What Would You Do For A Bon Bon

Strawberry Bon Bons are certainly one of my favorite hard candies. In fact, if I had to choose between a Bon Bon and anything else in this moment, then bring me one of those 1lb bags from the dollar store. As a matter of fact, you can bring me the 5lb bag while you’re at it. While I’ve always know that my dad enjoys them; I recently learned that my son has a sweet spot for them as well.

For those of you who are in the dark and are wondering what strawberry Bon Bons are; they are Classic hard candies filled with sweet strawberry flavor. Each piece is individually wrapped in a unique strawberry wrapper. They have been around for years.

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The earliest bon bons were most likely created in the 17th century by the Parisian royal court, and the name originated as a child-like play on the French word bon or “good” in English (TheCandyWarehouse.com)

So anyway, the funniest thing just happened and while it had me dying laughing, I did have to stop for just a moment to address the innocence.

My son and I are home for the summer visiting my mom and dad; his nana and papa kenny. My dad, having passed down his sweet tooth to me, can also always be found in the kitchen on a late night looking for a snack or two. When in the middle of the night, is not the case; it can easily happen on any given afternoon, where he and I both rummage through the refrigerator, cookie jars and cake containers feigning to satisfy a late-night craving for sugar. It’ works best when we have what I call “Snacks on deck, snacks on hand, snacks on demand, insta snacks.”

Red and White Mouth Plastic Toy and Food Plastic Toys

That being said, my dad returned home one afternoon with a grocery bag full of candy. It was a variety consisting of bags of sweet-tarts, bags of bon bons, peppermints etc., oh yea and those orange, soft peanut-shaped candies that I didn’t think anyone ate.

He gave my son the pick of the litter. My son returns to the room with a bag of Sweet Tarts. I did not allow him to eat them all in one session, but I know he would have if I didn’t take them from him. Shortly after I’d taken the tarts from him, he returned with the plastic grocery bag of candy that my dad left sitting on the couch. I made him take the bag back, insisting that he only keep the tarts that my dad had given him.

Scoop of Candies

The next morning, I dropped my son off with his grandparents on his dad’s side of the family so that they could spend the weekend together. Later in the evening when I returned to my parents’ home, I noticed the grocery bag of candy sitting on the couch. This is when I first discovered that there ‘had been’ some bon bons in the bag. But dang… My dad had eaten most of them but there were a few hanging around at the bottom of the grocery bag.

I kept eyeing the bag all weekend, waiting to give dad first opt to eat the bon bon before selfishly taking the remaining few for myself. He never ate them, so by the time Sunday evening rolled around I figured it was safe to take the last 6 from the bag. I pocketed 4 because I wanted my son to have some upon his return and I ate the other 2.

…. Meanwhile, my dad returns to the scene with a whole new bag out of nowhere. So, I did not feel too bad about having swiped the last 6.

Monday, following the weekend my son had been away, I asked him to come into the room with me and told him that I had a surprise for him. I reached under the pillow where I had stashed the 4 Bon Bons, I did the whole ‘close your eyes…. SURPRISE!!’ thing… placed them in his hands and said, “I got these from Papa Kenny so that you could have some before he ate them all.”

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What happened next, I never saw coming. He happily took the Bon Bons of course. But then he said, “Mom, I got a surprise for you too.” What’s that? I asked. He reached under the bed and pulled out the entire bag of Bon Bons and said, “I got these from Papa Kenny too, so that you could have some.”

This child had already taken the bag of Bon Bons from the grocery bag before he went away for the weekend. He had hidden the whole bag under the bed but had the modest decency to leave 6 in the big bag for my dad, of what I later took, thinking I was putting them away for him. Lord help us.

In that moment, I knew I had not truly stolen anything- but since I presented it to him as if I went through an obstacle course to get them for him; what was I to say to him about how he went about getting them for me? Head in hand moment for me, it was. Next time, I know to say, “I asked Papa Kenny if we could have some of his candy and he said yes. So here, I saved these for you.” Hopefully, in that he will understand that there’s really no need to take them without Papa  Kenny knowing.

I guess the love for Strawberry Bon Bons don’t fall far from the vine.

