I have always prided myself in being practical. If I held a belief, I could explain why. If I had a dream, I could back it up with reason. Unlike many people, I did not want things just because they are nice, commendable or popular. Even as a kid, I did not understand why I should want to be a doctor or a pilot or whatever other fancy professions kids in those days used to want to be.
There is a kid I know who wanted to be a driver. Of course when he said that, we all laughed at him; some because they thought he lacked ambition, I laughed because, well, who wants to be a driver? A driver is what you become when all else fails. You don’t dream it, it happens to you! How shallow my thoughts on life! It did not occur to us that probably that was the most noble thing he could think of. Apparently, I answered the question appropriately (to inquisitive adults) when asked, depending on who posed it. Some days, I wanted to be a pilot. On others, a doctor. When my mum asked so as to show me off in front of her visitors , I wanted to be a neurosurgeon. Crafty, right? Wrong! Practical. Long story short, I grew up into a woman of such a disposition. If you tell me you want to buy a car, then you need to tell me why – to my satisfaction. If you want to date me, I want to know why. Don’t just tell me it’s because you like me. I like 6-inch high heels but you won’t see me buy them.
So, last Saturday, I went to this work event, ‘A Child Safety Fair’ by Simba Safe Kenya. First of all, it was raining! I would rather have stayed indoors with my loyal library, but apparently, we all have to work. So I used Google maps to get to the place. The very efficient mobile app ended up getting me there in the shortest time possible, and being thirty minutes early, my creativity was put to the test as I had to pretend to be busy on my phone for like 30 minutes.
At long last, the event starts; I could not help the feeling that I was going to get so bored because the event is about kids and their safety. I can see parents observing their children with a certain look in their eyes that pretty much branded me an outcast. At that moment, I wished I had come with my niece. She is not only the loveliest kid I know, she also loves me. If you do not think it a big deal that is probably because you do not know that eight out of ten kids I know do not like me at all, and the other two, well, I have never tried to talk to.
Anyway, the founder of Simba Safe Kenya introduced herself and after a child prayed, we were directed to a class about traffic. If you want to cross the road, you must do so at a zebra crossing. Do not cross alone; go with your parent or guardian. If they are not around, look for a police officer. Use Underpass or footbridges. You know that kind of thing. Sleep, I did not. In fact, I learnt a new word! Do you know what you call the passenger on a motor bike? Pullion passenger. That’s right, I can teach you a thing or two. . . maybe just a thing.
Other classes concerned First Aid and Karate. It is at this point that the magic wand was waved! The joy that the kids gave their parents by how they answered questions was so evident their faces. Beaming smiles from ear to ear, and for some, tear to tear. The room was so full of joy, everyone seemed to inhale a happy gas that seemed to be perceived on a parent-child basis. . . everyone but me. I knew then that I wanted to be a mother.
See, I have many friends some of whom are parents. Conversations usually go like;
Friend: (excited) Yesterday, Patience called me mum.
Friend: My heart welled with so much joy I knew that I would not exchange being a mother for anything.
Me: (Silence. While running away screaming ‘leave me alone alien!’ in my mind)
Friend: Aaaawww!! That kid is cute. (Making faces at the kid, who smiles back)
Me: Yeah. (Making an expression I assume to be funny. Kid cries.)
Friend: Hahaha… Unafanya mtoto alie.(You’re making the child cry!)
Me: (In my mind) I noticed, you don’t have to rub it in.
Or my personal favorite;
Friend: I know how I am going to be dressing my baby.
Me: Matching kitenges (African-print clothing)with yourself and your husband?
Friend: No, silly… (She goes on to describe elaborately what their baby will wear, while I zone out and thank God for thirty free minutes to think about other stuff. Usually, how I will repair my computer, or how I should buy a bike)
So you see, I am not exactly the fairy Godmother and so whilst at the event I felt a deep desire to be a mother, it was most surprising, most alien, yet the most welcome feeling ever. For the first time, I engaged thoughts of a future with little MEs running around and making my house messy and my heart well up with joy. For the first time, I had no desire to think about it logically, I just felt it, and it was exciting. I felt like I had taken the first step towards motherhood. Towards making the things I always knew in my mind real in my life.
I know I am not going to be a mother tomorrow, but I look forward to it. I am most grateful that after many days of praying for a semblance of femininity in my life outside my dressing I received that moment. I know motherhood has its struggles, but I am looking forward to it.Meanwhile, as I enjoy this newly discovered side of myself (see? The age of new discoveries is not really gone), I hope that kids will start liking me. And who knows, maybe I will learn to make expressions that make them laugh at last.
Time escapes me and now I need to go and discover something else, (Fire maybe? )As I think about what my kids will wear (if God bestows that blessing on me. I pray he does) and make further discoveries to help humanity. 😀
See you Thursday!!