Corona Thoughts

While in COVID-19 self isolation this evening I slipped into a funk. I spent a shorter time than usual on social media today but this evening I saw a post being shared. It was an amendment to the Public Health Ordinance here in Trinidad and Tobago forbidding public congregation until the 31st of July.

Screenshot_20200319-204716_Word Admittedly at first I was amused in the sense of ‘look at where we reach because Trinis too harden* and can’t do what they’re supposed to do!’ Then I considered how many times I sat to eat or drink in a public space: the mall food court, KFC, TGIFridays, Eddie Hart grounds, the doubles man…to think that this is now an illegal offence is troubling. It’s as though that move concretized the whole thing for me (and it didn’t help that I just finished season 3 of the Handmaid’s Tale).

We are really in a crisis. This is a state of limbo which I hate like most states of limbo. My brain works itself into overdrive. When I considered the amount of money people would lose in this singular industry, particularly people with children, even children in exam classes, it prompted deep thought and a deep shift in perspective for me. Negative vibes came out to play.

So when I feel a hint of anxiety which has the possibility of increasing, in order to ground myself and keep it in check, one of the things I do is to read random stuff (real random things eh like anyone who saw my Google history would probably write me a referral to a special place)😔. I happened upon this article which made the spirit settle a bit and I’m sharing it here so maybe it can help ground someone else. Sometimes you have to see things as they are rather than what your well-intentioned visions were, reality may be easier to accept. I’m working on it.

Read it here⬇️

Psychology Today

Blessings to you

TMIDM

*harden=stubborn

Swimming in the S.E.A. – Part 2 (One virus shall rule them all)

I’m usually the person who tries to examine all possibilities and outcomes of situations and decisions (which is ridiculous since we mere mortals are never in control🙄) but I hate surprises and usually operate from a viewpoint of ‘hope for the best but expect the worst’. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, since my Mam’zelle is so different from my son I have been unable to pin her down with the S.E.A. exam, his progress was predictable, hers was a gypsy rollercoaster. Eventually she became steady and I finally became settled. As the days passed, more and more my load felt lighter and lighter, my daughter felt less and less stressed and we were both on the same page of being ready for the S.E.A. exam to come (and go😒).  I booked a surprise mini-vacay to the sister-isle on April 3rd just for the both of us and  I was reallllly looking forward to those memories: sun, sea, sips, spa-time and silliness……

Then came the Coronavirus.

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Out of all the negative predictions I could have thought up to possibly interrupt the smooth running of her exam I did NOT foresee a global pandemic. At first I wasn’t so concerned as I expected COVID-19 to reach Trinidad, but this past week wrapped up with nationals panic-buying groceries, my house perpetually smelling like Lysol, multiple television addresses, closing of schools for a week and heightened speculation on social media that would make your head spin. This was coupled with no immediate word about the exam and of course further speculation from anxious parents and teachers. What finally triggered me was hearing schools closing in St. Lucia until after Easter, Jamaica closing schools and soon to make a decision about their own exams and then news that the Caribbean Examinations Council office in Jamaica closing with the May/June exams in the air.😳

In the wake of this virus taking over there is a pressing need to take all the necessary precautions but sadly it’s now brought two sets of anxieties for me to manage: high-stakes exam preparation and worldwide crisis. I asked Mam’zelle what she would prefer, for the exam to be moved up or postponed. She replied instantly ‘Moved up! It’s time for me to relax!’. I wholeheartedly agreed although now even the vacation is up in the air because you know….life….sigh….😔

So the waiting game continues as we start this week at home with the exam initially carded for two weeks away. Revision is planned, online sessions are prepared, leisure time is scheduled at home and of course, hands are being washed. I am hoping and praying for some semblance of normalcy even in the face of this absurdity that 2020 continues to dole out.

Blessings and be safe out there!

TMIDM

 

 

 

About Corona

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Sigh…..Let Corona live!

About the Coronavirus…

Like a greedy reptile I have bitten, swallowed, digested and regurgitated information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) because I like to be informed. My cleaning supplies and immunity meds are locked and loaded. I didn’t hold hands or offer anyone a sign of physical peace in church Sunday (hella awkward😬). I’m keeping my germs to myself.

