I look at this photo and I don’t know what I feel.
The me in the photo was all anxious. All worried that the judge was somehow going to find a “t” not crossed and tell me to come back next year. The me in the photo had no idea about Black hair care, (please don’t look too close!) or racial identity, really. I don’t have a much better handle on any of that today, but I’ve got willingness to figure it out. No, I have a DRIVE to uncover my lacks, to meet his needs. To meet their needs.
I look at this photo, and wish I had been told strait up; “Being a new mom, and being the mom of a child of another race require two different guide books Mama. You will not find the answers to raising this one, in the book written about raising that one. That book, has yet to be written. Here’s a pencil. You might have a few things you want to record in the margins of those pages yet to be written..”
I look at this photo, and recall the eighteen people waiting inside the makeshift chamber ready to remind me, I wasn’t going about this alone. I look at this photo, and remember that Sam was the only one who was not white in that room.
I know a lot now. But not a hell lot more then I did then. I know that being his Mama, and his Mama, has transformed, consumed, and pushed me more than I know. Mama love is mine times two. Six years ago, that was on the edge of consideration. Today that is staring at the next forty or so years in constant awe and anticipation.
What do you know now, that you didn’t know then? Or what did you think you knew then, and feel otherwise now?