“But Where Do You Want Him To Be A Teenager?”

The universe has definitely been guiding my path over DSC02866these last few months. It’s gotten me through my boy’s first year, it’s supporting me through night weaning (an on-going, brutal process that I’ve wanted to quit a million times…), has helped me think of what professional next steps make sense and has also made purchasing a condo a not-too-far off reality.

That last part, though, the purchase of a home, is proving to be much more complex than granite countertops, proximity to public transportation or an adequate number of bedrooms, however.

My beloved mentor, who is always supportive and always says the words I need to hear, asked me where I wanted to live. I rattled off some places in the city before her prolonged, thinking pause. Finally, she responded:

“But, Kim, where do you want him to be a teenager?” 

Essentially, she said, where would I want E to be able to walk to a local store when he is a gangly, growing adolescent, to go to a park, to not have to worry about being harassed, or profiled (and I have to stop myself from letting my mind go further than that, to forcefully stop it from creating scenarios that are too fearful and terrible for me to fathom for this child) or anything else?

My initial response was to think: Do such places even exist? Too bad you can’t run a Zillow or MLS search to include those criteria.

I’ve been reading and writing James Baldwin this summer with kids in my program and he so passionately believed in love and hope and, particularly, in the promise of those elements in children. And because I believe in Baldwin, doesn’t it make sense that I should also believe in these things for E?have to believe in those things.

Doesn’t make it any easier to decide, however, where that place will be, but, because I have to believe that it does exist, or at the very least that I can attempt to create that place with him, I’ll keep looking.


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