“Thinking of you.”
A text I sent to my 14 year old Freshman daughter yesterday. A spur of the moment thing. A random uplift at 10:51 AM on a not-so-special Wednesday. Just because.
“needed that thank you <3” was the response from “Bug” in my least favorite text style containing zero grammar or punctuation. At least it included my favorite emoji…a purple heart. Because what doesn’t go with purple hearts??
Reading that text…my momma’s heart double-timed itself. Those were not typical words from my outgoing daughter. As I gently asked into it a bit (aka: demanded every last piece of knowledge and expression and subtle nuance because #MommaBear!!), I felt my heart not just double-time…but outright beat to the pulse of righteous indignation and outrage.
Some kid (boy would I like to use another word there…) thought he was being funny in her AVID9 class and called my precious eldest daughter…a slave owner. Her empathetic and kind heart now lies mangled on the floor as she hears this thoughtless and frankly nasty comment directed toward herself…and her adopted sister.
Over 6 years ago, I was a single mom with a gorgeous 8 year old daughter, and we wanted to share our lives with more people. We chose to reach out and adopt our cousin “S” who had a chaotic childhood to say the least. Drugs & neglect were involved, as well as sexualized situations…”S’” birth mother had lost parental rights to her oldest daughter, and was quickly losing rights to her youngest two children. All three of the children had different fathers, none of them Caucasian. The eldest is half-Latina, while the two younger are half and quarter African-American, respectively. We only know who the father of the eldest daughter is…many men were tested for the two younger, and none were matches. Our educated guess on their half/quarter statuses has more to do with extrapolation of basic genetic knowledge (recessive vs. dominant genes) and watching the children develop over the years.
This is what this miseducated young man is referencing to “Bug” by calling her a slave owner. Our cousin…Bug’s adopted sister…is mixed race. Not that it matters one whit (except to the census bureau) whether she’s black, white, or a one-eyed one-horned flying purple people eater….but this mess of a kid went for it. And hard.
My precious new husband is livid on Bug’s behalf…spitting nails and a few horseshoes too, honestly…while my heart also breaks for my eldest’s sweet spirit and kind ways at having to face down this deficiency of caring and empathy.
Dialing back my ever growing #MommaBear!!, I help guide her…inviting her to see that sadly people are inconsiderate as a whole, and our society has been brought to such a place that being sarcastic, mean, and ridiculous in extremes is the now accepted norm.
With that said…I have always been raised by the motto “there is NO excuse for rude”. I don’t care how old or young one is, how mad they are, how righteous they feel their stand to be….there is still NO excuse for rude. Agree to disagree with me…but don’t be rude. Have your own opinions…but don’t be rude.
The climate of our society has changed significantly in the past few years. Racism has become a thing all over again…every slight is considered an insult to the extreme. We are a country, a people…divided. We have forgotten what made us one. We have set aside our melting pot and jumped on the “take offense at everything” train…and we’re headed for the nearest brickwall at full speed. We are truly living one inch from the wall…and it’s past time to make a hard turn to avoid the impending crash.
My daughters are my daughters. One is caucasion…one is not. One is neuro-typical…one is not. One is outgoing and challenges herself (and those around her at times!! lol)…one hides from her own history and refuses to “deal with real”. They are still my daughters and forever will be. In fact, I’ve been blessed this year to add two precious stepdaughters and a delightfully crazy & loving stepson to my roster, and each one of them will be loved by me without hesitation or condition until the day God lays me down for the last time.
Meantime…I have to find balm for Bug’s heart and spirit. Remind her to BE the good in the world. To stand strong for herself and what she wants to achieve. Help her take that next step she wants to take in the face of the sharp teeth waiting for her.
This is indeed a Crazy, Weighty Life…and we are privileged to live it. Today, the Weighty side came out and bit deep for our little family. Tomorrow will bring a new challenge and a new row to hoe. What will you stand for?