Category Archives: memories

Memories Pictures Hold: Her Own Woman

Tejucruisebday To say I love her is a lie.  What I feel for her is more than love, it is akin to selfishness, it is akin to the whole of life; it is life.

I know exactly when this photo was taken, but don’t know by whom.  We are on a Caribbean Family reunion cruise, and Teju is eight and was very specific about wanting to celebrate her birthday onboard with all her cousins and other relatives, so I rented a room for the occasion.  The red outfit was her choice as well.  We had gone shopping before the cruise and she spent a great deal of time, browsing and when she saw it, she declared immediately that it was the one, the exact outfit she wanted to wear to celebrate her birthday on the cruise.

From she was 3 years old, she was very clear about how she wanted to look, her style, panache!  We, mother and daughter, are captured at a time when we were still very much in love with each other, when she needed me, when I was her appendage — I was still trying to keep her from coming into my bed at nights.

But this is evidence that once she needed me; even adored me, and once we were so close, and she wanted to snuggle next to me.

I often wonder what causes us to move away from these moments? And how to compare them to the present?  We are still close, and still need each other in other ways –in a new grown up way.  Are these earlier connections grafted into our psyche? I want her to remember… that red dress and that moment with me?


Memories Pictures hold: Bath

I know this apartment where this photo is taken but I don’t remember what was so significant about the day or who took the photo, but I suspect it must have been taken by my husband at the time, my son’s father.


Why I am bathing Jaja, who was s chubby, happy baby in the kitchen sink, in that basin that is clearly too small for him I don’t know. I suspect his sister, Shola, might have been enjoying a bubble bath in the bathroom and he was still too young to join her. Or maybe I was in the kitchen and he had just finished eating and food was all over him or maybe…what?  He loved the water and he loved being naked. I just thought it was a good idea, a spur of the moment decision without agenda, hence the photo.

 I see me looking down at him with a smile, but his gazed is fixed elsewhere.  What has caught his eyes? A tree through the window?  A bird perched? The glare of the sun? His dream of what he wants to become?

When we have children we are stitching the fabric for dreams.  If we are lucky, and do parenting right, with as minimum of damage as possible, that fabric could become a star for whom we take credit and applaud ourselves.  Jawara, peaceful warrior, has grown into the meaning of his name, has become a star that shines, has become a man whose gaze is always moving him into tomorrow.  Asé!