Birthdays was the worst days

nino brown

“Birthdays was the worst days
Now we sip champagne when we thirst-ay
Uh, damn right I like the life I live
‘Cause I went from negative to positive
And it’s all…

(It’s all good)

…and if you don’t know, now you know, nigga, uh”- Biggie Smalls

Today you may get a notification stating that it’s Sonny’s birthday and you should share your thoughts. From there you get the HBD bro, Happy bornday, Happy Birthday, Happy solar return and many others response but the mere fact they took the time out is what’s most important. You hoping somebody put up a picture and you get tagged in it and then let the good times roll. I say that because there’s someone right now like ‘oh shit its yo birthday, that’s wzup but let me see what kermit, Ms. Piggy, Shirley Caesar and those Joe Biden memes hittin fo. Niggas have a birthday every day B’. Now you getting birthday wishes on your timeline, text messages on your phone, getting tagged in pictures and there is someone doing her best Ms. Piggy rendition:

Ms. Piggy….It’s his birthday just send him well wishes

Savage Ms. Piggy…fuck that send him a heart-eye emoji followed by a DM.

Birthdays weren’t always the best days when I was growing up. I come from humble beginnings and I’m proud of it because it made me the man that I am today. For the record just because I have both parents don’t mean I’m a rich kid. That has to be the biggest misconception of all time. Shit, I just got hit with an insufficient funds fee on my way to work today on my birthday. I’m getting more calls from bill collectors then family members today. You know moms was working at the bank she had the steady job, while my dad on the other hand; he was the mortician, limo driver, driving school instructor, cleaning office buildings. Like this man worked at Sinai, Johns Hopkins and Northwest hospital at the same damn time. When my pops was making bread, he was making bread to feed the projects nigga-Calvin from paid in full voice; but when he wasn’t we were satisfied with the end pieces.

Since my birthday is so close to Christmas, my mom would always say, ‘son I aint got nothing for ya man but Christmas is 5 weeks away so I’mma double up’ As a kid you wanted to be disappointed but this is ma dukes like what you really say. I’mma eat this second helping of mac and cheese maybe watch some wrestling and countdown to Christmas.

See I come from a family that didn’t really celebrate milestones. My grandfather was a World War II veteran and was the first black supervisor of Bell Atlantic which is now AT & T and he always preached that you supposed to be great, I’m not celebrating that. As a kid I thought that was fucked up but my grandfather couldn’t do nothing wrong is my eyes but as a grown up I can see where he is coming from. He was saying that you have to work twice as hard to get half the respect as your counterpart so if they graduate high school you get a Master’s degree. Always remember you are no better than anyone else but also know there is no one better than you. So I always treated my birthday as just another day because it wasn’t about the gifts, I can buy the gifts any day after all bills is paid, wife and kids are straight then I will buy me something but by that time it’s gone so Tough break nigga there’s always FUBU.

I’m glad now that I have a wife and kids because on this day they add laughter and enjoyment to this day that would normally consist of Sportscenter, Sportscenter, work, eat, Sportscenter maybe a workout then bed. I wake up this morning and my bones are cracking so I know I’m getting older. I get serenaded by my lady then she goes for the low note sounding like Toni Saxon so all I can do is laugh and be thankful. I’m thankful because of the social climate that we are living in today, everyday should be your birthday because at any given moment some cop or anybody will look at me like I’m a silverback gorilla and try to put silver in my back and celebrate how they killed a gorilla. I’m thankful because I’m learning in life that change is ok because change is the only thing that remains the same. The interactions with my kids this morning proves it:

Morgan: Happy birthday Daddy

Me: thanks yo

Morgan: how old are you now?

Me: I’m 33

Morgan: Dang you old. Do you need a cane or something? Were you around when Jesus was living?

Morgan and Me: laugh real hard

Now it’s time for Reid…

Quianna: Go say happy birthday to daddy

Reid: happy birthday dad…now we go to chuck e cheese

Me: naw son no chuck e cheese

Reid: I’m so mad *insert Arthur fist* it’s my birthday daddy not yours

Me: ok calm down buddy

Reid: I’m not your buddy *then he turns around and smiles at me like Michael Jackson do at the end of Thriller, I can’t make this shit up if I tried*

Last but not least Hannah…

Hannah: daddy…daddy…daddy

Me: Yes Hannah

Hannah: Can we watch a movie?

Me: Sure Hannah

Hannah: I Looooooooooooove you. *proceeds to take my phone and watch Netflix*

I’m glad that I am able to see this day and who knows this could be the change I was waiting for. Thanks to all my family and friends.

*Birthdays I had a penny

Now I’m at the bar right now drinking Henn-ay

Uhhh*- Sonny Smalls

And I’m out…

 

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Are you Ready to Rumble

black-couple-fight

There are three things in life that we can’t avoid: death, taxes and conflict. Sure we can cheat death like Devon Sawa in those Final Destination movies but in the end when the Lord calls you home there is no stopping that. It’s like God be yelling to his angels, “Omaha Omaha” then you’re brought back from the depths of hell. Sure you can cheat your taxes but if they can throw Mr. Big in jail what makes you think they won’t throw ya ass in jail. Sure you can cheat conflict but then you turn in a yes-man which is one step away from being a bitch ass nigga. It’s ok to have a different opinion on a subject and not feel like you have to conform to what other people say. Conflict is necessary and isn’t always a bad thing especially if you are in a relationship because if you never make it clear what’s acceptable then anger and resentment turns into monuments of pettiness and those who indulge in them are seldom capable of anything else. Here are a few things that you and your partner will fight about and y’all gonna be alright-Kendrick Lamar voice

Round 1: Social Media

With technology transforming at the speed of light you are going to be tempted in the virtual world. The only problem is that your virtual world is cross-contaminating your real world. It’s cool to have a Facebook page, Snapchat and all that but thirst trapping is a no-no. We see this everyday whether it’s a new IG model or a guy who just finished a workout and has the caption ‘GAINZ’. Social media is the gift and curse in today’s society.  Whether it’s the DM, the heart eye or the eggplant emoji don’t get yourself into some real shit over your some virtual shit. Fellas please don’t get in a jam over a chick that has her thigh meat out in an onesie. Because the last thing you need is a text from your girl like, ‘oh you like thighs now’ then you’re fucked. Now you gotta drive out to Brandywine to get some Crabboss then swing past Central Ave to get a fresh box of Krispy Kreme donuts because you know the ones in Royal Farms are old just for her not to be mad anymore. Is it even worth it? Ladies you aren’t exempt. Please stop liking other niggas memes especially if they are dissing your man. For example, if I post a meme stating “if your man ain’t a Kappa then your man ain’t shit”; don’t like my post especially if your man doesn’t meet those standards. Why set yourself up for a Jody-Yvette argument over a meme? Cut that shit out.

