If you have a mother to your kids who ensures that your spawn wear matching socks to school, that they have well-balanced meals and sees to it that their homework is done, then you should appreciate her today. She sees to it that they wear clean clothes and look decent enough for you to proclaim, “Hii ndio family yangu.” If she spends the weekends with the kids while you are out drinking with those bearded he-goats you call ‘boys’ and flirt with the averagely aesthetic barmaid, this is the weekend to make it right. If there is only her signature in your children’s school diaries because you are too busy formulating the winning multibet to see the teacher’s comments on your child’s progress, you owe her big time.
Ideally, you should do this every other day but I guess you have been preoccupied with the see-sawing between #WengerIn and #WengerOut. Seeing that Arsenal won’t be winning the English Premier League this season, you should now devote your time to your family and relieve her of some the childcare duties.
It doesn’t matter if you live together or not, treat the mother of your child(ren) right. Not just today, but every other day.
Now to the rest of you still in the process of weeding out shisha smokers, women who spend inordinately more time on the bar stool and those who have more retirees in their phonebooks than a pension fund manager, pick up the phone, call your mother and tell her you love her and that you appreciate her.
She’s the only one who consistently prays that good tidings come your way unlike that girlfriend of yours whose prayers change with circumstances and your (in) actions. Your girlfriend could one minute be praying that you land that big job you think you deserve and the next minute beseeching the Lord to send severe dysentery your way when you don’t reply to her text. Just in case you’re with another damsel, you know. A mother will pray for Lady Luck to smile upon you even you miss her calls and never call back. She still kneels down to intercede with the Lord on your behalf despite the fact that you disconnected the call she made with the neighbor’s phone because she doesn’t own a phone. The fact that you bought bae an iPhone for Valentine’s is a matter for lightning and karma to decide, not me.
It’s only your mother who will foot the bill for lunch and not tell the whole world how broke your ass is. She is the only woman who will send you some coin and not broadcast it even when you inevitably quarrel over that girlfriend of yours with more body piercings than a tailoring practice assignment. This is keeping in mind that no woman can have more dirt on you than your mother. It is only a mother who can keep details of your struggles and your secrets
There is no African mother’s story without some little spanking. Our mothers had a way of returning you to earth when you ‘started to grow horns.’ They’d smack you with red sandals (it was always red) right in front your peers whom you had just gloated to that you are your mum’s favourite child and that she loves you too much to beat you. They made sure we stuck to the straight and narrow.
I remember way back in Class Three when I was suspended for truancy and I brought Anyango, my mother, as my defense counsel. I had been leaving school everyday during the 10am break to play football all the while lying to her that the Headteacher had sent us home because our teacher was unwell. Well, the teacher was ill and I didn’t like the substitute who taught in another stream. And it was during those pre-Matiang’i days when the headteacher could sometimes send an entire class home if they were causing a ruckus due the absence of their class teacher.
Head teachers had imperial powers in those days. They decided when you would come over the weekends to plant kei apples on the school fence, the distribution days of Nyayo milk and which classes were given preference and sometimes they would call PTA meetings which were in fact harambees to help with a personal project. But I digress.
Inevitably, the system caught up with me; the substitute teacher snitched on me and I was suspended. I get home and I am glad that my dad has already left for work which works out fine well for me. Mum wouldn’t be such a hard sport, I think. I inform her that the Deputy Headteacher has sent for her.
“Why does she want to have a word with me?”
“I don’t know.”
“Are you sure?”
“I was almost leaving but let’s go. I hope it won’t take much of my time.”
So we get to school and the deputy tells her the actual reason for calling for her. To cut the short story shorter, she gives me such a hiding that I’m immediately readmitted into class.
You couldn’t throw tantrums in her house and there’s no food you couldn’t eat unless of course you were allergic to it or if it was gross like matumbo. I’m really grateful she didn’t force me into eating matumbo because I wouldn’t have turned out fine. I think at the root of every man with a difficult childhood lies matumbo.
Today is a day to celebrate all the mothers who actually spend time with their kid(s) instead of using them as bait for likes on social media. Mothers’ Day is a day to appreciate mothers who do not wake up their young one in the wee hours of the morning with drunken hiccups.
HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY… to all the proper mothers, not just women with children!