I do not know whether I write this for you, or for the reader who is a parent or an aspiring parent. I write it anyway.
I thank God for you, mom. I do not know how I would be without you, dad. It is through your collaborative efforts that I am. Mom, dad, I am because you are. Thank you. I love you so much, very much mom. I might try to describe my affection dad, but I have failed before, and I will continue to fail. Only the little man inside my head can fully explain my love for you. He has all the words, mom, and try as I might I can’t get hold of them, dad.
We have had great moments, mom, most unforgettable times, dad. We have laughed hard, we have cried. We have loved and we have hated. Remember dad, when you taught me how to slaughter a chicken. Remember how young and hurtless I was. I pitied the poor chicken. He was that chick’s father, but you proceeded to slit his throat dad, for it was Christmas. It was Christmas and you had to impress me by slaughtering and roasting me a chicken.
Ma, remember when we used to go to the market together. It was very exciting. The big noisy market in the big dirty city mom. It had many people, many cars and many things were sold there. I especially loved when you would start to bargain. Bargain..remember how hard I laughed each time you used that word Ma? It sounded so big at the time, and for some reason it was very funny. Maybe because of how you pronounced it. But I loved the market mom, I loved going there with you.
But Ma, you were not always a goody two shoes. I agree, you brought me up like a normal child – and I love it. It is that that has made me grow into this fine man that I am now. Without you, I would not be here. But Ma, sometimes you made me feel bad. I recall, Ma, how you used to insist that I should go to church. Church was good. I remember one time I did not want to go to Sunday school because dad had kept me up late watching Rambo. It irritated you. Ma, you said, “Do not aspire to be like your useless father..” It came into my head, and has not left. It made me realize that maybe he was useless. But he wasn’t. He is not.
Many nights dad came home late and drunk. On this specific day he came home smelling alcohol. He was drunk silly Ma. He came and started bullying us. I did not like it. But you disliked it more. When you asked him what kind of image he was setting before me, he beat you up in front of me. Another time he came drunk again. This time drunk silliest. He pied on the couch, an act that inspired the evil in you. I had not known how strong you were until I saw you lift him and drag him outside the door. You left him there. Out in the cold Ma, until later in the night, after chilly winds had taken away his ulevi and left him sane. I do not want to remember how the rest of the night transpired. All I recall is that it was hell – and many nights were like that.
You would constantly take out your anger and frustrations on me, but I still loved you Ma.
Dad, aside from the 20% of the time we watched movies together, you spent 60% with your favourite pal, Mr. Pilsner bottle, and another 20% picking up quarrels with mom and I.
Dad. I was not a perfect child. No one ever is. I remember pleading with you on numerous occasions like;
” I know that I have been mischievous.. but please forgive me. Do not cane me as if I have stolen our neighbors goat. Spare me dad for I am just growing up. I know dad. I know that you have said it more than once… but spare me a little. Dad I promise that I will be better..please..
The exams? Yes I failed this time dad.. I was number two.. for the second time in a row dad. But it is not my wish..you see dad…these new topics..they are not as easy as the previous ones..it is a new concept,,,but I am trying dad. I will improve. The new teacher too…remember I told you dad.. ? She is mean..she beats us up..she is too fast..dad..I told you..but you did not listen.. please dad..I am not making up excuses.. I told you.. Forgive me…
No dad.. I am not always siding with mom… I am not mommy’s boy dad.. I am a son to the both of you… Don’t call me girlish… I am a man.. dad stop.. it will not happen again…”
I tried to express myself, but you never listened dad. You gave me what I would now call “sound beatings”, even for the pettiest of mistakes. But I still loved you.
I do not know why you were the way you were. I can only guess. Perhaps your temper was easily woken dad. Maybe mom hurt your fragile ego some time and you let it silently destroy you. It could be that mom felt just a bit more righteous, learned and refined than you dad because she had a more stable job and more money than you did. Perhaps… but I did not care about all that. All a son did was love his parents too much.
Sometimes I think to myself, that maybe our lives would have been different and you would both have brought me up better. Maybe, just maybe, I would be a much better person than I am today. I however do not regret that you are my parents. Through your mistakes I became strong. I learnt important life lessons.