He was MIA again. It was long before I had come to that place in my life where I let him run.
I was 25, living in Southwest Louisiana. I had a full house (read “Friendship, Strippers, and Rainbows..). I packed up the car with my entourage, minus the stripper, and went looking for him. I knew where to look and what to look for.
I was driving. My friend was in the passenger seat. Four little boys sat in the back seat of the car.
As we turned a corner into a residential neighborhood, my car was surrounded by a group of young black teenagers.
They walked right up to the car, slapping the car’s hood and roof all at once and repeatedly. At least one made vulgar hand gestures. They were swearing a lot.
I stopped the car.
My friend told me to get out of there. She rolled up her window and locked the door.
I ignored her and did the opposite.
Perhaps it was my ignorance, lack of fear, or the quest of my mission; perhaps it was a combination of many factors, but I rolled my window down without hesitation.
I don’t remember exactly what I said to those teenagers, but I do remember asking them where their mothers were. This one question brought laughter to the young group. I remember fussing at the one for his obscene gestures and pointed out that I had small children in the car. I fussed at all of them for their language.
I was not rude. I was not hateful. I was simply a mother on a mission.
They looked into the car and saw four small boys and apologized to me. I explained my mission.
The young group of teenagers gathered ‘round my window and advised me; without gestures, without harsh words, and without ill-will.
As I drove away, they wished me luck on my mission.
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