Tag Archives: Motherhood

#Bring Back our Girls


Image from Parents.com
Image from Parents.com

This weekend we will celebrate Mother’s Day here in the U.S., but as I read the MSN headlines and look around on Facebook and twitter, it’s impossible as a mom, not to feel sad for all the mothers in Nigeria who have had their girls taken from them recently.

You’ve had to see the campaigns, the hashtag activism, it’s everywhere and it’s heartbreaking!

I had a nightmare once that stuck with me.  I opened my door to our backyard one beautiful and very normal day, to call Ella in from playing.  My focus was so keenly on her to my left,  that I didn’t realize as I called her name that a bulky man was standing to my right talking to her, in our yard!  Before I could say anything to him, the stranger darted off leaving our gate swinging and shouting “I couldn’t get her” to someone in the distance.

It was frightening to think of how close I came to losing my daughter, right from our own backyard, a place I felt was the equivalence of protection.

But I soon shook the fear however, because of a few reasons, that dream was set in my childhood home- I don’t even have a fenced in yard!  And because of that, I tend to never leave the kids out alone.  Also,  it’s unlikely Ella would ever be targeted, like she was in my dream.  I’m fortunate.

But those mothers who are now victims of that terrorist group who took their daughters are actually living their own abduction nightmare.

And although there are some who believe all our sharing, tweeting and blogging about this issue is doing nothing more than making noise, as in this Washington Post article, I want to believe that there is power in our numbers and our voices when lent in unison to an issue.

Maybe I can’t physically go to Nigeria and retrieve those girls.   I wouldn’t know where to begin, but if our noise collects, with our petitions, rallies and protests, becoming loud enough to annoy this terrorist group and others like them, maybe we can show them that we are all collectively motivated to seek justice against them and hopefully, next time our children won’t be so easily taken.

It reminds me of an African Proverb I once heard, once the lion has a historian, then the hunter will no longer be the hero.

Knowledge is power!

Click Change.org for the petition.

Career Day in NYC Public School & Detrimental Advice

Career Day at P.S. 161
Career Day at P.S. 161

Today Michael and I were honored to be invited to participate in P.S. 161’s Career Day.  It brought back old memories from my student teaching days.  And it has me wondering why some of us parents give our children such detrimental advice.

First of all, it was a challenge to accept the invitation, because we have Olivia, our 18 month old with us at home everyday.  Finding care, once in a while as opposed to having a baby sitter on a daily basis can be difficult.  Most of the babysitters we know have sucked their teeth and lost their patience with us for the last time because of our off and on need of their services.  They want more permanent work and we get that.

Sometimes we’d just like to have dinner and see a movie, but finding good babysitting is rarely easy. We ought to know, we found babysitters for our gigs all over the world with Alejandro Sanz, but it took a team and there were always glitches.   In the end, persistence prevails, for great and  small things alike.

We found a babysitter as late as yesterday evening and had a wonderful time at P.S. 161 today, talking about what we do and singing our song Dance.  We visited a special ed. class, a 3rd grade class and 1st grade class. The students were all lovely and bright, with hugs, smiles and lots of questions-many of them, unrelated to music- like are you married and what’s your cultural background, etc. Curious minds.

Afterwards, the adults gathered for lunch in the library, where we shared stories from the day.  I couldn’t help but shake my head when one lady told us about a boy who said he didn’t need to study because he was going to play basketball when he grew up!  I actually had a student at a different school, tell me nearly the same thing years ago.  He only showed up half the time for that after school reading program and one of those times he told me that his dad said he didn’t need any of it (the reading classes)!

Great teachers can do amazing things with young minds, but it amounts to nothing if parents don’t reinforce what’s learned, or at least support those efforts by encouraging the child!  Everybody knows this already, right?

So who are these people?