Jun 30, 2011

in another life my li'l bro

Tomorrow is Canada day li'l bro. Li'l bro is how you signed off  your emails or the cards you sent me. You remember I told you about my first Canada Day here? I told you I cried the whole time. I told you how I wished we could have a National Day as well. A day when we could go out, drink, scream our heads off  and be happy. Just be happy. You said " and feel the unity". I was talking to you on the phone. I told you about the fire works, people with their lawn chairs, families hanging out, kids having fun, couples kissing and I said at the end "how I wish next year we could celebrate it together". That next year never came. It's my 10th Canada Day here. I can't help but think about all the social science and community development theories I have come to learn in these years. I cant help but think what a carefully planned job it is to kill the spirit of a nation or even worse, to make it sick, so sick that nothing can cure it. This is what they have done to our land my li'l bro.

I will celebrate the Canada Day tomorrow with people most of whom take what they have for granted. Things like being allowed to celebrate their national day, to dance, to sing, to have boy friends and girl friends, to drink beer under the blue sky, to swim in a lake, to say what they want and not be sent to jail for it. you know, simple little things.

I will cry just like every other Canada Day. I miss you my li'l bro. You never made it here for Canada Day. You never even got to see my little sunshine. Did you know his hands are just like yours? With the same short chubby fingers and funny looking nails?

I hold his hands and I smile. My heart fills with love and regret. I am sure you know what I mean. You always did and I keep talking with you, in my dreams, in my head, as I am cooking, cleaning, driving, change diapers, read, I talk with you, I carry you in my soul.

Jun 27, 2011

Every breath I take

My son- 3 years old- gave me the nail polish yesterday. The red nail polish. He asked me if I wanted to "colour" my toe nails. I asked him back: do you want mommy to colour her nails? Yes, yes please he said excitedly. We sat down and did some painting on my toe nails together. When it was all done, he told me "look mommy, you are now even more beautifuler".

I was there with him but I wasnt present. I was thinking about my childhood. My mom was sad most the time. It was war, there was no money and even with money there was not much out there with all the sanctions. My dad had to work away from home. There was so much family drama and trauma and political nonsense.

And my mom? A beautiful young woman with three young kids with very limited resources in a male dominant society who had to raise her children on her own. When I think back I remember her sitting at the kitchen table, listening to some sad music, smoking the unbearable burden away with never ending tears on her face.

My son asked me if I wanted to "colour my hand nails" as well? I said no, not now sweetheart.
Why he asked.
Because I have to go to work tomorrow and I cant I told him.
He looked at me puzzled. I looked at his eyes and the journey in childhood was over. I was back. To here. To Canada. Where I CAN wear nail polish to work.
I corrected myself: oh! mommy is being silly. Of course we can colour my hand nails together but it's getting late now. Why dont we try it some other time?

You know? Where I come from, we were not  allowed to have nail polish at some work places, all universities and schools, and for a long time even on the streets and when it came to clothing and school uniform, the only colours we were allowed to wear were back, grey, dark blue and brown. You want to know why? because it was beautiful and would make men horny. You want to know how old we were? As young as 6 years old all the way to university.

I can't stop thinking about my mom. It must be painful to want to be happy but not being allowed to. It must hurt really bad to watch your children watch you cry... day and night... night and day.

And I know I can never live life free of my past. It is in every breath I take.