So last week, I realized that I am a mother.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. I have a 2.5 year old so, of course, I’ve BEEN a mother for a while now.
But there’s something about having a sick child that makes that role more crystal clear than ever. My sweet K has had THE worst cold virus and sinus infection over the last week. Tending to her runny nose, rubbing vapor rub on her chest, letting her climb up in my bed and snuggle under my bosom, not getting mad when she sneezes directly in my face (Ew!), and crying tears of desperation as her fever climbed to 104.3—all of these things—showed me one thing: When it comes to my baby, nothing else matters.
No writing or editing deadlines matter (even when they do). No cancelation of classes I’m teaching matters (even when it does). I technically have no other place I “have” to be and nothing else I “need” to do but be with her.
I am mommy. She’s that valuable.
My hope is that one day she will understand that value deeply. And I don’t mean her value just as Tracey and William’s child. I mean her innate value as a woman loved by God. I mean, in spite of the myriad of negative images (both externally and self-perpetuated), her value as a woman of color. So since April is National Poetry Month and I began this writing thing as a poet, I want to share a poem in today’s post written specifically for all the brown mommies and baby girls in the world. Like to read it? Here it go…
I AM NOT/I AM
I am not the greatest.
Yet I am one of many whose collective greatness
has given birth to the genius of generations
and have been awarded by the Heavenly Father with the
most prestigious of honors:
I am not the prettiest.
Yet I know that I am one of many whose collective beauty
has been admired and replicated
and become the standard from which all others follow
Nor am I the smartest.
Yet I am sure that I am one of many whose collective intellect
has dumbfounded the highest of scholars.
My math has yet to be truly comprehended
and my literature makes for compelling conversation.
I am, quite intricately, a woman.
One whose spirit is defined and yet undefined.
A comfortable contradiction.
A collision of power and peace that
ponders the road less traveled
and still makes her own way.
Travel a minute on my path and your eyes
will open to the journey of us.
A road paved with misplaced inferiority and broken glass ceilings.
Impenetrable abuse and emotions held tightly but given freely.
Pay no mind though to the shoes I choose to wear on the journey.
Tennis shoes or run-over loafers
Low-heeled church pumps or six-inch stilettos.
Because no matter what, I remain a woman moving forward.
I have nurtured a sleeping humanity on the bosom of my might.
I’m a Woman.
In the 5th Ward of Houston
I’m a Woman.
On the South Side of Chicago
In South Africa
I’m a Woman
In Salvadore de Bahia
In London and Tokyo
I am a Woman
And in my grave, I’m still a woman.
Only then magnified by the light of the angels
and the sweet smile of my Creator.
So no, I’m not the strongest.
But I do know that I am one of many whose strength has
moved mountains on mustard seed faith.
Who have walked through valleys amidst the shadow of death
and rose again the next morning
to tell the story again.
Some say I’m not too much but
(Go ‘head and snap those fangas. Lol!)
This post is the latest in Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts’ “Faith & Motherhood” series.
Photo source: BeautifulBlackBabies.Tumbler.com
Tracey Michae'l is a writer and educator based out of the Philadelphia area. She is a wife to William and a mother to a beautiful two-year old little girl. You can find her on the web at www.traceymlewis.com.