Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I've Got Another Mother

I had a rough, parent-less childhood. There were times when it was pretty bad and I felt that I had no one who cared for me. There were also some high points, with some women who truly loved me and wanted the best for me, even wanting to be my mother. It didn't work out legally but I hold those women near and dear in my heart and consider them mothers. I have a few and I'm proud to say that I've added another mother to my group of moms:

Dawn Hicks Tafari.

Ms. Hicks (as I knew her) was my 6th grade teacher and she changed my life. She inspired me and told me that I would go to college. She was the first person who ever said that to me. She took me out to her Alma mater (Hofstra) for her homecoming and showed me what college was like. She took me under her wing, helped me with my academics, and started preparing me for something great. She loved me like a son, so much so that she inquired about adopting me (she recently told me about it). It didn't work out though.

Sadly though I lost contact with Ms. Hicks after she moved to Baltimore and I moved around Brooklyn. I've always thought of her throughout the years and wished to be reunited with her, to thank her for what she had done. Randomly one night I bumped into a classmate from 6th grade (@JayVelz) who proceeded to link me up with old classmates via Facebook (thanks Mark Zuckerburg lol). Guess who hit me? Ms. Hicks. I cried tears of joy (queue the Ross) because we were reunited (now the Peaches and Herb).

The reunion was fully completed yesterday when we met up for dinner (Spring Street Natural) as she was in NYC for her vacation. I knew she was cool back in 6th grade but now I know she is super cool. We talked about everything under the sun. Being Greeks (she is an AKA), education, career aspirations, relationships/marriage, partying, hip-hop, everything. She gave me some great advice and presented a theory on the current state of hip-hop that I hadn't heard or considered. She said that the "dance happy/party rap" that is popular now is reminiscent of the beginnings of hip-hop when the songs were all about dancing and partying and that maybe on this cycle the lyricism will come back stronger. She even told me about her former life as a hip-hop dancer in videos (I seen the footage lol).

Now she is a married mother of 2 (3), studying for her Ph.D in Curriculum Planning and Teaching at UNC-Greensboro while teaching at The College of Davidson and Davie Counties where she is training the next generation of great teachers, and actively teaching consulting for Tafari Educational Consulting, which she co-founded with her husband. Talk about awesome.

Perhaps the greatest part of our reunion was that she said that she considers me her son and part of her family and that I have two little sisters, another father and that I'm always welcome to their (my) home in Greensboro, NC.

I love you Ms. Hicks, or Dawn as you want me to call you now (its gonna take some getting used to). I'm happy you are back in my life.

Me? I'm dead center (of attention) in the back lol


MsHicks said...

WOW! Yes, my son! I love you and cannot say enough how EXTREMELY proud of the intelligent, well-rounded, level-headed, and cool man that you have become. The world is a better place because of you.

The LADYBUG Chronicles said...

This is a beautiful tribute.