A Little Girl Named Sophie

After more than a week of no writing, I should be writing something major. No such luck. My birthday trip to Vegas has drained me completely, but I wish I still there.

Since I’ve been back to the Real World, I’ve finally had time to internalize the fact that I’m 29. What an odd number. Here’s what I think about 29: It’s the year before you turn 30. The Last of the Mohicans as far as your 20s are concerned. Some would say the end, but I disagree. I say it’s the beginning.

There are lot of things people can do by age 29. They can be married with a house full of kids or single and living alone. Traveling the world or stuck in complacency. Things happen the way they’re supposed to happen though.

Which brings me to my point. Yesterday, while waiting to be seated for dinner with a friend, I noticed the cutest little black girl. She was about two or three years old, dressed in a pink, brown and cream floral dress and sandals. Her hair was out, but I’ll be honest, it could stand a good combing and scalp greasing (old school). She was with a white woman I presumed to be her adoptive mother and her girlfriends who had their smaller white children with them.

I don’t know what it was about that little girl that I was drawn to. I looked at her and a smile came across my face instantly. She ran up and down the walkway to the restaurant–just being a regular toddler. The mother would say things like, “Sophie Rae, let’s discuss what you’re doing wrong. People are trying to get by, honey.” 

Her voice was proper and choppy, yet compromising. Sophie was more like her therapy patient than her child. She said “Sophie Rae!” in such a way that made me know she’d had her since she was an infant, and she’d probably named her. The state of her hair also let me know she was the mother. She didn’t have a clue what to do with her kinky hair. She’d pulled a small piece back with a pink bow.

All the while, the girl didn’t say a word. She just stared at her with this glassy look, as if she was looking straight through her. I saw no connection between Sophie Rae and her mother. She seemed more interested in sitting on the ground Indian-style and playing with her black babydoll than listening to what her mom had to say.

This is the weird part: I felt like she should have been my child. Not biologically because I’m not ready for children, but I felt like she needed to be with someone other than her white mother. Where were her biological parents anyway? I wondered what kind of life she would have as she grows up.I’ve got some nerve, right? Maybe she was getting the love and life she deserved with her adoptive mother. I’m sure she was, and that’s what’s important.

So, why did I wonder about little Sophie? Was that the “maternal instinct” kicking in the final year of my 20s, or did I just identify with her because she’s African-American? I’m not sure, but I know what I saw. She sat in her mother’s lap and just peered at her. Maybe wondering why her pale skin didn’t match her own brown skin? 

I don’t know. I guess this is what 29 has to offer so far. More things to think about unnecessarily…great.

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7 thoughts on “A Little Girl Named Sophie

  1. Very interesting. I look forward to celebrating my 30th birthday here soon.As I look back at all that has taken place over the past 7 years,basically all of my life, I have no regrets. My experiences has definitely been a dream come true. Experiencing the world and it diversity. Thinking outside the box and further in depth about situations has given me the upper hand. We live,we learn,we grow, and we become wiser. Happy belated birthday.

  2. Happy belated birthday!!!! I didn’t respond to your last post because it hit a little TOO close to home. As far as Vegas is concerned, it has that affect on you. You’ll be over it in the next day or two. Please believe it. As far as the rest, it all depends on the person you are & where you feel you should be. I’m the same age as you & I don’t feel I’ve missed out on anything that I didn’t want to miss out on. How you felt about Sophie, its hard to say. I don’t walk in your shoes. I wouldn’t worry about it, though. 29 will get better.

    Thank you for letting us share, Alisha.

  3. Thanks for the belated birthday wishes! That story came from out of nowhere. It’s amazing how many people can identify with the same story. I plan to make it series of random ficticious people.

  4. I enjoyed the piece, I sounded a little to me any way that you felt that clock. Your choice however to have children later on in life is actually a right one. By then either way you’ve done or gotten to a point in life where you can honestly give children the nuturing and love that they deserve.

  5. Ahhhh Alisha I can identify with this. I met a little girl named Crystal P in the 3rd grade and I want to adopt her… (exaggerating) but she comes from a low income family, mother has 3 other kids, she’s so sweet. Olive skin, brown hair, eyeglasses, and she wears the cutest clothes to school. I’ve spent a lot of time with children this past year and I really know beyond a shadow of a doubt I’m not ready for children yet. Not even close. I think I would be more hurt at 27 to be prego than I would be at lets say 16 and pregnant… I will be an older parent like my mother. Moma didn’t have me until she was 35. ( I need more CEH time. Selfish, but true.)

  6. I did some research about this topic for my dissertation. It’s fascinating stuff. I’ve thought about racial matching in the past because I wonder how it affects a child’s racial identity and their identity overall…

    BTW, I love your blog. You are incredibly talented mama.

    L

    • Thanks so much!!! I love your blog, too! Always something interesting to say. I couldn’t believe how much that little girl moved me. I should have taken a pic. lol

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