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  • kamyra9

THE MORNING AFTER

At 2:00 am this morning, we turned off the television. I slept restlessly. My husband and I were up and down. When I did sleep, I had a nightmare of staring a burning cross in our neighborhood park. I gave up at 5:30 am. Reluctantly, I tried to jump into our morning routine. I sent our sons three corny inspirational texts instead of one. When it was time to hit the kitchen, I couldn't move. I cried. I cried, and I cried. For our guys' safety, I cried. No worries. The tears were expected. At least I could get them out of the way before dealing with the youngest. When the leak stopped, I put on my mommy panties and prepared myself for ushering Jr. Teen into our not-so-brave new world. 


Our baby was devastated, not because he lost but because he was frightened. He didn't want to get out of bed. When I urged him on because the world needs his brain and talent, he listlessly replied, "Why? The president-elect hates what I am." I couldn't dispute the statement. But I could do my best to prepare him for a hard day. Every day, I look forward to our breakfast talks. I sacrifice to hold on to the tradition. Today, it took all I had to get it right. We had a constructive conversation. 


I reminded him of the genius of the three branches of government. "He is president, not king." We agreed that we desperately need to call upon our frustration management skills. In the coming days and years, we will hear and see things that assault our sensibilities. We can only react to some of them. We must strategize how we respond to those that require our energy. We explored how the world, specifically African Americans, has survived more challenging times. We can do this. In 2016, we have knowledge and resources beyond our ancestors' wildest dreams—it is time to use them. The mid-term election goals were part of the conversation he grabbed ahold of. We linked how Congress constrained President Obama to how the same can happen to President-elect Trump. For the next four years, that can work in our favor. Yes. I know Republicans now control Congress. However, many representatives are up for reelection in two years. They may disagree with what we want, but if we're vigilant, loud, and unyielding, they will make concessions we need to keep their seats. Considering what I was up against, it went as well as expected. 


I almost got through the morning with my mommy panties intact. Today, our goodbye hug was extra-long. His voice was barely a whisper during our departing prayer, but we plowed through. Then I saw it—the sight of a 13-year-old in despair. It broke me. The floodgates opened. When he turned his back to get into Papi's car, I cried harder than before. Then I prayed—again. It wasn't my usual send them off into the world prayer. It was purely visceral.  


I am afraid. I'm also heartbroken after seeing real fear in a 13yo. If only I could shoulder that. That maternal impulse is more vital than wanting to assume his pain when he is sick or hurt. This is deeper. Working through that with our guys is the current challenge. Our children can't get off course because of this election and its aftermath. They must use it to propel themselves and others forward. It can't derail any part of them. Ensuring that is our parental duty. Knowing this, I allowed myself another good cry. Then I walked off my feelings, began my day, and sent the kid a love text, or two, or three. We have to keep him confident in our love. The president-elect may hate what he is, but we love and need him. Keeping our guys safe and emotionally secure has new meaning in this house. 

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