My son often asks me to tell him the story about “when he was in my belly” and “the day he came out”. I think it is mostly because he wants to hold onto the memories of the days before he had an annoying little sister. I always tell him the gross things like how I always had to spit and the funny things like “when the doctor saw you she said that is one big baby!” I tell him how cute and chubby he was and how happy I was to finally meet the little boy that was growing inside me for 9 months who decided he needed to make an appearance the day before Thanksgiving.
I don’t tell him how scared I was when I found out I was pregnant. Scared to disappoint my family, scared I was just going to be well…another “statistic”. I don’t tell him how hurt I was when his father said he didn’t want me to have him and questioned even being his father. I don’t mention that after I woke up from that nap you take after having a C-Section how embarrassed I was when the nurse told me his father left right after and said to tell me he was going to work. Or how insignificant that made me feel we both were. I don’t tell him how I spent most of that day alone and quickly realized that this is how it would be. I don’t tell him that the reason I chose a C-Section instead of being induced was because I was terrified of being in labor alone and knew his father wouldn’t stay.
When those feelings come back I feel robbed of the moment that was supposed to be the best day of my life. I don’t talk about it because honestly, people don’t understand and they really do not care. Women, especially black women, are supposed to be stronger than any feeling meant to break them down. “So ok, he won’t have a dad. So what, a lot of kids don’t have dads, deal with it.” “You have to do everything on your own? So what, there’s women doing it on their own with twice as many kids and half of what you have. Deal with it.” “He has ADHD? Stop letting these white people tell you foolishness. Deal with it.” “You have it too? Depression? Anxiety? Oh Please. That’s all nonsense. Deal. With. It.”
So I did. And as I sit here and think of all of the things I’ve had to deal with and I think, wow he will be 8 this weekend. After all the crying I did when he was born, all the praying I did when he was admitted in NICU that Christmas, and after all the fighting with myself I did and still do, on just trying to learn how to DEAL with things including his challenges with distraction, focus, body control, impulsivity, the constant jumping, running, and need for activity and action, my son will be 8. I have managed to deal for 8 damn years. And you know what I’ve learned? This is unconditional love. That boy loves his mama and I am grateful I was chosen to be his.
All of our journeys are different. The shame, the guilt, and regrets are heavy and exhausting. We must let them go. This time of the year is difficult for a lot of people. The single moms trying to figure out how to make the impossible happen, the ones going through divorces and separations, the ones that are lonely, the ones that are dealing with losing a child, the ones that are constantly being told to just deal with it. I get it. I know what it is like to scream and nobody can hear you. I know what it’s like to have to really question “ What am I thankful for?” Because it seems like there’s nothing, just you lying in a pile of shit to deal with.
So if you can, just try being thankful for today. The day where you decide to accept, admit and be accountable.
Accept your past, your mistakes and the things you cannot change. Accept the actions of others because we can’t control what other people do, say or think of us. We are only in control of the treatment we will accept and how we respond.
Admit that you are dope af. Stop thinking you are anything less than the queen that you are. Acknowledge that you have not given up, that you breathe strength, beauty and class despite what anyone thinks, even yourself, every single day. Speak more positivity, more opportunities, more possibilities, and more love into your life. Get your soul right.
Accountability is how we prevent the darkness from constantly reappearing in our lives. We have to make changes to see change. Take responsibility for the mistakes so we can take credit for our success. There is a lesson to be learned in every let down. Be mindful and honest with yourself and surround yourself with people that will hold you accountable. You either make yourself accountable or you will be made accountable by your circumstances.
It is true what they say, there is always something to be thankful for. Even if is just second chances, random blog posts, the day…¦ or being able to find all of the good things to say when your baby says “Mama tell me about when I was in your belly and the day I came out.”