From time to time, I invite others to share gleaning moments here at thegleanse. Meet my very good friend, Amber Smith: Intellectual, Wonder Woman, and Cynic. Our friendship developed in Holmes Hall at Clark Atlanta University over a mutual love of The Sims!
Anyone that knows me personally knows that I have had a challenging couple of years. My ex and I had a beautiful baby boy. And the relationship promptly fell apart shortly after. I struggled with the prospect of being a single mother because that’s not how I was raised. I have a wonderful father who has always been there for our family physically, financially and emotionally. I always assumed that when I had children, they would have a similar childhood. Even though the relationship was crumbling right before my eyes, I still held on tightly and miserably because I wanted my son to have a family. Long story short, the relationship ended and our dealings with each other have become less frequent. The conversations we do have are fraught with tension and resentment.
Because I’m a rookie in the game of motherhood and because I am attempting to raise a black boy who will become a black man, I am terrified. I always second-guess myself because I can’t fail in raising him; he is my heart, not to mention my legacy. I wonder if I’m spoiling him, if I’m being too soft. He mimics the female things that I do, such as putting a scarf on my head, putting my heels on, and putting my purse on my shoulders. I worry because I am completely unathletic and can’t teach him sports. Even on a general level, I think about every decision I make and how it’s going to affect him in the long-run; at this moment, I don’t have his other parent to bounce thoughts and ideas off of.
Besides my fear that I don’t have the ability to raise a boy to a man, I constantly worry about the DNA my son has. His father was raised with every advantage, but he didn’t have an active father or father figure in his life. I fear my son will have some of his characteristics: lying, hustling, entitlement. His father was raised by a single mother who seemingly did everything she could humanly do to raise a responsible, productive member of society, but for whatever reason it has all fallen by the wayside. (Disclaimer: Some of you may be asking why I was with such a man in the first place, but having a child with someone sometimes shows true colors. I was blindsided by how quickly he and our relationship deteriorated once our baby arrived.) I am so afraid the nature will overrule nurture and that when my son is no longer a cute, cuddly barrel of laughs, I will have a financially and emotionally draining manchild to deal with in my golden years. But for now I will enjoy my little boy for what he is now, not what he may become in the future.