to relocate somewhere completely foreign to us. Even if it meant leaving behind everything and everyone with which I was familiar.
When we’d safely moved away I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. I was amazed that we’d successfully escaped. We’d escaped the vicious threat of unnecessary, untimely, senseless violence and/or a tragic death,  which would’ve  likely brought itself, unsolicited, to my front doorstep. Just as it had to so many of my fellow Detroit parents, attempting to raise their children within city limits.
I can’t help but feel that the life of a black teenage boy isn’t respected. Not by his peers, not by the law, not the gun lobbyist, the NRA, Washington and especially not by the urban law enforcement; seeing that no one has ever taken any measures to curtail the threat to their existence.
I called myself moving from that lack-a-daisy inner city attitude (as it pertained to my son) and into an area where he’d have a better chance at surviving his childhood and teenage years.
In my mind, the suburbs had to be better than the urban cement jungle. Right?
Well, I was partially right.
This last year and a half, I got the best sleep ever.  I haven’t slept so soundly, since becoming a mother nearly sixteen years ago. I was able to sleep comfortably because my child, my children were safe.  Not only were they safe, but they were also free.
No longer was I hesitant to let them walk to the neighborhood store. Now they could go outside and play, as children ought to be, without the constant threat of gunshots ringing out!
For the first time, in a really long time, I’ve been able to let my mommy guard down, rest and exist in peace.
Now what I’d like you to do is imagine how pissed I was when that peace was unexpectedly  interrupted and that protective mommy guard had to go back up!
July 2012 is when that maniac walked into that Colorado movie theater, in suburban Aurora, and opened fire on audience members waiting to view a movie.
Imagine the terror that infringed upon my person when I learned of that tragedy. Especially since my teens are at the movie theatre every free chance that they get.
With that horrific incident I was back in full mommy protection mode.
But wait Mr. NRA leader and other NRA people. It gets even worse! Just when enough time had passed, I started thinking, “that was an isolated incident, not likely that it’ll happen again.”
I, along with the rest of the nation, receive another punch in the gut, this pass December.
It goes without saying, our schools are suppose to be one of the safest places for our children, next to our own homes. It’s suppose to be that lone place, outside of home, where you can let your guard down and know without a shadow of a doubt, that your child is protected.
Never once did any of those Newtown parents think that they were sending their children into the direct line of fire. Never did it cross any of their minds that, “Today! A mad gunman could shoot his way into my child’s school and commit a heinous crime against them!” Never once did any one of them consent to sending their beautiful and innocent children onto a battlefield that December morning.
Those are NOT the thoughts that we, as parents,  have when we send our babies off to school! It’s not what we think about when we purchase tickets to watch a movie or when we pull into the parking lot of the local mall to go shopping.
When did going on about our daily lives, begin to mean that a little bit of deadly gun violence can be inserted in there, at any moment? When did our beautiful nation become an open battlefield? When did the American people become moving targets?

As that mother of four who fled to a suburban Texas city to flee the inner city gun violence, in order to save my oldest son, I want you to know I’m back to being filled with constant worry. My thoughts, days and nights are back to being consumed with being their protector.
Understand this, not only am I back to being concerned for the safety of my teenage son, but now I’m just as concerned for the safety of his siblings! I’m concerned times four now. Way more than before!

The open and constant threat of gun violence is no longer reserved primarily for the young black males that roam through the inner city. It has broken rank and has penetrated the beautiful folds of suburbia.
It has presented itself in the workplace, shopping centers, college campuses, high school campuses, and sadly elementary school campuses. So yes! I’m back. I’m back to worrying each and every single time I or my four children leave the safety of our home.
It’s clear that gun violence will rear its ugly head whenever and wherever. Gun violence is no longer reserved for certain areas, times, days or people. The threat is constant for everyone and can present itself anywhere and at anytime!
NRA Leaders, this doesn’t have to be. The American people don’t have to live under the constant threat of gun violence. The American people shouldn’t have to live in fear. They shouldn’t have to wonder nor anticipate when and where the next shocking and tragic act of gun violence will occur. Why does this have to be America’s new normal?
It’s no secret that the current president and his administration are not friends of yours. But if only, for the sake of the American people and being an American and loving this nation, as you so loudly proclaim, can the common sense measures that everyone agrees upon be taken? Can we agree to implement those laws? Can those be the first steps taken?
Mothers and fathers, such as myself, would like nothing more than to get back to our old normal?
For the sake of our children and our sanity, shed the labels and erase the party lines. Let’s stop the finger-pointing and find solutions. Let’s get back using common sense. Let’s get back to the times where people meant more than the right to possess guns. Let’s get back to being caring Americans. More importantly, let’s get back to being human.

