September 9th 2016 will go down in history for not only the Sioux tribe, but for all Native Americans. This is the day that our voices, Native or not, were finally heard for the Earth. This was the day that the government finally came to our aid, to see things from our perspective. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been labeled a ‘white girl’. Not that I mind. It did hurt my feelings when we were referred to having ‘white privilege’. The shunning from different cultures weighed heavy. I always had a sense of envy when different cultures shared their roots. The way they prepared and presented food, the different styles of their hair and clothes, and they had their own language. I knew that I was Native but there were some relatives and ancestors that were European. But I couldn’t get it through my mind that part of me is European (although there is nothing wrong with that.) I just knew that I didn’t belong. That it was not in my heart to accept it. Then again maybe I just thought there was more to my story. Most people ‘connect’ to their past. Funny thing about it was I never could. Now I feel connected more than ever.
Sure, my mother always told me I was Native from her side of the family. Believe me, I look just like her. And she could walk onto a reservation and no one would stop her. She looked like she belonged there. Then there was my father who also had quite a bit of Native blood running in his veins. He told me an indian princess was one of my ancestors. I was so excited to think that we have that honor in having pure blood. But then he would say, “You’re the whitest American indian anyone has ever met!” That confused me for years. I couldn’t understand that if we weren’t directly related to her, how could we have her blood running through our veins? Then I learned the reason after he had passed. It was her husband we were related to all along. I’ve always been told how Native I look. How I can keep a tan throughout the winter. Too bad my daughter could never hold a tan at all. She has beautiful blue eyes with blonde hair when she was young. Most people look at her, then look at me, then look back at her and can’t understand how a brown-eyed, dark-haired person could give birth to a blonde, blue-eyed baby. Unfortunately my granddaughter is the opposite of me as well.
I guess there are pros and cons to connecting to a certain group of people. A con being that I am in a minority. Or maybe that is a pro. I’m not for certain. But I do know this: I know I am predominantly Native American and I am SO PROUD of being a part of a culture that is finally opening up and being heard. So what if the government finally came to our aid and stopped the construction of the pipeline through sacred grounds and under the Missouri river. I am very proud of the tribes (yes! More than one tribe!!!) consistency and WITHOUT violence! We knew this could happen! With all the shootings happening in recent years and months, we did this without hostility. This should tell you that peace can reign. Good combats evil. You can get what you want and need without fighting. THIS is what the Native Americans are all about. What if this is the first day of the Environmental Revolution? That we clean up our acts with Mother Earth? We have a long road to go but if we, as the human race, are united, today has proven that we can win this fight for our children, grandchildren and their children.
Its been a busy month since Christmas for my family so far. Positive things have happened and negative things have happened. I would like to focus on the positive. A lot has changed yet a lot has stayed the same. Victoria has pulled herself up and is trying to walk. She’s also eating table food now. Can you believe it? Table food! She has always been the apple of my eye, my photon, my ray of sunshine in a dark room..but she has come to be in the age of fun. Tomorrow is my 44th birthday. Throughout the year I did entertain the idea that she and I would share a cake, one side decorations of Disney and the other side a simple ‘happy birthday’. But I know it is actually her special day and I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to take some of her ‘first birthday’ thunder away.
Victoria went with her mother to the park in the mall. It’s an indoor park so we like to go there while it is rainy or snowing outside. She made a few friends, even met up with kids that aren’t taught to share (although they should have learned this already) but all-in-all she had fun. She has a new best friend who also happens to be our neighbor. I just adore this little boy. He is my ‘handsome’ little man.
That night, my daughter and Victoria decided to make a cake. It was a cute little cake. Victoria has never had experience when it comes to baking and her mom wanted to be the first to try this out.
Today May 24, 2016
Today Victoria is bright and happy and full of joy. Always with a smile and a giggle, she loves watching other kids play and loves Minnie Mouse. I firmly believe the reason she continues to be happy is that her parents can get along and isn’t exposed to arguments. This is very important in a child’s life and I am so thankful she has the parents that she has.
The alarm blared next to my bed as I struggled to find my glasses on my nightstand. The sun had already broke through the clouds and the sky became clear. As I lay in bed, I hear commotion in the kitchen with Victoria sitting in her high chair and her mother feeding her oatmeal with fruit. She has been ‘finding her voice’ for days now and shrieks (screaming out loud) to hear her own voice.
Two wonderful faces to wake up to. (And my black cat Shaddow as well!)
Today was the day we are going to the Shriner’s Circus with Victoria. I kinda had the feeling that she would do well with crowds but with the loud noise I wasn’t sure about. Today was also the day that she was promoted from her carrier to a ‘big girl’ car seat. Not the ‘big, big girl’ kind of car seat but the kind that toddlers are in. She is a husky 21 lbs. But she is also over 27 inches long. Big girl! But I bet when she starts crawling (which she is showing signs) that weight will melt off her. Fat babies are cute babies!
As we were walking into the Thomson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN there were people with children everywhere. I was kind of nervous, myself being in large crowds. And I had my grand daughter in my arms so I had to make sure I kept a straight face and took care of the task at hand. We searched for our seats in the dark in the nose-bleed section. Yes it was packed with children screaming from excitement everywhere! My daughter found seats for us and I handed Victoria to her so I could take pictures of her first experience with the circus. There were tigers balancing on beams jumping through fiery hoops and elephants dancing. There were trained dogs balancing on the backs of their trainer wowing the crowds. Victoria did enjoy it but the loud acoustics and flashing lights bothered her. After a few attempts to get her to look, we decided to retreat to the corridor of the arena so Victoria will feel a bit easier with all the hoopla that was before her.
