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The chance to connect with me
Out of the right window of the plane, the moon was full and radiant, and seemed to float at 33,000 feet, level with me. I read it as a good omen.
This was only the second time that I left my baby for days at a time. Waiting for my connecting flight, I realised I turned into one of those people in airports and other public places who smile giddily at other people’s babies as they project happy thoughts of their own missing ones onto these unsuspecting little people.
I used to roll my eyes at those people. Last time I left Ziya, I had to go through the trauma of being a breastfeeding mother away from her baby, unable to easily store her milk and in despair at the thought of dumping bags of such precious nourishment.
So many people don’t understand it, they think if you can just make more why does it matter how much you throw away….I can’t explain it. I can just say what I felt.
My neighbour tells me she cried when she stopped producing milk. I get it.
Zi’s birthday made me reflect on how much my life has changed and how much I have changed. We had a little cake and ice cream, just to say that moments of celebration are worth taking time for.
The little party was low maintenance, low expectations, low effort. We are about the little gestures and the mundane moments that are special just because they are and because we are. It’s like getting married in the backyard. You don’t need much ado, you just need to be together, happy and willing to make each moment sacred.
I am now on my way back to Trinidad, about to fly in rain, my heart and hopes on getting home safe. Being away is such a mixed experience.
A whole army of people has to be organised for this travel to be possible. Happily for the worker side of me, I connected in a real way with other academic moms that I know.
Moms who have to travel for weeks or months at a time to do research, moms who move to take up fellowships, moms whose families go with them to new posts in new places.
Moms who have partners to negotiate life with and children they have to raise and publications they have to write. Moms who remind me that our careers also matter.
Stone seemed to survive. Ziya somehow slept eight hours straight last night. I was away just long enough to want to get back to them.
I am on my way, not just back to Trinidad, but to revived ambitions and appreciation. I had a chance to connect to me.
Funny how sometimes you have to go far just to find yourself.
Funny how it’s in the midst of so many things to follow through on, that you can miss and then remember what makes you, you.
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