Sunday Musings - Reflections on DC
A week has flown by, and while I did share photos from my trip (Part 2 coming this week), I hardly got a chance to really share some of the things I pondered while on vacation. For one, there is nothing in this entire world that compares to spending quality time with my son. He has his toddler moments that are to be expected, but for the most part, he is such an amazing and incredibly special human being. He did so well on our trip that I constantly had to give him his props. There was one moment where we were walking back to the car after our visit to the White House and I said to him, "First we're going to check into our hotel, change clothes, go get something to eat and then, we'll hit the zoo. Does that sound good?" He replied, "Yes, Mommy. Sounds like a plan." I DIE!!! He is such a little man already and I love every single ounce of him.
While I do love working and helping to provide for my son, there is such a major part of me that aches for my baby boy during the day, so when I'm allowed these opportunities to spend time with him and experience something tremendous with him for the first time, I am in heaven. There is no bliss like that which inevitably is derived from these precious moments.
This brings me to a more somber note of my trip. I was fortunate enough to visit the Natural Museum of African American History and Culture. As you may or may not be aware, tickets are hard to come by, comparable to scoring tickets to the Hamilton production, although the museum tickets are free. I was ecstatic to explore the much talked about museum, and I was so sad that I didn't have enough time to see everything. Needless to say, I plan on returning later this year. To walk through the Black experience in America from the moment we set foot in this country as slaves, to Obama's presidency, is nothing short of mind blowing. As an African American whose ancestors were definitely slaves in this country, my emotions ran the spectrum from anger, pain, pride, and every emotion in between. We've come a long way but still have quite a while to go.
The Emmit Till Room was completely devastating to me. My son had just woken up from a nap as we entered this room and wanted to be held. Thank God for that, because holding him was a sort of comfort to me as I saw the photo of Till in his original tomb and what these disgusting men did to him that were eventually acquitted. His mother was an insanely brave and strong woman who saw to it that the entire world had an opportunity to see what hate and depravity did to her CHILD and Till was a child. He was 14 years old when his lynching occurred and as I already mentioned, the guilty went unjustly free after the horrific and heinous way that they murdered this child.
As the mother of a Black boy in America, I simply can not be unmoved by incidents like this or the most recent Jordan Edwards' murder. As I wrote before when I discussed the OJ series, race is at the very forefront of my mind when it comes to raising and guiding my son. Parenthood is sometimes a daunting job in and of itself, but when race is added to the equation, I come face to face with my own personal limitations, challenges and insecurities. I ask myself and ponder: how do I raise an intelligent man that is both respectful and more importantly respected, as a human being? How do I fill him with an overwhelmingly amount of love, self-respect and self-enlightenment all the while preparing him for a society that would seek to undermine, undo and thwart all of these efforts every chance they get? How do I protect my son, yet avoid sheltering him from a reality, he will inevitably come to learn and experience in the not so distant future?