Round 2: Spending Money

According to the latest stats regarding divorce, one of the major factors contributing to divorce is finances. I know you and your partner work hard every day especially when you hit your snooze button a few times and be mad as fuck you gotta go to work but since you like to live indoors instead of outdoors you go to work. You got some partners that act like Julius from Everybody Hates Chris and you have others that spend as fast as they earn it. Some things you shouldn’t have to discuss with your partner like buying coffee or a something from the dollar menu but there are some things that you may have to discuss with your partner. It’s not a dictatorship or anything like that but when you’re on a fixed income there are certain things that you can’t get right now and that’s ok but don’t go into the red for a few likes on social media. I suggest you draft a budget and openly discuss the bills and find out  how much money is needed for each bill. Now if the bills are paid and there is leftover money and your partner is still bitching then it’s definitely deeper than the hatred towards minorities and you may have to re-evaluate this relationship.

Round 3: GTD…Getting those Draws

Look man…you’ve claimed her. You kicked flows for her, kicked down doors for her even left all your motherfucking hoes for her. That’s a win yet she won’t let you in them skins huh. Ignoring the problem isn’t gonna make it go away; you have to talk about it and come to an agreement about how frequent you should be fuckin. Be realistic though. Don’t say every day twice a day and three times on Saturday. Hopefully you both are gainfully employed with social lives so there will be times when that doesn’t happen but at least you had the conversation because you don’t want the doors of infidelity to open because you not fucking. One variable that gets relationship jammed up with respect to sex is watching porn. I mean it serves its purpose but it alters your sexual relationship with your partner because your partner ain’t slurping it up like Pinky or making noise like Roxy Reynolds so if that doesn’t happen in your sexual conquest then you feel slighted. Don’t hold them to that level of standard because they get paid to do that. Don’t like 2-D pussy fuck you up with your 3-D pussy.  Don’t get me wrong if they are down for that then great but you can’t force it.

Round 4: A Mother’s Love

There’s nothing like a mother’s love.  A mother is vital in the development of relationships between man and woman but what role does a mother play in your relationship. There are variables to consider in this answer because there are various types of mothers. You have your overbearing mothers that smother you at all times. There’s the mother who just loves to mother. For example, have you ever gone on a day trip with your partner but your mother made sandwiches for both of you? You have no choice to scream, “You like that” in your best Kirk Cousins voice. You have those mothers that try to be your friend more than your mom and it can stir up drama. Do you get mad if every time you go somewhere you got to pick moms up? Does it bother you every time she wants to go to the store she want you to go to the store? We have to be careful with what we share with our mothers because at the end of the day she is still your mother and even if y’all have resolved your issue it can be a sore spot for ma dukes and a mothers’ shade is second to none. Boundaries have to be set and if your mother disrespects your mate you have to check her right then and there because if your lady doesn’t feel protected she’s gone. If your lady doesn’t check her mom then your man will always feel it’s 2 against 1 and the chances of winning that bad are slim to none.

Round 5: Chores

It’s 2016. Women are successful in their own right. They own businesses, have numerous degrees and just downright the shit so the days of you coming home at 5:30 pm with dinner sitting on the table may be unrealistic. It’s ok for your partner to cook dinner or wash dishes. There shouldn’t be set chores in your home because you are both adults and have the ability to fend for yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect your woman to unload three bags of trash while you look up memes on social media but fellas it’s ok to jump in when your lady can’t do it. Are there certain chores designated for men only or women only?

Round 6: Family Drama

Everybody family is different. But when you date him/her you are seeing the foundation of their existence. There will be issues that you will disagree on and that’s ok but try not to put your partner in the middle of a tug of war between you and their family. The last thing you want is for them to decide because quite frankly you might not like the decision they make. I’m not saying be a doormat or a sucka ass nigga but pick your battles. I do have a question though…how do you react if someone from her family disrespects her? For example if a male family member calls your lady a bitch or something of that nature do you turn into Luke Cage or do you go MLK on the non-violent tip. Even though you’re family you ain’t family if you catch my drift. Now if it someone for your family disrespecting her then you  go by them goon rules if you can’t beat ’em then you pop ’em, You can’t man ’em then you mop ’em, You can’t stand ’em then you drop ’em, You pop ’em ’cause we pop ’em like Orville Redenbacher!!…Motherfucker I’m ill.

For the record this is all case by case scenario but I can admit that I have gone through all these struggles with my wife and we are stronger than ever so it’s ok to have a conflict but once you come up with a solution please implement it and you my friend can have the best week ever if not you are the latest contestant to be a Jordan meme.

 

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I’m Coming Home

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About 48 hours from now, Morgan State University and Northwood Shopping Center will be lit from the crack to dawn to the sun goes down and then kick into overdrive when the stars light up the sky. The only event that can cause this much havoc yet re-create such memories is homecoming. Morgan State University’s homecoming is this Saturday and it’s such a powerful experience that people will come from across the globe in order to say that they were there. But before you get your hair done, haircut, grab a nice outfit, or go to the MAC Store to make sure your face is straight, there are some rules that you have to follow in order to make your homecoming successful. It only takes one to mess it up for everybody. It’s like when back in the day there was a fight in school and activities were cancelled so don’t be the fuck up that’s fucks up Homecoming for years to come.

Rule 1: Leave the kids home B

Parenthood is an amazing thing. A lot of people love to re live their college days at homecoming and unless you was a parent during those days leave the kids at home. Your kids don’t understand the experience. They are probably scared to death because it’s so many people. If your goal is to turn up and have fun with some liquor and good food bringing your kids will create an anti-climactic story. My rule is unless they are in double digits they aint coming. They can come to the parade and all that but once kickoff starts they are at their designated location. Fellas don’t use your kid to get some single father pussy knowing you a deadbeat dad or don’t bring your kid just to pass to the mother while you acting like you don’t have a kid in the first place. Ladies don’t blow your budget trying to have your kid fresh to death knowing you got those Kidgets diapers from the Family Dollar and you praying somebody buy your kid a chicken wing from Sunny’s.

Rule 2: Make sure your house is in order

Listen, if you have a house nearby the campus just know it’s gonna be a madhouse because everybody will want to come there especially to get their second wind before they go to the party or they could just relax and take notes as they take totes of the marijuana smoke to recap the events of the day. So make sure all bills are paid in advance, house clean, bathroom is clean, paper towels and toilet paper. If they want food then start that process once they arrive because this aint my pay week and I got Lunchables and Kool Aid Jammers to get for my kids. Your house needs to look like you showcasing it to a potential buyer. Don’t risk a turn off notice because your friends will turn into Flavor Flav and say, “I aint got nothing for ya man”

Rule 3: Drink Responsibly

It’s nothing but red cups, Snapple, mystic and other types of bottles in every one’s hand at homecoming and guess what it’s all liquor in those cups. Please know your liquor tolerance. We are too old to be rumbling, fumbling, mumbling and stumbling (Chris Berman voice) up and down the campus or at the tailgate and with the ratio of men to women being so wide don’t ruin your chances because you turned into weekend at Bernie’s’. Nothing wrong with a little shot of Henny quite frankly I turn into Hen Griffey when the henny in the system and I live the slogan, “Hennething is Possible”. I feel like Billy Dee Williams in Mahogany. I know some ladies are laughing at that but I’ve bagged plenty off that henny.