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Don’t Sleep On Small Surprises

I have read many articles about how we are all trying to figure out this thing called parenting. And we can all agree that no one has it all figured out. That’s because each child is different, though they may share similar interest. I think we can all agree that at the end of the day, if we can hear our child say, “Mom, you’re the best” Then we are still winning. We are not trying to blur the lines between parenting and being our child’s homie…. And we want to make sure that there isn’t just a fine line in between either. We want there to be a noticeable difference so that we can establish boundaries and respect.

While parenting is not all about pleasing our children and catering to their want and needs like we are their servant, we still want to hear those words, Mom, you are the best, thank you mom, I appreciate you mom, I love you….To hear those words are encouraging to parents. They are inspiring. They are just what you need to hear on some days when you are pressing on to be the best parent you can be. The simple things in life… in exchange for something so empowering.

It is true that we doubt ourselves at times, even when we know that we are doing the absolute best that we can. We do this because we are constantly trying to make sure that our children have all the essential things they need to excel. So, when they even so much as remotely show signs of unhappiness, we are back at the drawing board trying to figure things out. If you are a parent, just remember not to beat yourself up.

My son reminded me that I was the best and for the remainder of the day, I felt as though I was wearing a crown.

It was last week, leading into Independence Day, when I was online searching for some fun in the city. Something local and affordable, where he would be able to watch a fire-works show among other things to maximize our time together. I found out that there would be all-day activities for kids; including an inflatable waterslide, discounted prices for Museum Entrance, face painting, bean bag toss contest, food, drinks and more along the waterfront at one of the local attractions. I began to plan for the event that would also end with a fire works show over the water.

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Upon our arrival to the park, the first thing that my son noticed was the inflatable water slide. His eyes widened, as I kept watch on his reaction. As we got closer and he was able to get a better look at it and saw the other children playing, he said ooh, mom! …then he said never mind. I asked, “What?” all the while knowing what he’d seen and what was going through his mind. He responded again, “Never mind… I would have to have swim clothes so it’s ok.” Just before we got to the water slide, I asked him to step into the bathroom. Once in there, I reached into my bag and pulled out his swim trunks and a tank. His face lit up! It was the highlight of my day. He said, “You the best mom!!!” These moments are what I live for. To surprise him with something so little and he be so grateful.

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Spending time with my child this summer has been most rewarding, even when out of spite one day he told me that my dress made me look fat. LOL. It was a funny story and I wish I could remember what exactly it was that he wasn’t getting his way with that day, which made him say it. But it reminded me of that sour patch kids commercial… (First, they are sour then they are sweet) Whatever it was, he had me standing in the mirror second guessing what I was wearing to church that day. I took it with a grain of salt and laughed because he wasn’t totally lying. However, he did take full advantage of the moment to make his opinion known.

https://www.facebook.com/NDKENNY/videos/10215987556579714/?t=1

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But anyway… We have a few weeks left in the summer. Here’s a few things you may want to keep in mind as you continue to make it the best one yet; while in the process, pull off a surprise of your own.

Always being prepared: Use your trunk for things like a cooler, an umbrella, one to two lawn chairs, a picnic blanket, a thermos for coffee or beverage of your choice and a cup for the kiddo. Take snacks with you to save on spending at fast food restaurants along the way or on expensive food trucks and food stands that are often set up at the park or venue and attraction.

Leaving ahead of time to give yourself ample time to arrive, park, make provisions for traffic and accidents which may have caused a delay on the highway.

Search for all the free or low cost local attractions and attend those rather than spending the bank on traveling away. Take advantage of what’s in the city.

Save on parking: If off street parking is cheaper than parking in a garage attached to an attraction, explore that as an option and use the time walking, to sightsee

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Checking ahead of time: This one depends on the attraction. I only thought about it because you have places like Urban Air and other trampoline parks where there are a lot of parties being planned on the weekend. If you have time during the week or earlier in the day to visit these establishments it may be worth it rather than going while they are jam-packed or when a party is going on where they will have certain areas blocked off for a party, limiting your child’s activities while being there during this time.

