In 9 years my son will be a black teenager

My mind is racing, my heart is pacing, I can’t sleep. I keep checking in on our 4 year old as if he’s going somewhere. I keep hugging him and he keeps squirming. I keep whispering our love to him. Keep kissing his face. I keep praying and crying. We can’t control the outside world. We can arm him with info. But what info? I’m not yet prepared to tell him the crazy truth about his identity, which he’s begun to be so proud of “Mommy! He looks brown like me!” and smiles broadly. Makes your heart race and soar. He could be over-prepared or under-prepared. A million conversations bounce in my head “Son, if you’re in trouble look for a police officer.” “Son, keep your hands visible or a police officer may think you have a gun” “Son hands visible or not…”  Justice. Peace. I don’t anticipate him being “in the wrong place at the wrong time” or “hanging out with the wrong folks”…but what does all that mean??? And really? Trayvon and Michael were teens. Doing what we might typically label as “teenage mischief”…or not…my head hurts! My son. My nephew. My brother. I flash back to college and Rodney King…that was 20 years ago! I never said I was Trayvon, I always said “I am Trayvon’s mother” and Now “I am Michael’s mother.” Hugging my boy some more. Summoning enough energy to turn disbelief and sadness mixed with some anger into justice, peace…God have mercy. My privilege just got I’m not surprised. I’m disappointed. I’m sad. I’m quite frankly scared. Our son is 4, since his birth I’ve lost count but over a dozen similar incidents each year, most non-publicized. I’m sick. Fear will not paralyze us. Breathing. In 9 years society will make many changes and I fear that our perceptions of each other based on race and ethnicity may not change (the pessimist in me). The optimist says if all the like-minded folks work (harder than we have been since the nation began lol) change will come…9 years is around the corner and tonight I am Michael Brown’s mom and I feel her pain.


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