Missin’ u…

You know the hardest part about being a parent?  Not being able to keep your child with you 24/7s or be able to see them in a moment when you need to. It’s true, mothers can just look at their children and know when nothing in their world is right. When mothers are down, their children often pull them out of their funk. It’s an instant mood elevator to see the face of your babe. Their smiles, laughter and general silliness wakes your soul to look ahead. Even if you’re wondering just what the fuck they’re doing. As a working mother, this has been my gripe for days on end. If you didn’t think your mind was powerful, you can literally think your way into a major tragedy that puts your heart in a bind. You will literally hyperventilate at the thought that a predator might be eating your baby alive. Only to find out all is actually well and there is not a single need to panic. Children will teach you so much about yourself and your body. They will literally call your bluff when you’re voicing something different. The way you miss them makes you ache and seeing them lifts you high.

I used to think it was ridiculous when people would say ‘I just couldn’t leave my baby’. ‘What could be so great about them?’, I would think. Then I had my son and I got it. It 100% rips my heart out when I have to leave him. I literally want to fight myself for not being further ahead in life or better accomplished so that I could afford life at home with my son. Creatives that take the non-traditional route so that they can be home are goals to me. I want to scream every time I have a horrible thought or a bad piece of news cross my path and I can’t hold his hand or glance at what mischief he’s getting into. They are so pure, and give so much all the time. Children give you 100% of what you give to them. They have no filter and are the most genuine human beings you will ever encounter. They teach you how to live, question life and wonder about things that you’ve never thought of before. It is also why you can almost immediately tell when an adult wasn’t nurtured by love but raised to exist. They’re like green limp flowers, misunderstood and out of reason. In each stage, the babes give us life, whether we want it or not. I I could define it, the sound of my soul…is the laughter of children the world over….

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Assimilation….

I love observing immigrants. It is my weird thing. I just love their take on culture shock and seeing how they cope. They move with such caution, light footed. Their choices are so tied to so many things. It is almost a burden. We are so lucky to be in a country were compassion is natural response. As much as coming to this country was scary and had difficult moments surrounding navigating the systems in place; I cannot say migrating has been something to regret. I blame that solely on how I assimilated. Also, the birth of a Canadian-born child. You see, if you moved here with children from another country, they will be subdued and burdened with things a child shouldn’t. When you have a child in the country you migrated to, they almost seem to cruise through life. We find ourselves shaking our head at the simplicity and ease of my son’s life. This caused me to compare the resolve within that never truly let’s us settle. This isn’t our home, but it is his. He will never have to learn to assimilate and will naturally thrive in certain situations. This will be worse, once he goes through the various systems that span his life cycle.  No internal battle to attach himself to Canadian ways or to hold on to his ‘first culture’. A lot of immigrants become so stuck in their ‘first culture’, they refuse to adapt to the ways of their new world. Irresponsibly imparting certain views in a tolerant environment. Carelessly handling themselves in a way that makes them think their ‘first culture’ is an excuse. Recklessly throwing away all the sacrifices and investments made to pave the way. I say all this to say, assimilation is so important.

A lot of people think to leave their home country for a better life, but never check the culture of where they’re going. What is common place in the corporate world? How loose or strict are certain industries (of interest)? Something as simple as understanding what a ‘scent free’ environment is, knowing a sharp fragrance is a part of being fully dressed. You will have to go back to school. Period. Even to do a ‘small’ course. Are you open to learning and formal education again? Are you ok with ‘play-based’ learning for your children? The concept of free public schools may be new and seem like a relief, but can you accept limited say in your child’s education? If religious, how would you navigate the LGBT curricula that is taught in public schools? How would you handle private school tuition, knowing as an immigrant you won’t necessarily get a high-paying job right away? It is imperative to consider residences and learn about surrounding communities. Child-rearing will fall heavily on parents and a daycare provider. Are you keen on the cost both financially and mentally to get an older relative to come and help instill your values and morals? Are you prepared to leave your children for hours with someone who looks nothing like you? Are you aware of the political practices where you’re going? Is there civil conflict, uprisings or mistreatment of those marginalized? What are their considerations around health and healthcare?  What do their people look like? No, really, intersectionality creates clusters of people and what they look like is very important. Where is your community located and what are their social stats? What about social programs and views on community support? Who gets respect? Will your qualifications mean anything? Can you promise yourself that you will seek to manage your mental health when faced with coercion from societal pressure? Are you racist and known to discriminate? There is also more interracial dating because the culture of those who grow up or is born here is wholly Canadian with references to their parents’ culture. They do not live by their parents’ culture with reference to Canadian mores, no matter how much parents speak their language, take their kids to visit ‘back home’ or inundate them with stories of past times. Can you accept interracial relationships? Can you child marry who they please? Are you a person that will experience a language barrier? This will affect how far you get ahead in the corporate world, so can you learn a new language at your age? Immigrant health is known to decline over the years, what is your coping plan? What will you do when you are homesick? Do you laugh a lot and often, or know how to at all? You will have so many moments when you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I say all this to say, research and prepare yourself so that you can assimilate, as this is non-negotiable when it comes to survival.

