Friday, October 20, 2017

How would you like to be remembered?

"I remember the last words my Father said to me right before he kicked the bucket".

"Hey, watch me kick this bucket!"

I only hope I live the kind of life and have the kind of relationship with my daughter that she would be willing to tell this joke at my funeral service. . . and the kind of friends who would laugh because I would want them to (and at least ONE good friend willing to dress as the Grim Reaper with a "You're NEXT" sign!).  On a more Macro level, if they think of me and smile. . .then I've done my job.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Another from the Darndest Things file. . .

Eva: Dad, Who is Mister Mister?

Me: A rock group from the 80s.

Eva: Oh. I thought it was some guy named "Mister"

Took the good !

Sooooo.... We're drivinng in the car from Church and from a lil' shopping when I roll down the windows reveling in the serene summer sun and such. In the back the Lil' ones are chomping hard upon some Tropical flavored chewing-gum. The car smells like a tropical forest until.....A car approaches and passes that reeks of gasoline. I hear some sniffing from the back seat, then almost urined upon myself while laughing. The Lil' Diva asks "What's that smell ?" Here Mother-Dearest replies "It's gas." Lil' Diva responds "That gas took the 'good' out of my 'gum !"

Friday, March 12, 2010

We need to tell our own stories

We need to tell our own stories
I was reading about The Blind Side, yet another "Whitey Saves The Negroes" movie, based on a true story, starring Sandra Bullock - you know the one she one the Oscar for. I haven't seen it yet, so I don't know if the Oscar was well deserved or, like Denzel in Training Day, the Academy finally got around to recognizing her body of work and that just happened to be the movie she was doing at the time, but it got me to thinking:

Where are the Negro Saves The Whitey films? Where are the stories like the true story of my father turning around the Boy Scout Troop I belonged to from a troop that was dying spiritually and physically into a troop that not only made me an Eagle Scout, but boasted more Eagle Scouts during his tenure than in the entire history of the troop?


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

When I get married...

Lately the Lil' Diva has had to deal with a lot of loss. In July 2009 her beloved maternal grandmother became an ancestor. In September 2009 her beloved paternal grandfather became an ancestor and her paternal grandmother was placed into the intensive care unit almost becoming an ancestor. She, the Lil' Diva, dealt with celebrating both of their birthdays without them yet full of tears by our family. She smiled and laughed through a difficult Thanksgiving-Christmas-Kwanzaa-New Years Holy-day/holiday season hiding her loss with comedy and artistic engagement. Then in January I, her Dad was placed in the hospital for an emergency surgery on the same night that her paternal grandmother was placed into the hospital again. During all of this time she has become more apt to shed tears or crack a joke than previously. Yesterday while folding clothes she huffed up the stairs opened the door to my bedroom and stated to my wife and I "Men's underwear are gross ! When I get married my husband is going to have to do his own laundry !" Then she looked directly at me still recovering from my surgery and added "Unless he's sick of course." and semi-slammed the door as she returned to her unfortunate chore. Children say the darnedest things.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

brain surgery on jan 20

I find that i am more than a little worried and in a constant state of prayer.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Nothing to Share, Nothing to Teach...

I Love You Guys.

I almost died recently. According to His will, I Am here now. By His spripes I Am healed.

I Love you guys.

I am walking a rough strech of road now and I Am Blessed to walk it with my Wife Carol.

I Am blessed to have the support of my family and dear friends.

Carol will leave with Zikora in two weeks because of her visa and will come back a month or so later. I will miss her. I miss her now just thinking about it. But she could use the break.

I have a brain tumor in the language processing part of my brain. I have a biopsy hole in my skull. I pass out, have bouts of lethargy, seizures, moments of confusion and i am in extreme pain all the time. I take meds for these things with varying success. (I do have have fewer siezures) The meds have side effects as well. Oh, I musn't forget the fractured shoulders. With all of this going on, I am weaker than I used to be.

I currently am not the bear-handed brick breaking, open-handed coconut cracking, 4-minute mile walking, mental giant of a man. I'm not supposed to be by myself, walk anywhere by myself, exert or stress myself. be around ye olde style TVs , My arms are in braces most of the time. I'm suppossed to be an invalid.

I am in constant pain and TVs and Computers do hurt me somehow, but I am actually afraid to live down to the standard I have been prescribed. I could only get worse living that way. So I walk a few miles a day.(slowly) I write when I can. I dont break bricks any more, but I can do a 15 minute mile.

My God is glorious! Jesus strengthens me and the Spirit carries me!

My health improves, but I havent started the treatments yet. The Radiation and the Chemo are said additional trails and trubulations on the way to recovery.

I pray and am thankful that the Spirit will conitue to carry me through this trial.

I may never regain my full strength, but that thought will not stop me from trying. I Will Be strong.

I love you guys and can use all the support you can spare.


Friday, September 25, 2009

My father is now my ancestor

Dr. Rev. Samuel Lee Varner: Sunrise 10/19/1937. Sunset 09/22/2009.

9.22.2009 I was awoken suddenly at 1:37 a.m. I couldn't determine what awoke me. I couldn't immediately return to sleep. 10 minutes or so later I was snoring. At 1:51 a.m. I'm awakened by a phone call. I hear my mother's muffled voice crying hysterically. My sister in-law then appears on the line saying "Seko, Papi's gone. He's gone."

I couldn't breathe......... "Are you saying that he's dead ? Is that what you're saying ?" hoping that Dad was moved to another room in the Rehab' Center. Life nudged me and I fought back throwing the telephone receiver at the mirror shocking my wife awake. "What, what is it Seko ?" I couldn't answer........Too busy screaming.......Too busy crying.....I wanted to break everything in sight. I ran out of the room yelling and grabbed a lamp on the way out hurling it towards the window. Rhonda's trying to calm me down while I run down the stairs and out of the house screaming. "Don't drive, don't get in the car" she begged as I ran down the streets of my neighborhood. I had to get somewhere where I couldn't break anything else. Finally I fell to my knees on a patch of grass near the main street. After a while I sobbingly returned to my house, dried my eyes, and gathered myself........ Until I looked into the worried face of my 7 year old daughter. The look on her face weakened me as I fell to the floor crying and trying to catch my breath. I couldn't look at my son, I didn't want to make eye contact with him as I couldn't be a strong supportive father at this moment in time. I hated that he saw me completely floored and unable to control myself. I tried to breathe to calm myself but I couldn't. I felt as if I lost the reason to breathe.

Eight hours ago I returned from an anniversary trip to New Orleans with my wife of twelve years. I planned to see Dad as soon as I returned, but became wrapped up in seeing a few counseling client's instead thinking that I'd be able to see Dad tomorrow. Tomorrow never came, tomorrow will never come. Enroute to the nursing home to hold the lifeless hand of my father I sent the text: "My father is now my ancestor."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

When It Rains. . .

Samuel Lee Varner is now an ancestor.

He tried to teach me things and really wanted to see my marriage succeed. It was only very recently I was introduced to his wicked sense of humor, not to dissamilar from my own.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ashe, Ashe, Ashe

As a Conscious-Christian I have taught my children to pray and worship our Savior. As an African I have taught my children to pour libation. We honor and worship The Almighty, we then honor and worship our Savior, we then give honor to our ancestors.

