What’s the fondest memory that you have of your mother as you grew up??
Picture yourself at the center stage, the lights focused on you and your mother in the audience listening to your speech. Kamilisha insha …….
It’s 11:32pm and I am meant to have slept about an hour ago. I am expecting an early morning so let’s get started. Something within me triggered my mind down memory lane as I recounted how back in the day reaching 9pm without being huddled into bed was considered legendary. With a lot of nostalgia I started recounting my childhood days mostly because at the center of it was none other than my mum.
Recently,I realized that my mum stopped calling me at 7 pm to ask if I was on my way home. I realized she stopped issuing threats of “You better be at the gate in the next 10 minutes or you’ll build your own home“. Mark you at that time I was probably near Lang’ata and Uber was not yet in Kenya, not that I had the money though but let’s use that assumption for now. She stopped issuing threats like “hizo vyombo zisilale kwa sink” yet it’s at 10 pm and I had nothing against dishes and their sleeping patterns. I realized she stopped telling me to change my t-shirts because people would wonder whether I was adopted because she was elegant yet we insisted on those “Ogopa” t-shirts back in the day when E-Sir made South C seem like State House . I realized that she stopped telling my brother that going out at night meant the devil would take you and she instead tells him these days to be careful and to practice moderation in his nightly nation building activities. Reality hit home the more when she stopped complaining that I will embarrass her since girls greet her and she has to smile because she didn’t know their names. Though, I tend to think she exaggerated that part since I was at the capital prime of my adolescence.
To be very honest my mum has never beaten me. I know that this is unorthodox because naturally all mothers use “mwikos”, “brooms”, “phones”, “remotes” a potential amour to straighten us. Not that I was a good kid, Maybe….. maybe not but she had a specific eye gaze that communicated her feelings clearly. For example during chama meetings when snacks would be at the table then as kids you take advantage to eat the sugary stuff that mum used to bar us from accessing on normal days. The guests would encourage us using words like “watoto wakule ni weekend” but my mum would smile and gaze at us. Tadaaaaaa!!! My brother and I could easily read her “eye” language and just to interpret the eyes stated clearly,”eat that and i’ll feed you both to the puppies at the neighbour’s place“. We recoiled and the guests thought we were disciplined. If only they knew how we practiced making smart life decisions at an early age. Sugar versus death options … hahahahahahaah .. !!! We chose life most of the times. I miss those days.
I honestly have no sufficient words to describe my mother. My mother brought me into this world while she was 23 years old. A young lady with a zeal for life. My grandpa alludes to the fact that she was a tom boy since she followed two of her brothers closely. She has been there for me through thick and thin. The nights we would spend trying to remove my teeth during the milk teeth era. Then she’d tell us to throw it in a particular way so that they grow. The days we’d get scared watching horror movies and we would insist on sleeping in her bed. Each and every Friday she would buy ice-cream since we left school at 3:30pm and we would find it. Each and every Friday before adolescence.
Mum has always been a teacher since I was born. A very very cool teacher I must say. I remember in Makini we’d sit at the back and play with my brother as she taught class 8s then afterwards we would head home and she would cook, clean us then take us to bed. Every single day!!!! She always brags how she underwent the NYS project and that there is nothing on earth that “tishas” her since then. She was there for all our sports days, all our visiting days in high school by 11:30am . In campus she would ask me what I learnt during the day and it was hard to explain to her about programming concepts but she would sit and listen. Then tell you to make for her tea afterwards.
My mum taught me many words in luhya that always take me time to translate into English. She taught me to laugh heartily. Mum loves new clothes. If you get her something , she will wear it immediately. She taught me to eat slowly since to her that is how you enjoy food. She brags how she researched our names in advance such that everyone else copied her children’s names. We are the L family: Lydia, Lione and Leroy. I might consider that L generation spreading across. How can I forget how she almost threatened to beat up the person that bust open my face and I had to get stitches, She was going to revenge hahahaahah yet it was just a game.
On our street she’s known as “Mwalimu’. So naturally we were baptised as “watoto wa Mwalimu”. She has a certain level of pride when it comes to us. Most weekends when I get time to escort her for the groceries the conversation with Mama Mbogas begin this format: ‘Ndio huyo ule kijana wangu mwenye alisoma xyz na sasa ako abc“. Every single time!!!!! One time after school on my way home, one of the hawkers gave me a free bunch of tangerines. Her magical words were ” Mum amesema ulimaliza shule“. That’s the kind of pride she portrays with regards to her children.
To make it interesting my mum’s sisters are all the same. They literally spend each weekend together and I am sure my cousins can attest to the fact that family values started with our mums. Since I know they’d be mad if I revealed their names I will use code: Aunt 1 is our leader, Aunt 2 is our spiritual rock, Aunt 3 is the last born and is the link for when we want to have fun and mum is the cool kid hahhahah….. The fantastic 4 that have lectured us to the point of crying, loved us to the point of smiling and if you ever notice me in pink shirts well its because they think its classy to wear pink and the options they give us are Yes and “Ndio”. I had 4 mothers by virtue of the sisters.
When I started working, I almost got a little teary after receiving my first salary. Not because it was a lot hahahah but because it made me realize how my mum worked so hard to feed, clothe, house , entertain and spoil us. From her one source of income she did so much yet we kept crying about school trips to Zanzibar that we missed and I would cause chaos when she would tell me “Baba you will go some other time” and my brother would complain about new sneakers. She always smiled then would make sausages to make us feel better. She noticed that I got almost depressed when I didn’t get the Oxford scholarship after making the top 5 list and that I didn’t like the internship that I started with. To her I was solving world problems but in essence it was just an internship. Every single day she would text me in the morning to wish me a great day and even as recent as today she still texted me in the morning. Obviously, she will throw in a subtle line in the text about buying her a memory card etc.
My mum turns 50 this year in October. I have always wanted to make her proud. I have always been proud to have her as my mum and would never change it for anything. God showed me love through her. I learnt to respect women through her. I learnt to “partially” understand women through her. If I get a daughter (obviously not me but my wife) definitely we would name her after her! The code would be L….. Khasiro Alushula. Find L 🙂 She stills tells that ” magonjwa yako” which is meant to imply that AIDS is real. She still gets mad that I put on a watch when taking a mat. Aunt 1 always says ” Ebihubi (pic pocketers) will tell the difference between Uchumi spray and your cologne” which is meant to imply that you look out for thieves in a coded language.
Look at your mother’s hands. They have raised you to who you are (obviously with the support of your dad/family members). Take time to appreciate her. Her prayers have kept you. Her smile has inspired you. Her tears have cleaned you and her love has sustained you. Whether she is alive or not, whether her mother tongue affects her terminologies, whether she was there enough for you or not, she is your mother. She gave her life that you may have life. To her you are a queen or king. You only have one mother.
You are not self-made. You are but a result of a “Mother’s Love”.
My MVP…… (Light off, goodnight)