Whenever we discuss our future children, I end up ready to kick someone’s ass.
I end up ready to go up to the school and tell the administration how they’re NOT going to police my child’s attire.
I end up ready to go up to the school and tell the administration how they’re NOT going to call my child’s hair “a distraction”.
I end up ready to tell strangers how they’re NOT going to touch my child’s body/hair.
I end up ready to tell strangers how they’re NOT going to touch my growing belly.
I end up ready to fight, ya’ll.
In high school, an English teacher told the class we had to choose a book for a report. Then, she turned to me and a friend and said, “Not Maya Angelou or Toni Morrison, ladies,” with an attitude. She told US, specifically, to read something “different”/expand our horizons or whatever. Since I had mostly been reading R.L. Stein, Lois Lowry, Madeleine L’Engle, and Stephen King at that point, I did my report on Toni Morrison’s Song Of Solomon. This same teacher bet me a homemade dozen of her famous sugar cookies that I couldn’t “keep my mouth shut” in her class for an entire week. (I was a chatty, know-it-all kid.) Not only was I silent for a week, earning the delicious cookies, but I liked the silence so much, I stopped talking in her class completely for the rest of the semester. And her class became boring. And she basically asked me to start talking again. And I refused.
At the same high school, an advisor laughed in my face when I told her I wanted to be a famous writer using my penname “Ccep”. She told me no one would take me seriously with that name and I needed a more “classic” name…
Don’t get me wrong. I had some amazing educators, like Saeed Hill and Bill Bleich, who encouraged my self-expression. I found my voice (and name) in the Spoken Word club and grew my creativity in Drama Class.
My point is, it takes a village to raise a child. Every village has its healers and its helpers. Every village also has its idiots.
My mother fought to get me into a great elementary school outside of my school zone because she knew it was best for me. If I had a problem at school, she was right there discussing it with the administration. If someone mistreated me, she didn’t tolerate it. Neither of my parents are the type to sugar-coat things.
You gon’ taste this medicine and know it ain’t candy.
I have Haynes and Davis blood flowing through my body.
My children will have the same blood mixed with Frangella.
Don’t play with us.
|*I read the first line of this to my husband and his reply was, “Yeah, that’s about right.”