Pouring libation has become very real to mi ninos since their Grammy (Maternal Grandmother) died 15 days ago. This photo taken by my daughter on the day of the funeral is one of my favorite memories of the home going. My wifey is adorned in the pink on the left, a flower blooms in the middle, a family member (Dionne) stands on the right. As our family grieves a flower blooms. My mother-in-law is now ancestor. Ashee

My son has been very strong-seeming. As I traveled to the hospital minutes before Grammy walked into glory he was crying. When we arrived at the hospital to drop off the Wifey he held a stiff upper-lip wiping away his tears with a look of hope and faith on his face. Looking at him I kinda of felt sorry for myself. He seemed to have a faith that The Almighty would heal his Grammy. I had a faith that God's will would be done. I wished I had his faith at that moment, it seemed to be more optimistic. Watching my praying-serving-tithing-minister-devout Christian father struggle lately has left me truly questioning my faith in my faith. During the funeral my son cried watching his mother stomp and shout forcing her pain into praise. He was more worried about his mother than anything. The daughter-girl held onto her Grandfather's (Grammy's widowed husband) hands, fell asleep in his lap, and kept him comforted. My kids were caring for their adults.......... Ashe.
A week prior the Lil-Man cried out loud as the Wifey and I tearfully shared with our kids the news of their Grammy's passing. He cried out loud for 30 seconds then trained his watered eyes on his mother watching her every move as he sobbed softly. The Lil-mama howled-out her pain for five minutes shaking, rocking, and reeling. Five minutes later both wiped their tears and hugged their parents, held their parents, looked towards their parents. A week later my son shared with me as we entered the house from a trip the son shared "When I walked into Grammy house I started to say "Hey Gra....." then I realized that she wouldn't be there. I almost said her name Dad. I'm so used to calling her as I walk into her house." Then the Lil-man started talking about Naurato a cartoon action figure. He was beginning to allow himself to grieve. As I later shared the experience with the Wifey I noted "He needed to wait until you were better before he could allow himself to feel it. It's hard watching your mother feel pain." Tonight after being directed to go to bed 45 minutes earlier the Lil-Man walked down the stairs. Normally I'd reach for the belt, this time I looked in his lowered face and knew that I needed to be patient. Son-Sun walked over to his mother without saying a word and fell into her arms sobbing. Wifey encouraged him to cry and we all shared a wealth of tears. Fresh out of tears the Lil-Man walked away and back towards the stairwell.............. Grammy will be missed..........Ashe.

All photos courtesy of Lil-Mama on the day of Grammy's funeral rites.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Open Palms

Tonight the Wifey and I carried our Ninos into the house, both dead-weights lumped over in our arms oblivious to the struggles of their parents. Tonight was a struggle. Tomorrow was going to be a struggle.

Tonight I returned from work with the Sun-son who was too sick to go to summer camp. It was about 6:15 pm. He hung with me today and I completed reports and delivered paperwork and such. As I sat down to take a phone call he ran up to me stating "Mom needs you upstairs immediately. The struggle begins...

Around 7:30 p.m. I drove into a car wash to vacuum the truck when I received the call from the Wifey. I had dropped her off minutes ago at the hospital to check on her mother who had been rushed into the hospital. She was now calling me telling me I needed to return. I dropped off the kids with a friend and returned to the the hospital.

It's now 12:00 am the next day and I'm writing this entry. I'm nervous about the struggle. We must now share with our kids that their beloved Grammy is an ancestor.

I know that there is nothing that I can say that will wipe away their tears. Truthfully I do not know what to say. I do not know how to say it. As I held onto my mother-in-laws lifeless hands in the Emergency room I asked her to allow Christ to tell her what to tell me to say. I know that as an ancestor I'll be visited by her somehow. I pray that it comes before my kids awake.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Father's Day 2009

Knowing that I'd be out of town on Sunday the Wifey & Los Ninos got the jump pon' me. I was surprised this morning with Lil' Ones bearing gifts shouting Happy Father's Day ! To semi-quote Lil' Wayne...... "I'd say it was beautiful, but it was beyond that."
I've noticed so many interesting things surrounding fatherhood recently. I was recently in a drug store that had Father's day cards. One stated "To my Mother, who has been both a Mother and a Father to me." Three days before that Drug Store visit the minister at a church we visit regularly discussed Fatherhood and a time described in the Holy Bible as a time when Men would turn their hearts to their children. The focus on this message was "Facing a Fatherless Culture." During this sermon the minister asked if anyone had ever heard a Pastor preach on this text, I rose my hands remembering that I heard 'The Minister Farrakhan' provide a moving message using that same text. As I surfed the net the Monday following church I found and listedn to some of Honorable Minster Farrakhan's speeches on . Interestingly enough I found that same Farrakhan speech where the Minister taught on the time when Men would turn their hearts to their children. That night I edited 2-Pac's classic "Dear Mama" for an upcoming Mother-Son dance at a wedding that I'm Editing most of the original song I noticed how the whole second verse of the song is basically a statement of the anger that he had for his father: "All along I was looking for a Father who was gone." rhymes 2-Pac in this classic. The first verse is primarily about his (2-Pacs) screw-ups as a person. Luckily the third verse a sweet tribute to motherhood that any person could relate to. On that Tuesday a real estate client noted how his teacher-friend informed him of a 13 year old student that had climbed under a desk at his school sobbing that he hadn't heard from his Father in months and his mother doesn't spend time with him either. This child was reportedly being raised by his aunt's friend and was deeply angry towards his parents, especially his Father who once had custody of him as his Mother has never been a fit parent. This child reportedly simply couldn't understand how a man who raised him for years is now absent without an obvious reason.
As this client and I continued our conversation I overheard a woman complain that Fathers are never involved in children's lives. My client overheard the same and said "You should speak up for us." (as he also is Father). He then asked how many of my male friends were Fathers. We both noted that a majority of our male friends are very involved Fathers. we both agreed that too many Women have made decisions that have led them into Motherhood with Men that they were sexually attracted too but truthfully didn't expect much from. We both agreed that our kids were important to our growth as Men. We also both agreed that there are some B*#@h-@$$ed men out there. I painfully admitted that I have some in my family, I have a relative who takes great care of the children he birthed in his marriage but is extremely negligent towards the children he had with other Women prior to meeting his wife. These other Baby Mamas have given him loads of trouble, I understand that, but as some point I think that you have to be a Father no matter how screwed up the mothers can be or have been. Most of my friends who are great Dads have faced the Baby-Mama-Drama and fought for their kids. Most of these great Dads have taken these Baby-Mamas to court to fight for their Fatherhood position. All of the Fathers that I know who have chosen not to make their Fatherhood position legal turn out to be un-involved Punk-@##ed Fathers.
I've learned to be a involved Father one simply can't let anyone, Mother's included, or anything prevent them from being the type of Father that the children will benefit from. The Men who make that commitment evident in their actions can truly enjoy Father's Day. I've enjoyed Father's Day now for almost 9 years. It's been a blessed struggle. May we enter the time when all Fathers can say the same with their hearts turned towards their children.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Happy Birthday GOD !

Kofi (Male child born on a Friday) Trooper VArner
The day I became a father......

