I vaguely recall my days of pigtails and brightly colored ribbons those days when life seemed rosy even without rose colored glasses The times when my responsibilities were to study and just obey the house rules I didn’t have to provide because I was provided for and my biggest dramas were centered in whatever gossip had been started about me or if I had a pimple in a not so concealed location… Yes, those were the days when life was easy and I foolishly made them harder than they had to be Fussin about 12:00 curfews and why boys weren’t allowed in my room and why I couldn’t go to the party cause my momma didn’t know them even when I told her such and such was going and she would say she wasn’t such and such’s momma… I remember the days when I’d watch her (my momma, that is) busy as she could be, wouldn’t even sit down to watch TV with me Momma, please SIT DOWN, I would beg I didn’t understand then why she had to wash our clothes every day, or why she couldn’t go to bed without washing those few dishes in the sink that could have waited til the next day… I often think about the times I sassed her, gave her lip cause I didn’t want to do something she had asked like pick up the clothes in my room or scrub out the tub in my bathroom I mean, I thought I deserved all the designer clothes she bought being that I was a straight A student, hardly ever got into trouble never had an office referral or anything like that. In my eyes, I was the perfect child who couldn’t wait to grow up… I didn’t realize then how rotten I was Until I became a mother myself and I find myself wishing for those rosy days again those days when all I had to do was study and obey the house rules I wish for those dishes piled up in my sink to magically disappear cause I have no problem just SITTING DOWN Wishing that my son was a little more grateful for his things Wishing he was satisfied with the things that I literally break myself for Wishing he’d take better care of those expensive toys and designer clothes that get broken 2 minutes out of the box or stained with the spaghetti from lunch Wishing he’d understand that when he’s on the red light at school, he can’t play computer Wishing I had understood my mom and what I put her through… I am no longer a little girl with pigtails I am a woman, with a very important job a job that makes me question daily whether or not I’m qualified for the position because I feel like I’m failing at it and then I wonder whether my momma ever felt like this, ever felt like giving it all up and I’m sure she had to, those times when I gave her lip and never appreciated her the times when I didn’t earn my keep but she kept on pressing and loving me, even in my unlovable times… It’s an effort now to view life as rosy In fact, I have to wear the colored lenses to see the good in life because the bad has really been hitting me over the head And I think back to momma I don’t remember ever seeing her sad, or depressed, or even lonely at least I didn’t until I recognized all those things in myself but I’m nowhere near as discreet as momma used to be I wear my pain on my sleeve, so visible for all the world I’ve never dealt with adversity well and the tell-tale signs are so apparent on my face that sometimes I feel it disqualifies me from the good mother, strong black woman category Momma, where did your tears go when you had to cry? Because I’ve never once seen you do it. Even when cancer invaded your body, I never once saw you break down. When did you take time for yourself? because all your free time it seemed was spent carrying me back and forth from the million things I was involved in Where did your strength come from? Does strength skip generations? because I certainly feel weak. Housework is overwhelming, bills are demanding, money ain’t coming, child-rearing is exhausting… Momma, how did you do it? Sometimes I wish I was that little girl again not because life was easier then, I just want to pay more attention to the things I had missed – I would have a pad and pen in hand, maybe even a camcorder so I could watch you, take notes from you, learn to be more like you and then maybe, I would know where your strength comes from and once I find that place, maybe there will still be some in there just for me.