10 Signs That Your Parents Are Proud Jamaicans

10 Signs That Your Parents Are Proud Jamaicans

"LORD 'A MERCYYYYYYYY"
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Here are 10 simple signs that your parents indeed might be Jamaican.

GWAN NOW.

1. The belt

The belt is a universal item of discipline that allows the child of a parent to understand that there are consequences for wrong actions. The consequences are pretty straightforward. You either get grounded, receive the belt, or both. The pain, the sheer brutal pain—you will never forget and it will mold you in ways you’d never imagine.

2. “LORD ‘A MERCYYYYYYYY”

When you hear a Jamaican quote this phrase, then you, my friend, are in for some interesting news. Jamaicans can have numerous meanings for this. They're tired, or angry, or laughing, or concerned, or all of the above.

3. Men learn ALL of the basic house chores


At least in my Jamaican household, the men of the house at least have an idea of how to do all of the basic house chores. Laundry, Ironing, doing dishes, cooking, folding clothes, taking out the garbage, and other appliances are done by EVERYONE in the house, and not left to just one sex.

4. Football (Soccer)

Soccer (called football in Jamaica and virtually everywhere outside the US) is considered one of Jamaica’s most popular sports. If you have Jamaican parents, a soccer game will be playing on your TV more often than not.

5. Curry goat

The sacred gem of the kitchen has a smell so strong that it can travel throughout all floors of your home. The spicy and delicious curry goat will fill your stomach very well and will make you long for more.

6. Track and field (World Championships and Olympics)

Jamaica has been known to produce some of the best sprinters in history, including Usain Bolt. When the Olympics are on, the only event that matters to your Jamaican parents are the 100m final.

7. The “report card talk”


Education really matters to your Jamaican parents, as they come from one of the poorest nations in the Caribbean. They want you to take advantage of the incredible education opportunities that they themselves never had. The “report card talk” is one of the scariest conversations to have as a Jamaican child. Anything lower than a B average will call for serious conversation and evaluation of your social lifestyle. GOOD. LUCK.

8. Friends

Jamaican parents want you to have friends that they can “trust." No marijuana, no clubbing, no long night trips out until 3 AM, no late night parties unless they finally come to terms that you are responsible enough to take care of yourself (Probably never).

9. The 1980s reggae mix

All. The. Time. There is no familiar sound than that of 1980s reggae blasting through the TV speakers of your Jamaican household. From Marley, to Holt, to Augustus Pablo and Beenie Man, 80s reggae had begun to transcend the island and soon reach around the world.

10. They are proud to be from Jamaica

More than anything, they are proud to teach you about their home country and how it had shaped them throughout their lives in hopes for you to become part of their rich culture.

Cover Image Credit: Douglas Clare

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.
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Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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30 Things That Happen To The Kids Without Parents

Last-minute realizations, avoidable experiences, and questions you just shouldn't ask people

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I could summarize this entire post in one simple sentence and call it a day. I could choose to deal with my own problems and ignore others' because they don't affect me. I could gloss over the subject and pretend none of it is real. But that wouldn't be fair, mature, or loving of myself or others.

So with that, I don't think there's anything truer I can say besides I know what it's like.

I had little to no interaction with my parents. I lived with my maternal aunt and grandmother and hadn't a clue why. The confusion probably hurt me more than knowing ever would've. Obviously, there are things you just don't tell children. You'll spoil their innocence. Or, they'll understand when they're older. But for kids without parents, it's almost impossible to get it through their heads not to mature so quickly (before it's socially "time"). It's like telling the sun not to rise tomorrow. You just can't.

But I digress. I give a snapshot of my hidden experiences here with the hopes that I help...comfort...give love to someone else. Just letting y'all out there know you're not alone.

1. My entire second grade class asked me where my dad was after I said he "was" something.

I was also the new kid in town at that time. Nice.

2. My third grade teacher excluded me from Mother's Day arts and crafts because she knew I didn't have a mom.

3. A boy in my class asked if I was a robot because I had no parents. Also Batman (how would that work???).

4. Another boy (same class) asked, "Is your dad dead?" in front of the whole class on Father's Day. 

5. When my mom wasn't my chaperone for the Mommy Daughter Dance, a girl noticed and told me I shouldn't have bothered coming.

6. I never saw their faces in the audience at any of my choral concerts growing up.

7. My junior high advisor mentioned it was abnormal that I wasn't living with my parents.

8. An ex-boyfriend told me it was no wonder I was so problematic.

(What with being an "orphan" and all. You know, the usual).

9. I graduated high school with no one in the bleachers cheering for me. 

10. I got looks for bringing my only picture of my parents and I to my graduation ceremony.

11. They didn't get to congratulate me on my first job.

Or the next. Or the next...

12. I never got to tell them I got accepted to my dream college.

13. My mom and I were supposed to get matching tattoos.

14. My parents will never know I left that toxic boyfriend they worried about.

15. I look at drugs, alcohol, and addictions from a completely different angle than other kids my age.

16. I grew up never knowing what true love was.

17. I never got to have "mother-daughter gossip."

18. I never had a male role model in my life.

19. My mom never got to meet my best friends. Just some good-for-nothing boy that broke my heart.

20. I grew up cold toward tragedy. Grieving is hard now. Things just seem to happen.

21. I see parents with their college students now and it never fails to break my heart.

22. I won't have my dad to walk me down the aisle.

23. I won't have my mom to do any girl bonding with.

24. The last image I have of them is the most haunting.

25. I rethink our last conversations all the time and speculate.

26. I see their auras in the world around me. Sometimes it's freaky.

27. I have dreams about them all the time.

Sometimes good. Sometimes bad.

28. I never get to tell them I love them, or hear their voices, or see their faces.

29. My parents will never be grandparents or in-laws.

30. I still have not completed my grieving process. Even after all these years.

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