Stay Gold!

brilliant ideas, MOMMY THOUGHTS, parenting

I caught a glimpse of my son today in usual form: aloof, mouth wide open, probably thinking about basketball. I immediately thought about how beautiful he was. You know, he looks like me, but lighter skinned. People have always said he’s my twin. But he’s different than me in so many ways.

We were driving home on our usual afternoon commute from West Oakland to South Richmond. Normally we’d be full of conversation, but today Apple Music serenaded us with hits from Janet Jackson radio. Among the jams were Michael’s “Beat It” and Mariah Carey’s “Don’t Forget About Us”

Traffic was heavy and I found myself yawning constantly. I looked at my son who seemed to be doing the same. If I asked him what he was thinking about he’s probably bring up a 3rd down during some college football game from two years ago and explain to me what he would’ve done differently. (He loves sports btw). I laughed in my head imagining what our conversations would be like in years to come. We talk about everything from sports to God to gummy bears and homework. Our minds often wander. That we DO share in common.

I wanted to, in that moment, preserve his innocence so he could stay this free forever. I know that there’s a point in a young boy’s life when that ends and I am aware, that for young Black boys that day comes even sooner.

He’s not like most 8 year old’s whose eyes tell a story of tough times and mannerisms that demonstrate their eagerness to fight an invisible war. He’s carefree. Naive. Empathetic. Friendly. Curious. He’s my baby.

I ache, already, for that day when some little heffa breaks his heart or shit gets real and someone close to him dies; the day he realizes we live in the ghetto and that top ramen isn’t as fancy as I make it out to be. I’m cringing for the day he understands that being Black is both a badge of honor, and a target.

He understands now, as a child would. But one day he’ll be a man.

I looked at my son again and loved him harder. Loved him more because this world won’t. Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” was playing. And as I glanced back on the highway he says to me, “Mommy you’re my greatest love of all” and he meant it. Every word. I said “You’re my greatest love of all too!” and he felt it. I knew he felt every single word.

I know it is said that nothing gold can stay, but I’m hoping you are the exception.

Love in Context

love & beauty, Uncategorized

Excuse me as I sort some shit out in my mind…

If love is a gift, I am not done unwrapping it. Everyday I am learning something new about love: how to give it, accept it, share it, cherish it, create it. But what I know about love is not always what I choose to show about love. And it’s confusing as hell when everyone has a different definition of love. So here’s mine:

I sort of give people the impression that I’m an asshole. But I have a BIG heart. I care for people in a way that;s uncomfortable at times; for them and me. I’m over protective. I’m kind. I’m helpful. I’m optimistic. I’m honest. And that’s love to me. Everyone deserves that kind of love, tier 1. Then there’s tier 2 that commits to something a bit deeper. These bonds are based on trust that is proven through experience. The relationship you have with your siblings and other relatives, the platonic friendships you’ve developed. This loves says I trust you, I got you. Some people may call it unconditional love although there are some conditions; we want that love, need that love reciprocated.  Any measure of disrespect or disloyalty can break it and this happens often. A lot of people only get to experience a tier 2 type of love. But love is so much deeper than that. The next level I’ll call true love. Its greater than cordial interactions and while built on trust is a much more vulnerable position to be in. True love is not unconditional, it is conditioning; it nourishes the part of us that is seldom seen. True love comes from the soul and is the best representation of who we are. In fact, it authenticates who we are making us more real to ourselves and others. True love doesn’t have to be experiences in a romantic relationship. Some people are blessed to have friends  that share this with. I think even above that though is self-love. And this was confusing to me because people will tell you “you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else”. But to me, its so much easier to love others, its hard to confront the reality of your being, the good, the bad and the ugly and be pleased with the sum of it. Self-love is like nirvana. It’s the high five after a winning game when you’re shot beat the buzzer. Self-love is the closest we can get to God here on earth because after all, we were made in his image right?!

All love requires vulnerability. We have to put ourselves out there and hope we gain a return on our investment. No matter how big or small the investment. I didn’t really think about any of this until I was asked the question, “Did you love me or were you in love with me?” And I thought damn, that’s a loaded question. What does it even mean?  And how do I answer without sounding crazy?  I gave an answer that I thought was accurate, but albeit incomplete. I think deeply about everything, often times overthinking, so when a person asks you a question you don’t want to be long winded. But there’s always more to the story.

When I was 18 I was engaged to someone who I really thought I loved and whom I thought loved me. But as I explained in Tier 2, the trust that I thought we built was broken. Even years after our breakup, he continued to say he loved him and I always brushed it off. But in hindsight I can say he did, he loved me based on his experience of what love was. In relationships we rarely understand from the other person’s perspective. Someone can be giving you the best that they’ve got and you tell me its not good enough. That’s damaging to a person’s character. It decreased our willingness to be vulnerable.It changes the way we feel towards people especially when we only see love as a feeling. We’ll say, “well if you love me you would…” not recognizing that person may be loving you as best as they could. See we spend a lot of time talking about love and neglect compatibility. Compatibility is how well you connect with someone, what you share in common, how you relate to someone. Compatibility isn’t love.

With that said I think I’m always in love because I am always pursuing love. I’m more inclined nowadays to view love from multiple perspectives and accept the love that people have to offer, even if its not the same love that I expect. I’m working on perfecting love in its early stages so I can experience self-love in its purest form. I want to love more freely so I can ultimately love more fully.

I could be wrong about all of this, but its how I’m feeling and thinking at the moment.

Fucked

love & beauty, Uncategorized

The scent lingers,
Not of love but of you
The sweet smell of your herbal remedy collides with the air connecting deeper than we do,
I smell smoke but I breathe you.
Did you notice?
Hmmm.
You didn’t say.
You didn’t stay.
Am I the picturesque image of indignity
Or just a girl who thought she was filled but approaching empty?
I exude the lack of confidence that is within me,
looking exactly like what was did to me.
No wonder I feel Fucked.