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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Her First Heartbreak

Sunday, September 19, 2010 By

"Mama? Can I go to da friends' house?" Emmie asked me.

"Which friends, Doodle?"

"Zequan's friends."

"Honey, I don't know these friends, or their parents," I told Emmie. Zequan hangs his head. He knows I'm saying no. He knows it is an answer I will not change.

"But - Zequan, can you please tell mommy de friends' parents' names?"

"Sweetheart, it's not their names. It's who they are. What kind of people. I don't know if they're going to take care of you."

"But, I'll be safety!" she cries, tears welling in her eyes, face crumpling.

"Honey, the answer is no."

"Waaaaaaaaah!" she cries, running out of the room. Zequan makes his goodbyes, and goes to play with the boys.

She storms back into the room.

"Mama! I'm angry wif you!"

"I can see that," I reply, mildly.

"Ebbry time I want ta go to a new place you always say no! You nebber let me do anyfing!"

I have premonitions of high school flitting before my eyes. (Sigh)

"Emerson, I understand that you're angry. And I'm sorry. I want you to know that it's okay to be angry with mommy."

"An' I AM angry!"

"I'm sorry that you feel angry. But mommy makes these choices because I want to take care of you and keep you safe."

She folds her arms and turns her back on me.

"I am goeend be angry wif you for a LONG TIME!"

"I feel sad about that. But mommy is happy to make good decisions for you. I hope that they are the right ones."

"Dey're NOT!"

"Maybe not. But they're the best choices I can make."

She's full-on sobbing now. "Can I PLEASE go? I'm missing Zequan already!"

Ah. Now I get it. Zequan is moving. It's a stupid decision on his mother's part, to move further away from his school and her constant source of transportation and child care (us). But I can't control it.

Emmie is devastated, and so are we. She's five, but she knows what it means. She may never see him again. His mother never answers her phone. She doesn't really like Zequan being friends with a white child. But she also is happy to have someone nearby who will watch him when she's too lazy - and she likes having a ride to work, instead of shelling out for the bus.

So Emmie is suffering already. She's sad he's leaving, and wants to spend as much time as possible with him before they move.

But she still can't go to a stranger's house.

I take her hand, and she collapses against me, sobbing.

My heart breaks for her.


  1. I am so sorry you guys are having to go through all this, but then no good deed goes unpunished... it's sad that I have to keep reminding myself of that.