As I rub my stomach, I know you’re in there.
I can feel your squirms and your moves and I am beyond excited.
I look at this empty space of a room and I imagine the walls painted and I dream of your crib and clothes and the sounds of your laughter.
I take every vitamin, I drink plenty of water, I read to you and I have started your first bank account.
Your dad looks in my eyes with such joy to be your dad, to be our provider, to be apart of your life and take this journey.
He holds my hand at the doctor’s appointment and they say “ It’s a boy”- and suddenly we want to be melanin free.
Suddenly we feel our Blackness. The floor has opened, we want to hide, the loving heart beat I was feeling has skipped, because I have stopped breathing. My breath has been taken away. Suddenly we remember, we are melanin full, dark chocolate individuals in 2016 birthing a little Black boy into a society that will deem you unfit, violent, and nuisance before your birth.
We are not the only ones planning for you.
We are not the only ones looking to meet you.
The system wants you. The system wants to kill you, the system wants to imprison you, the system wants to do everything opposite of what mommy wants to do- it wants to destroy you.
But everyday I will wake and I will rub this belly of mine with oil and I will pray that the Lord forever protect you. That when you walk down the street, you will be invisible to the police officer that wants to stop and frisk you. I will pray that an off duty cop never deems you a threat. I will pray that someone will look at you and see me, a hardworking mama, on her knees praying for an innocent, sweet, loving boy to simply come back home in one piece and not full of bullet holes in a morgue where I will identify your lifeless body. I will pray the day that you obtain your license and say “mama why are you crying?” I will simply respond because I am so proud. But inside I will pray that a cop never stops you on a deserted road or that he never drags you out of a car and slams you straight onto the concrete. I pray they won’t plant guns, plant drugs, and say that you threatened them or that you reached for something but you simply were trying to say ” I can’t breathe”, “Please, I am unarmed.” or ” My hands are up, please do not shoot.”.
I will smile every time your car pulls into the driveway and you say “mom I am home”, because I will spend every moment of you being gone praying you will return safely. I will pray that your name will never be a hashtag, your name will never be added to the list of RIPs on a shirt and I will never stand on a podium trying to explain to the world that my son was a good kid.
But for now, you are in my belly, squirming and as much as the system will fight to take you, kill you, change you, imprison you, hurt you- I as a melanin filled Black woman, will do everything and anything to make sure that the colors of your bedroom wall are painted blue and not smeared red… with white and blue accents of the American Freedom, the American Dream that was never meant for the melanin filled Black boy.
-Always trying to navigate a crooked room.