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.

My Darling Boy

You are driving me insane.

You're breaking rules and laws and I don't know what to do to how to handle it.

I want to curl up and go to sleep... or ignore everything that's going on and pretend it never happened.

Letting you carry on and do what you like regardless would be so much easier than trying to fix it or change your behaviour.

I can't do this alone my darling Damien, you need to pull finger too.