Proud of you… Thank you Mom



Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So, boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps.
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair

-Langston Hughes

The mother to son relationship one is a very unique one, especially in today’s society where many males are raised only by their mom without influence from their biological father or any male for some. I was fortunate and blessed to have both parents in my life, but my mom still held a special place in my heart. I remember coming home from school laying across her bed while she watched her taped Young and the Restless episode for the day and her bugging me with her favorite phrase “tell me all your business.” I also remembermy mom constantly telling me that I wasn’t like everyone else and that   “you are different”; Yes there are plenty parents out there that believe that their child is special and the rest of the children pale in comparison to theirs but she truly believed it and because she said it so much I began to believe it as well. There would be things I saw my peers do and get away with as a young child and the minute I tried it, BUSTED!!! I would be the one to get caught. Or there would be a new trend or fashion out in the 90s’ but I was either never the one to get it or by the time I got it, the fad had faded. Being a child often I struggled with the internal battle of wanting to do what everyone else was doing but always hearing my mom say “you are different.”

During my formidable years of growth (high school and college) she was there for me when I didn’t want her input but also whenI needed that reassuring confidence. She was the one who made me go back to playing baseball after I quit my sophomore year, she was the one who said she would kill me if I got an earring, but she was also the one who pushed me when I struggled in some of my business courses (we had the same major so she understood the hardship) and she was there to bail me out when I fell prey to the lure of college credit cards. Even when I tried to avoid it, I always heard her whisper “you are different”

I always told my “ma” thank you and thought I was being appreciative but it wasn’t until we as a family were forced to spend significant time together that I really realized how much I loved and cared for her. My parents purchased a house and decided to do the renovations ourselves, and what was initially thought to be an easy remodeling turned into, renovation hell. Often times my dad served as the slave driver while me and my mom stuck together to outwit the evil LB.  But during the 2.5 years it took to fix-up the house, we had no choice but to speak more and open up which  took me back to those “on the bed” moments.

The biggest growth in my relationship with both my parents took place when I moved to North Carolina, for one they didn’t believe I was moving until they started seeing me pack my belongings. My mom tried her best to keep me in MI even saying that she was worried about the weather with it being hurricane season. Being the good son I delayed my trip and I could tell it soothed her worried heart. Being so far apart allowed us to communicate more because that’s all I had and on a regular basis she would ask “when are you moving home” knowing that I had no intentions to, but she still had to try. She (they) did all they could to make sure my stay in NC was a covered one. We became closer spiritually due to our individual growth in God and being a man who sometimes reverted to childish ways, I had to remind myself when she irritated me, that she was only being that way because she cared

I gave you all that background because yesterday she called me to tell me how proud she was of me. She asked me why I never fell prey to the pitfalls that many of her nephews, sons of friends and black males do… and I simply told her I always remembered her saying to me “you are different” and I kept it to my heart. She happened to be in Atlanta for a funeral this past weekend and the conversations she had made her wonder why I never gave into some of the society lures (tattoos was a big one for her). Beyond having a healthy fear for my parents I just was never followed through with a lot of the things my peers did, trust me, I thought about it numerous times but like I told her I was scared that because I was so different I would be the one to get the skin rash or have things not go as planned, so once I got past that stage of youthful experimentation, it was old and pase’ for me.   

I love who my mom is so much that I searched the earth (well maybe not the earth but the east coast) for someone who made me feel like her and thank God I found her. I told someone this week, that I am like my father in a lot of ways so I KNEW I would need someone with my mother’s spirit to balance me out. 

While I was so blown back by her being proud of me I also must say how proud I am of my mom, there were many things she has dealt with and endured but she always remained strong. While we both are crybabies, I knew when she did break down it was because that issue was something she was passionate about. And while I may not be able to lay on her bed as much as I want, I know she is only a phone call away and the conversations will be just as good, because now I have no problem “telling her all my business” (well sometimes lol).