Goodafternoon My neighbours!
I haven’t posted in a bit. I’ve been gathering my thoughts, so please bear with me. I’ve also been very busy with my weight loss project. I’ll tell you about that in a different post.
Now to the point – I have an amazing bestfriend. She’s my bestfriend but I don’t know what her flaws are, I haven’t seen any, no kidding . She’s so so reliable. If I have a party I’m so comfortable when she’s there. Heck! she completely takes over the running of the party and I’m relaxed knowing she’ll make sure everyone is fed. She’s very honest too, she says it as it is.
I remember how my former classmates and I used to sit around Tonye my bestie and have her tell us stories she had created. She’d talk about the gazelle and stuff like that. Her mind was just too creative. I could go on and on but l will just stop.
Tj and her siblings organized a surprise party for her mum’s 60th birthday and below is Tonye’s (Tj) writeup that was in the program. It brought memories back and tears to my eyes and I just had to share. I had family traditions growing up, like my dad bringing Danish butter cookies and chocolate to all of us in bed, room to room on Christmas and New year mornings. No birthday went by without us celebrating with at least a home-baked and iced cake, groundnut and soft drinks. We were a family of 10 so there was no need to invite guests.
I also remember my mum teaching us songs thought to her by her mum and which i now sing to my boys to put them to sleep. Songs like ‘wide as the ocean’ and ‘au revoir ‘.
Tj’s writeup really did bring back memories of what was and could have been. I will someday soon write all those memories down for posterity sake. I learnt a few things from reading about my friends own memories, of how the little things in life can create a beautiful and creative mind like Tj’s. Read n Enjoy…
Mom, Mrs. J, or Superwoman?
I am never sure which one to call you. Is it possible for one person to be so many things wrapped up in one? It’s hard to believe that it is but if anyone should know. I should know because we have had so many crisscrossing relationships in the 31 plus years I have known you.
You have been mom, then my principal, my boss (Remember when I was your secretary?), and now my employer and colleague.
It’s amazing how so many crisscrossing relationships do not end in chaos just like those stars that are so large that they collapse under the weight of their own gravity, an implosion should be the final expectation of so many overlapping roles but instead its working and the interwoven relationships have birth something beautiful.
I know it works not because of some random coincidence or serendipity but because of the kind of person you are and the person that you have trained me to be.
You are a great mom! You raised five independent and successful children
The dearth of skills and knowledge is the bane of Nigeria but when I am in a bind, when there is a project at hand…all I need to do is rally my sisters and I know the project is in good hands.
Who brought us up? Who raised us?
People ask me all the time, ‘How can you do this?’, ‘How did you come up with this?’, ‘Why can you do so many things?’
I read a quote once that began with ‘I did not just grow up, I was raised,’ and it resonated with me. I was raised in every sense of the word. I was taught responsibility at an early age. We had rules to guide us in our home – “No eating in the parlour”, “No talking while eating” and many more. We had TV time and reading time and siesta for one hour each day was compulsory. We learnt order and that there was a time and place for everything
Do you remember the empty diaries you’d give us at the start of the holiday to fill up with thoughts, plays, and poems or whatever we felt like doing. That to me was the cradle of my creativity. I remember how I’d let my imagination run wild and throw it all on the pages of the old diary.
I remember you telling me that being a Christian didn’t make a person a doormat and people wonder why I am never intimidated and why I don’t sugar coat things.
The home atmosphere you and dad created when we were young children was amazing. I remember the gifts under the bed on Christmas morning. The petals of the Ixora flower we will throw all over the bed on the eve of someone’s birthday and how the ‘Happy Birthday’ chorus will fill the air when the person woke up all covered in petals
I remember the nights we’ll sit around the table, under the lantern’s glow and you will teach us songs like ‘ Dear John’, ‘Lina, Lina’, ‘Oh take my love to mammy she’s the only one I know’. And we’ll harmonize at the chorus. No wonder I have an opera voice that pops out only at Christmas. I remember my mom making mince pies on Saturday and cupcakes too. And how I couldn’t wait to eat them – cutting out those circles with the little white saucers we’d improvise as pie cutters. You would cook excellent meals with green pepper every Sunday and till today the smell of organic green peppers make me happy
I remember how you taught us to set the table, even when it was just us, the cutlery had to match – the fork on the left and the knife and spoon on the right, the cutting edge of the knife pointing inwards. At breakfast, we had to place the teacup on the saucer at the top right corner – to the right of the drinking glass- with the handle of the teacup pointing right and the tea spoon on the saucer underneath it. It was there that my love for creating beauty and symmetry was born.
There are so many examples I could give, to show how each aspect of me can be traced back to my childhood. It’s amazing!
As my principal, you taught me equality. It was hard to switch from mom to principal but it taught me about boundaries and professional behaviour.
As my employer, you taught me respect. As my colleague, you taught me humility. I could go on and on but this is turning into an epistle. I must finish off by saying I love and respect you from the bottom of my heart.
Happy 60th Birthday Mom! Cheers to another 60 years!