Despite my best intentions, I’ll never be able to protect my kids from certain things in life.
When I took in, I had no idea what to expect, nothing in my life prepared me for the amazing human being that was coming out. This was even a pregnancy I wasn’t expecting as I had been told I couldn’t have children. Long story that is.
And I had long accepted my fate without much brooding. Some can, some cannot, life’s like that, I told myself and I was prepared for it but I have parents who believe in spare parts. They believed so much in God, He simply must have got weary over their constant plea on my behalf to replace the bad parts I needed to have babies and so decided to grant their earnest desire.
So when I got pregnant, it was huge. I bought books. I love books, so I bought as many Enid Blyton series as I could afford. I built a small library full of Lady bird series, as I was so sure my son would share my love for books. I combed the children’s sections for videos and early learning kits as I prepared for my newborn. I wanted him to have it all perfect, to have all the many things I didn’t have when I was growing up.
When he came, I quickly began to read to him, imagine my disappointment when my little boy began to look away from the books I put in front of him, only the pictures attracted him, turns out the child was dyslexic, I was soon to find out books and reading were going to be a challenge. That was one of life’s slap on my face over the kid, “Stop playing God!”
I can hardly count the number of times I had tried to be the Omniscient One when the kid began to walk and would stagger into walkways and doors and bump his head or the many times he came close to fracturing a limb when he was learning to ride a bicycle.
I would have cleared the path for his ride, yet, the clueless kid would ride straight into the wall and I’ll go pick him up where he lay crumbled and wailing like a banshee.
“Stay in the path I have marked!”
Then the lad became a teenager and I spoke to him several times about puberty, showed him several instances both in life and thanks to Google, the several changes his body is bound to go through. I pointed him to his dad when his questions became insistent.
“What of wet dreams?”
“What will I feel when I’m in love? “
“Will any girl ever like me?”
“Mummy, I think I like five girls in my class…”
“Only you!” I screamed.
“No smelly mouths or pits,” I warned, “we girls don’t like that.”
“Face your studies, we girls don’t like olodo boys, o,” I repeated often.
But this my boy will not hear word. He was still in Junior school when one Valentine day, he asked me for N1,000 to buy something for his val. I obliged after carefully finding out what exactly was going on.
Awww! My poor boy was disgraced by this slip of a girl. He’d bought what he had found to be her favourite biscuit. Typical of teenage girls, who probably liked him too (cos you see, my son is a fine young man, even if I have to say so myself). Unfortunately, the foolish boy had presented the biscuit to her in the presence of her friends. BIG MISTAKE. The fallout?
She screamed at him and flung the biscuit in his face, in the class with everyone crunching on popcorn at the drama unfolding.
My boy was rooted to the spot in fright. He was too scared to move. Good thing he didn’t cry, because I would have clobbered him as he was retelling the story.
We both laughed at his foolishness, I told him, “Life’s like that sometimes,” and thankfully, he found the funny spot in it all and laughed at himself.
I recall coming across his phone at some point when I allowed myself to scroll through his BB chats.
I sighed and looked heavenwards, this boy hasn’t learned. But he’ll learn, he’ll learn his life’s lessons, I thought.
We all did, still, do in fact. There’s no shielding him from any of it. I can only do my bit of talking and citing examples. He’ll have his share of heartaches and disappointments, he’ll fall and he’ll get up, he’ll learn to laugh at himself, hopefully, and move on because life is full of unexpected twists and turns and mummy isn’t God.
He’ll learn to swing back when life throws him a curveball. I have my anxious moments but he’ll be fine. Unlike many of our politicians who are amassing wealth for generations unborn, I’ve no intention of making life unadventurous for my kids by laying everything out there. They’ll work and learn the value of it, they’ll learn to save money and learn the discipline of keeping it, they’ll give back and learn the beauty of it.
They must find out things for themselves and brace themselves for life so help them, God.