Although the name of this blog might suggest that I am a personal chef for men with 'little parts'...dear reader, on the contrary. That's not to say that I haven't had my experience with tiny men with large egos and fancy cars! Oh how the pool of top shelf men seemed to shrink as a single mom! Sigh. Ironically, I ended up cooking for a couple of not so top shelf men in my past. I mean, haven't we all been taught that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach? I most definitely am guilty of slaving over a stove for the love of a man's heart. What I found was that I got really good at prepping a meal. Not so good at choosing the right partner. Alas, in this case, the little men that I speak of dear friend are my two magnificent sons. They are my little men. My everything. I am a single mother. Actress. Writer. Food lover. But these days in addition to chauffeur, house keeper, doctor, teacher, and therapist raising two active boys...I'm a home cook. I feel like I'm literally in the kitchen all of the time! I mean, they just don't stop eating! Don't get me wrong. We have to actually function here in this busy household. There are a lot of days that I'm ordering out or heating up frozen pizza with the best of them. But every few days, I do feel inspired to cook for my little men. It is the most satisfying thing to watch them eat. Not quite sure what that is. Probably some weird freudian thing I'm sure. Mostly I'm just trying to get through the day without losing my goo. That is to say that being a mom is tough stuff. Being a single mom is not for the weak. Being a single mom doing it 100% alone is for the supernatural. Although I have been called a "super mom", I do not actually have supernatural powers. Yes, I am strong. The raising of two African American boys in this world requires me to be. But there is a level of exhaustion and frustration that seems to overtake my body on a daily basis. It causes me to eventually 'lose my goo'. It's something that I'm working on. Don't judge me. There are days when I shine bright like a diamond. There are days when I wonder if this really is a two person job.
I married in my twenties. I was young. I was not in love but the brutal and honest truth was that I got pregnant with a man that I barely knew. We were dating and having fun. The idea and stigma of single black mom terrified me to my core. So we got married on a rainy Monday afternoon before the baby was showing and tried to make the best of it. I stayed married for 7 years knowing that he wasn't the one but he was the father to my sons and that was that. When I finally gained the courage to admit to myself and to him that I wanted a divorce, it felt like the most freeing time of my life. I had just booked my first series regular on "Being Erica" and I was on top of the world. However, the beginnings of our separation was horrible. I don't think I need to go into how ugly the beginnings of divorce can be. It got so bad that he needed to take some time away to be with his family in New York. We were living in Toronto at the time. He said that he'd return in a couple of weeks to work out this "co-parenting thing". He never returned. I think my gut told me that he wasn't coming back. He left early morning before I woke up. Lestat was up and when he and Basquiat crawled into my bed later that morning, I asked them the only question that I could in our silence. "Do you guys want pancakes or waffles?" I guess that is when my obsession with cooking for little men began. It was sort of my way of compensating for his absence. I started baking bread every week. Kneading and beating out my anger and sadness. It helped. Trying new recipes for the kids. I even ventured into gluten free, vegan, raw-vegan, and everything else under the sun. Just wanted to give them some sort of comfort in the midst of daddy being gone. He called every now and then but for the most part, it was just me and the boys. It's been that way ever since. While I don't bake bread every week anymore, I still love to cook at home. Other than being on set or on stage, one of my favorite places to be is in the kitchen. I come from a family of amazing cooks. My brother is a chef in Toronto, Ontario. My dad was a health food guru before it was cool. My mother's cooking still blows us all out of the water.
I wouldn't dare say that I'm special or any different from any other parent that loves their kids. It's single motherhood. Not rocket science. In the words of my father, "You're not the first and you certainly won't be the last". I am learning as I go. For the most part I'm just winging it here. I've had some fortunate and amazing opportunities in this journey thus far. Crazy relationships. Moved my kids around from New York to LA to Toronto and back again. Some significant financial gains and some down right broke as a joke times in my life. All while loving my kids and cooking for them along the way. This blog was created out of that. It's not just for single parents. It's for anybody that wants to try some recipes, connect, and be inspired. I hope to share some of those experiences with you. I promise to keep it honest and true. I will always have a special place in my heart for single moms. Remember, if anyone tries to tell you that you're a super hero....you're not. You're a damn mom. And you're pretty freaking amazing. Happy cooking.