Supermom juggles twin tasks
Damion Mitchell/Integration Editor
“What is your name?” The soprano-like sound swelled from the ground, the face of a brown, bright-eyed boy the accompaniment.
“Damion Mitchell,” I responded. “Oh, that’s a nice name,’” he replied, the pitch of his tiny voice loud enough to drown out the sounds of passing vehicles and heavy equipment at the Manchester Road, Mandeville workplace of his mother.
This is where Davion Brown and his five-year-old twin brother, Davaun, have been calling school since July, when his mother landed a job as the janitor.
For four months before that, they had been making the trek to homes around the Manchester capital where Davia Hamilton worked as a domestic helper.
“It’s comfortable, once they are with me,” Hamilton, 28, told The Gleaner this week.
The mom and her twin boys were at the end of their lunch break near the entrance to her workplace, a tyre service centre just two kilometres south of the town centre.
Every morning, Hamilton is early at work before many of her colleagues. She sanitises the surfaces and prepares the service centre for staff and customers. Then the focus, partly, turns to her twin boys until lunchtime.
Hamilton, a Porus High School past student, must divide her attention between supervising her sons, sanitising surfaces, and doing temperature checks for arriving customers before turning to cleaning the shop at the close of business each day.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the boys would spend their days at the Mandeville Infant School, but since the closure of learning institutions in March, Hamilton says she has had to take on a greater role in supervising the little Browns in online classes.
She admits that it can be a bit stressful attending to them and working in a high-traffic environment but was motivated by their academic progress, though she is not satisfied with their penmanship.
Then there is the issue of their potential exposure to COVID-19, but Hamilton said she is doing her best to make them safe.
“I know how to handle myself, I know how to handle them, and I know how to handle chemicals,” she said.
One of her co-workers, Christopher Mitchell, shared the concern about the potential exposure to the virus, but besides that, he was full of praise for Hamilton.
“She is an awesome worker,” Mitchell said, adding that he understood her circumstances and commitment to offering personal attention to her children while they are no longer able to physically attend school.
By now, lunch had ended for the boys, and with it, the daily game session for their recess period. It was time for the next activity Hamilton had earlier received on her cell phone from their class teacher.
“Come now, we need to get six leaves,” she said, disturbing Davaun from an intense cartoon series on which he was fixed with his right thumb fastened in his mouth.
With that, Hamilton led her boys, all masked up, to an out-of-bloom bougainvillea plant to get the leaves.
She said her dream is for her boys to get a solid education and become worthwhile citizens.
“… Just to understand that this world is not easy and we have to grow with manners and respect also. That is what I teach them every day, and I hope to God that they grow with that,” Hamilton said.