 

No Parent Coach

I wish more people would decline to give parenting advice. The stigma around the very presence of children is so telling! We see the annoyed looks on your faces and that twisted smile. There is nothing wrong with saying, ‘I can’t say because I’m not sure myself’. Saying, ‘my situation is a bit different’ is acceptable too. It’s perfectly fine to just keep quiet as well. It just gnaws at me when people who do not celebrate their children tell others not to have any. It physically pains me when people say ‘they ruin your life’. No, you ruined your own life with your choices and is now inflicting this irresponsibility on an innocent being. Do not tell people to not have kids because you don’t want any. Don’t speak against children knowing you want them but just haven’t found the right ‘situation’. I completely understand times where children are born into situations that end up changing. As a product of a single parent home, I know it’s extremely hard. Hats off to all of you! I’m referring to those who were told their partner doesn’t want children, lays bare to procreate then find themselves in a ‘rut’. I’m speaking to those who birthed a child out of a convenient relationship and is miserable with being grounded. Do not fix your mouth to tell people children are a nightmare, when you couldn’t control yourself long enough to use protection. I’m also referring to those who have multiple children, inflict all sorts of abuse on them and have the nerve to say they ‘messed up’.When I was pregnant and about to go off on mat leave, I had lunch with my manager and he blatantly told me he has no advice for me. I made a face naturally and he laughed and said seriously, ‘I’ have no advice for ‘YOU’. Of course, I called out his unfairness because he had recently become a father and could have imparted so much knowledge on me knowing what ‘this thing’ is going to be like. He was quite bemused with my pressing, as his statement was simple. Simple, but weighted. The only other thing he said was that I should do what’s best for my child and don’t listen to anyone. I shot him another side eye as his mother was a prominent figure in his child’s life. I let him have that one, as much as I wanted to know more.

FB post by SM 01-22-2018

When we had our son and came to grips with PARENTING a child, not babysitting or tolerating one, I got it. When I went back to work, we had lunch again. He was smiling from ear to ear and so was I this time. We talked about the antiquated ways of child-rearing and all that I had escaped by doing things our way. I trusted him and would have listened to his advice; this stranger to MY child. We learned about our child and we cared for and led him with our choices. Everyone was happy. When I told my cousin I hadn’t read any books she was in a rage and sent me title after title of all the popular stuff; we politely declined. Months later when I attempted to find a solution with a popular site I felt like the one thing I was looking for wasn’t there. The one word to connect my issues to a solution wasn’t there. Why? Nothing in parenting is cookie cut; it’s ever-changing. Every time I had posted my issues on mommy boards on Facebook, I was rewarded with comments filled with nuggets of gold. All ending with ‘THAT’S what worked for US’, MAYBE it will for you. A small side-eye there as I thought if it worked it worked, what’s the deal? The more we dealt with and overcame, the more I got it. How can someone else tell you what will work for you or your child when they have never met the child? When they are born, you the parent don’t know their ways and cannot bend them to follow someone else’s routine. In a room with 10 people, 10 of them will be different; kids are exactly the same. Here’s another thought, in a room with 10 people, 10 of them will be from a different situation. Same. There are no super parents and it is perfectly ok to hate being a parent. Be honest about your experience though. Decline to offer advice when you know your ‘situation’ comes with circumstances! Don’t tell people to not have kids when you have 4 with 4 partners and consider time with any of your children as babysitting. Do not have children with someone who does not want any and blame them for a failed relationship. For the love of God kids will not save your relationship, but pit you against each other and teach your children horrible relationships are acceptable. Finally, a single parent experience may seem to be 10 times worse than a 2 parent household, but unless both parents are involved, its one and the same!

