Mothers May I?: Chwanda Nixon & Kacey Frierson


By Editors

With seven children in total, you’d think this couple would have their hands full. But after a civil union ceremony in Illinois, they were inspired to take their family on the road for an “I Do” Marathon: nine marriages in eight cities in 10 days.

The Frierson–Jackson family Thanksgiving, from left: Kimoni Frierson, Daviyon Nixon, Katherine Nixon, Louis Nixon, Chwanda Nixon, Kimron Frierson, Kacey Frierson, Edward Nixon, Kimari Frierson, Dontae Blaze (Kacey’s nephew), Glenda Coburn (Kacey’s mom). Opposite page: Chwanda, left, and Kacey.

Kacey: My first experience was with a woman, but then you’re told “Men, that’s the right thing to do: get a boyfriend.” So that’s what I did. I’ve always been single. Ain’t no way in the hell I’m getting married! was my attitude on it. But of course I wanted children, and I had my three.

When Chwanda came along, I thought we would have a good time, play around a little bit, all right. Because that was still in my head: I was just dating; I wasn’t seeing any one person exclusively. It didn’t work out that way. We started sending each other songs over email. And then she texted me this long poem. Oh my God, that was it for me. That’s what got me: her words. Then I went to Cancún with my mom and cousin soon after we first started out. There was this novelty store, and I saw this plaque with the word ailobiu. We were trying to figure out what the hell it said because it didn’t look like Spanish, and the clerk explained: “I love you.” But it’s more phonetic. So I bought this little plaque for her. Then two years later, we got it tattooed on our ring fingers. And I always have that: Her love is on me, and my love is on her.

Everyone is pretty much cool with us. The only thing we get is that people think we resemble one another and say, “Is this your sister?” “No, this is my wife.” I don’t hesitate: It’s normal for me. But since the ceremony in Illinois wasn’t a real marriage, we thought we’d go to New York and do the legal one. But then I was like, “If we’re going to New York, those other states are right there, and then we could go to Canada, too! If we drive and take this route, we could hit all these places in a week.”

Chwanda was like, “We gonna get married all them times?” And I’m like, “Yeah!” Once I started, I couldn’t stop: If I’m gonna do something, I’m gonna do it big!

The hardest thing, of course, is trying to take care of six people with one income, since Chwanda is still looking for a job. That has really been our only challenge. I’m so determined; I don’t care what I have to go through. Even though we’re struggling, even though it’s hard, we still have each other, we still have the kids. And after the “I Do” Marathon, my kids can say they did something that no one else has done. This will be a trip they will never forget.