My sun-son walked into the room this morning at about 5:55 AM and said "Hey Dad, Happy Son-day !" The ritual began. Normally the ritual would entail me calling him "Kofi" all day long until 7:00 P.M. and then calling him his given name symbolizing the seven days he was known as Baby Varner or Trooper until receiving his name seven days after his birth(day). He bested me today ! He went further... " Dad.....You known how you say that today is a birthday shared by Mommy, you , and I ? Well, I think we should include Mama's parents and your parents cause, I mean because....without them there would be no you and mommy. Then you married mommy and had me !"
- Foils ! Bested again !
Then the lil' Diva-daughter pipes in from down the hall "Don't forget the great grandparents ! Without them there would be no grandparents, there would be no parents, and then I wouldn't have a Big Brother !" (Emphasis on the last part, I think she relished the thought.)
Here's the kicker....
After hearing his little sister chime in the new nine year old had to say something. So he says:
"Without God there would be no birthdays. God is everybody father. Happy birthday GOD, happy birthday Mommy. Happy Birthday Daddy. Happy birthday ME !" I think he left his sister out on purpose for a purpose.

There was nothing that she (the daughter-diva) could say. There was nothing that I could say. I placed my hand on top of the Son's head saying "You're right. Now go downstairs and let's have breakfast." As he left he took a part of me with him. My concerns. My fears. My insecurities. His statements took away from me the things that didn't need to be a part of my life. Last night I placed my hand upon my ailing father's head and did the 'Blessing of the Head ritual' ending with thinking "I hope I can be the blessing that you have been to me." Hearing my sun-son this morning, I think I'm Nine years in the right direction. Happy Birthday GOD ! Thank you GOD, Thank you Yeshua (Jesus), Thank you Ancestors. ......................Amen- Ashee


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Daddying my daddy

Then (1972) Pops & I:

Circa 1987 I was in a college psychology class and our instructor self-nicknamed "Mr. R.E.O." (Read Early & Often to pass my class) was encouraging us to debate each other. As the discussion turned to 'fathers' a classmate stated with extreme anger that "Fathers ain't nothing. We don't need fathers. Ain't nobody's father ever done nothing for them." I shared how my pops had cooked most of my life and had been in our house everyday except when he took the family our of town. I ended by saying how I enjoyed my pops' food until the #@tch interrupted me yelling out "I'm glad you grew up in the Huckstable's Home but the rest of us had to live in reality. " As I sat there confused I slowly realized how blessed I had been, how much this #@tch was gonna' pay for embarrassing me, and how much justified anger she showed for her mother's bad decisions. As the entire class erupted in laughter I attempted to respond by saying "I'm sorry that you grew up in the ........" stuttering I realized that I couldn't come back on her and be right. I sucked up the embarrassment and kept it moving. I kinda' laughed to myself, she was fat, unattractive, a female, and angry. There was no way I was gonna' win this war with words. A few seconds later on a young lady stated something nice about her father and a few other students agreed. The fat, unattractive, female kinda put her head down on the desk and then I felt a bit sorry for her. I also noted that she had some sexy legs for a fat unattractive female and she stopped being unattractive......... I digress...........
Now (2009) Pops:
All my life my pops has fathered me. The last 8 months I've washed him, fed him, cleaned after him at times, and guided him with some financial decisions. He shared one day how he ended up having to care for his father, and now his first son was caring for him. My pops has become legally blind and is so sick sometimes that life surely feels like torture. I'm having problems sleeping and I'm over-eating and I realized the other night that I'm making myself sick.

What's wild is how my son and daughter know how to say the wrong thing at the right time and make everything alright. Just when I begin to beat myself up comparing my son-status to my brother's son-status (he'll probably always win the "Best Child Award" if there is such a thing) or I begin to think about my pops becoming an ancestor, one of my kids walks up and hands me a handmade card/picture/structure that they made for me effectively washing away the depression. I know that I'll have future fears, pains, tears, and worries about my father - yet It's rejoicing to know that my kids will have a 'creation' up their sleeves to Daddy their Daddy. Thanks be to Father Almighty, thanks be to the Son of Father Almighty, thanks to the ancestors. I love you Pops. I love you Moms, I love ya' kids.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Not a big fan.

Friday nite':
The wife n' kids are in the truck. "Where are we going ?" asked the Lil' girl.
The wife replied "You two are going to your grandparents, Daddy's taking me out on a date !"
Scruncing up her face the Lil' girl screams in a long drawn out manner "Ill........Nasty !"
I stated "That's what husbands and wifes do."
The Lil' girl retorts "I know, I'm just not a big fan of that right now."

Friday, April 24, 2009

Looking all cute

I know I don't post here often. I've had soo much on my plate. Severe medical issues. Got fired. Looking to finally move over to Alternative Therapy as my main means of sustenance. I'm changing my 9-5 to somthing simple and stress free. So I'm applying for jobs that I've frowned upon in the past, but positions with benefits. This in efforts to avoid the palaver that happened at my last job.

All that being said. This is my lovely Wife Carol. Looking all cute. She's wearing a skirt that I made.:-)
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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Warrior Women

I really enjoy comic books and comic book inspired movies. I especially enjoy getting a particular author's answer to the "What If?" question, i.e. "What if you could fly?" or "What if you could stick to walls like a spider?", etc.

My daughter has said that there are no women superheros, so I've made it a point to try to introduce her to Storm and other Black women superheros. Its been pretty tough finding them, especially finding women that have starred in solo books. Captain Marvel & Storm are pretty much it for major publishers. Milestone Media has a bunch of good ones - none of them starring in solo books, but cuz they actually look like my daughter they'll do - but until I get copies I'm not about to hand my bagged and boxed runs over to my 5-year old!).

BTAIM, I recently stumbled across Dr. Germon "Askari" Miller. She was a victim of domestic violence in her early 20s, dragged herself several blocks to the emergency room, with broken bones and other busted body parts and was mostly homeless for two years while ducking her abuser. To defend herself, she began training in African Martial Art styles, becoming so good that she was recognized as a Grandmaster back in 2006.

I really wish I had encountered her back in 2000 when I was looking for an Afro-Centric art style and a connection to my roots. I stumbled across, and became a disciple of, Capoeira back in 2000 not knowing anything about N'golo, the Congolese/Angolan martial art it is based on. Turns out, there are still practioners out there of traditional African martial art styles (and some not so traditional - 52 Blocks, Shackled Hands, etc.) - I just didn't know how to find them in the dark ages before Google and Youtube.

Dr. Miller is organizing an *all-Female* Martial Arts tournament - April 25 @Riverdale Baptist School in the Fieldhouse - 1133 Largo Road - Upper Marlboro MD 20774. For info call 301-233-6659 or 202-550-1146 or email

I can't wait to bring Eva and let her see real life superheros. Axé!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

He's a greedy monster

"You know you're out of shape when your daughter who watches those The Biggest Loser shows with her mother starts creating songs to share with you how much she cares about your health"

My seven year old Lil' Mama:

"Here comes the Daddy,
he's a greedy monster.
Beware of his stomach,
it will push you
It will push you back.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Is Our Children Learning?

I realized today that Eva has outgrown her current day care. She's in a Montessori school that is a half-day program. Today she helped bake bread and also ice-skated on grass (we just had snow and ice and there's still a layer of ice on the ground in many places). Since its a half-day program, she goes to a day care center in the afternoons and the woman that runs the center there lets the kids watch TV.

