When I was a very little girl, my mom was good friends with a woman named Diane Ponzio – they were childhood friends. I remember her teaching me singing when I was a kid, and she even wrote a song about me. It’s called Zoe’s Room, and it’s been in my head lately. When I drive around with Harley, I often sing to her, and it’s funny which songs come to mind. After a booking for our family to go to Greensleaves (a medieval restaurant experience), I kept singing the song Greensleaves in the car. Now, it’s Zoe’s Room that’s stuck on repeat in my head, and it’s making me smile and also think about my goals for Harley.
I have written about our journey with food a few times by now. I wrote when I was frustrated that people were pushing Harley to eat solids before it was time (and even a force feeding incident). I wrote about baby led weaning and why I think it is good for baby development. I even wrote about Harley eating some interesting stuff, but there is something I didn’t write about – my worry and fear since she turned one. You see, the mantra of baby led weaning is “food before one is for fun”, and it worked great. I never worried if Harley just played with her food, tried stuff but didn’t swallow or whatever else; before one year old she could rely on breastmilk as her main source of nutrition and I didn’t need to worry if she didn’t really eat most days. But since her first birthday, I’ve been concerned about her lack of appetite for real food, her lack of interest in it for the most part.
As much as I kept telling myself that baby led weaning was the right path for us, of course I doubted myself. I wondered if I should have been pushing food on her more, striving to get her to eat more than the occasional piece of rice cake or tiny shred of chicken, pork or lamb. She loved to play with food, but I feared that she wasn’t really eating, wasn’t really getting the nutrition. Her poo started changing (I know, gross, and too much info, but it’s the reality of food vs breastmilk) but I still didn’t believe that she was actually eating enough. Well, things have finally really changed, and it appears my tiny person is developing a healthy appetite.
My number one goal for this year is to get my family moved. We made the decision that we wanted to emigrate, to move to the US of A. And while the change of politics has been distressing, it isn’t a reason not to move. We are going because we need to give Harley a better life, and pursue our dreams to a greater extent. It can be daunting, but I still think it’s the right decision. That doesn’t mean that the process has been easy. I mean, the forms themselves can be a bit intimidating but they aren’t particularly difficult to complete. No, it’s more the actual process than the individual steps.
We received approval for the first step of Dean’s green card application. There are still many steps to go, so I’m trying not to get too far ahead of myself. That said, the first step was approved, and faster than expected. They told us it would take 3-6 weeks to be approved, and we got the email just before 3 weeks had elapsed. If the whole process is estimated to take 3-6 months, it seems that we might actually get through it on the shorter rather than longer end of that process. But currently we are in a holding pattern and it is making me a bit crazy.
I didn’t grow up with a huge collection of Barbies. It’s actually a funny story that I’ve already told about how I ended up with Doctor Barbie, but I just wasn’t the type of kid with a bajillion Barbie dolls. I had other dolls as I got older, and so many stuffed animals, but somehow Barbie seemed so tied up with looking a certain way instead of just playing. Over the years, my views of Barbies have changed. Perhaps it’s because Barbies have changed, looking more realistic and less, well, like a Barbie doll. Or maybe it’s because I understand the type of play that parents can encourage with dolls that simply isn’t the same with other toys. It’s not to say that Harley won’t also get cars, LEGO or science kits, but there’s room for dolls as well.
Along these lines, I got a press release yesterday regarding Barbie, and I figured I’d ignore it, that it wouldn’t really be for me. Oh how wrong I was. Watching the video made me smile and get a bit tearful at the same time. It’s all about dads who play Barbie with their daughters. It’s based on an idea that investing time in their imagination is a way to invest time in their future. Here is the video so you can watch without going anywhere:
White privilege is a very touchy subject. Probably that first sentence already turned many of you off of reading the rest of this blog post. This isn’t a blog post to make people feel bad about being white, or the privileges that go along with it. This isn’t a blog post to try and pretend that white people don’t have problems or struggles. Instead, it’s a realization I’ve had over the past few days just how privileged I am – in part because of my race, but also because of other factors as well. And thanks to that privilege, I have peace of mind where others don’t.
But, let’s start with my lack of peace of mind. I am sort of terrified about moving at the moment. Not the actual act of moving, although that’s also so daunting that I choose not to think about it most of the time. No, I’m talking about what happens once we get to America. What if we don’t get the amazing jobs we’re imagining? What if the political leadership ends up causing economic disaster or even another world war? We live in a very nice bubble here in South Africa – what if by moving we actually make things worse for our family instead of better? But in the past couple days my perspective has shifted again.