Must be nice

I’ve loved this song since the very first time I heard it. It has been one of those lyrics you hold on to, when you meet someone and you wonder if there’s a future in it.

Must be nice
Having someone who understands the life you live
Must be nice
Having someone who’s slow to take and quick to give
Must be nice
Having someone who sticks around when the rough times get thick
someone who’s smile is bright enough to make the projects feel like a mansion
Must be nice
Having someone who loves you despite your faults
Must be nice
Having someone who talks the talk but also walks the walk
Must be nice
Having someone who understands that a thug has feelings too
someone who loves you for sho’
you just remember to never let ’em go

Chorus:
Even when your hustling days are gone
She’ll be by your side still holding on
Even when those 20’s stop spinning

and all those gold-digging women disappear
she’ll still be here

2nd Verse: 
Must be nice
Having someone you can come home to from a long day of work
Must be nice
Having someone you don’t have to show they know exactly where it hurts
Must be nice
Having someone who trusts you despite what they’ve heard
Someone as mighty as a lion but still as gentle as a bluebird
Must be nice
Having someone you don’t have to tell you don’t want to be alone
Must be nice
Having someone you can grow old with until God calls ya’ll home
Must be nice
Having someone who understands that a thug has feelings too
someone who loves you for sho’
you just remember to never let ’em go

Chorus

How did you meet?

No matter how long people have been together or how troublesome their relationship might be, whenever you ask them how they met, a smile will appear. They will look at each other and you can see them reminisce together. Usually the woman will tell you the story. You know, women have a better memory for romantic details. The man might tell you: we met in the park. The woman will tell you the weather of that day, where exactly in the park, why she was there, who she was with, what he was wearing, why he caught her eye…

Usually when the guy tells the story,the woman will correct him. Probably more than once. And as she takes over, he’ll sit there listening to her, looking at her, then looking at you to see the impact of her words. And for a moment, the both of them are right there again, transported back in time, meeting each other for the first time all over again. You can tell by the softer look in their eyes, how they sit up a bit straighter and lean towards each other just a bit more. A special moment in time. The first one they shared together. You can tell that they are still exited about it. They might no longer be exited about each other, but that specific memory still gives them that warm fuzzy feeling.

I love hearing these stories. They are unique. Different every time. And it’s remarkable, but a lot of times the way people meet will define their relationship.

Things are a little different now though. Our grandparents probably met through friends, on a fair, through family,… something close to home. The world in which our parents met might be a bit broader. But nowadays, people meet through the internet, dating websites, tv chats and what not. You no longer have to bump into each other to fall in love.

But one day, you will meet. Face to face. In real life. In the same area, the same place, the same timezone. And when people ask you how you guys met, you will look at each other. You will reminisce together. And the both of you will smile.

No room for a single mom

The family as a cornerstone of society. A  nice principle. Unfortunally the term ‘family’ seems to be pretty unflexibale when it has to be a cornerstone.

People used to get married young, have kids, and stay together until death did them apart – literally. They might not always been happily married, but there was a time when divorce was taboo.

Things change. Now the term ‘family’ can mean anything from married-with-children to a commune of friends to being just one person. It’s been like that for a while. And it still functions pretty well. Unless  you are a single parent.

Let me explain myself. First of all, nobody (but a few exceptions) chooses to be a single parent. Whatever the reason might be why you end up being a single parent, I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t something you planned for yourself. Raising children isn’t easy (and certain people should think twice before they have kids, but that’s a whole other blog entry). Raising them by yourself is twice as hard. You have to be mom and dad. Good cop and bad cop. Provide for your children and still find time to be there to actually raise them.

Life is expensive. If you just have one paycheck and two children, like I have, with no money coming from the dad whatsoever, you know that you live from paycheck to paycheck. Counting and recounting to see how you’re gonna make it to the end of the month. Which bills can I pay and which will have to wait? If the kids need new shoes or a winterjacket, you will either have to save for it, or let a bill go unpaid. You’re denying your children certain things (trips to amusement parks, going on vacation abroad,…), but you work hard to raise them the best you can and give them all they need. They might not have the luxury that their schoolfriends have, but they are happy nevertheless.

But there’s more to life than the financial part. Have you – as a single parent – ever tried to find a house (without social services helping you out)? I don’t know what it’s like in other areas, but where I live, it’s close to impossible. What if you want to educate yourself so that you can find a better job, have a better income? Going to school full time is pretty much impossible: school is expensive. Plus you will have to find a daycare/babysit for your kids, which adds to the expenses. Sure, there are enough adult schooling opportunities in every city, with all kinds of different subject you can learn. Very interesting and motivating. Until you check both price and class hours. Yup, you’ll  need a babysit.

