May 26, 2008

It’s been a long time coming, but that glorious day is finally here. After a few frogs, some trolls and a couple of Mr. Right Nows, your shining prince has arrived. He’s kind, attentive and employed. He finishes your sentences and rocks your world. But all is not well in Loveland. Your kids can’t stand him. His parents don’t like you. What’s a happy couple to do?

In From Dusk to Dawn, Ayo and Bilal face a similar situation. Ayo’s grown son has been the only man in his mother’s life for most of his. Kedar is absolutely horrified at the idea of his mother in an intimate relationship with any man other than his late father, let alone a man only twelve years older than himself! Bilal’s father believes that Ayo is unacceptable as wife material.

The easy answer to this dilemma is found in a few well-place words: “I’m grown!” or “mind your own business!” From my completely unscientific survey, it’s not that simple and much easier said than done. Grown kids have (or should have) lives of their own, but the feelings of young children are much more difficult to ignore. Should their emotional well-being come first? "You can always get a man," a woman said after breaking up with the man her nine-year-old hated. One friend ignored the advice of her entire family, and to this day, bitterly regrets that walk down the aisle. Unless you leave town or are content to live in loving isolation, family ties are forever. But just how much should they bind?

Older offspring have lives of their own, but would you allow the feelings of young children to make or break a relationship?

If you’ve been in a similar situation (or not) what’s your advice to a couple walking through the minefield of opinionated family members?

Any other advice? Please feel free to share!

***Niambi Brown Davis is the author of From Dusk to Dawn. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She and her family lived for many years in Washington, DC and for three and a half years, made the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago their home. She has written for Bronze Thrills, True Confessions and Black Romance Magazines. Niambi indulged her passion for sailing and travel by serving as publicist for the Black Boaters Summit and as a member of the National Association of Black Travel Writers. Presently, Niambi writes for Travel Lady Magazine. Her first digital novella was published in January 2008 by Arrow Publications, LLC. Aside from writing and travel, Niambi is an avid reader of historical fiction, and deeply involved in tracing the history of both branches of her family tree. Her day job is running the business of Sand & Silk/Soleful Strut, where she produces private label products for hair and skincare companies as well as her own line of handcrafted soaps, creams and scrubs.

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