She is one of those women who always has a smile on her face. Seriously! I think the only time I saw my mum sport a no-nonsense look is when she opened a collective can of whoop-ass on us. Yes. I said collective. See, I was raised with a bunch of boys, so when it was whoop-ass time, it was done collectively. For current sins, sins we were thinking about and sins that were about to be committed. My brothers and I have always been a tight bunch. And since mother knew that, no one was exempted from punishment of the wrong doer. What was is she called it? Participation by hypocrisy.
For example, one of those old days, a long, long, long time ago, there was sugar shortage. Mummy got wind of availability of sugar in a village away from ours. Walking distance, but still away. She sent my brother and I to go and acquire the scarce commodity and get home as soon as possible. I don’t quite remember, but we must have left her making tea on that day. So off we went, and after being on a queue for like an eternity (must have been 15 minutes but that is a lifetime for kids who want to do nothing but play), it was our turn to buy the sugar. I’m not sure whose smart idea it was but we decided to buy some sweets called patcos. Those things were to die for! They turned into powder in your mouth. So with the change that we received after the purchase, which must have been a few shillings, we bought ourselves patcos. And they were many patcos! And we enjoyed! And we took our time getting home! But getting home we did. Mother asked us for change and we gleefully informed her that we had decided to reward ourselves for such hard work by buying the sinful sweets. I do not need to tell you what happened thereafter. I can tell you however that we were never that fond of sweets after the bea….. er… incident.
That’s mummy for you. When she got angry, she would yell ‘Waaanjiku!’ and I would be sure my can was ready for opening. O I could tell you stories, but lets not ruin your beautiful perception of the very nice me 😀 Yet, in all that, she found a way to love us like no one else can! She is a woman who has done so many things with such meager resources I cannot even imagine how she managed. She never missed a single day of my school’s visiting day, or my brothers. It never mattered how busy she was. And she never discriminates. The way she treats her kids is the same way she will treat her patients and everyone else around her. Yes, my dear mummy is a nurse. She makes the profession look like something you want to retire to. She cares so deeply that years later, patients come looking for her, to just thank her. With bananas and chickens and cabbages…. She readily does youth counseling, without asking for anything in return.
The other day she said to me, Wanjiku, I hope your son gives you the exact experience you have given me, and more. My mind went into panic mode! Searching for all the things I had done, hoping they were all good things. After counting a few incidents, including the patco incident, I decided to just blissfully hope that I had been a good daughter. I leave it at that. Blissful ignorance. No need to dredge up the past.
Happy mother’s day mummy. All I want is to be a fraction of who you are and I shall count myself blessed.