Toronto is a vibrant city that welcomes newcomers from all across Canada and around the world. In this article, Vinma Joseph reflects on her experience as an immigrant in this city, and what home means to her.
Raising my children and learning to be the best mom that I can be for them sure teaches me lessons about life every day.
I revel in the warmth and sweetness of my kids while waking them up each morning. I nurture them, nourish them, play with them and listen to their chatter about nothing all day long to my heart’s content. I love the way my son’s face lights up when he see me coming home after a day at work. I keenly look forward to my baby girl’s giggles and laughter to cheer me up when the going gets tough occasionally. They both give me reasons enough to celebrate my life and I intend to enjoy every moment of it.
As a child, my life was completely different from the ones my kids are leading today. I was born and raised in India by a single parent, my dad. My mom left us when I was very little. Since my dad needed to be away at work most of the time, my brother and I had to live in boarding schools. Though I hated to be away from my dad and brother, I knew that there was no choice. I remember my impatience while waiting for my dad to visit me and take me out for a fun day at park or a picnic. The taste of the ice cream he bought for me then floods my tongue even now. At the end of the day when he finally drops me off at the school to take his leave, my heart breaks with sadness of separation all over again.
With all its unfairness, the three of us continued to live apart well into my adult life with little or no chance of bonding or spending quality time together as a family. My friends have asked me later in life, how I dealt with homesickness, the scars of separation that were left in its wake. I thought about it for a while and realized that I never had homesickness because I had never known the comfort and security of home to be actually sick without it. All I had was a feeling or a sensation of something missing, a sort of brokenness in my soul. I vowed to myself the same day that I will never have my children go through what I had to go through.
I got married six years ago and moved here two Toronto. Today I have two children, Kevin who is three and Krista who is one. My husband is quite nice and together we make a great family. We have a house in suburbs and my husband and we work decent jobs to make a comfortable living. There is happiness, security and a sense of belonging – the three elements that robbed me off my own childhood. I got them back finally. Better late than never, right?
Observing and Finding Home
During our dinner time, some nights, I mentally detach myself from my being and observe the family I call mine from a distance.
I can tell Kevin is going to take at least one more hour to finish the food in his plate.
Krista is having so much fun in her high chair and the food lies neglected on the tray. But I will make sure that she finishes it so that I can reward her with a treat.
My husband, the calm one, is distracted at the moment. He shares his attention between the dinner and the news on TV. In between, he is urging Kevin to get on with his supper and prompting Krista to eat up her cereal.
This is comfort. This is Family. I learn that the strength of togetherness and undeniable power of love that we share between us will help us, not just to get through with life but to celebrate it as well. This realization has also helped me to erase the wounds from my past to some extent, and restore my faith in relationships and the purity of my roots, which I call Home.
Vinma Joseph is an insurance-obsessed Mom of two beautiful children. She also works full time as an Insurance Adviser (which explains her obsession). Her blog, A Momless Mom is a battlefield in which she portrays her struggles to balance her life with the responsibilities of parenthood and also as an occasional advocate of insurance needs for her wonderful readers. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.