I have a variety of sources that range from the World Health Organisation, CARPHA, the Ministry of Health, ‘reputable’ news houses like BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, tabloids, Anderson Cooper, satire websites, late night talk shows and plain old memes on Facebook. There are times when I feel overexposed and my scrolling finger has considerable work to do and other times when I’m truly vested, posting and sharing and that’s what I call balance.

What I’m not worried about is how this will affect the children as thank goodness COVID-19 seems to discriminate by age. However, not to be taken for granted I have been talking with (yapping/warning) my gremlinz and my students about properly washing their hands at school, ‘dabbing’ into a cough or a sneeze, taking their vitamins and using available soap and water for half a minute or using hand sanitizer where applicable.

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And with all of that my teen son still caught the cold at the pool (Rhinovirus eh! There’s a difference!🧏🏾‍♀️). He fell into a small state of paranoia but I told him if he still clocks a normal temperature, he’s ok but no school as apparently you can’t even cough without people around you going crazy. I don’t even want my own students coughing around me, my evil eye will be activated instantly and parents will be called. I’m your teacher and I care for your well-being but kindly go home please.

I’m expecting the COVID-19 to hit Trinidad and if so, a rush of panic buying much like what caused the shortage of N95 facemasks and hand sanitizers on the market. (Ya’ll…..come on….🙄). If perchance we escape this even after thousands of foreigners descended on our shores two weeks ago for Carnival, GOD IS INDEED A TRINI and we shall look forward to Carnival 2021 mercifully. In the meantime, stock up and if there is a call for social distancing and self-quarantine, ensure that each of your children will be adequately entertained. Pay your cable bill, make sure your wifi is legit, put a data plan on your phone, buy new crayons or coloured pencils  and ensure your snack cupboard and your store of patience is ready.

Meanwhile some guidelines from CARPHA:

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Blessings,

TMIDM

 

 

A Holiday Shift in Focus

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Some months ago, I was having a conversation with a friend on the topic of scaling back the usual to-do when it comes to preparing for holiday celebrations. She is Hindu and does the most when it comes to Divali, the Hindu festival of lights, perhaps the most festive on the Hindu calendar usually celebrated in October. In a moment of reflection perhaps fuelled by past experience, the timeframe and on becoming a mother times two (toddler and baby), she realized that she may dial back the effort as she is usually A+ when it comes to creating the festive feeling when the second half of the year rolls around.  In the midst of the light-hearted banter about a serious topic, I thought about us adults, children and holidays.

I am entirely convinced that holidays are for children and this is simply based on two things: one, the joy that a child feels and expresses during holiday festivities could never be purely experienced as an adult and two, the fact that most, if not all, adults can place a finger on a seasonal memory that occurred when they were children and which they use as a point of reference. For me, when I was a child my father used to invite a parang* band over to celebrate his birthday which was Christmas Eve with the festivities leading into Christmas Day. I remember my sister and I used to force ourselves to stay up for that excitement (ranked higher than waiting up for Santa Claus) because the merriment, music, eating and drinking was something that didn’t happen on that scale during the year. Associated with that, was the particular smell of the carpet when it was vacuumed, scrubbed and dried. To this day if I hear certain parang songs or smell a carpet being cleaned there is an unbeatable joy that creeps into my heart which I know is stored there since childhood. Weird, but true. Nostalgia is a hell of a thing and when that hits, it hits hard, sometimes to the point where tears flow (I don’t cry when a carpet is being cleaned but you get my point).

Now adults and particularly parents, are taken up with ensuring that the holidays mean something (no matter how grand or miniscule) so that memories are created, and memory-making can indeed be hard work. Why do you think you take so much pictures with your phone of your children, your lunch, your face, your nails, your commute to work, your drinks, the moon, the sunsets and the rainbows? You are recording your life because on some level you don’t want to forget what you’ve experienced which of course naturally happens as we age.

This is why at holiday times we may feel inclined to ensure that they are well enjoyed. For some it may be putting out the best décor, food, drink and gatherings of family and friends and in putting out the best so that the memories are created (because it is once a year after all), sometimes we lose sight of the purpose and the overwhelming feelings of preparation anxiety kick in. For women who are the captains of this particular ship, this may work in direct conflict with the effort we have been employing alllll year to ensure our #selfcare, #balance, #metime and related hashtags which have become the order of the day. So we start to think about scaling down without losing the flavour.

