Can you imagine as a sperm wishing if only you could fertilize that egg, totally disatisfied with being in the scrotum. And when your mother obliged your dad, can you imagine how fast you swam beating billions of others to that egg.
And then you find that you are in a strange place and your freedom as a
swimmer is shackled by a fallopian tube that forces you to eat stuff
that made you grow bigger and you swore to be there for nine months
only. And as soon as it was time, you smashed the "water" and forced
your head though that tiny expanding hole and you came out to so much
noise and strange faces and a weather so much less comforting than the
wet warmth of the womb and then you weep and as you weep, every one
smiles in joy and you are handed to strangers.
Oh how you hated the carrying. How you hated not being able to move and
so you started trying to crawl and walk. Yes, you must be able to move
on your own like the people milling around you. So you learnt to walk
and then you find that your mommy that was so willing to carry you
around makes you walk beside her in malls even when you are tired and
needing to be held.
Then you see books and try to tear them enjoying the sound of the paper
as you bite and even eat it. Quickly it is snatched from your grasp and
you see that others stare at it and it makes meaning to them and you
swear to yourself to be able to make meaning of those little letters on
the white sheet. So you learn A is for apple B is for boy and then you
find as know it the more, the more they thrust new combinations before
you and you are expected to read SHOKOLOKOBANGOSHE and if you are unable
to, mommy and daddy frown.
You are handed to strangers to teach you
better and sometimes they scream and you see so many others like you and
you are no longer in the warm comfort of your house but in a kindergarten somewhere.
Then you see others bigger kids in primary school with lunch boxes and
water cans. You wish to be like them and indeed you become one.
find you are actually spanked by your teachers and sent on errands. You
are treated as a kid and given bedtimes and you swear to become a
teenager and be able to stay away from home like your elder sister. You
see her buying tampons and growing boobs and all the boys in the yard
are all about her and buying her gifts. Suddenly your Barbie Doll is no
longer good enough and you become ashamed of it...that Barbie doll you
used to learn how to plait "akara hairstyle" is now a "childish thing" and you
sneak and use your elder sisters make up.
And then at thirteen you see the first drops of blood. The first sign of
boobs sprouting and indeed the boys begin to notice you. The letters
come. "Oh my beautiful angel with eyes like two stars from the distant
galaxies" and it begins to annoy you. You can no longer freely hang
with Emma your childhood friend without him trying to kiss you. You are
made to sit in a proper way, talk like a girl and you can no longer hold
a conversation with a boy eye to eye as gravity pulls his eyes down to
Your dad becomes over-protective. Your mom would no longer let you go
visiting and you wish to be far away from home and the University is the
best escape and so you read...read really hard and you indeed get
Then you miss home. The freedom isn't what you thought it would be. Now
you have to manage the money yourself and when broke you are tempted to
go with your friends to see that "aristo". The courses are so tasking
and you just want to get out of the university. The "Alutas" begin to
annoy you. The strikes or lack of it if in a private university. Even
the parents can't seem to give you enough money and so you just want to
graduate and earn money for yourself.
Indeed your wish
to wear the NYSC khakis is granted and you get your primary
assignment...in Akure and you get angry because you wanted Lagos. Akure
is too quiet. And you just wish the stupid NYSC would end. In the
university you made some real lifelong friends now you have been
separated from them. The beauty and playfulness of your hostel mates who
are sure candidates for ARO MENTAL HOSPITAL is exchanged with teaching
some Yoruba children who hardly can speak English, Literature in
English. And you just want it to end.
You are tired of these boys breaking your heart and unready to
marry. You want a home of your own straight from service. Okay... a good
job then a "Mr Right"
After a few frustrating months,you get the job. You are a single lady
with all the freedom and money but you want a man. It all means nothing
to you as "all your friends are married" forgeting that in fact, not all
The parents and everyone bring their own form of pressure
and nudging. You have to find a man and indeed you do and you plan a
wedding. The pastor comes and blesses the marriage in front of hundreds
and you are home with this man. Yes you wanted the marriage so much yet
now you really hate that you are married quite often. You find you still
like Emeka but can no longer take his calls. You can no longer hang
with friends as you used to. Even if your husband is a very liberal man,
once you are with males, people ask you while staring at the man "what
of your oga? hope he dey fine?"
And then the new pressure for a baby. And you fast and pray and "cry
unto the lord for the fruit of the womb"
And God grants it and one two three you make them and you look at your
body and the firmness in your boobs is gone. Your belly is no longer
flat and marks crisscross it. You are kept awake at night and "mommy
this, mommy that" is all you hear all day. Your only stress relief now
seems to be watching Tonto Dikeh and love-hating her for the freedom she
has as a spinster. You even begin to remember the days you and your
husband used to walk the house naked without the children and you pray
they grow up quick so you and your husband can be home alone again.
And indeed the children grow up and are scattered all over the planet as
doctors, lawyers, engineers, nurses. You find you miss their troubles.
You pay visits to their houses now that they have homes of their own.
But you know being with them for a month is a lot of load on them. Yes
they love you and the kids love "grand ma" but you cannot stay. You must
go back and they will come visiting at Christmas.
The church activities are now what fills your day.
The kids you wished
left the house have indeed left. The bones are no longer what they used
to be. It takes you three times as long to get up and move. Everyone
treats you with respect and care but you know you are no longer the lady
you used to be.
Then on that rocking chair you begin to reminisce. You realize that
menstruation is indeed something...You wish it as a child, then as you a
young girl you cry when you "miss" it praying it is late and not that
you are pregnant and as a woman without a child, seeing it bring tears because you know you have to try all over again. You shake your head knowing
menopause has stopped that drama for you. Then you shake your head
Yes you should have enjoyed your childhood better. You should
have held on to your Barbie doll much longer; You should have gloried in
your beauty as a young teen; You should have enjoyed every stress piled
by the University professors; You should have enjoyed dating and all
the heartbreaks instead of crying for a husband; You should have enjoyed
the times God gave you before he opened your womb....that time you
cried for a baby; You should have enjoyed every diaper change and silly
cry, and bad report card with an F and plastered knee and stubbornness
of your children.
So like Horace admonished, I say "Carpe Diem" seize, grab, eat, enjoy
the moment. Mentally reread and interpret your present moment and
situation. try and enjoy it as best you can. and yes indeed YOU WILL
LOOK BACK AND MISS IT... yes this situation you think is bad now, you
will look back and miss it