I really toiled over the idea of several topics to write about today. I’ve started drafts and deleted them. It’s just been a bit difficult to really get my thoughts organized. If you’ve ever written you can understand. And if you still actually put a pen to paper you can imagine the paper balls I’ve thrown at the wall over the current week. There’s something about pen and paper that still has me enamored. But I digress. I’ll have to say that as a woman of color the headlines I’m seeing lately really have stirred me deep in the depths of my soul. I believe more so because I have boys. I have two very beautiful, golden brown boys. My oldest has wonderful kinky hair when he lets it grow out. He has dimples deep enough to hold my heart. He has a love in his heart that is like no other. He has this glow in his soul that attracts anyone he meets. My youngest son is a beautiful shade of the purest honey you could find in the South. He has curls that form ringlets on his little head and hang in his face after a good washing. He has a laugh bright as the sun and already I know he will be full of vibrant life.
The love that I have for my children and the fear of what life could be for them has brought me to the real meat of this. As a mother I feel that all the wisdom I can impart on them is not only my duty as a mother, my duty to them, but a duty to the world. It is my job to raise little humans that will go out into the world and be productive, loving, compassionate, kind, and empathetic people. My oldest son is in third grade, now transitioning to the fourth grade. There are days when he has come home and said, “Mom, John Doe was being mean to me today and called me names.” With this I began to give my son a mantra daily while we were in the pick up line. The dreaded pick up line. (Y’all know what I’m talking about). Our mantra was, “Be kind. Be confident. You are smart.” Every day before I leave him I want him to know these three things about himself. He is kind and he should always be kind. No matter what happens. He should choose kindness. That he is confident. No matter what happens he has all the tools within himself to get the job done. He should be proud of who he is and be confident in his efforts and actions. Lastly, he is smart. Whether he gets the answer right or wrong, if it takes him 20 minutes or 2 hours to get his test complete, he is smart. It is VITAL that you speak words of encouragement to your children. What you say they carry with them throughout the day, the week, the school year, and throughout life. By the end of the year my son would say, “Mom today at school I was kind and I was confident.” The first time he said it to me I was so proud and so happy I could have cried.
It is my belief that children are born pure. The ideals they have about the world and the people in it are forged at home with those they are surrounded by. As they mature, they form their own based on their personal life experiences. One of my goals is to make sure they are surrounded by people that share the same thoughts about life that I do. At this age, I get to control who gets to be present. I can control the energy and vibes I expose them to. I tolerate no negativity or ill-will in their space. Some of you have family or friends that give you bad vibes, always have negative energy, speaking ill around your children. I don’t care if it’s your mama or ya daddy, if it’s not what you want for your child address it. As I always say you’re the mama, you get to choose.
We, MOTHERS, all of us. Each color, every background, ethnicity, nationality, and everything in between, we have the power to change this narrative we see perpetuating in America. We have the power to raise children that will change the world. We can teach them love and kindness for all people. As parents, moms and dads we have the power to shift the culture.
A few things I plan to teach my children:
- Always lead with love.
- Be kind, you don’t know what struggles people are facing, kindness could change their whole world.
- Be compassionate. Find it within yourself to be able to meet someone right where they are.
- Be empathetic humans. Have the capacity to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and imagine how they feel .
- Acknowledge this world is not about YOU, it is about WE.
- Don’t be an asshole, do not be that guy.
- Speak up for those that cannot do it for themselves.
- Don’t ever be the smartest man in the room, go where you can learn more.
- If you’re wrong, admit it. Apologize.
- If you’re right, shut up.
- There is strength in diversity. Learn what you can about other cultures and carry it with you.
- For heaven’s sake just be a good person.
- Judge a person by their actions, not your preconceived ideas of who they should be.
- If you don’t know what to do, always do the right thing. The right thing is usually not the easy thing. Don’t be afraid do to the hard things.
- Do not let people mistake your kindness for weakness.
- Tolerance and weakness are not synonymous.
- Your mama will kick anyone’s ass if it is necessary.
Be kind friends, spread love, speak peace, be a light.