Went to the mall today. Saw young people smoking blunts in front of a toddler barely walking. The smoke was soooooo strong and thick....I gagged. I couldn't help myself. Lord have mercy on my soul[when will I ever learn?!]. I walked over to them. Took a deep breath. And said quietly, "young brothas could you just please give his lungs a break?" The father stepped in [no more than 25 years old...at least that's what he tells me], "this is my motherfocking baby." I said, "I know. I'm not trying to tell you how to raise your child. I'm not gonna cross the line in that...but! Why does he have to smoke just cuz you are? I mean his lungs are still developing."
Well needless to say, he didn't take it very well. I tried lowering my voice. Talking very sweetly. I even [which is very difficult for me] did the submissive thang. But some of these young folks just don't get it. I said to him, "you're not the only one who loves your child. Once he starts school, there will many folks in his life who will love him just as much as you. I wanna see him have that chance to know what that feels like." So when I said that, one of the other young brothas put the blunt out. The young father turned around and said, "man...you don't have to do that. I told you..this is my motherfocking baby." Lord have mercy on my soul!!! Koco don't say a word please, I kept saying to myself-just walk away. But you know I have to be who I am. I said to him, "young brotha [he wouldn't look me in the eyes] I am so proud to see you loving your child the way you are. That makes me wanna love him even more. Cuz even though I don't know you....I love you too. You could be my baby boy. If I didn't care....I wouldn't say a word to you. But I do care. And I know it's up to YOU...how you will love your baby. All I'm saying is give him a chance. Give his lungs a chance."
After making that statement the young brotha looked at me real hard. You know that gangbanging hard. And cuz I want his child to feel this love I was fighting for him to feel one day....I stood there and took it..you know the bone crushing stare. Finally, the father said, "I hear you." "That's all I want young brotha. Just for you to hear me cuz I don't even know you or your baby but I can stand here and say I love you both," I said in almost a pleading, begging kinda way.
I walked away slowly cuz I didn't want him to think he scared me with his evil eye. I turned and blew a kiss and whispered, "thank you." As I disappeared behind parked cars in the parking lot and after a few steps I found my car. Suddenly my heart dropped to my stomach. It was a very sad moment for me. This generation of children have no clue how to raise dirt...let alone a young life. And here is this boy, who is really a man with good intentions but no parenting skills or clue to what he is doing to his child. I know he was frontin' for his folks...but! I also know he was shocked to hear a stranger tell him he and his child are loved unconditionally. Maybe that was what saved my azz....but! I tell you I feel soooooo sorry for the children born to some of these young folks today. I do recall when I was that young with children, I do recall being a little upset when folks tried to tell me how to handle my children...but! This was different. I expected to hear it from all sides in my community of blackfolks...cuz I come from a village. And I was raised that way...but! Today? I guess the killings of those two children last week by their deranged father was going through my head....and I just had to say something to this young daddy. Whether it made a difference or not...don't know. But what I do know I cannot stand idly on the sidelines and see children harmed or hurt. Just can't do it. I have to say something. Even if it gets me in trouble. Thank God he was half listening....cuz there are many of 'em who don't listen just react. And thank God he was half high too or it probably would have been a different outcome altogether....but! I'm just sayin