Rule 4: Know the temperature

We got weather apps, weather channels and meteorologists everyday providing us useful information regarding the weather. Do your due diligence and make sure you are dressed for the occasion. If it’s 50 degrees, shorts and tank top might not be the best idea even if you want to show off your new leg and arm tattoo. Be smart before you look like Roscoe from those Martin skits. Prepare multiple outfits as the weather changes frequently.

Rule 5: Don’t reinvent yourself

Hear ye hear ye…more than likely we know your relationship status beforehand especially if you are on social media so please don’t try to steal the pussy or dick from someone else wrecking their home. Beware of the person that knows your status and still shoots the J and tries to get some play. Don’t let the temptation get the best of you. If you married before homecoming you want to stay married after homecoming. Don’t let a homecoming hook up ruin your life. You don’t want those problems over here big fella (chance the rapper voice). Look if you couldn’t bag shorty when she didn’t have the freshman 15 or responsibilities, what makes you think you can bag her now after she got the thick thirty and you got a mortgage and kids to raise. Get your hug (a future rule), maybe kiss on the cheek, have a laugh or two and get low.

Rule 6: Know your wallet

Look every promoter in the world will have a party this weekend but if you got a picture of Julius from Everyone Hates Chris in your wallet just know you can’t go to every party. First of all those club prices aren’t going to be the same club prices that it would have been on a normal Saturday so that could deter your plans off the rip. To be honest you probably can’t afford it and that’s ok because you are now a responsible adult and moderation is key.

Rule 7: Protect yourself at all costs

Look it’s gonna be some fine women there trying to get chose and for real, fellas are going to put on their finer threads to showcase their fashion sense. You might be lucky and get some but like the rule says protect yourself at all costs. Let’s be real your body count has increased since college but you know what else increased…these diseases.  To quote the late Tommy Ford, you may GTD but don’t get a STD. Pregnancy is real. Don’t become an after school special.

Rule 8: Dress to make sure you’re comfortable

It’s gonna be a long day so wearing something tight might not be the best idea. Fellas, if you built like Kung Fu Panda wearing some of these designers might not be the move for you and that’s ok. When I was at Morgan there were a few big dudes that always stepped up the dress game for the big fellas and always keep me on my toes. Shout out to my man D. Murry, my man Kane and my man L. Guy. We can’t look like we are 38 weeks pregnant trying to squeeze into a designer shirt. Know your limits. No one knows your body better than yourself so act like it when you are at homecoming. For example, if you don’t wear heels, homecoming ain’t the time for an experiment with heels especially if you want to try and be cute and for the life of us and all the latter-day saints please don’t walk on cobblestone with heels on. If the length of your heels is on Hillary Clinton level just wear some flats. I know somebody is having a sale somewhere. Get some real women dollars and purchase a nice pair of flats and your feet will thank you later. The last thing you want is your feet looking like the hamburger helper glove.

Rule 9: you’re at the party now what

You’ve paid your money. You got your drink and you scoping the scene looking at potential targets and all that shit but make sure you have a good time. Fellas, if you know you don’t have the leg strength stop trying to pick a jawn up off the ground and we too old to be holding your big ass up as you freak a young jawn with the amber rose booty. Ladies, if you know after a night of dancing you gonna need some Ben-Gay, trying to take over for the 99-2000 may not be the best move for you. You can’t afford to take Monday off because your arthritis has flared up and you got the gout. Master the 2 step and continue to flourish.

Rule 10: Get your hug

Listen it’s homecoming weekend. Face it you will be doing a lot of handshakes and hugging. If you have a jealous partner who’s gonna ask ‘who’s that bitch or who that nigga is’, leave them home. Homecoming is the time when Christian hugs are thrown out the window and it’s nothing but breast to chest hugs. Fellas make sure your neck is cleaned and washed thoroughly. Scentbird will be your best friend. Make sure you spray a couple shots of cologne and preferably not Joop but I don’t know your budget. But get your hug. Your hug should be like she just lost her childhood teddy bear but tread lightly during the hug because if you get a hard on, that could turn homecoming into an awkward experience or it could lead to some afternoon delight.  Either way, homecoming is your opportunity to become the black Dos Equis man.

Bonus Rule: Let the Greeks prosper

There is someone that you know that is Greek and they have remained their true self even after they crossed and they are some that don’t just keeping it a bean. But there is a particular time after the game in which Greeks will participate in their homecoming ritual. Let them Greeks prosper man. Don’t try to jump in their circle because they are worse than the Bey-hive. Don’t be talking about you could have been one but didn’t because your dog died or some silly shit like that and if you not Greek bringing up certain stories aint the move. For example don’t say yo son I wonder which Delta painted the AKA shield back in the day. Like on some real shit if you don’t know which one it was or if it even was a Delta that did that you ain’t gonna find out now. What you think this is? The 1-800-GetIndicted Hotline.

There are many more but play your cards right and your homecoming experience will be awesome baby with a capital A; but if you decide to deviate from this you will have 365 days of regret. Fortune favors the bold so how bold will you be.

 

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Kids say the Darndest Things

mo

Look at this girl’s face. She’s pretty right. This is my daughter Morgan. She’s 7 years old and very smart but she’s getting to that age where she is asking questions that makes me think before I answer because if I answer it wrong then she’s asking another question and the cycle continues until I’m like, ‘shit I don’t know ask ya mother yo’. See the thing with me is that I love my daughters to the death but I know there’s gonna be a point where she gonna say something smart at the big fella and quite frankly I aint here for the fuck shit. I’m letting you know now I’m not ready for the smart remarks, side eyes and slick talk. My goal right now is to instill respect and fear at the same damn time-future voice. I want her to respect me enough that she can ask questions to gain clarity but have a level of fear in the event she come at me reckless. Like you knew you was wrong but you asked for it baby-DMX voice.  I have a sister and she has prepared me somewhat for these types of moments. Thanks Sis.