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I want to successfully usher each of my children into adulthood. I want to experience high school and college graduations. I want to witness the big weddings. I want to see my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren! Those are the things that I, and a whole lot of other parents want. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for.
We just want to live.
We want to get back to the way things use to be.

Sincerely,

Mariann

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Too Late Now

No kidding. When I first saw him I knew that he was going to change my life. I had no idea how, but I knew he would, that was February 2001.
December 2003 I gave birth to our son.
That was the day that he officially fell in love with me, and for the first time in thirty years, he was happy. Can you believe that? He’d never known happiness in three decades of “living”.
Witnessing the intensity of labor,
nearly losing consciousness as the epidural was being given,
watching the debut of our son,
cutting the umbilical cord and learning that our baby will indeed be his namesake,
collectively, that allowed him to finally know what it felt like to be happy. If only momentarily and in spurts over the next eight years, he’d finally have his own personal stories of happiness to reflect upon.

Our son would be his first and only (biological) child.
He and I would be the reasons why love and happiness were able to exist in such a damage, hurt and overly guarded space.
For that, we’re eternally grateful.

Many conversations were exchanged between he and I about love and happiness, from the time our son was born up until four days before he perished.
It’s obvious to everyone who knows us, that I loved him from early on and he loved me and our child up until the very end.
A rather unique situation for me. One that I’m sure I’ll never have again.

Last words to me: I’ll always love you for what you’ve given me…
Last words to our son: Always remember your daddy loves you. Alright? Love ya’ boy!

I’ve had  six months to assess, reassess and asses all over again, the relationship that he and I had. It’s completely clear how he changed my life.
I’m able to confirm that I’ve never had any love for anyone (outside of my children, of course!) other than him.
That was the first and only time that I’ve loved someone.

But what good are my words and acknowledging these truths, when he’s not here to hear them?
It’s too late now.

 

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Numbers Trumps Feelings Part I

When I first started considering the idea of relocating my family, the one thing that concerned me most was, taking my children from a lackluster educational environment to a phenomenal one. I knew (without truly knowing) that the Texas school curriculum was going to be more advanced and rigorous, than what we’d grown accustomed to in Michigan.
Out of my three school-aged children, I was only concerned for the younger two.
Two of my children have the tendency to start the school year off on the weak side. They struggle in mainly in the area of reading (on and above their grade level). But with my usual and constant help, along with a willing, supportive and patient teacher, I was certain that both of them would be able to kick it in high gear and get on the same page as their peers.
Last school year, we arrived nearly a month after the start of Texas schools. This concerned me because it wasn’t advantageous for two of my three.  But, I stayed positive and got them enrolled in their respective schools and grades.  My oldest was a high school freshman, the second child was an eighth grader and bringing up the rear was my youngest son, a new third grader!

As expected, my oldest blended right in. He picked up on the curriculum, as if he’d been doing it all his life. Easy Peasy! Much to my surprise, the second child also jumped right in and blended effortlessly. Whew! That was such a shocker because she’d never done that before. Admittedly, it was such a relief! I had one less child to worry about!
Sadly though, it wasn’t seventy-two hours post-enrollment of my third grader that I got the anticipated call from a school administrator– She needed to meet with me concerning some observations that his teachers made.

To make a long story short, I expected there to be an issue with his reading, like I stated earlier. I was going into this meeting expecting that we’d put our heads together to devise a plan to help him be successful with his reading. Imagine my surprise, when I got everything  but that!
At the meeting I was bombarded by the assistant principal, two teachers, the reading specialist and some other administrator lady. I was told, “that after close observation we are worried with our findings”. (Remember: He was a student for less than seventy-two hours). He’s reading below grade level. He doesn’t know place values. He’s not able to add or subtract……”

They went on and on, with a list of things that they claim my third grader couldn’t do, before telling me that he needs to be placed back in second grade.

