These thoughts led to my current situation and how comfortable and comforting this move has been. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been stressed out dealing with clutter in 2 homes, having to make decisions about keeping or trashing things in mami’s house without papi around to ask (I don’t want to upset him by getting rid of something that he might be emotionally attached to) and a myriad of other things going on in life (did I mention I lost my job a couple of days after I started the move?).
But, I like being at home. Â Like the fact that I can chat with my brother while he is doing his art projects for school. Â That my cousin brings his baby boy over and our kids can play. Â I like feeling like this place is the center of the world once again and I am right in it.
In Dominican Republic, it is perfectly acceptable for familial compounds to be built. Â What this means is that your father is more than happy to add a house in the back or an extra floor to his house to accommodate a growing family (daughters or sons getting married and having children of their own). Â I used to be horrified by the idea. Â Too Americanized and headstrong in my independence to give it a second thought. But then I remembered taking a multi-cultural psych class in school and I remember the professor speaking about inter-dependence and how many different cultures around the world have this philosophy (different from you Americans, he used to chide us).
While I was not born in the states, I came here one month before my 5th birthday and consider myself most definitely American (and I have the papers to prove it). Â But thinking back to where I came from, I can now appreciate some of the things that I have fought for so long. Â The deep understanding of family that only comes when you start your own. Â The appreciation for closeness and community that you once ran away from (well, at least I did).
It is good to be home. Â Good to be in community. Â As I think about it, this is the reason why I called my blog Mamihood. Â For the sense of community and camaraderie that comes along with this position we call mami. Â This week I will be celebrating my FIRST BLOGOVERSARY. I hope that I have established a sense of community within the words on this page and that you know just how big a part you play in my mamihood with your comments, tweets, emails and prayers.
What makes you feel part of a community?