A great woman who became my 1st girlfriend at the age of 6 (hey, I started early) who loved me greater than no one else could and protected me from anyone that would try and harm me… and I love her for that. Yes, my partner-in-crime just touched down in the ‘Ville i… which in turn forced me to spruce up the place (like checking for golden wrappers) and putting some food in the fridge (did you think she wasn’t going to cook for her baby?!!!). If you haven't figured it out, Ma Dukes is in the building.
Before I start preaching on the greatness of Miss Sharon, I must also note that it will be a miracle if we don’t bump heads some time during her stay. Please know that Mama is not going to hold her tongue for anybody even if she is staying in my home.
Sometimes parents forget that their children have minds of their own and that they don’t have to coddle them anymore; it’s hard for them to let go and understandably so; they are the reasons you are breathing today. With that being said, without (most of) them, we wouldn’t act the way we do today. For example, one of the reasons I write is because Moms took me to the library every week so that I could check out an immense amounts of books to read. These books allowed me to gain an appreciation for literature (plus we got free pizza for every 3 books we read - shout out to the BookIt program!) but that’s beside the point.
Parents need to be aware of what their child’s interests are (sometimes what they want them to be interested in) and nurture them. My folks separated while I was still a toddler – but I never lacked guidance or felt like I was missing anything. See, this little woman, no more than 5’4” or so, would still take me to the park so we could play catch, shoot hoops, etc. She may have not been that great at either but that type of sacrifice stuck with me. She was a giver who was never be-grudging of anything… especially her belt, when I got out of line.
Moms: “This is hurting me more than it’s hurting you.”
Me (inner thoughts activated): Then, tell me why my butt is sore?!!!
Her “whoopin” lines used kill me every time but I knew she was right (but I’ll never admit it to her, though). Without the fear I had for my mama (and her belt, shoe, extension cord, etc.), I may not be sitting here, typing to you today. I guess she just figured out what exactly to do.
Did I also mention she was a sleuth? She always knew when I was lying and when I was up to no good. She knew who stole extra candy from Big Momma’s house, who didn’t wash behind their ears and who was in her house when she wasn't home.
Yep, she definitely knew when some fast-tailed girl had been in her house while she wasn’t. I distinctly remember a time when I had a half-day from school and I invited [translation: snuck] some of my friends over before she got home from work. I took my “girlfriend” upstairs so I could be like Maxwell and do a lil' sumthin sumthin when my homeboy, The Long-Haired One came barreling up the stairs, out-of-breath.
Mama Sharon was home early!!!
“Oh, my damn, what am I going to do?!!” I thought to myself.
I quickly prayed to Jesus to spare my life (and social standing) from this woman. She came in and immediately started to yell.
“Smart Guy, if you don’t get your narrow behind down here and pick up your coats…”
Moms had a thing about being orderly and neat, when she arrived home and saw the disarray, she naturally assumed they were my things. I rushed to pick up the coats with a quickness that was Olympic-esque. As I reached for the garments, she looked closely at my flustered face and simultaneously noticed that one of coats was hot pink. “Boy, you don’t have a pink coat… who in the h*** is in my house?” she asked.
Slowly but surely, 8 stimulated teenagers trudged down the steps into the living-room, to find my mother there with a noticeable scowl on my face. “Now I know your parents didn’t raise you to be sliding around somebody’s house when they’re not home… you should be ashamed of yourselves… get the h*** out of my house before I call the cops!”
As they all sauntered out of the door, she looked at me, laughed and told me --- to get the hell out, too.
You think you’re grown, huh? Go stay with your Big Momma…”
And I did, for the rest of the afternoon. After that, my lustful encounters quickly dissipated… but I think that situation saved me from making a mistake I couldn’t retract later on in life.
She dispels that knowledge to every knucklehead that enters the household at 78th and Vernon…
Thanks, Ma (aka Gammaw)… we couldn’t have done it without you.
That’s my time. Feel free to give a shout out to your folks, too…