Tag Archives: Children

The boy in the rain

You could see the joy. Visible. The happiness. The eagerness to get to school on his face. Roughly 7. Maybe 8 years old. Riding his bicycle. Maybe it is a new one. Who knows? Carefully. Without worry. For him life is beautiful. It is Monday. A new week, new day, back at school. As he carefully went over the speed bumps by the toll gate. Out. Back on the express way. Staying clear of cars and buses. It seemed all is well in his world. Except he is riding to school. In the rain. With no safety gear. No rain coat. No guardian or parent to accompany him to school. In his school uniform, white socks and brown sandals. Back pack properly strapped. He journeyed on.

In the rain. My heart cut. Here is a young boy. Dangers all around. Yet he seemed oblivious to all. Trying to make his way to school. Here is a young boy. Whose parents might have saved to get him a bicycle and pay his fees. Here is a young boy who would become a man soon. A future leader (as we like to say). As I drove on in traffic watching this boy, keeping so far from cars, my heart cut. I couldn’t help but think of the many dangers he faces everyday getting to school. Cars, buses, okadas, soliders and policemen who seem not to know you turn your gun face down, Julius Berger and the Hitech trailers. Even worse, on days like this… the rain. The fact that in a bid to get an education, this young boy stood the risk of coming down with a cold. Maybe pneumonia.

I thought about a lot of things. Poverty in our land. The uncertainties. Crisis. I thought about my children. The kind of life I want them to live. Do I want them to live in Nigeria I wondered. I thought about the future. I am scared. Which way Nigeria I asked.

I thought about my childhood. The privileged life. Been dropped and picked up from school every day among others. Here was a boy (and many many many others) who might never experience that kind of life. The good life we call it. I felt sad.

More than 12 hours later, I still remember this little boy. Teary eyed, I watched on till he got out of sight, a boy who despite the challenges, he was all so eager to get to school; Looking on cheerfully as he rode. Not gonna forget him in a hurry. Tears still well up even as I type. Pity, sadness and joy. Sadness at what can befall this dude at anytime. I remember the Chibok girls. Sorrow at the kind of pain and challenges he has to live through at this age. Joy at the fact that he wants to get educated. You should see his eyes. Carefree and definitely happy to be on his way to school.

The boy in the pink checkered shirt and green shorts.

I heard this song some weeks back and just never paid attention to it. Till I heard it again at TT & BT’s wedding on Saturday. Somebody help me. It has been on replay since Saturday. Number 1 jam at the moment. Shout out to TT & BT (TT when you get to read this – I know you would). Lovely gown you wore. I am a sucker for simple yet elegant wedding gowns. *le sigh*. And thanks for giving me my new jam. God bless your union.

Couldn’t find the official video. I guess this would do

Let us pray

Almighty Father we are eternally grateful for your grace and faithfulness. For your loving kindness and tender mercies that are new every morning. We thank you for you are our God and there is none other. Indescribable God accept our thanks and praises.

We pray for your mercies this and everyday.

We pray for your guidance this and everyday.

We pray for our nation Nigeria. We lift up our Jerusalem and pray for her peace. Forgive us our sins in this nation. From the East to the West to the North to the South, dear Lord, let your peace reign. We pray for our leaders. Dear Lord, from the President even to the very least public civil servant, you who holds the hands of kings and princes in your hands, turn their hearts towards you. Give us leaders who fear and love you. Have mercy on each and everyone of us. Help us the followers to search our hearts. We get the kind of leaders we deserve. Help that there be a change in our hearts. Help that we wait not for the government to change but to realize that the change begins with us. Help that in our own little ways, we do the right things. Help us to vote the right people into power. Stem the tide of insecurity and corruption in our land and let there be a cleansing from top to bottom and bottom up. Help us to live peacefully with each other.

We pray for the church. We pray for forgiveness. Father forgive us our sins and heal your church. Let your fire as in the days of old burn afresh and anew within the church. Let our church leaders do your will. Let your love be spread abroad afresh within the church. Let there be a revival in the church. Give a change of heart to each one and help us to love each other as Christ loves the church. We pray that our old men (and women) would dream dreams and our young men (women) would see visions. Help us to stop playing church. To stop being religious.

