It just came out…it was like something took a hold of me…I felt like I was exiting my body…I was empowered to ‘parent’.
Grandma was not having too much difficulty with Bryson and Brandon, a set of five year old twin black boys. They were busy…needing attention. Happy to be with Grandma at the grocery store, and excited about: “Look, Brandon we can sit at the table like we are businessmen.”
I was two feet away from B and B. We were in the Starbucks section of Kroger. The restroom is adjacent to the seating area with tables. I share this space with men and women from all walks of life. Homeless…mentally ill…non-English speakers…the hungry who wait for the ideal moment to steal a prepared meal from the refrigeration case…aspiring entertainers…writers like me…job hunters like me…and pretenders pretending to be important.
Today, in that very moment I was with Brandon and Bryson the wannabe Entrepreneurs. Grandma was wondering what to do with Brandon and Bryson when she entered the public bathroom which by the way need to be thoroughly sanitizes. She asked, “You two gonna be okay while I am in here? Yall gonna behave?” Their thoughts matched mine when I was a rambunctious kid that was on the verge of being left alone in an intriguing place. My place of exploration was Winston Street Laundromat.
They responded, “Yes, Grannie.” Liars…as I was three decades ago! The moment Grannie turned her back Bryson and Brandon were preparing to get up and explore…they were up. The black boys who had just told a white lie began to set-up a game of musical chairs.
Then it just came out…it was like something took a hold of me…I felt like I was exiting my body…I was empowered to ‘parent’.
“Boys, sit down. Feet on the floor and hands on the table.”
Grandma heard me…she confidently giggled and went to relieve herself.
When Mrs. JoAnn (grandma) exited the restroom Brandon, Bryson and I were online looking at a map of the United States as a result of Bryson asking, “Where are you from?”
Not sure why, but this late afternoon occurrence was immensely more meaningful to me than doing extremely well during a panel interview for a promising job earlier today. I need a job, but in that moment I was elated. Happier than I have ever been while in the Rat Race of work!
Black men, we have to step-in from time to time…even when the children are not ours…too many of our women, young and old, are raising inquisitive –not future pant sagging hoodlums - black boys alone.
Thankfully, my Parental Instinct kicked in…it was not me doing a good deed it was the parent in me - and an overwhelming desire to break the cycle of neglect and abandonment that leads to the Demise of Young Black Men.
Brandon and Bryson have no idea how much they MADE my day!