We complain about people leaving Jamaica and going elsewhere; we argue with ‘foreigners’ coming in and controlling Jamaican resources. But whether we’re here or elsewhere; whether we try it alone or work with teams here are the facts: 1. our people need help. 2. they don’t care where it comes from. 3. we really actually CAN make a difference…

Dear Jude: Hi-FIVE

Dear Jude, you are 5 months old today. That’s 20 weeks. 140 days. It seems impossible to me that the previous 28+ years (or roughly 1,462 weeks ) of my life have been completely redefined in the context of you, but they have indeed. Your little face, your huge grins, your tiny cackles and giant spirit have dominated my every memory. It seems my heart has known you my whole life, and spent every day until you counting down the hours to your birth. Mama loves you, my YummyLoveJoy. My prayer for you (apart from those little toothies finally coming up and giving you a break) is this: Grow strong, grow brave, grow confident and always grow with God. Even when it feels like a drought on a never ending night, God has a marvelous way of bringing the dawn and sending the rain and surprising even our own selves with what progress took place during our worst times.

Dear Rich (I heart my husband)

I don’t think I tell my husband enough that I love him.

And I have all kinds of love for my husband.

Years before we were ever even a couple we were friends. In Spanish, they say “somos muy amigos”- quite literally ‘we’re very friends’ and I think that says it much better than the ‘good-, better-, best- friends’ construct of English. Very friends is what we were.

As my friend, he saw me through melt downs and break downs and the generally shameful spectacles I routinely made of myself.

As my boyfriend, he saw me…well…. through melt downs and break downs and the generally shameful spectacles I routinely made of myself. Plus he had to hold my hand and acknowledge my girlfriend-ness even when I wore my special array of Christmas socks out in public. He denied my multiple attempts to break up with him, and simply kept on being my boyfriend no matter what I said. Just like that.

As my husband, he’s pretty much signed up for a lifetime of that on repeat. And I’ve done the same. And already we’ve had to deal with some pretty heavy issues, which knock the wind out of us for a second, but somehow…some magical how, we find the love, we find the laughter and we remember that we’re in this for the long haul.

Sharing baby-duty helps, and as a parent, I have the equalest possible partner barring breastfeeding. Baths, midnight feedings, diaper duty, walking, taking him out on weekends so that Mama can get some blissful rest and me-time….this list could go on and on. I don’t take a single second of it for granted, and nothing warms my heart like watching my two boys together. That’s right. Two.

“Dear Jude” is all over the interwebs (hi, baby!), but he is only HALF of my beautiful life. I don’t say it enough, but no doubt about it ‘Dear Richie’ is the other.

And as life rolls on, and the pounds pack on (OR MELT OFF, SAYS MY GYM MEMBERSHIP); as the bills pile up, and the kids move out; as bones creak and teeth shift (can you thay ‘thexy’?); as love travels through its various stages, please remember my darling that before we were Mr & Mrs, we always, always were, and always, always will be “very friends”.

I love you, babe 

Pregnancy is a Mutha #9

Thing 9

And here’s the truth, the whole truth. By this final month, no matter how this child came to be in your life, no matter if she was planned or nature’s own little surprise party for you; no matter if she is inside your body, or being carried by another, no matter if you meet at the hospital or inside an agency, here is your truth: You are in love.

For Preggos, every heartbeat, even when plagued by heartburn, is singing a symphony of potential names, potential dreams, potential destinies. Every muscle in your body is primed to protect, even as you push or have him pulled from your body. Every particle of their bodies is perfect to your eyes, no matter what anyone else says. You know they may leave your body, leave your arms, leave your home…but they will never leave your heart. Even if you’re not religious, in the most sacred of places inside you, there is prayer. There is a fervent, desperate plea that your baby be kept safe, kept whole, kept near, kept dear; that your baby see the light of all things good, and pure and hoped for; that your baby be okay. That your baby be okay. And so as we close the Preggo party, I pray for the safe delivery of the pregnant women reading, for the safe union of the mothers by surrogacy and adoption, and for the children who don’t know that they are loved…that they may know that the love one mother has for her child, is actually the love every mother has for every child. There is enough love in the world for every child. Let’s help spread it, yeah?

Lord I pray we go beyond words and good feelings to actively play our part in sharing You and Your love with those who have no concept of it. It may be giving gifts and donations, it may be reading stories, it may be packing extra lunches or actually listening to ‘those ads’. Whatever it is Lord, I pray we move, I pray we act. Every child is a dream You brought to life. Help us be Mothers, Friends and Support however we can. Amen.

I have no real school spirit of my own, so I borrow my husband’s- for whom Wolmer’s is never merely a ‘school’ but instead a Way of Life. Champs: brace thineself. ~Image by Timba Military.

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