Taking one for the team: Being outside in that heat, turning three shades darker, sweating and sitting… consider this: Take an enjoyable book or earphones to listen to music. Talk to people around you who may be able to swap ideas on what to do.

Covering the basics here, is what sets the stage for you to pull off a great surprise!

Here’s What You Need To Know If You Are Headed to The Beach or Pool This Summer

It’s that time of the year again where children are excited about getting out of school, taking a family vacation and just being away from the classroom for a while. For the adults, summer trips are being planned to the beach, water parks and community pools to escape the heat. This means neighborhood and community pools and parks are gearing up to host hundreds of children throughout these hot, summer months to aid in the cool down. There’s something you need to think about as you head off to these bodies of water: Water Safety!

This includes learning how to swim. Ladies, while I understand the work and cost that goes into keeping our hair up, getting our hair wet is not a good enough reason to not learn how to swim if we are going to be headed to pools and beaches this summer. This topic only came to mind after so many years of swimming myself and learning that a lot of women have not taken advantage of swim lessons. Their main reason was due to their getting their wet, messing up perms, damaging their hair from the harsh chemicals that are in pools.

It’s a sensitive topic, I know. Because usually when you make mention of someone’s hair as it relates to water and the hairdo- someone is bound to talk about how much it cost to get their hair done and how they do not want to waste “all that money” at the beauty shop, just for their child or themselves to jump into the water and mess it up. I get it. I wouldn’t want to either. However, if I am going to make the choice to go to the beach or pool, where I know that I am going to get into water, there’s a chance that my hair will get wet. Knowing how to swim is important to me. It is also important to me that my child knows, since he loves the water as much as I do. Even when you go and wear a cap or have your hair up with no intention on submerging your head, there’s always the possibility of going under, so you still want to be able to swim your way out.

On a trip to LEGOLAND last year, I learned with my own child that you cannot always rely on a lifeguard. Neither should you. It was my own vigilance at the pool and my ability to swim, which rescued him, as the Life-guards stood by watching and others were pre-occupied with talking to each other, distracted by their cell phones and never knew anything happened.

I don’t want to run drowning statistics on you, neither do I want to create a fear that we are never to go into the water again. But I would like to convey that it is a serious matter. While there are several people who drowned who were able to swim, it was under harsh and extreme circumstance. Most drownings were due to an inability to swim.

For the most part, children love water: They love to play in it, jump in it and often underestimate the dangers that surround water. When they see water, the first thing that want to do is run and jump in it.

The first lesson of swimming is that you are going to get your face wet. So, in getting them used to it, we would start with water splashing.  Remove those small fears and it creates an avenue for the beginner lessons to begin, such as putting your face in the water, holding your breath underwater, being comfortable with being submerged in the water…. etc.

Getting back to the hair: In a related article I offered suggestions about a great conditioner for the hair. This was an item that I personally use, but not on a selling trip… merely making the point that a good conditioner may tackle the issues of hair and pool/beach. Invest in a good coverage swim cap. Condition your hair daily, so that the parts that do get wet are safe. Sign up for a beginner’s swim class. Learn to swim.

Additionally, there are hair products such as Aqua Guard pre-swim, which act as a protect layer that you can use on the hair prior to getting into the water. There’s also a product called Ion Swimmers leave in and Surf Cream Rinse Conditioner. These products are designed for protecting the hair against the chemicals in the water. Too much hair for a swim cap? That’s cool…. Leave the cap off and explore those conditioner and pre-pool conditioner options. You can always explore the idea of braids for your child while they are learning to swim or for when your beginner swimmer heads into the water. This will help tremendously with the tangles. Tie the hair up in a tight ball while braided to decrease the number of loose hairs that would get tangled.

The Wrap Up: If we know that even the strongest swimmer can drown, we know that the possibility of drowning increases as we put non-swimmers in beaches and pools without proper training and techniques or even the basics of breathing and staying afloat.

We can tackle these numbers this year by making sure that all children take basic water safety and beginners swim class. Adults can also join in on the fun! You can still get your Friday night hairdo and skip the water for the duration of the time that your style will last but take time in those weeks where you are waiting for an appointment, to make sure that you learn to swim if the pool and beach is on your radar for summer fun.

