Experts say that women have natural mothering tendencies. I would agree with that, especially when one first gives birth and the doctor or nurse hands them their fresh new baby. You can't help but feel the most enormous amount of love fathomable when you sit there holding that warm sack of skin that you just introduced to the world. Pure love. The good stuff.
The thing is: those little cuddly infants get bigger. Then they start talking, and that includes talking back. And thus the real challenge to that "natural instinct*" begins.
*and I may or may not be referring to the natural instinct that some species have of eating their young.
I was in the grocery store the other day with a very docile Thing 2. He was in one of his particularly charming modes that was causing random strangers to come up to me and comment on "how lucky I was to have such a cute little guy". My personal favorite was an elderly white lady, probably in her 80's, that said "You are so fortunate to have a BOY! All of my grandchildren are girls. I want a boy so bad that I would even take a black one."
How the fuck do you respond to that?
I patted her wrinkled old hand and said, "Thank you. I am lucky. And I hope you get your black baby."
Later, in the same store, I was waiting in line at the deli counter. I was standing next to a mother/daughter combo. The young one was probably around 2 1/2 or 3 years old. She was talking and bobbing her cute little curly head. I smiled warmly. Then I heard her say, in that jabbing way that the speaking children possess, "I'M NOT HAVING ANY FUN WITH YOU, MOM."
My "mothering instinct" kicked in upon hearing that and I immediately knew that my response would have been, "Well I'm not having very much fun with YOU right now either. Maybe if you were nicer, we would ALL be having more fun."
Instead, the cultured mom, whose child won't be in therapy, said "Well, that's too bad because I'm having fun with YOU!"
Shit. Out-mothered again.
I probably need to read some books to enhance my "natural instincts".
Peace, Love and Black Babies,