Nine months! One, two, three… Nine!
I cannot even lug myself to the gym for nine straight days.
This theme whets my appetite and I wonder why it took me so long to write about the beautiful, ‘mothers.’
I really can’t explain to you the standard definition of a mother since we all have different pictures of who a mother is or ought to be.
To some, she might be a super hero dressed in a super-man costume, who always saves the day, sorry the world. To some, she is the provider – the food we gobble down, she prepares. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar, sometimes really getting up while it’s still dark. The clothes we don, she sewed them up. The bed we lie, she makes the coverings and tucks us at night. Remember falling asleep in the couch and when the cock crows and begins its chorus dawn, you find yourself in the bedroom? Try falling asleep today in the couch and let me know where you awake from. To some she is the protector, while to others she’s the priest, provider and promoter of the house – she blesses your going and coming. She is the one that believes in you and inspires you to aspire for greater heights in life. That’s what a mother is to most of us.
There is a story that goes; a young boy ardently asked the father what a ‘man’ really meant. The dad instantly told the son that a man is someone who provides for the family; made sure everything is okay and provided security to the household. Being satisfied with the riposte, young boy then replied, “When I grow up I want to be a man just like mom.”
Would you like to hear my perspective of who a mother really is? Okay.
To me, she is our earthly ‘god.’ She is heaven sent. Through great pain in child bearing, she was conferred to bring you to this earth. She was clothed with strength to always smile whenever you kicked her while still in the womb and dignity to always laugh at the days to come. She was entrusted with the morning sickness that came with it. Her arms are strong for her tasks, to set about her work vigorously. She was trusted with cravings that you ‘installed’ in her – at 3:00 am you wanted honey and so she had to get you honey. I repeat, she had to get you honey! And we know who suffered for this though – fathers and/or husbands. She was trusted to love you unconditionally, no matter who you became, how you looked, the grief you bestowed upon her because of the foolish mistakes you made and no matter the rejection you received from your peers, she would always love you. She was trusted with teachings from above and if you bind them upon your heart forever, fasten them around your neck; then when you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; and when you awake they will speak to you. She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She is always right. And when she is wrong, she’s still right.
Just like Abraham Lincoln put into words, “I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”
To some of us, our mothers may not have had the education that you have or aspire to attain but a teacher she has always been to you and still is. She spoke of how you could be whoever you wanted to be or do whatever you wanted to do. She always declared you were smart though in real sense you were the ‘dummy’ in class and this kindled a fire in you, to be the best you could ever be. This led to some of us dreaming and hoping that one day we will build for them a mansion plus buy them a big car when we are grown. She taught us to love knowledge and search after it. Not to boast or feel smarter, neither does she mean that you haul out your knowledge and display it ad nauseam, NO! But for you to give your best – just your best.
She would chide us. The admonitions that mothers give, though we abhor them at the time of issue, later on, they sink in. It is the virtues, values and ethos that have kept me all this time and most of this would be learned by observing and watching her modus operandi. At times she would allow us to be loud and rambunctious that we felt we owned the world and at times she wouldn’t want to hear our alto voice. She would spank you and tell you not to cry or spank you and ask later, “Nani amechapa toto?” (Who has beaten my child?)
Mothers have influence. Even in your daily life where she’s not seen or mentioned, she’s still there – present in everything you do. She prepared us to tackle the challenges of life and she’s the one we call when things go haywire.
Personally, what my mother taught me is discipline. She engrained it in my mind that I should be prudent in all my ways. That I should put thought to my steps and always hold my tongue. To get into my stride and coach my own character knowing very well, “A good education will take you to the top, but only good character will keep you there.”
Some of us have lost our mothers and probably others don’t even know how their mothers looked like. I want you to know you are where you are because of her selflessness. She didn’t give up on you especially at a time when it is easier to abort a child than it is to adopt one. Kevin Durant put it so well on bagging his NBA’s MVP award, telling his mother, “You’re the real MVP.”
Make her smile wherever she is. Do it for your ‘mama’.
Just as Dorothy Canfield Fisher said, “A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.”
Love you so much mama.
Happy mother’s day