Suggestions for Swim Class: American Red Cross, YMCA, Boys & Girls Club of America, Private Lessons int eh community and neighborhood, Community Colleges and Summer Programs. There is a plethora of options.

A “GETAWAY” is Not Always About “Getting Away” From Something You Don’t Like

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Some of the best travel experiences I have had included Las Vegas, Nevada. Yup, right here in the United States. The first time I traveled there was in 2010, on assignment during the time I spent writing for Examiner.com. It was a media assignment to cover the Floyd “Money” Mayweather and “Sugar” Shane Mosley Boxing match.

Floyd Mayweather vs. Shane Mosley was a boxing welterweight non-title super fight, in which Mayweather won by unanimous decision with two judges scoring it 119–109 and one judge scoring it 118–110.

I visited again while writing for Examiner.com to cover another fight: Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao, billed as The Fight of the Century, or the Battle for Greatness, was a professional boxing match between undefeated five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather.

While I had a strong interest in the sport of boxing, being in attendance for both the weigh-in and the fight, along with the activities and events that surrounded the weekend; it was the time I spent sightseeing in my free time that I was able to fully enjoy being in the city. So many things to do and so many things to see was what inspired my third trip simply because I couldn’t pack it all into the first two.

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Getting off the plane on that third visit to Las Vegas was majestic. It was hot as tamales of course, with temperature up to 110 when I arrived, but once I kicked the layers off, threw on some shorts, sandals, a tank top and tied my hair back, the rest was history. This time, I was still on assignment but was writing with a media outlet where I had more freedom to explore the city and share with my readers all that Vegas had to offer. So, while I was still working, I was having fun doing something that I loved to do. I had found a way to combine work with play.

Vegas is truly like one super-sized adult theme park on steroids! From the architectural designs of the buildings/hotels to the layout of the famous Vegas Strip. A sea of lights and it’s no wonder it’s called the city that never sleeps!

The highlights of my trip included:

The Mob Museum: Officially the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is a history museum located in Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada.

Las Vegas Observation Wheel: High Roller is a 550-foot tall, 520-foot diameter giant Ferris wheel on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, United States of America. It is owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment Corporation

Freemont Street Experience: Sprawling 24-hour mall featuring a huge LED canopy, casino & restaurant access & free entertainment.

Aerial Photography of City during Evening

The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay is a public aquarium located at and owned by the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Its main tank is 1,300,000 US gallons, one of the largest in North America

Madame Tussauds Las Vegas: a wax museum located in the Las Vegas Strip at The Venetian Las Vegas casino resort in Paradise, Nevada. The attraction opened in 1999, becoming the first Madame Tussauds venue to open in the United States.

The Grand Canyon Tour: Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters – This magnificent helicopter ride provides stunning aerial views of Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and Grand Canyon West. Additionally, passengers will experience an exhilarating landing at the bottom of the canyon on our private plateau overlooking the mighty Colorado River. Upon landing, guests enjoy a champagne picnic with refreshments and have ample time to explore the awe-inspiring grandeur that is the Grand Canyon.

Vegas Shows: Baz! Set in a modern and intimate cabaret, BAZ is a celebration, a mash-up of music, and moments from the greatest love stories imagined by Oscar, Grammy, and Tony Award-nominated director Baz Luhrmann. Theatregoers follow the romances from Luhrmann’s iconic films: Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge, and The Great Gatsby as the lovers discover whether fortune is in their favor.

Las Vegas Strip Signage

I encourage everyone to do a little traveling in their lifetime. Even if it starts with visiting the next state or over from them. There is so much more out there to see. But here’s why I think that part is important: It broadens your horizons. You meet new people. It connects you with people. You learn about culture. You become more versed in communication.

Being knowledgeable/aware of different things helps you understand different people and with that understanding, it organically generates compassion in the vessels of the heart. Depending on where you go or how far you travel outside of your comfort zone, it opens your mind to the things going on around the world, in which you will most likely relate to or at least have more insight into.

