When I was 6 or 7, Chauncey was a boy in my class who used to ask me to bring my little red Cover Girl make up kit to school. We'd hide inside the big tire on the playground after school - although back then I just thought we were 'hiding' so no one else would join us. Years later I realize Chauncey was hiding for another reason.
I remember popping open a little hidden compartment "click" that housed the eye shadow brushes, and then popping open "click" again, the compartment on the other side that housed the shadows. There were four and Chauncey always picked the sparkley sky blue, you know, because it was the 80's. He'd close his eyes and lean in, smiling wide as the brush stroked his eye lids. When I was finished he'd lean back and open his eyes, grinning like it was Christmas Day. That's when I'd slap the blush on him, when his cheeks were wide and full, a big perfect pink circle on each cheek. I was always jealous of the way the pink showed up on his black skin, I used to tell him that I wished I was black so blush would look so pretty on me. Last came the lip gloss. Next it was my turn and we'd sit and bask in the glory of our make overs until we'd run back inside the school house - yes, it really was a school house in Old East Dallas - to wash it off before our moms came to get us.
Our fun came to an end the day that Marlow Marcy found us in our tire. He was so horrible as he laughed and pointed at Chauncey. Other kids gathered around to watch. I'd never experienced something so absolutely mean before. I stood in front of Chauncey as if trying to protect him from the invisible mean lazer that was shooting from the tip of Marlow's finger, hitting Chauncey square in the chest. I can't remember what I said that day for I'd had a lot of pent up anger towards Marlow for years, after all, he was the one who told me how babies were made. When you're that young you can't believe your parents would ever do something so horrible and disgusting - and how Santa, the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny all ultimately did not exist.
With my hands on my hips with my chest puffed out (that was during my Wonder Woman phase) I can remember thinking how horrible and ugly Marlow looked as he threw his head back, cackling, pointing, spitting as he spewed his insults. He was a spitter by nature when he talked. I wish I could say that I kicked Marlow's ass that day but Karma took care of that years later. Chauncey was in tears. Tears streaking his beautiful pink cheeks. That was our last playground makeover. I never forgave Marlow and Chauncey was never the same after that. I wish I knew what happened to him.
Why am I telling you this? It all came rushing back tonight after reading this story which landed in my inbox today. An amazing story from an extremely amazing mother. So read it. Learn from it. Take note and love your kids. Love those kids. Teach your kids to love those kids. Please?