On our car trip home from the babysitters, Eva regaled me with a tale of how Clorox, Lysol and Dreamworks all were fighting to see who was the best. Apparently Lysol won because it got all the votes and then they all ate yellow flower petals.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Sunshine of My Life

The other day my daughter Eva and I were walking out of her gymnastics class and we noticed some large christmas ornaments on a tree in front of a large house. The ornaments were easily the size of Eva's head.

"Look at those ornaments," I said, incredulusly. "They're HUGE! I wonder where you can get ornaments like that from"

"Maybe they come from Giant" she said with a grin.

Father Father

Hip-Hop artist NYOIL (formerly Kool Kim of the UMCs) has produced a video called Father Father about the men out there who deserve not only the big piece of chicken, but recognition for doing what they are supposed to do and doing it well.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Struggle, People, Hope

This has been a difficult year. I know I lost a significant amount of funds from my investments, I've struggled with my D.J. business and my Real Estate business, I've struggled with decisions regarding returning to College, I've struggled with fidelity (and have been victorious) as I've been presented with so many tempting opportunities, struggled with not wanting to go to Church on Sunday mornings, struggled to force myself to maintain a calendar, struggled with a year-end's loss of income as many of my dependable year-end D.J. clients have cancelled or have not had their events, struggled with maintaining a consistent work-out schedule as I'm struggling to get my sexy back, and most of all I've struggled with trying to rearrange my schedule to include more time with my family. "Where there is no struggle there is no progress." - Frederick Douglass

During our annual Umoja dinner celebrating the first night of Kwanzaa the family (Wifey & Kiddies) and I were enjoying a great meal prepared by the Wifey. Being lazy and knowing that I'd be involved in two public Kwanzaa celebrations that would require a lot of work and decided not to venture into the garage to search for the Kwanzaa Shrine. I began saying Habri-Gani and the Ninos both shouted out "Umoja !" It was on ! I then asked the kids the annual "What do you know about Kwanzaa?" and the son and daughter both shared much more that my Wife and I thought that they could remember. The son then described the process of the candle-lighting in the manner that I've taught them: Red candle, Green candle....(repeat).......ending with the Black candle. The daughter then stated "First the struggle (Red), then the hope (Green), for the people of God." The son quickly blurted "You know, people who struggle have to have hope." The wife and I stared at each other for about 10 seconds shaking our heads. The Lil' man did it again. Every once in a while he will naively say something so thought provoking and revealing that you would expect it to come from an elder. I then considered the struggles I've handled this year, and the struggles our country has handled this year. 2008 was a difficult year for the United States. One great thing about our country is our ability to struggle the struggle and to struggle to have hope for our people. I began smiling in wonderment until noticing that the children have been looking at me with that look as if they were saying "Dad.......Are you here ?" We finished our meal and held our Candle lighting ceremony without the candles doing it all in our heads. As I left the table I remained stuck on the words from my son. "People who struggle have to have hope." Feeling warm I realized that once again the Almighty has spoken to me through my children..........Parenthood is such a wonderful struggle.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Quando, Quando, Quando

Daddy's in a relaxed mood...... So I put on Michael Buble's cover of "Quando, Quando, Quando" and then I begin to hear Lil' Mama (The daughter girl) dancing the vocal falsetto all over the room. The she picks up a book and begins singing the words of the book "Woodrow for President" in tune and on tempo with Mr. Buble. Michael has a great voice, but I tend to love listening to my Angel singing about Woodrow for President. Today the living room, tomorrow American Idol. Watch out world !


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Daddy doesn't take points.

The wifey' has developed a point system to address the sun-son's third grade transition. Whenever he makes a 'bad choice' he looses points. At the beginning of the week he begins with 100 points. I've smiled and been very supportive of the process and have reminded him to make sure his behavior doesn't result in a loss of points from his mother. I didn't realize that he had noticed that I hadn't used the point system in my guiding interactions with lil' man. He shared with my wifey "Daddy doesn't take points. Maybe you should teach him how..."
One morning I reminded him of his morning duties prior to taking my shower. As I finished getting dressed I checked-in on the lil' ones to ensure progress. I didn't hear the lil' ones upstairs so I traveled downstairs meeting my son at the bottom of the stairs with a surprised look on his face. "Did you clean your floor and make your bed son ?" He said "Uh....No Dad." I asked "Didn't I ask you to do your morning duties ?". He took one step up the stairs and turned around looking at me and returned "You really need to learn how to take away points Dad." I looked up responding "I don't take points, I give spankings."
He ran up the stairs, did his duties, did his sister's duties, and turned off the lights in my room.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Red, Black, Light, and White

This school year has entered a new dimension into the lives of a father................ Race.

Soulful of terms regarding Black complexion:
Light Skin/Red-bone: (Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys too Halle Berry)
Red/Caramel: (Halle Berry, Queen Latifah, too Oprah)
Black/Dark Skin: (Oprah too Wesley Snipes & beyond)

Today while eating lunch with my daughter she laughed with a peer sitting nearby saying She's red. She then looked at me and said "You and me are Red, Mommy is Black." I looked puzzled until a light-skinned boy who sat across from us said "I'm Red too !" The daughter looked at the peer smiling and said to me "Yep Daddy ! He's Red like Bebe (my light-skinned mother). My lil' mama is now race-conscious.

It's been interesting with lil' mama in public school as my son takes in everything but shares very little. Lil' man will tell you only the most interesting things that he experiences, while lil' mama' gives a full narrative. In example: The son: "Lunch was cool, I didn't get in trouble, I ate my veggies (Political talk: He ate a few of his veggies)." The daughter: "Ohh Daddy. We had hot-dogs, beans, and broccoli. I ate everything except for the fruit. I didn't have time to eat Daddy. So-and-so kept talking and our table moved from Green to Yellow. I told her to stop and she stuck her tongue out at me. I loved the hot dog. I added ketchup to it and ate it while the rest of the class was sitting down since I was at the front of the line".........and so on, and so on, and so on. So now the Wifey and I have a chance to really find out what's happening at their school.

Lil' man really didn't speak about racial differences when he was a first grade. Lil' mama, our current first grader, speaks about race in a very cavalier manner. This year's campaign of Senator Obama has made race a very interesting topic lately. Lil' man became intrigued with Obama towards the end of last year. "There has never been a Black President Dad?", "Why were people mean to Blacks and Dr. King Dad?", "If Barack has a White mother why does he look like he is Black ?" Now Lil' mama is asking about a lot of people. "What is she daddy ? Is he Chinese ? Are they Indian, do they live in Tee-Pees ?"

