Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Mama Used to Say...

Peace. I grew up in a Jamaican household. Sometimes it was fun, but most times it was strict, especially since I was born here and did not really appreciate all that my Mother and family did to build what they had in this country. I don't speak to my mother as much as I would like to, however she is always there with me in more ways than I had really realized until after my 36th bornday passed a couple of weeks ago.

In speaking with her on that day, she always reminisced about something that that happened during my birth, or when I was a baby, or something really funny I said as a child. I remember her telling me this story about when I was just about 6 months old and she was living with her sister in Brooklyn. She had laid me down in the middle of a Queen size bed to warm up my bottle. After about 5 minutes or so, she came back into the room and I wasn't where she had left me. She immediately thought someone had kidnapped me! I was laughing so hard when she told me this story! She told me after running around the house looking for me, she came back to the room and heard these little noises from the side of the bed and apparently I had fell asleep after rolling off the bed and was wedged in between the bed and the wall. I wasn't sure why she was telling me the story at first, but she later told me that it was at that moment that she realized how much she loved and wanted me. Apparently before that, both instances were questionable. I think of this now, because my own daughter will soon be 3 years old and I find myself experiencing some of the same feelings that I work through, the overwhelming physical, mental, and financial demands of single parenting, and in that, remembering all of the things my mother used to tell me when I was growing up to keep my foundation grounded.

I was hardheaded, still am in a lot of ways. However, her words of wisdom got me to a place where I finished high school, was not a teen mother, didn't abuse drugs, finished college and graduate school, and built a career for myself. We have all taken different paths to become the great women and Queens that we are, and many times, our "Mama" helped us along the way with her guidance, strength, and sometimes a few whoopings on the behind. My "Mama" wasn't always my physical maternal parent - sometimes it was my auntie, or grandma, or older cousin, elder Earth, or even our best friend who was wise beyond her years. Most of all though, it was my physical mother. One of the most valuable lessons she taught me was that "anything you put your mind to do, can be achieved if you work hard at it." As religious as she was, she always stressed that no God or Jesus Christ was going to give me an "A" in Chemistry, put food on my table or a roof over my head... get off your ass and make your goals a reality!! Another thing she used to say to me all the time - "Cow neva know de use a him tail till him lose it." LOL. (You know Jamaicans always got that one saying...) Basically it translates to mean that we never know how useful the things we have been blessed with are, until they are gone. She reminded me always to not taken anything or anyone that I have in my life for granted, nor do not let anyone take me for granted either. I always kept that with me.

So I ask, What are some things your "Mama" used to tell you that you still hold with you today? Do you find yourself becoming your own Mother to your children?

Q. Victorious Lanasia Math


Zag said...

Peace -

I do find myself doing and saying some of the thing my mother AND father would do. My mother is a really great example. Sayings???

She used to say "OH Curses" since she never actually cursed

As well she always said "The best revenge is success" (and a brick through a windshield and a rumor at their job ... allegedly)

And last but not least " Let's Kahtachoogie" to hurry us up.

I have a saying that " The Only thing you earn on your back is a reputation" Take that how you want :).



scidev said...


My mama used to say a whole lot of things. lol. One of which always stuck with me. Never, Ever sit on a man'd lap that is not your husband or father. I have passed that one down to my daughter. It is just one of those things that I can't allow.


~Devine~ said...

She always said, "You can do anything you set your mind to." Funny thing is my Father stood behind every word in that statement until I started setting my OWN mind to things, and doing them. As a matter of fact that is how I ended up finding self in the first place, its all an ironic cipher that I am still trying to gain a 360 understanding of. Born u Truth her original words still guide my daily life.