23.2.12

My First Time


We used to have swim meets, track meets, play hockey in the underground parking garage, soccer in the courtyard, basketball against the lightpost, build bridges to cross the creek, play on the tarzan swing, pool hop, run from security, Nicky Nicky Nine Doors, shoplift from the conveinence store...light fires, steal smokes...ummm I know you are intrigued but I will stop here.  (#goodtimes in a nutshell before the age of 13 in the area that I grew up in-)

"Christine's tough she can play in net"...I'd nod my head yes, stand in the net- they would tell me "You're too young to play!" but I'd stand there anyway and they would once again agree and let me do so under the condition that if I ever got hit in the face- I wouldn't cry (good deal!)

I remember the first day I got hit in the face with a soccer ball but on second thought it probably wasn't the first day...to this day my legs are covered in scars and scratches.

I still have indents in the back of my leg from the time I was trying to stunt down a huge gravel hill on my BMX when I was about 8 and braked too hard (darn).

I remember people getting into fights and myself in particular getting into "fist fights" (remember those?)- I always hung around the older boys so it was a good deal - they'd encourage me to fight the other boys my age (even though I was not one) but let me know if at anytime if it even looked like I was getting beat up they would bring a stop to things PROMPTLY.

I remember this one time I was fighting this kid and I don't know how it got broken up but it did- it ended with him running upstairs to get a parent or something.

I remember when he came back down stairs he stood at the top of the steps that overlooked the little courtyard we were playing ball in and he held a broken hockey stick.

He was red (his face) you could tell he'd been crying and he stood at the top of the stairs looked down at me and in a very broken and cracking voice he yelled "I have a N&^%#rR Beater and I'm gonna beat you with it."

I heard the word before but this was the first time I was called it (as per my previous post)- was never too impressed by it and it held no power in my life so I wasn't moved-

My mom  had previously told me that it meant ignorant and she taught me that I was not ignorant there for this term did not and would never apply to me- I was OK with this.

So when the kid did that while we were outside playing, I kind of shrugged it off. But the other boys turned from the soccer match, looked at me and asked if I had heard what he just said to me.

I said, "I did" but didn't care- I wasn't one!

My dad told me that none of the people I ever met were- so you could understand the passivity here as one of the interesting dynamics. The other interesting thing was all the boys that I was hanging out with were white and this always stands out in my mind.

I remember telling them I didn't care- I remember one of them telling me it didn't matter if I didn't care I could never let anybody call me that.

So I darted up the stairs straight towards him got to the top and I looked him in the face and asked him, "what's in your hand?"

He said it again...

I told him he was wrong it was just a broken hockey stick! (with very sharp and pointy edge I might add it made me nervous)

I kind of looked down to see where the big guys were at this point and they were standing in the middle of the stairs that I had just ran up...the kid corrected me and told me what it was again and he went to take a swing and I remember one of the guys saying "don't you dare hit her" and I grabbed it from him and I swung-

I remember holding it in my hand and being almost mad as the fury of hell or at least the 8 year old equivalent- but wasn't really sure why and I asked him a question after I hit him twice with it..."So what is it now?"

The kid ran upstairs to his apartment- I remember one of the guys telling me I was strong and then me asking if we could back down into the courtyard to finish playing soccer...they agreed and not too long after my Mom called me from off the balcony so I went upstairs to get some lunch.

When I came back down- everyone was still out there and they were like "Ohhhhhhh Christine, ______'s Dad is looking for you- he said when he found you he was gonna kick your black and white a** all across the parking lot!"

Heavy right?  (I was 7 or 8 at this time I want to say the summer before I started grade 2 but am not 100% sure) And often, often, often around where I grew up parents got into it with kids and vice verse (kind of crazy looking back).

They told me he was walking around the building looking for me and he was M-A-D.

Another thing my mom told me was if any one's mom or dad was looking for me I was to come home first...so that's what I did...I went upstairs and told my mom the story.

I remember her calling his mom and telling her the story and his mom getting bent out of shape because I had no right hitting her kid with a hockey stick...and my dad coming over and giving me the "N" word talk and the verbal permission to if they weren't bigger than me beat the snot out of anyone that used the term against me.

For the record it never got that out of hand again.

I was a smart kid.


We desire to bequest two things to our children -- the first one is roots; the other one is wings.
~Sudanese Proverb


CJ



9.2.12

"I'm a mixed kid" - MID WEEK CONFESSIONS -#BHM Edition


Growing up I never had a clue of what #BHM (Black History Month) was- I actually concluded that it was just a poster in my elementary school and a few good quotes on the morning announcements.

