According to statistics, neighbors, and even some my own family members, I should not be the person I am today. I have exceeded all expectations. Expectations set not because of who I was but because of what I came from. Everyone is quick to point out the differences between my mother and me; they say I must have been switched at birth. I always hear that I act like my Auntie Deborah, Auntie Trina or Dad; they have to be the source of my determination, motivation and intelligence. I have to disagree I believe I am my mother’s child her experiences are what shaped me.
My mom was always in and out of my life, not because she didn’t love me but because of the evils of addiction. My mom was addicted to crack, but that is not all she did. She kept me from harm, warm from the cold and shielded me from the pain of hunger. I may not have been the richest kids but I was always provided for. When she left the house she sold drugs, shoplifted, to feed her addiction; not only her addiction to drugs, but her addiction to me, loving me.
There are consequences to such things, so her return was not always swift. So the day she came home I only cared that she was home. Unfortunately, everyone did not feel the same would say judgmental things about her and smile and say I was nothing like her. That was all but a compliment to me. Who were they to say I was nothing like the most beautiful, caring, and intelligent, amazing women in the world? How could this be true? I would ask her why people said such things and she would simply say “Princess what matters is that we know who we are”. This is why I will never be ashamed of her. When others saw her as a crack fiend I saw her as a queen. Now that I am older I can now see that they meant not to make her mistakes. Mistakes she and her experiences has taught me to avoid. I believe they should not have been so worried after all what parent does not want their children to be better than them. She has been clean for 10 years, and I understand her struggle.
So when people say that I am not like my mom I smile because they must not know that both our favorite color is baby blue, we love dancing, are the biggest cry babies, can spend hours in the mall, love being pampered, that our left eyebrow is slightly thinner than the right, we have identical scars on our left eyebrow and chin or that we can overcome anything or the familiar pride in our stride. I smile most of all because I know that I am my mother’s Child.