Black Mama Milestones

Taking a moment to wonder at the whirlwind day I’ve had. Can you relate?

Explaining to your daughter what the world sees, wants, and expects when they
-hear her speak distinctly, intelligently, with certainty
-look at her body
-ask to touch her hair
-meet her mother

and then encouraging her to tell them to go straight to hell. Charging her to
-push, feel, and find her way
-get her due
-refuse to be held hostage by others’ needs
-guard and tell her own story
-love deeply without fear

Carefully dismantling for your son the concept of survival:
-outlining protocol with the police
-talking through white girls
-talking through white girls families
-reading Malcolm X

and then lifting him high and casting his net to:
-never step aside out of habit
-walk tall in any environment
-hold his ‘hood in his heart
-and keep money in his wallet
-and find time to do what he loves.

All this and it’s only Monday, ya’ll. I literally covered all this shit with them tonight; along with homework, dinner, a work out, a snuggle and a few eye rolls. I’m fragile, and lost, and I feel a cold ass wind blowing through the crack in my heart. But I’ll empty out my whole damn chest cavity if it means they will have lives, be happy; settled and cozy in their own skin. Yes, I’ve parented with a rum-induced buzz, and I’ve said the wrong shit sometimes. Ok, I say at least one fucked up thing per day. But I’m present. Every day. That’s gotta count for something, right? I know Parenting magazine ain’t putting my twisted ass on its cover anytime soon, but I’m here in the thick of this expensive ass, convoluted journey.

I figure I got at least another 10 years to go. But we’re gonna have a hell of a decade together. Turkey wings, road trips, movie nights, break ups, meltdowns, ashy feet and LOTS of tears (mine and theirs). And it will rarely be splendid and Cosby-like. But it will be ours and intact and precious.


One thought on “Black Mama Milestones

  1. Dang, Betty, what’s going on? This post and the last one – sounds like things have been happening… not good things. I keep hoping that we might one day get past the whole racial thing but… I know we aren’t there yet. Maybe we never will be, because people have a natural tendency to divide themselves into “us” and “them.” The smaller their world is… the more divisions they see everywhere. If only they could see all Americans as “us.”

    Ten years… it’s huge looking at it from this end. When you get to the other end, you will turn and look back and wonder how it all went by so fast. Hopefully, the world will be a better place by then, even just a little would be nice.

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