Momma, I’m a Big Girl Now

Sabree Primus

Everyone always says “the world does not revolve around you” well I have a different story to tell. Life as the first grandchild, first daughter, and only child it was all about me. My mom and dad met almost 21 years ago at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. They were the equivalent of what we call a “sneaky link” now, that then caught feelings for each other. My dad was the college football star, and my mom was the over-involved intelligent type of girl. 

I was welcomed into the world 2 weeks early, on October 22, 2002 at 12:14pm. My name was originally going to be Micah, after my father Michael. However, my dad thought ‘Sabree’ would be more original. ‘Sabree’ is my mothers middle name, so in actuality my grandmother is the proper person to credit. I don’t remember much as a baby, but from what I heard and saw I was a very happy baby. My parents kept a detailed baby book, writing down all of my accomplishments within my first year of life. They even kept my baby bracelet from the hospital as a keepsake. Like most kids my age, my entire life is on my mothers facebook page. So any memories I have stem from those pictures and the ones she kept in my baby book. 

(Me at four months old)

My parents were in their last year of college and did not let little ole me stop them from getting their diploma. After graduation my mom returned to Philadelphia to live with my grandma, and I tagged along. My dad on the other hand lived in Pittsburgh and returned with his family after graduation. If you thought being six hours away was going to stop him from being there every step of the way for his first born, you thought wrong. My dad took endless trips from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia to be there every step of the way.

Everyone loved little Sabree: on my mom’s side I was the FIRST. The first grandchild, first great grandchild, firstborn, in the words of Kim Kardashian “I pretty much started this entire family.” On my dad’s side I was the 3rd babygirl after 15 years of boys. So as you could imagine I was spoiled rotten. Co-parenting is never easy, but my parents made it work. They agreed to switch off holidays, I would stay with my mom during the school year, and visit my dad for a month in the summer. I had the best of both worlds: my parents saw eye to eye most of the time, but had very different parenting styles. I knew that there were some things my mom would not let me do that my dad would, and vice versa. So like any young kid I played my cards, nine times out of 10 I did not get away with it because, unbeknownst to me, my parents talked daily.

(My father and I)

I accredit a lot of who I am as a woman and how I carry myself to my Grandma, Vera. Since I spent the first seven years of my life living under her roof, it should not come as a surprise. My grandma was there for the most crucial and prime years of my life, teaching me right from wrong. Growing up in a house full of independent women, had its advantages. I watched my grandma do everything from manage the house to running several businesses all by herself. At times it was rough, having three generations in the house at once, but I would not trade it for the world. My mother and grandmother pushed the idea of independence, the importance of education, and communicating my feelings. The foundation of Sabree Primus stems from those morals.

When I was five years old my father married his first wife. I remember his wedding and wearing this beautiful dress. There is not much to say except for the fact that she gifted me my first brother. I remember as a child I prayed to God for a little brother for so long: I grew bored of my own company. Then one day while I was away at Disney World, I got a phone call from my dad and he told me I had a baby brother named MJ. I was elated to know that I was officially a big sister. Since my brother lived with his mom back in Pittsburgh, I missed a lot of him growing up. I continue to make it known that I love him and will always be there for him  regardless of how far away I am. 

You never know how much you were missing until you find it. Yes, my dad was 14 years late, but better late than never.  Later on down the line my father got divorced and remarried, to my “Bonus Mom.” She has stepped in on multiple occasions and guided me through life when I needed her help. She is an amazing mom to my brother and I and took us both in as her own.

(My family on my Dad’s side)

Although I had a brother on my dad’s side, I was still primarily the only child since I lived with my mom. Life for me did not change much, well at least I thought. I remember when my mom entered the dating scene, she would get all dressed up and go out on weekends. I never thought too much about it because, in my mind, I had her all to myself. My mom introduced me to her friend, Mr. Darryl and initially, I was not a fan. I remember him taking me to the zoo and spending over $200 on me, in hopes that I would give a good report back to my mom. My mom and stepdad got married when I was 8 years old. Like my dad’s first wife, he had no children prior to my mother. On the contrary, over time he stepped into a father figure for me. We still laugh about how much I gave him the run around and did not want to share my mom. In hindsight I am glad my mother found him and couldn’t be more grateful to have him in my life. 

In 2016 my mom gave birth to my baby brother Jonathan. If you are wondering where his name came from, take a guess. Jonathan is my stepdad’s middle name. Yes, it was my idea in case you were wondering. I think because I was older, I had a different outlook on having a sibling. Being a big sister all over again, this time gave me more of a mom feeling. I tell everyone Jonathan is my first kid, my mom just carried and pushed him out for me. Whereas many would be reluctant to change diapers and do feedings, I was more than happy to help. Then two years later we welcomed a baby girl, Logan; she was the missing piece we needed in our lives. Having a little sister had a different feeling. I am now this role model and person that she will aspire to be. It prompted me to be more mindful of what I do and how I carry myself, knowing she is watching.

As a kid my mom kept me involved in school and extra curricular activities including dance. Since my mom was a dance teacher, it only made sense that I would be enrolled in dance. At the age of four I started my journey at Brenda Lee’s Dance Studio, taking ballet and jazz. Dance became my passion. At age six I joined The Pointe Dance Studio, where I stayed for over 10  years. I found myself being able to express myself and found comfort in dancing. I traveled all over the state for dance competitions. I even went to The Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts also known as CAPA, majoring in Dance. Dance has opened so many doors for me. In the summer of 2018 I was granted the opportunity to travel to LA with the illustrious Debbie Allen. That was one of the best experiences I ever had. I stayed for a month and trained with Ms.Allen and several other dance pioneers. It was a very eye opening and inspiring experience, I learned alot about being self motivated and myself as a dancer.

(Senior Dance Picture 2020)

If you thought that was cool, wait until you hear about my adventures around the country. When I was 14 years old, I was elected to represent Philadelphia as a student ambassador. At first I did not understand the importance of such a role. Then I was asked to travel to Europe on a 21-day tour. I jumped at the opportunity, I started raising money and collecting donations. With the help of all my family and friends, I was able to raise the proper amount of money to pay for my trip. We traveled to Switzerland, Austria, Paris, Italy, and Germany within that 21-day time span. Being able to travel to Europe at 14 was a blessing in disguise. I learned about the many different cultures, tried new food including snails and alligators, and met so many people. I documented my entire trip writing in a journal. I am glad to have that as a keepsake and will one day show my children, and my children’s children. Traveling has been an important part of my life, because my grandma, Vera, is a travel agent. I have been fortunate enough to travel with her to Turks and Cacios, Belize, Mexico, and several other places. I enjoy traveling and it is something I will continue to do as I get older. I have plans on traveling abroad again as a graduation present to myself.

Fast forward to the present, I am currently a sophomore at DSU and doing a phenomenal job. I have maintained the Dean’s List and joined several on campus organizations. College has been a huge adjustment for me, going from living off of my mom to all by myself. It forced me to grow up and take more accountability for my actions and decisions. I will admit there were some bumps in the road and some situations I could have avoided. But as my mother always tells me there is a lesson in everything, you live and you learn. I thank God daily for awarding me the support system I have, and pray that he continues to bless my family and I .This year I learned the importance of prayer and strong faith in God. My family has been through alot from COVID to my mom’s health complications. I found it very hard to keep going and push forward despite our conditions. My grandma, Vera, reminded me that God never gives us more than we can bear. Being away from my family when they needed me most was not easy, but I knew that through prayer and faith in God everything would work out. 

To be continued…

Categories: Features, Opinion

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