Reflections from a new & sick mama. Going on day 6 of feeling in the dumps and it's given me a lot of time to stop and think. It's hard to be a single mama and bed bound especially in the summer but it gives me the opportunity to check in with myself and feelings. Sure there's been 7 weeks of fun and transition and Kodak moments but more than anything these 7 weeks have offered the most powerful reflections which can be described in 3 themes: gratitude, inspiration and "how do I"?
Gratitude: As my little home gets packed with more toys, leggings, sippy cups, building blocks, dolls, books etc..I see my little girl get excited and stimulated. As she plays and entertains herself - I just stop and say thank you. Thank you for Liv Tunsitu and the world she has brought me. She's patient and flexible yet determined and spirited. She's curious and loving and trusting and strong. I learn from her. She gets me out of my head and I relate to everything in a new way. I catch myself pause so many times throughout the day saying thank you because I'm overcome by the magic.
Inspiration: The only other time I have felt so inspired was my first year at UCLA. Like then, I'm entering a new world and being flipped upside down into a experience that redefines my existence and how I approach the world. I feel so inspired by being turned upside down and shaken from my core. I daydream, I fantasize, I make plans for a life that continues to transform who I am and how I choose to be. I really understand that great things are in our future. I am aware that routine, logistics and life can sometimes stifle inspiration. I want to can this feeling and use it as a reference to motivate me to follow my dreams.
Motherhood is foreign yet familiar and international adoptive, transracial, single parenting is an ocean of delicate intersections of love, education and communication. All of it has left me frequently questioning myself:
HOW DO I:make her PROUD to BE - Ethiopian, adopted, a girl and uniquely her
let her know it's healthy to show her emotion
make decisions that are right for her & us
teach her respect to people, animals and the planet
believe in her beauty inside and out
communicate with her about her history & culture
emphasize her strengths & help her with obstacles
make her know how loved she is, by her birthparents and relatives and all the community around us
instill values and teach her the appropriate value of material goods
encourage her to dream, to be, to experience
be the role model I want to be (insert tear)
teach her to believe
be aware and connected to her needs
create & maintain strong male role models in her life
not push her into something she's not into but push her when she needs it
balance work with quality time with her
grow her to be strong and responsible and kind
keep her connected and inspired by her heritage and culture
let her blossom in the way that best serves her
I listen really hard to her and my gut, I reflect, I question, I educate myself, I get support from my amazing friends, I focus and I love and love and love and love and love and love. And most of all, take what life gives you and soak every little lesson out of it. I'm so in love with this journey.
What an awesome job. What an awesome seven weeks. What an awesome little girl.