Lil' man is now noticing how many Soul-folk (people of color) are in a room as he enters the room. However, it's a little different than when I was younger. He thinks that it's cool to be Black "but it really doesn't matter Dad. Everyone is cool to me." I used to feel somewhat of an outsider as frequently I was raised in situations that were either primarily White frequently or primarily Black infrequently. I remember a friend named Brian who was a next-door neighbor cursing at me saying "It's all your fault Ni##er ! My family gotta' move all because you and the rest of your Coons moved in." I remember crying to a teacher who hugged all of the children in the class except me sobbing and saying "I feel all alone, I'm the only Christian in this Catholic school classroom." Without physically consoling me she said "Are you sure you are worried about that ?......We all love Jesus, and Jesus loves us all. Go back into the classroom and stop crying." I wasn't really worried about the Christian/Catholic thing. She knew it. I knew it. Kids wouldn't get near me saying that I had a special strain of cooties.....Ni##er Cooties. I then began a campaign to get my parents to remove me from the "costly" Catholic school to the "Free" public school so I could meet and matriculate with the Soulful neighbors who began to invade our Columbus Ohio neighborhood. I needed back-up. As a child I always looked for a Black looking face so I wouldn't feel alone, I felt the need for back-up. I was one of the only Black kids in the Columbus Boys Choir, I was the only Black kid in my mother's preferred church and was always in great demand for the Christmas play. They always held a special part in the play....... I was the Black King who visited the Christ-child. The year I tried out for the part of Joseph I caught peer-related hell. It's funny that I caught hell since the part of Mary that year (of one of the years I was the King) was played by a very light skinned girl who later became my best friend. [She now has changed her racial designation from African-American/Black to American Indian (with some African ancestry) and I believe that she has married a guy from Hawaii (He's lucky....Dawn is gorgeous, smart, and a very church-involved trust-worthy-faithful type of woman). Her father was known as one of the first Black Judges in Ohio and her mother has successfully sued that church for discrimination.] I was too dark to be Joseph, she was o.k. to be Mary as maybe no one would know the difference. I can't remove the fact that her mother was a very powerful member of that primarily-white congregation and I was a frequent visitor. She also earned the part as an active member of the youth group, and I may have been seen as a radical. I remember Dawn-Karima telling me in one of our conversations that people always expected me to join the Nation of Islam and how many people related me to Michael from Good Times who was the "radical" in the television show family. He thinks that counting the Soul-folk in a room is a novelty, I felt alone. Times have really changed for the better.

Raising children in today's America is different. I can't and won't give them my anger towards the racism I felt. I temper my statement that involve race to ensure that my scars are not passed on. I do imbue them with a love for their African, Indian, and European ancestry. I do imbue them with a love for African culture, an interest in the struggles and achievements of (so-called) Africans throughout the world, the historic accomplishments of (so-called) Indians and a love for the coolness of being Black. It's a little difficult when we discuss and watch movies such as Ruby Bridges, Dr. King videos, and when we recently saw The Express. Lil' mama has repeatedly asked "Why are they being so mean to them ?" while the Lil' man has heard me say my scripted statement "There was a time in America when unfair things happened to people of African ancestry. That time is over and ended a long time ago" so many times that he can almost say it with me.

This is a new America (USA). This is a new time. My children embrace the Red-Black-& Green as well as the Red-White-& Blue and don't see a problem. This is a good time.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Imagine That

Imagine that........

Since lady-girl has been in school she has been in an environment composed primarily of Blacks (African & Indian & Whatever-else). Some of these Blacks were African-American, some were African, some were French and English speaking Caribbean Blacks, some were Latinos of obvious African descent, some considered themselves to be multi-racial, and so on-and so on-and so on. Since lady-girl was three she was a member of New Light Baptist School of Excellence. As our church home changed over the years our religious experience has been primarily with people of African descent, until recently. About two years ago we began visiting and then attending a church that has transethnicity as a core value. This church has a youth oriented Sunday school program that I found very compelling and exciting, exciting enuf' to get me back into going to church to ensure that my children continued to receive the religious training that they were used to. While the kindergarten teachers in the church school taught the students a lot of great religious material, my Kids had received extremely in-depth instruction in those curricula items in New Light Baptist School so the church school classes were reviews of old materials. My son used to state "We learned that two years ago" after leaving a lot of the Church school classes although he enjoyed the snack and his church-school peers.
My son attended New Light Baptist until he became a first grader. I wanted to ensure that the morals and instruction that he received in New Light was continued, and I thought that New Life (The transethnic church) could provide him with something close to the religious based education that New Light Baptist School provided as he was now in a public school. He is now a third grader and she is a first grader both attending Windsor Oaks Elementary School in Virginia Beach, VA (click here to see their school photos). Interestingly enough, New Light Baptist School is across the street and around the corner from New Life Providence. New Light Baptist describes itself in this manner: "The New Light Baptist School of Excellence opened its doors in August 1989 with a clear purpose: to provide a holistic education to young children with the goal of building and solidifying their foundation. To fulfill our purpose and meet our goal, New Light became the first black Christian school in Virginia Beach, VA, to utilize the Abeka program. Abeka provides an excellent curriculum while giving meaning to the “holistic” approach to education with its significant focus on Praise and Worship. "

I was away in North Carolina on a trip the day that the Wifey' and the kiddies went to meet their new teachers for the 2008-2009 school year. After meeting her new teacher the lady-girl told her granny about the meet-and-greet. "Imagine that... A White woman trying to teach a Black girl something." My Lil' one has had a time in her young six years where every important Woman in her life had been a woman of some type of African descent. Her reverence to these women echoed in this statement. As the story was relayed to me I had to think about her response for a few days. I'm sure there are numerous people who might find that statement as racist or prejudiced, or something along that line, yet I have come to view this in proud manner. My parents' generation, and these before it have all suffered from Black-inferiority complex. My Lil' one is proud of her ancestry and all that comes with it. For now.......
I am almost shattered thinking that at some point in her life she will really need to battle with a feeling of self worth. Although she will never hear it from a White person she is going to be trained into thinking that the African tightly curled hair that she has is inferior. She now spends hours pressing her hair in an effort to 'tame' it's African nature. She is now self conscious about getting her hair wet after it's been styled as the natural water will change her "done" hair back to it's African nature. She has to get her hair "Done" since it's "Undone" if it isn't pressed. My Black women are going to be the ones who giver her a complex first, then the male children of these Black women are going to rate her as less than desirable if her hair isn't straight. There are many issues in the African diaspora that demonstrate our shared Black-inferiority complex. Bleaching cream, hair pressing, even the devaluing of the names that have been created in Black communities and calling these names "Ghetto Names" while placing value on names that have been created and developed in Europe. My dad tells me of the times when Black oriented magazines initially used White models since Black women wouldn't buy items promoted using a Black model. I find this paradigm of Black-inferiority throughout the world when studying post Colombian history.

So I hear progress in her comment. Her paradigm was going to shift and she nailed it. She was moving from being solely taught by Women of primarily African descent to a Woman of primarily European decent. Imagine that, her paradigm shift statement showed us how much our lot in America has changed. There was a time when the White teacher would automatically hold greater esteem in the world than a Black teacher. I know elders in our community who still hold their breath as they pass or interact with White peers for fear that the American progress they have witnessed was simply a dream. Decades later I still see my father fight to stop trembling as he nears a police officer as he survived the times of racist Police brutality. The Black Power revolution that occurred during the Civil Rights era was so very necessary to begin fighting this Black-inferiority complex. Our radical embrace of ourselves was so necessary to now move into a natural, non-radical, self accepting place that our American people have come into. This was a new experience for her and her outlook on life is a new outlook for many older Blacks. When sharing this experience with older Black women I've received smiles and words sharing how unbelievable it is for a Black child to hold these Black women in such a regard that she would be surprised by having a White teacher.

Her generation will slowly walk away untethered the germ of Black-inferiority. I thank GOD for New Light Baptist, I thank GOD for her new teacher (whom she loves), I thank GOD for this new outlook. The world will be changed.


