Birthday Bash, Clash
Wednesday, July 27th was my child’s first birthday. It was a great day filled with love, laughter, & celebration. Unfortunately for me, it seemed like nothing could go right. My baby is teething & she KNEW it was her birthday so she whined the whole day. Not only that, trying to run last minute errands is always a bitch. But it was okay, because it was my baby’s day.
When everything was finally in place & we arrived at the party it seemed like everything would be smooth sailing. It was very family oriented & something fun for the kids. Chuck E Cheese is always a good choice. So, as we played games our food came. We sat down as a family & enjoyed the laughter & conversations. We ended up eating all the food & some members of the party got up to order more.
While in line, my family had a run in with somebody trying to skip the line. She got really close to my Dad (who was in line with my uncle) & my Mim politely said
“ Hey ma’am, they were in line”.
She wasn’t ride or loud, but the woman decided that it was time to turn up. She then began to get loud & somewhere down the line called us “you black people”. Too be honest, that line struck a nerve. Especially with everything going on in the black community right now. Chuck E Cheese just wasn’t the place for that comment to be made. Too many kids & too many young minds that may grasp a hold of that mentality.
As my Mom was attacked my Aunt jumped to her defense.
“Why are you being so aggressive. She was just telling you that our husbands were in line. Please relax, they’re children here. It was a misunderstanding”.
The woman then proceeded to call my aunt a “bitch” & it was about TO GO DOWN. Luckily, my Dad is GREAT at deescalating problems. By that point I had stopped listening in hopes that it would settle down. It did. We continued to enjoy the party until it was over, but of course the situation that happened was still fresh on my mind. Especially with ol’ girl throwing shady looks our way the rest of the night.
As a parent you never want your child to be hurt, offended, or degraded by somebody else’s words. But that night at Chuck E Cheese was an eye opener for me. Even more than the things going on worldwide in the media. That night showed me just how much the lens was focused on me, as it was on every other African American in America.
Being called “you black people” at Chuck E Cheese made me realize that no matter how much I try to protect my child, what’s going on in the world is real. It made me realize that one day I will have to sit down & have that “talk” with my child. And I’m not talking about the birds & the bees. I’m talking about the day I have to sit down & tell my daughter that it is not okay do be black in America. The day I have to tell her that no matter what she does, she will always be seen as “another black person”.
But that’s okay, that’s life. As a parent you have to do what you have to do. & for me, being a parent to a child who’s complexion is considered “more black” compared to mine in America, it is my job to send her into this world prepared for everything. Including racism. Because it will happen. Believe me when I say I’ve had enough people ask me why I “have a black baby” as if I wasn’t black myself. How many people ask if I’m the Nanny. How many people who have asked “why didn’t you procreate with your own race”.
& as a parent, knowing that I will have to have this conversation saddens me. But, it must be done. As parents, we have to equip our children to be capable of dealing with any adversity. We have to teach our children’s to love themselves from the inside out. And as a parent, we have to teach our children that labels do not define them. They can excel at anything that they do & they can be whoever it is that they want to be.
No matter how many people label my child under “you people”, if it’s takes all of the energy in my body. I will make sure, that she stands tall. Head up, shoulders back, & bleeds confidence. She will be a person of excellence & she will not be defined by their standards. But … until we get to that point, I’m just glad my baby enjoyed her fun filled day & wasn’t old enough to understand the hate that was thrown towards her, that day.