Mother’s Day is Sunday May 11th and so I figured as a mother I would take the time to share my thoughts of my only offspring, my daughter.
My daughter was conceived and born, during a rather risky and rebellious but freeing time of my life. I was an exotic dancer at the time and I was battling several inner demons. My entire life seemed to be lived in a state of cognitive dissonance; many of my decisions contrary to everything I was taught as a child growing up. The preacher’s daughter showing up to church pregnant and with no husband made for quite the headline within my family and inner circle. Some shook their heads in disbelief, some with disdain. I can’t keep going without giving thanks for the many people who continued to support me, and for them I will always be grateful.
Looking back I realized I never really felt any shame behind it, although there were people who wanted me to. I didn’t know anything about being a mother. I had never been a babysitter, never changed a diaper. Even after she was born, in some ways I was the typical young single mother. Still wanting to go out and have fun, often leaving my baby girl with her grandmother, running off and reclaiming my rebellion. However, as my daughter began to grow and I realized how much she loved spending time with me and wanting to know me, I realized I really wanted to know this little person. And that’s what I did; I set out to know her. She came from me, and I was determined to allow her to explore who she is because for so many years I didn’t know who I was, only what society said I should be as a person, as a female, as a Black female.
I was never really big on spankings or punishment. Of course there were and still are times she will make requests I’d think are absolutely ridiculous or she’d do something that will cause me to look at her in disbelief and shake my head. A few times she’s brought out the angry beast in me. More importantly we have grown to learn and love each other. I told her she was nothing like me when I was a teen, she’s more like who I am as a grown woman. She said she saw that as a compliment. Indeed, she is growing to be quite the young lady. Looking back from where it all began, some would say I defeated the odds. Both myself and her father spent more time in the streets than anywhere else. Looking from the outside in, and given the social portrayal, it would have been easy to assume that I and my daughter would perpetuate the stereotypes and myths of Black people. Portrayals are not always reality. There are many successful single Black mothers raising successful Black children. I salute all mothers whom have allowed their children the opportunity to strive for greatness.
To my daughter, you are an amazing human being. I am extremely proud of you and I love you.