Shout out to Sammie and Netta because this is one of them #aightboomcheckit aka #whatyouwontdo type of stories involving a conversation me and my daughter Morgan. So aight boom check it, Morgan, my wife and I travel to White Marsh Mall to pick up a Lane Bryant order and get something for Morgan since she’s been doing great in school. Normal right hell no aint nothing normal in the Grayson household but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  Pulling up to the mall blasting that Gucci or something trap like getting in the Julius from everybody hates Chris mode because I didn’t do the budget for the week so I’m frantic but I was told at a young age ‘don’t let them see you sweat plus you damn big to show emotion’. When I go to the mall with my wife she sometimes get the Biggie mentality and be like ‘clear the mall out fuck the fall out’ where I’m like shit that’s 67 dollars’ worth of jean jacket right there. You can’t wear a jean jacket with the sleeves cut I mean that should be only 35 dollars right. See I am a product of the big man syndrome. You ask what the big man syndrome is. The big man syndrome is when you are presumed to be mad at all times unless you’re smiling. Has anyone ever asked what’s wrong and nothing be wrong with you but since you aint smiling or laughing so something is wrong? It’s worse for a big fella so you better smile or else. If this has happened and you a big fella you might have big man syndrome. So I’m walking with my daughter and outta nowhere my daughter says this shit:

Morgan: ‘Daddy why you don’t smile? Why you so boring? You don’t ever have no fun you aint fun’

Me: What you say yo??? (My face was screwed up like bobby brown at this point)

Morgan: (thinking aww shit I might have fucked up but I got ma dukes right here so I’m good)…. “Daddy why you not smiling…aww never mind”

Quianna: Naw Morgan don’t be scared say what you gotta say. See Sonny kids be knowing man. She is speaking that truth. Tell him Morgan. Read him Morgan read him (add 3 snaps)

Now, Morgan getting gassed up like Sunoco all laughing and real confident. Quianna laughing all hard. Morgan laughing all crazy and I’m going through mad scenarios in my head. I realize at times I can be ruthless with my words so I got to be wiser when I shoot my verbal ammunition and since I felt blindsided  I felt the need to go Jon Snow on both these people. Should I go James Evans and say, “I’m boring huh. See how boring I am when you don’t have no food in the fridge or no cable in the house or no fresh shoes I bet you aint saying I’m boring then”? Should I go Julius from Everybody Hates Chris and say, “that’s 48 cents worth of breath right there I suggest you be quiet”. See I think my wife giving Morgan that courage upped the ante and deep down I know she was joking (I think she was but since I aint know for sure I still need to proceed with caution). I chose another option and laughed it off and said, ‘yo Morgan wilin for real. She dummin out on the big fella’ and then went silent the whole time I was in the mall.

I took the silent approach because honestly I didn’t know how to answer the question without coming off mean and with me being 6’0 damn near 330 that would cause a scene so let me chill. By me going silent it allowed me to decompress and think damn am I really boring hell no not Sonny Brasco but to Morgan, Reid and Hannah I’m dad so she might have a point. I think what made it worse was every 5 minutes Quianna asking me ‘you mad or nah’ and snickering. In all actuality I was just prepared to eat that one and move on but when Morgan said, ‘why you can’t be like mom’ that when I was like fuck it, it’s go time.

Me: Why I can’t be like Mom? What does that mean yo? Morgan you say I’m boring right. Give me an example because you buggin talking to me like that. (I think Morgan was looking at me transform to the angry yo from Inside Out and thought is this what happens when Keeping it Real goes Wrong because if it is I don’t like this)

Morgan: I mean dad you not smiling like you not happy. Aren’t you happy with me? Don’t we make me happy?

Me: (See how she tried to flip it on me real quick. She flipped it like Simone from the Olympics. My kids are the real sour patch kids like how I am supposed to respond to some shit like that. Well played Morgan well played) Of course I’m happy so let’s get to the bottom of this so you don’t say nothing crazy like to me no more yo.

I know I know she’s only 7 but this is how I talk.

Morgan: I mean you laugh on vacation or when we watching movies or when we together so when you weren’t laughing I just thought you were mad. Maybe I shouldn’t said boring what I mean was mad’

Me: I’m good yo just chillin for real aint nothing serious. But you gotta make sure you know what you saying before you say it because you may not like my response next time.

Morgan: ok dad. (Then we do a handshake and we back to normal shit)

I wonder if I gave Morgan energy that just threw her synergy off and she was like yo from Belly when he was like…’I don’t like that shit…naw I don’t like shit’. I have to realize that my kids is watching my every move even when I was just chillin and the wild part this is just the beginning. I’m not looking forward to her getting older and there’s still Hannah. Come on man-Cris Carter voice.

 

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And your 2020 USA Basketball Team consist of….

grantland

 

“And like Magic I’m starting to believe y’all dudes ain’t that sick/ Might see ya boy scooping up a bird to get knowledge/ Number one draft pick and I skipped college/ Snakes in the trenches I peep those, get injured/ End up like Grant Hill on the bench in your street clothes”- Joe Budden, NBA

I know  the Olympics aren’t for another 4 years but USA basketball has been dominating since 1992 and the introduction of the Dream Team. When you look at the lineup and see all the hall of famers and then there’s Christian Laettner. From him to be one of the arguably one of the greatest college basketball players of all time and was just an afterthought on this team. 2004 needed to happen because it made us realize that 6 point guards and no rebounding can catch you some L’s like Terrence Williams staying in bounds. After USA won the gold medal in the 2016 Olympics, I wonder what would happen if we sent basketball players from fictional movies for the 2020 Olympics. Would be your starting 5? Who would make the team and who wouldn’t?

Of course there are many different lineups that can be selected from the pool of players but I tried to not overload my team from the movie Blue Chips. Also, I’m picking fictional characters based off of the movie not the actual person or player because we all know if you had MJ, Shaq and Penny you could throw 2 middle schoolers from the movie Rebound and still win the gold medal.

Here’s a list of the players that would be invited to try out for the 2020 USA Basketball Team:

  1. Kyle Lee Watson- Above the Rim
  2. Antoine Tyler- The Sixth Man
  3. Sidney Dean- White Men Can’t Jump
  4. Tom Shepherd- Above the Rim
  5. Scott Wolf- Teen Wolf (only as the wolf though, as a white kid he can chill)
  6. Neon Boudeaux-Blue Chips
  7. Jesus Shuttlesworth- He Got Game
  8. Shorty- Sunset Park
  9. Kenny Tyler- The Sixth Man
  10. Quincy McCall- Love and Basketball
  11. Clarence Withers- Semi-Pro
  12. Billy Hoyle- White Men Can’t Jump
  13. Butch McRae- Blue Chips
  14. Saleh- The air up there
  15. Jamal Jeffries- Juwanna Mann
  16. Jackie Moon- Semi-Pro
  17. Uncle Drew-commercial
  18. Uncle Wes-commercial
  19. Calvin Cambridge- Like Mike
  20. Ricky Roe- Blue Chips
  21. Scott McKnight- Just Wright
  22. Stacy Patton- Eddie
  23. Jamal Wallace-Finding Forrester

Picking a starting 5 for this team will be difficult because you have a lot of players that can flat out ball and we still need the best of the best because other countries is still gunning from the gold medal and we can’t let that happen.

My starting 5:

PG-Kyle Lee Watson

SG- Jesus Shuttlesworth

SF- Tom Shepherd

PF- Saleh

C- Neon Boudeaux

I know you can substitute any one of those players and still have a dominant lineup but this is who I am sending out there to represent the United States of Fake America since this is a fake lineup. Rounding out the rest of the roster was tougher than coming up with the starting 5. Truth be told my team is going to be led by guard play and with the proper coaching I just have to hope for the best.

