# Sunday, July 16, 2006
So our son Zenzo is going to be 8 months old next week. He's been crawling since he was about 6 months old, which is great! But I'm writing this entry after the fact because I am only now just beginning to feel better about it (it happened a few weeks ago.)

Scott and I pride ourselves on being very good parents. We're quite attentive to the Z man, as well we should be since he's our only child. So when he started crawling we (mainly Scott) did an awesome job of baby-proofing the house. Or so we thought! Up went the cleaning chemicals. We moved any small things he could choke on, and we put restraints on drawers, toilets, etc, etc. At the end of it all, we felt the house was quite baby-proof, so Z could crawl away to his heart's content.

Oh, the best laid plans...! 2 weeks later I was in the shower and Z was crawling around merrily in our bedroom. It is amazing how quickly he learned to move. One day he was rocking back and forth, and the next he was zipping along at a fast crawl! Anyway, I left him crawling around our bedroom because I felt confident we had done due diligence: the house was safe.

I knew there was trouble when I heard total silence. I stuck my head out of the shower and there was Z holding on to the toilet bowl cleaner and the plunger. The one that I had hidden out of his sight, or so I thought! Ack! So much for that premature pat we gave ourselves on the back!

To protect the innocent, I still maintain that neither the plunger nor the toilet bowl cleaner made it into his mouth. But alas, they came dangerously close! To make matters worse, as I was jumping around in a flurry of wet activity he seemed quite amused by my near hysteria, and giggled away in great amusement. I, on the other hand, was not so amused! I dragged him with me into the shower to hose him off (and promptly almost dropped him because he was slippery when wet.) Feeling traumatized and out of sorts, I decided that a nap was in order for me. Thank goodness Scott came by and took the squirmy Zenzo and dressed him.

Ah, parenting! You just gotta love it! [I wonder how much therapy Z'll need because of this little incident?!]

Sunday, July 16, 2006 9:48:53 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
# Tuesday, June 27, 2006

So Scott, Zenzo and I went out for lunch the other day. In case I haven’t mentioned him before, Zenzo is our now 7-month old baby. So we piled into the car and took off. If I say so myself, Z is a pretty man! So it really isn’t worth mentioning when someone stops us to comment on how cute he is, it happens ALL the time. So we get to Chipotle, where we had lunch, and this lady stares at us. She whispers to her friends, then eventually comes over. “Pretty baby”, she says. We smile and thank her. Then we look at her carefully and it’s like hmm, we’ve seen this person before. Charmer that I am, I decide to engage her in conversation. (I’m thinking: is she Scott’s boss’ wife? My former classmate? My boss’ sister?) but rather than wait to thaw until I get it, I chat merrily away. Turns out she’s the one who did the ultrasound for us when we were oh, say 5 months pregnant. Wow!


And that was it, really. But I walked away amazed at how someone comes into your life – sometimes for a long time, sometime for a few hours – but when they leave it you may be changed forever. We’d gone in to the ultrasound convinced that we were carrying a girl. (Based on the very scientific method of looking at my family, where the 1st born of each sibling that has kids is a girl.) But that science – and I know I’m being generous to call it that! – failed us! We had to push her to get her to tell us, but this lady told us Zenzo would be a boy. We staggered out of there, shocked. Then we promptly decided to believe her, and from then on our baby became “he”.

I don’t even remember her name, and I’m sure I’d need a reminder again of who she is the next time I see her. But I did want to take a moment to marvel at what a difference she made in our life. Even though I hadn’t thought of her since that day, I did take great pleasure in confirming that she sure had called it – Zenzo is the boy she said he would be!


Tuesday, June 27, 2006 9:48:39 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
# Wednesday, June 21, 2006

So I turned 32. The wisdom that comes with that is, well, underwhelming. I got up this morning and I thought "golly, I can't be 32 already! I actually remember what I was doing 15 years ago!" And folks, if you can remember that far back, you're no longer that young thing you think of yourself as!

Reminds me of the time I turned 25. I went to the store for something or other, and while I was there someone said "thank you, ma'am" to me. Now to be clear, I appreciate good manners as much as the next person does. But golly, to be ma'amed at 25?! Isn't there some law or something out there that says no woman under 90 is to be ma'amed?! So you guys out there that walk around ma'aming us, be careful!

But then again, it's all about perspective. I've decided to look at 32 as the new 21. Wait, I was broke and unemployed at 21, so maybe not. But I guess I'm as young as I feel. Forget the fact that certain parts of my body are starting to umm, how did Maya Angelou put it, "compete to see which gets south first", or something to that effect. I am loved, I am healthy and I am alive. Honestly, who could ask for more?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006 1:14:28 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
# Tuesday, June 20, 2006
 #
 

Dear Readers,

(Side bar: after a mere week of blogging I feel I can confidently start addressing my readers as such. I am sure, no, I’d even go so far as to say I’m positive, I have some regular followers out there. The fact that these followers are, for the moment, all family is neither here nor there :) )

So then, dear readers! I’ve been in the States for almost 14 years now. In all that time I haven’t, for the most part, wanted to become a US citizen. Part of it was due to the fact that it wasn’t an option for a long time. Those that were born here often have no idea how downright tough it is to become a US citizen. But really, the more compelling reason was choice: I just didn’t want to become “an American”. No, no! You Americans out there shouldn’t get your feathers ruffled, it wasn’t personal! The truth of the matter is that when I 1st came here it was to go to school. My goal was to get a great education then return home to make a difference in my country, Zimbabwe (which my family affectionately calls “Zim”). I figured the States had more than enough educated people here to make a difference. Zim was where I was needed, where I could make count. So I went to school.

