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Shoe Personality of the Week: 6/2/2013



As a little girl my heart belonged to my Daddy. I was the very definition of a Daddy's Girl.

& then my parents split. The relationship with my father became captured in the tiny lettering unique to him in his bi-monthly & sometimes weekly letters. It also lived in Saturday morning phone calls before going out to play & between chores. There was every other summer & the 1st week back to school. & the occasional Kwanzaa. For the 1st time ever, I charted the time spent went with my father post my parents' separation & was saddened. It made me feel like we're really good acquaintances. Sadly, that's far better than most. Don't get me wrong, I'm not ungrateful for the relationship with my father, simply saddened at the kind of relationship.

When my parents split, my sister & I went with my mother. Ours was a relationship that turned bitter & resentful; an aftertaste that lingered for many years & from time to time creeps up on us like acid reflux when we're reminded how certain parts of this mother/daughter thing don't work for us because we never learned how. We're forging our way into new territory as adults with memories painfully close by of inadequacies felt on both parts & hoping we can both tuck them in. Like any shirttail, these things come undone from time to time & sensitivities heighten. It's our cycle... Until it isn't, but for now, it is.

We've made great strides though. My mother feels more like my Mommy now than I recall as a child. It's not that she wasn't my mommy then, but she was busy raising us in such a way that we would never mistake her for our friend. As an adult I get it & intend to use this same philosophy when parenting my own children--once I acquire them. It's no longer necessary to parent us in the same way which allows my mother the chance to simply appreciate & express appreciation for who we are...for who I am now.

In my younger years I was so busy NOT going to my mother for assistance that I have really unlearned how to ask for or accept help. Trust me, all of you out here singing "all my independent ladies" with Beyhova have got it twisted. This level of independence WILL ensure that you will be able to take care of yourself, but it'll ensure some other things as well: the illusion of not needing anyone else, the notion that you should handle everything alone, the idea that no one's available for you, & it creates for others the assumption that you must not need 'cuz you never break down & ask like these other mere mortals out here. I call foul. Flag on the play. NONE of that's true. Even so, bad habits die harder than cockroaches in project tenements. What I've learned over the last couple of years is that any mother worth the salt she lovingly reminds you to watch in your diet can sniff out your troubled soul from minutes, miles, & continents away. I don't know how to call Mommy & lay it all down for her but she has the power of motherly intuition & will magically appear when my shit's hitting the proverbial fan.

All it takes is a well placed, perfectly timed, simplistically worded question to break me down. DOWN I say. The tears that I've needed to uncork begin to froth & spill over outside of my control. & my mother's newest trick is, "What I'm hearing you say is..." & completely unearth the truth of what's on my heart in ways I had yet to identify. Here I am thinking I'm saying 1 thing cuz it's what I thought was the answer to the question, only to have my mother decode my words & rearrange them like a Soul Train scramble board & tell me what the matter is. Humbled every time, I'm wondering why I'm bothering with this Master's in Counseling because I don't know that my skills will ever be this keen, this razor sharp. The woman is GOOD!! & I'm so grateful for it. Because as I'm blubbering away, sniffin' & snottin' & making terrible sounds of emotional agony, my mother manages to point out to me that I know what I need to do. & I usually do.

What we do, what my mother & I have currently, is so amazing to me because I would have never thought it possible. With each passing year, each time I need to come & plug in to my Life source, I discover some new ridiculously incredible layer to this woman who birthed me. I figured out some time ago that if my Mommy is this freaking thorough & she gave birth to me, well... Apples don't fall far from the tree is what 'they' are always saying, right? So, as some of you have been calling me Jr. for years, seeing clearly the similarities between me & my own personal Wonder Woman, I'm beginning to see that resistance is futile. As a younger girl, I didn't appreciate who my mother was. I did recognize she had dope taste in shoes. I knew I wanted her shoes 1 day. Now, I want more of her than her taste in shoes----though she in no way denied me this trait/sickness. These remind me of a pair of hers that I coveted in the 80's. I'm glad that as an adult I have the good sense to appreciate my mother & that I have another chance to accept the gifts she has for me.

Watch me [walk] in her shoes.

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