Monday, October 8, 2007

I have become a (fairy) godmother

As some of you may know, I met my boyfriend in West Africa while I was a volunteer. We've been together for almost four years and have been in the States for almost two years. It's difficult for him to be away from his family, but in particular it's hard to be separated from his little brother and his older sister. It's hard to even explain what it's like living between such disparate worlds. His country is one of the poorest in the world. Infant mortality is rampant, FGM is practiced, women do all of the back-breaking labour and polygamy is legal. The women I knew there were so strong and yet so marginalized at every turn. My boyfriend was lucky enough to have a mother who worked very hard to give him what little she could, and he has a deep and abiding respect for women, something that's very unusual for men in his culture. Since his mother's death, he has served as something of the de facto head of the household even though he is not the oldest. Being here in the States has made things more complicated as he's not physically there to help out and there is the expectation from some in the extended family that he should be financially supporting everyone now that he's in the rich part of the world. Anyways, that's all just background...

He received a phone call this weekend from his sister back home telling him that she had just had a baby girl. omg! We didn't even know she was pregnant! Of everyone in his family, she is the one that I know the best and am closest to, so I was very excited for her. And then today, he came in and told me that she wants me to be the baby's godmother. *blush* I've never BEEN a godmother. What do I do? Well, if I recall correctly from my Disney days, (fairy) godmothers get to make wishes for their godchildren. So, baby Aminata, here is my wish(s) for you:

May you be blessed with self-confidence and the assurance of your family's love;
May you have the chance for an education that gives you access to the life you want;
May you never believe the lies you'll be told about "a woman's place";
May you realize that strength comes from within and that no one can ever control your mind;
May you grow up healthy and happy, protected from disease and illness;
And may your uncle and I always be there to support you and to give you the opportunities that your mother didn't have.

Allah k’à bε d'i ma. Ala k’à dugaw minε.

1 comment:

Kristie (J) said...

Congratulations on being a godmother and those are wonderful wishes for your little godchild :)