Mothers gather round here…come closer
What in the name of Fashola is going on? (I have no idea why Fashola but it just felt right.)
Mothers and primary schools, what are you turning this nursery graduation thing into?
Growing up, I don’t think graduating from nursery was ever a big deal. In fact, when my first son graduated, I was pleased, took pictures and kept that certificate. He got into primary the next term and life went on.
My second son graduated last week and I am still clapping my hands at how much more extra graduations are getting. He had to wear a bow tie with a cummerbund, no wahala. The girls wore pretty blue dresses to match the sky blue shirts the boys wore. There were so many activities that they did not get to receive their certificates one by one but I was fine with that.
Not the mother that sat next to me. She sat with her hands folded across her chest and was taut like a volcano about to erupt.
“Why is this taking so long?” I complained. I was tired and fasting and just wanted to go home.
The hot lava stroke volcanic ash that landed on my head ehn…
“This is not how it is done. Why would they say graduation and not present the certificates individually. I even bought the sash because my son was so excited. Now I don’t even have a single picture of him graduating. Why did they focus on the year 6 pupils only? Now if they ask me if my son graduated I have nothing to show for it. It is just not done at all. My husband has a school. I know these things. They said graduation and prize giving. Yet they put so many activities.”
Who sent me to talk to her sef?
And ermm madam, you have a certificate to present to show your child graduated.
And really just out of curiosity, who will be asking you to prove nursery graduation? Did anyone ask Kemi Adesoun to produce her nursery certificate? Even in civil service, only the first school leaving certificate that is required.
Men, these women are taking this thing seriously.
My friend did a correct agbada for her son graduating nursery. Complete with embroidery scattered o. She shared rice and cake for her neighbours.
If you think that is extra, there is a family doing an after party for their nursery graduate.
And the event itself. The schools go all out.
My friend’s school had them do congratulatory videos for each child. Before the child is called up, there is a projected video of friends and family congratulating them (with plenty prayers, trust Nigerians).
I was like WHY?
I even thought it was extra when primary 6 pupils were doing “I never thought I would make it to this day…” speeches.
These women will not kee me o.
But it is not today that mothers go all out to celebrate their kids.
Remember how our mothers tied geles and cooked food in coolers for our graduations (albeit university) and then did thanksgivings? They would be called up to come for thanksgiving, the choir would start a song and then the mother of the family will say no. She would go to the entrance of the church and start singing an off key song
“He has done it for me o…” the choir would then quickly collect back the singing as ‘mama’ dances with outstretched hands turning round and around as though she was beckoning the whole church to ‘help her see what God did’.
I used to find this embarrassing but when I started having children, I began to understand.
My nephew was adamant that he did not want his mother doing any thanksgiving a couple of years ago when he finished school. I had to explain to him the whole journey from pregnancy to watching the kids go through every life milestone and how it can be overwhelming to see them reach something that once seemed so far away.
He paused to think about it.
A few years ago, a guy was turning 40, he no longer lived in Nigeria. His mother proceeded to have a big 40th birthday in his absence. She got his friends to wear aso ebi, there was a church thanksgiving and home party. It was complete with him skyping. My friend attended the party and we all marvelled at how far the mother went. We were at the brink of calling it extra but when we imagined for a moment being alive to attend 40th birthdays of our kids we all kept quiet.
A mother’s journey is a long one.
Infanthood of sleepless nights, immunizations, weaning problems, potty training issues and basic first two years physical and cognitive milestones.
Then there is helping a kid to hold a pencil to write the number one a zillion times and being scared that the child may never be able to grasp it or even read.
The rough primary years of jumping up and down and the real danger of getting hurt.
The secondary school years of setting a foundation for a first degree.
The fear of peer pressure that could lead to waywardness characterized by drug abuse, cultism, promiscuity that could bring unwanted pregnancies etc.
There is this delicate window that a child could lose his path forever.
Then university years. Probably travelling up and down to go to school maybe in a place that one cannot commute to daily.
The countless fees and bills attached with raising child.
All the prayers at each stage of life that parents pray so that they have well balanced productive adults as their children.
Folks, it is a joyous thing to see your children progress. It is surreal and gives life meaning.
Back to nursery graduations.
Erm I still think schools and parents are going overboard with this one. Haba!
If you kill a cow at nursery graduation, is it an elephant you will use to celebrate university?
Biko, calm down!!!!!