Wednesday, June 06, 2007

One Proud Mama, One Fine Son

Class of 2007

with Honors...

I'm feeling all kinds of purple pride tonight. Watched my baby graduate with pomp and circumstance, and I just cried. Me and my sister Penny. Penny is good for crying with. She'll cry at anything, so I didn't have to cry alone. My niece Kimmie called us wimps, but I earned those tears. My first born. Lord, have mercy.

You don't know what I've been through to be with him. And here we are. He's gotten two scholarships, too. I'm so proud of him. I love him so.

I remember when I found out that I was pregnant with him. I told the first person on the street I saw. I was so young. I didn't know how young I at the time. I do now! I remember buying undershirts for him for the first time. Little bitty white undershirts. I recall with startling clarity the details of his birth. His first cry. His newborn scent.

A million moments with this child. When I broke his heart--again and again. And when he broke mine.

I remember losing him. I remember people telling me I'd never get him back. Trusting that God would return him to me, despite it taking a really long time. I also remember standing in my room one after noon saying, Lord, when are you going to bring my baby home? And two weeks later the excitement I felt on the telephone with a stranger saying to me, "We have your son, and would you like to have him back?"

"Yes, I would. I've been praying to get him back for ten years."

So much has happened since that time when I picked him up, frail and broken in spirit, much smaller than he should have been for his age. He was no bigger than Kamau, who is all of four years younger. His sister Abby, two years younger, was bigger.

Seems like a long time ago, but it wasn't. It was just three years ago. He grew. Crammed high school, when he'd never gone to a regular school at all, in just a few years. He learned how to play several musical instruments, and the brotha finished his classes in early, chilled (literally, it was January), got a job, and today we celebrated him.

And do you see how good looking that kid is??? Of course, there's an African proverb that says a boy who looks like his mother is a blessed boy. [wink]

"You made me so happy, God
I saw your work and shouted for joy.
How magnificent your work, God!"
Psalms 92:4-5

So much to celebrate!

Happy Birthday to Ken, my love! And to Carlean, my sister! Let's have a big ol' blog party, complete with cyber-gifts. We can drink all the cyber-wine we want and drive home safely.

See you at the party!


ragamuffin diva said...

Once I heard writer/editor/zine (Hip Mama) publisher Ariel Gore say her parenting goal at some point became to just keep her daughter *alive*. I can totally relate. So far, all my kids are still breathing. I so don't take a lot of credit for what Lumumba accomplished, but I did managed to make things a little easier for him by keeping him *alive*. As much as I could, which wasn't much, frankly. God did most of that.

So, all that to say.

Here is a huge bottle of Pinot Gris! And Champagne for those of us who like the bubbles. Enjoy!

I'm passing out party bags full of your wildest dreams. Not yours, Steve, but some acceptable secondary choices for you. Everybody else can have their wildest dreams.

Well, I can't. But most of you can.

Sigh. Okay, none of you can. You can have a few tame dreams.

Dang! I'm going to have to get less sinful friends!

Anyway, enjoy your party bags, and tell me what you pulled out of your bag, what presents you're passing out, and what food you're bringing.

wilsford said...

hey, I'm adding your to my bookmarks.

here here! to keeping your kid alive. after a few years, my husband and I figured that was our main parenting goal with #1 son: alive until age 18. (he's 27 now—here's to success!)

best wishes to you, looking forward to reading more!

spwriter said...

What? I thought you said you knew Kate Beckinsale and that she told you she was quitting acting just to be with me all because of that "To Know" post I wrote on my blog. You mean that was all a fabrication? Hmm...I should have known. I just finished reading Murder, Mayhem & a Fine Man and I know you can fabricate with the best of 'em. (Great book, BTW).

Okay, so no wildest dream. I suppose I have to settle for an acceptable secondary choice. So...tell me again how you and Julia Ormand became good friends. Was it before or after she starred with Harrison Ford in Sabrina? And just how often do you talk with your cousin, Halle Berry?

Congrats to Lumumba. And to you as well.

(Are you sure there's no wildest dream for any of us?) said...

Congratulations Mair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To you AND your fine son! I'm doing the cyber Happy Dance for you right now.

Where did he graduate from?

Thanks so much for sharing your happy news w/ us so we can rejoice along with you.

My party bag? Let's see...since I'm moderation impaired, no bubbly for me...maybe some Dove chocolate and a Greek Bible lexicon?

Love ya girl,


Shanna said...

Seriously, some folks just know how to bring down a party. I want my first bag back.