Weeks later as the Lil' one was doing her homework the Grandma joked by saying "Imagine that... A Black girl doing homework given to her by a White woman." Without missing a beat Lady-girl retorted "Imagine that....A Black Grandma checking the homework done by a Black girl doing homework given to her by a White woman."........... Imagine that.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Excerpts from Na'Im Akbar's definition of manhood:

The process of educating our boys requires. . . early work responsibilities, management responsibilities and social responsibilities. . .A man must understand that his decisions are binding and there is real import to decisions

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The First Feelings of Fatherhood

Roman calendar June ninth in the Christian year 2000. This was a Friday morning. I'd secretly call him Kofi (male child born on a friday) and he would be known as "Trooper" for the first seven days of his life. The hospital recorded him as Baby Varner.

Weeks prior the staff at the hospital shared with me and the expectant Wifey that a child had to have a name prior to leaving the hospital. I told her than it wasn't the tradition of my culture to name the child upon birth. She asked me what my culture was. I said 'Pan-African' (I had to come up with something, I wasn't prepared for that question). I then asked her if she would have this conversation with me if she thought I was Jewish. She admitted that if she thought I was Jewish she wouldn't have asked for the name prior to birth. Seventeen months later as the Wifey and I had our pre-delivery session at the hospital the hospital staff smiled at me when she omitted the section for the child's name saying "You'll name the child in seven days right...?"

The first time I held my child was marvelous, magnificent, and truthfully ............ I don't remember it. I remember doing the counter-pressure pushing against Wifey's back as she screamed bloody murder providing me with the 'natural' birth that she knew that I wanted our child to have. She was a trooper also. He came out screaming bloody murder as I fell onto my knees to worship but ended up barking like an Omega as the doctor stated "You have a son." The look on the doctors face was priceless. He didn't know what to think of me in earlier sessions and today I'm in the Grand Buba that I wore at my nuptials, and that I plan to be buried in barking loudly. The family was in the room outside the delivery room and they came rushing in after I scared the Doctor and delivery staff excited awaiting the newest VArner child. My brother Daniel videotaped the whole event, he almost fainted when the son came through the delivery canal. On the video that he captured you can see the baby's head pop though and then Daniel says "Oh my God" and the camera lens goes from the delivery scene to the ceiling with the sound of a thud as his head hit the wall.

That day: I remember pouring libation and praying, thanking God for a safe delivery and a son. I remember taking him to the nursery and I remember how he wouldn't stop crying in the hospital room. I don't remember touching my son.

I know I cut his umbilical cord. I know I changed his diaper. I know I fed him. I know I cleaned him. I know I wrapped him in swaddles. I just don't remember holding him.

This became important to me as I was watching "City of Men", the Brazilian film of one of the worst areas in Brazil. During the film a depiction of the nurse encouraging the father to hold the child for the first time. He was afraid. I had held and guided children for over 15 years prior to this day...... I was afraid too. What struck me the most was while watching this movie I realized that I can't remember holding my son for the first time. Seventeen months later I don't remember holding my daughter for the first time. Now the son is eight and the daughter is six and I'm about 50 pounds heavier and I hold them as often as I can. I perform "the blessing of the head ritual" everyday as they prepare to board their bus. I ask God to "bless their head so that they may think of you, bless their face so that they may face you, bless their eyes so that they may seek you, bless their noses so that they may breathe your spirit, bless their mouths so that they may speak of you, bless their ears to that they may hear you, and bless their shoulders to carry your cross." As I finish this the son and I try to punch each other leaving a religious/sentimental moment with a fun filled macho guy touch. The blessing of the daughter's head ends with a big huggie and blown kisses. I may not remember the first touches, but I'm ensuring that they will remember the embraces we shared. Hopefully those embraces will mean as much to them as they mean to me.

My first fatherly feelings: Struggling for cultural continuance, feeling the resistance as the wifey pushed them through, feeling a reason to worship, feeling as reason to express joy, and then fear........... Thanks Almighty, we bless your presence.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Daddy Pride

Two years ago My Sun-son walked across that make-believe stage at his
Kindergarten graduation (from a religious school held in the sanctuary) as one of the highest scoring students in that class. He walked away from the event with a Bicycle as a present from the school. The Wifey is jumping up and down and screaming and all I could do was smile and bark (The Omega that I am) since I was holding the video camera. His test scores indicated that he was reading on a third grade level and mathing' on a second grade level.

This year (06/05/2008) the Lady-Girl graced the stage as the Valedictorian of her class. Her scores showed her reading on a 5th grade level and mathing' on "just under a" second grade level. She waltzed off the stage (make believe once again) with a bicycle and the entire crowd in hand. Her Mum is jumping, the family is jumping, and I keep yelling "That's Number Two !" Everyone on my row is looking at me and thinking "She's number one,
she had the highest scores) but I'm yelling "That's Number Two !" This was our second success story and second free bicycle ! God is good. Parenthood is good. I'm so proud.

I've counseled so many parents who have more to complain about than to be proud about. 14 years in the school system has filled me with so many kid-complaints. My kids have been a great buffer as I've really grown weary of the complaints. It's good to be proud.

The weird thing about this 'kid-pride' is the shared experience factor. I've done so many things incorrectly in my life, it's refreshing for me to see something go well. When my son-sun and lady girl walked the stage I walked with them. As I beam with pride watching their other accomplishments, I feel like I accomplished with them. When they struggle, I struggle. When they win, I win.

While en route to Disney Land a woman and her husband sat behind the family and I. After the plane landed the lady stopped the Wifey and I to share how impressed she was with our children. She noted how well behaved, smart, and articulate they were. She shared how she taught elementary school children for over 30 years and she recognized both bright students and good parents when she saw them. Initially I was a bit offended by her statements. She was an older Caucasian woman with a 'southern proper' personality, I initially thought she was surprised to see two Black (African-Indian descended) children behaving. It kinda' affected me the same way I've observed our White-American family marvel at the "articulate" speaking ability of Barrack Obama. "Why are you surprised people ?"......... As she detailed how she marvelled at the way my daughter read and the vocal inflections of our son I quickly dropped my defenses and began to listen to God speak through this messenger. When she was informed that the lil' girl just graduated from Kindergarten and the lil' man was just promoted to the third grade she was even more ecstatic. Her inviting smile warmed as she showered additional accolades upon "mis ninos" and then reminding me that the Wifey and I are great parents. As she continued to speak I thanked God, thanked Yeshua (Jesus), and thanked the ancestors for this moment. I then prayed quickly and in a non-obvious way that the remainder of my kids lives they will honor our Trinity and Ancestors in their walk-in-life. Jah-Bless !

Parenthood has been difficult. I've made countless mistakes.... The Wifey probably has a running list. However, it's been the best part of my life. When my boss stated "You are a failure.....You are a failure !" the thoughts of my kids' accomplishments kept me calm enough to brush my shoulders off.

