As early as 4 years old, I can remember walking through the grocery store with my mother, all eyes peering at me. I grew up in the small towns of Oklahoma. Not so unique, but my mother was Caucasian and father African American. Along with my mixed heritage, I had mixed feelings about the smiles, stares, and the pointing that often accompanied them. Many times, I would ask my mother, “Why is she staring at me?” You see, I learned early that if I asked this question as loud as I could, it would shame most people and they would move on. Others – those more persistent would shift the child on their hip, grasp tighter to the jug of milk in hand and inquire as to “Who I was…”

I can remember thinking, “Why does everyone question who I am?” Of course, it wasn’t long before I knew that these questions were asked to determine my ethnicity. At this young age, I began positioning myself; I would read the intruding person’s demeanor. “Humph”, I would think… “She doesn’t approve of me.” My response – head forward, shoulders back, no eye contact. “Oh, whew… this guy, he thinks I’m cute.” I smile. It didn’t matter their background, the acceptance or non-acceptance of me came in all shapes, sizes, and gender. Interestingly, I don’t recall my mother’s answer to these inquiries, just that the questions felt tiresome. I am the youngest child on both sides of my family. That is of course, my white family and my black family, as I often described them during my youth. My parents led full lives prior to me coming onto the scene and I was the only child that they shared. My father was around sporadically until I was about 6 years old, I guess. The times he visited, I would sit so proudly on my father’s knee. He would question me, inquiring as to “Who I was…”

These times felt much different than the inquiries from the grocery store passers-by. He wanted to know my likes and dislikes, all about me. During one such discussion, I remember him asking if I liked country music. Eager for his approval, I was adamant about enjoying country music. I remember my parents exchanging eye contact, amused with my answer. He then asked, “Really, who is your favorite singer?” As you’ve probably guessed, I didn’t really like country music and struggled to think of a name to give him. “Willie Nelson”, I smiled, proud that I got the answer correct. My father smiled grandly, laughing a deep approving laugh. Time passed, contact was lost and years would go by between visits from my father. I grew from a child into my adult years. Constantly, answering that question.

A couple of years ago, I decided to invest time in myself to gain a better understanding of my life. Did I know “Who I was…?” Simply stated, I realized that somehow in my growing up; I got stuck sitting on my father’s knee. I found that I was attracted to men that inquired about me. Questions spoke to me; what types of music do you like, what’s your favorite color, what do you want in life – typical get to know someone questions. I further complicated this with my feelings of devotion. If he could withstand my long-winded chitchat, I was his for life. Sounds simplistic, I know, but until I identified how powerful that was to the little girl in me, I was open to men who approached me with conversation instead of the typical line. They weren’t telling me anything about themselves that would truly qualify them as a man that I should allow into my life. They were just asking questions and I had their attention, like a little girl sitting on her father’s knee.

I wasn’t able to really govern how this played to my emotional needs until I reeled in my intellect – “Oh, this man is only asking me questions.” He is not my father. He isn’t giving me unconditional love. Once I put it into perspective, I could slow down the conversation and not reveal all. You see ladies; it’s much easier to discern a person’s intent, if you don’t provide them with the blueprint to your heart.

So, I’m feeling good. I have gained understanding and decided to open the door again. I’ve met a couple of interesting gentlemen, one stood out above the rest. I’ve got my list and I’m checking it – due diligence, you see. He seems different, this one. His actions are different, but he won’t let me sit upon his knee. Self-doubt settles in. Does he like me? I must be misreading his demeanor. Maybe I’m not his cup of tea; maybe he doesn’t really like me. Then I realize… it’s not about him, it’s about me. It’s time, time for me to sit on my heavenly Father’s knee.

Please join me to discuss all that living life has to teach us in the blog, “From My Father’s Knee.”

Author's Bio: 

What do you want to know about Primary Thoughts? There is too much to tell, but this is a good spot to start “From My Father’s Knee“, other than that click a title that peaks your interest and read. :)

I can say this… PrimaryThoughts.net is a blog about thoughts on life and relationships. The name? It’s simple. Primary [prahy-mer-ee] – the simple constituents of which something complex is made up; that which is fundamental. Thoughts [thawts] – the product of mental activity; intention, design or purpose. I share myself through life-filled stories and simple ideas combined with whimsy, psychology and spirituality. I hope to spark those #ptinc moments for my readers, those “ah-ha” moments. Come check it out, I’m just a small town girl from Oklahoma. Because I seek, I soar… therefore, I am.