I was just thinking, new mama, you’ll need a ring.
It’s pretty obvious what colour yours will be.
It’ll need to be green.
After all, you’s gonna be
The talkin’ kind.
Maybe you don’t feel it now, but you’ll feel it then.
Put up your feet for a while, have a nap, and you’ll feel it. Dry your eyes. You’ll be strong.
Surging through your veins, you’ll feel it.
You’re gonna be strong, girl.
God will do it. He’ll give you his arm. (He’s always a gentleman.)
You ain’t no wimp. No way. Don’t let anyone say it.
The world ain’t seen nothin’ yet. I tell ya.
You’re the one who is going to have to stand your ground.
You’re the one who is going to have to stick up for this baby.
Be a mama bear.
Tell everyone else to back off.
When they tell you what you need, and when and where,
You’ll say, no, not like that. It’s like this, see.
This is what I need, and this is when I need it, and this is where.
Mama says (not Simon).
And when they say, “What got into you all of a sudden?”
You tell them: “Baby did. You got an issue with that?”
And when they say, “What makes you think you can do this, all on your own?”
You tell them: “Who says I’m going to be ‘on my own’? I’m looking at you, ain’t I? Where are you gonna be? Hidin’ under some rock near Tennessee?
And who says I’m going to be ‘on my own’? Baby won’t always be 2lbs3. One day, pretty darn soon, as a matter of fact, this baby’s gonna grow up. Taller’n you, perhaps. We’ll stand together, and we’ll laugh about you. We’ll sit on the couch and we’ll crack each other up. I’ll read to him from this manuscript I been keepin’ – it’s called my diary. Yeah – that’s where I record Every Single Word That You Said About Me And About Him. Every Single Word You Said, About How I Would Fail, and About How He Would Turn Out to Be “Some Loser” “Some Failure” “Some Homeless Bum” We’ll laugh at those words and anyone who said it.
Yeah, that’s right.
And no, you can’t read it.
I’m saving it. For a good laugh. Sooner than you think.
I’ll show it to my real friends. The ones who stood by me. I’ll use real names, yeah, better believe me. I’ll name you, Mr. Pastor, I’ll name you Mrs. Grandma, I’ll name you, Missy Best Friend.
What you said and what you didn’t.
What you did and what you didn’t.
Don’t ya worry.
I got it covered.
Ooh – all nicey-nice then now? Hmm, what a change.
Yes, as a matter of fact, there is something else you can get me, now that you ask.
Pay all my rent (or sign up to pay part, mon), my groceries and once a week, a home-cooked meal will be nice, starting this week. Would you like to sign up for Wednesdays or Fridays? (I don’t fast on Fridays now that I’m pregnant, and as a matter of fact, won’t fast for a while.)
I’ll need some pens from the store and baby will need diapers (smallest size), though later I may switch to cloth (haven’t decided which I prefer).
One more thing, get me a ring. No buddy boy, this ain’t a proposal. I’m not asking you to marry me. (You might not be good enough.) I’m telling you – it’s for my right hand. I’m telling you that you owe me a ring for this baby.
Hmm, now that you ask, a ring for each baby? Perhaps. You mean, as a keepsake, for when she’s grown? Maybe (haven’t decided).
Anyway. Brand new, nicest you can afford. I’ll give you the credit, so make it nice.
Ah yes, it’s gotta be green.
Because yes sir you better believe
Yes madam you better believe
I’m going be the Talkin’ Kind.
No money? Of course you do, man. Just take that cash you were offerin’ me so bad – that cash you had set aside for the abortion. Or remember that new set of shades you were gonna buy? That new phone? Use that. Jewelry store up the street – it’s open. Lickety-split. Hop to it, boy.
Yup, “mama” – that’s you. Startin’ now.
Don’t let nobody push you around.
And you, yeah, you’re telling your story. Someday soon.
Tell it far wide and near, because it’s your story people are gonna wanna hear. You’ve got the rollercoaster one. The one that goes up and the one that goes down. You’re gonna be one of those ones who live to tell the story about The Other Side. Tell your side of the story, about what you been through. Tell your side of the story about how and what they didn’t do. How they told you this that and the other thing about How Things Would Be.
