As I prepare to celebrate such a huge milestone in both our lives I can't help but sit and recount all the wonderful memories of these past 21 years. All the lessons geez, how this wonderful girl has taught me about living. How she has taught me to open my eyes about man kind.
When you become a parent you can't look away at injustice you can't look away from another mother's pain. You can't make believe you don't see things and you can't continue to accept what most people call "the norm".
I have been following our presidential debates and looking at our candidates and just continue to shake my head at what I hear. I continue to be disappointed and my ears continue to hurt from all the garbage coming in.
illustration by youtube.com
Then I move on to World news and local news and it doesn't get much better. Police continue to kill off men like the are knocking down bowling balls. Mother's crying because their children can't get proper medical care, immigrant issues, education issues, sexist issues it just goes on and on. Then I watch a beautiful award show called Black Girls Rock and see such beautiful, intelligent, giving and inspiring women and ask myself...
What is in store for my child? My now grown adult child but my child none the less? What more will she bare witness to in her lifetime? 911, school massacres, poisoned water, hair discrimination, body shaming, gender discrimination, so called unheard of diseases popping up in places no one would expect endless sorrow.
Whenever lil mama and I have our talks about life and the world she always comments on what she views will be necessary in order for human life to prosper. One is that the old has to be totally removed in order for the new to take over. To her that means all the people who for generations have been making the decisions for all without considering all as equals. For her it means total removal of those benefiting at the expense of others.
She always points out that nothing happens just because. That some times "bad things" take place because they benefit someone's purpose. Drugs and alcohol in certain neighborhoods, lack of educational funding in certain communities, unequal pay or unequal treatment. These things allow the powerful to remain powerful and the perception that we can all make it if we just work hard untrue and unattainable. Reality check... Something a parent doesn't want to hear.
illustration by fynnexp.com
Talking to my daughter is a breath of fresh air because I have always been the "no that just can't be" type of person but when you are raising a minority child in a country that makes sure you never forget you are a so called "minority" it makes it very difficult to walk around with your head in the clouds. She knows I want to hold on to the belief of fairness and looking at things from a bigger perspective. She laughs with me and sometimes at me because I always say "well Oprah made it" to which she replies "yeah only as far as they want to allow her to".
Roll models...even Barbie adding some changes to her selection of dolls was a problem?!
So here I am nearing year 21 of my parenting journey and it is my child who is now guiding me to the ins and outs of life as we are currently living it. It is no longer I holding her hand as we cross the street or I filling out her medical papers, it is she who has to figure out how to cross the street while she texts her friends and it is she who has to shop around for Affordable Health care. It isn't about me being proud to check off Hispanic on her Tae Kwon Do Black Belt application but instead about her worrying if her last name will shut the doors to that job she's been hoping for. It isn't about me seeing my little girl growing up into a beautiful woman but about my little girl being held back because she is a minority woman.
I've been blessed to have been able to give my daughter a wonderful, safe, happy, peaceful, loving life. She's had her needs met and her wants have been negotiable. She's had awesome experiences and plenty of freedom. The rules didn't stop her from enjoying her teenage years and her independence didn't break my patience. We both stand here today in a great place.
illustration by hippo quotes.com
This is not a post to bash but a post to start talking. To start looking for ways to make small changes. To educate ourselves and to accept the flaws we have been trying to hide. To use the freedoms we so proudly boost about to help others. To stop exclusion start loving all mankind and to practice "liberty and justice for all".
What are your thoughts? What were the beliefs you grew up with? Did they change when you became a parent? Are some of us just whining or is there some truth to all the chatter? Please comment, let's talk.
My lil mama always says that truth covered in humor is easier pill to swallow for some, so she shared this with me...I share it with you.
Always stress free xoMari