So I had already made the decision to move on from life in Trinidad before I lost Luna. Before I met this very special person, who my son calls “Bo”. The reasons were simple – my salary wasn’t matching the quantity of work, the cost of living was too high and I wanted more from the vet world. Most of all though, I really wanted this new job.
It would also be really nice to be able to move out of my parents’ house and to not share a room with a baby. Because MummaMummaMumma… CRASH, BANG while every single thing in the crib gets thrown onto the floor to make extra noise…every time they wake up whether its 2am or 5am – Well there’s only so much of that one can take before you start wondering how much money you think you can sell the child for. Then you start daydreaming about it in Stirling and US and making a mental list of all his attributes and how you’d advertise him. “Very intelligent for a 1 year old. Holds own bottle. Says a few words. Perfect age to learn multiple languages. Does squats on command and falls asleep easily. Oh and very very handsome.” We would leave out the parts about, “Hard to keep asleep for more then 5 hours. Throws tantrums when doesn’t get his way. The smell of his poop is fatal to men. Bites on occasion” Lol. Jokes, I’d never sell him.
Unless the price was right. Ha ha.
I wanted MRI and CT, access to all of the drugs and toys, the continuing education courses, certificate opportunities, higher caseload, specialist opinions in person without having to call the US and wait and wait for advice or help. Just wanted MORE. I can’t stand mediocrity. So when Bo came along, I tried to resist at first. Ugh, men, who needs them. They always pretend to be nice at the start until they get what they want then they stop trying to be good to you, fall back into their old habits of cheating and lying and expect you to stick around. Then a Facebook status that someone sent me recently pops into my head that says “Having a boyfriend is like having a dumb son” and I crack up because it can be so true – depending on the boyfriend.
But this wasn’t that. We talked about life, about love, about heartbreak and relationships. I felt our minds connect. We shared similar interests and views on life and of course are still quite different in our own ways but the things we had in common were the important things. When you meet a truly thoughtful person… someone who tops up your phone for you when you’re running low on money lol, someone who goes out of their way to make sure that you’re happy, buys you flowers just because they wanted to…you wonder how you were ever with anyone else. And where did this person come from? And how on earth did this even happen? And how am I going to leave him? Is this a trick?
Then the questions start pouring in, along with the comments and it feels overwhelming for a second but then you remember that you live in Trinidad so you take everything with a pinch of salt and appreciate the nice things that people have to say instead of the not-so-nice things. “You move on quickly” being my personal favorite. LOL. Are there rules for that? Anyway, the key with the commenters is to remember that when they make negative remarks it’s usually because they are unhappy with themselves or insecure so don’t take it too personally. It isn’t easy though. For example, my future job entails a 10 week training course in Scotland in Emergency and Critical Care (ECC) before I actually start working in the clinic. That means I can’t take my son with me because I’d be working all day. Where would he go? Who would he stay with? It wouldn’t work, he wouldn’t be happy. So my special, precious, cute, naughty, scrumptious boy will have to stay with my parents in Trinidad until after the training ends in May. I already feel terrible about it but I’m so, so thankful for their help. Then the plan is to come home to collect him and Skyler then head back up to England. And it starts… “How can a mother leave her child for so long?” And then I get a flashback of primary school teachers shouting “Fingers on lips!” And I wish I could say that to these people.
“Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr Seuss.
And anyway… all of these future movements aren’t just up to me! Our future lies in the hands of UK Visas and Immigration. If they decide they don’t want me back in their country I’ll get that all too familiar letter of rejection any day now in the mail. That visa application process was painful..as usual. Mostly because it is so expensive. I guess that’s one way of deterring people. My car is basically worth the cost of the application. Now don’t get me wrong my car isn’t worth much, it’s old like the road, sounds like it’s about to explode, has the odor of dog mixed with child-who-throws-food-everywhere (which isn’t a good combination) and looks like it belongs to a drug dealer – but it’s still a car! That’s how expensive this process is. Then you have to go into the embassy to hand in all your documents on the one day per month that they hold these “interviews” and give your fingerprints and picture. And then, the most painful part of all…you WAIT. And wait, and wait. Even though you paid for 5 day priority service they make sure to say in their email that “it can still take up to 12 weeks” and “you will not be refunded” if its takes longer than the 5 business days. It has been about two weeks now of nervous tummy pain awaiting the arrival of my package to open it and see whether they decided whether this peasant is worthy of a UK visa. Sometimes I feel like I’m begging them to let me back in, which feels a bit sad. Like when you’re the younger sister and all you want to do is lime with your big sister and her cool friends and they are like… “NO.” So you tell your mom and she makes them be nice to you lol. Wish my mum could buff up immigration for me.
