In the wake of Tyre Nichols’s murder, I find myself wanting to hold onto my Black son a little tighter.
He is 7.
Young enough to still be deemed cute by some, but old enough to not be given as much grace for simply “being a kid” by others.
Sometimes I spoil him a bit more than I’d like to.
It’s only really because even though I know technically he’s a kid until age 18, he really has a year, maybe two — depending on how tall he gets — to be seen as a kid in other’s eyes.
He is layered like everyone else.
Smart as a whip, and he is not afraid to challenge anyone.
He’s got his father’s wit and my curiosity.
He surprises me with his ability to see things that I sometimes miss.
He is sweet, sensitive, kind, and a lover of all things Legos.
He fights with his younger sister but would defend her with all of his heart if he had to.
He throws tantrums and cries when he doesn’t get his way with his father or me.
He gets frustrated.
He’s a kid.
He’s a young Black boy that will one day grow into a young Black man.
He’s a young Black boy that I pray will one day grow into a young Black man.
A young Black man who grows into the type of old Black man who has stories for days because he has lived a full life.
That is the common thread that we all share.
We all want to live full lives.
We all want to see dreams not get deferred.
We all just want to be seen.
All layers. At all times.
Nobody ever wants to always be seen as the villain.
And nobody gets the right to always be the victim.
Let us all do our best to see someone’s child in the eyes of the next person we disagree with or feel uncomfortable around.
More grace. Less hate.
Margaret Towolawi is a family physician.