I have been on a hair journey, something I will share with you later on. Looking at my hair the other day, I just thought of everything I have done with it because well, life is short. Enjoy it in all ways possible. Try out new things. With what I am currently doing with my hair, it just reminded me of the African roots I am proud to have. It also made me reminisce on the days when I was young and what growing up black was like?
When you were acting up in public and your mama pulled you off to the side to threaten your life.
In my case, it was mostly my pops. You had to behave yourself. I remember once in church when I was ‘misbehaving.’ Dad pulled me out and smirked me telling me if I don’t behave myself, he will do it again. That is how my friends, you get back quiet and do not misbehave again for fear of what may follow.
Your mom at church when the pastor say something about disobedient children
Every time the pastor mentioned something related to what I do, I would get those eyes. Not just from my mama, but my siblings too. Just to drive the point home. I grew immune to that with time, and I would not look my mama’s direction when something was mentioned.
When you wondered why you never got grounded
I would watch movies where kids got grounded. Or even Supernanny where the nanny would ground the kids who misbehaved. I was never grounded. It was punishment on the spot. You make a mistake, you get punished, and we move on. Just got me thinking, how would it be like if I grew up grounded?
When you had to sit on the floor in between ya moms legs while she yanked out your hair
My mother is the one who always washed and straightened my hair. I would sit on the floor between my mum’s legs and try to hold my head in one position as she straightened my hair.
When you ain’t want to go but your parents made you
There are times I did not want to go someplace. My parents would just listen to all the reasons why I did not want to go, and then after hearing me out, still make me go. I stopped trying to explain why I didn’t want to go, and with time well, I guess with growing up they started asking if I wanted to go or not.
“Lawd hammercy, this your baby? Last time I saw you you was bout that big”
Now this statement came from those who met me when I was young. Every time someone would say this, I had no idea on how to respond (still don’t). So, I did what I do best. Smile.
Fix your face before I fix it for you
I would at times start crying when I was being given verbal warnings. “Stop crying before I give you a reason to cry,” my parents would say. It only meant one thing.
I used to pretend to scratch so I could see how much hair was left
I would be at the salon and tired of sitting when I would scratch my head just to see how much hair has not been plaited. I thought it was bright until I realized it was something we blacks do?
“You’ll grow into your uniform. Can’t be buying new uniform every year.”
Yes, my shoes had to be bigger than my actual shoe size because well, “you’ll grow into it.” There were clothes that would be bought and worn when oversize and then when they are a perfect fit, a year later. That’s just how life was.
I could go on and on about it all. The memories are quite many. What I have realized as a young adult now, is, we are not so different after all.
Can you relate?