We pray for those looking up to you for children. Father grant them their heart desires. It is your will that none be without child. Cause them to be fruitful and glorify your name in their lives.

We pray for those seeking fruitfulness in other areas of their lives. Cause them to multiply and do so abundantly.

For job seekers, we pray your grant them jobs. For those in jobs they don’t like, give them the courage and boldness to seek and get the jobs they want. For those who should be in businesses and not seek 9-5 employment, Father push them. Take the fear that keeps people bound to jobs they shouldn’t be in away.

For the widows and widowers, comfort them. Strengthen them. For the fatherless and motherless, be a father and mother to them.

For those of us who know you, help us to stand firm and not depart from the way. For those who don’t, draw them close with your saving arms, wrap your arms around them and do not let them go. Help that those of us who know you would do all we need do to bring them to you.

We pray for the newly-weds, lead them in this journey they have began. For all married couples that you strengthen their union. May the oil of their love never run dry. May the wine of their relationship never go sour. Renew their love for each other everyday. We come against every wandering eye. We come against little foxes that destroy the vine. May they never break the hedge. We pray our families won’t fall victim to the devil’s war against marriages.

We pray for those who desire to be married. Answer them at your own time.

We pray for our men. That they may find good wives and obtain favour from the Lord. We pray for our women that in being found, their husbands would find favour.

We pray for our children. They would be for signs and wonders.

Above all we pray that we fulfil your purpose and forever live to praise your name.

We ask this and everyday.

What shall we call this?

Sorry. Was trying to translate Yoruba to English and the title is what I could come up with that made sense in my head. The Yoruba is something like “Ki la ti ma so oro e yi se or bawo la ti ma soro yi si” or something of that sort. My Yoruba isn’t smooth. Never mind that I had a B3 in Yoruba. My parents believe WAEC dashed me the result.

Anyways, back to the post.

An aunty-in-law is in town. As per no job, she decided I was going to be her driver for the day. Can’t complain. At least I have somewhere to go and someone to gist with. Anywayz, we were gisting and she suddenly goes quiet and looked mad. She got a message. Calls my uncle and the gbeborun in me was straining to hear the conversation then my mum called (just spoilt all my gbeborun runz). Call ends and she is still looking mad. And am like “whaow, whatever this is, I don’t envy the person”. Then she starts to spill.

Her cousin Z lives in the UK with her husband and 2 kids. Z’s mum (her aunty) is in town. Z’s mum had for some days been calling my uncle’s line but since it was not a stored number he didn’t pick. Finally felt led to pick the call about 3 days ago and discovered it was Z’s mum (she isn’t educated). Mama what is the matter? Then she starts her story. Z isn’t feeding her. She has been eating apple she saw in the kitchen for some days. Z always abuses her. Z refused to help her turn on the heater in her room. Z threatened to throw her out in the cold. And on and on and on.

I opened my mouth and couldn’t shut it for a while. Who does that to her mum? Then my aunty goes on to tell me stories about how this woman slaved for her children, 5 of them when their father left. Even when Z and her husband were out of job and money was tight, the woman sent money to them, over a million naira (for someone who has a small shop, I can imagine how long she had to save to make that money), has for the past few years been paying for Z and her family’s trips to Nigeria and all and all. Whether the woman even did that or not isn’t the issue. Seriously, who treats their parents like that?

We tried to think of all sorts of reasons why Z is behaving this way. Ranging from maybe the woman said something and Z got angry to what Yoruba’s call asasi (spell abi na curse). Then my AIL said over the years, Z’s husband always complained about how Z treated his mum and they always thought the husband just wanted to be funny (cuz my AIL said the man too get skon skon). To the extent that Z’s MIL one day abused and cursed her. The MIL is dead now and is going to be buried next week. We then concluded it had to be adi (Yoruba people please help me interpret what that is. Biko).

Makes we wonder why people start acting funny to their parents as they grow older. I get that as our parents get older, they start to do things that might irritate us and get on our nerves. Their body parts aint functioning as it used to. BUT still, is that enough reason to treat them anyhow?

