As I thought about what I wanted to share with you on Motherhood Monday, I reminisced on hard moments I have had to watch Jadon go through already in his short 16 months of life.
- His shots… lots of them (comes with a price living in Africa)
- New teeth. Teething is the worse. For both child and parentals
- Multiple fevers from being sick
- Getting blood drawn at 13 months because we thought he had dengue fever
All these moments have been hard for me as a mother because I have seen my little boy go through moments that were not the best. For all those mothers out there with older kiddos, well, you can send me some advice as I continue to prepare my heart for all that the world will throw his way. It will be hard for me to watch him get knocked down, but I know it will also be good for his spirit especially when he pops back up, wipes off the dust and keeps on keeping on.
Through all of my reflection, I really wanted to talk about my most recent experience this month. Traveling. Alone.
I recently left my baby for 10 days with my family. I knew he would be in good hands and trust me, he had a blast! There is no stranger my little boy does not love and he always wears a smile. He enjoyed every moment and got to spend great quality time with family. During the trip, I stayed busy with work and kept my mind extremely occupied. It did not hit me of how much I missed him until I was reunited with my little.
I was exhausted from an intense 10 days of “go go”, but was revived when I thought about my little boy running into my arms. As we approached the house, I jumped out of the truck and sure enough, he ran! He was right back in my arms. He snuggled for .5 seconds and then looked me straight into the eyes, pushed away and walked the other direction. He was upset. I mean really upset and I was upset. Then it happened, the emotions were overwhelming and the water works began. In that moment, he realized what was missing in his life and at the same time I noticed how much his face had changed. In that moment, he was not happy with me and at the same time I noticed his voice and pronunciation had become so much clearer. In 10 days he had changed immensely and in the following hours after my return, he released every emotion towards me that you can imagine. My sweet 16 month old that you never see frowning was running from me, throwing his food at me, rolling on the floor crying for me and giving me the best scowl a boy could make. All the emotions that we both had kept in were released all at once, together. We realized the importance of one another and how much we love each other. My little boy, oh my sweet precious Jadon was upset, sad, happy, mad, joyous and all the above. He wanted to be so upset with me but also wanted to cuddle. He wanted to throw a fit for me but also wanted to play. He was very confused and is very happy I am back in his life.
Leaving my boy for 10 days was hard, but it also gave me time to process where I am now in this life and the opportunities I have ahead of me. I am not only a mother but a leader, a scholar, a wife, a daughter, a motivator and more.
Know that it is ok to step away every now and then. Give yourself time to breathe and take everything in. Know that you are loved and being a mother is a beautiful part of who you are, but not all you are.
I embrace motherhood and love being called Mama Jadon by my community in Mombasa, but I also know that there are many layers to my identity and I want my little boy to be proud of his mother because of all that she is.
“This is for you Jadon Anthony.
As your Meme has always told me, ‘Reach for the moon and if you miss, you will land among the stars.’
Know that if you work hard you are capable of anything. Know that sometimes it takes sacrifice of time to get to where you need to go. And most importantly, remember to give yourself grace.
I hope you always know how much I love you and that I would never leave you. 10 days may seem like eternity to you, but do not stay upset at me for too long because I want all the snuggles I can get.
Love, your mama”