My son turned four months a few days ago. There’s so much to learn on this mothering journey and everyday, it feels like I learn something new. One of the things I learned early on is that a button up shirt or dress is a new mother’s best friend. They make nursing so much easier. Nowadays when I shop, I think about the utility of the items I purchase, is it nursing friendly or not? Speaking of parenting, I read this quote recently, and it resonated with me,
“I’m an immigrant, and my family lives thousands of miles away. I send photos every morning, so my mom, dad and sister can see my little girl. I give them context: she picked out her clothes today, she insisted on a bow in her hair, she doesn’t like bananas anymore. They oooh and aaah, and my mom always says, ‘…And she is so little!’ It’s her grandmotherly way of expressing pride and amazement, but it has become the one thing I say back to myself when I get flustered in a temporary moment of crazy toddler behavior. Instead of getting mad, I just say to myself…’and she is so little!'” Cup of Jo blog
For those of us who are immigrants, we often discover creative ways to keep our loved ones connected to our lives from afar. My mother and I haven’t lived in the same country for a long time, ever since I boarded that plane as a little girl when I moved from Jamaica to New York. Yet my mother is always present for the big moments in our lives like graduations, my wedding and most recently the birth of my first child. My mother, who now lives in London, came to visit for two weeks after my son was born. For two weeks she held him, sang to him, rocked him and helped us during the busy haze called new/newborn parenting.
I always feel sad when her trips end and we take her to the airport. As we rode in the car together - her, me, my husband and RJ, I told RJ grandma was leaving and that he’d see her soon. I wonder what it would be like with her grandmothering from afar.
Since she left, I have an ongoing back and forth with my mom. I send her photos of RJ on WhatsApp and she responds with text messages FOR RJ. I read them to him, although he doesn’t understand them yet. Grandma may not be next door, she’s thousands of miles away, but “Grandma loves you very much RJ.” When RJ gets older, I look forward to trips to England to visit grandma and trips to Jamaica to meet relatives. It’s important to me that he has that connection to family - whether they’re near or far.