Family on Tour: Art Festivals, Kids & Love

A whirlwind is what I and my kids have been in these past two months since we have known Candice. It’s ironic because I am not usually inspired to share my private life. However, lately I have manifested such a beautiful life and I feel like I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t share.

The inspiration is overflowing and locking it in is just as torturous as holding your tongue when you want to go off on someone.

So, before we delve into the trappings of my muse, I want to give you a short backstory about my life as a mother of two amazing children.

When I became pregnant for my first child, I was all but disowned by my mother. She was disappointed that I was changing my course after all the hard work I had put in in High School and College. Raising kids, possibly alone, isn’t easy and she knew the struggle all too well. Following the two hour long lecture I received when I broke the news to her, I decided I would do whatever I had to in order to provide without leaning on her for everything. She helped along the way when I was absolutely desperate and my pride would break. I remember one incident in particular in the dead of summer. My air unit went out and we slept for a week or so in the living room because that was the only place in the house that didn’t feel like a furnace. I refused to ask for help, but the kids refused to not mention it to Nonna. Throughout the years, I always said that for every $2 she would give me, I would have to turn it into $20.

Seven years, eight jobs and a few failed and successful business endeavors later, I have to say that I can appreciate the lessons I have received in trying to make something of myself regardless of the fact that I faced a deep depression, that it was NEVER easy and that I had to sacrifice so much in the process.

Through it all, I have learned a lot about persistence, resilience, the power of mindset and the value of hard work and self belief. Through all the ups and downs, there is one motto I have always held dear: No matter what I go through, I want to build my children to believe in themselves so much that when the world chips away at them, it will be motivation for them to manifest the greatness within themselves.

So, here we are. I have worked so hard for seven years to instill values and morals into my children. We are focused on culture, reading, writing and telling each other stories. We dance and sing. We work in my business together, doing simple tasks and earning a couple dollars here and there. Even though most days it would be easiest to put them in front of a TV, which I have no problem doing, I would rather read and write with and about them. I would rather laugh and be silly, enjoying each other and creating memories. Our time is best spent dreaming about the projects and the things we can create together.

I have always taken my responsibility to raise them well very seriously and I take pride in the humans I am molding.

So, when Candice came into my life, I questioned the value she would add for my kids. I am cautious with their hearts. In leu of my concern, she came in to my life like she was supposed to be there. All of my trepidations faded as quickly as they arose. Candice introduced us to the life we are meant to be living.

My daughter, who has been writing and illustrating stories since she learned to read, now has a mentor binding and embellishing books for her. My son, who has been dancing before he could stand up straight, now has someone in his life who is willing to take time out of their busy schedule to make him a stage to dance on. Not only that, she allows him to perform and take her spot light at festival shows that she’s been a mainstay in for years. Pinch me. I am in this reality I envisioned years ago. The only difference is that this is so much better and far more natural than I could have imagined. Now we are traveling across the South, for Candice’s Art Festival Tour. As she does what she’s best at, my daughter sells her books and my son dances for crowds of people.

Me… I get to manage it all and enjoy lifting these amazing people up, selling their hard work and telling the world how great they are.

That to me is more fulfilling than anything I have done. For the first time in my life I am certain. I am certain that these moments are what I have been working hard for all these years. I am certain that if I gained the world or lost it all, that these memories will satiate me for eternity. Most importantly, I am certain that my family is finally complete.