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No matter how far along I get in life, I'll always refer to myself as "That chick that grew up poor in the drug-filled streets of Port Arthur, Texas." Always a bad ass!

Right now, I'm going through a top-down transformation. I'm starting with my hair - taking it from processed to natural; and so far I'm loving it. Get updates on my process on newtonatural.com.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Some of my dumb Mistakes: Getting my child to act smart

I've gotten more feedback on the post "Getting My Child to Act as Smart as She Is" than I've ever gotten on a blog post.

I was a little relieved because I was grappling with a topic I felt was unique to my situation without a lot of support from others, and it was a little frustrating. . I'm feeling better about the situation - which, of course, continues - but wanted to build on my explanation of the issue by highlighting the root cause that ushered this whole problem into my life.

All of this did not come into my life just because I was that kid who tried to avoid getting tagged as a nerd for being smart. The major portion has to do with HOW I tried to elude this very unpopular label.

I grew up in a small town - Port Arthur, Texas. It has two claims to fame - Jimmy Johnson, ex football coach of the Dallas Cowboys; and UGK, gangster rappers. There was no city-wide spelling bee, academic conferences, organized mentorship groups.

Well, I guess Port Arthur has a 3rd claim, but it's more of a local thing. I'm pretty sure it had more crack cocaine dealers per square mile than any other small town city in the US. And the dealers were probably the most popular (and wealthy) people I knew.

So, I figured that the best way to excel in the popularity contest was to either become a drug dealer. {Which wasn't going to happen since my older sister at the time was a police office. Now, is a seasoned detective, BTW} Or, to date a drug dealer.

Now, here's where it becomes interesting.

Who would risk their freedom to date the baby sister of an over-protective cop? Well, yippee! I found one.

In the tenth grade I dated a high school dropout that had been selling drugs since he was 12. It was SO exciting! I would attend my talented and gifted classes during the day - or often not - and then hang up with "the element" after school. I never used drugs. I never sold drugs. But boy did my popularity soar at my high school. I was the Queen Ill Nana. Hah!

Well, all good things come to an end (Good - a word based on the perspective of a confused 16-18 year old). Here's how it all played out: I got pregnant. My boyfriend got locked up. Reality set in. "You're screwed, Dude."

I had to go through it! I had to. Fortunately, I had a praying and patient Momma who refused to see me fail and a God who covered me with his grace and mercy that wipes clean even the most awful sins.

Here's the upside of what I went through and what I'm now going to with my teenage daughter who BTW is not as far gone as I was in trying to avoid being labeled as The Smart Kid - I'm a praying and (sometimes) patient Momma AND God does not change, even as man does.

From the time my daughter was born, I got it. . and I changed. I don't believe it will take such a life-changing (and permanent) change in my daughter's life. God gives each of us exactly what we need. And somehow, he knew that I needed someone who depended on me to do the right thing and to get my life together. He saved my life. My daughter saved my life.

I tell my testimony not because I'm proud of some of the dumb stuff I've done. I tell my testimony because I know that there are others out there that are going through and they need to know that, even though it's hard and feels overwhelming, this too shall pass.

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