A Jamaican Returns From Canada
The story below was sent to my wife over at transitionsunshine.info and I thought that it was a good one to share... for reasons that will become clear.
If you have a story to share, happy or sad, or something else, about moving back to Jamaica, please let me know!
I stood in the kitchen, one dark snowy Canadian morning, watching my toddler and my 5 year old fighting and screaming over some toy or the other, my head pounding, Tylenol in hand as I tried to combat my third cold virus for that season. Sick or not, the kids had to be taken care of. There was no Grandma and no helper here. Mama was the primary caregiver and oftentimes the only one…rain or shine!
However, as the years of mom-hood went by, I started to miss the “me” from my former life. The persona “dolled up” in the tailored skirts and high heeled pumps with laptop on shoulder as if it were an extension of myself. The jeans and sweats that I lived in were okay too but my blazers and fitted shirts seemed to wave at me every time I sojourned through my closet; a reminder of days gone by.
So as I stood in the kitchen that day, I made a decision. I was going to challenge my spouse to “cum mek wi guh home.” Of course I was met with amazement and disbelief. Chutzpah! However, over the weeks and months that followed, we managed to reach a compromise. I would go for a year with the children on a trial basis. My spouse didn’t want to give up his “good” job and have us sell our “nice” home, only for me to whimsically change my mind and desiring a return to
So we went off to
I had to convince my son though, that we were only going for Grade 1. Dad flew out in the middle of the night the following week. And the magnitude of what I had done hit me. I sobbed and sobbed. But I didn’t have time for much sobbing either. Hurricane Dean. What’s that? Hurricane? “Mi neva memba bout dem tings.” Quick. “Purchase a membaship at Price Smart. Buy Igloo. Buy tin milk. Plenty tin milk. KoolAid. Flashlight. Bun and tin cheese.”
We survived that. But then the mosquitoes started to bite….and bite…and bite. “Raise up bump”. Scratch. Blood. Dirty nails. Infection. Scab. Blood on the sheets again. I just changed the sheets…and it’s not my wash day. And it’s raining anyway…rain, rain , rain. It rained for the four months we were there. Beach. “
That helper was a nice young lady. And she did have sense. But the foreign pickney of mine did “wan fi know,” “Mama, how come everybody here is wearing a black skin?” So in their little minds, first I was leaving them with a “black” person. And second, I was leaving them. This stay- at- home mom who was always there for every runny nose and every cut that needed a band-aid…was walking out of the house and leaving her precious children…and going to where…work??? “Man, it was trial and tribulation whenever I dropped them home from school.”
Ok, let’s talk about the traffic. Because “dat is jus a way of life in Jamdown.” I lived in the
Ok so sorting out the domestic scene, the children decided early that they just plain missed their dad. And
Now to Dad. We had an understanding that he would look for that dream job in
And that’s what I did. For family. Tis always the woman that gives. God just made us that way. To sacrifice. To persevere. And to stand tall in it all. So now, although I miss my homeland, I will stay away for a little while longer. But one day I will take my children back. And show them where I came from. And why it is better than any home away from home.