As I begin to unpack my daughter in California, once again, I reflect on my past experiences. A time when I questioned everything. Was I making the ‘right’ decision? What if…? The questions would race through my head. My fears were overwhelming. Should I allow her to follow her dreams at such a young age? What about her safety? What about my other daughter, who willingly volunteered, to be her guardian? Could she handle this gigantic move and undertaking? You see, my daughter had been signed by an agent and was asked to move to Los Angeles California, at the age of 17. We were estatic! The hometown circumstances, let’s just say, weren’t the best for Ashby, at the time. However, could my girls survive in LA??? They were raised in a small little Kentucky town and Ashby was still in high school. Darion had moved to Nashville at the age of 18, but I could drive there in four hours. And I spent almost 6 months of weekends in Nashville! Once the decision was made we took off driving across the country. That was four years ago and here I am again! She is now 21 and although I knew this day would come, it doesn’t make it any easier!!! After her last adventures, I knew she would return home. Back to California. It hasn’t been any easier, but it is rewarding to know she is where she wants to be. My brain will continue to race and question, “Am I making the correct decisions, as a parent.” However, all I want for my children is for them to follow their bliss. And that is what she is doing. You know I can remember thinking I wouldn’t survive, the last time. Yet, here I am four years later. If you are struggling with anything in your life, right now. Please, remember you are loved and if you can pause briefly…I promise, “This too shall pass!” God Bless Livelove & Carryon Www.livelovellc.org/home Livelove.email@example.com Need some help with a situation in your life? Email me, I would love to hear from you!
I can’t believe it! Twenty five years ago Eric Drake, mommy and I, at four in the morning were driving to Kings Daughters Hospital in Madison Indiana. It was a cool, crisp, October morning and I can remember thinking and praying, “Lord, help me thru this and Please Please let me be a good mommy! It was 1992, I was six days shy of my twenty first birthday, Eric was 22 and working his butt off to make ends meet. I remember thinking this pregnancy can’t be over! (I loved being pregnant). It was similar to a journey down a path with another spirit, yet you can’t see them. She was always with me. Responded to my every move, she helped choose what we ate each day, she continued to push me to take care of myself. When she began to force her way out, it almost felt like she was ripping my insides out with her, but she was ready to see this earthly life. She was ready to create her own experiences, live, love and enjoy her life. The afternoon before our trip, to the hospital was beautiful, although I was really aggitated. Mommy called and I demanded she come meet me at the house. I whined so much Eric took me for a ride, on the back roads. Tim Perkinson, Ricky White and Jarod Stark were at the house, when we returned. Oh mommy as well. One look at me and she knew! Mom watched me cook supper, work around the house (which didn’t need to be cleaned), and breathe heavy, occasionally. It didn’t take long for her to look at Eric and say, “We are having a baby tonight, you need to rest up!” Eric turned white as a ghost and almost immediatly went to bed. Poop (Tim’s nickname) stayed with mom and I, to watch the rest of Fried Green Tomatoes. Oh and we can’t forget, we ate marshmallow cream and peanut butter. I was now having contractions 10 to 15 minutes apart. (We all acted like it was no big deal) The next part was hilarious! I don’t know why, but I decided I would drive Tim home. Why, either of them let me drive I will never know. Probably, I was super stubborn and demanded to drive. (Hmmm that sounds about right). It wasn’t that far! I remember the sky was almost black, with a few cirrus clouds, glowing with the reflection of the gigantic full moon! As we slowly creeped up the hill, where the headlights beamed, straight ahead, I had one of the worst contractions, I had ever experienced. About that time I slammed the gas pedal down, forcing my car to almost ramp the hill, heading down to his house. Mom and Poop screamed, then immediately stopped themselves only to hold their breath, in hopes of survival of the small, but tedious road trip. I almost came to a stop, when yep, it hit again and a repeat event happened! When Poop jumped out of the car he was terrified, his face was almost transparent, and all he could say was, “Goodluck, I will see you tomorrow.” The next four hours were touch and go! Until I began hitting the wall and rocking back and forth. Mom went to get Eric and we were off to the hospital! The next morning we had a beautiful baby girl! She was our surprise gift! Our family and friends came to support us. And our lives changed forever! It was an amazing day. You know, as I reflect and visualize for the future, I always want to share with you. LIFE is… What you make it! Eric Drake and I has no idea what we were doing October 2nd 1992! We had very little money, little life experience and yet all we knew is we loved this little human/spirit/baby girl more than words could express. She had colic for her first six weeks of life. I can remember we would trade off sleeping one hour at a time. We had our electric shut off once and our water a couple of times! However, Listen up!!! We made it! Twenty-five years later all those struggles are now funny memories! If you are struggling, right now…Please remember take everything in twos. I know most people will tell you, “One step at a time!” I do agree, but for me it has always been twos. If you can take one step why not two! If you can make it thru two seconds, two minutes, two hours, two days, two weeks!!! You can make it! I know you have sad times and struggles, but you got this!!! I have looked back over my twenty five years with this beautiful young lady and all four of our children and realized the difficult times become diluted and almost more cherished, because they always illuminate a growth period of awesomeness! A time where we all came together, depended on each other and were grateful for the good times!
