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

Put your hands up

It was bath time last week. Who knew bathing my 6 year-old-son would provide much more perspective on the words “put your hands up.”

As he soaked in his suds, I asked him to put his hands up–and then I stopped.  Fear seeped in. The thought of him being told this reminded me of what it really meant considering current and past events.

The action of putting your hands up has much more meaning than just the words. And when it hit me, I thought about “the conversation” we’d have with both of our boys when the time called for it. All these thoughts as I gazed at the suds.

What age would it be appropriate to really explain this? And why do we have to have this conversation as black parents with our black boys? And girls? Do other races have the same conversation, deeply, like we’ll have to?

“Put your hands up ” means different things, at different times, to different people. Some of us have been clear on this for a lonnnngggg time. But now, it just so happens it’s been caught on tape. Ponder that.

This all went through my head as he looked at me with innocence and rose his hands. I imagine the same innocence the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and all the mothers saw in their own son’s eyes when they bathed them. Innocence.

There are a lot of different points of view that have us in disarray and divided as country. Whether you have decided to kneel with Colin Kaepernick or join in another movement, “put your hands up,” remains the same but will also take on another meaning for me from this point on.

Put your hands up as a call for action; put your hands up to lift someone else in need; and finally put your hands up as you seek and pray for the answer.

While we’ll still have the conversation with our boys (and girl), I’m encouraged the same words will continue to ignite us to do something.

Put your hands up for positive change . . . because the sun always comes out after the rain.

Sun Taylor

Downloading conversation…NOW!

Download: an act or instance of transferring something from, usually a large computer, to the memory of another device (Merriam-Webster).

We’ve ALL been in conversations that went something like this when calling a friend:

YOU: “Hi girl, I haven’t talk to you in while. How’s it going?”
YOUR FRIEND: “Girlllll . . .” This means you need to sit back and listen.

OR she calls you and it goes like this:

YOUR FRIEND: “I’m just so over it right now. Let me tell you. . . ”
YOU: “What’s going on?” Be prepared to grab a cup; she’s about to spill some tea.

Recently, I had such an eye-opening conversation similar to this where I had to check myself. Why hadn’t I checked in with a friend of mine? Why hadn’t she checked in with me? Why hadn’t we called each other in so long? Was it for selfish reasons – like we both had too much going on to check on each other? Or maybe we didn’t feel compelled to call because . . . well, we just didn’t.

Guess what? These are wrong answers when it comes to the people we call our friends. It’s almost like we rely heavily on social media to check on them. Also, often times I find myself living for what’s right in front of me as opposed to reaching out – but we must check in with our people. And sometimes it may call for those “downloading” moments.  

The unfortunate side of not checking in: when we finally get around to it and the friend is gone to heaven or something terrible has happened. Don’t let this be any of us.

There are so many ways we connect with people, primarily through our mobile devices. I get it. The funny thing is on social media, we all live a fabulous life – trips, kids, marriages, good food, and good times. Sure we do.

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and whatever else may make it appear one way and that’s fine; I’m not one to post my dirty laundry anyway. But we all have those days when things aren’t going well. This is where the downloading comes in with a true conversation as opposed to some other form of communicating – like text messaging #sideeye.

The point: we’re all living this life and dealing with life. Check in with your peeps, give them a call, tell them you are here, and be open to the download on both sides of the conversation. True friends will always listen and never judge.

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

Sun Taylor                          

Crust on Your Face

Guess what? You’re not all that . . . sorry to break the news to you.

I have never thought I was “all that,” but there have been moments when I knew I had MY stuff together and the person next to me, metaphorically speaking, needed to get it together.

There are a couple of people in my life that I call my “chin checkers.” These are my go-to girls (shout out to @kalipeach, @morethanamom, @creativityflows19, @fashionablyfly) when I may need to get called out about my thoughts and attitude – quickly. They tell me the truth and I appreciate their candor about this thing we call life.

I had a rude reawakening this past week when I flew off the handle over a conversation- I knew I was right and they had to get it together . . . not so.

One thing I am big on is doing what you say with no excuses because people don’t care about your excuses; they want the job done and for you to follow through. I had planned my part of this ordeal, had my stuff together (so I thought) but then there was an issue with timing and Murphy’s Law showed up. You know the rest of the story.

I was d-o-n-e.

I have a tendency to go from 0 to 100 in about 0.001 seconds when you push the wrong buttons. But I am working on it, trust the process. So I called fashionablyfly. She checked me (nicely!) and handed me some words of wisdom: “Well . . . you’ll know the next time, for this particular client, allow for much more time. Put them in the ‘special box’ and don’t get upset.”

She was right. What I thought was enough time, clearly was not. Grrrr. I was the one with crust on my face. She also mentioned “not walking in offense,” but we’ll save that for another day.

Sometimes, you need to slow your roll and think about the issue. You can only be in control of yourself. And people, like me, need to be told sometimes or checked. It’s reality.

Besides, a crusty face isn’t cool. And I’m too cute and smart for that anyway.

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

Sun Taylor


Are you paying . . . rent?

This is a no drama and no KRAZIES zone. It takes up time and for those in our lives that create the drama, they aren’t paying rent – so time to move on out.

Case in point – you hear all about the woes of a friend again, give the advice again, and the cycle begins again! What? Are you paying rent in my head, taking up brain space, to help you figure it out . . . AGAIN? Nope. You’re being evicted.

We love our family and friends. But these repetitive conversations seem to do nothing to help change their situation. They take time out of our day – the same time that could be used catching up on your O Magazine, painting your nails, or how about just doi3DNotice2ng nothing. I have three kids. I don’t’ even have enough time to deal with their lovely personalities.

I will always, however, try to help my loved ones, with limitations and the bossiness I carry apparently. I like to call it assertive (tee hee!) When drama approaches, I nip that right in the bud. We all have our own “ish” and I’m not sure I can deal with your “ish” and mine too. But I still love you :o)

So for the next draining conversation headed your way, politely hand them the eviction
notice.  It’s tough but ultimately the person on the other end will, hopefully, love you for being candid, leave you out of it, and figure it out on their own. #Deuces.

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

Sun Taylor