Post 54. As a working mom there’s only one thing I’m really proud of. That’s the amount of time that Ziya has spent in rivers and seas. She could run with de best, including children growing up in Cedros and Nariva, when it comes to communing with the waters of the earth. For a little person, just 16 months, Zi has swam in Balandra coast waters twice, she’s been to Avocat waterfall, twice she’s soaked in the blissful waters of Yara River, twice she’s dipped in the springs of Las Hermanas Estate, she’s been to Paragon Beach, she’s had her Tobago sea bath, and she’s practically grown up on Maracas. The girl knows her water goddesses intimately. I’m proud of this because I it takes extra effort and commitment, but its important to me that she appreciate what’s truly gorgeous and inalienable about our Republic. I want her to have her green days by the river, I want her to know the names of our trees and rivers as if they are the spirits that people her dreams at night, I want her to know that the earth is the cathedral of every religion, and that it is giving, fragile and sacred. I want her to know the sound of the wind off the sea and its breath through the corridors of trees that shade a stream. I want her to want to stop to listen to birds. I want her to be unafraid of insects, bats, spiders, lizards, snakes, frogs and everything else that is part of our ecosystem, and to which we can be callous and inhumane. I want her to both respect forests and be able to walk in them feeling at home. That I’ve been doing okay so far makes me feel good for a number of reasons. First, I hate driving, and rivers and seas are usually far enough away that I have to psyche myself up for the drive from the night before. Second, I’m really really really tired and doing as little as possible on a weekend (in addition to the four baby meals and three baby baths per day, laundry and tidying) is my prized joy. I’d go on a honeymoon by myself and do nothing but sleep if I could, I’m so wrecked by 16 months of Zi not sleeping in the night. Exhaustion, plus a basic desire to not leave my home once I’m there, combine to make me a functioning zombie on the weekend, capping out virtually mid-way through a book with Zi, and unable to find the will to travel beyond the front gate. Third, there’s lots of other things that good mothers do that I don’t do. I’m not saying I’m bad at the other stuff. It’s just that, on a weekend when Zi is with me, I’m not doing the colouring, spelling, word/picture recognition, building-blocks, baby puzzles, make-believe, stacking toy, tricycle riding, running around and other activities that one should do as part of stimulating learning. Mostly, I just hang out with her and leave the serious socialisation to her grandmother. I’m just too tired. I feel guilty about it, like a sloth in a room of tiger moms, but I’m too tired for the guilt to translate into much action. Except when it comes to putting her in my backpack and taking her to the blessed and beautiful waters that weave across and at the edges of our country. Somehow, I’ve just made the effort and made it happen. On Saturday, Zi, her fairy godmother Auntie Tracy and I drove to Yara River. Zi loved the cold water and was doubtlessly in her element. I just felt good. We stayed until she started to shiver and the tide began to rise, and then we drove home. Of course, to do this trip on Saturday required doing nothing on Friday, Sunday and Monday. Seriously, I think I expended whatever I had in me for the long weekend on just that one trip. I was so spent, I let all kinds of things slide, just handed the baby over to Lyndon to bathe and entertain, left the dishes for him to wash, heaped the unfolded clothes on a chair, didn’t make the bed, and relegated everything else to that place where unnoticed things go, even if I noticed them. It’s very unlike me to not try to be a superhero/control freak when it comes to the baby, completely OCD when it comes to tidying and putting away folded clothes, and manic about all the things that need cleaning and doing in the house. Even as I am typing, half my brain is feeling out of sorts because of the unfolded clothes and the messy things I haven’t neatened into straight lines. But, I’m telling myself that it doesn’t matter that I couldn’t do everything this weekend. Maybe (probably!) on other weekends, it will matter. What makes this weekend special is the trip to the river, which is what most counted and what excuses everything else. I might not feel on top of it all, I might be keenly aware of all the ways I can do better, I might wish I could do more, I might feel like I’ve failed when things are left undone, but this weekend I’m feeling proud anyway. Watching my baby in those waters was pure bliss and whatever it took was worth it. The experiences she has already had and the ones I continue to plan are a gift of knowledge and understanding, and a sense of place that may one day radiate from the mirror in her gaze. This gift is important to me, to the earth, to a next generation and one day I hope it will be important to Zi.
April 9, 2012
Diary of a mothering worker. April 9, 2012Posted by grrlscene under momentous trivialities: diary of a mothering worker | Tags: Caribbean, Gabrielle Jamela Hosein, love, motherhood, Trinidad and Tobago, work family balance |