The 2020 USA Basketball Team

PG’s: Kyle Lee Watson, Butch McRae, Shorty, Scott Wolf (the wolf edition)

SG’s: Jesus Shuttlesworth, Sidney Deane, Billy Hoyle, Antoine Tyler, Quincy McCall

SF: Tom Shepherd, Stacy Patton, Clarence Withers

PF: Saleh, Uncle Wes

C: Neon Boudeaux

My coaching staff for this team is:

Head Coach: Eddie Franklin (Eddie)

Assistant coach: Ken Carter (Coach Carter), Pete Bell (Blue Chips), Ray McCormack (Rebound)

Trainer: Mr. Miyuagi (Fuck it why not)

Who is your starting 5? Who makes the squad? Who doesn’t? Do you go a different route and cast the whole monstars squad after they got their powers? What about bugs or Lola bunny? What about John Tucker? Space Man, Butta Man you name it there are various lineups you can create so let’s have fun and send us some fictional teams to the Olympics.

 

 

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First things First

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“First things first I poppa….”-Biggie Smalls

In life there will be always be a first at something whether it’s the first kiss, first child, first job, first car and the list goes on and on. With me having 3 children I have to deal with a lot of first and lo and behold we got a first day of school. Well Hannah has a few years to go before school but Reid and Morgan can’t say the same. First things first let’s get to the heir apparent, Young Reid. Reid is currently in a 2-4 year old day care center but on Monday we went to the upstairs classroom, which is one step closer to going to school. It might be a small step but I have to celebrate every accomplishment with my children especially my son because he is the last Grayson unless God decides to bless up with another boy but only time will tell.

Every morning before I get Reid out of the car I have a routine to get him excited for school.

Me: Are yooooooouuuuuu ready?

Reid: laughs yea daddy

Me: Are yooooouuuuu ready?

Reid and Hannah: laughs

Then we go into the school and he speaks to the fish, the owner then the other kids in the daycare. That’s the normal routine but yesterday was different. Yesterday was the first day with his new classroom and new teacher.

Here’s my interaction with his new teacher:

Me: Good morning

Teacher: good morning dad. Does Reid have on a pull up?

Me: Yea why what’s up?

Teacher: well big homie he in the big boy class now we don’t do pullups ova here yo. Make sure he got underwear from now on big homie.

Me: aight you got it yo. Ok Reid have a good day. Give me a high five

So I pick up Reid from school that day and not only did he have his same shorts but same underwear which means he didn’t pee on himself the whole day. This is a great moment in parenting history.

Now on to my oldest kid Morgan who will start second grade this year. She continues to amaze me everyday. She goes to one of those non air-conditioned school and it’s going to be 95 degrees and up so school should be closed but it’s not. I was having a conversation with her the day before and I asked her how she’s feeling about going to school.

Me: ay Morgan you ready for school tomorrow?

Morgan: No

Me: Why not?

Morgan: I’m nervous….

Me: Why are you nervous?

Morgan: Because what if people don’t think I’m smart. I don’t want people to think I’m not smart

Me: First of all you’re very smart. You are powerful because you believe in God and he will help you through this. For the record your melanin is on 1000, black girls are killing the game right now just look at the Olympics and you will flourish in out here. If anyone tells you otherwise just say ‘Fuck them”

Now I know I just negated my whole speech by ending it with fuck them and in that moment Morgan taught me something. See despite all the good things I said and re assured that she is powerful the only thing she took from that is that I said ‘fuck them’. This is a microcosm of how America operates. I just want to empower her and sometimes I channel the fathers of my past whether real or on TV and I have to be careful but I stand by what I said. It’s like that skit when Kevin Hart said his mother would allow him to cuss his teacher out instead but since I’m not as funny as him it didn’t have the same impact but I think it did and I can only imagine what I’m going to say to Hannah.

Like I said earlier there is always a first for everything and this was just another one of those firsts.

 

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Being an Adult

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When I was younger I asked my mom to buy me some black jeans but she took it upon herself and bought me some hunter green husky jeans with a matching plaid shirt. Bad enough they were hunter green but for the big husky sign on the back as well dammit man-DJ Envy voice. All day in school kids were yelling ‘ho ho ho green giant” I remember getting in trouble because I threw a haymaker at some kid for teasing me.

Mom: why you throw a punch at somebody

Me: you bought me green husky jeans and they made fun of me

Mom: what you don’t like them

Me: not really I don’t know if it’s because it’s green or husky or both

Mom: when you get old enough you buy your own clothes but until then go in your room before I whip ya ass.

Sitting at my desk there was a 13 year old Sonny writing in his journal, “I can’t wait to be an adult. Man I can buy my own clothes. I can do whatever I want. Aint no bedtime for the big fella” Almost 20 years later I must admit that was the dumbest shit I ever wrote. As I get older I have to face the reality that I am an adult and if you don’t believe me here are some truth moments to let you know that you are an adult:

  1. There is only 1 life…you will face trials and tribulations but there are also triumphs and victories.

Life is what you make it. Sometimes it’s easy as playing a game on the rookie level and sometimes it’s as hard as defending cops who kill innocent people but nevertheless you deal with what comes and trust that help is on the way.

  1. Work hard, play hard

We go to work. We work 40-60 hours a week, every week for about 50 weeks a year so yeah take a break and relax. Can’t lie this is hard for me because I measure my adult skills by providing for my wife and kids and if I don’t feel like I’m working hard enough I turn into Julius from Everybody Hates Chris. It wasn’t until my recent vacation with my wife that I realized doing nothing for a few days is essential. But back to work so I can have more fun.

  1. When you make a mistake, own that shit, accept that shit, learn from that shit and don’t do that shit again

Look we are all humans and we are going to make mistakes. Sometimes we don’t realize it’s a mistake until someone confronts you. For example my wife and I were cracking jokes on each other when I said your fingers look like mozzarella sticks and then she responds with ‘Fuck you yo’. I thought we were joking but apparently that was offensive. Of course I’m apologetic because I didn’t mean to hurt her feelings. I didn’t say ‘well you said I look like Freddie Jackson so I went for the jugular’. I don’t make excuses just admit I was wrong and move on.

  1. Taking photos become hard as shit

Have you ever been asked to take a photo and the person say only take a pic of face only nothing else? I’m not JcPenney or Segall Majestic or Olan Mills or that creep that’s trying to build a fake portfolio but really he’s taking pictures of women for whatever reason. I’m doing you a favor just let me take the picture. On the other hand I understand because I don’t like taking side profiles because I look like Kung Fu Panda with a beard from the side.

