Earlier in the month, I entered a writing challenge hosted by the Access Bank W community. The criteria for this challenge was to do an original,never been published before story on a flexible number of topics, and get your audience, family and friends to vote for you by liking the post and leaving a comment. The most engaging piece would be the winner. (So if you have not voted for me, please do so NOW, HERE).
I was carried away and had exhausted my 350 word limit before I remembered that I had a word limit. So I started to prune and cut off words. I had gone from 700+ to 500+ before I realised I wanted to save some of the lengthy details, which is why I am sharing this here and now. I hope you enjoy reading it. xoxo
I was on a bus, trying to get home when it came to me.
I had just left my ante-natal class, and for a change, I was excited about the days to come. I’ve always been excited about motherhood, the perks of having another human profess to adore you more than anything, but never about the process. When my pregnancy happened, it didn’t disappoint my enthusiasm (or lack of it). It also didn’t help that the father of my child is now about to become an ex husband.
The pregnancy had been such a strain on me, emotionally and financially, I was so glad to be days away from my EDD.
Then this miracle happened.
My ante-natal coach was replaced (There was nothing wrong with the former one, in her defence, she was matronly and kind.) She was younger and had a warm aura about her. Adline. I would not forget her name. For a change, someone focused the entire hour of the meeting talking about me.
Me. The mother. I matter.
It wasn’t about how the choices I was making or not making and how it would affect the child I was carrying. It was about how it was a great thing I was doing and regardless of all the changes and sacrifices I have had to make so far, I was an excellent mother.
That session lifted my spirit so high, I didn’t realise when I dozed off.
He was a curly haired chubby faced toddler. His entire universe revolved around me, and I loved it. Keneolisa. I had always toyed with the idea of that name for my child, if it was a girl I could call her Lisa for short. My son came instead, so he was Kene.
Kene was the star of his playgroup and I was the proud mother of the star child.I worried sometimes that I was laying too much on him. I was a hands-on single mother,I worked from home and every other spare time was spent supervising my son’s activities or visiting my parents. My father and brothers provided sufficient male support and before I could blink, I had a very manly teenage son in my hands.
I remember ignoring my friends who complained that he was too involved in feminine activities and it may affect his orientations. I had no such concerns; I was moulding my little boy to be a good man. I ensured we had those hard conversations early. It didn’t guarantee anything but at least he had the fear of God, and God was on our team.
I didn’t realise how much I had put in until I stumbled across his Slumbook after he had gone away to University. The write-ups from his peers had me in tears. I raised a role model. I had never felt prouder as his mother. Not even when he won all the prizes in school, both in academics and sports.
Water trickled down my legs and my eyes shot open.”Ah, madam you don piss for yourself?” The conductor of the bus asked in Pidgin English. I blushed in embarrassment, as someone else yelled “Oh god! Her baby is coming! Driver take her to a hospital!”
I’m sure there were contractions amidst the entire struggle to get me to a hospital, but I didn’t feel it. I replayed my vision (of course it was a vision, and I believe it) smiling, counting down to the hour I would hold Keneolisa in my arms for the first time.
My generation would not be the same because of my son.