But THIS bag is good, too. My bag is full of travel and friends and books--and a joyful family. At the bottom is a picture of my girl graduating from high school, in love with life, ready for her own party.

I'm bringing Guinness and a smoked salmon platter with all the fixin's.

And birthday greetings to you, Ken!

Heidi Renee said...

Woo Hoo! Doing the happy dance with you all the way out here in New Brunswick!!

ragamuffin diva said...

Welcome, Wilsford! You came just in time for the party! And leave it to Shanna. She's so smart. She has unwittingly found a very tricky trick to the second party bag. By simply asking for the first one back, you can get that one in your second party bag. Now we can all have our wildest dreams, and our tame dreams.

Life is wonderful here on this blog. Lemme tell ya!

Only I think I'll stick with my tame one. I have to cyber-drive this thing.

So, I am holding my Pinot Gris high in honor of Lumumba, who may not even drink cyber-wine. Congratulations, son. And to those who may (not you, Marie):

Happy Birthday, Ken, life companion and friend.

Happy Birthday, Carlean, most awesome sister ever, and inspiration for the character that everybody who read wanted to be best friends with.

She really is my best friend! Or one of them. I'm fortunate enough to have a few. :O)

And here's to the raggedy, uh, I mean raga-d family!

Ummm. Try the salmon. It's excellent!

Steve, cut it out over there with those gorgeous movie stars. And leave Carlean alone, who looks like a gorgeous movie star.

What a rascal that Steve is.


Anonymous said...

What a dumb bell I am...see what happens when you past comments to other peoples' blogs before you've had your morning coffee fix??

Obviously if Lumumbra is too young to drink, he's too young to have graduated college (that's an example of what a friend of mine calls a "brain fart".) It's been a long week...I just completed a 12-page missive called "Leaving Charismania Behind" and am considering writing a book. (Once the wrist-cramps subside.)

In penance for my the error of my silly question, and for the fact I just inhaled more than my share of the smoked salmon, I will bring my famous black and white amaretto cheesecake to the party.

May this be the start of many great things in his future!

spwriter said...

I see it's time to play once again on Mair's blog. Always the most entertaining place in cyberspace.

Okay, I'll leave the movie stars alone. This won't be much of a problem, trust me. (Can anyone say "restraining order"?)

But Carlean, too? That's so not fair.

Okay, just tell me who is on the approved list.

But first, could you pass me some of the salmon?

Joni said...

Wow. Y'all are just having yourselves a fine little bloggy party over here!

Congrats to the fine lookin' son and his finer mamma. (Because, of course, he had to get those fine looks from YOU!) Congrats to the hubby and sister on their birthdays!

Wildest dreams are too tame to even mention these days. Some peace and quiet, a tall cool glass of "something" (can't handle the jazzed stuff here, either), and a secluded place with my fine honey of a husband...that'll satisfy me!

ragamuffin diva said...

Hmmm. Gonna have to let Carlean chime in on whether or not Steve can flirt with her. She's old enough now. It's her birthday for heaven's sake! And who wouldn't want a hottie like Steve flirting with them on their birthday!

We all know what happened to Bell on her birthday! If you don't, you'll have to read Murder, Mayhem, and a Fine Man, by Claudia Mair Burney, coming out in February of 2008 from Howard Books/Simon and Schuster.

...And that, my friends, is called a shameless pitch.

The cheesecake is amazing! Try it with the strawberries.

And do try the have some of this lobster bisque. I spent all morning making it just right.

Joey Quinton said...

Congratulations on this momentous occasion as well as the scholarships!

Shanna said...

Oh wow! Lobster bisque? You really do save the best for last!

I'm keeping my first bag here close beside me. Y'all will have to guess what's inside. :-)

Thaaaaanks, Mair. (I'll probably regret this in the morning, though.)

Until then, Boogie-oogie-woogie! And don't worry about Carlean. I think she's more than capable of handling Steve. (Did that come out right?)

wilsonian said...

Congrats to both of you :)

Angie Poole said...

You two made me bawl my eyes out, the whole sacrificial CoverGirl thing.

God Bless You Both!

Carlean said...

Wow, what a birthday. I come home from a twelve hour shift to the coolest cyber party Ever...Sissie you give the best parties. I get to cry with you "our baby". That is one fine young man. I get a glass of cyber wine, and my favorite, a hottie challenge.

I'm glad you invited all of your sinful friends, wouldn't want to offend anyone with my party bag of wildest dreams. I will however let you borrow my tame dreams,so you can give my brother-in-law his wildest birthday dream. (Happy birthday Ken you owe me one)

And if you want to know what is in my bag of wildest dreams you have
to ask Steve. After all it is my birthday, and I do deserve one fine man.

ragamuffin diva said...