I was completely shocked and caught off guard! One, I was shocked by the long list of things that he “couldn’t” do. It was all untrue, with the exception of his reading below grade level (I tested him on everything that they pointed out, and he passed every area. This they would have known if they’d tested him or spent  some more time with him!).
Two, I was shocked that this was their first and only recommendation, and that they’d resorted to intimidation tactics to get me to go along with what they were saying.
Three, I  was shocked that no other factors were even taken into consideration.

My response: Woo! Really? This is the plan that you all came up with after knowing a student for barely two days? As an educator, putting a child back an entire grade would NOT be my first recommendation to a parent, especially after having a child come into the classroom nearly a month later than everyone else. I definitely would spend more than two days observing and getting to know him and his personality.
There are many factors that I would take into consideration before making such a drastic conclusion. The first being, he has relocated from across country. Second, he’s brand new to the school, to the classroom, to the teacher, to the students etc. Third, he’s a rather shy and quiet child. He doesn’t like to be put on the spot or embarrassed. Instead of answering a question and getting it incorrect, he’ll simply say, “I don’t know.” Lastly, I would invest more time in observing him, minimally two weeks. Then after all of that, I would tell the parents about my areas of concern and together we can work on those areas, to fight effortlessly to get him on the same path as everyone else. If after several weeks (before the oh-so important state testing) then if there’s no improvement, we can discuss options and devise another plan.
Holding a child back, is the last option, not the first option.
Even after all those well made points, they still wanted to put my son back an entire grade. They already had their minds made-up and they didn’t take anything that I said into consideration.
In my opinion, it would be easier for them to put him back. Putting him back meant no need to put in any extra effort towards ensuring his success. And, their numbers and test scores meant more than all of my points and his self-esteem combined. When I realized that this group of people didn’t have the best interest of my child front and center, I removed him from Katy ISD. I decided that I was going to home school him instead of leaving him at that school, with those people over him.

What I’ve learned since moving to this state and to this school district: Eff your feelings! Our numbers trump you and your kid’s feelings!

Up next: Numbers Trump Feelings Part II: What happened upon fourth grade enrollment?

 

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One Year Ago….

….the four little’s, Dooney the dog,  and I arrived, for the very first time, to our new home and the state of Texas!

 

It’s hard to believe that an entire three hundred and sixty-five days have already passed since we transitioned our lives from Michigan and away from everyone that we knew. It was and remains one of the hardest (and necessary) decisions of my life…..our lives.

Admittedly, relocating wasn’t as easy as it may come across. I had to deal with the school district wanting to place my littlest son back a grade level, my oldest boy experienced extreme culture and identity shock, while being in the midst of adolescence. My biggest gal was jockeying for her position in our family unit (which has been a huge headache), all this I endured daily, while chasing a 1-year-old toddler around from sun up to sun back down. Those are just the issues that I had to deal with concerning my children. I won’t even get into my own “grown-up adult” struggles. But, whatever the case, we made it! Happily and with a smile adorning my face, I can declare that we have, indeed, made it!

We have accomplished another one of the many goals that we’ve set for ourselves as a family, and it feels so good! Initially, we struggled to find our “Texas” footing, but we have managed to get on track. Everyone is happy and we have set lots of new goals for ourselves.

I definitely wanted to express how proud I am of us and thank everyone who has traveled this journey alongside us. My family back home, thanks for supporting my decision and us, as we transitioned. Thanks to everyone who rooted, pulled and prayed for us. Most importantly, thank you for tuning in to read, support, give advice and express your opinions on my blog posts.

I look forward to moving ahead with everyone continuing alongside us! Lots more adventures to come!

Us making our way to the Great State of TEXAS!

Us again! Really just getting started out on the road!

 

 

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Dooney Boy!

This post is in honor of the most dependent, yet my thoughtful member of our household: Mr. Dooney Bourke D.

Dooney
HOT MESS in action!!!

Dooney has been a part of our family for the last y years. He was given to us by a long time friend because of his anxious and destructive behavior. Needless to say, he has been very destructive in our home, but he’s still overly anxious (separation anxiety to the MAX!). We when relocated from Michigan I thought about giving him to another family, because we didn’t know what to expect with the big move. I knew that whom ever I placed him with would have to be extremely patient, retired, boring, financially stable and an over-the-top dog lover. I knew the chances of me finding someone to meet that criteria would be slim to none, which is how he wound up moving to Texas with us. Plus, I just couldn’t and didn’t want to leave him behind. He is a unit of our family and we love him too much to abandon him!

Dooney
So Fresh and So Clean!!!

 

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