Count the Bad Mommies

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Ten Reasons Why I Want to Raise My Child In South Africa

With all the hoohah and constant questioning of my choices (Why don't you go to the UK? You know, it's safer there...) and the occasional self-questioning (am I a bad parent for staying here when I could go to allegedly safer countries to raise my child?), I thought it time i list a few reasons why, currently - maybe not forever, but right now, I choose to raise my child in South Africa.

1. She was born with a fair skin. Playing daily in the sunshine has given her a beautiful complexion that's full of life. Quite literally, sun-kissed.

2. Every day she comes home dirty from school, and is not afraid of sand or grass. I have had kids from 'other places' come to visit and yell at the idea of getting their hands dirty with mud.

3. She goes to school with kids of every colour of the rainbow. They all get the same snotty noses, the same scrapes on the knees, and they hold hands with each other. They have absolutely no interest in whether or not their grandparents or parents once upon a time were not allowed to do this.

4. She understands three languages. She's not even three yet. Yes, she can't speak them all, but she can understand all three.

5. There is noise and joy and emotional honesty in the way we live. When we as a nation are happy, we celebrate. When we are sad, we are sad together. Does anything else really matter? At least we are together in the queue for petrol and/or torches.

6. At the age of less than three, she does not lead a sheltered life. She already comprehends the fact that there are people who have money and people who do not have money in the world. And that, where we can do a little bit to help, we do. For this reason, she has no issue in sorting out her old toys and clothes with me, to be passed on people who need them more. And I quote "Mommy, make a box for Gladys' baby, she needs my old shoes. I am too big for them". (yeah, i know, I die daily with that sentence construction)

7. She's not afraid to dream. Our country was founded on dreams. And we ran on a dream for a long time. Now we're trying to keep it alive in reality. We'll get there, I'm sure.

8. She's not afraid of the dark, thanks to loadshedding. ;-)

9. When she runs through the park, she's not afraid of falling over, but just of losing her turn on the swing.

10. Being a single parent in a crazy world is not easy. But it's the choice I made. And in a world where women are fast becoming primary breadwinners, and the nuclear family is quickly becoming a myth, I am learning that it truly does take a village to raise a child. Nobody understands the notion of community better than a South African. And my village blesses me daily.


Christy said...

You rock!

Life is full of risk--everywhere--and the worst risk is living half a life, in my opinion.

I mean, not to be morbid, but we all must die, sometime....why not teach your child to really live first?

The Divine Miss M said...

That is beautiful.

I completely agree, I live in London at the moment but there is no way I would ever raise a child here and if I did it would have to be a village in the middle of the countryside.

I love South Africa. I want to raise children there one day too :)

Expensive Mistakes and Cheap Thrills said...

aw,. you've made me feel all patriotic too!

The Boyfriend and I have discussed this many times, and I agree with you, South Africa is amazing...and such an inspirational place to raise our kids.

I plan to stay here as long as I possibly can.

I cant bear the thought of living anywhere else!

angel said...

what an awesome post!

sweets said...

you are a rockstar babe!!

My name is Jo and this is me rambling on about my life. said...

I was born and raised in small town South Africa. I married a man who was born and grew up in the same South African town his whole entire life. Then we took off for the big "bad" world outside. We, loved it but then we had our 1st baby and I decided it was time to go home. Home to a place where we could raise our daughter climbing trees and playing in the mud. Where seeing wild animals was note something you did once a year at the zoo. We wanted her to have what we had growing up. Only thing is it didn't quite work out that way. She was at home with my sister-in-law when they were attached. A couple of months later my husband was stabbed several times during a high-jacking. We packed up and moved back to Europe.

Both our kids go to school with kids from about 6 different countries, they come in all different shapes and sizes. They both speak 3 languages and doesn't care what color their friends are. They are fearless and get dirty every day from playing in the mud and climbing trees. I don't have to worry about not seeing them for 5 min while they are in the park. They get to walk to school. They have the opportunity to be kids and the best part of all this is, we can give them all of this in a safer environment.

Just wanted you to know that sometimes leaving is not such a bad choice