Hey, thanks for letting me get my grief out for all these months. With the sentiments in this piece being said I think I’m ready to get more into what I’m into politically and socially. Anyway here tis:
Our children. They have always been our pride and joy. Two girls, Tawny Maya and Nyla Summer and Carlos Biko, our tremendously energetic boy. I can’t adequately express just how much I admire them for how they’ve stood tall in spite of the smothering sadness they’ve endured with their mother no longer in their lives other than in a spiritual sense.
I don’t know how I could have made it without them making sure that we continue hanging out to have a little fun every now and then as we’ve always done as a family.
Raising these beautiful people with Nancy has, on the whole, been a ball, filled with some moments that were like a walk through the park on a nice sunny day and some moments like those parents experience when they’re reduced to talking in tongues and thumbing through the Old Testament for instructions on sacrificing their little darlings as burnt offerings.
It seems like just when you think you have the parenting thing down something happens like when one of them, guess who, at age 16, drives up in a 280 Z because we had assumed that our “You’re too young, you don’t need a car!” was the equivalent of “Hell no!” You win some and you lose some.
As I look back over the years of bringing the kids up the images in my mind flash by like scenes in a time lapse movie show. One moment we’re singing them lullabies and little made up free style ditties as they gurgle and coo and go poo – then we’re teaching them to swim and watching them perform in water shows, all before they’re a year old – then we’re cracking up looking at videos created out of the most imaginative of minds – then they’re playing the piano and the flute and the clarinet and the French Horn and tapping and jazz dancing and playing soccer and basketball and softball and baseball and roller hockey and running track and we’re running around at their schools fundraising for this and that.
Then, voila, the kids are grown and gone, out on their own, stopping by on occasion for a little loan – or a big one.
And it’s so gratifying to see that they’re out there in this troubled world striving to do the right thing because, in our hearts, we always felt that that’s what we were modeling. What more could we ask of them?
I love that they are following passions they acquired when they were little. They all write and Tawny is struggling to make a career as a journalist as newspapers die. Two summers ago her mom and I were filled with pride when she won an award for an article she wrote for the Chula Vista Star News, an article with which I, as a black man, can fully identify, to wit: a Latino father, son, and holy man were mistaken for thieves and as Tawny probed she found that their color being brown had a lot to do with what went down.
Now, Tawny, when she’s not freelancing for a writing syndicate, works as a nanny for a beautiful little boy in OB. He’s as lucky as he can be. The loss of her mother has not altered her relationship with this tiny fellow to any degree.
Nyla, a nanny also, has always been fascinated with children (she breast fed her dolls as a little girl) and, years ago, she cared for twin girls in OB, in her special tender way, while earning a degree at SDSU in Child Development. Now she has her sights on a nursing degree, hoping to enter the field of midwifery. I’ve been in awe of how she managed in all her grief to earn top grades in some pretty gnarly science heavy pre-nursing classes.
Carlos, too, has a special way with children, and has found social work a satisfying way to work with them and is now pursuing a masters in the field at good old Montezuma Mesa. I like the way he has kept in touch with families who are no longer his responsibility, indicating that he’s willing to go far beyond the basics called for in his profession. And he, like Nyla, rather than succumbing to the intense sorrow that has plagued us, managed to pass his courses with the grades required of him in graduate school.
Oh, how I adore them and I will always cherish how comforting they’ve been to me and I hope with all that’s in me that I’ve reciprocated their generous outpouring of love in our time of need.