i don't get it. honestly.
i don't get the way little black boys are being raised today.
since when did an three year old not have the right to cry?
in the last two weeks, i have been to four cartoon-character-themed birthday parties for people under the age of 10. (apparently my friends get the most action in october..lol). and i will tell you, if i don't see another dora, spiderman, spongebob, or superman paper plate/balloon/party favor ever again, that will be fine with me. i love kids and they were all very adorable, but 25 screaming/complaining/crying two to four year olds constantly pulling on your legs and hair and showing off the newest concoction they've created out of mud and boogers isn't exactly my ideal saturday. but, i was there. attended each and every one. took beautiful photos of all the children. played 'chase' (apparently the BEST game on earth) about 300 times.
one thing i noticed while bandaging the latest 'boo boo' on one little girl's arm, is that i was the only adult actively participating in the party. i looked to my left and saw a group of angry, tired, black women, some of which i knew and some i didn't, standing around talking about how so-and-so's daddy better have had a good excuse as to why he didn't show. it saddened me a bit. they all seemed to have been beat down so much by life and unworthy men, that they hardly ever even smile anymore, even long enough to enjoy a three hour kiddie party. don't get me wrong, i'm not saying that they were all sour-faced the whole day, but there was a clear overall sense of unhappiness in their disposition as a whole.
it saddened me because these women are women that, in my opinion, have a lot to smile about. these are women with the most adorable children. degrees. nice jobs. some even own their own home at the age of 25. i mean granted, everything in life can't always go how you want it to, but overall, i'd say most of these women have made out pretty good so far.
i walked over to the group and joined in the conversation, which had now switched to who just had a baby by who and who had gained weight since college and whose husband/boyfriend was getting on their last nerve. in the middle of this conversation, my friend's son, a three-year-old downright heartbreaker, (it's the dimples i think) ran up frantically, tears pooling in his eyes.
she looked at him sternly, turned her lip up. "why are you crying? what have i told you about crying?"
"but mama..." his hands shot up and he started rubbing his eyes like he was trying to erase his lids...but tears kept coming.
"no! i told you about crying. stop that mess and go play!"
"...okay. sorry." he walked away with his head down, still rubbing his eyes. his face was so hurt i just wanted to pick him up and hug him.
for some reason, her reaction to the little boy's tears before he even got a chance to tell her what was wrong bothered me. i couldn't hold it in.
"you didn't even hear what was wrong! at least let him tell you what happened, geesh."
she told me that he is a boy, and there is no good excuse for him to be crying. and that was that.
about ten minutes later i walked over to the playscape all the children were swinging, jumping, and running on and my little dimpled cutie was sitting alone with his head down. i asked him what was wrong and he said "i don't know." i wanted to take him home with me, i swear.
that was a couple of days ago, but it is still bothering me. i can't help but think how this sweet little boy is going to grow up and be like. i can't help but think that black women are creating a breed of too tough, too distant, too much like their absent fathers, generation of black men. when your anger and disgust for their father is so strong you start to dump it on their offspring, it's time to do some self-evaluating.
i do understand her intentions though. she realizes she is raising a black man and that he will have to be tough and thick-skinned to deal with the perils his life undoubtedly will entail just by him being the envy of the world. now i'm not saying she should have babied him, but in our efforts to 'toughen' them up and compensate for the lack of a male figure, are we damaging our sons by teaching them to internalize their anger/grief/sadness? just a thought. is there really a such thing as 'too soft' for a three year old? i just can't help but wonder. i would love to hear from some men on this one too, because i honestly would like to know. in my opinion, sometimes you just need someone to listen...whether you be three or thirty-three.