I often tell Khristian to hold her head up otherwise her crown will slip. The crown is a metaphor used to remind her to keep her head up and to use her voice.
At our last Sundae Sunday while eating mini Strawberry Shortcake ice cream cones (they are delicious btw) we discussed exactly what mommy means when she says, “Khristian, your crown is slipping”. I explained to her that during the times when she becomes upset, sad, or angry she must keep her head up. Let me be clear that it is natural for all of us to feel those emotions. Generationally, as a child it was not always smiled upon for me to express my feelings and emotions. It almost felt like as a child, adults were the only ones that were able to express their emotions. I often encourage my daughter to verbalize her thoughts and feelings when she experience emotions of sadness, fear, and disappointment. I am reminded as a black woman how we so often have to shelter our feelings by not speaking up and not saying something based off of the stereotypes that has been placed on us (i.e. “the angry black woman” and “aggressive”). Although, my goal is never intended for my daughter or myself to be labeled in such a way, we must be deliberate in speaking our truth. For me, this starts at home. It is important for me to share with my daughter the importance of using her voice. So often the world will try to silence our girl’s voices but as her mother we have to empower them to speak up and to use their voice. Remembering to keep her crown in place provides her with the confidence she needs when she feels the need to speak up and use her voice…just like the Queen she is!!
Raising a black daughter is not for the faint of heart. I am always trying to protect her from the social schemas that plague our sisterhood of being a black woman. Raising a black daughter that attends a predominately white school and having predominately white friends is definitely not for the faint of heart. Reminding her to stand in her truth and to use her voice is something that my husband and I have been encouraging our daughter to do for as long as I can remember. I can recall when a little white girl would come over to our house and would literally take over their play date. For example, Khristian would be playing outside with her soccer ball and the little girl would disregard what Khristian was playing and would instead recommend playing something else, instead of Khristian saying “no, I don’t want to play”, she would agree to go on a scavenger hunt for insects in the backyard; all while knowing that she absolutely hates bugs. Well one day my girl found her voice and told that little girl in the most confident way that she did not like bugs and that she wanted to play what she wanted to play. After all, it was her yard for goodness sake.
I know you are probably trying to draw the relevance between my story and me telling our girls to keep their crown on straight and not let them slip. Well, for me the crown metaphorically represents so much. It represents our voice, our strength, our confidence, our value, and so much more. Hearing Khristian telling the neighbor, “I’m good sis” was a reflection of her adorning her crown. As a black women it is important for us to empower our little black girls to use their voice and rock their crowns when they are faced with adversity and challenges from other races and from people alike. I don’t want my daughter to ever stand down from adversity or a challenge because of the color of her skin or because of the stereotypes that are associated with her being a black woman. My goal is for her to always feel empowered to speak her truth.
We can help our girls to keep their crowns straight by encouraging them to verbalize their thoughts and feelings and by not being afraid to speak their truth. We can support them by listening to them and supporting their ideas and thoughts. Lastly, we can validate their emotions when they disclose their hurt, pain, fear and disappointment.
So today as I conclude this post I want to encourage you to keep your crown on straight too. Just as our girls need to be reminded we as mothers do as well. We have to be reminded to focus on our self care; otherwise your crown will slip because you are depleted from the responsibility of motherhood. We have to be reminded often to refill our cups because as you know you cannot pour from an empty cup.
Now Queen, I say go in peace and raise your daughter to be the Queen that she was designed to be. Mom, you are an awesome role model to show her how to wear her crown.