By: Jaime Blanson
In light of basketball superstar Kevin Durant’s dedication of his Kia MVP award to his mother, I decided to dedicate and center this article on my own mother.
Many feel that being raised by a single parent can often hinder a child. Many couples stay in a loveless marriage reasoning that their happiness matters little when set against the opportunity to raise their children in a two parent home.
I beg to differ.
My siblings and I were raised by a single parent. A mother who worked 10 hour shifts so that would could have food on the table and clothes on our backs.
She is a reserved woman who believes wholly in the philosophy that actions speak louder than words. She didn’t smother me with hugs and kisses, but she did make sure I had lunch money every day. She didn’t hold my hand on the sidewalk, but she did make sure that both my grades and my behavior at school was exemplary. She couldn’t afford to buy me a new pair of Jordan’s every Saturday, but she did buy me the school supplies necessary to complete my assignments. My mom is a single parent who does all that she can so that her children can be afforded the opportunities and chances that where lost to her.
Now that you know her soul, let me expound more on her life story. She has lived in the same town all of her life. When she had an opportunity to matriculate to college in California, she stayed in Louisiana to be with her parents. She was the second oldest of seven children, growing up during the 1960s in a somewhat rural, but overtly racist city in Louisiana.
She had her first child when she was eighteen, yet she didn’t let that deter her from obtaining enough education to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. Seven more followed the first one. Each one special and unique to her. Each one she offered an even piece of her heart.
Her story is an all too common one these days. Young African-American woman gets pregnant while she is still a teenager. Only most tales that began similarly to this one, end completely different. In some cases, the idea of parenthood is too much for a young adult to handle, so abortion or adoption become likely scenarios. Sometimes the parents give birth to and raise the child only to become bitter and resentful of the youthful freedom of yesteryear. This is a feeling that they transfer onto the children, and thus the children join the ranks of those who perpetuate black stereotypes and statistics.
Our story is different though, only because my mother was different from the aforementioned young women. My mother gave birth to eight children. All of them educated; none of them imprisoned or dependent on drugs.
My mom has seen a lot in her lifetime. She’s known the fear of being the only woman in a house filled with sleeping children in a poor and dangerous neighborhood. She’s accepted having less so that her kids could have more. She’s given up on her own dreams so that her children could pursue their own.
As Kevin Durant so eloquently said during his speech, “Mom, you’re the MVP.”
To my mother, and all other single-mothers, you are the MVPs of this world. You all are necessary to the success of this team comprised of misfit, misbehaved, unappreciative and bad-mannered children.
We might not show it, but we always know that we are okay to ride the bench as long as you are on our team. We know that we might not win every game, but when we do win, you’ll be there with us every step of the way just as you are there for our losses. We know that when the lights in the arena dim, the cheer of the crowd fades, and just when we feel like giving up, you’ll be there to help us stand until we can stand on our own once more.
Mother’s Day is meant to celebrate and give praise to the most valuable player on your team. It doesn’t matter if your gift costs $5 or $500 just as long as you remember to give thanks to the person that got you this far.
Happy Mother’s Day mom!