The evolution of parent hood

My son Brandon begins his freshman year at Michigan State University in a few weeks. And I’m glad to report that he has been low maintenance for much of his life.

The biggest problem I had with him was when he was first born and I took him to the mall for a guys day out. He came into the world with blonde hair and blue eyes and that became a problem for some black women.

One day I took him to Twelve Oaks Mall with his older sister Celine. Celine was bouncing around near us and I held my son before feeding him. I grabbed a bottle out of a diaper bag and Brandon began to wolf down the milk.

That drew the attention of three black women who sat nearby.

They began talking and I overheard one say in a loud whisper: “You know he’s with a white bitch.”

I could tell I was not their favorite black man holding this light-skinned brother with blonde hair and blue eyes.

Their mood lightened when Celine came over to sit with us. She was almost three and had darker skin. The women figured I was with a black woman because of Celine’s complexion. Now they wanted to be my buddy.

“I think it’s great to see a black man hanging out with his children and giving mom the day off,” one said to me.

I wanted so badly to say: “Even if I’m with a white bitch.”

But I held my tongue. I wanted no part of mall security coming over to break up a tussle.

My wife by the way is black. We just had a light-skinned baby I jokingly called Cupid. I understand the women’s anger. There is a shortage of black men for them to date and marry. A black male is 5.1 times more likely to end up in jail than a white man. We make up 38 percent of the prison population. Many of us are also murdered young. Those are two reasons why the black community is crippled with single parent households.

I never wanted to be one of those guys that had babies but abandoned the mom and children. I hated when guys bragged about having a son or daughter. Then you’d ask them when was the last time they spent time with them and they began to stutter.

My children are adults now so the hand holding days are done. The other night I talked to Celine about her first apartment and saving money for big events in her life. I took Brandon to Krazy Jim’s Blimpie Burger in Ann Arbor because the joint was featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives and he believes that every restaurant featured on the show is great.

So far we are four for four.

My days of being a parent are different now. Both children are stuck at home because of the pandemic. Celine’s school told her not to show up until January. We decided not to send Brandon to State until then also.

It’s not the same around the house. I can tell they are bored and want out. They want freedom and to find their own way in life.

My son’s eyes turned hazel a long time ago. And the blonde hair is now a light brown. He’s no longer the guy I gave a bottle to for 2 a.m. feeding or the Cupid looking guy the women in the mall talked about.

But he’s still my guy. And that’s all that matters, no matter who I am with. The same with Celine. We no longer talk about soccer trips to Illinois, Indiana and upper Michigan. We talk finances and apartments, but they are my children for life.

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Published by terryfoster8

I am a 58 year old retired sports journalist, husband and father of two living outside of Detroit in search of his next big adventure in life.

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