We took a road trip to witness a family member graduate from high school. On this trip, my son happened to graduate from crying to hollering, borderline tantrumming. There was no peace. No parental justice.
It’s all familiar family road trip drama… the screaming baby that has no other way of communicating so it screams… the multitasking while traveling– unbuckling the seat belt every fifteen minutes and rotating 180 degrees… the five hour long trips that turn into nine hours… I remember how all this goes. I’m just out of practice, it seems.
“I was beautiful once…before the children came.” -Claire Huxtable
There are two eras in my life that I’ve cussed the most: college years and motherhood. College cussing was for fun and giggles. Cuz young adult cussing is extra. But in motherhood? I’ve developed a swearcabulary that only I can hear, understand, and appreciate. My children are safe from the cussing. It’s the air that hears/sees/feels. Cussing has just become a natural response to the chicken nugget barbeque sauce that topples over in the car, the little toys that get stepped on, and the forgotten debit card that you kept reminding yourself to get out your jean pocket only get to the check out line in Wal-Mart and remember…
The cussing provides the open valve that allows the steam of parenting to ease out; like the fries and the fast food that provide a sense of tranquility (knowing you won’t have to cook).
Sometimes I do, however, get tricked into thinking the coping is in the cussing. That we can’t do this with our Proverbs 31 grace all the time. Then, I re-direct myself to the serenity prayer… No, I cannot change the extreme difficulties that come with parenting, but accepting my role– and finding beauty in it ALL is key to finding that inner serenity (which I am constantly journeying to find).
And with that, I have about an hour remaining in a packed car with people I love who need me and make life worth living. ❤
Clinnesha is a writer, wife, mom, meta-artist, and social entrepreneur who feels most accountable to southern, black citizen-artists, elders, children, and families. Her work is at the intersection of arts, culture, innovation, and community.