I’m grateful for the many people and organizations that are working tirelessly to reunite separated families, and I’m grateful for President Trump’s executive order, which, though imperfect, was necessary.
I’ve struggled with anxiety my whole life. Even as a young child, I remember hearing about the terrors of the world and shrinking into myself in fear. I fashioned in my head a hiding place–a pod made of thick steel with padded walls–and I hid myself there. This was a place where no spears or guns or bombs could reach me. This was a place where my anxiety could melt away.
But I wasn’t satisfied to imagine myself safe. I wanted to be safe. I wanted to find that steel pod, and climb into it. So I asked my mother, “Is there any place in the world that is completely safe?” Read More →
I grew up in an area where conflict rose and fell like the tide—sometimes the fighting increased, and sometimes the calm. It could be measured by how often in the night we heard the war cry echo between our mountain and the next, and by how many late-night knocks came to our door asking for my father’s help to chase cattle thieves. This, to me, was normal. This was the way things were.
There came a time when things changed. We heard less about raids and more about battles. I was forbidden to play at the river with friends. We stopped taking walks when we found a warrior’s arrow on a path near our house. I was too young to understand the politics of this war, but the tension I could feel.
Late one night, my father’s truck rumbled into our yard full of women and children from a nearby homestead. Mattresses were spread out on every corner of the floor, and I felt simultaneously happy for the company and annoyed by the invasion of my private space. In the days that followed, we drove past their homestead and saw what remained. Every house had been burned to the ground. Read More →
“It could take up to two years. It could take even longer. There are never any guarantees,” I say, with a sympathetic smile.
His expression falls. He shakes his head and wipes his hands across his face. I can’t help glancing at the picture of a little girl on the table between us. How many years since she’s seen her father? How many more until she sees him again? Read More →
1. We went to see an alpaca farm last weekend with Jason. CUTE!!!!! I want one! $3,000? Nevermind.
2. Carved an AWESOME jackal lantern! Adorable Kitten + Adorable Puppy = Best Mom Ever. Picture below.
3. Someone stole my jackal lantern before I took a picture. They left the lid.
4. Lily is sporting 2 more teeth for a grand total of 4.
5. We spent a day in Philly after Yohannes’s citizenship interview. We saw Independence Hall and some museum mummies, and gave a piece of our mind to the mean lady in the subway elevator who pushed Nati. (Okay, so Betty and I just tried to disappear into the wall while some other, more experienced family members told her off.)
6. Four of the family headed home today, so we are down from 11 in the house to just 7. The visit went by so fast.
7. Quickie trip to the ER this afternoon for Nati. The doctor prescribed Neosporin. Never before has a single prescription made an emergency visit seem quite so superfluous. (Yes, I did just use superfluous in a sentence. Thanks for noticing.)
This is where I have been since Sunday. Feel free to envy me.
Just kidding. I am home. Alone. With two children. Yohannes, on the other hand, really is on that ship along with his parents and two of his sisters, a friend, my uncle and aunt, and my uncle’s in-laws. So it does seem odd that I’m not there and I feel it’s important for morale (mine) if I at least pretend to be there. The short story is that the tickets were through Yohannes’s work, no children were allowed, and I thought the kids were too little to go a whole week without me, so I opted to stay home. My introvert self was in need of a little re-charging after so long with a full house, so it’s not all bad.
In the mean time, we have done the following exciting things instead of going on a cruise:
Go Through Withdrawal: I spent last week participating in a 40 hour, mentally stimulating Immigration Training with real, live adults. So the transition back to temporarily-single-parent/stay-at-home-mom was a little jarring.
Sleep in: While it’s not as restful when you’re co-sleeping with two fussy kids, there’s still something to be said for staying in bed till 9:00am.
Watch Planet of the Apes (me) and Caillou (Nati): Worth it for that aha! moment a few minutes in when I realized that this is a political allegory and not just weird science fiction that dorks (Jason) watch. Planet of the Apes, that is. There’s so little to be said in defense of Caillou.
Get First Teeth (Lily): An aha! moment of a different sort when I nursed her and she bit me. Also, I felt a little silly after having just told the doctor that morning in a solemn tone that, “I’m a little worried because she’s been having unexplained fever’s all week, and I know she’s not teething.” The two bottom front ones are just barely through.
That’s all the excitement I can think of for now.
Nati: “Mama, are you happy or grumpy?”
Me: “I’m happy.”
Nati: “Are you happy?”
Nati: “Are you happy?”
Nati: “Are you happy?
Me: “Nati, yes I am happy!”
Nati: “Are you grumpy now?”