Several years ago a small ‘pocket book’ was published illuminating this topic ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff!’ The author gave scenarios and demonstrated how silly it is to worry and fret over the silly annoyances in life. I have each one of these books, to remind me to take life with a grain of salt. To seek the adventure life has to offer! Take the challenge allow your inner being to sing thru you.
Once you have decided and began this journey of being in the moment and making decisions based on your inner feelings; you will always want to feel this way.
However, in life we all have moments of sadness, irritation, aggravation anger that we must deal with from time to time. Recently I have found that freezing it in my mind, walking away and them come back to discuss or determine a solution is best for me. You see, in the past I would resist, argue, return ugly insults, ect. Now, I choose to not even utilize the negative vocabulary. Oh yes it creeps in at times. However, for the most part I choose a better reaction or to not react at all. It depends on the situation.
For example: I had a conversation with a friend and she was in a bad moode. Everything was wrong in her life. Her kid was a brat, didn’t have enough money, felt trapped. Listening to her talk was almost unbearable. I just kept thinking, stay calm, listen there is a reason for this conversation. After a little while and multiple attempts to change the conversation I feared I would say something to offend her. (Remember I lost my filter at the first break in my leg lol). Anyways, she was finally called away. I love this person and she needed to vent! I allowed her to do that for a small portion of time. The only problem is I was carrying this yuk, negative, irritated weight of emotion for her. I cried for her, the pain was real.
What do I do? Hmmmm I decided to plug in my phone and leave it home. I went to the pool and immediatly put my entire body under water. As I came up after a few seconds, I realized I had taken my own advice. I froze the situation and went to my fun happy place, water!!! (Yes, water of any kind takes me to a calm loving state). As I began my physical therapy I would search my paradigm for a good feeling thought. A vision of the future or a memory from the past. It was similar to the characters of Inside Out, running around plugging in emotions. Finally, I found a few to distract my negative emotion.
Later, that night I called my friend and said, “I love you and I want everything to be okay for you. If I can help in any way let me know.”
At that moment I realized I should take my own advice!!! She was laughing and continued to tell me about her little boy and how cute he was being. Her husband had cooked supper and bought flowers. She basically was a changed woman from four hours earlier. I hung up the phone, looked at my husband and said, “Yes, I have more writting material.”
Therefore, when I refer to Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, I mean don’t sweat other people’s small stuff either. My mom would tell me in the past…you call me and compla in or discuss your relationships then you are off in an hour back to honeymoon phase. Isn’t that true? We all have that loved one who listens no matter what. Who loves us unconditionally who listens and cares so deeply that they will take on those emotions for us. My mommy does that for me. I try now to call or go see her after the fact and explain it’s all good. I don’t always remember, but most of the time I make the effort.
Take time to enjoy. Remember the small stuff is not worth it. I would not have changed listening to my friend, she was having a legitimate melt down for a moment. However, next time I will send her the energy I did this time, I will see her feeling better, but I will not allow myself to sweat it or hang on to it!!
I promise parents!!!! Most of the crazy, mixed up, emotions that follow parenting just means you need to keep following and reading my blogg. Because you can feel blissful even in the midst of chaos. Once you have incorporated a few simple techniques, you will be able to look back and say shew, we made it!!! And had fun while we were doing it!!!
No matter what ‘Be Happy’!!!!!!! If it makes you happy do more of it. Find time to laugh, enjoy. Yes, sometimes you will be presented with a not so good feeling situation. But do not sweat it!!!
Someone made the comment to me, “Teena will you ever grow up?”
I remember thinking, hmmmm no I do not plan on it. Truly, I have already been there and done that. I can remember teaching with my friends and me telling them, I love kids because they haven’t accepted all the judgements, concerns, and hypocrisy of adulthood, yet.
