Something happened tonight, a thought – a particular, involuntary, unexpected, unfamiliar thought. I was allowed to grow up without this thought, allowed to exist blissfully unaware that this should even be a thought. My priviledge allowed me these things and ensured that neither my skin, nor my choice in clothing, would ever be perceived as suspicious to the person crossing me on the street. But tonight, a particular, involuntary, unexpected, unfamiliar thought rose up from my heart to my brain and then permeated my soul.
My son – although he is half me, although he was conceived of my love, although he grew in my womb, although he entered the world through the labor of my own heart and body – he doesn’t have the same priviledge that I do. It didn’t dawn on me when he was a perfect two-year-old, I didn’t realize it when he was an obnoxious ten-year-old, it didn’t cross my mind when he was a cute fourteen-year-old but now that he’s a handsome, brown, seventeen-year-old, junior in high school and now that I have cried many tears for another so much like him…
He called me from his friend’s house tonight around eight. “Mama, can I walk to the store with J?”
And there it was – a particular, involuntary, unexpected, unfamiliar thought. I hated it. It actually hurt. And before I could stop the the thought from forming the words that became my sentence, and before I even recognized that it was my own voice I was hearing, I shared that thought with my child. MY CHILD…
“Yes, Baby – but don’t wear your hoodie up.”
Lord have mercy