I usually go crazy with Christmas decorations but when I was doing my ‘summer cleaning’, I discovered an intruder rampaging in my storage. I shall call him Mickey and he had a jolly old time. Mickey forced me to discard everything: garlands, balls, tinsel, flowers, ribbon, lights and nativity scenes. As mad as I was (still am), I was really on the fence as to whether I should repurchase all my stuff. This year got a tree, lights, another nativity scene (this is a must) some balls and that’s it. I’ve warmed to the idea of not having to hurt my head to find my ‘colours to match’ for my décor. My teen, tween and toddler gremlinz will hardly blink an eye at a missing snowglobe, my husband worse yet.

Perhaps as adults we have been oversaturated with the commercialization of the holidays over the years, the hustle, the bustle and the perfection, that we are returning to keeping the pure, meaningful moments dear for the sake of keeping our minds clear. It’s like children who unwrap the gift, take out the toy and then joyfully play with the box. Keep it simple. That is something I could definitely get behind as my sanity is precious to me. It’s the final weekend before Christmas day, what about you?

 *https://www.nalis.gov.tt/Resources/Subject-Guide/Parang

About Grandparents

Grandparents are strange creatures.

I say this purely from a perspective of observing them in my role as the bridge between them and the grandchildren and when I say strange I mean howww is this sharp 180 possible from you being one type of human as my parent to being another type of human as my child’s grandparent? I continue to ponder…

Image result for if i knew grandchildren were this much fun

Years ago when I heard the above quote on a tv show I laughed at the humour in it. Little did I realize later on in life when I created the grandchildren, that the joke was actually on me because grandparents mean every single word of it. Hurtful.

The following is a list of related scenarios, some happened to me, some happened to other parents like myself who are also in this midway twilight zone wondering ‘but what it is really going on here?’

  1. The grandchild comes home with B’s on the report book to which the grandparent replies “don’t come do so hard on him/her. B’s are good and you are frustrating the child”. Meanwhile you cast your memory back to your own childhood filled with fond memories of crying because you can’t remember 7×8 (to this day), anxiously memorizing spelling words and threats of A’s or else……
  2. As is custom with Caribbean parenting, you give the child a dose of punishment, to which the grandparent responds that you are being wickeddd to the grandchild or my personal favourite “I don’t like to hear him cry”. Meanwhile you have lived to tell stories of belts, pot spoons, ‘cocoyea broom flex’, guava whips, rolling pins, slippers, broomsticks etc.
  3. The grandparent remarks that the grandchild is soooo skinny and proceeds to feed the grandchild according to their set standard. This leaves you to wonder how a boiled egg could be swallowed ravenously in front of a grandparent but mashed and scattered in your own living room by the same human being.
  4. Relatedly, this set standard includes even after you have fed the grandchildren and any of the times in between that they feel they should eat reminding you that breakfast, lunch and dinner and ‘nothing in the interim’ was meant specifically for you.
  5. Again relatedly, you the parent give said grandchild a snack and are met with admonition about not feeding the grandchild properly, “in my days we used to eat yam and eddoes!!!” and that he/she is soooo skinny. Yet when you go in the grandparents’ kitchen, there is a cupboard or drawer filled to the max with every treat imaginable wrapped in cellophane paper which most certainly did not exist when you grew up in that house. Even if it did, the fear of taking (or even asking) for said snack was enough to have your ears ringing.

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    instagram.com/mightyapejunior
  6. Grandparents lifting up full 5-year olds up a flight of stairs, while hold a bookbag and lunchkit while you the parent watch and remember the command “Walk up please!” while trudging behind them as a child.
  7. The grandchildren have attained the school age of three and the grandparents casting doubt if they are ready already for school because school is ‘stressful’ and they will be ‘tired’. “I thought about grandbaby in school and if you only know how my heart grieve me”….GRIEVE yuh say yunno!!!! For sending him/her to school??? Your own childhood memories come flooding back again…..
  8. Seeing grandparents magically and eagerly appear at the front gate, driveway or gallery as though to rescue the grandchildren from your hostage care.
  9. Grandchildren being allowed to run around and make noise because who must be seen and not heard? Leave dem…
  10. Clothes that grandchildren wear must be perfectly fit. Anything like a half size up or down in shoes etc must be returned for a proper pair or kept so they’ll grow into it and even as you wait for the growing, two or more proper pairs will be bought. Meanwhile some of you parents wore shoes stuffed or pants tightly belted until you could fill it out.