When I say I have already done that, I have. You see as parents we are forced to ‘grow up’ or as I entitle it, conforming to society’s demands. However, I always searched for a way to spice life up a bit, by creating a fun yet safe environment to just be free.
While discussing parenting with some friends we all agreed, we should call and thank our parents for keeping us alive becausee we were fearless at one time. No barriers or connection to fear.
I am not saying you should become frivolous and not care about anything. However, if you take time to create a list of your daily activities and it consist of work, eating, cooking, cleaning and sleeping, IT IS TIME!!! Time for you to grow down a bit. Begin searching for something fun to do once a week. After you begin this journey you will search for more and more. It will become your quest.
If you are a parent with children at home, my advice to you, is create a family fun time and an individual one as well. When my kids were little I would take a ‘Me’ day. (Probably Eric thinks I live in a me day, now lol). When we didn’t have money to go out, I created family fun days, For example: we had Wacky Wednesdays.
Wacky Wednesdays or Terrific Tuesdays, Freaky Fridays, it doesn’t matter about the day or title. I knew we had to eat anyways. Therefore, I would make it fun!! Sometimes it was our attire: we all had to wear a hat, a tie, our clothes inside out, or maybe even pajamas. I would light candles, play music, allow the kids to help cook and set the ambiance. There were very few limitations (safety first). Sometimes it was a disaster, but I continually remember even the disasters were beautiful.
We did everything from desert first, colored our food, and/or special music by the Drake kids. One of my favorite memories is – the evening we had saved to purchase some nice steaks, ice cream and toppings for the ice cream. We began with allowing the kids to create a ‘snow ball’ out of ice cream and roll them in the toppings, of their choice. They ate them first because life is too short to not eat dessert first!!!
The next portion of the evening was our delicious steaks! However, (remember I only chose to grow up for those parenting moments necessary to assist my kids to stay alive and be accepted) I thought it would be fun to food color all of our food. Therefore, I colored the mashed potatoes blue and for some reason I colored the meat with GREEN. As the evening was wrapping up we were all sitting at the table, in the dark, with at least five candles. It was beautiful. Music playing in the background all the kids were excited and then…Darion needed some ketchup. I flipped on the light, Eric had eaten half of his steak and when I shined some light on his plate, he looked at his steak and immediatly yelled!!!! “Kids don’t eat the steak!!!! It is bad meat!! Teena throw this meat away.”
I turned and looked at my wonderful husband with a puzzled look. “What are you talking about?”
At that point I realized what was happening and I began to laugh hysterically. The kids were sitting paralyzed, appearing to be in a trance, as well as holding their breath. They all three fixed their eyes on daddy to see if he was mad. Therefore, a ten second period of silence felt like an eternity. Next we all begin to let out a little giggle and one by one each of us began laughing until our cheeks hurt.
Regardless of anything negative happening the end result was all we needed. To laugh, giggle, and let go.
It’s time for you to choose to enjoy!!! If you have five wonderful events fall into place which creates happiness for you, yet one not so happy slips into your realm, similar to our meat incident; focus on the other five! If you can laugh at your one negative situation and quickly switch it around, then do that. No matter what take time be grateful for the good moments and guess what? More and more good moments will occur.
There is a time and a place for everything!! I agree growing up isn’t so bad! As long as you promise to return to the bliss, honesty, and freedom of being a child occasionally, you will have a great life and happiness will fill your soul.
God loves you no matter what!!!!
Remember to be happy even if it requires returning to a time when your life was much more simplictic.
Picking up my baby boy has never been so exciting! I didn’t realize until today that we are a cell phone addicted family. Okay so I am a cell phone/ message addicted mom. I have not received a message or heard his beautiful voice in over 24 hours. I know that sounds crazy, but I can’t remember a time that I haven’t or been able to speak with him, because we always have a phone on us. His has been stolen!
My only hope is that I don’t burst into tears, jump up, and run screaming when I finally see my baby boy. Okay, I know that was a great visual! I won’t do that, gosh I thought you guys would have more faith in me than that. Shhhh I will let you in on a secret, I don’t have that kind of faith either! I am writing to keep my mind off of it. Lolololol!!!!
Ohhhh wait, could it be? I think I see him Yayayayaya I am literally tearing up. Okay have a great day everyone I will blog later. I have to go be an estatic mommy with tears, screaming, laughter, hugs and kisses too!