I have seen it over and over again. People maltreating their sick parents. In fact in most cases, the parent dies within 2 years of the illness. And I wonder if the children had been a little bit caring, would the parent have died? Well my AIL was still seething as at when I dropped her at home and was about calling Z to give her a piece of her mind. The gbeborun in me is waiting for tomorrow to know how that went.

Side note: There was something else I wanted to blog about but can’t remember. *sigh*. Old age yeah. Anywayz, tis December. Christmas is coming. All I want for Christmas is…………………………………………………..

Ok, yeah I remember now. Just wanted to share something my Pastor preached about some weeks back. Just part of the message. He was talking about Samson and got to the issue of people drinking wine and other alcoholic drinks and the whole “the Bible doesn’t say we shouldn’t drink/ should Christians drink issue”. He said something that stayed with me that day. The Spirit and spirit can’t stay together. He then asked “have you ever noticed that those God has special work for in the Bible, He specifically asked them to stay off wine?” E.g. Samson, Samuel, John the Baptist. The instruction was direct. Stay off wine.

Wishing you all a great month of signs and wonders. Have a blessed December and we shall all make it to 2013.

The lone tear

The washed up body of a couple of days old baby by the Lekki Phase 1 bridge. Dumped into the waters by his mother. The currents swept him our way though we could do nothing about him. My wife and I shed a lone tear heading back home. Silently wailing within. 17 years we have been married. With no child to call ours.

 

The call from my elder sister. Our mother had just passed away. At 52, she was barely beginning to enjoy the fruits of her labour. The crowds in the house. All around me. Asking me to take heart. Se bi okunrin (act like a man) they said. Be strong. You know you can’t afford to cry even if your sisters do. Men don’t cry. The first and only son of our mother. I entered my room that night and shed a lone tear. Silently weeping.

 

9 months and all I wanted was to hold my baby in my arms. I never got to. She was a still birth. I willed the tears to pour. Nothing except a lone tear.

 

10 of them. Taking turns. I prayed for tears. For the ground to open up and swallow me. With my mouth gagged, I couldn’t scream. All I could do was shed a lone tear.

 

As Supo dragged his boxes out of the house. 25 years of marriage and I suddenly wasn’t good enough for him. He found a younger girl who could satisfy him. As I wondered what to tell our 3 wonderful children. The lone tear.

 

Facing execution for a murder I didn’t commit. All my appeals falling on deaf ears. Appeal upon appeal. Courts today and tomorrow. Pleading my innocence. A lone tear.

 

Full time house-wife

This post is a result of an “argument” in class and on twitter. A friend tweeted “I’m a full time house wife” like WTH? At what age? Mschew. And I replied through another friend’s account asking what was wrong with that. The result is a very long attack and counter attack on the issue. I have argued on this case (from the against angle) a zillion times. Ok, I exaggerate. But many times.

Truth be told, months back I looked at such people with disdain and couldn’t believe especially for the educated ones why any woman would go to school and then end up staying at home. At least, start a business. But after hearing a married woman with a business talk and seeing an aunt upclose, I can’t fault them.

I have heard arguments for and against and am still not convinced that those who decide to stay at home are any less than those who do a 9-5 job or should be looked down on. Taking care of the house and children is equally as much work as those who dress up every morning and go to work. Part of what the woman said was she saw her children and children of friends who decided not to work and she could spot the difference in both set of children. This def wasn’t failure on her part but according to her the difference was very clear. Same with my aunt’s children. Asides that, if the husband is the “before the children wake up am out of the house and back after they sleep kind of person” and he decides to ask his wife to stay home, I can’t fault such people.

For those who use the “I went to school, my father paid so much” argument, what if the man pays back all your father spent on you with interest plus a “monthly salary” after all part of your reasons for working is to make money? For some people, their children is their priority and they would do anything to ensure they are close to their family and are around for them everytime. Doesn’t make them less than those who decide to “work”. We just somehow in our minds classify somethings as work and some others are not work.

