Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to be a mother. I just wanted beautiful and healthy babies. Now that I am a mother of two beautiful cocoa brothers, I realize there is a call on my life as a mother.
Cocoa men seem to have an undeniably exclusive bond with their mothers. I assume the same will be true for me. I can recall a conversation with my husband in which we reflected on our childhoods. I came from a loving two-parent home with a sister who is 10 years younger than me. I was first-generation to go to and graduate college. My husband was raised across town in a loving two-parent home with a brother and a sister. He was second generation college and both of his parents completed their master’s degrees. Well, okay. What about us? We both hold master’s degrees and are both pursuing doctoral degrees. But, that’s not it. We are both employed at a research university. We lived/worked on campus for the first 3 1/2 years of our marriage. Both of our children attend(ed) the childcare center right on campus. Our children are literally growing up on a college campus.
Whenever I read about the number of cocoa brothers in prison and missing from education, I recognize the call on my life as a cocoa mother of cocoa brothers. I work in higher education and am constantly surrounded by what the research tells me my boys have against them. This is the stuff they don’t tell you on the 10 o’clock news. I also know that my maternal instincts make me want to protect them from everything. However, I recognize that it’s the struggles that make us stronger.
So, I will do what I can to use what I know about what the world has already decided they can’t do. We started by being intentional about their names. My husband and I joke by saying, “We want them to at least be able to get an interview when their resumé comes across someone’s desk.” We push them (not too much) academically so that there are no excuses prescribed by teachers. I know there will be more to come in the future. But, I am trusting in the Lord that He will provide me with what I need to aid in their future successes. I’ve accepted the call of being a cocoa mama. Just pray my strength if I ever have a girl. LOL
Annie is a CocoaMama who is married to her best friend of 15 years. They have two sons, a 6 year old and a 3 year old. She currently works at the Pennsylvania State University full time where she is also completing her doctoral degree in higher education. She has worked and been a student for as long as she has been a mother. So, she has had to learn how to simultaneously juggle all of her identities. While she has not perfected this skill, she continues to assure that her family remains her number one priority.