It was just like yesterday!!! March sixteenth 1999…the band Yellow 5 was playing at the Toy Tiger. What an event! It hadn’t been the first time they played there, but was definitely one of the most important. There was a company there to sign, who? Yes, our little hometown band, they were on their way to being FAMOUS!!!!!! However, guess who was in labor at about six o’clock in the morning and Eric was to leave to pursue stardum at one pm. Not good timing to say the least! But what an adventure.
The contractions would play with us all day. Become closer together then subside. I had decided they were probably a false alarm. However, he was over due, so we were on alert. I will never forget the moment when I called the doctor, explained my contractions and said, “If it would be okay, could I hold off until after midnight, to check in to the hospital?”
After a long pause, which seemed like an eternity, she chuckled and said, “Teena, I don’t think you get to choose that, but since this is your third child, you will know when to get here.”
My thoughts were you do not know me very well, but okay.
As the minutes ticked and clumped into hours my labor proceeded to get worse. Now a solid ten minutes a part and not stopping. They were consistent. It was now 12:45 and my honey was becoming anxious. Then he did the sweetest thing, he got down on both knees planted a big kiss on my huge, tight, belly button protruding, in labor, pregnant stomach and said, “Little buddy I love you, you know I do…but truthfully I am begging you to hold off one night.”
At that moment my little heart melted. Awe how freaking sweet is he for saying that. IF YOU BELIEVE THAT I HAVE SOME PROPERTY FOR SALE, IT ONLY HOLDS A LITTLE WATER!!!! LOLOLOL
What happened next…Let’s just let it be known my huge, rolly, polly, extreme pain came out and I began to say not such nice things to him. But hey who wants to recall the negative so let’s move on!.
Anyways, he went on to the gig and said, “I will be there, if you have to go to the hospital.”
I guess I would deal with whatever happened.
It was around nine o’clock my mom and her boyfriend insisted on driving me (thank goodness because I was going no matter what). As we merged on to the interstate I began to have pretty severe contractions. I had bought a brand new outfit for the gig, attempting to look as beautiful as possible weighing in at too much to post!
As we pass the exit to the hospital I recall Jon yelling, “Pull off! Charlene pull off! This is ridiculous!”
“No you better not pull off I won’t get out. I will make it! Just keep rolling the gig is about ready to begin. We can make it, go go go!”
Mom just pushed the petal to the metal and we were sitting in the Toy Tiger parking lot. Black makeup was pouring down my face, making me look like I was a pregnant zombie (wonder if that was foreshadowing for the Nuelydedz).
I fixed my face and rolled out of the car, literally I rolled. As I waddled closer to the door I saw a black man covering the doorway almost like he was waiting on me to say, “You are not coming in here little mama.”
As I got closer and closer I realized it was our good friend, the bouncer, Mo. I grinned as my head rolled back so I could look him in the eye or at least close enough. I am still hurting and I said, “Hey Mo it’s me with Yellow 5 I am just not feeling well.”
“Nope you do not need to be in here. You need to turn around and go back home.”
As if some kind of demon took over my body I lowered my head for a second, probably because I was having a pain. Then looked back up and in a scary voice said, “Mo! I have been through hell and back today so could you please move over and let me through!!!!!”
If you knew him you would know he never budged for anyone. He was one of the best bouncers in the world. However, thank goodness he felt sorry for me. He stepped a side and even found me a table close to the back so I could watch, but could exit quickly, if needed.
We had about fifteen minutes to spare so I sat down. Eric appeared to be happy to see me, he might have been afraid of me, but he played it off well. I am just kidding! If you know either of us very well, you know we don’t stay mad for very long at all.
The lights went dim, silence filled the room for a split second and when the stage lit up Eric Drake raised his drum sticks and hit the first lick…it stopped! What? Yes, my labor pains stopped almost simultaneously. I don’t mean I had a little pain, then they stopped. In fact I would push back and forth a few times just so he would kick my hand. Once I knew he was fine we went on together, enjoying the gig. The night seemed to end quickly and I was home, curled up in bed before I knew it. Still no pain, achey feeling just little ole pregnant me, like nothing happened.
Next morning March 17, 1999 appeared to be an average morning. Eric went on to work and I got the girls ready for school. Around 1:00 I told my mother and brother n law I didn’t feel well. Therefore, I was going to take a bath. My mom was pacing back and forth. She knew I was acting funny, so she called Eric to come home early. When he walked in the bathroom to check on me I stood up in the bathtub said, “Honey, I don’t feel very good!”
His face was worth this entire story! He first turned white, then he began to raise his voice…never looking me in the eye. Only to stare at my belly like there was an alien peaking out of my belly button. When I asked him what is wrong?
