Today I went “home” to my mother’s house to look in on her and make sure her trash was out, etc. It’s a weekly annoyance that is repayment for all she’s done for me that has allowed me to be in the position I’m in today. My labor of love. We’ve always stayed out of each other’s way. She doesn’t come over without an invitation and I don’t go over there unless I’m needed (or to wash clothes). Perhaps we’ve given each other too much breadth and don’t know how to connect for the hell of it. Trash day is my scheduled excuse to get in a tablespoon of my mother in the doses we can both handle that keeps it all respectful and fun.
While at Mommy’s house, a neighborhood acquaintance, just as grown up as I am, came riding down the street in his Big Boy truck. There was a time when this dude would walk down my mother’s quiet street with a plastic cup of the liquid contents of a 40 oz supplied by an older brother or cousin. He used to reek of cigarette and other kinds of smoke and looked to be content with the insular world of his family who housed the alley. Now, he’s a man and has held a real government job for the last 5 years or so and has managed to not only get off his family’s street but has bought property of his own outside of a Metro accessible range to those who used to feed at the bottom with him.
When he saw me on my mother’s steps he stopped the truck and shouted my name out of his partially rolled down window. It was raining but it didn’t matter, it had been a minute since he saw me last and it was important for him to have a moment of my time. His sketchy decisions/activities when we were growing up never scared me and he and his cousins always showed my sister and I nothing but respect. If we EVER needed anything, they would have had our backs. The least I could do was stand still long enough for him to share his most recent updates with me. I heard about his new home and his brand new baby girl. He told me of the immense love he feels and how he can’t wait to get off work and walk through HIS door to be with his daughter. The call of the wild has quieted in him and he responds to cries of a different kind these days. Looking at the endless pictures on the touch screen of his phone and listening to his fireside style love letters to his daughters opened me up.
He asked me when I was going to have some babies because “as long as I’ve known you I’ve always thought you’d make a good ass mother.” Thanks, D. That seems to be the overwhelming consensus-motherhood is in my genetic code. Part of me, as he spoke of his baby girl, identified with wanting to be a part of something bigger than me. Even if only for a moment, the desire for Mommy-dom stirred in me as it hasn’t for some time now. It was a nice feeling. In a truth telling moment, I just realized it’s the 2nd time today that it has happened. Looking through the online Target leaflet, I was excited about the newest version of a high chair. Having no need for it myself, I scanned my memory to think of who is pregnant in my life right now. My cousin will have the benefit of my excitement.
This baby thing, apparently, lives just beneath the surface of my candy shell. I don’t think about it often, but there are days when motherhood calls. Perhaps it isn’t motherhood per se, but the opportunity to create and belong to a pack. The concept is appealing. Still unsure how to navigate the reality and so it remains at my caramel center. Luckily, I prefer salty over sweet and don’t have to sift through these cravings too often. I used to live in this space and once thought it would kill me (softly). It didn’t, but I’m more comfortable steering clear of it. For now…
Watch me move.
For anyone interested:
Fisher Price Space Saver Highchair. Check it out if you’re in the market for one.