So I’m not the best mother in the world. I have an administrative professional position at a non-profit, private university. I’m an artist, musician, singer, writer, and Ph.D. student. I volunteer in the community; love my community. I love people, and care about the world. My heart is with my people in Haiti. I feel their struggle and wish to help anyway I can. I try to teach my children social responsibility, love for self and people, kindness, respect. I teach them how to love; how to appreciate art, history and music. I let them be. I like to flow. So we flow-we have fun! I like a peaceful house. But lately, my home has not been peaceful. It’s been a tyrannical energy of me being sick and tired of their bullsh*t. You’d think that at 13, my daughter would just clean her room without my swearing, ultimatum promising, lamenting, crying and finally making physical threats. You’d think my once sweet 8-year old would not cry just to avoid her evening bath. You’d expect my once very creative 11-year-old would just do her goddamn homework and submit it to her teacher so I wouldn’t have to get phone calls about how poorly she’s doing due to NEVER submitting homework. They make me sick. And it seems, no matter how much support, stability and firmness they receive, they’ve decided that they’re going to do it their way. So, I’m so sick of them right now. They’ve taken my love and attention for weakness and really utilize it to manipulate the hell out of any situation. They would make fine lawyers! I see them starting their own firm.
And that’s the fine line in parenting: Cultivating their talents by guiding them, even in reprimand, and to not suppress or put down their spirit. And this is a conscious decision I make; I’m very careful how I curse my daughters out. This is for several reasons. I’m not just raising girls. I’m raising African Haitian American girls. I’m demonstrating how to move about this world which treats us as the Other. I’m teaching them self-governance, choice, responsibility, and most of all, love for self-pride in self. I’m teaching them how to not depend on anyone, how to work for what they want. I want them to care about me, my efforts. I want them to show gratitude for the quality of life I ensure they enjoy. But all they’re exhibiting is entitlement and apathy.
So this morning, after I had awakened them up, and lovingly reminded them where I had neatly hung their clothes, I proceeded to get myself ready. I had taken my shower, gotten dressed, coifed my afro, applied make-up, gotten my bags together before realizing that my youngest was just getting out of the shower; my second was still in bed-with the dog! My eldest put aside the beautifully embellished sweater I laid out for her for a disgusting and stained (I should add-which hasn’t been washed in weeks) NIKE hoody/sweatshirt! Aren’t girls supposed to be dainty and clean? All the princess talks of old was apparently for the birds! They’re disgusting. Yeah I said it! Just plain…Big Sigh. So, with only five minutes left for me to walk into my office, and realizing that an additional second spent on the horrors of this morning would render me dead due to an unavoidable coronary or stroke, I said, “You girls have a nice day. I’m leaving.” And with that, I walked out of the house.
I started my car, lit a cigarette, and listened to the garbage talk on the urban radio station. I saw red. But imagined yellow. And I said a prayer of thanks, that my girls are okay. They’ll be okay. I’ll be okay. Deep breath. Fuck it.