Fact: I typically have a thought, sit down with it and Art begins to form from it. When it comes to Poetry, I either have it, or I don’t. As great a rhymer I know I am and as prolific as my writing is, I don’t always have it.
Some times it has to be brewed. First comes the thought, but the thought is only the tip of the iceberg that is my process.
I’ve had an idea for quite some time, but the flow hasn’t quite come together. The words are too, ‘not right.’ This matters because I am intentionally attempting to tell a very true story and words matter.
My dad was born in 1946. He stopped attending school and went to work before age 15. He was married and the head of his own household by 18. He was a father by 21, and a father of two by age 23. After 17 years of marriage my dad and his first wife parted ways.
My mom was born in 1952. She migrated from the small town her family is from and began to study and work in the city. By age 25, she was a mother, raising her son on her own. By age 30, she was running a store that she leased. Clearly entrepreneurship is in my blood.
My parents journey began in 1980. Dad was attracted to mom and took his time to know her. He spent many hours in her store and from what I told, showered her in fried chicken whenever her heart desired. From their relationship, my mom learned to drive and acquired her driver’s license. Dad grew an established contracting business, and after 6 years of trying, at last Baby Precious Princess (me) was born.
My older brothers were my first sitters. They were my first dates for Valentine. They came to eat lunch with me in my school’s cafeteria. My big brothers were my world for a long time. They took care of me. They took me where they went. They taught me what they knew.
My family portrait has always been mixed. Three boys. Two mothers. One Father whose also a stepfather. And a Princess.
I am not a Princess because my bloodline is royalty. I am Princess because it’s the first name I was given and it’s the atmosphere in which I developed. My dad is an alpha man all the way. He sets a tone of authority and even when he’s wrong, as a family, we’ve been groomed to submit. His leadership is one of his greatest qualities although it’s also a flaw a times.
Because of his leadership, his ex wife and his current wife found common ground and built a very nice & cordial relationship. His leadership ability led him to step in and teach my mom’s son things about being a man. His leadership displayed how husbands take care of the home and my oldest brother became a husband as a result of it. He protects and clan and has also taught his boys how to do the same. I’ve never had to be the fighter. I never had to be the provider. I never had to be the leader, but I get to be the helper.
Some times, helping is babysitting my brother’s young kids. Other times, helping is accommodating my brother who is disabled to the grocery store. Some times helping is being the soft, sweet, energetic presence in the midst of all these men.
I am here, in This family on purpose. My personality has allowed me to play certain roles which God uses to heal my family. The piece I’m working on has to paint that image as vividly as my heart feels it.
I am the only child with both my mother and my father as parents. I feel like the odd child often, if I’m honest, but I’m also the Princess. I bridge the gap between the brothers I share with my dad and the brother I share with my mom. Like a good pot of gumbo, each ingredient has a unique flavor but they all blend together for a dish that blesses anyone who tastes.