Who Raised You?
I’m asked a lot if I would love to have children. I honestly have no concrete answer to that question.
I don’t know how any living soul is capable of dealing with any living, breathing human being between the ages of two and six. Fam, the children sitting next to me are reasonably well-behaved but even at their best, if I was their mom, I’d be ready to give them back to where they came from.
I’m asked a lot if I would love to have children. Having just turned 32 and possessing ovaries that damn near kickbox me every month in hopes that I find a man to get me pregnant, I honestly have no concrete answer to that question.
Like, I’m watching two boys presumably between the ages of three and five run complete rampant inside of this coffee house and their caregivers are having truly casual conversation as if those children ain’t five steps away from setting this place on fire. Mind you, I’m sure becoming a mother causes you to mutate into a human with several sets of eyes who can see everything ten miles away but fam, I’m ready to punt these babies.
My parents told me that I was a very well-behaved child. I never tried my parents to the point where they wanted to curse the God I came from. They always said that I was never that child to throw temper tantrums inside of restaurants or run around the grocery store like I had no lick of common sense. I would sit in the cart like every regular toddler runt. But I wonder what was their threshold of “well-behaved”? Did I act like an ass inside of the house but not in public? I think I only got my butt beat twice. I cursed. I told some kid to “go to hell” and Roslyn let me have it. Second time I got caught with the belt was for writing on the wall. I was a creative kid, my parents knew the tea about me.
I can say that I do have moments where I wonder what I’d be like as a mom. What I’d take — and not — from my own upbringing and what I’d impart on my babies. I would affirm the hell out of my babies. I’d teach my son about consent as soon as he’d be able to conceptualize what that means. They’d know Jesus but be free to figure out what that means for them at their own pace. I’d take a gender-neutral approach to everything.
I realize that I say all of these things as if there isn’t another parental figure in the picture who may or may not want to do things differently.
It does make me wonder how many times my parents fought about how to raise my brother and I. I’m sure those arguments happened often. My Mom put me in all the girly activities she could. My Dad gave me the sports page every morning. What a fight that had to be. Or maybe it wasn’t. Once my parents separated, I lived with my Dad. He fostered by gender freedom as much as he could.
As for who I’d like to have children with? Girl, we ain’t even there yet. God Bless his soul wherever he is.
I actually have fears about being pregnant. About how all of this will feel to my body. This idea of something growing inside of me that moves to its own heartbeat freaks this girl out. I’ve seen Alien. I feel like little Jr. will start kicking and my paranoia will jump to another level where I’d be screaming for someone to take “it” out. Not him or her, but “it”. Fully aware that my baby ain’t a creature from another universe in a galaxy far, far away.
I thought about fostering or adoption. I’ve had dreams of having a house full of Black girls. I’ve seen my life without babies or without ever getting married and being okay with it. I’m in this space where I’m letting God run Her course. I lowkey think of it to be a blessing for my mental sanity that I didn’t grow up in a culture that pushed marriage. It was never an expectation. It was never told to me that it was my reality. I never thought about it as an option. My Dad has been gone for close to seven years. Who’s going to walk me down the aisle, you know?
I can’t imagine growing up in a Christian culture that pushes marriage as hard as it does, almost to the point that it needs to be defended. I’ve heard of people being in singles ministries that have a mission to get people in that group off and married.
I’ve also been blessed to know couples that married in their late 30s and 40s, folks who married because of the importance of that covenant. So it ain’t a matter of ‘it’ in my life. It’s all a matter of whether God wants to will it into a ‘when’.
But back to this having children thing. I keep seeing all of these memes about how people who are stocked full of trauma should do themselves — and the world — a favor and not have children. First of all, who ain’t full of unprocessed trauma? Don’t we already smack folks with our trauma every day as it is. Secondly, who asked you for your opinion about who should or shouldn’t have control over their own familial dream. It’s like benevolent eugenics. It’s devoid of the choice that we all have to make the best decisions with what we do with our bodies.
And eliminates the grace to get it right the next time and the opportunity to break generational curses. To raise some less traumatic children so we can get this living on Earth things right. So the good news can continue.
So about finding me a man I can do these things with?
This is my attempt to write every day in July. To read more, follow the hashtag #wedj2019!