Did you read any of these and say to yourself ‘Yessss” or “Preachhhh”? The contrast is glaring and some things are indeed very funny while others are cold blooded man! Like where was this side of you when I was growing up?!?!

I suppose it’s a case of who feels it knows it and I know that there may be other deeper matters related to insecurities and self-confidence, change in society and wisdom that comes with age and all that but I’m keeping it light for now.

In the meantime, I continue to be flabbergasted by the strangeness of the grandparents. Are you?
Blessings

TMIDM

Swimming in the S.E.A. (Part 1)

A couple of weeks ago I received a document from Mam’zelle’s teacher to pick secondary schools as choices for her to be placed after writing the S.E.A. exam (not sure what the S.E.A. exam is? See my previous post here). I took the document home, folded it and put it on my dresser. It has remained there to this day.

I am anxious about this exam and nervous for Mam’zelle to write it. My first Son-son did it already and I was nowhere near as nervous then as I am now and that’s mainly because they are two different children. She is not as excited about schoolwork and does it grudgingly at times. Other times she shoots fireworks from her fingers. I think also because she is a girl and the world works differently for females, that this also influences how I feel. Make no mistake though, other than the (light/heavy) encouragement from me or the hubby, I make it a concerted effort not to display said anxiety. There is no perfection there as sometimes I let it slip but often when I feel it coming on because she can’t remember a particular spelling or mathematical formula, I step away to vent to my husband or I log on to Facebook to commiserate with other parents who feel the same as a result of this dreaded exam.

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Illustration by Shrikrishna-Patkar (www.hindustantimes.com)

I know I’ve reached that part of the S.E.A. ride where it’s pedal to the metal but I’m really praying for this ride to slow down and stop. I can’t imagine having to wait until May so for that alone, I thank God it was moved to March (although it remains high stakes for a shorter period of time). A couple of weeks ago there was a meeting held for the parents of the standard five girls and I was really glad that my feelings were shared even though I didn’t speak to anybody. The taut body language in the room spoke volumes. In all the years I have attended meetings in that school, I have NEVER seen so many parents (especially the dads….kudos!!) turn out for one year group. There was a lot of nervous energy in the room that no amount of ice breakers, talks and presentations could allay. As a matter of fact, after one of the members of staff did her presentation on how placement occurs, the tension rose and I left because I felt like I needed to breathe.

Since then, I have done my part in remaining in close contact with her teacher, making sure she is physically, mentally and spiritually fed and staying abreast of the conversation about S.E.A. on the networks with other parents which can also drive you crazy if you don’t scroll quickly and limit the amount of comments you read. Examples of Math sums, Language exercises and Creative Writing prompts are posted at various times throughout the day from parents who need help and teachers who want to help. It’s as though everyone is trying to make sure that all 14 million possibilities for this exam are considered in all the three subject areas and coupled with questions, concerns and venting about the exam process, it can become very overwhelming.

Mam’zelle is in lessons Monday to Friday and now Saturdays as well. The way I see it, if the help is offered to keep her brain busy then I’m completely ok with that. She enjoys working with her friends and she listens to her teacher sometimes more than me and I am completely ok with that as well. Any sign of burnout is met with shutdown and sleep and thankfully it hasn’t affected her other than the usual tweenage complaints about school. Of course balance is key so while we don’t have the time for her to be as physically active as she used to be, she is still partaking in one extra-curricular activity because you know….life…….

I am taking it day by day and will continue managing my emotions until the end of this S.E.A. nightmare. Hopefully when I finally get around to filling out that placement document, time will have sped up considerably. In the meantime let me organize breakfast on this goodly Saturday morning and ready myself to drop the child to school.