  1. Pay your fare

“If you pay like you weigh then you can stay baby”- Jadakiss. Man listen it doesn’t matter how much money you make you gonna pay your fare. You gotta pay for health insurance, social security and of course Uncle Sam. Like my aunt from Buffalo would say, “I’m the biggest boss that you seen thus far, don’t pay me you sleep in the car, that’s why I want another drink at the bar”. Looking at your pay stub and you go through different emotions. One emotion is filled with hell yeah I got some money then I look my bill spreadsheet and I’m like shit I’m broke as fuck.

  1. Social media aint reality

We are grown-ups. Nothing wrong with utilizing social media but you must know your limitations. Don’t fuck up a paycheck because you talking shit about your job on Facebook. Social media isn’t real life. Have you seen a broke person? Hell no. Everybody got money until you go to a restaurant then they pull out a calculator for the tip. It’s a falsehood and govern yourself accordingly.

  1. Stop trying to live your second childhood

You got responsibilities now homie. Now is not the time to try to be somebody that you’re not. For example if you 30 and up with a decent job now is not the time to want to be a drug dealer. Leave that ounce a weed alone and stack checks. Now is not the time to become Griselda Blanco or Pablo Escobar. Hit the snooze button on your alarm clock and then rush ya ass to work. If you aint about that life don’t wait until you have mouths to feed to start.

  1. Success is all about perception

Everybody views success differently. For some success is paying all your bills on time even if that means you’re dead broke for a week while others views success by how many places they can travel too. Look you determined your own success don’t let anyone else determine that for you. *cues key alert from DJ Khaled*

  1. Some people will always be assholes

It doesn’t matter how much good is happening in their lives they only focus on the bad. These people get on my last damn nerve. Maybe because I’ve been through some shit the past few years I look at things differently but some people will always be an asshole and if that’s you stay away from me because I aint got time for the fuck shit.

  1. Money will not solve your problems

This one is a tough one for me because when the money isn’t right by my standards my attitude changes. See I was taught by my dad that a man must provide for his family even if that means doing something illegal. Working multiple jobs isn’t a problem for me but with the extra money I would be sacrificing time with my kids. The hardest part about this topic is the fine line you have to draw between making money vs. spending time with family. Money can solve an immediate issue but there are some things money can’t buy.

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Wanted…PG for Sale

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Wanted: Top 5 Point Guard for Sale

OKC featured Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Serge Ibaka at one point in time and were just a few games shy from winning the NBA Championship. Now the only one left is Russell Westbrook. If you are Sam Presti, GM of the Oklahoma City Thunder what are you feeling? Is this a punch from Mike Tyson to the gut? Is this just the beginning of the next challenge? Are you ready to jump like Tommen from Game of Thrones? You traded James Harden and came with Steven Adams and Mitch McGary. You traded Serge Ibaka for Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis and Erysan Illavosa. Now Kevin Durant left and you got nothing for that so the last thing that OKC should do is trade Russell Westbrook.

The late great Jerry Buss arguably one of the greatest owners in all of sports once told a frustrated Kobe in 2004, “you’re a 5 karat diamond I can’t trade you for 5 one karat diamonds” Is this same thought process Sam Presti is using with respect to trading Russell Westbrook. Russell Westbrook is a Top 5 player in the league and will garner a lot of assets back to OKC which will then ease the transition of a rebuild. Man oh man the talent they had deserves an ESPN 30 for 30 ASAP. Kevin Durant has gone to the Warriors and with Westbrook being a free agent next summer I doubt he will stay in OKC. So you might as well get as much as you can now for him. The sooner the better because the market right now is booming with this new salary cap but the closer you get to the trade deadline the smaller the market becomes. Sure, OKC can offer Westbrook an extension but I don’t see him signing that therefore the next move is to trade him. Let’s not forget Russell Westbrook did lead OKC to the playoffs while KD was hurt so it’s not like OKC will be at the bottom of the barrel but since the West is so stacked any change creates a domino effect. If I’m Sam Presti I would want to trade Westbrook now because I don’t want to be the guy known for letting two of the Top 5 players in the league leave my team and I don’t get anything in return. If you wait until the season starts then the contracts becomes locked in which means the money each team has will be different and could shrink the trade market very quickly.

If I’m Sam Presti, I’m contacting three teams expeditiously: Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. Each of these teams has young talent and draft picks that could warrant trading Russell Westbrook.

Here are three trade scenarios:

  1. Thunder/76ers:

Thunder: Ben Simmons, Jahlil Okafor and Timothe Luwawau, 2018 first and second round pick

76ers: Russell Westbrook, Dion Waiters, Ersan Illaysova

This would be tough because Simmons has the potential to be a superstar. Shit he almost had a triple double in his first summer league game but if you want Westbrook you gonna have to pay. Don’t act it would be the first time a number one pick gets traded before they play their first game.

Thunder/Celtics:

Thunder: Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley 2 first round picks not owned by the Brooklyn Nets

Celtics: Russell Westbrook

With the addition of Al Horford, Boston has become a dangerous team in the East but they still that piece that can possibly beat Cleveland in the playoffs. Al Horford with Russell Westbrook, Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart and other pieces can definitely help them.

  1. Thunder/ Lakers

Thunder: D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram, 2018 first round pick

Lakers: Russell Westbrook

Russell is from LA. LA needs star power. Case closed. According to my brother, he would trade everybody even Jim Buss and Mitch Kuchpek for Westbrook.

Other teams that could spark OKC’s interest: Knicks and Wizards

  1. Thunder/Knicks

Thunder: Derrick Rose, Kristaps Porzinigis

Knicks: Victor Oladipo and Russell Westbrook

This is a real chin hair grabber because Porzinigis has no ceiling. Like he could be better than Patrick Ewing but then again if you can acquire a guard who can have a bigger impact than Walt Frazier in the mecca of basketball what would you choose? Then again if Derrick Rose or Brandon Jennings or both ball out in NYC would you really need Westbrook then because either way big fella is gonna flourish regardless.

  1. Thunder/Wizards

Thunder: John Wall, Kelly Oubre, first round pick

Wizards: Westbrook and Enes Kanter

If you gonna lose a top PG then you have to gain another one in return correct. If I’m Ernie Grunfeld you might as well swing for the fences because you can be fired at any minute. Enes Kanter is better than both of your current bigs so you would be upgrading at two positions with one move.

The first three teams can give him the most money next year especially if you’re the Lakers because he’s from LA so that could be a match made in heaven. This isn’t the first time this happened and it won’t be the last. This occurs in 2011 when Carmelo Anthony was traded from the Nuggets to the Knicks for everyone you can think of. Denver won 57 games that season after trading Carmelo so anything is possible if they decide to trade Westbrook. On the other hand, the longer you wait the smaller the market becomes which means Sam Presti can’t demand as much as he can now. Just make sure if you trade Westbrook you get valuable assets who can contribute immediately because you don’t want to be known as the guy who let Serge Ibaka, James Harden, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and now you become a basement dweller. Let the phone calls begin. Is it worth the risk who knows but it’s a risk you have to take.

