I Cant Make This Up - Life Lessons
Kevin Hart
Contributed by Roseanne Meinecke
Chapter 6-12 - From Mom

Now eight years old, Kevin had to contend with life without a father having only his brother, Kenneth, as his closest male figure. While both had the desire for the wrong side of life, only Kenneth actually made a step toward it, a step that came to a complete halt by their mom when she threw a knife at him out of desperation to stop his behavior. As his mentor, Kenneth teaches Kevin lessons in “standing up for yourself” when dealing with bullies. Kevin then modifies this lesson to ensure his pride never supersedes his teeth but maintains a willingness to “pick something up and knock them in the head with it,”

Surprisingly Kenneth bullies an elderly woman for her purse, fails and ends up having to either join the military or serve a sentence in juvenile detention. As a result, Kevin is denied the freedom they had to “run wild in the streets, snatch purses, deal drugs, join a gang, or have independent thoughts.”  With a tightly monitored schedule and unfettered punishment, he learns  the very skills his mom has and more, all the while she protects him from her single-parent trauma. Her protective nature gets him the “grandparent” he didn’t have in Miss Davis, an elderly woman who was paid to look after him, but instead, put him to work recycling stamps.

Like all good parents, both Kevin’s mom and dad bought him gifts. His dad bought him “hot stuff” while his mom bought him all the “wrong stuff” and instantly got rid of the hot stuff. Eventually, he rebels against his mom, who he calls a “seasoned tyrant,” and finds himself in the “the armpit of the world.” Realizing his mom’s “tyranny” was not the worst of problems he could have, he swallows his pride and goes back to living under his mom’s rules.


Parenting is a tough process, especially when only a single parent has the duty to carry the entire load. For the Harts, a tough financial situation only worsened this situation.  Eventually, Kenneth’s juvenile drug involvement ensues, but, to his advantage, their mom  spares no effort in rooting out any form of deviance. In addition to family issues, social life in school likewise leads to critical choices for Kevin. For example, whether to meet a bully at their level, or rise above that and make peace to survive.

This section presents the will required by children_-_represented by Kevin) to endure parental “tyranny” without any reward as this results in the best possible preparation for future realities of a world where all one hers is “no.” Embodied in his mom’s words, “you’re either gonna respect my rules and respect my word or you’re not gonna live under my roof,” such strict parenting is necessary but only to a point where the reigns have to loosen and a young adult gets released to their own devices. But in all this wisdom, Kevin finds humor and expresses his experiences, even the sexual and violent ones, with a light demeanor.

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