On Friday, I took my suitcase to work and Sweet Thing took me to the airport.
UT bought a ticket for me to go up to Barbados this weekend for Vey’s birthday.
We talked pretty much non-stop all the way up to the airport, but that’s in itself is not unusual. It’s becoming a familiar thing and will soon hardly bear worth mentioning.
When we got there, he parked the car and I checked in. I had to board the plane right away so we hugged and he really held me and hugged me. Before we pulled apart, I kissed him on the neck.
He shook his finger at me, “Kissing me on the neck in a public place… what are you starting?”
I giggled, although I should have said “Rumours….”
“So you’re going to call me on Sunday?” He asked me as I walked towards the security check point.
“I’ll send you and email AND I’ll call you on Sunday.” I replied, beaming as I presented my docs to the security guard. I took another look as I walked in…. he’s so beautiful to me.
Then I boarded my flight.
When I got to Barbados BWIA (But Will It Arrive) had lost my luggage, but say what I barely went into my ‘what-the-ass-wrong-wit-allyuh’ mode.
By God it was wonderful to see the girls….. these are Keffi’s babies…. the one’s I’ve promised to see after. They’re fucking HUGE!! All that German blood, they’re solid, compact little creatures. They look like eight and seven, not five and four.
Today it was much cajoling to get them to break fast and get ready to go to Auntie G’s house (my mother’s best friend’s, UT’s ex-wife… yeah, yeah it’s a complicated family I’m in.) We watched music videos and you know what? I think MTV Latin America sucks! Anyway, it was good for some diversion.
Uncle Thomas and I knocked around town and bought some party stuff and I helped pick out Vey’s birthday present. UT is a riot… he has a slightly peverse sense of humour and the inclination to sometimes say the stuff the comes into his head, but he’s a real good man. Someone ought to make a good husband out of him.
Sometime duriing the early afternoon, we went and picked up Ollie and Vey and UT dropped us off at St. Gabriel’s where Ollie goes to school for the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Of course, not before Vey introduced to the world her brand new Barbie. She and Ollie oohed and ahhhed.
I have been stressing to UT my reasons for buying them brown-skinned dolls.
They are multi-ethnic children, like I was and I know the way mixed race children are effected by their society. African women are brought up to idealise a Euro-centric idea of beauty and it starts with our dolls when we are children. I think one of the reasons why I think brown skinned people of all kinds are so especially beautiful to me, is because my mother consistently chose brown-skinned dolls for me.
When I was four, my first companion — and deadly weapon of choice — was a brown skinned baby doll that could pee if you gave it water. I went everywhere with that doll and when I — frequently — found the need to end stupid conversations, fights or unjust warfare, that brown skinned baby doll delivered stinging retribution to all who opposed or oppressed me. Yes, it was that bad. My mother confiscated my friend on a number of occasions. Little sneak that I am, I would find it a re-enter it into my rotation with glee.
I loved that doll.
Of course now the whole experience is steeped in sentiment and metaphor. Four, five is such a powerful age…. I could fill pages with stories of my mischief.
This is about Keffi’s babies. I hope that they can find beauty in their African selves, because their mother was a beautiful African woman in more ways than one. She actually grew up in Nigeria, even though she was born in Trinidad. She spoke fluent Hausa, spoke and sang to me in that language more than once. Vey is named after the childhood friend she had when she lived in Hausaland. I would hate for them to lose the connection their mother had with the Motherland, purely because she has now become an Ancestor.
She had as equally strong perspectives on Africans and the state of our communities; she wanted them to understand that I’m sure. So it has to start with their dolls.
I must say I am glad that they love their African-looking Barbies as much as they’re European-looking Barbies and I think that’s important, good and healthy for them. We just have to work on the unnatural proportions in those stupid Barbie dolls. Innocence is bliss.
The mad Hatter’s Tea Party was a blast…. Vey trailed the new Barbie (by her hair) all over; they played little games of chance and pulled Lucky dips; they got face and body paint plus they went into one of those jumpy things. There was a little concert going on and loads of screaming children everywhere…. you know how it is. I think they had a good time.
It;s just so good to be around them. I miss them so much without even knowing it. Their mother lives in them.
I miss Sweet Thing…. I wonder what he’s doing.
I miss Keffi…. I wonder what she’s doing.