As a single mother, I go through many challenges in raising my only son, Vaughn (age 17). I’m preparing for that day that he will one day leave me for college, military and life. He has no idea what his future holds, nor do I, but I want him to know that no matter what, I’m here for him.
This message is to all those mothers, raising a teenage son or daughter. Please stay strong! Know that all your hard work will not go un-noticed. Your child will understand LATER what you were trying to teach them; just not now.
I am thankful that I have his biological father and the special love in my life to help me, BUT…he’s still my child and the bond we share is one that not many can comprehend.
When the doctor told me that I was pregnant, I was in complete shock! Like, for real! Me? Pregnant? I knew then, that my life wouldn’t be the same. (In a good way)
Since day one, I was in love! I found love for the first time. I thought it was something a man could give me but I was so wrong. It was your little hands and your mouth and your little butt (lol). It was the feeling I had when you fell asleep and I stayed up watching you; making sure you were breathing. Love to me at that time was breathing and learning. It was the thought that from that point forward, I would never be alone. EVER!
Today, you’re 17 and you’re going through so many changes that it’s so hard for me to be that “mommy” figure and make the boo-boo’s go away. I’m “weird” and I “don’t understand” you. The feeling that I have now is so foreign because it’s not something “we” had before. I get it. You’re growing up. Now, I have to stand back and allow you to be a man. Even though, what I’m seeing from you right now, isn’t that of any man but simply of a male (huge difference).
People have told me many times that one day, I’ll have to “cut the cord” but I was never comfortable with that idea. I honestly don’t think ANY mother is. If they say they are, they’re totally lying!
Being a mother, let alone a single mother (wait) a single mother to a young black male is extremely hard! I watch the news about young black men dying in the hands of the police or other young black men. I think about that mother….damn! I just couldn’t imagine…
I begin to think to myself, “Jesus, help me! How can I do this? Who can do this? What am I supposed to do now? He’s talking about the military and/or college? Can I afford it? Can he do it? Can I do this? Can I let him go?”
Many women in my position go through the same thing everyday. What makes my story so unique? It’s my story!
Son, I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know what the future holds. What I do know is that the world is cruel and it’s not as easy as the video games you dedicate hours to portray life to be. It’s not about gaining more lives or earning a “chicken” to keep you safe and warm at night.
You have to pay close attention to your surroundings, ask questions, do the work, stay humble, be respectful, have understanding, and yeah, I’ll say it again, do the work!
My father was the “talker” and my mother was the “punisher” and I didn’t like either one of them when I was your age. I’ll tell you this much; if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be here sending this open letter to you!
I want to save you! I want to love on you! I want to have all the answers! I want to be mommy! But I know that I can’t be; not now.
I have to be the woman who really, really cares about her son; who wants her to fall back a little. I have to be the woman who knows her son (her only son) has a life to live but realizes that life is HIS and not HERS.
As the tears roll down my cheek, I pray to GOD that HE continues to protect you and teach you at the same time. Teach you the lessons that I, your father, Mr. T, or anyone else that matters to your upbringing could.
One day, beloved, you will see that life isn’t a 3D movie. It’s harsh, it’s hard, it’s a challenge, it’s unfair, it’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s rude, it’s beautiful, it’s LIFE! And it’s YOURS!
I’ll always be here for you. I’ll always be here to make the boo-boo’s better. Even if you don’t want me to.
I love you more than any breath, than any romantic gesture, or movie. More than life itself! Know that.
I hope this helps all those mothers out there who are going through something.