Oh the places you’ll go…

I was recently looking for some classic books to build Mekhi’s library with and came upon Dr. Seuss’ “Oh! The Places You’ll Go!” It is a WONDERFUL little book, an epic poem for young minds if you will, and can even be useful to those of us who have passed the age where being read a story by our parents is acceptable. Offering more than just some rhyming words that sound very nice when hummed in a song (don’t ask how I know), the book is a must have for anyone who’s ever doubted that Dr. Seuss was indeed, THE MAN.

Probably my favorite part of the book comes at:

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.

Because, sometimes, you won’t.

As I’ve read this at various points throughout my life, it hasn’t meant as much to me as it does presently because these days my mind is filled with thoughts about what type of parent I will be and if I will be successful according to my own standards. My friend Jazz, my NB, has a saying: “Other people’s kids man, I tell ya,” which basically is a commentary on how sometimes we just want to beat the hell out of someone else’s child. We’ve all encountered children who needed to be disciplined, but whose parents seemed oblivious to that fact. You know that kid – the one in the supermarket throwing a tantrum because her mother won’t buy Cocoa Puffs instead of some generic brand cereal; or the one at the doctor’s office screaming and crying because they’re bored and no one is paying attention to them.

I usually have to fight my internal urge to wring these children’s necks AND their parents’ because I’m thinking “Where the hell did you fail as a parent?” Why is your child so unruly that you’re embarrassed in public and nearly in tears begging them to behave? Why don’t you have more of a hold over them so it only takes being spoken to one time to strike fear in their heart? I can count on one hand the number of beatings I can remember getting in my life, first because I was really a good child (albeit with a fresh mouth) who just wanted to sit in the corner and read my books. Secondly, all my mother had to do was look at me with THAT LOOK and I knew to either sit my ass down, shut my ass up, or get to moving as fast as I could before she would threaten to bury me in the backyard or something like that.

I’ve always told myself that I would be the type of mother who would be my children’s best friend. I wanted them to be able to talk to me about any and everything. My mother always made it very clear to me that she was NOT my friend; her job was to be my mother and raise me to be a good person. With or without my father in my life (although I have a step-father), I happen to think I’ve turned out wonderfully and thank her for doing her job well. Of course there were times where she faltered, and I’m sure she’s questioned herself at times, but in the end, her decisions were made in my best interest, whether or not I was aware of it. I look at some of my peers and other people my age and wonder what type of home lives they had to make them into who they are today. Young women who I’m sure were at one point believed to have the ability to do ANYTHING they put their minds to have become nothing more than doormats for overbearing men. Men who were innocent little boys at one point in time are raping women, killing each other, and not taking their places as heads of the household.

At some point of course, you have to take responsibility for your actions as an adult. How you perform in this world is a reflection of how you were raised and taught to value yourself and others around you. But what about those parents who’ve done everything in their power to bring up respectful, educated, spiritual people and end up with duds? Some scary stuff man.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. MEL MEL
    Apr 21, 2010 @ 18:56:42

    The last line hits home. My fear…you can do everything right…and still end up with a lil Mr. Wrong. So wrong…but you have to remember babies grow and they develop their own thoughts and ideas based on their environment and unfortunately once they aren’t around you they will be exposed to all sorts of things and you can only pray that they see the wrong in things and learn whats right or that they come to you when they doubt themselves.

    Reply

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