Things that Change Boys To Men

Last year my son informed me that he wanted to take the High School Test which is a big deal here in Detroit. See it’s the passing or failing of this test that let’s you know if you’ve been accepted into one of Detroit’s premier high schools. For the 1st time in his life, I felt he was taking some real interest in his future. It was a semi-cold afternoon in January as we rode toward the testing site and I asked him “Are you ready?” He said, “I’m fine.” During one of my regular chauffeuring trips to get him EVERYWHERE he needs to go. I told him I was proud of him and that everything would be alright. The closer we got to the hotel (that’s where they took the test) I sensed a change in his demeanor. When I pulled in front of the building he reached for the door and said “I just got nervous..” He opened the door, walked inside and that was that. When I came to pick him up after the test he made mention that it was easy. That’s when I got nervous!

The results take a significant amount of time to get in. The kids are on pins and needles wondering – Did I pass? #19 is coming home with bad news of his friends that didn’t pass. His own teacher told him he wouldn’t pass and that he was a failure. I hope you all know that I didn’t take her words light and my actions were straight from the GHETTO MOMMA HANDBOOK!! She got the message and left mine alone. His birthday came which is April 3rd and still no answer, on if he got in. One of his friends that came out with us told us that he failed. In some strange yet appreciated way, Lorez’s faith kicked in and he screamed to the top of his lungs that HE PASSED. I looked sideways, because I haven’t received anything in the mail stating that this was a fact. He explained to us on the ride home, they send out all the failing letters 1st then send those out to the students that passed. The next morning, I could’ve start calling him prophet Wilson. There the letter was informing us that he had been accepted to the Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School of Detroit, Michigan. Needless to say he wasn’t as excited because he already knew, somehow.

May 8th, marked the day that we would go in for Freshmen orientation for the graduating class of 2017. Within the first 20 minutes, I broke down because my Duke, Manchild, Kid and favorite son was growing into a young man I was proud to call him my son. The majority of his friends decided to go to Cass. He was here all alone. The reality of this moment meant more to me than words will ever be able to describe. As a single mom I was beating the odds. This 14 year old black boy was taking life seriously, not becoming a menace to society or becoming another negative statistic. I shield my tears as not to let him see and took in this moment. My first-born was on his way to high school. Hell, it feels like I was just in high school (15 years ago, lol). Last & First Day The morning of June 5th, I pulled up to drop him off at the only school he’s ever attended in his educational career Martin Luther King Jr. Education Center Academy. Today was graduation day and it started at 1pm. With a truck full of emotion running through my body, I got dressed and there on time. As the graduates marched in I spotted my joy on any day, sitting there cooler than cucumbers on a side salad. Then my phone start vibrating. It was him texting me that his dad was coming to this glorious occasion. Let me be honest, I damn near lost it!!! All of the chapters from the GMH were running through my head: Wtf, wtf, wth, no he didn’t, somebody hold my purse, let me at him, I’m bout to tear this mutha down and who do he think he is!!! Then the Kid text me again and says “Calm down.” I told him I would try and he graciously replied thank you. I look up at him and mouthed that I loved him. Then I noticed a strange look on his face and right when I was about to text him, Shawn screams out “Hey Rolo!” The clown had moved closer to me and was trying to speak. My friend Daryl had to push the word hey out of my mouth, literally with a nice little shove. Then his mother appeared and I gave her a big hug and this other lady was with her. And you know what they wanted – SEATS, and I had a few. His godmother’s and Shawn’s seat, so I let them have them and opted to stand for the remaining portion of the ceremony. If my emotions weren’t already all over the place before, they sure as hell were now.

As they gave the awards, announced the schools that each child was promoted to Lorez stood alone as the only member of his class going to MLK High School. His cheering squad was the loudest because we already know the greatness that is within him. They announced that he held a 3.6 GPA his entire final year. He grabbed his certificate, walked across the stage and out of the first 2 portions of his primary education. Then I spied with my observant eyes this guy that looked familiar to me returning toward the rear of the auditorium after taking pictures… And I want to field goal kick the phone out of his hand with my 5″ heel sandals I was wearing. But I remembered the message “Calm down.” As the newly promoted high school freshmen walked out to meet their families and say their farewells to the staff, I shed a tear. I did it. I got him over this 1st hurdle. I stood there for a moment and took it all in and orchestrated an opportunity for me NOT to run into this guy that screamed out.. “That’s MY son,” that I almost recognized. Esha stayed back with me to keep me calm and I was glad she was there to bring me some peace, in a storm I was about to manufacture comparable to a hurricane.

I realized that I need to talk with his dad about the anger I harvested toward him in his absence in my rearing of this amazing child. That’s all I have to say about that.

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After the pictures were taken, we went to lunch, spent more money in honor of a job well done and enjoyed the company of good family and friends. I reflected on the events of the day. Something that I heard Oprah say came to me, “there’s a time in our child’s life when we as parents are the manager. Then we must shift to be the consultant.” My time was drawing near for me to become just that in his life. I’m very proud of him to this point and his future looks very bright if he stays focused on his goals. 🙂 for me – I have a high school student!!!

Congrats to all the GRADUATES this year!!!

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