Some do not like the idea of assigning or assuming specific ‘roles,’ but it doesn’t bother me. An assigned role helps me to define my task for whatever it may be. Quite honestly, we all have and function in many roles within our lives. I am a daughter, friend, wife, mother, Soror, and a few other things that I am sure I am forgetting at this moment. A few short hours ago I was also Mrs. Clause.
And, so the question always is, how do we as individuals maneuver within, through and around about our roles continuously and seamlessly – with the understanding that ongoing adjustments are necessary to keep a balance.
A few weeks ago, we were informed that my son was requested to introduce a speaker. His bio was also requested for the event, the speaker’s bio was sent over for him to begin to review and he was placed on program. In the middle of a multitude of other life events we went about preparing Kyle for the evening. Making sure he had appropriate attire, my husband began to review the author’s bio with Kyle and schedule a haircut … because that is his role. Jeremy is on haircut duty, tie tying duty, socks matching slacks duty and public speaking preparation duty — because he is much better at all of those things than I!
The night arrived and as a family we were excited. Jeremy drove, little sister Nia negotiated a matching outfit inclusive of a skirt (we will talk more about our free-spirit artist currently known as Nia and her attire another day) and wished her brother luck; Kyle practiced in the car while mom sat in silent prayer: Lord, be with my son, now and forever. Guide him and help Kyle to do Your best Lord. Your Favor, Lord. There is no other. Amen. A big exhale.
As we walked into the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center people whom we didn’t know, never met and had never seen, began to walk up to Kyle and introduce themselves. One man mentioned that he remembered meeting Kyle in the summer at an event with his grandmother in Mound Bayou, Mississippi. A few seconds later, a young woman asked Kyle could she interview him and take a few pictures. As I watched and listened to a crew of three or four individuals snap shots and ask our son several questions from a short distance away, mom’s first-born handled it all humbly and flawlessly — with no preparation.
At that moment I thought … my role tonight is Mom. Not friend, not colleague, not Dr. Morris, no texts, no emails, no instagraming & facebooking just … plan ole – 100% attentive and wonderfully powerful Mom.
Kyle introduced Alysia Burton Steele who is an award-winning photographer and author and an assistant professor for The Meek School of Journalism and New Media at The University of Mississippi. I took my place at the front row of the event, and as I watched and listened to Kyle introduce Alysia Burton Steele as the author of “Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom,” I can tell you … Mom was proud!
Proud of my son, no doubt, but more proud to have the privilege of assuming and knowing my role: MOM!
A very proud Mom! …. That was My Role