My deepest regret about parenting is the timing. As parents we don’t often publicly admit our mistakes. We’ll say we made them, but which ones…Nah. Parents and Guardians take those “SMH-errors” to the grave.
I know God schedules births, but I would have put my oldest son, age 28, at a later date.
I wanted him, but I wasn’t ready for him. I bet someone out there is saying, “You should have kept your legs closed.”
I don’t disagree, but legs don’t listen when your heart believes it is in love.
He came into my life way too early.
You ever wanted to go to the event, but wasn’t ready when your ride arrived?
Have you had a ball hit you dead in the eye because you weren’t ready to catch it?
How about being caught not-camera-ready by a camera?
Well, not being prepared for a baby is worse.
My ignorance worked on my behalf because I couldn’t concern myself with my fears, doubts, questions, my loneliness, my poverty and was still growing up myself.
There are things I managed to do for my son and I’m in awe of my own struggle. It’s one of those things if you gave it much thought, in real time, you’d be in a fetal position from anxiety and worry.
One day, in the heat of the NC summer, we were in my apartment. We were miserable from the heat. A cousin let me borrow a fan. It felt like it was blowing flames of hellfire. We would take baths to cool off and sweat would break through before leaving the bathroom. My baby was red and his mouth was open as if he had a cold. If you’ve been to NC, you know it can be hard to breathe in that humidity.
I began to cry and I called my mother. She sent money for me to buy a window unit. I did and it felt like the wind blew from heaven in that joint!
Another day, I stood at the bus stop with my son in his stroller. I was going to the food stamp office for whatever reason. I felt something on my shoe. I didn’t look. I kicked it away. I thought it was grass. This grass would not leave me alone! I looked down. Lawd Gawd. It was a rat. I swear it looked like he had a knife and wanted my last breath!
I promise you, Mr. Rat met his end that day.
On the way back home, it was pouring down raining. We got off the bus to walk home. I had an umbrella, but I couldn’t push the stroller and hold the umbrella for both of us, only him. I felt the cold sting of the rain, mixed with the NC humidity, and let my wet clothing weigh me down.
But my baby was dry.
I remember his lil head bobbin’ back and forth as I tried to hurry. His expression never changed. He totally trusted his care in my hands. He was born ready for me. Even if I wasn’t ready for him.
I felt so inadequate on that day. Struggling to feed him and trying to keep him dry and meeting up with the overly-friendly rat and not having a car.
Like I said, I wasn’t ready. Are there moments you don’t feel “on-time” for all the things parenting needs you to do?
My son keeps that same trust in me and many of our kids do. He’ll call for me to revise a proposal or to read an email before clicking send. To him, Momma can bring in Operation “Make –Do” and stuff gets done. When someone believes in you like that, you need to be ready for it.