An idle mind argument too for me doesn’t hold water. I worked in a place for 3 years and I can say that for almost a year before I left, I practically didn’t do anything. In people’s minds I was “working” but I wasn’t. I was idle on all sides. God knows how many times I compared myself to those who stayed at home and how many times I considered just leaving the job and not doing anything. Took a while and God’s grace for me to snap out of it. And that’s from a very restless person. I ask what’s the difference between me then and say if I was married and I wasn’t “working” (work as people define it). Because I wore suit and left the house everyday, I wasn’t idle ba? Or the person who has a shop in Tejousho but spends the whole day gossiping? She is “working” because she has a business ba? What do we define as idle?

That said, I don’t think I can do it BUT I def don’t consider those who decide to stay at home and not do any form of business any less than I am. She stays at home, spends her time reading, writing books, doing what she loves is better than “going to work” and doing what she hates. Or working and the home is upside down. They have their reasons for doing that and they shouldn’t be condemned. Even if the person has a Masters degree and is 24 years or she is 40 years. Every family has their own percularities. Yes, I can argue about the financial consequences (especially) BUT everybody has a right to make whatever choice they decide to make.

Still waiting for an argument against stay-home mums that can make me change my mind because truth be told, a lot of us looking and talking about this aint even married. So we don’t even know what it is like when people decide to become full-time house wives. I know some people have just made up their minds from the very beginning never to work. Yeah, there are some like that since they were teens who have decided working isn’t for me. I want to stay at home. Some out of laziness. Some it could be cause of their experiences or upbringing. For whatever reason they decide. It is their choice.

Doesn’t mean

I don’t know why I woke up this morning in the mood to write. This is the second thingy am writing this morning. Thank God for my pens and books all around me. I quickly jotted this down and went back to sleep (covers face). This weather ehn, na God go help me.

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I love cooking

Doesn’t mean am going to make breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday.

I love children

Doesn’t mean I don’t wanna run away from them at times.

I love cleaning

Doesn’t mean I won’t make a mess since in a while and not clean.

I love working

Doesn’t mean I don’t wanna lay in bed 24 hours doing nothing once in a while (okay maybe more than once in a while).

I love being organized

Doesn’t mean you won’t meet me in a very disorganized state at times.

I love “love”

Doesn’t mean I don’t wanna run from it at times.

I love happy endings 

Doesn’t mean am not cynical at times.

I love singing

Doesn’t mean I have the best voice.

I am not perfect

I am just being me.

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Oh well, I don’t know what brought about the I am…. Doesn’t mean. Just woke up and started writing. And dozed off again. Lol… This weather please cooperate abeg…

By the way, I have the best voice EVER (in my head).

Now, time to be productive.

Tada

Parents as Custodians

Yay… am in a very happy mood this special month. Oh yes am gonna say it over and over again. Am so happy. Though am writing this with a very serious headache. Great month so far and one lesson I have learnt in these 3 days is Gossip is work. Listening to gossip is very tasking. Can sap the life out of a person. I try not to gossip (or gist as people would want to call it; though I wonder what the difference is as there is just a VERY thin line between gisting and gossip) but the experience I had yesterday/this morning has taught me to even now avoid places people gossip (though how to avoid the salon I can’t yet figure).

Back to the topic. I remember reading Proverbs 4: 20-22 (one of the days in Open Heavens) and part of what we learnt was while parenting is a challenge, parents are meant to be their children’s teacher, instructor, guide, coach. Then read 1st Samuel 2 and 3 sometime after that and kinda tried comparing Hannah and Eli; Eli not doing any of the above with his children considering that God gave them to him to be their custodian on earth while Hannah realized that every child was from God and her task was to take care of the child God’s way. The Bible I used (NIV Family Foundations) then ended with that was one of the reasons she could give Samuel back to God. That got me thinking. How many parents actually see themselves as custodians? Temp parents and not the god in their children’s lives? Whose will for that child must be followed and followed to the letter. How many parents can say to God in this child’s life, let your will be done? And not try force their will on the children even when it obviously isn’t the right way? How many parents fulfill their responsibilities and obligations to their children the right way? And how many of us children don’t take for granted what our parents do for us? Yes it is their responsibility but I think at some point we get to the stage we are like ehn it is their work na and though we might say thank you, it is just for saying it’s sake not because we really mean it. I might be wrong.

