The hottest young man I know is 13 years old today. Where has the time gone. It feels like yesterday I was holding him at a distance while he puked all over my clothes. This has been an amazing journey getting to 13, so much has happened. I love my son beyond words and he loves me back despite the fact that he and I both know I can be a little insane.
Like every parent when they’re expecting a baby you have hopes and dreams for that little person you created. You’re curious to see who they will become. I felt this way as soon as I saw his ultrasound picture, there was no hiding it, I was having a boy. I was ecstatic and then scared. 13 years ago the slaying of the black man wasn’t as exposed as it is now. We knew it happened but it appeared hidden. In all my excitement I also found fear, fear of raising a black man in a society that I knew feared him without even knowing him. To top it off how was I, a woman, suppose to raise a man, everyone is always saying a woman can’t teach a man to be a man?! And you know what? They are right! So despite my fear I decided to embrace, store up all the love I thought the world would try to take from him so that I could give it to him tenfold. I also decided I could not teach him to be a man, but I would raise him to be a great human being. Someone that cares for others, has a heart for God, has a passion and a purpose. You know what? He is turning into one amazing human being!
I do recognize however that a man has to teach a man things that I will never experience. So in this moment I want to thank each of those men that have stepped up and embraced that duty.
Jamal & John- his granddads love him fearlessly, they have instilled in him the importance of being a man of his word and doing what is right despite others thoughts
Anthony (Chef)- has taught him that a man stands up for himself and defends his family
Uncle June- embraces him and fills in the gap
Uncle Craig- taught him it’s okay to be weird, embrace your weirdness and be true to yourself.
Cousins (Moore/Washington/Harrison Family) – too many to name, but they’re always there lifting him up
Keith Hines- Jamiel was able to hang out with Keith over a summer when he attended camp and Keith worked in my office. During that time they bonded, when Jamiel needed a recommendation letter Keith wrote the most amazing tribute to my son, and even though Jamiel didn’t win the election his confidence was boosted.
Professor Richard “The Gorilla” Osborne- from the time The Gorilla found out I was having a son he noted Jamiel would be exceptionally different, from then on he gave me toys for Jamiel to try out, “CK (my nickname), he won’t play with normal toys, he’s going to need to be challenged!” He was right, he told Jamiel don’t follow the norm and Jamiel is not normal (lol, he gets it from his mom)
Professor Simon Peck- the strangest relationship ever witnessed, they connected over sweater vest and bow ties. He’s encouraged Jamiel to think outside the box, to be a trendsetter. Professor Peck owes me $330 for bow ties and sweater vest, just kidding, but he made Jamiel think about his appearance and how he came across to people, he made him think about how the world viewed him even before speaking to him.
This is just some of the village, if you feel missed charge it to mom brain and not my heart.
Who’s in your village encouraging and supporting your children? Don’t forget to thank them.