He looked at my belly and calmly said, “Get dressed, we are going to the hospital.”
Then it happened. I looked down to see what he was so freaked out about. I am not kidding you when I say it was something like a phenomenon. My gigantic, stretched out, pregnant belly had sank to a small dodge ball size. It literally looked like somebody told Nicholas to jump into a too small of a container and scrunch altogether, to ensure this delivery is a quick process. You will be out of here before you know it. I began to panic. I yelled for my mommy and she came running. All she could do was hand me clothes in a frantic manner. After I was dressed the girls were quickly loading into our gold colored MPV mini van and we were off. By this time the contractions had begun! We were at five minutes apart and holding. We drove the girls across the Milton/Madison bridge only to hand over the girls to my daddy and step-mom. It looked alot like a three ring circus: I am screaming, off and on, hanging on the ‘Oh Shit’ handle. The side door oppisite of their front door flies open as if a rocket is going to shoot out and strike their next door neighbors. Out jumps Darion and Ashby. Ashby is screaming, “NO! I want to go with you please don’t leave me here. I don’t want to get out,” while she is pushing her meemaw and daddy away with her chubby little hands and almost leaping back and forth to keep from being caught, but she was too little to escape boh of them.
Not to mention her daddy was screaming, “ASHBY!” at the top of his lungs.
Now the kids are delivered and we are racing down the road with flashers on and me still halfway standing up screaming every THREE MINUTES NOW. My mother had decided we were going to deliver him in the van.
Once we arrived at the hospital my best friend Teresa Kidwell was waiting on me and we all just knew this was going to be fifteen minutes until Mr. Prince Charming Nicholas Drake would bless us with his presence. Nope, Nope Nope…my sweet little nurse Wendy Hines (one of the best nurses in the world), began prepping me for delivery, doctor was quickly behind too late for an epideral and BOOM he was scooting on down the chute…but abruptly came to a halt. Why? Because he was ten pounds nine ounces that’s why! My body said sorry call me tomorrow because I don’t know how we will ever get this one out of here.
His shoulders were stuck. That is the final answer. After a few hours we had to make a decision; his collar bone would have to be broke. They did it and finally he was here.
My grandmother was alive then. I am always so grateful that he grew up knowing her. They had a unique bond. I would go to the house after working all day and say, “Baw Baw how did you and Nicholas get along today?” (She wanted to watch him when he was about three a couple of days a week, to keep from being lonely).
She would reply with, “Well, Teena I guess we got along okay. Who are you talking about? Nicholas? Oh yes he is so quiet I almost forgot I had him.”
Ummmm I think that should have been my sign but he was fine! Some people might get offended by me making a joke about my grandmothers dementia, but until you have lived through it, you can not understand! If you didn’t laugh about it you would lose your mind!
Anyways I had a beautiful ten pound nine ounce little boy on March seventeenth nineteen ninety nine. He has brought each of us joy on a regular basis and I can’t believe how fast the years have flown by. We have good, bad, fun, snuggle, adventurous, heartbreaking, puzzling and most of all loving times and I am looking forward to many more. He has never fit in a mold or been the type to follow a crowd. He has a kind heart; magnificient musical talent among other talents. He has been my rock the past four months, while I haven’t been capable of many daily duties. I thank God for Nicholas Ryan Drake on a daily basis. I love you buddy! Happy Birthday!
May my stories relate to you, make you laugh, help you heal, entertain you, but most of all may they enrich your life in one way or another! God Bless Everyone!
In my first chapter of Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby I explain the chain of events which lead to my desire to write this book. One disturbing or upsetting portion might be that the educational facility did not offer sex education any longer, due to parental request.
However, the truth is ‘sex education’ has been removed from most public education settings, across the nation because the thought process is teach abstinence only! If it were not for volunteer programs like ‘Pure Initiative’ the students today wouldn’t receive any of this information. As for the parental request their motive is because an educator teaching about Sex needs to be well prepared for this topic. I am extremely comfortable discussing Sex and it was still difficult because I had not be prepared. I spent a multitude of hours studying a wide variety of programs and asking parents questions to ensure I was ‘educating’ them and not over stepping my boundaries.
This is why my book is imperative for all parents to read. It is an easy read, informative and all based on real life situations. This is not a SEX EDUCATION BOOK, but rather a combination of stories, scenarios and situations. It is a book for parents to wake up and learn to discuss such an important topic with their children. I guess you would say it is a way to communicate!