I’m black. My ex (Mom) is white. My boo is neither.
So, this summer has been one filled with tumultuous happenings around the globe. With the terrorist attacks in France and Turkey to the uncategorical willful devaluation of young black lives at the hands of police, all underscored by unprecedented political discourse, you would think now would be the time to contemplate your surroundings with greater scrutiny. All lives matter – to this we can all agree. However, in an effort to demonstrate solidarity and champion the cause for social change, you can almost forget some of the harsh realities of the now. I provide this preamble to set the stage for the next journal entry.
Mondays are my ex’s (Mom) days. Today, I happened to have tickets to an arena football game. The one thing my son and I will always have is going to football games; NFL, NCAA, Arena. I asked Mom if she would be ok with me taking him. She replied, “No. We have plans.” I was a bit bummed, but I understand. In a subsequent conversation about getting ready for the upcoming football season, I mention,”I asked if you could come to the game but your Mom said you had plans.” He quickly responded, “No we don’t.” Assuming positively, I responded to him, “Great. I know she said you have plans. Hopefully, its a big surprise!” It was a surprise alright. My son proceeds to tell me, “Mom says we are going to a Black Lives Matter rally and I don’t really want to go. If I don’t go, she is just going to take the girls.” Me — (silent mad face).
I shoot a series of text messages to Mom with an expectation for an expedient reply. I need to know what the hell she is thinking. Tick tock. Tick tock. An hour goes by. No call. No text. Tick tock. Tick tock. Another hour goes by – still, no call. Now I am hot! I call her and she is just getting out of a meeting. We have words but not enough for my liking. She has to call me back.
You must always be the fun parent.
Why is it always my fault?
Don’t usurp my authority.
Now, keep in mind, I found all this out from my son. He is aware of the news and how Blacks Lives Matter plays into it being of mixed ethnicities. In the meantime waiting for her to call back, I have scoured the internet to find information on the rally. As it turns out, it wasn’t a rally but a “discussion” with local community leaders and the Chief of Police on current race relations. If you follow my thought process, you will ask yourself many of the same questions I did.
What the hell is she thinking?
Why would you take 3 girls age 6,6,9 along?
Why are you taking him – shouldn’t that be a job for his black, father?
Once we finally spoke again on the phone, the words were laser sharp and on point. It felt like this was the occasion, after months of suppression, the fires that burns in our bellies was unleashed. My biggest issues were 1) The safety of the kids 2) The appropriateness of the subject matter. I completely applaud her for being willing to put her empathy into action and help educate our children, but there are other ways to accomplish the same end without potentially putting them into the crosshairs of a radicalized dissenter and succumbs to the harsh realities we now find to be common place. Not my child. Not on my watch. Not while I can live and breath. Not today. Not tomorrow.
After running out of things to argue about, she agreed to go home and reconsider it with the kids…
…they didn’t go.
I am not unreasonable. So she is mad at me and I think my Dad said it best, “Oh well. She will get over it.” I put my foot down, but that came after my first thought – What the #$%!