November Gratitude Shorts, Day 22 (Late again!)
I give thanks for my friend Yakini.
Yakini ran the home daycare where both of my children spent their first two years. She and her family are our extended family, and boy, are we lucky. Grandma, Yakini, her husband Coffey, and their kids all participated in the care of the babies and toddlers, and all loved them.
In the beginning I called twice a day to check up, because my son had severe food allergies and eczema. He would wound himself scratching every day after his nap. I had to make mitts that buttoned to his onesie sleeves, that the daycare had to put on and take off every day. One woman who worked at the daycare finally told me, “We take good care of your son.” I said I know, I just worry. She said, “I know you worry, but you need to get a grip!”
My husband got nervous that the daycare would fire us for my high maintenance nagging. My mouth went dry when Yakini called that night to talk. This is it, I thought, we have to find a new place. But she didn’t fire us. She said she called to validate my behavior. She wanted to know what I needed to be free from worry and trust that my kid would be okay in her care. A sacred contract, she called it. We talked only a few minutes and I never had to check up again. That was over ten years ago.
Since then I have watched Yakini raise her own two children with high expectations, fierce love, and unwavering discipline. She does it all leading by example first. She studies the literature in child development, she knows the science of relationships. And then she puts all that information through her own core values filter, and determines for herself whether the expert opinions apply to her family. And if not, she keeps seeking, stays on the path, follows what she knows to be right, always guided by love first.
She posted a video of President Obama’s 11 ‘blackest moments’ on her Facebook page recently. Yakini and her family are black. And I have always felt her to be a sister. I shared the video and wrote, “Thank you for sharing, Yakini!! I’m not black, have no idea what it means to be black. But I love every one of these moments. I think that means something good.”
I think it simply means that I have had the privilege of knowing an incredible woman from an incredible family, to whom I relate because we share values and ideals about our world. Lucky me.