I Chose To GROW
A Blog About Raising Free People
"Apologies in order, to T,Yanna my daughter" - The Notorius B.I.G - My Downfall (1997)
These lyrics from Biggie's classic track Downfall kept playing in my mind as I prepared to write this blog. I came of age in the '90s during the golden era of hip-hop so lyrics popping in my head as a soundtrack to my life is a very common phenomenon. I know that somebody reading this can relate, lol.
Sunday morning April 12th, Easter 2020, I apologized to my 11-year-old daughter Skyla while I was having breakfast with her, Scottie, and their mother. I was sharing with them that I was starting this blog and that I had been thinking a lot about my parenting journey up to this point. Her mother and I started reminiscing about how challenging Skyla was as a toddler and I was reminded of how much I struggled during my pre-conscious parenting years.
In May 2008 I became a first-time parent to a beautiful and spirited baby girl. I was also a frustrated elementary public school teacher finishing my first year. In the five years that followed, I was challenged by both situations in ways that I would not have previously imagined.
Between the ages of 2-5, my daughter was an extremely demanding, persistent, and inquisitive child who pushed buttons that I didn't even know I had. As a teacher, I was praised by my colleagues for the patience and compassion that I had for my students. However, I was ashamed at how often I was unable to extend that same level of grace to my own child while I was at home. Continue reading