I spent the entire day with my fourteen-year-old son.
It was a rare Saturday when I didn't have other obligations that kept me away from my family. My daughters and husband had a lunch date with his sister. The girls were then going to spend the rest of the day with my husband's cousin. It was a treat for the little girls to hang out with their older girl cousins. I ended up with a free day for just my son and I.
We went to a back-to-school rally and had a swinging contest. He tried to help me keep my balance on a moder-day teeter totter. We talked to a city council candidate. My son really made me smile in his blue jean shorts (not saggin'!) and nice collar shirt. He confidently shook hands with the adults he met as well as joked around with some of the kids he knew from middle school. We worked the crowd.
Our adventure next took us to eat. I was hungry, he wasn't. We both sat down to read a little and catch a breath from the 95-degree heat. My son and I talked and listened.
Shopping with a teenage son who has his own taste is a bit of an experience for me. Shirts I picked out didn't make the cut for him. He was spending his own money so made some wise decisions of what he really needed to start school. I had to smile at this kid, almost my height, his chocolate skin smooth as silk on his tall, thin frame. He is about to be a freshman in high school.
Boys shopping are vastly different than girls shopping. My son didn't have much patience for picking out school supplies. He was just matter-of-fact about what the teenage boys in my reading program needed - paper, pens, pencils - he skipped over the book bags and lunch boxes that captivated his little sister a few days earlier. My son was more interested in the video games his big brother promised to send him from Japan.
We decided to skip the mall. He didn't want to fight the crowds and somehow, we both knew we had a rare jewel in our hands. We decided to go eat his favorite food - Chinese. We ordered in and sat down to do something a lot of moms and teenage sons should do - just talk. We talked for hours. We laughed. We giggled. We bonded.
Our evening together ended with us coming home to watch a movie on Lifetime of all channels. My son gave me his teenage boy version of what was happening with the bullying girls depicted in this box-of-tissue usual fare. His insight was keen.
The hours we had with just the two of us was rare and special. He even commented that it was cool spending time with just "his mom" without his annoying little sisters. Even as teenagers, they still need mama-time. I realize this more and more as he gets older. It is one of the reasons I work-at-home. We may not always have a full day just the two of us, but he knows I am accessible and my presence makes a difference. He and I talked about things that irked us, doing the dishes for him, having a dirty kitchen for me. We talked about our hopes and dreams.
We just hung out and talked about stuff...on a Saturday...just my son and I.
A year ago, after a difficult summer, I made the choice to center my voice, myself, and not stay in the shadow of networks that stifled lif...
There is sometimes an immobilizing grip that fear can have on a soul, rendering it near impossible to move past it. It is powerful, even th...
Black Girls Must Die Exhausted is not only the title of Jayne Allen's 2018 debut novel in a trilogy, it is a phrase that we, Black women...