I would like to brag about my parents for a second.
Well, more than a second but, you get the point.
I’m the darkest of all of my siblings. I have my dad’s skin color, my youngest sister is the lightest and brightest, and then my other sister and my brother are caramelish. My mom is also a toasty Simba.
Despite this, I was never made to feel that my darkness made me less valuable. I never wished I was lighter, I never looked at my siblings or anyone else and wished my skin could look like theirs. It was a non-issue. The only time I wished I could change anything about my physical appearance was when my Granny brought out the comb and grease and said it was time to do my hair. Then I would think of all the white girls at my school with their silky, satin tresses and how they weren’t getting smacked in the back of the head with a wide tooth combed and being told to sit still and to quit flinching.
I’ve got a lot of issues, mostly from being a painfully shy adolescent and being bullied through middle school. But home always felt like a safe place. My parents always taught me that what matters is how you treat people. That you never know what someone is going through, or where they’ve come from.
My dad also used to make a mean blueberry cobbler from the blueberry’s me and my siblings would pick from our backyard and the surrounding land. That has no significance to anything else I’m saying, but I’m trying to share happy thoughts. What else… I remember once my dad was remodeling the bathroom and removed the counter, where the sink goes? And I saw it sitting out there in the front yard and thought “I’m definitely going to make the grandest tree house out of this.” So I got a sheet from inside, a hammer and some nails and I started doing God knows what. I had this image of this beautiful, carpeted treehouse with recess lighting and two stories. It was going to be amazing. I sat out there for what felt like HOURS just, staring at the potential this old sink had. I finally gave up because I realized my dreams were far too lofty for the carpentry skills I did not posses as a 7 year old. I was so frustrated! But I still remember that day vividly and the tree house I never got to build.
So, so, so much has happened since the last time I blogged. America is in this dreadful tailspin. A lot of us are alert, aware and afraid. We’re seeing that electing our first black president seemed to have unearthed a wealth of racism that I’m sure a lot of people had thought was buried. And Donald Trump is still plaguing our lives with his cartoonish, bold stupidity. It’s a sick, sad world out there. I don’t know what to do except, I dunno, pray? Treat people with love and respect? And share something positive.
If any of my siblings are reading this, please let me know if I’m putting fairy dust on the past to cover some dark, hidden memory where you guys made fun of me for being too black. Appreciate it.