Mercy! It's getting warm in here! I see I'm going to have to keep an eye on both Carlean and Steve and I may have to confiscate party bags.

I tell you, give folks their wildest dreams!

Ken so can't have his wildest dreams. I'm certain they would involve Janet Jackson, no children, and me being holed away writing novels that make far more money than the ones I actually write do.

Angie, I'm giving you a big hug. I know, sis. You know I do.

Good to see you, Erin. Hey Heidi, my friend. And my pal, Joni! And poetry lover, Joey. Nice to see you. Try the cheese cake.

The Queen said...

Good to have u back. Congratulations to you and your son.

spwriter said...

So with Mair focusing one eye on Colorado and one eye on Florida, I think the rest of you can pretty much get away with anything.

Let the party continue!

Hey, did someone spike the lobster bisque?

Shanna said...

Mair was supposed to add the sherry during the last ten minutes so the alcohol could cook out, but I think she forgot and added it right there in the chafing dish on the buffet table.

So, yes, steve. You can blame the hostess.

ragamuffin diva said...

Yeah. Blame the hostess. Blame everything on the hostess.

Alison Strobel Morrow said...

Wow. What an amazing accomplishment. I can just imagine how bursting-with-pride you must be. Not to mention that he's hot. (Oh my, did I just say that out loud? It wasn't even apropos. Yes, Steve, I believe someone did spike the lobster bisque.) I brought some lambrusco bianco because it's the only wine I've ever actually liked. Though I probably spelled it wrong. Last time I drank it was in 1997 so it's been awhile since I actually saw the name. Oh dear, I'm rambling. No more bisque for me; cut me off, Mair!

ragamuffin diva said...

Oh, for heaven's sake, Ali! Give me those keys!

I see your point, Marie. You can't even let some people have a little cyber-wine, much less give them their wildest dreams in a party bag.


ragamuffin diva said...

I just wanted you all to know, Lumumba said thank you all very much, but he's much too shy to get on my blog and say so.

You all are the bestest blog friends--and some of you are my real-live friends--ever!

Robin said...

** tears **

I missed a party. A stinkin' FANTABULOUS blarty (blog + party)! No treats for me, no eats for me, no stinking Pinot Gris for me. Couldn't Lumumba have waited to graduate until I got back into town? ** sniff **

Okay, so it's not about me, forgive the little pity party. Instead, please accept a belated congratulatory greeting and a little poem in honor of the Diva, the Child and this beautiful milestone day.

Hard fought battle
Worth the price
Victor's spoils
Can't play nice
Doing what you gotta do
Nose to grindstone, trudging through.
Gifted in so many places
Praise to God for all His graces.
Stature tall, future bright
Smile illuminates the night.
Mama's pride, Mama's joy
He'll always be her little boy.

ragamuffin diva said...

Robin, you were worth the wait, honey. That was one fine poem! Lumumba's name literally means "Gifted". Thanks for the lovely gesture. Have a glass of Alison's Lambrusco Bianco. It's a little warm now, but it sure does taste good, just like she said it would. Most of the other food is gone. And Steve took the last of the lobster bisque home with him, but I saved you a piece of cheese cake and a party bag--one of the first ones!

He left your copy of Murder, Mayhem, and a Fine Man with me too, with his fun, cryptic notes. I sure couldn't figure them out. I just have to add my touches. Don't worry. You'll figure those out.

Well, come over here and let me hug you.

Welcome home, lovie. We've missed you around here. It just wasn't the same without our Robin.

rLoObViInE said...

Well a little warm wine nevah hurt anybody, did it? And, I'm sure Steve did me a favor by taking home the bisque--perish the thought of four-day old seafood! Thanks for looking out for me, cheesecake is ALWAYS a's not just the taste, I like squishin' it between the roof of my mouth and tongue. Yep, I might be a grown up, but I still play with my food ;).

I wondered about the origin of Lumumba's name; I just KNEW there was a story behind it. Hmmm, I guess there is for all of us....

Merci beaucoup for the warm welcome home. Know what? I bet you hug the way I do, with your whole body--none of that "air hug" junk.

Email's comin' soon, I'm beginning to feel a little blog binge comin' on ;).

Paula said...


upwords said...

You done good, L. Looking good too. I do know what you went through to get him back...and I love you for it.


Heather Diane Tipton said...

Congrats to Lumumba!!

Man, I always miss all the fun!