Black boy chronicles

A couple of weeks ago we were shopping for school shoes and I had a teachable moment with my two sons. I still get chills thinking about it – and how it relates to the world we live in. I will get into that later.

As we picked out school shoes, I headed to the register and my oldest decided to “pick up” a piece of candy. NEWSFLASH: you are not allowed to casually pick up anything in any store. And the same for your sister. Period.

Pause. Breath. Pause. Breath.

Because mothers have super powers, I knew something was up when I looked into those innocent eyes — he knew nothing about what this really meant for him: a black boy.

The conversation went something like this:

Me: “What do you have?”

Son: “Uhhh. . . nothing.”

Me: Immediate side eye

Me: “WHAT DO YOU HAVE!” Blood rushing and boiling

Son: Pulls small piece of candy out of pocket

Me: Head nearly explodes, body tenses up . . . and the candy goes back on the shelf

Outside of the store in my lowest but most stern voice I gave him straight talk: don’t you ever do this in your life . . . EVER!

From the look on his face, I knew he understood the seriousness of my words and eyes. Same for his brother. I was overwhelmed with emotion and had to pull myself back together.

As we rode home in silence, my thoughts gathered:

  1. We’ll have “the talk” when they can truly understand
  2. But why do my husband and I even have to have this talk with our boys?
  3. As a black boy certain situations are not worth it — so don’t put yourself in them

My hope is that these teachable moments with my kids will ignite them to seek change. We all must continue to advocate at city, state, and federal levels – it is undeniably important.

But what stands: I will continue to raise my boys to know that they are strong, they are smart, they are healthy, they are happy, they are blessed, and they are brave.

This will be a part of their black boy chronicles.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain. . .

Sun Taylor

A repeat of seasons

This is a repeat of a blog post from about six months. We all go through changes and must remain thankful for the seasons. Enjoy!


Season: a time characterized by a particular circumstance or feature. This was the most fitting definition for today’s post so thank you Merriam-Webster.

We all have our favorite seasons – winter, spring, summer, or fall. But what about the seasons of life? What happens when it’s not your “season,” and self encouragement dwindles?

Speaking candidly, my current season is not at it’s best. We’ll say I’m in winter but I’d prefer summer. And last week I hit a pivotal moment.

Since having my baby girl in February, I have been a domestic engineer over the last nine months. That means no job that I clock into, but still “working” this thing called life. As I have mentioned before, we have three kids and own two businesses. I’ll let you fill in the blanks.

Quite honestly, it has been tough. This past week I started to feel like I wasn’t making any good strides professionally – as I reenter the workforce- and low self-esteem and lack of self encouragement was turning into self pity and shame.

Then I started to pick on myself. But one of my girls told me quickly “You have tell that (self pity and shame) heffa she gotta go. Kick her right out the door. She ain’t welcome here.”

So I did. I kicked her out the door and welcomed my new friend “you got this.” She’s cute and much nicer.

In most cases, challenging circumstances or seasons don’t last. They tend to pass and make us stronger and wiser anyway.

Now . . . fast forward a week later and my best foot is right in front of me. I have also relearned the importance keeping your head up through the tough times; we’re our biggest cheerleaders and supporters. And more importantly, there’s beauty in every season:

Winter is cold, but the first dust of snow is quite delightful.

Spring brings showers, but our days are lighter and brighter.

Summer is hot, but a sunset is always breathtaking and amazing.

Fall brings leaves galore, but the colors are bountiful and beautiful.

Be thankful for the seasons.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain . . .

Sun Taylor

No Extra Sauce

You’re in line at Subway and the person in front of you decides to order a turkey sandwich – so you think. Soon enough you realize that it’s not just a turkey sandwich, but it’s the turkey sandwich from H-E-L-L. Quickly, you get annoyed.

Subway sandwich expert (SSE): Hi, can I help you?
Annoying customer (AC): Um yeah, I want a turkey sandwich on jalapeno cheese bread
SSE: I’m sorry but we don’t carry that bread here. Would you like another?
AC: What? Well can you make it Italian and add melted cheese on top of the bread.
SSE: Sure (and a blank stare).
AC: Also, use the light mayo and not too much, chipotle sauce, but right after you toast it and don’t burn it. Then add my turkey, with lettuce, but the shredded lettuce, olives, pickles, and a banana peppers on one side only.  Also, I’ll take the oil and vinegar to go, not on the sandwich, and EXTRA chipotle sauce to go too.
SSE:  Tight-grit-of-the-teeth-and-fake-smile.

Why? Why? Why? These are the people in our lives that need a hug, according to my cousin Risgurl, and I couldn’t agree more. Things like a darn sandwich, should not be this complicated – along with other areas of our lives.

Mid-summer, we (well I) had to make the decision as to whether we were going to put our oldest son in a charter or public school. There I was at Subway looking at the options and making it way too complicated. If I got him into a charter school way across town, how would we manage drop off and pick up with our schedules (mind you we’d do anything for our kids). Or maybe after school care…or not? School bus, carpool anyone? And the other two kids? How are we picking them up? STOP. BREATHE. We ultimately decided to put him in a public school, close to home, that is perfectly fine and so is he.

So the next time you’re in line at your favorite Subway, order your sandwich, keep it simple as possible, and say thank you. Otherwise, make your sandwich at home please.

And also simplify those areas in your life that have way too much going on – no extra sauce.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain. . .

Sun Taylor