Well, then let’s try something as simple as picking up a hobby such as swimming. Which is pretty inexpensive, right? So that shouldn’t be a problem…. Think again.
In my city, the swimming pool is only open for the public between 6pm and 8pm. Between those hours I’m cooking, washing, preparing schoolbags, helping with homework and putting kids in bed. Sure I could take my kids with me to the swimming pool in the evening, or during the weekend. But I won’t let them alone in the water, not even in the playing pool for the toddlers. So I won’t be able to get a work out by swimming the amount of lenghts I want. What’s the solution? My family and friends live far away. So I’d end up paying for a babysit. Again.

Oh,why – instead of complaining – don’t I take my babydaddy to court and make him pay child support?
Well, everybody’s situation is different. But for me, there’s nothing to gain there. No financial gain, no emotional gain, no support. It’s just not worth the stress, time and money I’d have to spend. I prefer to make it on my own, rather than to be dependant on a little bit of money that I might – or might not get every month. It’s pointless. Trust me.

Like I stated before, it seems like there’s no room in this society for a single mom. Or a single dad. Even while there should be more to life than the financial part, as a single parent, it seems that the financial part is the only thing that’s being thrown back in your face over and over again.

Luckily it takes more than money to raise children into responsible and respectable adults. So yeah, my kids might not wear the latest fashion, they might not go on vacation to Spain every summer vacation. But my children are smart, well mannered and appreciative. Which can’t always be said about kids that grow up around a lot of money. Just my two cents…

A life saved thanks to Facebook

Facebook is often mentioned in newspaper articles: “Man arrested because of a Facebook comment” – “Double murder announced on Facebook” – “10 reasons why you are addicted to Facebook”, …

There are a lot of pros and cons when it comes to the internet’s social networks. Whether you like it or not, the fact is that it has become a big part of every day life for a lot of people.

Today I’ve witnessed how a person put the word “social network”  to good use. Osmosis Poemz, a poet on my friend list, sent out an alert on his FB status. Apparently someone on his list had posted a suicide message. Osmosiz Poemz didn’t hesitate and prompted people into action. More alerts were sent out, there was contact with his sister and mutual friends and 2 hours later the police had found the man. He’s been saved and is now getting the help he needs.

Goosebumps…

It’s amazing how the care and concern of a stranger helped to save a life. With people using the internet more and more as the main way to communicate, sometimes we wonder if they still care. This proves that humanity is stronger than technology

Today, I am humbled…

Unconditional Love

Have you ever noticed that –  on a ruff day – the unconditional love of your child is the only magic you need to feel like you’re the most loved person in the whole wide world?

Have you ever…

When your eyes got used to the darkness surrounding you, have you ever met someone so bright that you felt blinded? At first you assume that it’s the flash of a falling star, dying out in your orbit. But after a while you keep seeing this same star lighting up your sky. Day after day it becomes bigger and a star turn into the sun. You can feel it warming your skin and during every hour of the night you long to chase the shadows traced by this sun.

Have you ever met somebody that would fit your life perfectly, yet he is out of reach. You can almost feel his touch, his embrace. He is right there when you close your eyes. Your soul longs for him so much that you can smell his skin on yours. And he smells like ancient Egypt. Warrior royalty and divinity combined in a human work of art. Unfamiliar feelings rush through your body and you helplessly try to make sense out of the situation. It feels so right that you unwillingly try to see what’s wrong with it.

Have you ever cursed every single drop of water in the ocean for seperating you? Have you ever woken up and fallen asleep with that same person on your mind and yet, you never get tired of thoughts of him? Have you ever had every molecule in your body scream that this person is the right one for you, yet your mind tells you that it’s impossible? When you have met that person, it doesn’t matter whether they feel the same for you or not, whether they want to be with you or not. You appreciate every minute you get with them. Every word they speak is cherished. Every smile is memorized for eternity. And you will forever be grateful that they came into your life.

If you have met this person, appreciate it. Care for it and nourish it. He might go away, but the memories will forever be yours 

Green hearts

Putting my book aside and getting all the ingredients together to cook dinner, with some Zone Fam hip hop (from Zambia) on the background. I wasn’t really hungry, but had 2 kids to feed.

Ever noticed how children can turn into little monsters as soon as their stomach screams for food? So preventing having them turn ugly on me, I chose for a quick dinner: spaghetti in spinach sauce.

This is simple, right? Cooking the spaghetti and using frozen spinach (with cream) for the sauce. So I’m kinda lost in thought as I open the sack of spinach and pour some in my pot.

First it takes a second for my brain to realize that this didn’t look like the small portions of frozen spinach that I’m used to. So I subconsciously focus and then it hits me. These are spinach hearts! Spinach frozen in heart-shaped portions!

The person who came up with this idea must really love cooking and food. He or she must be smiling, knowing that their little, simple and unique idea brightens up a chef-of-the-day’s face with a spontanious smile.

So this blog entry is dedicated to the person who brought back the magic in the daily cooking routine! Thank you!!

This proves that happiness IS to be found in the small things indeed