This was the first year in a very long time that I have been able to spend Mother’s Day with both my Grandmother and Mother. It was such a special day to celebrate the women who shaped my values and morals. Who give me cooking lessons and teach me new skills. Who always have words of encouragement and advice. They move through life with strength and grace that is admirable.
I sat down with both my Mom and Grandmother to ask them a few questions to get to know them a bit better. I thank them for their participation!
What was it like for you to start your family at a young age?
Grandma: I was excited, I always dreamed of growing up to have a baby. It was a dream come true. Age was not an issue for me, I was used to being around children and babysitting for my friends.
Mom: I was not expecting to become a mother at a young age but I embraced it and was excited and enthusiastic. Although, I did have my moments of fear at the thought of becoming a parent.
What surprised you the most about being a mother?
Grandma: How many hats I can wear in a day. I instantly became the chef, teacher, nurse, housekeeper, accountant, chauffeur, problem-solver, and more.
Mom: That I was stronger than I thought I was and how naturally the mother instincts took over. As my kids grew I needed to take on new roles of becoming a constant advocate and life coach.
What is the most difficult thing you find about being a mother?
Grandma: It was a full-time job and not having family living close. Also realizing that there was no “me” time really.
Mom: Making the right decisions that I thought was best for my children.
Was there anything that your parents did that you swore you would not do when you become a parent?
Grandma: I did not want my children to be afraid of learning how to swim or going to the beach with friends. My Grandmother and Father would not really allow me to go to the beach so I never learned how to swim well.
Mom: One thing that I swore I wouldn’t do but did sometimes was to be an overprotective and over-cautious parent.
What were some of your pregnancy cravings?
Grandma: Creamy potatoes and french fries.
Mom: With you, I craved mint chocolate chip ice cream, specifically made by Breyers®. They made a really delicious holiday ice cream yule log (mint chocolate chip flavor too) and I was so mad when I couldn’t find it in stores after the holidays. For your older brother, I craved carrots and tangerines to the point I was turning orange. For your two younger brothers I craved fish and Jamaican cornmeal porridge.
What is one lesson you wanted your kids to learn as they grew into adults?
Grandma: Be yourself always. Treat everyone with the same respect you expect for yourself. Be positive and learn from your mistakes.
Mom: That you do not know until you try. Whatever you do give 110% and go the extra mile.
What was your favorite childhood activity?
Grandma: I played many games! In my teen years, I played netball and represented my island in the West Indies. I also played and loved field hockey.
Mom: When young my favorite thing to do was to hang out with my friends and cousins. We went to the beach and swam, we played ball, we played hide and seek etc. Another activity I loved was going to see horse racing. In Barbados, when you say you’re going to the Garrison it was implied that you were going to see the horses.
What was your favorite dish that your Mom/ Grandmother prepared for you when young?
Grandma: My grandmother used to prepare amazing cream potatoes and fried fish.
Mom: My Mom used to make and still makes the best Chow Mein dish.
If I were to write a memoir about your life, what would you want it to be titled?
Grandma: Falling and Rising Again a Memoir
Mom: This Is Joy a Memoir