Saying “No” to my daughter is something I have become accustomed to, rather reluctantly, that line of discipline I have had to tread. It’s the reaction of disappointment and fury that I’ve had difficulty with. Seeing the face of my child fall when she was younger, the tears welling up, violins playing in the background of my mind, and oh yes, guilt, of wanting to do the easy thing, say Yes, let her have her way and for me to have peace, but needing to say NO because of the line I had to stick to, of rules, of foundation, of a certain clarity, all pointing to me as the authority figure in our household. Later, as an adolescent and teen, the disappointment was replaced by anger, indignation, disbelief. The ire a wave, pushing me down, my internal insistence to rise against, to stand my ground. As a child, saying “No” never (and I can say this with absolute confidence) revolved around another helping of ice cream and other delicious sugary substances; the “No”‘s were based on other limitations, mostly to do with financial constraints and safety measures, the latter a necessity, but the former? “I can’t afford it” is as painful to hear as it is to say. When my daughter was a child, I tried another avenue of “No”: if we walked into a store, she knew she could choose just one thing, and I’d get it for her. It worked for her. She’d grown accustomed to those parameters as a toddler, when she’d run to the shelves and just pull everything, in want. I’d tell her, “Just one thing.” Sometimes that one thing was a candy bar, sometimes that one thing was a Dora doll. Always, however, “just one thing.” She grew out of that, in middle school, when she needed more things. A dress to a Bat Mitzvah. Another bra. New pair of kicks. Things she needed, things relegated to more than one thing. Saying “No” became another internal battle, what she needed vs what she simply wanted, a terrain I needed to navigate as a parent, as a person on a budget, as an adult instilling that coveted value of the dollar. It’s not easy. I hate not being able to give, in general. Is that an inherently female quality? I don’t know, I don’t have a partner to gauge this against. I do fear the fury. Yes, I said it, I fear it. Fear the brooding, the sulking. Fear not being liked, loved by my child. Ironic, in that I have no problems standing up for myself in any other setting. In teaching my daughter the tools of empowerment, of standing her ground, of being her own person, I too, am learning something: that I must stay embedded in my role as her parent, to not fear her disappointment, that dread hat comes with “No.” As a teenager, she understands the impact of “I can’t afford it” or even and simply, “No, I am not buying that.” An insight that sometimes comes with something darker, something I need to accept will come, while I stay true to my “No.” Something that also comes with a great big sigh.
Kate Mulgrew: “Being the first female captain was seismic, there were tidal waves of publicity and reaction and response because a girl had been put in command. ”
Niecy Nash: “I don’t want to be a sassy black anything. I don’t want to be a sassy black mama, a sassy black neighbor or a sassy black friend. There are so many more notes to be played. And listen, broken is a delicious note to play on camera.”
Olivia Wilde: “I think for all types of women, seeing another woman love herself no matter what you look like, that affects all of us.”
Annie Lennox, ever and always a genius.
So The View is important.
Domestic Workers run this town.
The heartbeat that is.
The final Game of Jones.
And now have a laugh with Amanda Seales.