 

 

 

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Like Father, Like Son

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“All these adults around and they yell Sonny come get him/ Quiet as kept doctors think he may have autism”- Sonny

As you should know by now that I am a father of 3 young kids with my oldest being 7 and my youngest just turning 2 but today I’m focusing on my son Reid who is 3 and a half years old. My son Reid saved my life and family in many ways because before him, I was the last Grayson in my family and now the Grayson can live as long as the cops and other people allowed it to live on. By no means am I devaluing my 2 daughters, Morgan and Hannah but to have the opportunity to raise a boy into a man is one of the most rewarding yet challenging tasks of all time but I’ve been challenged in some way since the beginning so why not add another challenge to my belt. He is the lady killer whether it was the big brown eyes to the curly fro to the long eyelashes (only women say that part though) to his smile and laughter. At the end of all of this I can proudly say that Reid is my son. All my friends were happy that I was having a boy. I can remember Quianna telling me in Shoppers that she might be pregnant and how excited I was. Like I jumped and click my heels together. I think that was the same time an earthquake happened in Baltimore as well is that a coincidence maybe and if so my bad.

I will never forget how Reid was born in the first place. It was a regular appointment for Quianna and she had her whole day planned out. She was going to the doctor then grabs a McDonalds Steak, egg and cheese meal then takes a nap. After the nap go to Bowie to meet up with Shanice and turn in some books at the Bowie bookstore and then another nap then another meal. That’s one hell of a plan. But at the doctor’s appointment they said Reid wasn’t moving. Apparently, he was stuck because he couldn’t move anymore and they didn’t want to risk any problems so on December 17th instead of December 26th he was born into the world with a head full of hair and bronze skin.

Reid is a normal kid and did normal kid shit and he could do nothing wrong. It wasn’t until his first birthday when things began to change starting with his first seizure. I’ve never seen that before and I was shook. I mean it was fever induced but for it happen 2 more times within a year. I was on Google faithfully which is a huge mistake because I googled a headache and the next thing you know it says symptom could lead to brain exploding so fuck this won’t be doing that anymore.  Every now and then Quianna would ask me if I thought something was wrong with Reid and I would answer with ‘nah yo stop trippin’. But mothers be knowing for real and to hear that just rang the alarm but I kept hitting the snooze button because I wasn’t even trying to think about no shit like that. As he got older he was so fascinated with Vinko the Dancing Bear and it just kept growing and growing until one night he didn’t want to go to sleep and all he kept saying was Vinko and it brought me and Quianna to tears because we live in society where labels mean everything and no matter what there is always someone trying to create a label. See I’m his father and I didn’t want my son as a target of any kind and I damn sure didn’t want it to start at such an early age. I brought these concerns to my mom and dad and then the news they told me had me slumped like a cup full of lean. Apparently there was a point in time where doctors thought I would have a mental disability. I was about 2 years old failed some test doctors tried to label me and moms was like ‘fuck that my son isn’t mentally challenged we are going to work this shit out what resources are available”. I didn’t know that I went to 5 elementary schools before the 3rd grade and was almost kicked out of 2 of them for behavior issues. There was one incident where a kid was bothering and I hit him with a chair and knocked out a couple of teeth so of course that’s not going to fly in these streets. Doctors made the suggestion that I should be in smaller classrooms and I guessed that worked because from the age of 7 until college I was in the Gifted and Talented Program in the Baltimore school system and now I have 2 degrees from established college with the emphasis on Engineering.

Fast forward twenty some years later, is this deja-vu all over again and now the student becomes the teacher. Reid’s speech isn’t as good as I would like so we reached out to Infants and Toddlers and did an initial evaluation and they had their concerns but the prognosis was very promising. See he has some strengths but he has some weaknesses. For example when he was one and got his first hair cut he didn’t move it was like the barber was sculpting a statue; but now he has some moments where I’m looking at him and my eyes are telling him, ‘son we looking bad as a unit-Kevin hart voice’. He doesn’t like his face washed or hair brushed but that could be normal kid shit and when the father is heavy handed maybe just maybe he wouldn’t like that shit either. There were numerous appointments with various professionals and they all came up with the same conclusion; there isn’t enough to say yes to autism but it isn’t enough to say no either. It was getting frustrating because there was no definitive answer so this cloud of mystery was over my head and consistently eating at me. Why my son man why anybody’s kid for that matter but I reminded of the mighty God we serve and realize that I’m just another soldier in the field of battle and my Commander hasn’t failed me yet so why would he do that now. One of the recommendations they implemented was a teacher visiting him at daycare once a week. I was unemployed at the time so I was able to go to all these appointments which could have been a blessing in disguise because now I see firsthand what the teachers are doing while learning techniques I can use at home. He was only 18 months old at the time but it wasn’t until we were at church when all these feelings came back up again.

He is in church school with the young kids his age and of course he has so much energy therefore he’s gonna run. But we have a lot of educators so they pick up on these things so after church she went and sat Quianna and expressed her concerns and when she told me in the car all I can do is break down man. I haven’t cried this much in my life but when it comes to my kids especially my son my emotions take over. It was like a punch in the gut because in my mind I’m like ‘damn yo didn’t we just do this shit 18 months ago now you wanna do it again’. I don’t want to keep subjecting him  to all these tests while they poked and prod at him like he’s an animal but then again I want to know what’s up with my boy so I can prepare him as best as humanly possible. I know there will be a time when I won’t be on this Earth to physically protect him and I know he will be on his own but until that day comes I want him to be as skilled as everyone put together. I don’t want any limitations put on my son. After lots of prayer and deep conversations with my wife we began the process of getting him tested again. I keep telling myself this is for the better so don’t let anything discourage you. Recently, we began this journey at Kennedy Krieger and it just brought me back to memory lane. I was so nervous sitting on pins and needles because one bad test and your kid is labeled forever (squintz voice from the Sandlot). In my opinion these assessments are entirely too long like we were in there for 3 hours and by hour 2 he was done. At first I was mad at him but then I began to think, shit I’m a grown man and after 3 hours of non-stop work I’m done too. After the evaluation she brings up back in the room and guess what….inconclusive results so back to square one but this time we have a meeting with the medical director and that’s when the diagnosis will be given

That day has arrived and I’m stressed. I’m nervous yet relieved at the same time because I just want my boy to be ok and if there is something wrong where are the resources because he will still have every chance every other kid has. She is a black woman which is refreshing and she does her question asking phase and it’s like a timer is set because around hour number 2 he starts bugging again and not answering any questions. In my mind I’m like ‘come on yo you buggin right now in front of the director though’, but what I didn’t realize is that my parental instincts were taking over because I would rather this happen to me instead of him. Anything bad that’s gonna happen I want it to happen to me instead of my son but Quianna held my hand and whispered it will be ok and from that moment I was ok. It was like God spoke to me through her and my whole aura went back to being even-keel. The evaluation is over and she says, “I don’t want to put a false label on this young man because he is the future and he has a chance to be great. There are some strengths but there are some weaknesses so I’m going to defer any diagnosis for one year but I strongly recommend speech and behavior therapy. As a matter of fact I will write the referral now.” See this diagnosis was different than the others. Sure they said the same thing but the conviction in her voice made it reassuring that if you do this he will be ok. In my heart I believe God was speaking to me again but this time using the medical director. It was like HE was giving us the blueprint and if we follow Him everything will be alright all we have to do is trust Him. There was a moment where I took Reid out and put him in the car but when the medical doctor and Quianna spoke it was another reassuring moment.

