Chittlin's and Chopsticks

Writer and mother, Terris McMahan Grimes, the Mother From Another Continent, an her friends share their slighty off kilter parenting views and their takes on a whole lot of other things.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Chocolate, Guppies, and Me

Summers, I take my ten-year-old swimming at the Sam Pannell Community Center as often as possible. It’s a wonderful place with access for those in wheel chairs, wading pools, islands, and a big water slide.

Usually there are so many little children of color there, the pool looks like a big bowl of guppies with a few koi tossed in.

Being a Multi-tasking Goddess, I usually work while my kid does guppy stuff. Other parents wait too; some even join in the fun and swim with the little fishies.

We had been there a little over an hour when a boy about 8-years-old came and stood in front of me. I looked up.

“May, I have a dollar, please?” he asked.

“What do you want the dollar for, baby?” Black women of a certain age love to call young people “baby.” I am of a certain age.

“To get something at the snack bar,” he said.

“Is it open?”

He nodded with a certain solemnity.

I reached in my purse and gave him a dollar. He smiled, thanked me, and speed-walked away (there’s no running—and the life guards don’t play.)

Why had that little boy come to me? I looked around. I was the only one there in full grandma mufti—gray hair, glasses, comfortable, loose fitting clothes.

I like to think I have a kindly face. I like to think the little boy knew instinctively that the village is still intact and he can still count on an elder being there when he needs one.

He was a cute, little, chocolate kid, with puppy dog eyes. Maybe he worked me. That’s okay, too. It’s hard out there for a kid. And besides, I got just as much out of our interaction as he did. He got a dollar and I got to be grandma for a moment to a cute, little chocolate kid, with puppy dog eyes.

Don't forget Shaquanda Cotton!

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At 3/18/2007 3:44 PM , Blogger gingajoy said...

awwww. i think my 4 year old would hit you up too;-)

At 3/18/2007 9:27 PM , Blogger Mother said...

...and I probably would hand over $2.00 to a jingajoy kid.

At 3/20/2007 7:14 AM , Blogger karrie said...

Sounds like a dollar well-spent to me.

At 3/20/2007 9:48 AM , Blogger Mother said...

Indeed it was!

At 3/22/2007 8:09 AM , Anonymous Pearl said...

That's sweet that the child would pick you out.


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