A life where we constantly have to blend in with society in hopes of not becoming a target
Ignoring the fact that you’re already a target.
The moment you took your first breath someone was being taught they were superior than you, someone was taught to fear you, and yes someone was taught that your life was so worthless that they can take it and get away with it.
This is a reality that you my dear boy will have to come to terms with at an early age.
Like Langston Hughes Mother to Son,
You my son must learn what I learned many years ago.
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair and life for you just won’t be fair,
But as the blood of our ancestors flow through your veins,
Always remember, when you walk out of a room their perception of you will never be the same.
With the purest aura and the strength of a thousand men,
Those tacky stairs in the form of privileged individuals will see what I have seen since the moment of your birth.
Locs that resemble the strong roots that you come from.
Roots that want you to see the beauty that is inside and out.
Roots that will do whatever to protect you and shower you with love.
Roots that have now taught you to,
Love your hair.
Thoughts while writing: As a parent, we want our children to love everything about themselves. Especially when living in a world that does everything to get them to hate themselves. Although Kai is young, I noticed she was very self conscious about her hair. Mainly because a lot of videos she saw would have girls that looked the complete opposite of her with long straight hair and she thought that’s what she needed. For Kai that’s not possible since she’s this chocolate ball of energy with the curliest hair that shrinks. So she would always ask if her hair was short and things like that. Fast forward to her brothers getting locs and she fell in love. She asked for a year to get locs. I made her wait so long because she’s young and I wanted to be sure that she really wanted them. Finally I started them for her and a year later she is the only one still going strong with her journey.
As I down the last of my drink, I look into the eyes of the most precious child. She doesn’t deserve what she has to go through now. The person she loves and looks up to more than anything no longer resides in her home.
She questions everyday what time he’s coming home from work and I have no idea how to tell her that right now he’s not coming home, but one day she’ll be visiting him at his new house.
Her little mind won’t be able to fully understand how she went from a two parent home to one. She won’t get that the love and togetherness she was surrounded in is now split down the middle until a mutual co-existent bond can be formed in favor of her.
One day when she’s old enough the questions will come. She’ll wonder where the happiness went so quickly and why it didn’t work. I’ll have to smile in her face and feed her some excuse about how we both love each other but things just didn’t work out. I won’t have the heart to tell her that unfortunately the sins of the parents are too strong to overcome.
“I am not one of your little friends!” I yell out loud before turning to see who said that. Did those words really come out of my mouth? When did I turn into my mother?
Rushing to the mirror I take a look at myself. Those were the same words she used to tell me and now I’m saying it to my child. My pre-teen son who has decided to tap dance on my tolerance level because he’s suddenly the “man” in school and it’s gone to his head.
The pre-teen son who I have helped spoil rotten and is now paying for it. Going back into the room I take him in. Standing there looking like his father. Smooth dark chocolate skin, dimples in both cheeks, a smile that will melt any girls heart, and those eyes that’ll look the devil in his eyes and call him out on what he feels is wrong.
This is my child who has now forced me to turn into my mother all because he feels it’s unfair to lose his electronics for a week. Never mind that he’s acted up in school, never mind that he didn’t empty the trash like his father told him to, never mind that he didn’t change the bands on his braces today that I’m pay tons of money for, and never mind that the dog that he asked for needs to be walked but he spent so much time on his phone he neglected to do it again.
All that does not matter because in his eyes the world is so unfair and I’m the cause of it. So now I have to turn into my mother. I walk up to him, hands on hips, stern frown on my face, and proceed to give him the same speech I received once upon a time and it sounded like this……
I AM NOT ONE OF YOUR LITTLE FRIENDS. IF YOU THINK I AM YOU ARE SURELY MISTAKEN. NOW WHEN YOU ARE GIVEN A TASK, I EXPECT YOU TO DO IT. SINCE YOU COULDN’T DO IT CONSIDER YOURSELF ON PUNISHMENT. IF THE ATTITUDE CONTINUES THEN YOU CAN ADD MORE TIME ON TO YOUR PUNISHMENT. THINK ITS A GAME, TRY ME AND SEE.
The look on his face shows that he got the message loud and clear. Off to his room he goes probably thinking of me as the bad guy. As his door closes I finally let out a sigh of relief. He doesn’t know that that was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. In my eyes he’ll always be my little chocolate firstborn baby, but babying him I can do no longer. So now I must resort to reminding him that I am his mother and not one of his little friends.