Swimming in the S.E.A. (Part 7) – Land!

I can’t believe we are FINALLY at the end! I woke up this morning and I legit got tears in my eyes when I prayed and reflected on the journey that Mam’zelle took to FINALLY get to this moment. It was really a tumble of a ride filled ease, elation, frustration and back to ease which made me think of literally being out at sea. When I started this series it was really an outlet to express my thoughts as an ‘S.E.A. parent’ the second time around (which turned out to be the harder time around given the joy that 2020 has been thus far🙄. For a recap of my past ‘Swimming in the S.E.A.’ posts see below, iz plenty, so yuh could come back and check it):

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Incidentally this post is Part 7 and as sevens tend to symbolize, now we rest.

Suitable rest pic

So in this final countdown I have to again resurrect my Oscar-winning performance as ‘cool, at-ease parent who cannot help but feel nervous now but cannot transfer said anxiety onto the child’. Now generally Mam’zelle was not nervous and really showed maturity and resilience particularly as COVID-19 put a screeching pause on……well…..life. I think it is largely due to her personality which is very ‘matter-of-fact’ and her relationship with her older brother to whom she relates as though they are peers. This morning though she woke up asking random math questions ‘to make sure’ and ‘casually’ wondered which school she would pass for. I suppose this is natural but I still elevated my performance of reassuring her (in a Viola Davis kinda of way) even though I knew she still felt some reservations (i.e. nervousness) and me, worse yet.

To say that I am relieved that this exam will soon be over is an understatement. I have bitched about it on my personal profile as well as in parent networks on social media. The use of this high stakes exam as placement for 11 year olds while setting the mindset that it is the be all and end all of their school careers, is archaic and plain stupid. It is time that in this 21st century (Anno Covidi as one of my close friends terms it), the powers that be in Education strongly consider a working alternative because S.E.A. ain’t it. COVID-19 come and mash up de whole dance only to reveal that there was no Plan B. That alone speaks volumes.

To all the parents out there breathing a sigh of relief, cheers to you🥂 particularly those whose children and families had to be put into 14-day quarantine as a result of attending classes and possibly contracting the virus. Hugs to those of you who still feel some reservations in sending out your children tomorrow🤗. It’s bad enough to have had to deal with the postponement of the stupid exam but the realness of the pandemic is still a clear and present danger.

I thank all of Mam’zelle’s cheerleaders, her teacher (who deserves the largest award fathomable and a week at the spa if Covid wasn’t so blasted fass) and also online support communities who allowed me to vent and commiserated with kind words, emojis and funny gifs.

I pray for us all as we clear this hurdle tomorrow, pick up our bundles and go home to truly exhale with games, music, food or whatever put in place other than the traditional…… Our children have been through it and they truly deserve it!🥳

Blessings!

TMIDM

ABOUT RACISM

I did not want to get too deep into this post-election racist trope currently underway in Trinidad and Tobago as I have been very particular about how my mental health is affected in this age of COVID-19. However just to add two of my very best shillings:

ONE

Racism is taught. Nobody was born a racist. All the thought-processes, stereotypes, judgements and discriminatory mindsets one may have against a particular race or races is as a direct result of INFLUENCE whether by friends, family or clan. When faced with this one may choose to go along with the flow because it is the comfortable, safe thing to do based on his current reality and experiences, or one may choose to re-examine his own personal stance and row against the tide based on his current reality and experiences. This may take a moment or it may take a lifetime (or two).

TWO

Our diversity is a blessing and a curse. I am a Trinidadian with African ancestry, socially determined as black and which is what I identify as and VERY proudly so. Yet, my life would not be the wholesome entity it is if it were not impacted by people of other ancestries. Because of the callalloo* that is Trinidad, my reality has allowed me to meet individuals from ‘Trini Whites’ to ‘Indians’, some remained as acquaintances, others becoming friends and even besties. I have experienced racism in this country but I am not stupid enough to paint an entire people with a broad brush. You know how many experiences I will miss and lessons I won’t learn if I keep that kind of mindset, especially when it comes to understanding why people are the way they are ? I’m a bit of a globalist. I am more so a strong, black Trinidadian woman and part of my strength lies in the fact that I am not threatened by the solid presence of any other race in the mix. Life is too short and variety is the spice of said life. (Besides, have you ever met a mind-blowingly, gorgeous dougla**? I have.)

ONE EXTRA SHILLING

This elections have people stupid.

Our political system isn’t racist. Racism fuels our political system. The system THRIVES on the fact that there is historical divisiveness which it can muddy up in order to satisfy its agenda (the march to power nah). It’s like the imagery of the puppeteer jangling the strings so he can make his money. So how will the change come if you truly want it? It’s pretty straightforward. Mindset. Unhook dem strings and stop being a racist asshole. It’s not a good look for you and it’s not a good look for the country you claim to love.

Blessings

TMIDM

*Callalloo is a dish often used as a metaphor to describe Trinidad and Tobago as there are many elements in the mix

**A dougla is the term used to describe a mixed person who has one ‘Indian’ parent and one ‘African’ parent.