motherhood monday

Motherhood Monday: Remembering Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Donna Olivia Owusu-Ansah

I’m too tired to write much. Three day weekends with the girls wear me out. And as much as I am worn out, I am also full. I had the good pleasure of spending the morning with my girls, and other justice minded people, at the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts in Princeton, NJ for their annual event celebrating the life and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. It was a beautiful gathering that began with breakfast and a talk from Rev. Lukata Mjumbe, Pastor of the Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church in Princeton. Rev. Mjumbe was followed by Tracy K. Smith, National Poet Laureate. The larger group was dismissed for crafts for children of all ages. The girls had a blast making buttons, painting peace rocks, contributing to a mural, and making monoprints of Rosa Parks. The morning ended with a soul stirring performance from the Unity Choir from the First Baptist Church of Princeton.  

Here are some pictures from the morning, including our girls lunch and discussion about the event and Dr. King at Panera. It’s a wonder we made it. Baby Girl was convinced we were going to be blowed away by the frigid wind. 

 

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Motherhood Monday: My Favorite Thing to Do at the Park (Prompt) by Donna Olivia Owusu-Ansah

It has been a while since I've posted a Motherhood Monday Moment. I'm still knee deep in life with a four year old and six year old, which is as exhilarating as it is exhausting. And there have been many, many motherhood moments happening--from the banal to the hilarious. The antics of children are wonderfully amazing. 

In an attempt to write more--because writers write--today instead of riffing about motherhood, this entry will follow a prompt from a book I have called, "500 Writing Prompts" that I bought some time ago. I had forgotten how beneficial writing prompts could be. My memory was jogged at the Publishing in Color Conference when both Sophfronia Scott and Jacqui Lewis had a write from prompts. In any case, here goes...

"What is your favorite thing to do in a park? How often do you go?"

We don't go often enough. As a mother, it is easy to get caught up in the routines that keep life going: wake, bathe, dress, breakfast, school/work, errands, homework, dinner, bath, preparing and packing for the next day, sleep, wake, bathe, dress, you get the picture. Every once in a while, we break the routine and head to the park. Every time we go, I say in my heart, "we need to do this more often" but then the pressures of life lead us back to the hamster wheel.

When we are there, what joy we experience! As a girl, my favorite thing to do in the park was to swing. I loved sitting, pumping my feet back and forth, gliding in the air. My effort determined my experience. For a gentle and relaxing ride, only slight leg pumps were required. I could stay all day on the swing like that. Sometimes, when I was aching for a thrill, I'd pump my legs as hard and fast as I could until it was as if I was soaring in the sky. Legs high above the jungle gym, high above the planes carrying people to exotic destinations, high above the elementary cares of life, becoming one with clouds. A lofty aspiration. I felt I could do anything. 

Image from www.pexels.com

Image from www.pexels.com

I still love the swings, but it is no longer my favorite thing to do at the park.

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FullSizeRender.jpg

Now when I go to the park, my focus is not on myself, but on our girls. I love witnessing their joy. Incessant laughter permeates the air as they run, hide, climb, swing, jump and slide. Their movement is swift, sometimes calculated and sometimes spontaneous. Big Girl's favorite thing is to climb--one foot in front of the other reaching new heights. Baby Girl prefers to stay grounded as she reimagines and repurposes the jungle gym--creating a kitchen and serving up freshly prepared wood chips for a small fee. When I see them, I see possibility. When I see them, I see creativity. When I see them, I see freedom. 

And now that they are older and no longer require that I hover over them on the jungle gym, I sit on the swings and watch as they play. This is now my favorite thing to do at the park.

Motherhood Monday: Hey 2018, Hey! by Donna Olivia Owusu-Ansah

As the first day of the first month of the year 2018 comes to a close, I am every grateful for the way that I/we began the year. Decades ago my New Year's Eve was marked by music and spirits with New Year's Day spent mostly in bed recovering from the night before. As I matured as a woman and a disciple of Christ, my NYE was spent in church, thanking God for the prior year's grace and praising God in anticipation of what was to come. Before children, my/our New Year's Day was spent relaxing in bed or on the couch or even cozied up on the floor. But this year, my New Year's Day was markedly different.

I spent the first few moments of 2018 at church. The message preached was centered around 1 Corinthians 2:9, "No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it— What God has arranged for those who love him" (MSG). After 2018 greeted us, I rushed home to get to my loves. Our girls are still young (3 and 5) and we opt not to keep them out because we'd rather not have the crankies invade our home on the first day of the year. I greeted my Big Love (aka hubby) and went to sleep. In the morning, when the girls woke I enjoyed the first snuggles of 2018. And then we got to work. We were hosting their friends and had lots to do to prepare. Fast forward a few hours: The house was sparkling and smelled like a veritable Chipotle, except my bar had grilled shrimp, too. It must've been my Jill Scott station playing on Pandora, because those shrimp tasted like love and passion. Anyway, their company arrived and a new kind of New Year's Day ensued: Superheroines, the Little Mermaid screening, Cupcake Wars, Oh my! The house was filled with tiny people with big personalities, movement, music, and mess (lots of mess). It was lovely. It was life and life more abundantly. It was the kind of gathering that, I imagine, Jesus would have enjoyed because the children were present and being themselves in all of their splendor.

“No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it— What God has arranged for those who love him.”

For as much as I desired to be married and could see myself as a wife, I did not see myself as a mother, especially not of two girls. I was told--and heard over and over again--how smart and capable I was and how I'd excel professionally, but I never heard, "Wow, you'd be a great mother one day!" In fact, never in a million years could I have imagined today. And though I could never have imagined it, it was the perfect way to begin the New Year!

Happy New Year! May you prosper in body, mind, heart, and soul in 2018!