I love the Fall! It’s the season I experience grateful and reflective living. Candle selections are better, my trusty sweaters are back in rotation, and I start resisting the urge to play my “Temptations Christmas” Pandora Station. In my home, it’s the season for birthday celebrations, holidays, and pumpkin projects… I even start practicing my dishes for Thanksgiving dinner!
I really do have a heart for family and providing a healthy, happy home that my children will benefit from. Some days, I forget how blessed I am. Then comes my friend named Fall and I continue depositing my affection, time, creativity, and consistency.
I was scrolling through my newsfeed recently, when this quote somersaulted off the screen and into my heart: “Be who you needed when you we’re younger.”
I was lucky to have two very loving and supportive parents who worked hard, took us to church, attended school functions, kept us out of the street, and lived their lives so that their children and grandchildren could benefit from the choices they made. I am grateful because, when it comes to my parents, their work is never done. My family continues to benefit off the resources of my parents.
This is not everyone’s given circumstance.
The reality is that a lot of us don’t have a parental template to guide us. We’re literally trying to just “be who we needed” back then. It’s hard, but it works! The courage and commitment to offering a different, better situation than we had, works. There are a lot of unhappy homes. People are struggling. There are so many emotional and financial burdens that have parents in conflict. They fight openly– adults literally have screaming matches in front of their children. Parents are overworked, underpaid, and too mentally drained to follow through on a routine for their family. By the time the children get to school, they can’t perform adequately because of home life.
As a child, I knew I wanted a family. I wanted a happy home. I could see myself multitasking– cooking, cleaning, and coordinating. I could even see myself going back and forth caring for three children. That was me casting vision as a teenager. And even then, I was thinking of things that I would do differently in my household versus how my parents ran their home. Not so much is different. Today, I look at my dad, my mom, and I get it…
I know we get over-stretched in our roles as parents and caregivers. We constantly give without requiring a return on our gifts. Sometimes we give and it feels like it comes with a big slap to the face; but let’s not forget that one day our children will be adults. They will get it. What we do for and with them now will leave them full, half full, or empty…
May your home be happy this season and every season!
Clinnesha is a writer, wife, mom, meta-artist, and social entrepreneur who feels most accountable to southern, black citizen-artists, elders, children, and families. Her work is at the intersection of arts, culture, innovation, and community.