I have heard men talk about when their attitudes about women changed and usually this revealing moment comes when they found themselves looking into the eyes of their firstborn daughter. It’s like the moment the Grinch has in the Christmas movie “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” The Grinch was a “mean one!”
He was miserable and he wanted everyone else to be miserable also. You know, “misery loves company.” Well, I believe happiness loves company too, and while I want to spread love and happiness in the midst of the societal ills we are dealing with, I also want to spread justice, equality, consequences and repercussions. It would help if the Grinches of this world would have an attitude adjustment, a change of heart.
All I can say is, “WOW!”
Which brings me to my truth.
Parenting is hard. There’s no playbook or guide. When you’re in school there are so many things that you can’t be taught and so you spend a significant portion of your life in a trial-and-error mode. Fortunately for me, my mother lived long enough for me to “get it,” to have an understanding of many of the “whys” we lived through and that I questioned. The Fresh Prince rapped, “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” I submit that children don’t understand either!
Entertainer and activist Harry Belafonte was interviewed by journalist Roland Martin and talked about his mom’s journey, which was challenging. He said he came to understand her better and elaborated on the significance of counseling. It is important and I highly recommend it. I am also grateful that l had that “Grinch moment” because it cemented my relationship with my mother, woman to woman. Later that year, when she transitioned, her celebration was scheduled for my birthday.
I remained close-mouthed because I didn’t want anyone saying I was trying to run things. Then a lightbulb went off and someone said, “That’s Cheryl’s birthday, we need to change it.” When I protested a change, I was told that every birthday I was going to remember “Mother.” My response was that every day I was going to remember her, so it didn’t matter.
As I spoke at her service, I said, “It was a Friday, June 20 when she looked at my face for the first time and here it is Friday, June 20, 2014, and I am looking at her for the last time. My message to everyone reading these words is to reach an understanding before it is too late. Have that Grinch moment. It is a two-way street, true; but you can’t make the decision for anyone but yourself and it’s a great way to move toward healing and living a more rewarding life. So, if your mom is alive, consider, if you haven’t already, finding out her “why.”
It could be a healing experience! And tell her “Happy Mother’s Day,” every day!
Cheryl Smith is the publisher of Texas Metro News and iMessenger Media.