I grew up in barbershops and salons. In the African American community, this is where uncensored conversations about sex, money, politics, current events and religion occurred. As a child, I knew better than to join the conversation, but I did learn how to listen and digest what I was hearing. I learned to see things from a variety of perspectives whether I agreed or not. I learned about consequences from foolish behavior. I learned about successes from hard work. I learned that relationships are complicated. I learned that marriage takes work. I learned what men want and what women desire.
I learned to respect these "jewels" that were given. I learned that everything did not have to be experienced, and that I could learn vicariously. These men and women gave me "jewels" I still carry. They gave me wisdom and insight. I thank God for all the lessons and all the love given to this "young buck." I thank God for the men who stood in the place of my father and all the "mothers" who raised me.
I was blessed to have a host of strong women around me. My grandmother dropped domestic jewels and was my first example of a wife and mother. My mother is an enduring example of strength and perseverance. My godmother is an example of what fortitude looks like and one of my earliest examples of what it meant to truly blend a family. I have a host of mentors, "aunties", play cousins and friends who constantly shower me with "jewels" from their joy, their pain, and their triumphs.
Thank you for your time, your tenth, and your talent. Thank you for showing me that marriage and motherhood doesn't look the same for everyone. Thank you for your jewels. Happy Mother's Day.