25 December 2011

One Bad-Ass Baby Boy

A few years ago I was visiting my friend Drew in prison. Another young prisoner, hardly more than a teen, walked by and smiled shyly at Drew. Drew said softly, "Hey, Baby Boy."

Serving 5–7, Baby Boy ought to fit right in by the time he's out.
"That's his real name," Drew told me. "I mean his real-real name."

Baby Boy? "Well," I said, "that is kind of sweet...."

Then Drew told me how he'd come by the name. "His mama already had a bunch of boys so when he was born, she just called him what the hospital bracelet said. Never gave him no other name."

It took a moment to register in my world. I had named my son Asa after months of contemplation. No one cared enough about this little baby to give him a name. I still choke up thinking about it.

And I have to wonder: Couldn't the degree of neglect that indicates have been a factor in Baby Boy serving time in prison while, really, still hardly more than a baby boy?

No comments:

Post a Comment