I’ve been a parent for over 18 years now, and the best part has always been watching their minds at work. One day they’re talking the cutest baby talk, and the next minute they’re getting their Socrates on, and philosophizing on life with you and all you can do is stare at them in awe and wonder how you created such masterpieces. Yes, I’m that Mama; the one that’s their biggest cheerleader, hype man, and the one they can’t stand— lovingly of course.
It cracks me up now how I was so protective of their ears and monitored everything before they were 12 and now they control the music in the car. Sometimes my ears hurt but they’ve introduced me to some artists I would have never heard otherwise. I love how sometimes they’ll be driving me around and suddenly Brandy’s "Sunny Day" or Musiq Soulchild’s "143" will come through the speakers, as they watch for my reaction. This scenario just happened in the last week. I was heavy in the Neo-Soul era when they were born, and it comes through in their playlists sometimes. I love that about them. Their father, on the other hand, is a child of the 70’s and stayed there musically, so my kid's playlists go from Migos to The Internet to Sade to Lauryn Hill to Kem to Anita Baker to Phil Collins to Kehlani to Jhene Aiko to Jay-Z to Frankie Beverly and Maze. Yeah, that’s their minds, and I vibe with it heavy because, "Hercules, Hercules, Hercules!"
My sons are young men now and at the age where they’re vocal about things. They’re not that fond of us having in-depth conversations but now and then I ear hustle and come away with some gems. They thought H&M had lost their minds for their racist ad and were the ones that pointed out the white kid in the campaign to me. They told me Kendu needed to get a damn job and leave Queen Mother Mary and her money alone. They are too through with that orange dude running the country and miss their Uncle Barry so much. They think athletes should not be silenced just because of their profession and have an obligation to speak up for what’s right just like every other human being. I just sit back and fall in love with their minds a little more each time.
I’ve been so mindful in the past five years mainly, just to listen and not influence too much. I know these are crucial years where masculine identity forms. We have conversations, and I want to hear their male voices in them. I don’t want to send two men into the world that think exactly like me because they are not me. Don’t mistake it, we speak about women issues and the importance of feminism. They know what is unacceptable when it comes to women.
Sometimes I have friends with kids under ten reach out to me and tell me that they love my relationship with my sons and can’t wait till they get to the stage we are. We are past the teenage angst and have found a friendship within our Mother/Son dynamic. I tell them that I was where they were mere years ago and it’s coming. Parenting has stages. In a year a half I’ll be entering the phase when they are in their 20’s, and I can’t wait. I can’t wait to see what jobs they’ll get and who they will be as 20-somethings. I’m smiling just thinking about it. Their futures are bright, and I’ll be right here in my shades taking it all in and loving every single moment of it.