One of my spiritually adopted kids has been having a hard time adjusting to college life. Not so much the classes but with how negative and cruel some young people can be.
But the man whom I thought was my father was just the opposite. A womanizer and sometimes even a thief- a non churchgoing heathen
How I ended up at that record player is an interesting story. I was too young to swim with the big kids so my dad would sit me in a tiny row boat tied to the pier. I would watch everyone swim. During one picnic my older sister thought she saw a water moccasin and yelled “SNAAAAKE!!!”.
All this leads me back to one day when he was sitting with his friends who were drinking beer- dad only drank pop. They were always finding something to bet each other on. Somehow the subject got on the subject of catching ducks.
At the time he was working as a custodian at an elementary school on a military base. Each year there were electronics that got broken and they would throw them out instead of fixing them. Dad got permission to start bringing the broken stuff home. Pretty soon I had a little shop in the bedroom I shared with my other brothers. I was hardly 10 at the time fixing record players and reel to reel tape decks..
How can you tell a child that nothing is wrong when it is a child a discerning as me? I was a bright shining reminder of everyone’s sins. It would have been easier if everyone had simply told the truth.
He just grumbled and said “ok as long as you hear me now get this cleaned up so I can take a shower.” Well it messed me up so bad that I didn’t even feel like watching the movie. I was determined to make it right so I got right to work on that bathroom.
I hated my turn. Because that always meant I was going to get stuck on the sand bar. It was a place in the middle of the bay that was only a few feet deep that boats knew to avoid. It was where dad would kick me off the boat if I missed a crab. I would have to watch him drive and dip alone and then he would come pick me up.
Those were the days where most of us black folk used to tape all our music off the radio and would be so mad when the announcers talked over it. After a while we knew which deejay to call the radio station and ask for the song and we had the nerve to even tell him we were going to record it so could he please be quiet? Wow. Those were the days.
You are 25 years old. You are not a child. But what you did was not something a grown woman should have done. If you still live at home, you live by the rules of that house. It don’t matter what you think is fair. If you broke those rules and tried to hide it, then they have every right to throw you out. And if they are wrong, then you still need to start making a life for yourself.
Have you ever gotten up one morning and gone through your day with a craving for something you haven’t had since you were young enough to believe that a pair of new sneakers actually made you run faster?
As the boys ran off with the cart, my son tapped my leg and said “but daddy we don’t have money to eat. Why are you giving them your money?” And I said “baby we don’t have money, but you got me, and we got God. Most of these kids only got their mama. If they can make money honest then they won’t steal from the store. They won’t go to jail. And they won’t steal from us.” I don’t know how much my son understood but he accepted my answer.
There is no question in my mind how you came to be. It wasn’t lust, I wasn’t blind, It didn’t happen accidentally. I gave my all in love and you are what that love conceived. That didn’t change just because of what later happened between your mother and me
You need to look at your surroundings and ask yourself if you are truly embedded within a group of toxic people. If so, there is a reason that Jesus said let the dead bury the dead. Sometimes you truly have to just come out from amongst the foolishness.
It is never good to give anybody the sense that they can ask you anything just to be asking.
Sometimes, I don’t know who to feel sorrier for-my friends who have no idea what a day like this can be, or for myself and others who, when faced with such a day alone, truly know what we are missing.
My daughter is 15 and her dad lives over 300 miles away. Her dad & I had the birds & bees talk with her together. I think that it went very well. But because her dad has not fully grown up to real man status & is not here for when she begins to date I need to know how to protect her from making the same mistakes that I made.
That is not to say that it is wrong to want more. But for that, you always have to consider the price, and whether or not it is worth paying it…. Extra work hours and child raised by strangers and the TV just so you can have a fancier house or car and you wonder why your child’s values are so messed up.
That story in the book of Samuel is where we get the popular quote that “man looks at the outward appearance but God looks on the heart”. I have always tried to have my outward appearance be a reflection of my heart.
I have had so many reasons in my life lately to think about that time in my childhood and how much we really don’t stop to consider the energy it costs someone when we stand in the doorway of decisions letting out the cool to the summer heat or the warm to the winter cold not realizing the bill we are running up in the home, heart, and mind of someone else who has to pay it.
Mine is a dying breed. I know because you keep telling me. I am an old skool father because a man was in my life to raise me. I am thankful for this young lady’s mother and the other mothers who have listened to their spirits and allowed me help with their children.
That is why my heart is always there for a hood mama struggling to do right. I step in because that is what my father did even though he wasn’t my father and they were divorced. I give because even though we had little to nothing ourselves, my mother never turned a hungry mouth away from our table.
At this point I am wheezing and sucking for air. By the next corner I am wondering if I will ever see my son again. The cold was freezing my lungs and everything looked white but I kept running toward the laughter of this child who is having the time of his life. As they turn the final corner ahead of me I am praying that they stopped.
No longer afraid, the little bugger raised an eyebrow. He learned that from watching Buzz Lightyear and had perfected it. Then in a very irritated tone said, “but I need to sleep.” Well, me not thinking I simply said, “then I guess that is between you and God” as I tucked him in and left the room.
Are you being too picky? Who am I to say? We all have a right to say for ourselves what we require to have peace in our lives. Your sibling’s mates may drive you crazy but there is always someone out there who is made to love somebody , even them, and even you.