Finally we were standing in the corridor looking at the action that was happening inside the arena. I noticed a stand that sold wands that light-up. I decided to buy Victoria a big pink light-up wand. She was mesmerized by the flashing lights. It was great! She seemed so excited to see her new present come to life with just a push of a button. Fortunately that diverted her attention from the flashing lights and the loud noises coming from inside the arena. Then an announcement came on the speakers saying that there will be an intermission and a display of pony rides and elephant rides were presented to the little children. My daughter was so excited that she grabbed Victoria and announced that she will go down to see if she is old enough to ride a pony. I told her that she was probably too young and the clowns will probably scare the crap out of her.
Like always, she paid no attention to me and walked down to the bottom of the arena where the pony rides were. I stayed up in the corridor searching for them to just get a glimpse of my baby and her baby within the crowds of other parents. I noticed that my daughter was next to a crowd of people strapping on harnesses for Victoria to ride a pony. I honestly couldn’t believe it! She is only 7 months old and she is enjoying what other kids way-older than her- are enjoying. My daughter and a helper walked in a circular-motion following a circle of ponies attached to one another. Victoria enjoyed every minute! Soon the ride was over and she had to leave her pony. I was hoping that she would come back up to where I was standing but they were surrounded by a bunch of clowns that took pictures with my grand daughter. If she was scared she never let it show. Then my daughter took her to get her face painted in the form of a cat. Yes she was young but I am so glad that my daughter introduced her to that type of social action. She didn’t cry or become irritated. She just smiled and was very attentive. Basically she people-watched.
As I sit here trying to find the words to put into this blog, I smile to the fact that my daughter had shown me what a true parent does. Its never too early to make memories with your babies. I am proud of the mummy that she is becoming.
Victoria Renee had a great first-time experience with the Shriner’s Circus at 7 months old
….And we are back! Its that time again that Victoria is teething. Really. But this time there is something showing up on her lower gum. After I wash my hands, I feel around on her lower gum and I believe I felt a small bump….I wasn’t sure. But throughout every smile, she never whined. Although my daughter was at the end of her seventh month of life, the first tooth (or teeth) that arose were both upper lateral incisors. But that was so long ago. I had forgotten what babies go through during this hard time. I was wondering why Victoria barely slept (or couldn’t stay asleep at night.) Thank goodness there are the two of us (my daughter and myself) taking care of Victoria. When she hears Victoria crying in her crib, she retrieves her while I turn on the pot of water on the stove to warm up her bottle.
We do make a great team. 🙂
Later that night and into the morning hours, my daughter had so much trouble trying to get her to rest. I could hear Victoria whining in the monitor with my daughter rushing through the hall to get to her room. Victoria has scooted up from the bottom of the crib right up to the top. And she’s crying. Between each cry, she chomps her gums like shes eating something. She can’t rest herself. Wanting to sleep in the worse way, Victoria drools and has her fingers in her mouth as to point in the direction of the pain. I don’t know how to make it stop. My daughter administers a bit of baby Tylenol (because I will not be the one to give her meds) but she is still in pain. I then feel the bottom of her gums. There are two (*two*) teeth trying to break the skin of my poor grand daughters gums. I feel like I am doing this all over again, first with my daughter as a baby, now Victoria. As my daughter rocks her to sleep on her shoulder, I have nothing else to do but bring myself to my bed, feeling helpless. There is nothing I can do to remove the pain from my Victoria.
Very nervous, but so proud. Very happy but scared at the same time. I don’t know where to turn but I feel that I have both feet firmly planted on the ground. My daughter is expecting. What to do….what to do now. We both have some money saved in the bank for emergencies and we will get prepared throughout the coming months. It isn’t going to be easy but if my family stays united, nothing can break us down.
Today we went to the many places that you would go to when you are pregnant in America. It was confirmed at the health department that she was indeed pregnant and the lady behind the counter advised us to get WIC. It is a basic program for pregnant women to have milk, vitamins, peanut butter and much, much more. I am happy to know that there is a program such as this. When my daughter was young, this program wasn’t as strong standing as it is today. There were only a few items that I could rely on at that time. Today WIC offers actual classes for new mothers to benefit. I wish they had their act together in the early 90s.
Around the corner and 9 months away..
I am making this blog to document the day-to-day feelings that I have about this. I can say that I am scared to death but happy at the same time. I know it is going to be hard and I realize we are going to have obstacles that are going to be in our way in the not-too-distant future, but the operative word isn’t “obstacles”, it is “we”. And my daughter, the father of the baby, my family and I will be able to raise this child with love and discipline. My daughter needs me right now and as a mother, I want to be there in her time of need. Isn’t that what any right-minded mother would do for their offspring? I just know in my heart that this is the right thing to do.
I am going to be the best grandmother one can possibly be.
Will it be a she…..? Or will it be a he…?
Only God knows. I just want my grandchild to be healthy with all ten fingers and all ten toes..and maybe two lips (oh did I say that out loud?)