A few days ago I was counseling a young man who felt the weight of the world on his shoulders as he and his girlfriend are expecting a child. As we talked and processed his problems I shared that over any personal achievement, the achievements of his children will give him the greatest pride. He wants to be the parent that his parents weren't. We discussed how difficult pregnancy is for women and for involved men. As he looked into my face with a sense of struggle I said "It's hard to be involved in a pregnancy. It's not for soft men. The woman will get on your nerves and wanting to truly leave the relationship is natural, but your strength is supernatural and you can overcome those short-lived feelings." He blew a breath of frustration as he shared how difficult dealing with his girlfriend has been and was glad to know that he wasn't a punk for having the feelings he was having. He did know that acting on those short-lived feelings would make him a punk. We then spoke more about parenting and the type of parent he planned to be. As he spoke I could only think of pride that I have with my kids. I'm so glad that I married and had children. Most of the women I dated prior to the Wifey were much older, already had teenagers or adult children, or didn't want children. I remember one woman telling me that our relationship needed to end because I will be a great father someday and she couldn't bear children. I hated her for her position then, I love her for her position now. Our break-up opened the way for me to find the best woman for me, and opened the way for a dude who didn't want children to become a proud father.

Blessings upon fathers.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Who made her boss ?

I'm speaking with the Wifey after seeing a scene in on of those silly reality shows where the groomsmen in a wedding visit the tuxedo store. Wifey mentions that the prices for the tuxes have finally gotten close to what the bridesmaid pay to participate in the bridal party. ........

(Watch as I loose authority over my attire for an event that will happen 15 years or (hopefully) more in the future.)

Seko: "That's why I hope no one else asks me to be in their wedding. I'm not wearing another Tuxedo in a wedding !" (said jokingly as I have to wear a duck suit each weekend since I'm a professional wedding entertainer.
Wifey: "You men are getting a taste of what women go through price-wise."
Seko: "It doesn't matter, I'm not going to wear another tux to a wedding."
The little 6 year old girl: "You're wearing a tuxedo to my wedding !" (spoken firm and loudly !)
Seko: (Brief pause of disbelief)
Seko: "Well....." (Another brief pause of disbelief)
Seko: "That's not going to happen for years lady-girl."
The little 6 year old girl: "You're still going to wear a Tux for my wedding."

Three days later as I'm entertaining for Carla and Travis' 7/12/2008 wedding it hit's me during the Father / Daughter dance....... This little girl told me what I was going to wear in the future in no uncertain non-negotiable terms. Who made her boss ? ("She get it from her Mama....")

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

"I'm bigger than that."

I had a dear friend ask me today how I was able to get past the "kid-resentment". I mentioned to him how at times I had problems with the time that my children take from me and the opportunities that having a family has prevented me from taking. He is a father as well, and is struggling with something that I heard other men speak of privately. I'm sure it sounds like a weakness of the spirit to speak of this in public, so I believe that many fathers keep this to ourselves. Actually, I've only heard a few mothers speak of the Kid-resentment factor.. I'm not sure what to make of that revelation.
My experience in Fatherhood has been based in marriage, in the creation of the foundation of a family. So in many ways this resentment is more of a difficulty of Family than it is with being a Father. When entering my marriage the idea that the two will share each others dreams seems all-inclusive. It's been my experience that our dreams are shared to an extent in the best of situations. For instance: I've always dreamed of living out of the country for a few years, my wife can't imagine being physically away from her family. My dream, her nightmare. There really is no way that the two dreams can be reconciled fully. In my decision to become one with my beloved I had to attempt to kill my dream. Simply visiting or traveling isn't my dream. Having a vacation home out of the country for a few months isn't my dream. The specifics of my particular dream will never come to fruition unless my Wife kills her dream of always being in close proximity with her family. A commitment to a relationship means the killing of some of one's dreams in some way. This situation causes some resentment. I'm sure this resentment is natural and healthy and expected and all that other BS......It's something I have to deal with. I see the commitment I have with my children as having a similar experience.

In becoming a Father I have to let go of some of my agenda-items. I have to make decisions to engage in activities that I'm not fully interested in, not really concerned with. Working for, and knowing that my movements are for the greater good, is not always going to make me feel good and in many instances don't match with my agenda. I can say that the joy and accomplishments I see in my children seem to quell the rise of resentment. The hugs and interest I receive from my kids often dispel the dream/freedom-loss that I experience. I told this friend to hug his kids more, enjoy their experiences, and to spend more time with them and his resentment will fade.

So then my friend wanted to know what he could do when the hugs, the interest, the pride, the love, the sharing, the accomplishments are not enough to wash away the resentment. I shared how I often tell myself "I'm bigger than that." seems to work for me. I use these few words as a mantra almost daily, not out of ritual, but out of necessity......

I've had to kill some of my dreams to be in a relationship. I've had to kill some of my dreams to be a father. Truthfully I have to keep killing these dreams as they seem to arise the next day, next week, next year. I found that these dreams are similar to a Phoenix, rising out of the ashes. It's similar to the "Christian" construct of dying to self daily to allow the Christ to live in you daily (I'm aware that historically the concept of dying to self daily to allow the creator to live more fully is older than my religion.....Back-up off of me you haters). I have to die to self daily to allow the Father and Husband in me live. Being myself and being a Father doesn't always jibe. Being a Father is a more developed position that being myself ever could be. Having a committed relationship is a far more advanced state of existence than simply 'being myself' could ever be. The truth is, being in a relationship makes one bigger.

I ended the conversation with my friend realizing that I really had nothing concrete to help him over the hump except for him to know that I was always here for him to speak too. Upon the close of our conversation I realized that having my friend to bounce ideas, concerns, and worries off of has indeed made me bigger. I just pray that he feels bigger from our call. Bless you my friend, let's grow together ! Daddies til' the day we die !

Thursday, June 5, 2008

2 weeks and counting

It's been absolutly amazing watching Carol at the work of creation.
I think Mother's are absolutely beautiful and being pregnant and giving birth are among the most wondrous things on the planet.

Carol Has been more than a trooper. She'd be super active, if I didn't remind her to take it easy.

We're buying a house. (I'm all for it, but it's been her idea from the get go-when most people would say a house and a baby in the same month is more than a bit too much.)

I LOVE my WIFE :-)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Baby-Baby-Baby, Baby-Baby-Baby, Baby-Baby. I got that feeling...

3 weeks and counting.

We've been really busy, doing the one thing that you would never gues.

House Hunting!

We've been loking in Ipswich for the last 3 weeks or so. Found a gem, but by the time we looked for more and offer was put on it, so Carol's a little down. I feel that if it was meant to be for us, God will get it for us.

It's a little calmer than London where we live. And the Pund goes a little farther. It's a little over an hour to commute to LCentral London, so we aren't far from her family. We wouldn't/wont be far from her family.

The best thing is that it is near the water, Ipswich river of something. Really nice

We got a car 3 weeks ago. Carol refuses to be the mom with a stroller being passed by the bus because therre are already two strollers on board.

So we got a 2001 Mazda 323 Auto. The Automatic, means I can drive it. Man She was adamantly againt ?Automatic at the beginning, but after she test drove one, she fell in love with the notion.

So A Brotha can drive.

I was doing 90 on the expressway this weekend.

I scared Carol a little bit. We got Prince the greatest hits going and I was in my groove. The Music was blaring(I had a raging headache that seemed to disappear at around 80MPH.) The speed limit here is 70. I'd been driving at 60 for the last two weeks, and finally was doing 70 comfortably.

Since 70 is the limit, people tend to do at least 80 in the fast lane. I was in the fast lane because there was a 60MPH-er in the slow lane. And there were trucks to pass.