Blessings

TMIDM

The SEA cycle

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image courtesy giphy.com

The Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) exam roller-coaster ride is in full throttle and this year it seems like many more are aboard than ever before. For the benefit of the uninitiated, the SEA is an exam held in Trinidad and Tobago for the sole purpose of placing 10 to 13 year-olds in secondary schools. We don’t have the luxury of an education system where children move seamlessly from one grade to the next. Rather it is preferred to stress children out at this stage with a high stakes exam that society has deemed ‘the-most-important-ever-you-will-write-in-your-life-because-it-determines-your-singular-future’ and we as Trinbagonians hold dear all the emotional and cultural elements involved.

I refer to it as the SEA cycle because EVERY YEAR WITHOUT FAIL, these are the motions that parents, teachers and stakeholders go through (aloud and privately) and by stakeholders I mean the man on the street, people by the bar, cleaners on lunchbreak, people in the salon/barber shop, fass (nosy) neighbours and anybody with a keyboard and a social media account who has had a child or knew a child who wrote the exam.

Now since it is a cycle, naturally I could pick at any point to start but I think I will begin at the September term of standard 5, what was once nine but is now seven months before the exam since starting this year 2019, it was moved from May back to March.

The SEA cycle from September has you:

  1. Praying that the standard five year passes quickly.
  2. Hoping that the child doesn’t need extra textbooks in standard five because right now all they are supposed to be doing are practice tests so parents get to save money (yay!).
  3. Realizing that the extra money is to actually pay for the practice tests and a possible increase in lessons fees (dammit!)
  4. Examining and discussing secondary school choices with the fervour of a gambler studying the Play Whe* booklet.
  5. Going back and forth to pick four schools between teacher, spouse, granny, neighbour, work colleagues, priest, pundit and pastor.
  6. Perusing ALL Facebook comments to understand what the hell people talking about with ‘percentile’ and ‘composite score’.
  7. Finally choosing the four schools and in some unfortunate cases hoping that the child’s work will improve to match.
  8. Stockpiling Express, Newsday and Guardian newspapers and endlessly quarrelling about the mistakes on the answer key.
  9. Posting sums on Facebook for help because you and all don’t even understand what kinda high-falutin’ maths is this?
  10. Silently panicking because the child is ‘still’ scoring in the 80s for end-of-term tests.
  11. Ensuring that Christmas is still merry despite the drama with this exam.
  12. Welcoming the new year with a sole focus on the SEA countdown as a main priority and hardly anything else.
  13. Making sure the curriculum is fully covered by asking the child random process questions in Math, Language Arts and Creative Writing to keep them sharp at the same time,
  14. Running out of steam and letting the teachers do what they get paid to do and at the same time,
  15. Messaging the teacher (at random and sometimes ungodly hours) if they covered this topic, that topic and the third topic because teachers are supposed to be accessible and have patience……….
  16. Running out of practice test booklets as even though some are better than others, all were necessary.
  17. Wondering how involved the child should be for school sports…..because…..SEA…..yet,
  18. Wondering for your own self if to conduct a hermit vibes or a YOLO vibes for Carnival.
  19. Realizing that you have done all you could do and praying for the day of the exam to come and go because this stress is too much.
  20. Being fed-up of practice tests yourself.
  21. Feeling the stress but not showing the stress to the child because if the child senses you are stressed then that will make you more stressed and then you lose your ability to hide the stress properly (mini-cycle).
  22. Seeing the stress in the child anyhow and trying your best to strike a proper balance between ‘try one more question’ and ‘go and sleep, you need rest’.
  23. Googling ‘how to cope with exam anxiety’.
  24. Venting on supportive Facebook groups.
  25. Arguing with Facebook group members who won’t let you vent in peace about SEA because the Judging Amys are always there to serve.
  26. Waiting impatiently for the day of the exam.
  27. Not sleeping the night before the exam but making damn sure that the child sleeps free of nerves.
  28. Not eating the morning of the exam but pretending to and at the same time making sure the child is locked and loaded.
  29. Sending the child off to do the exam with a warm smile and a racing heart.
  30. Scouring Facebook for commentary while the exam is going on because you need more stress.
  31. Seeing people posting about the difficulty of the Math and the Creative Writing and praying again that your child conquered it.
  32. Breathing a sigh of relief when the exam is over and seeing your child look like a child once more but,
  33. Still asking which sum was difficult or if the report was easy or who was crying.
  34. Occasionally looking on social media for ANY mention of the day for results to release.
  35. Feeling the anxiety rise again but loving the graduation preparations that balance it out!
  36. Channeling Doctor Strange and creating all the possible outcomes of the results and your plans A to D of reactions to match.
  37. Realizing that some people are getting close and suddenly checking in because they want to have the front seat to know ‘what school your child pass for?’
  38. Realizing that waiting for results is exponentially worse than waiting for the exam.
  39. Being excited that the child passed for first, second, third or fourth choice.
  40. Not being excited that the child was zoned out and preparing to enact plan E if there is one while keeping it cool and keeping the child encouraged.
  41. Knowing that there are ‘good’ schools and there are ‘bad’ schools.
  42. Knowing that these two are relative to experience but accepting certain realities,
  43. Understanding that this is the way the system is set up which is the first step to knowing how to manoeuvre in it.
  44. Defending the good in ‘bad’ schools and the bad in ‘good’ schools.
  45. Listing a world of experiences in each circumstance to make the relevant justifications.
  46. Arguing about the Concordat^ and why we should have ‘prestige’ schools and how unfair it is’
  47. But knowing that given the chance……..
  48. Gearing up for the money game (registration fees, books, uniforms, private schools, tutors, re-sits)
  49. Gearing up for the next child to go through this all over again and realizing that the SEA is the most effective form of birth control there is, much like trying to get a child into primary school.
  50. Going back to the beginning of the cycle there when your next child is at the end of standard four for another ride on the roller coaster.

