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Sadness - an overbearing feeling of unhappiness.

You know it’s that lump in your throat you feel before warm rivers of water run down your cheeks. Sadness is an achy heart. It’s a horrible feeling that makes you hurt all over. It’s like a bad thunderstorm going on inside your mind and every time the lightning strikes it strikes you right in the heart and makes you cry. It’s a feeling that even a cupcake won’t make feel better.

That dark and gloomy feeling was the feeling I felt the night that changed my LIFE forever....

I swear my heart was pounding a million beats per minute. I tried to stay calm and as low as I could so they wouldn’t see me. We had fallen asleep in the backseat of the car playing campout. There were flashing lights everywhere, lots of red and blue lights but it definitely wasn’t the 4th of July. All I could hear was doors being slammed and guns being cocked. The sound of a gun being cocked instantly sent a paralyzing fear all over me. Nothing ever good happened when I heard that noise on the block. I kept asking myself, “What is going on? Why are the cops here? What did Mama do?”

There were cops swarming everywhere. Two cops jumped out their car and ran up on the front porch. One of them banged on the door while the other officer stood there with his gun pointing straight at the door. BOOM BOOM BOOM..........”come on out with your hands up!”

Kam and Russ, y’all wake up! Something bad is about to happen to Mama. Wake up now!!! We need to run and tell Big Mama that something horrible is happening.

I was afraid to open the car door because I knew as soon as the cops would have seen us, they would have taken us straight to Child Protective Services and I just didn’t feel like going through all that!

Before we could open the door to the car and get out, Mama came out with her hands up. She dropped to her knees and began to cry. I had never seen Mama so sad in my whole 8 years of living. They quickly cuffed her and put her in the police car.

I didn’t see my Mama for another 5 years after that heartbreaking night.

We finally got out the car and ran up the street to Big Mama’s house. All three of us were screaming and hollering about the police taking Mama to jail. Big Mama hugged us and that alone made us feel safe.

I asked Big Mama why the police locked Mama up?

She said, “Sometimes whatever the Good Lord needs to teach us comes in ways we don’t understand. Your Mama is my baby girl and I’d do anything for her to be here right now. But the Good Lord above had another plan for her and whether it seems fair to us or not, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes life isn’t fair. It’s a hard lesson for folks to learn and most people don’t have to learn it this young. Little Derrick your Mama is gonna be alright and so will you, your brother and your sister.”

When my Mama got locked up it had a horrible effect on me. It was a really sad time in my life. It honestly broke me because I love my Mama so much and I just broke down when they took her away. Now I feel like I’m the care taker at 8 years old for me, my brother, and sister.

Children with Parents in Prison

· Many young kids who grew up surrounded by violence and poverty end up making similar mistakes

· 25% of African American children will have a parent incarcerated at some point raising the risk of them entering the system themselves.

· We can help stop the cycle of kids entering the system before it starts just by trying to understand where their anger, rage, and aggression is rooted.

· If we can show our at risk youth that there’s another way and that they don’t have to choose the streets, then we have a chance of preserving their future.

We can’t control who our parents are going to be and how they will treat us but we can control how we respond to the unpleasantries that sometimes happen in LIFE.

Which road will Little Derrick take in life? Are we doing what we can to understand and emotionally support children whose parents have been incarcerated? If you know any children who live in untraditional home settings, please don’t judge them because of their circumstances. They just want to be loved, understood, and encouraged.

Please love and share this short read. What are your thoughts on emotionally supporting children with these disparities?

Please leave me a comment down below or at KTTEEV.COM. Feel free to also email me at . I’d love to hear your feedback!

Who knows, you just might meet a Little Derrick somewhere along Life’s way.

“People Don’t Care How Much You Know, Until They Know How Much You Care.”

Until Next Time,

Live, Laugh, & Learn

With Mrs. Wright

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