"They are perfect, they are beautiful, God bless them."
I was quickly changing diapers in the back of my SUV in Target's parking lot. As I looked over my shoulder I saw a man smiling at our double stroller. He peeked over at my boys who lay down on a mat cooing at each other. The words rolled of the tongue of an absolute stranger and were filled with so much love. I beamed with pride agreeing with everything he'd spoken, while politely saying thank you.
I'll admit, in the hours after giving birth and discovering I now had two sons I panicked for a moment. You see, black men have always had it hard. And most recently 2012-2015 have been tumultuous for the black people as a whole, but especially for our men. Black men are being slain left and right whether they were wrong or right - innocent or not and the slain innocent receive no justice. These men are being senselessly killed and the courts have proven that their lives have little to no value. Most of the times I watch these cases and I feel hurt for the victims. Now becoming a mother my heartaches more for their families as I couldn't imagine what it would feel like to live without my children. It's even more awful to know that people would treat them poorly because of their skin. Right now they receive so much love as babies even though they are black, so what changes as they become black men?
My boys mean the world to me. Like the stranger who could see beyond their skin, I too think they are perfect and beautiful. I just wish I could assure that the rest of the world would see them that way. It's my prayer that their character would proceed their skin in everything they do. I've vowed to raise them as men who love God and his people. I've done my best to build a relationship with a man who God has called to be their father and we are already brainstorming on the best ways to raise our black sons.
We don't want them to fit societies view of a black man, we will remind them everyday that they were made in the image of God. We want them to know that family is important and that men have a huge responsibility for the women they marry and the children they create. We want them to know that they don't have to please people they just need to please God. We want to raise them to know that the standard is not money, women, and cars - the standard is faith, hope, and charity. This is quite a task and the hardest one at that, no other race of mothers or fathers have to worry about their child being jailed or killed simply because of their skin.
I know this isn't going to be easy and I fully expect some challenges on the way. However when I look at the state of the world I know that we MUST raise well rounded young men. We MUST educate our sons about the realities they face. We cannot fail, in this world failure is not an option. Until the days come where we are gently leading them to Christ I'm going to enjoy these purely innocent snuggles and endlessly wet kisses. I'm going to soak up the love they receive from strangers and pray that as they grow society would see Christ in them.