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  • by Jamaal

True Kat Stories: Mixed Kids Need Suncreen Too!


Hey! Sorry it's been a while since I made a blog post. Ya boy has been busy. I've been on vacation and then I was very busy when I came back to work. So, since I write these blog posts while I'm at work (shhhhhhh don't tell no one!) I really haven't had the time. But I'm back now!

Quick shameless plug before we get started. On Monday, I was a part of an AWESOME podcast discussion about single black fathers. Shout out to Sharica for having me on her show! I really really enjoyed it. I mean, I think I smiled for about 40 minutes out of the 45 minute show. Please please please, if you haven't seen the podcast, please check it out on my Single Black Dad's Facebook page. Or hit me up and I'll be glad to send you the link.

Now on to today's post.

As many of you know, I loved Amanyi's Mom, Kat. Very much. She passed away in December of 2012. And for me, I can't remember what her face looks like without a picture of her. I know she had dark hair. I know she had blue eyes. But I can't picture her face just off the top of my head. Weird I know right? However, I can remember her in the contexts of stories.

One of the fondest memories that I have of her (although it was NOT funny at the time) was when I took Amanyi to the pool.

It was a Saturday afternoon in the summer. It was pretty hot that day and I had promised Ayanna (who was 4 at the time) that I would take her and Amanyi to the pool. At the time, the closest pool to where I lived was Ellis Pool in Cedar Rapids. Since Kat worked on weekends, I told her that I would take Amanyi and Ayanna to the pool.

Amanyi was about 18 months old. And she was a chunky baby. Okay, not chunky. Ol' girl was fat! Carrying her was like carrying around a pregnant bowling ball. Also, Kat was VERY protective of Amanyi. Every time I would go somewhere with Amanyi, she would watch me pack the diaper bag, and then double check it to make sure that I didn't forget anything. Then she would go out to my car and make sure that I put Amanyi in the car seat correctly. Now, I'm not dumb. I could put a baby in a car sear. But Kat just had the super motherly super hero stuff going on.

So we load up in the car, and off we go to the pool. And we had a blast that day. I was wading in the shallow side of the pool with the girls. We were splashing water on each other. Ayanna was running and jumping in the water. Amanyi was trying to be a little mermaid. It was a fun fun day at the pool.

After a few hours, we load up in the car and I roll back to Kat's house to drop Amanyi off. Amanyi was a little cranky when we left. I thought it was because she didn't want to leave the pool. I mean what kid wants to leave the pool after having a great time there? So, I went to the gas station and bought the girls some juice and candy. They were so tired that Ayanna ended up falling asleep with a sucker in her mouth, and Amanyi passed out with an unopened juice in her lap.

I had the kids so tired that they couldn't even eat candy. I thought it was a good day in Daddy World. Kids were sleep. Now I could go home and play Xbox in peace. Chalk up the win for Daddy!

I got back to Kat's house and laid Amanyi on the bed next to Kat. She was watching TV and I went into the other room to start my Xbox. I had just put the game in when I hear, "Jamaal get the fuck in here!!!"

I rush into the room and Kat is sitting there with Amanyi on the bed. The exchange goes like this...

"Jamaal, do you notice anything different about Amanyi???"

"Umm, she's a little red."

"Yes dumb ass! She's sunburned!!! Did you put suncreen on her???"

"Suncreen? No, I didn't. I don't wear suncreen."

"You dumb ass!!! Your daughter is mixed. Hell she's damn near white! She needed to have sunscreen her. Oh my fucking God! You're the fucking dumbest smartest person I know!!! You went to a prep boarding school and you have a college degree and you're too fuckin stupid to know that your mixed kid needs suncreen???"

There was much more to the conversation. Wait, stop. It wasn't a conversation. It was her cussing me out and me standing there looking stupid. However, you get the gist of it. She cussed me smooth out. And I deserved it. I have probably worn suncreen about two times in my life and I've been sunburned about five times in my life. And when I'm sunburned, my skin peels a bit. That's about it. Amanyi was as red as a stop sign. And miserable. She was crying and cranky and just hating life.

So Kat got up and took care of her baby. And that was the last time I got to take Amanyi to the pool by myself.

That definitely wasn't my best Daddy day like I had planned it out to be. No Xbox was played that day. And you know sometimes, I see Black people berate and talk bad about their White parents who have no idea what to do with their hair. Well it's cultural on that end. But it's also on the other side because we as Black folks don't have to do certain things that White folks have to do. We ain't got it all together. And sometimes, we have to bump our heads when we have mixed kids. I definitely didn't bump my head that day, according to Kat. I slammed my face into a brick wall.

But that's a good memory that I have of Kat. She was a great Mom and a beautiful woman. I can picture how red her face got when she was cussing me out. And I can see the apartment that she stayed in and how the furniture was arranged. I can see the bed that she was sitting on when she was giving me the business. The TV was on. The window was open and the fan was on. That's why I shared this story with you today. Because these stories are the place I go in my head when I want to think her. I love you forever Kathleen Hart. As soon as I'm done in this world, I'll be up there to see you.

Read and Discuss.


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