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.
When Harley was a tiny little thing, I had a ring sling that was fantastic. I could pop Harley in and she would sleep while I had two hands free to do whatever else needed doing. I loved baby wearing at that stage, but the sling itself wasn’t exactly the best design – it put most of the strain on my one shoulder and if she moved around too much, she would basically squirm out of the thing. Once she crossed the five kgs mark, I simply couldn’t use it anymore. Things were still okay – her carseat would clip into the pram, so I could usually knock her out with a drive and then shop with a sleeping baby in the pram. But once she graduated to a bigger seat, the pram became a bit of a waste; she didn’t want to sit in her pram, she wanted me to carry her on my hip. I was getting really bad carpal tunnel and body aches as a result, which is why I decided to jump back into the world of baby wearing with the Ubuntu Baba, and I have never been so happy with a purchase.
The happiness is truly two-fold – the Ubuntu Baba itself is phenomenal. It is a high quality carrier with tons of features and details that make it super worthwhile. The other source of happiness is the joy of baby wearing past those early months. Anyone with a toddler (is that what she is now?) knows just how much they like to be held, to be carried, even once they can crawl, walk or generally get around by themselves. They are bigger, heavier and more unwieldy, but they still want to be carried, which can put a huge strain on our bodies and lives. Ubuntu Baba has been a life saver in that regard. But let’s look at each aspect individually.
There are two people I need to thank at the very start of this post. The first, is the incredible Cassey Toi. She invited me to a yoga challenge at the end of last year, a month of daily yoga for January of 2017. I was honestly skeptical – I’ve never been able to stick with yoga, it has never gelled for me, and I didn’t know if I would like the woman making this series of videos. But I said yes, and I feel like my life is forever changed as a result. So first things first, hugest of thanks to Cassey for inviting me to join the #YogaRevolution – I never would have done it without you.
The second person I need to thank doesn’t know me and will probably never read this blog. But Adrienne’s series, Yoga Revolution, has helped to reshape my body and mind. Her emails were warm and inviting, filled with the deepest insights paired with the worst musical theater jokes. Her videos were the same, and exactly what I needed for each day of the journey. I have learned so much by doing yoga every day, and it’s a daily practice that I plan to continue for the foreseeable future. But why am I so grateful to these ladies? Well, my body and mind have changed so much in the past month, and it’s mainly thanks to the things I’ve learned with yoga. Here are just some of those things.