I came across a post on twitter recently, where the twitter user referenced “people who have to getaway” It read: “People are always talking about getting away and taking a getaway. If they didn’t hate their lives and were to create a life that they are happy with or if you were a happy person, there would be no need for a getaway. You don’t need to getaway if you are happy.” She then referenced hotel and vacation advertisements that use the word “getaway.”

Now, I am not fully sure of her understanding of a getaway and the purpose that it serves for most people, but on the surface; it sounded (at least to me) as if she was confusing people who are in an unhealthy situation who are always talking about one day getting away from a certain situation, with people who have a natural desire to simply want to getaway to a different place to broaden their horizons.

adult, book, business

I thought to myself that this was probably the most least profound thing that she could have said. Especially being a motivational public figure… (that’s the title individuals give themselves when they have a lot of followers on twitter) LOL

It’s not always about “getting away” from something you don’t like. And just because you take a vacation, (A Getaway: a place suitable for a vacation; a vacation especially of brief duration) doesn’t mean it’s so that you can leave a life behind that you hate. A getaway is just relaxing. For some, it’s therapeutic. For writers, it’s inspiring to have a change of scenery. Sometimes you just want the adventure of exploring new sights, sights unseen… going to unusual places because you cannot live in 100 places all at once.

Who doesn’t need a break from time to time anyway? Are you telling me that you can never go to enjoy the fruits of your labor because if you do, it means you hate your life? If you can show me someone who says they don’t want or need a getaway, I will show you a liar.

But for now, I digress. I would rather balance the universe by stating that it’s perfectly OK to want to getaway. It absolutely does not mean that you are unsatisfied with your life. It means that you are open to discovering the world and that you are realistic about the common day to day life that invites the idea of wanting a break to enjoy the other side of your front door.

Nana and The Prince

Nana pat @fadedrose56 #Priceless time with the little Prince Cornelius during Christmas in Columbia, South Carolina. #Onesies and #Family a little fun on the trampoline is all he needs….Reminiscing…

Temporary Orders, Long Term effects

….When everything you said, has come to pass. My mentor led me to make this discovery. This is the last of 3 articles I will share this evening that I came upon which I had written a while back, as it related to what was transpiring in my life. As much as you try to run from your story sometimes you are led back to it for the sake of leading someone else out.  I just hope the microphone is on now!
Temporary orders, long term effects

October 31, 2013
Raise your hand if you are fed up with going back and forth to court to handle minuscule issues that any competent adult should be able to handle. Keep your hand up if you feel that you should be able to make decisions about the well-being of your child. Put your hand down if you would like the courts to continue to dictate when you can or cannot see your child. By the hands that are still raised, I can safely say that we have all grown tired of having a middle man between us and the children we gave birth to.

Though we have modern science, technology and research; no one other than a mother can explain what she goes through during the pregnancy process to the birthing process and how it may change her chemical balance. She is naturally attached to something that was once inside of her body as an egg. Her body grew to accommodate the growth of a fetus as it turned into a newborn baby. If you are like me, you breastfed, which created even more of an attachment or bond because you know that baby relied on you for food and nourishment. The bond that you were building was a bond that your child was creating as well. You became known as mommy. To your infant/toddler, you were the one who rubbed his head, feet and legs, held his hand, kissed his cheek and showed affection. You are the one who rubs his tummy when he has gas and gives him his warm baths. You place him on your chest and rub his back as he fell asleep in your arms. You are the reason he doesn’t have to worry about anything. You are his protector and you wouldn’t let anything happen to him. You held his hands as he began to walk and dusted him off each time he fell. You encouraged him to get up and try it again. You rewarded him with a kiss.

How does it feel to be a puppet of the court and have someone who knows nothing about you, your upbringing, house whole values and moral system; order you on how to parent? How do you feel about having someone who could care less about your child, tell you when you are to spend time and how much time you can spend when your child lives in the same city? What if I told you that the same judicial system that is potentially screwing up your child’s life right now, will be the same judicial system that throws him in jail one day and wonder where the parents went wrong? I am going to reach here and say that no one would be ok with this except the deadbeat parent. That is the parent who does not think about the temporary orders that may have a long term effect.

