Saturday, December 25, 2010
I have two teenage nieces, in fact, I have six nieces two in their early twenties, two teens, and two toddlers. But the two teenagers are so interesting. They are a constant source of wonder, frustration and hilarity to me. They make me remember what it was like to be a teenager, trying to find your way in this weird world. They are the opposite of one another in so many ways, the 14 year old, M is just a practical mama, a minature adult almost with some of the best negotiation skills I've seen in my life. Really they should send this kid to the Mid East she'd straighten it out in a day. She has no time for silliness or useless things but she's got the tastes of Paris Hilton on a shoestring budget. The 13 year old, J, is just an ditz, all around bubble head but I adore her open-minded spirit although she eats nothing but things she's sure about. She's a bookworm, smart, innocent, with her own unique style and she plays the upright bass. They are both very smart and I'm extremely proud of them.
They don't live in my city, respectively M is from California, Bay Area, and J is now living in Houston with my sister in law although she was born here in Seattle. She's a Seattle kid and not liking Texas very much.
They are currently visiting my family here for the holidays. We were riding the other day doing last minute shopping for the holidays and it was them, my mother and my best friend. We were talking about the girls being adaptable young women and that it was vital for them to know how to adapt to different situations that as they get ready to go to college and get out in the world and maybe work globally they needed to know how to be comfortable and make others comfortable in any situation. They also needed to know how to do it graciously, as young black women the expectations are not high for them in the U.S. Black women are not highly regarded and a lot of that is our own fault but I wanted them to know that they don't have to succumb to that image, they can and should strive to be different. They started to tell me about school and preparing for college, checking them out, getting ready to take PSATs and SATs so they could start applying for a good school. I welled with pride, I'm not their mom but I do know I try my best to be a good influence and speak positivity into their lives. I want the image they have of themselves to be healthy and sane so they don't end up falling for the okey doke with some boy when he smiles nice or talks sweet to either of them. Those girls are my girls and I want them afforded every opportunity. I want them to travel the world and see all it has to offer. I want them to know that they do not have to settle when it comes to a future mate, that they are beautiful, brillant black women whom anyone would be lucky to call a friend or family or future wife. J has declared that she sees herself with a white man, I love that these kids aren't stuck with the hang ups many black women have when it comes to dating across the color lines. That's my girl. M has a thing for Brad Pitt, who doesn't? LOL. But whoever they choose I want them to know that they can choose anyone and are worthy of being respected as long as they are respectable. They can exasperate me sometimes but I'm proud to call them my nieces.