To the ones who wiped snot and cleaned vomit. Who nursed the chicken pox, braided hair and punished a thousand colds. You are the ones who fearlessly fought for more, for better, for the best. You’re the ones who selflessly decided our dreams were more important than yours: our hopes more vital, our goals more essential.
You are women who were once young girls gloriously adorned with youth and favour. You were courted majestically and men showered you with praise. You had hopes and expectations for the future, but you never quite knew how they would all turn out. You married, you bore children, you created and held families together.
When push came to shove, you gave for your family. You are the women who moved to barren lands, raised teenage girls and worked thankless customer service jobs to see your children thrive. You did it with dignity, honour and relentless dedication. You celebrated their joys and you cried when they cried. When the time came, you moved on, knowing you’d done your best.
You are a woman who has raised three women. You are the woman who made me who I am: a morsel of who you are. You are the woman to whom I owe it all.
Happy International Women’s Day, Mom!
1. Visit each other’s hometowns
I don’t like winter. In Zimbabwe, winter meant a high of 17 and a low of six – yikes! While dating someone from Calgary has its perks (still waiting for them), its gorgeous weather is not one of them. Here is a photo of me making the most of an arctic day. In contrast, my significant other (SO) enjoys a beautiful day on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro (Tanzania). Which would you prefer? Nonetheless, it is awesome to take in each other’s lived experiences.
2. Be engaging despite feeling awkward
If you have an SO, chances are their family gatherings are enough of a struggle. Add the elephant in the room and prepare for a legitimate hoot. Honestly, I enjoy these situations more than your average person. Everyone is tiptoeing around trying not to overdo it. Give enough attention, but not too much, lest the guest feel uncomfortable. I find it both fascinating and hilarious. Your job is to be friendly and engage even though you may be out of your element. I guarantee everyone’s praying you are having a good time. Do yourself a favour and just relax.
3. Embrace the differences
I know what you’re thinking. Wearing a kanga (traditional Tanzanian wrap) cannot be equated with wearing a winter hat. Or, why is winter a recurring theme? Couldn’t I find a photograph of myself doing/wearing something more Canadian than a trapper hat? That’s neither here nor there. I have an XXL-sized head that looks awful in hats and the key message here is: step out of your comfort zone. Embrace each other’s cultures and rock them fully.
4. Create a photo of your potential baby using this website.
We all know everyone in an interracial relationship is in it for the scrumptious, mixed baby they may have one day. Look at her (him?). How positively terrifying does (s)he look? You’re welcome.
Godspeed and keep me posted along the way. I’m sure I’ve equipped you well.