As time started drawing nearer to the visa-dependent move, the reality of the entire situation began hitting me. I’m going to move to England by myself with my two children. Hmmm. People ask “what are you going to do, how are you going to manage?” With big concerned eyes, “You are going to have no life!” Gee thanks – not helping! I am a grown woman, I can do anything – this is exciting, isn’t it? But then you start having mini panics because maybe they’re right, can I do this on my own?
Because they say it takes a village to raise a child but in my experience – at the very least it takes a country. It takes parents of course, siblings, girlfriends of siblings, aunts, uncles, sisters of uncles, cousins, friends, husbands of friends, friends’ parents, housekeepers, nurseries, camps. People in lines who you ask to keep an eye on the child in the pram while you run to get the thing you forgot while you were shopping. The gasman who you ask to keep an eye on the child in the car while they put gas in for you so you can run across the street to get money out of the ATM – because you are running late for work and owe money to the delivery man from the pharmaceutical company who is coming today to drop your stock and you need it desperately. Cashiers and sales clerks who play with the child while you try on clothes or run to switch an item before paying. Neighbors who make muffins for the child and thank God because that day you were running low on snacks to take to nursery so it came in perfect handy and they don’t even know how much it helped you out. The air hostesses and aunties who aren’t really your aunties but you happen to be on the same flights to Tobago and Barbados and help you hold all the crap and child and distract him to get you through the few hours of travel insanity. And through all of these experiences, although we live in such a messed up world with all of the terrorism, hatred, crime, injustices, corruption and total disaster, sometimes you sit back and think wow. People can be so great sometimes. What happened to the world?
But as usual, I’ve now gone way off topic.
Things escalated with Bo and I.
The zoo was our first public excursion and it took days to prepare myself for it. I felt nervous about whether people would see us. Nervous about what they would say…but why did I care? I was happy. I think its because when you’re a mother people suddenly have different expectations of you. They expect that you stay home with the child instead of going out. They expect that you should put ‘dating’ on the back burner because the child is the most important thing in your life. They expect that you should want to spend all of your time with the child. But that’s not entirely fair. Also, it isn’t expected for men, so I don’t understand why it’s expected of women. If you follow those rules you will end up lonely and potentially resenting your child because they’ve taken away every single piece of your freedom. So I guess I was feeling self conscious about whether people would think I was a bad mother by exposing my son to a new man. But how can it be bad when our first ‘date’ is to the zoo, with my son? Haha. This was already different. So I decided to ignore everyone else and went on my merry way. Soon we progressed to going to the movies promising to walk a few feet apart each time lol. He made it a joke and soon I was over it all. We went to a party together and I could feel the looks of confusion but we were in another zone.
It has been surreal. We feel like a family. Gees I can’t believe I just typed that. Which freaks me out because I don’t want to lose it. It has made the whole parenting experience more fun, more positive… just better. It’s so nice having him there. Every single day I’m shocked at the connection that the four of us share, and I start to panic, but Bo has a special way of calming me down and bringing me back to the earth that I forget exists. He knows how much this job means to me and supports my decision to leave.
Bo, if your’e reading this I hope you know that you are very, very special to me. You’ve shown me what it’s like to be in a supportive, caring relationship. You pick me up on the days I can’t pick myself back up, and when I feel good, you make the good even better. We have been making plans for our future no matter what the outcome of this visa application is – and whatever it is, I’m confident that we will find ways of making it work. I love you.
Andddd… today we find out what the future holds.