Anyway, After about 10 minutes at 70, I started to do 80. Carol turned the music town, was getting nervous. (I was driving safely and breaking no rules) I was like, Man. I never get to have any fun.
Later, She said, that my transformation from Nervous Ninny to Speed Demon took her aback,

she'd never seen me drive and she agreed that I didn't break any rules and was driving saftely....

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The politician amongst us...

As reported by the Wifey as I arrived home from DJing a wedding: "Do you know what your son said ?"
I'm thinking it's the worst, she just removed her motherhood status. This has gotta' be bad. I'm getting ready to remove my belt and find this lil' man who probably upset my wife so much that she will not be in the mood tonight. That boy is gonna' get it !
"We are watching television and this young girl was very disrespectful to an adult. I told him that when he finds a wife she'd better not be that nasty. He asked me "Does she have to be brown ?"
I chuckled. I'm thinking "He's gotta' stop watching that Disney Channel."
"I told him I hope so. He responded, "Oh, I do too."
That lil' boy has got game already ! He spun his Mama off his back in four words. I see a great political career ahead of him.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Talking about REcharge.

Talking about REcharge. I just came back to London from spending two weeks home with the Fams.Carol and I spent a week with friends and a week in a nice resort.

While I was just thinking to have a party, Quiana had the great Idea to have a baby shower.
It was the best baby shower I'd been to. (The only one.)

Carol was cherished, gifted and adored by my Blood and she Truly appreciates it.

I think the experience was a transforming one for her.
Personally. I could cry for having come home to my folks.

People came from up the coast and down the coast, just to see us and celebrate the baby. (We're having a girl, by the way.)

Carol was very touched by the outpouring of Love and affection.

Coming home and being around Family was very heart warming.

I miss you guys.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I Love my Wife

The other day, my lovely wife comes up to me. She stands behind and just to my left and curls her arms around mine. She says:" your on vacation with your best friend. do you feel like that?"

"Yes." is say as I'm playing it back in my head. "You know what I realized. I feel like we're best friends on vacation."is what she said in full.

Her voice was so soft and sweet, I wasn't going to say anything other than 'Yes, Dear.'

Carol says, "But this is better because I feel like I'm on vacation with my best friend and everything we do together is soo much fun and when we get home, you are still there. It's like going home with my best friend."

Stunned by the simple beauty and peace of her words, I could only say:"Yeah, Sweety. I feel just like that."

I love my Wife.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Suburban-Hood....Easter is gonna' be good !

His hair is nappy, his front tooth is missing, my lil' man is looking so 'hood' these days. He looks like one of the old men I see in Lincoln Park (P-Town VA) who can't help but smile since the Lord gave them another day of life, but really shouldn't smile since life took a tooth or so from them at some point. God gives, God taketh away. God give my sun-son a replacement tooth ASAP ! Amen....... Amen-Ra......... Amen-what-ever-it-takes to get this boy a denture, a tic-tac, or something.
It's wild how a missing tooth and an afro can alter one's look so drastically. Come this Easter (2 weeks from now) he will finally be able to cut his hair and leave his O.H.(Original-Hebrew) look and return to his clean cut N.O.I. (I won't even explain) look. I always thought he looked like the Honorable Elijah Muhammad with his hair cropped short.
Easter is gonna' be interesting this year. This year he gave-up Sodas during Lent (like the wifey and I really allow the kids to drink the liquid-death in an aluminum can frequently), and the lil' girl gave up watching Blues Clues for Lent. I gave up sugary-sweets, the wifey gave up usual. So Easter Sunday she and the kids will be dressed in new clothes while I wear old clothes as I have never understood the connection between buying new clothes and celebrating the day our ancient Roman-Catholic Church leaders choose for Yeshua's (Jesus) resurrection. I've heard the "Christ gave his best, you should wear your best !" junk............but I'm out of second grade now and that just doesn't fly with a brotha'. So Wifey and the kids will wear their "New Suits for the Newly Risen Savior" (another line a Sunday-school teacher tried to force-feed me) and the Sun-son will be drinking sodas if he can find them (I poured them down the sink) and I'll be in a corner office somewhere eating as many gummy bears as I can hide from the kids.
Sun-son will be 'rockin' a fresh Ceasar' (wearing a closely cut hairstyle) and hopefully his tooth will have arrived just in time for the Sodas to ruin his teeth. Until then my lil' honor-roll earning, "Can I have an allowance ?" asking, "Here's my X-mass list" in March providing, "Watch me crank dat' Soulja Boy" dancing, Suburban-hood child will be nappy and one-toothless. Power to the people yall'.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Can you hear me now ?

Received a call from my honor-roll student (my neice). She described a situation faced in school that was difficult for her to handle. As she shared her experience and I moved the telephone around attempting to obtain a good signal I realized how similar we are to these cellies. Neice-girl is going through that phase when you have to really move around to find that signal that will keep you connected. When we are out of range we often feel inoperable. It's great to have our batteries recharged and our signal stregnth on full, yet a lot of time we need to plug back in because we have been operating on low signals and batteries leading to difficult situations. Receiving this call from her charged my batteries. I'm needed. My family needs me around as well as my family. My extanded family values me as well as my kids do. Listening to her problems solved my problems of inadequate feelings. Plugging into one's family recharges and renews. Plug in and be renewed.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I wanna' hear O'Bama

(Photo - 6 year old R. VArner draws her room)
It's after 8:15 PM and I'm supposed to send the kiddies to beddy-bye.....but I thought I'd add to their political acumen. The Democratic debate was on and I'm trying to decide if the Democratic ticket will get my vote this time around. I'm leaning towards McCain, but Obama is becoming hard for me to decide against. I've kinda' realized that I'm more of a conservative independent than anything else........ I asked the kids to come in the bedroom and watch a few minutes of the debate. I shared with them that Obama would be the first American (United States of America) president of obvious and prominent Afrikan descent and Clinton would be the nation's first Woman President if elected. We discussed how the Caribbean, Africa, South American and Latin America has had men who have showed African features, we discussed how there have been Women presidents in Africa and other countries. I allowed them to watch a little and then I sent them to their rooms. A moment later I saw some shaking beads at the door. I directed the little girl to go to her room. She placed her hand over her face preparing to cry and sobbed "I just wanted to hear Obama. I heard Hillary speak, I just wanted to hear his voice and hear what he has to say." While directing her to choose between following my directions or earning a spanking as well as leaving those cry-on-demand tears in their sockets I thought about the position I'm in. Here she is wanting to listen to a Presidential debate at six years of age and I feel the need to enforce a parental limit. Good parenting has often placed me into a position where I have to decide what's best between good options. Some parents have to decide the lesser between two evils such as being kicked out of their apartment or allowing their son/daughter to profit from the drug trade. I know many of these parents and while I've enjoyed friendship of these parents I do not wish to join their ranks. My daughter choose the bed over the beating - good choice. When daughter-girl awoke the next morning she asked me "What did Obama say Daddy ?" I then discussed his statements and she smiled. "Daddy can I hear him the next time he's on t.v. ?" she asked. I can't remember if I answered or not. I do remember the smile that warmed my heart, and feeling secure in my decision to remain a firm parent. I'm sure Obama, Hillary, and McCain would all vote in my favor. American needs more better parents more than we need any of these candidates or political groups.
Side note: The next day daughter-girl shared with her mommy-grandmother how she attempted to sneak another peek at Obama. She ended her description of the event by saying "Grammy, they're both trying to become President......but we already have an American president !"