These are the main stages on the ups and the downs of SEA and I am quite certain that this list is not exhaustive just as I am certain that some of you may not have passed through all the stages. So in the heat of it while we get all riled up year after year, remember we have to come back down to go around again unless you want to try a different ride because this one so played out…..year…..after…..year. If that is the case remember, EVERYBODY has to get on board to demand a better ride, something new and different that caters to our children and that is less of a harrowing experience for all who are buckled in. 😉

Blessings!

TMIDM

 

*Play Whe is a popular betting game in Trinidad and Tobago. Each number is assigned a character and many people tend to look for signs in dreams and in daily activity to give them an idea what number to play. It is Chinese in origin. More info here: http://www.nlcbplaywhelotto.com/

^The Concordat in its simplest terms is that the Principals of denominational (‘prestige’)  schools are given the right to allocate 20% of its new intake based on religion and other factors. So once you can get your child on that list, you are good to go. Read more about that here: http://moe.gov.tt/portals/0/documents/notices/concordat_60.pdf

 

About Father’s Day…

I have always felt awkward at the concept of celebrating Mother’s and Father’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the significance of it: taking the time out to recognise the special work done by persons in these roles. However, I suppose in my case, growing up it wasn’t that big of a deal which maybe coloured the way I presently feel about it. I get that it is something special particularly for children, but as fast as you shower me with lovely kisses and carefully curated meals is as fast as I have to complain the next day about the dishes you left for me in the sink to wash!

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So Mother’s Day was not too hyped up but Father’s Day was completely uncomfortable. The latter used to affect me in the sense that I didn’t have that special ‘daddy-daughter’ relationship that I saw friends go on and on about. I mean he fulfilled the basic tasks which I suppose in his way brought himself pride and satisfaction as a father (i.e. things that could come up in a discussion with his friends): “ah hadda drop meh daughters to school”, “ah carry meh daughter to drive”, “ah carry meh daughter to see which part she going and work”. So there was a sense of pride he felt in his doing the things that he felt he did which gave him satisfaction as a father. Once his ego was satisfied, that was it.

As far as I can remember, my father has never wished me happy birthday, he has never given me a hug, he has never genuinely asked me how I was going, or how I was getting along with life, he doesn’t know what I like to eat, he doesn’t know my favourite drink, he has never discussed with me the type of boyfriend I should look for or man I should marry, he has never said I Love You or words to that effect. In other words, he has never met me on my level as a father would towards his daughter. He has done all the things that would outwardly show that he was a father but for the deeper things that would matter as a child, he was most absent.