Medical director: “I’m a mother and I’m a doctor and with all the knowledge I have the one piece of advice I have for you is that there is only one true doctor and you know who He is so remain faithful”

Quianna: “I do know and I will do just that”

That exchange was something from a movie but when you get 2 mothers together powerful moments of candor and genuine expression begin to hit its zenith. We are on to the next step of this journey and I can’t help to think that I and Reid are both characters in the Inside Out movie (which is his favorite by the way go figure) but the emotions that we both go through are uncanny. I love you son and I pray for you and your well-being every day and hopefully I can see you flourish but son we are living in a wicked world and nothing is promised anymore. I will do the best I can but Trust in the Lord with your whole heart and never lean on your own understanding.

I hope this inspires someone because you are not alone. Who knows you may have resources that I’m not aware about. We are in this together and since it takes a village to raise a child let the village people unite. It’s imperative that we unite now because he as well as all of us are at risk to be hunted like an animal which is what most of the majority thinks of us anyway. You look at my son and you can’t tell nothing is wrong with him so if I can’t and I’m his father imagine what these other people are going to think. Son until my last breath you will be protected and even after that you will be protected even more because as an angel I would be more protective than I am now and that’s a scary sight. Save our kids save our lives.

Love you son…

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Once….twice….three times a baby

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I am getting into the groove of having two children. Let me be the first to tell you going from 2 to 3 kids is easy compared to going from 1 to 2 kids. Just throw the 3rd kid in there and let them fend for themselves because mommy and daddy need a nap. Morgan was about 4 and Reid was about 9 months so I’m finally getting adjusted and Morgan is becoming more self-sufficient. Don’t get me wrong she aint fixing her own meals or anything but she can at least wipe her own ass. Don’t sleep wiping your own ass can save you a lot of embarrassment because that brown streak just aint cool my man.

So one day we are at church and the pastor is making her announcements and she says 3 of the church members and of course everybody looking at us and I’m like naw nigga it’s your turn. The church turned into a game of Clue trying to find out who was pregnant. A couple of my co-workers who were also members of the church so even at work we are playing the guessing game about who’s pregnant. Since it aint us, I’m introducing my wife to all types of liquor like yak, Patron you know the good shit not the bull shit. Weeks go by and out of the blue my wife says her mouth hurts and she’s going to the dentist. While she was at the dentist they ask about her last cycle and my wife like ‘shit I don’t know’. I guess because they were giving her medicine they have to make she ain’t pregnant first which is understandable. They give her the blood test and then the dentist comes back like,

Dentist: ‘yea uhhhh you can’t get this medicine today’

Quianna: ‘why I got insurance’

Dentist: ‘oh I know that but you are pregnant”

Da da daaaaaaaaaaaaaa. The plot thickens. So come to find out my wife is pregnant again and I’m about to be a father again. At my job we are playing the guessing game and I was like, ‘watch it be you Brother’ and his response was ‘yea right’. 5 minutes later I get a call from Quianna. I’m thinking she’s about to update me on her dentist visit and how she needs all the Coldstone, Progresso Soup and aspirin because her mouth hurt.

Sonny: “what’s up baby?”

Quianna: “I’m ok. The dentist visit was a flop”

Sonny: ‘why was it a flop?’

Quianna: ‘because I’m pregnant’

Sonny: ‘Man let me call you back…. Click’

Now before you think I was being rude. I just wanted some privacy because as I’m on the phone with her, my co-worker is instant messaging me asking how Quianna was doing and I didn’t want to tell her yet. I just hope Quianna didn’t hop in her GroupMe like ‘this nigga Sonny aint shit”. But I called her back and we talked and from there the excitement was in the air. For the record, I did look at the pastor with the side eye like how you know that shit and we didn’t know that shit…man she’s good.

I’m praying for another boy but deep down as long as the baby is healthy that’s all that matters. Choosing another doctor another hospital all the nuances in order for Quianna and I to have a piece of mind. Going to the doctor and taking all the pre-natal packets because my baby is going to be healthy and strong believe that shit. As usual, doctors want to talk about my wife weight which really gets on my nerves but I’m used to it and we just laugh because everybody is made differently so just chill and don’t fuck up.

Everything is going well until one appointment the doctors comes to us and says her stomach isn’t growing as fast as we would like which could create a small baby. See we didn’t have any problems with the other 2 kids because pre-gestational diabetes so now I’m on the edge of my seats like ‘what you talking about Willis’. After many questions and Google searches he said this is one of those scenarios we need to constantly monitor but as long as she goes full-term she will be fine plus being out of the stomach is better than inside if this doesn’t get any better. So that’s a sigh of relief and back to being my playful self.

Once again another appointment nothing out the ordinary just taking some blood making sure everybody is ok. Alright man you found the vein let’s get to work so I can get home and get something to eat. As we are waiting for the doctor, she comes into the room looking at a folder making all these facial expressions and I’m like what the fuck is that about what she got Tourette’s or something. Tell me something doc. Come to find out Hannah had a 7% chance of having Down Syndrome and we should consider terminating the pregnancy. I made sure I heard her correctly.

Sonny: Doctor you did say 7% correct, not 70%, not 93% but 7% correct

Doctor: Yes…Mr. Grayson

Sonny: oh aight well we keeping it then

Man I can’t lie that shit had me shook doe. I used to work with children and adults who had mental or physical disabilities and a lot of them had Down Syndrome but you never think that it can happen to you until it happens to you. So we ride in silence and as soon as we got home immediately prayed and cried this out. It was like something was just weighing me down because every appointment doctor kept asking ‘do we want the baby’ and deep down I wanted to say ‘yea motherfucker stop asking me that shit’ but I’m 6 feet tall about 315 pounds and I know somebody would of tased me if not worse so I keep my composure. After conversations with the Pastor we just let it go and gave it all to God and prepared for whatever happens.

Now 2 years later my daughter Hannah is by far the comedian out of the three kids and in the future gives me problems because she is so cute and is filled of laughter. She’s the cool kid that can be the sour patch but then sing a song and say I love you da da and then I forgot why I was mad in the first place. I love you Hannah. Reid definitely loves you Hannah so all you young 2 year olds just know she got an older brother with a temper and a father who is big as shit. I can’t wait to see what life has in store for you and to think the doctor wanted us to get rid of you. What was she thinking? Shit I don’t know either Hannah. Juice boxes, bubbles and some fruit snacks on me kid. Happy birthday Hannah Grayson

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