Constantly changing your child’s environment and toggling between household do not give your child a sense of belonging. And so, at an early age; he develops anti-social behavior, he withdraws, does not know how to fit in or feels like he doesn’t fit in. He is not able to find a place of security and stability. He is caught between bickering parents whether it’s one sided or two sided and it’s unhealthy. He’s confused, does not understand, and he’s not able to call any place home, or even get comfortable enough to just be at peace. The seed of not belonging grows inside of him and you get a child who tends to act out. You can’t even discipline this behavior because it truly comes from a genuine place of confusion. The deadbeat parent does not consider this. They do not realize the damage that they are doing to their children.

My child was recently taken from my home for absolutely no reason other than his deadbeat father wanted to settle a score of not paying child support. With the Hook Line and Sinker approach, he was able to convince just enough people that my child should be with him. Keep in mind, he wanted me to abort my child, didn’t show up for the first 8 months of his life and wasn’t much of a father when he finally did show up. Because he is not able to see past child support, he cannot think about the long term effects that he is causing by removing my child from the only home he has ever known.

For instance, when my child left he was potty trained. He’s been on sole care of his father for 3 months and in that amount of time his father has managed to UN do everything I have done in the name of my child. I received a message a few days ago that my child has a diaper rash. I am wondering, how in the hell does a child 2 months short of three years old have a diaper rash. Simple: He still wearing diapers or pull-ups. Not only that but he’s obviously wetting himself and not being changed. How can he not understand what is happening. Why is my child wearing pull-ups? Why is he not going to the potty? And most importantly, why in Jesus name is someone neglecting to change him regularly if they are going to have him in pull-ups. Why would his father leave him in the care of such a negligent daycare (children’s lighthouse, Copperfield) my child has completely reversed in progress. His behavior pattern has also been affected, his sleep time his schedule has totally been altered. I’ve video-taped my child at daycare as well as spoke to the teacher about his progress. In a recorded conversation she expresses concern as well as explains how he acts out to the point that she has to keep him separated from other children. Among other things, this, something his father would totally deny. Denying is not helping our child. I have the recording. Again, a temporary order that may cause long term effects. Lying about your child’s progress just to cover up the facts about how he’s really adjusting does not help your children.

Any mother or father who interferes with custody for no reason, is a deadbeat. The only exception to this is of it is completely unhealthy for the child and it is proven not just said. I hate bitter parents. Those are usually the ones who become deadbeats. They are not satisfied with the way a relationship ended so they take it out on the child.

My child’s father has abruptly interrupted the bond that my child had with me as well as his life. This change came drastic to my child and was literally overnight. I cannot understand how he does not notice or even care that it is happening. I continue to pray for my child and that he is able to deal with this change, but I know this time is extremely hard for him. I absolutely hate to know my child is going through this. 

Dear Honey Bunches of Oats

…….. The following was written in October of 2013. It was a pretty trying time for me. It was an open letter to my son pinned on my blog at the time and shared on Shutterfly. As I found it today and reflected upon the words that were written, I could not help but to think about what is unfolding in his life today. It makes me happy that I jotted it down at that time way back in 2013 when it was fresh and sincere. Resonates so much today, seeing how he is going through some of the things he is going through. I pasted it below without edits because it was written exactly how I would want it read to this day.

…..Is something so massive you can’t get it out of your head, though you bury it or make repeat efforts; by which only cause you to suffer in silence if suppressed. I choose mental health instead, and wish so many others would. Truth is the only anecdote. The truth for me was giving birth to you- a beautiful gift from GOD and beauty for ashes! The only way I can be here for you, is to be here for me. I have to be well in order for you to be well. I know that hiding the truth will not keep you protected- it would only materialize later in forms of confusion and conflict. I would never be the conductor of that train wreck! This is why I fight for you!

The truth is what you can’t get over, under or around. It’s what GOD is and since you were made in his image and likeness – you are the truth. You are what cannot not be hidden. You represent facts that are not acknowledged, often ignored and for some… Who want to pretend your existence is based on anything else, you are still here.