But as I was in college, things were getting worse in Zim. The political situation deteriorated, as did the economy. At a time when I was thinking of going back my family was making loud and persistent noises about me staying here, as that would help the family the most. It was always understood that, in a family of 7 children, we all had to do our share to keep the family afloat. "After all," said one of my sisters, "you’re naïve to think that people will just welcome you back like you’re some kind of savior."

Hmm, hadn’t thought of that, believe it or not! And suddenly the idea of trying to help people who didn’t want my input suddenly became unappealing. At 23, my romantic notions of changing the world did not include having to argue and fight with the very people I wanted to help. In hind sight, I was quite naïve, indeed.

My other sister had another equally chilling reality to point out to me:

"Unemployment and inflation are both very high at the moment, and we are struggling to make ends meet. Can’t you stay there, work, and help us out? The US$ you are sending make it more manageable. It doesn’t make much sense to come here and join the many who are unemployed…"

Ah yes, the beauty of having so many siblings!

But again, I was given pause. As I hemmed and hawed and tried to figure out where I wanted to end up, I kept going to school. At the end of another 2 years I had my Master’s degree. While fighting constant feelings of guilt ("why am I still here? Shouldn’t I have tried harder to go back? Others have done it") I got a job on the East Coast. A friend offered to travel there with me, and voila, Scott re-entered my life as the leading male star (we were just friends before.) To cut an interesting tale short, we got married in Delaware, and decided to move back to Oregon. Which is how I came to be here for 12 years.

But I began this entry by saying that I’d been in the States for 14 years, so the math geniuses amongst you might be wondering what happened to the other 2 years. Nothing, really - Scott and I lived our life. We had always, and do still, talked about moving to Zim. But each time Scott suggests we go to live there for a year or so, I find myself hard-pressed to agree. I see no nobility in going back only to be hungry like my mother and sister (the only ones of my family still in Zim) are. Even though I think very fondly of Zim, I am not eager to go back and be part of the problem. While the idea of a struggle is often romantic to so many of us, I am often reminded of something I heard someone once say (and I’m paraphrasing here): many people think it is wonderful to be Mandela-like. Think about it, 27 years he gave up. Think of the time he missed with his kids, the days he sacrificed with his family. There must have been days when he would gladly have turned his back on the struggle, if only to be with his family.
So, Scott and I remained in Portland, and continued about our merry way. By then we’d been married for 5 years. Then, last year we had our son, Zenzo. I have much to say about the lessons I’ve learned as a new parent, but I shall save those for another blog. But it was in having Zenzo that I began to question what my nationality meant. If I cling to my Zim passport, am I more Zimbabwean because of that? The mental gymnastics I as experiencing were aggravated by the fact that if I chose to become an American citizen I would be required to give up my Zimbabwean citizenship (the current Zim government does not recognize dual citizenship.)

After a struggle, I have come to the realization that, having come to the States when I was just 18 I am now a hybrid. I am no longer purely Zimbabwean, nor am I 100% American. And so, with that, came the realization that I am “Citizen Mo”. No matter what my passport says, I am a citizen of the world. And for today, that is enough. So what did I decide to do, ultimately? Yet another blog entry for another day…

Tuesday, June 20, 2006 11:12:17 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
# Friday, June 16, 2006

Okay, so that hasn’t worked out well. I suppose I was a little over zealous in thinking I could go from no blog to blogging every day. A week has gone by, and I didn’t find the time to blog. How does Scott do it, I wonder?

Friday, June 16, 2006 9:21:56 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
# Monday, June 12, 2006

I have finally, FINALLY decided to buckle down and start blogging. My husband (Scott Hanselman) has been after me to do this for oh, say, a while now, but I wasn't ready. Actually, I'm still not sure I'm ready now. How come?

Let's see…

I guess I'd have to say the hardest part for me (besides the question of actually having something worth blogging about, I guess) is the idea of putting myself out there. I mean, it's all well and good for me to tell Scott "blog on, blogger!" but he's seasoned. After doing this for, say 5 years or so, he has probably seen and heard it all - the nice comments, the mean ones, the inane, you name it. But the thought of me writing something and having some stranger out there actually comment on it is like…like  asking for people to like me or something! Do I want to be that person we all know (and loath) that walks around saying "no one likes me, will you be my friend?" Ack, how lame is that?! Which then begs the question: if I don't want "uzulu" (that's Nkiwanese for the masses out there) commenting on what I write, should I even have a blog? Or would I do better to have a diary that sits in our bedroom somewhere, which I can share only with the people I choose to? I mean, isn't it a little arrogant somehow to say "hey world, I've got something you must hear"? But I suppose it's all about perspective, right?

Not having a good answer for that question (seeing as I know so little about blogs) I find myself back at the question of "what to blog about". Scott assures me that anything goes. Our conversations go something like:

Scott: "Mo, you can blog about ANYTHING. Seriously!"

Mo: "Anything? Really?! But who has time to read just any blog about just anything?!"

I never seem to remember Scott's response to that (though, in the interest of sucking up to my husband, I daresay it's a charming and witty response.)

But, courage in hand, I have decided that today is the day. No need to be cowardly about this! After all, I am a decent writer (and humble, too!) So really, when all is said and done, what have I to fear? And on that brave note, I start my blog. I'm just dying to tell someone: "Hey, check out my blog. You might like it."

Monday, June 12, 2006 7:06:57 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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