May 21, 2014
Mothers around the world celebrated their day a few weeks back. Like Valentine’s Day many only wait for this day, on cue to appreciate their mothers. Someone openly posted on his timeline, “Motherhood is struggling to bring up an idiot who sees fire and wants to touch it, breaks glasses and wants to eat the resulting mess, pour milk then cry of hunger, you know the type who would wash a smart phone and mix sugar with flour? Yeah, those types. We all have been those idiots and our mums never gave up…they still never would give up. …” Eman, thanks for openly calling us all idiots… The messages are beautiful and endless;I joined the bandwagon and sent a few texts to my mother and my mom in-law. The former called later to complain that she never got as much as a text from me (Old age must be sited in her living room). Even so, I didn’t feel like I had done much in that text she never received. Being so far away from them, Mothers day was like a day that you would want to just pass: like Boxing Day, or mid- term. So, making my mothers feel special would involve a lot more than just a plain text message.
Vitenges and Sombrero
I would need to take her shopping (all women love shopping) get her a nice kitenge or Batik fabric, depending on what she styles in, show her the new buildings in town, hold her hand when crossing the road, buy her jewelry to match her latest fashion, like statement earrings for my mom in-law (something she could wear every day and anywhere) or a sombrero for my mom…she really enjoys big events of late. We’d chow popcorn as we walk into a park, enjoying the sight of Nairobi residents rush their lives away. We drop off small bits of corn along the grass, Hansel and Gretel style) and find us a city council bench and slump in it like we all did when we were in high school kicking off manners and letting our backs slouch. We would gossip a lot about the men in our lives, (and shoes) even though these men could be my father or…and her son. The convos would entail bits and pieces of these… ‘Men should learn to appreciate hardworking women.’ ‘Men Change…you can never pin a man down’ ‘Always have separate bank account, ‘Yes Ma’am’ I love any shoe with a red sole,’ ‘Marie Claire is good’ ‘they don’t have red soles’ ‘Almost all men in the 19th century have children out of wedlock’ ‘No, Mom. Not my dad…’
We would walk, bask, touch, laugh and cry. If the sun burns our foreheads too much, we would put elegance back on like huge coats, and pick up lady-like manners where we had dropped them. If it still soothes then we would gossip some more. We would pop into a classy restaurant for a meal. Order something we can’t whip up at home and remind each other how this world and the men in our lives expect so much from us…we would laugh so hard at life’s pleasantries, and wipe tears off at the sad memoirs. We would encourage each other to keep going and then hold hands some more. “You look just like I did when I was young,” Mom would say and I would respond to how I am not worried about how I will look in my sixties. “You are too beautiful, many will fail at guessing your age” I would respond. She would go again that its life’s tough situations that make her how she is, and that she accepts her age and her time. I would hold her hand and without a care in the world add that I want to be just like her, if tough situations made her the great person she is, that let them come. An assuring smile would seal that convo off. ………………Unfortunately all I could manage was a plain text message.