I wonder when #BHM started?
-I will look into finding out.

I joined the Black History Club in highschool as an attempt to miss class and get free food-it lasted about a day(I was obviously not that interested or hungry and clearly missed the point).


I'm a "mixed" kid.

I was raised for the most part by my mother to never care too much for race or colour-but have had undeniable experiences through the years of my life that have seemed to be related and have caused me to look outside of this upbringing.

I remember the first time someone referred to my hair as "good".

I remember in that same experience the hairdresser referred to my sisters as "not so" and suggested a relaxer (It was probably around the second grade this would have put her in kindergarten).

I remember the first time someone suggested that I was "mullato"

I remember the time I concluded that I was a "half-breed" and my mother quickly educated me that term was mostly reserved for dogs and the like.

I remember the first time someone called me "white girl".

I remember the first time someone told me I wasn't really "that black" as a compliment.

I remember the first time someone called me the "N" word.

I remember saying the word a couple of handfuls of times "the cool way" and concluding in my heart that it just wasn't right and not even mildly cool even though a lot of the music I was brought up on was saturated with it (I'm assuming in an attempt to rob it of it's power.)- p.s. I will never be yours.

To this day I still dig artists that use the term and chalk it up to artistic freedom- I just can't relate all the time.

One of my best friends (Akeicha) wished me a Happy Black HISandHERstory month this week and asked me what I had done to celebrate so far- I didn't have a definite answer but was proud of myself that I added a banner to my blog and decided on sharing about most things "Black" even if not that historic-and even at the risk of isolating some of my readers (I've heard it).

I'm going to do it for the rest of the month-share some of my experiences probably.

#BHM has become important to me because I have kids now and my kids have been classed in the school yard and have asked me questions.

I've banned them from using Black, White or Yellow etc. when describing their friends to me. I tell them to find out the country they are from or sometimes ask them if they look like anyone else we know...sometimes colours are just to primary.

I still sing the song "Jesus loves the Little Children" to my kids.

I understand that race is a very important issue and I am not politically correct by any means so please if I write something insensitive or not that clear- understand it's only my simple opinion and take on my experiences (or leave a comment I'd love to talk about it further with you).

My Mom is white and I am relatively "light" skinned and my oldest son is much like me and a lot of this started when he caught my attention when I heard him telling his little brother "I'm white like Mom and Nana and your black like Dad, Grandma and Grandpa."

I let them know that they are Bajan, Jamaican, British and Scottish but would mostly be called Canadian when we were in Canada but if anyone called them a colour it would probably be "black"- I'm ok with this.

Conclusion:
In this month I am committed even if it does not show up in a post on this blog to considering as much of the whole story of my "Black History" as possible.

I know a ton about my "White/European" history and there has never been a month dedicated to it- I don't believe in a mandate secretly established by a certain society to blanket the Black Experience...but I believe that in every culture of the world, painful pasts can be easily overlooked or better left unspoken and the wrong people get the credit for right deeds (don't be mistaken I am not trying to downplay slavery or anything related at all-like at all!)

I know this topic is a touchy one but in my Canadian experience it's one that needs to be embraced.

I've chosen to be "hands on" in this season...as I celebrate a legacy that is not so much a colour as it is a people.

thanks to:

a blog that I dig for encouraging this week's confession. :)

1.2.12

My Desire For My Daughter


She brings definition to the term "Vision of Loveliness"

She kisses my face and she tells me she loves me

She's the princess of the castle and at times we butt heads for the role of queen- my love doesn't change

They tell me she reminds them of me when I toddled and I am thankful for the compliment

She has my heart and in those moments when I catch a glimpse of the inside of hers I am intrigued by the wonderful mix of lioness and lamb contained in her tiny being

She is my privilege

My hope is she would always be Salome Noa- "nothing missing, lacking or broken, always moving and continually evolving"

The girl who will agree that her hair looks pretty and then conclude "But Mommy OWWWW!" and rip the hair ties from her crown

That she would see perfection every time that she looks through big brown, slightly slanted eyes and want to be no one but herself

That she would never desire a skin tone deeper or even a half shade lighter-but that she would know rest

That they would never call her names based on her ethnicity, body shape, their ignorance or the fuel that drives their lust

Just Salome, Queen or Beautiful

That she would know herself, never compromise and be a catalyst for the change her heart desires

That she would play and be the gift of song she is and is becoming more of everyday...effortlessly.



CJ

p.s.
Let me be the first to wish you a Happy Black History/African Heritage Month-this time of year excites me!