Let’s start with your name. Deon ‘ Cornelius’ Kenny. It was the name given to you at birth, and is on your original birth certificate. Your first name is my middle name, but spelled more masculine. Mine is Dionne. Your middle name came from a man. That man is your grandfather. It is his middle name as well. It is the bridge between your mother and her father by which your existence of a real man came through to sustain your last name, as Kenny. He was the ONLY male figure you knew about while I was carrying you. He is my dad and your grandfather. When you were born, he held you as you were his because you are his blood line. He stepped in to make sure you had a positive role male model, and an example of a man and a father as well as to nurture you as a boy.

You were born into a fight and unfortunately you have been used as collateral by a court empowered by your biological father. The things he told me during the time of your conception were quite different from what he was telling everyone around him, leaving them all surprised when I announced I was pregnant. As a result, lies compounded into a volcano. That volcano is erupting and evil is the lava. I refuse to allow you to be burned! I will extinguish it through prayer and the truth.

Your conception was not by two unwilling parties who knew nothing about what was going on. Instead, it was two very well, highly educated, adults and professionals who equally played a part in your conception. Your father, being in healthcare knows how babies are made. There were no secrets nor hidden agendas nor force that brought you here by me. Your father and I knew the possibility of you coming to exist when we took part in our estranged encounter. He was very aware and informed of the consequence that may prevail.

While this is truth, he expected me to terminate the pregnancy as if an abortion was birth control. With his trail if deception creeping upon his life that would expose truth, he panicked. His mother, your grandmother later asked why is it that I decided to have you. The insinuation that I had any other choice after you were already a fetus, uttered evil. Those words still sting. They linger like untreated cancer. They could have been fatal. However, because I was strong and supported by my mom, dad and sisters as well as close friends; you never had to feel that sting. I have protected you from day one and always will. However, I will not hide the truth from you.

Many things have taken place since your birth that would kill the average person. However, I’m not average and so I still exist. I exist to continue to give you the best of me and praise GOD for your existence. God sees, hears and knows all even that which is not said. Even with the possibility of two potentially different perceptions or perspectives, the truth is what it is and two people for certain know exactly what that is! Something about the truth is, people like to bury it. But you can’t when it’s alive. You can’t act like it didn’t happen, by covering it up with deceptive lies about how it happened. All I hope to instill upon you, son, is the truth about why things are happening the way they are.

If you do not see me, it is not because I don’t want to see you. When you can’t wake up to my kisses, read a book with me, watch your favorite program, eat rice, play in the park and ride your blue bike; it’s not because I don’t want you to. When I can’t tuck you in and sing “Yes, Jesus loves you”, or teach you how to write your name and count to one hundred, it’s not because I don’t want to. When I can’t bathe you, dress you, comb your hair, and love on you like I always have, it is not because I don’t want to. If I can’t take you to the Circus, Lego festival, kids museum, children’s expo, or play in the water, go swimming and to the library, and expose your senses to all the fun and educational thing life has to offer; it’s not because I wanted to stop. Don’t let anyone tell you that ever AGAIN. If I can’t teach you where all the continents are on your favorite globe, take you to the wonders of the world and play Elmo hands, or sing the wheels on the bus, and read to you your children’s bible, It’s certainly not because I requested not to. If I can’t play your favorite DVD while riding in the car, dance with you to your favorite tune with the Disney car boom box, or play the guitar and keyboard, or show you the functions of your leap frog and other V-Tech stations; I did not ask to stop. If we can’t sit at your table in your room and have circle time learning colors, shapes and sounds like we’ve always done, know that I miss it too. If we can’t play hiding seek, peek- a-boo, Simon says and abracadabra; I am imaging the times that we did. If you cannot ride your fleet of cars down the street while laughing at me chase you to turn the wheel, walk to the mailbox, prank call nana and papa Kenny, and wear your rain boots while the sun is shining; I won’t do it without you. While we can’t sit in the closet and practice tornado drills and watch the homedics machine project images of fish creatures in the dark, or jump upstairs while you are on my back; we will soon!

If I can’t continue to provide you with the stable, loving and nurturing environment, that I always have while you have been sick or well—know that I had NO part in that change. Your home will always be right here on Story Book Trail. The rest, I know you will figure out. You were conceived on March 17th 2010 and I haven’t forgotten one detail since then. Should you ever have questions, I will only give you the truth.