You tell your story about how people were, When You Needed Them.
You go, girl.
And it won’t be all bad neither, no. (Don’t worry.) Because the thing is, you’ll find some gems. You’ll find some keepers in that bunch of people in your life. Some people who surprisingly came through when things were grim. Write down their names too, and write down the thoughtful things that touched your heart. (If it seemed fake or insincere, it’s up to you whether it makes the cut.)
Here’s a pen. Yeah, don’t just text it, my friend. Write it down, pretty notebook, secret notebook “Baby book.” Use real names, first name and last. Don’t cover up what they did – it’s time to record it.
Write down about the time they said they’d “be around” if you “needed ‘somethin’ ” Better write their last name, because years from now, you won’t remember it. If they’re useless now, in the hard times, you might not agree to see them in the good times.
And good times, they’re a comin’
Speakin’ of which —
You should homeschool.
You’re the type. That green-ring-wearing type. The kind of chick who doesn’t care what the folks say. The kind of girl who goes her own way.
Trust me, that I know.
Yes you are strong.
You are too.
How do I know?
The circumstance. You think God allows this kind of thing all ’round everywhere? No he doesn’t. He picks and chooses. He’s chosen you. Your road is unique. Your story isn’t like the other ones.
That means one thing.
It means, God’s got something up his sleeve.
You’re going to conquer. You and baby, you’re gonna win.
You’ll surprise them. You’ll surprise yourself.
Let me put it this way: Anybody who does the right thing against the odds, when things are tough, is called a Hero. (Catholics call them saints, but it applies to everyone who tries to do right.)
Anybody who does the right thing in the hard times, is actually a hero.
Anybody who chooses right when all the people tell you to choose wrong – that’s a hero. Or a heroine, if you’re a woman.
You deserve respect. Your way is tough. Tougher than others.
As for the deserters, the ones who say to you, “You got yourself into this mess”
Well, they’re not your friends. They’re the cowards. Write down their names and what they said (and when they said it.) No rush – when you’re rested.
But back to homeschooling, let me mention – statistics show (Fraser Institute, a Canadian ‘right-wing-think-tank’) that the children who come from mothers who didn’t complete high school have the most to gain by homeschooling. (They jump the most ‘percentiles’ of accomplishment when you compare regular school with homeschool academic results.) In other words, it’s not what you’d expect. For some stupid reason, everyone assumes that you need to have a PhD in every subject in the world in order to homeschool. As if becoming super-ultra-specialized in one-eensy-weensy aspect of our Ultra-Huge Universe is something you’d want to do, and an incredible accomplishment. A PhD means that you probably know less about everything else because you’ve been holed up in some laboratory or chained to some desk for years while real life passed you on by. A PhD means you know Less about this that and everything because you’ve been so focused on this one question of exactly why the buffaloes near Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump (real location name) broke their heads. Real thesis topic – abandoned by someone I knew (Kim P.) when she realized the answer wasn’t complicated enough. (They fell off the cliff.)
PhD? Yeah, whatever.
And speaking of buffaloes and cliffs…
Yeah, please don’t let your precious child be one of them that runs with the others. See that cliff? That cliff that all the other parents have their own running on? That cliff called “Modern Crap Education”?
RUN THE OTHER WAY.
You and your son, yeah man.
You and your daughter – as the case may be.
Hit the ground running.
You know what skills a person needs – teach him to read well enough, teach him to write (cursive’s nice if you can) and some math. Good enough. That’s more than he’ll learn at those daycare centres called “school.” Why do you think the tutoring centres are making a killing?
Here’s how to cook an egg, son. Let’s make some noodles, daughter. Easy does it.
You know what the basics are.
Before you know it, he’ll be pulling that encyclopedia book down from the shelf just to have a quick look. (Encyclopedias: cheaper’n heck these days) A few hours later, he’ll know more than grandpa ever did about this-that-and-this.
Just you wait.
Yeah, you’re the homeschooling kind.