Today, September 22nd, 2014 marks the completion of 13 years on planet earth for my son. Today, I officially have a teenage son and he remains to be the greatest experience I have ever been a part of. I call this post Halloween 13, because a parent can feel scared about the inevitability of their child becoming a teenager.
The natural progression of life is really amazing, as much as I have enjoyed years 0 to 12, I had to come to terms that I cannot stop my son from evolving. No matter what I have socialized my son to value, I had to understand he needs to be able to grow and develop his own opinion of the world we inhabit. The trick for a Black father is to understand the world we inhabit will remain to be what we value and nothing else. Thirteen does not mean switch up the game plan because you now have a teenager and it’s up to him to fit in with everyone else, no. It’s actually very simple; continue to learn the needs and aspirations of your child and build the community that will see those needs met.
Thirteen years help you understand significant relationships are a matter of quality time. As much as I feared thirteen bringing distance between me and my son or having a drastic change into the teenage years, everything really remains the same because I am still here and available for whatever he needs at this age, no different from before. This weekend, on Saturday evening, I made Turkey Burgers, French fries and we drank A&W Root beer, before we watched Captain America (Part 2, The Winter Soldier). As I cooked you could hear new music by Prince playing throughout the house as my son sat at the kitchen table reading his new Batman 75 years comic book, an early birthday gift he received. But that’s the point, he still likes the way I get down and has yet to question my music selection, not because I’m a great DJ but because we have been doing this since birth.
So thirteen is going to be cool. My relationship with my son only grows and I have two brand new albums from Prince, what is there to be scared about. I mean besides the obvious challenges, but that is more about the tricks of Halloween, and over the years Black families have received way more tricks than treats, but after so many tricks you have to stop trusting the folks handing out the same bags.
For now I am saying Happy thirteenth birthday to my son and Happy Birthday to my team. In our home my son gives his mother a gift on his birthday to acknowledge the significance of her role in delivering him. Nine months and 28 hours of labor! In the words of Rakim “She ain’t no joke,” and neither is my son, I truly love them both.
Love & Harmony
Yes, this brother was on heavy rotation!! Art Official Age is going to be serious.