Had this roommate back in the University who was meant to graduate the year I entered but for her father’s many many runz with other girls. At some point the man stopped paying her fees and was paying the same amount into her “best friend’s” account. So babe had to drop out, work some months, come back, work and on till we both graduated together. I remember once (by then she was my roommate) and the man paid #10,000 into her account. See the way she was thanking and praying for him. I was shocked (didn’t know the full story then). The whole room went silent and then when she stepped out another roommate told us the story. Don’t get me wrong but I guess at some point I had started taken for granted my parents paying fees, feeding me, clothing me and all; though I said thank you, it was kind of like routine. I have this cousin who when she finishes eating says thank you (a trait especially amongst those who grew up in the East) and I think at some point it started creeping my mum out she had to ask her to stop and am like no, if she truly appreciates the fact that you fed her, let her say thank you. After all, there are children whose parents don’t feed them, don’t clothe them. If she truly wants to be thankful, leave her be. Now, I even say thank you to the cook when he makes food cuz I think what if he decides not to show up on a day I get back from work starving and I have to cook. The fact that he came and cooked is enough to be thankful for. Some can argue though that what he is paid for. I am just thankful.

One thing I keep praying to God about is for the grace to see the children He would give me as His children for me to take care of on earth and all that concerns them, I speak to their father (God) about. Not for me to decide how they would live their lives without first consulting Him. Not my will but His.

N.B: expect my birthday series from tomorrow.

Tada

Kids should be banned from public places

Hmmmmmm. You read right. In some parts of the US of A (freak I sound like one of those Nollywood peeps); USA o jare, they are proposing (no, some have even started implementing) that young kids should be banned from public places. O ti o. Airlines, hotels, grocery stores, cinemas, and restaurants. Seriously? Parents with small kids wouldn’t be allowed to fly first class (na wa o, I get the money I no fit spend am because I get small pikin).

I get that some children can be so annoying you feel like beating the fear of God into them (case in point, there was this kid yesterday I felt like spanking the “demons” out of him”) but banning them from going out? Like a mom said As a mom of a three-year-old, I’ll be the first to admit that my child doesn’t always behave the way I’d like her to when we’re in public. Personally, as parents we are hyper-aware when our daughter is misbehaving, and in an effort to avoid stares and glares, we remove our child from the situation until she calms down. Do all parents do this? No. Do some parents let their children run wild? Unfortunately. But is it possible to control everything your kid does? No! They are kids, not little robots.”

We were once children na. And am sure some of us acted worse. So why the discrimination. To even think not only is it being considered, it has been implemented by Malaysia airlines and some others. *smh*. In short, they are banning mothers from going out. Fathers sef in some cases. Orisirisi ni America wan yi. It is just funny. Soon Churches would ban parents with small children and babies from coming to church or they would hold separate services for them.

Yes, I agree children can be very VERY frustrating. If they said they were designating an area or special days in stores for such parents to come shop… hmmm, that sef no make sense; if something finishes before the designated day nko? Well for cinemas, why should children be taken to go watch movies that aint children-friendly. Get a sitter or no go watch movies. I get asking parents to leave restaurants when their children go bonkers; you can’t ask them to leave the plane but designating an area for them to sit…. hmmmm. Ko da o.. If you are banning nosiy kids, please ban noisy adults too o… Kapish. Maybe having “kids area” would help (I know churches that do that; parents sit at the back; makes it even better and easier for them to go out with the kids especially when they start getting noisy). Parents sha shouldn’t be made to feel like second class citizens because they have young children.

I don’t know the solution to this issue o but banning kids is a no-no. Not proper, not right. Well who can blame them. With the rate of “ibajeness” those kids exhibit. If na 9ja now, just 1 abara from the mother, the child go comport (though children of nowadays in this country sef, dey fear me).

I don’t know how mothers (and fathers) in those places would survive o. I wish them well. All da best o. It is well with you all…. and your children.

Tada.