Yesterday, we all went to church for Easter. This was my baby’s first Sunday mass. I knew that holding him close to myself at church would evoke the desire to breastfeed. It always does whenever he sees an opportunity. I struggled to figure out what to wear. Not only has the baby weight, refused to drop, but nothing in my closet fits. And it was Easter Sunday. Normally I wouldn’t care what I wear especially during a pandemic were no one sees your face but it’s Easter. So it mattered to me. I looked through my closet and settled on this pink flowery Ladymaker dress I got awhile back. The dress is part of their military collection. The fruitfulness and richness of the pink, gold, and brown illustrations on the dress serves all sorts of aesthetic purposes. At first I didn’t understand why the buttons were detachable because previous versions of the dress didn’t have detachable buttons. It didn’t also help that my boobs have grown so all the buttons kept popping out. But it was the closest thing to feeling part of the Easter celebration so I wore it to church.

At first baby didn’t seem to care for food. He was even mesmerized by the buttons. Then the homily period came. And as if on cue, crying and feeding time. He nudged his head towards his supply and I got up and went to a private corner at the back of church, popped open the buttons and started to feed baby. I was relieved and so was he. A chance encounter with a dress for women like myself helped me get through Easter service. A dress that thinks about women, what we feel, what we need, our experiences through life, even with breastfeeding is rare. I never planned to write about this dress but if you know how ferocious of an eater my son is, not from bottles but directly from the source, then you will understand why I praise this dress. The effect of such dresses, at its best can be immeasurable and I have a well-fed baby as the one and only judge. For mothers who are often forgotten or neglected, being remembered even via a beautiful dress, whether unintentionally or not, is like a miracle.

A Ladymaker Dress perfect for breastfeeding moms.

I am at this stage of my life where I’m beginning to rediscover what matters for me, dresses and people alike. Like this dress, I have no desire with keeping things that won’t be relevant to me and especially key moments in my life. This dress full of buttons illustrated why certain things matter and what will truly endure. In the end it’s only thing of relevance that remain. Only people that matter will speak for us. They stand for us. They become our living presence ever ready in times of need, every prepared to help us truly radiate. When you find your people, when you find the ones that matter, they can change the possibilities of your life, change the dimensions of your thoughts, change the power and beauty of your visions, even change the many depths of who you are irrevocably. That’s what my Easter dress did for me. It changed my outlook with life. And surrounded with my children, it’s true gift, like the key people that matter to me, radiates without end.

Materials that absorb all light appear black to the eye. By definition, a black body is supposed to radiate light. Yet we failed these bodies with George Floyd, and the teenage girls, and everyone else that witnessed his killings. For them, and all black children, I fiercely want change. No young girl should have to witness another person die, someone that could have been her father, her brother, her uncle, someone that she still apologizes to, for not doing enough to save his life. For Darnella, and her bravery with recording an unthinkable act for eight minutes and 46 seconds, I desperately want change.

So I ask what would it take to bring change to our children? What if children, teenagers, black ones in particular, can come into bloom, like light, radiant with possibilities? What if their radiance can be transferred from one place to another, from one moment to another, from one child or teen to another? What if they decide how this transfer should occur, how to light the pathway so that all their brilliance can shine forth? What if there is an explicit focus on the role they can play in shaping the vision of their radiance? I imagine such a world is possible, if only we let children be light. I imagine such a transformation, a radical one, can come to fruition, if only children have a say in shaping their brilliance. I imagine that young people as creators or designers of innovations can lead to solutions that matter to them, if only we let them radiate all their possibilities. I imagine this world because it’s time for change. We have done deficit model work for too long. It has informed how we view our children, with black children, black girls in particular, seen as adults and not children before the age of 13. I am prepared to change that. I believe our children can have a future radiant with possibilities because we the adults stepped out of the way. They can and will design such a future if only we let them. I am dreaming here of course, but I believe that these dreams can be inspiration so I am leaving this here for the moment that I let my dreams become possibilities. We all have the capabilities to embrace a radiant future for our children, if only we let the light that is them, be them. By tapping into this radiance, I hope that I can join the chorus of people who truly mean what they say when they say enough is enough.