All posts filed under: Mojo Mama

The Rest of the Parenting Story | TaRessa Stovall

Nothing prepares you for the parenting phase that never ends. In every other stage of parenting—from conception through the milestones that define childhood—we can turn to countless books, blogs, magazines, websites, experts on radio and TV, podcasts, and more to help us navigate unfamiliar terrain. Plus, there are family, friends and sometimes even strangers who freely share advice about everything from teething solutions, weaning and potty training, to first haircuts, handling tantrums and disciplinary techniques. Sure, there are variations but the overall patterns are fairly predictable from the “terrible twos” to the throes of adolescence through the terrifying teens. You muddle through the best you can, holding onto the milestone of high school graduation as the point where you can exhale and feel like you’ve reached a major parenting finish line. Then BAM! They morph into that creature that nobody warned you about, and nothing can fully prepare you for: a young adult. They can drive. They can vote. They can procure a fake ID for alcohol and partying. They can engage in activities—some of …

No Easy Answers: Untangling My Ancestral Web | TaRessa Stovall

When I honor my Ancestors with shoutouts and praisesongs, I always begin with my mother. Then I honor her mother, my Baubie. Move on to Baubie’s mother and father. Then on to Baubie’s father’s mother and father and that’s as far as I know the names to call on that side. Names of Jews (maybe Ashkenazi, maybe Sephardim, maybe a mixture) who fled the pogroms of Russia as children to the frozen state of Minnesota, where they put down roots on the northern side of the Mississippi, learned English and carved out a living in North Minneapolis where the Black people lived. Where my mother grew up with a crush on her elder’s brother’s good-looking tap-dancing Black friend who became my father. When I shout out my father and his parents, whose stories I don’t much know, I ask them to come through my dreams, plant seeds of their journeys so I can better understand the swirl of African, German, and Native American that they contributed to my DNA. My mother was the middle of …