Anybody that knows me knows that my mom is my best friend. We do almost everything together, and if she doesn’t answer my call I put out a Facebook All Points Bulletin.
But she’s still my mother, and every once in a while she drops a gem that reminds me of how loved, valuable, and special I am.
She raised me on her own, and even though we never had a lot, I always had, and still have, whatever I need and about 90% of my wants. She’s my first stop when I experience any kind of hurt, and she’s my personal body guard, even though she wouldn’t hurt a fly on a regular day.
One day recently in our never ending thread of texts, we began conversing about relationships and a guy that wanted to “show me the world.” Yeah, that’s cute and Disney-like, but my mother made it clear my entire life that no man should ever have to show me anything because I am woman enough to see it on my own. This by no means says that I don’t “need” a man, but that I am capable of doing for myself, just as the man I marry is capable of doing for me.
Even though we were joking, and mommy got a little ratchet, this exchange stood out to me. It reached me in a way that mommas sometimes don’t plan to, but know exactly when you need to hear how amazing you are.
My mom isn’t big on affection. She jokingly shrugs her shoulders and rolls her eyes when I ask for (all of the) hugs. But, she loves me, and loves on me, in a way that underscores for me that black women don’t have to just raise their daughters, but must love them too.
It’s no secret that my biological father was, and still is, absent. And, some folk say things like black mothers have to be the mother and the father in a single-parent home. My mother didn’t do that for me. My mother never tried to replace my father, or love me the way a man is supposed to love his daughter. She was, and still is, simply the mother that I need and am grateful for in every situation of my life.
She’s the cheerleader mother — she supports everything I do.
She’s the wise mother — gives me great advice.
She’s the manager mother — she is the one executes my visions.
She’s the thoughtful mother — sends me edible arrangements that my students eat most of on my birthday.
She’s the ride or die mother — I’m convinced she’d go to jail for me.
She’s my mother, and with her, the absence of my father was a little less painful.
She taught me how to love myself, keep myself, and do what I know is best for me, so that if push ever comes to shove, I’ll be good, all by myself.
So this one is for her.
Dear Black Girl, thank you for defining love, so I know what it looks like when a _____ shows it to me.