Plants that bloom…

Throw those seeds around
This is dry land

Stress inducing efforts
But I stick to the plan

Forgiving hip rolls welcomes you
What you fear is not an easy do

The thing about life, is what makes life, life
No matter how much you wish and want; strife

I believe who wants, does not always get
The reasons surrounding why we cannot makes bets

Time is of the essence in body, not wherewithal
You constantly question, whether this may just be your fault

Patience is wearing thin
Misery starts to set in

Time and time again though
There is no giving up, no giving in

This Is 30!

I couldn’t sleep all night because I was looking forward to this day. For weeks, I have been dreading the ‘big turn’. I was constantly telling friends for weeks about my plan for the day. I googled articles that list what changes when you ‘turn’. I googled  quotes about the dread of a life it becomes. All I wanted to do was lay in bed and drink and cry and draw on rose blunts until I somehow manifested into all I believe I should have at this age. 3-0. I have been sulking for weeks about what the age meant for my body and stereotypes. I shot down every plan to celebrate because all I really wanted to do was hide and stay under the covers until those posts wishing me well were at the bottom of everyone’s feed!

Alas, the day is here and I’m drawing blanks. There is no sadness at all. I blame Oprah. That Golden Globes speech recharged me. Conversations about it with a dear friend made me full. My life looks nothing like the history of my people and I should be grateful. I am healthy and able to use all motor skills without even thinking or assistance. I have a beautiful son who asked me to smile this morning. A darling husband that is just the most patient man in life. I am not hurt and no one in my family is ailing. Most importantly. I have life. The day is here and all I feel is joy. And lightness. I want to see everyone I love and have them shower me with admiration and praises. I want to be feasting on select cuts and crisp wine as I laugh heartily as people reminisce about stories about my crazy life. Or the past crazy year. I have so much to be grateful for. There is so much life within me, I haven’t been able to stop smiling.

The sad part is we’re going through an extremely rough patch right now. At the top of the year, we find ourselves really making some hard choices just to stay afloat. I am unemployed again, as my seasonal job is over. I do not have the qualifications I planned for. I don’t look like I want to and frankly don’t have to mental capacity to change that right now. We’re basically blowing through our savings with no contingency plan. My boots are literally taking in water (lol). My school fee is past due. My partners strength is unraveling a little bit more each day. I should be miserable and cursing the universe. I can’t even celebrate with a fancy dinner and fancy foil balloons; but I’m cheery. In the highest of spirits I have been in the past 3 months. I can’t be unhappy. I cannot wallow in darkness and close myself off from the world. I don’t want to be a depiction of Scrooge today. I cannot be consumed with race issues today, politics or the like. It isn’t fair to be sad. I must be and revel in aging gracefully and celebrate every part of the day; even my very ambitious BM. I am over the moon and on a high; partly sponsored by coffee. Today, my depression will not beat me to a pulp. I’ve been smiling constantly despite the abrasive weather. Every sweet message and well wish is like a falling Tetris block and I just might burst! I feel so loved and free. I cannot help, but, squeal! I’m not sure who does this, but I had planned to be a damsel of doom today; but I rebel!

I will treat myself to a modest lunch and cuddle with up with my joy today. After all, I turned 30!

*Flashback Post*-November 3rd, 2013

I remember those days,

Timeless moments nothing could intercept,

Living for each moment, not thinking we had much time left,

Hours ran into days, ran into months into pains,

 

I remember those days,

Each day awoken with a smile,

Loving each second, each embrace,

Tethered by our souls, moving by grace,

 

I remember those days,

Time flew around us, yet our gaze stood still,

Time flew around us, but our traces lingered on each others skin,

Careless spirits, moving us through,

 

I remember those days,

Nothing ever mattered, nothing was our everything,

Talks that extended past wee hours,

No interests in seeing anything but each other

 

I remember those days,

Shamelessly submissive to your every word,

Fed from your words and your releases,

Full from all you embody and all you do,

 

I remember those days,

Falling into your arms was the single point I looked forward to in my days

Even just in candle light you seemed so great,

Naked and bare I still saw you as Adonis type gold

My every fibre focused on willing your eyes to just me

 

I remember those days,

If my tears would fall, so would yours too,

I’d be felt and heard and made to feel silly because you were there,

We were one being of burning heat and hope and love

We were open, our basic selves, feeding each others strengths

 

I remember those days,

Fingers tracing lightly on skin,

Tip toeing, stealing kisses, sneaking in,

Soft touches calls flutters in,

a glow and a constant happiness;grins

 

I remember those days

I ain’t felt that way in years.