Sunday, May 13, 2007

ok..It is mother's day, and I am my mother's first child, so I feel more than obligated to tell a story about my mother. She'll never read this sadly, because if I send her this, then she'll want to read more of my blog, and it would blow her mind how perverse and profane her son can be at times. but i digress..besides I can cut and paste this if I really wanted. On to the story..incidentally, i have not told this story to many people if at all.

The date was August 18th, 1997. I woke up at 6am in preparation for my first day as a teacher at Nicholas Orem Middle School in Hyattsville, MD. Just a few days earlier, my son had been born in Hampton, VA, and I had checked my messages to hear that I had gotten the teaching job I had applied for. I was scheduled to start teaching that Monday. I had spent every waking moment with my son before that, and that Sunday I had to head back to MD, in preparation for my first day of class. I didn't have a haircut, I hadn't shaved, I hadn't bought new clothes in preparation for this day, and I hadn't even decorated my classroom yet, because of my last minute hire. I was truly going into this day ill-prepared, but I was going to try to brave it anyway. I woke up, got dressed, made a list of things to do, and hopped on the train to endure my 15 minute ride to the school. I was 22 years old by the way. And I never made it to the school.

I started overthinking..I thought about how ill prepared I was, I thought about how i had not looked at the curriculum that I had been sent to me, since I had been with my son, I thought about how unnatural it seemed to leave him with his mother, and I thought about how i NEEDED to work, so I didn't have time to dwell on it..and while I was doing all that thinking, I broke down crying. And it wasn't even one of those cries where you can gracefully hold it in as tears stream down your face..I was bawling, and somewhere in the process I headed in the opposite direction of the school. I had made the emotional, selfish executive decision to not report to that school, and instead I went to my mother's house in Fairfax, VA. I called the school to inform them that i was not coming in, and they were a bit incredulous as you might imagine, and the principal said I was as good as fired, but at THAT time I really didn't care. **sidebar**As I am typing this I am realizing that I was a jackass, and this was incredibly stupid. But this is about my mother, not me, so I shall...proceed...and continue***Anyway, I went to my mother's house, used the key to get in, and sat in the middle of the floor and cried some more. My mother wasn't home at the time, but her place was full of boxes since she was in the process of moving. I remember lying down in the middle of the floor, and falling asleep for what seemed like an eternity, until I was awakened by her coming the door.

Once she walked in, she asked why I wasn't at school, and I told her, and she did something very unusual. Instead of grilling me with a million and one questions, she walked up to me, hugged me, told me she loved me, and took me to IHOP for breakfast and she told me to talk. I talked about my son, my now spiraling teaching career, my fear of what the rest of my life would be like now that I had two people to be responsible for, and many more subjects. This went on for what seemed like an eternity and I felt better. Once I felt better, my mother gently scolded me for abandoning my job, and told me that I needed a plan and quickly because I could not live with her, which I already knew. But what made me love especially love her on this day is her restraint. I could see the disappointment of my decision in her face, and any other time she would let me know how ill-advised it was, but she put all that aside to make sure I was ok and in the right mental state. I'm sure there are at least 100 other stellar mother moments that I could list, but this one always stands out to me, and i'll never forget it. Its one of things that I'm sure I'll have to do as a parent. Your children make you happy, make you mad, and they will eventually let you down. As a parent you have to be able to navigate that balance between tough love and compassion, and on this day my mother did it perfectly.

*the no proorfread rule is in effect for this one by the way. if i sit here and read it over, i'll delete. so it stays as is


hadassah444 said...

excellent Rashad!!
If you havent told/showed her this, you should.

Anonymous said...

okay this is a damn good post and there are no comments. maybe its the sap in me but i'm a little filled.

LittleTortilla stays in DC said...

this is great! maybe this is what i should do on mother's day....write about her.

Jo said...

LOL! You said:

**sidebar**As I am typing this I am realizing that I was a jackass, and this was incredibly stupid. But this is about my mother, not me, so I shall...proceed...and continue***

I wanna hear more about that part! LOL!

RM, this was a GREAT, absolutely great, Mother's Day Blog. Make sure you proofread it, edit it, and send it to your mother. She will cry tears of joy. But make sure, my friend, that when she asks you where you posted it, you LIE, LIE, LIE and tell her something other than your blog site . . .Because she must not EVER read your other blogs. You are right my friend, she would be mortified if she knew what her son was capable of! LOL!