As I grew older and was able to provide materially for myself, it left him with nothing to do, say or ‘brag’ about. I tried to ensure that he continued his sense of ‘fatherhood’ by letting him to fulfill these tasks which he considers important with his grandchildren. But eventually, I suppose it interrupted his new lifestyle which currently has nothing to do with his family. When he is at home, he is present in body but absent in spirit, so it is as though he does not exist and may continue as such until the day the Lord steps in.

All of this is really to point out that there are fathers are to themselves think they are fulfilling the role: those who are spending money by the hundreds and who buy the latest, who do all the material things that the ego allows but who are failing in actually knowing and loving their children. Thankfully I was able to grow through it, see past it and heal from it and my healing does not need an Iyanla Vanzant ‘Fix my Life’ type sit-down with everybody heaving and bawling about who done right and who done wrong. People are who they are and once we’ve accepted that in some cases, time does not bring change, that’s good for the soul and everybody can move on. It worked for me.

I am able to discern the good fathers. I picked a good one who I married who is first class with the children he fathered and the child he did not. I have friends who are superb in the role and these are men in steady relationships and men who have ‘child mothers’ and are excellent with their own children even in a Trinidadian court system that doesn’t cater for them. I have friends who are in no relationship but will make great fathers when the day comes and those who are passionate uncles and godfathers, appointed or not.

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I salute these men, and all like them. They create balance in a world that sometimes isn’t fair to them. They cancel out the ones like my own father and will continue giving hope to the restoration of a positive worldview of men and fathers in general. Happy Father’s Day to all that deserve it! May you truly get all you richly deserve and more!

Blessings!

TMIDM

I see you

To:

the woman who feels she is never enough,

the woman who feels she does too much,

the woman who plods along to keep it running,

the woman who pauses to breathe before the choke comes,

the woman who decides to say “Fuck It”,

the woman who decides to try for the millionth time,

the woman who practises that smile before unleashing it,

the woman who blots the tears before they roll down,

the woman whose children see the brave face more than the real face,

the woman who decided that #selfcare is a beautiful thing,

the woman who values her solitude,

the woman who values her friendships,

the woman who values herself,

the woman who is the early bird,

the woman who is the night owl,

the woman who anticipates the worst,

the woman who hopes for the best,

the woman whose routine stifles her,

the woman who found her outlet,

the woman who is chastised for going against the norm,

the woman who is fine just being okay,

the woman who makes her decisions and sticks to them,

the woman who is afraid to jump,

the woman whose mind has several tabs open,

the woman who can drain her mind,

the woman who knows what love is and feels it,

the woman who doesn’t feel love and she knows it,

I see you.

TMIDM

 

 

The Strength To Go On

It’s been a while!

I’m not going to detail reasons why or why not as most ‘return-after-a-long-hiatus’ posts tend to do, but it is safe to say that I am alive and extremely grateful for the dawn of a new year. The tail end of 2018 proved very difficult for me in the sense that I lost the balance I always maintain is essential for working mothers to survive. I was closing the year operating on fumes, in a stasis of ‘whatever’ but clawing towards the Christmas vacation period, desperate to power down.

Now that the vacation is over and a new academic term awaits me from tomorrow, in the spirit of this reflective time of year, I have adequately prepared myself to start 2019 in a way that would restore the balance that is critical for me. I don’t think that I am alone in this regard as all over my social media the hashtag #selfcare features prominently (Ladies, how did it get so bad that we needed to hashtag it? You know one of the main rules of social media is that it bears no importance if one does not create a hashtag). I don’t know how it got to this but when I sat and did some mindful meditation of my physical, psychological, professional, emotional, spiritual, personal and professional state, my mental health was rapidly deteriorating and, in some cases, completely deteriorated.

self-care-wheel-1

New Year’s Resolutions are not usually a thing for me. Disappointment tends to lurk in the shadows. However, this year I don’t think I have made resolutions per se, but I have given myself specific activities/’checklist points’ to ensure that my wheel remains evenly divided so I don’t end up frazzled, frustrated and feeling like a shadow of myself, intensely dark and always behind everyone and everything. It’s a work in progress but progress Is key.

I hope this new year brings joy, favour and peace to all of you!

Blessings!

TMIDM