I bet you already knew the top 2 was going to have something to do with football. It does but this time it has more to do with a player. Education is extremely important to me. So when I thought the BS “No Child Left Behind” program and desensitized guidance counselor were going to succeed, I knew I had to take action. The events that happened in the pass 5 days confirmed I was not alone.
The official close of the football season has come and gone. We attended the banquet, broke bread with his teammates and picked up his awards. While they celebrated, I kept my mind on what I needed to do to make sure that he achieved higher over the final months of his junior year. When my frustrations with his grades were expressed to the guidance counselor, he told me I had nothing to worry about. Excuse my English- WHAT THE FUCK YOU MEAN? I’m looking at the grades and the shit ain’t looking good. It was then that I figured out why he was so calm. As long as he continues to get Ds, he’ll graduate. Not from this house with me as his mother. Things had to get better before he went back for the 2nd semester.
In a quick rant on Facebook, I expressed my disgust in his current scholastic patterns and explained how this effected the Christmas holiday for him. A few nights prior, I let it rip in a no holds bar to his dad and stuck it in the mail for him to receive it pronto. I was fed up to a new degree. It kept feeling like we were running out of time and he couldn’t see it or didn’t think it was that serious. I couldn’t wholehearted buy him gifts and he hasn’t given his best efforts in school this term. During the late night hour of Christmas Eve, a few good men spoke of helping me communicate the importance of education with him. I appreciated the gesture and overwhelming concern. What was I going to do to get through to him?
December 26th the thread was revived with talks of when and where we were going to meet for this discussion. WHAT?! They were serious about helping me. I agreed to their terms and without giving any information about where we were going exactly, I got the kid up and ready for the conversation that could ultimately change his life. We talked as we rode into our old next of the woods on the west side of the metro Detroit area. As we walked into the restaurant, he was curious about our business here. He caught a familiar face and smiled. It was his football team’s Dr. Cecil Forbes. I knew this would make him a little more comfortable in lieu of everything that was going on. In addition, James Johnson, Calvin Evans and Shaka Senghor joined in for the CTJ talk.
We sat down and I opened the conversation. Each volunteer took time to introduce their story to him and expound on the ways their lives have been impacted by their choices. He was listening and instructed to take notes on what was being said. I sat there and watched the chicken he ordered get cold but it never really held any interest for the 16 year-old that generally eats on sight. He was entranced in the conversation these men were giving him. He was given an opportunity to speak and they instructed him on the manner in which he should speak to another man. They informed him that they would be there for him to make sure he succeeded. At one point in the meeting, I broke down into tears after I explained the significance of his life. This broke him down and pushed a more intense conversation.
I’m not here to expose everything that was discussed but I will say they got through to him. As they prepared to end the dialogue, they exchanged numbers, pleasantries and informed him of a pending follow up. They ordered him more chicken to take home. I would say this is by far my most rewarding post in all of social media. (It’s even topped my Oprah tweet.). This wasn’t about me. It had everything to do with the love of my life being this guy’s mother and the lengths I would go to for his success.
Never stop fighting for your kids. Moms never give up on your sons. I thank these four men for slowing down to talk to mine within 48 hrs of my cry. You are my brothers and I love you all for loving me and passing that love on to him. I’m optimistic that together we can and will inspire the changes needed for SUCCESS! 🙂