Everyone deserves happiness. How we make use of the different chances and opportunities life presents to us is what defines our happiness when all is said and done.
Three blind mice, Three blind mice
See how they run!, See how they run!
They all run after the farmer’s wife…
And she cut of their tails with a carving knife
Have you ever seen such a thing in your life
Like the three blind mice!.
I sat on the long couch with a broad smile on my face, applauding Tammy at her excellent recitation. This almost four year old girl was just too sharp for her age. Although, a little part of me was wondering why of all poems, that would be her favorite… Not even “Who sat and watched my infant head, when sleeping on my cradle bed…” Well, children of nowadays they say have spiralled out of any bit of adult anticipation and will always come at you through ways unexpected.
“Excellent. Excellent. Nice work” I said as I reached for the white nylon on the couch beside me. “Here you go.”
I handed her 2 packs of short bread and juice, and watched in admiration as she hopped away happily, shouting.
“Mummy, stop delaying us. Mummy stop delaying us”.
We were going out and she looked stunning in her jean short and cream polo top. Her little all-star shoes completed the dose of a mini fashionista. She even had a shade and a clutch bag. Only God knows what the bag would contain. Probably just two sticks of sweets.
“I’m coming darling” I heard Liz reply from her room. “Just a minute.” I couldn’t really point out if she was talking to me or Dorothy and just as I switched my line of sight from the pictures on the wall to my phone, a big book landed on my lap. It was an atlas, a very disturbing atlas and what made it disturbing was that of all the contries jig sawed out in the seven continents, only Wales was circled. I felt a pinch in my stomach as I looked up to meet Dorothy’s smiling bright face.
“Uncle Jay, have you been to Wales?”
“Errr… Nope. Why?”
“Cos my daddy is there and my mummy said he’s working hard to build a house and then my daddy will come and take us to Wales”
“Yes!… Isn’t that nice uncle Jay?”
“Very nice dear. Very nice”
“My mummy said if I can study hard and come first every term, my daddy will buy me a unicorn when he’s coming back”
“Of course!… I’m sure he will.” I tried very hard to hide the baffled look on my face with a wide eye surprised expression while praying that Liz would emerge and put an early closure to what might be the most awkward conversation I’ll be having in a long time.
“Yipee!… I’m going to Wales. I’m getting my unicorn” She hopped away again and came back almost immediately.
“This is Nigeria” she said pointing a pencil to the throat of Africa on the map. “…And that is Wales. You see it’s not that far”
Only then did I realize she had a wobbly drawn arrow, springing from Nigeria to make an end inside the circled Wales. I almost didn’t know what to say. I was caught at an odd time in the middle of a question-like statement. I involuntarily sandwiched my tongue between my right upper and lower canines, an habit I thought I had dropped. That gesture only came with sympathy. I subconsciously did that whenever I felt really sorry for something or someone, and as I did, I slightly shook my head.
“Can you see it uncle Jay?”
“Yes dear. Actually, things are a bit farther in real life than they appear on paper but it’s still not that far. Okay?”
“Okay uncle Jay.” She sounded a bit calmer and with the eraser end of the pencil partly in her mouth, she looked towards the direction Liz was supposed to have appeared from. Only God knows what exactly was keeping her.
“Can I ask you something Uncle Jay?” She whispered, making a quick glance again at the same direction.
“Anything princess” I replied shifting forward as I saw it looked like she wanted it to be just between the both of us.
“Will you be my daddy for the main time?”
“I’m sorry for the delay guys” Lizzy’s voice split I and Tammy as she snatched her atlas and slowly walked to where her school bag was lying, probably to return it. Her mom made her way to the glass center table where her car keys were and my eyes rolled from mother to daughter. Questions rocketed randomly in my mind and I just…
“I’m sorry love. I was looking for my ATM card…”
“It’s in your second drawer!” Dorothy cut in. Her face showed displeasure, most likely at her mum’s bad timing.
“Yep. Thanks. I’ve seen it. So can we be on our way guys?” Liz smiled innocently. We made our way slowly to the car and as I had expected, Lizzy’s step was quicker, compared to the slow thought-filled steps I and Dorothy took. I didn’t need a spiritualist to tell me what was battling in the mind of this little girl and all other little kids, suffering from the absence of either both or one parent. In a second, my heart reached out to all of them and I felt the pain they quietly pass through while gaining little or no comfort from the ridiculous stories they’ve been told by either their guardian or the present parent. It might work now but the hurt they’ll feel later in life when they realize they’ve been lied to from the beginning of their lives, that feeling of betrayal and being cheated on, waiting for them at a particular stage in their life when they finally outgrow the cock and bull tales they’ve so long being fed like their dad is working hard in Wales, their mum is studying in the US, their dad went to purchase a house in london, some would even make the story as dumb as, their mum went to the market. Like seriously?
Little Tammy’s reaction when Liz came out was a clear indication that she knew exactly what she doing and the fact that it would never occur to Liz if she were to guess what we were talking about was a clear indication that kids and their reasoning levels are highly underrated.
A lot of kids out there who do not have the joy or know what it means to be jealously and lovingly sandwiched between your father and mother while growing up and a lot of adults who think children don’t have thinking times themselves to ponder on things they’ve been told, especially when it’s starting to look vague and the patch up stories don’t match up. A lot of kids who before they sleep at night, say a word of prayer on behalf of their dad – A dad who has abandoned them and taken to his heels in the face of responsibility, who doesn’t even care how a flesh from his flesh and blood from his blood is faring. It takes a lot of negative energy to be as callous as that… And these kids grow up with the hope of a happy reunion as one of the paramount things in their hearts. It goes on until the brain is developed enough and capable of logical analysis. One unanswered question starts to give birth to more unanswered questions and the truth which in one day wins a race lies started years back would come out in its very usual bitter form and lead to hearts broken and words unspoken. That’s why some children, after knowing the truth will never forgive their parent or parents as the case may be, if the cause for a reunion comes later maybe when they are successful or something, and one father or mother pops out of thin air… except for divine intervention.
Every child not only deserves total happiness, but also require it as part of the necessary facilities of growing up.
“Will you be my dad for the main time.” The shrill thin voice resounded in my head. I was so taken aback by that question that if Liz had not appeared at that time, I could shed a tear. With kids, I could be as weak as that and if it were possible, some kids also would give everything to see themselves grow up under the watchful eyes of both daddy and mummy.
My heart sank a bit.
In a world where some things will never change and irrespective of one’s age, life would never present one with everything one desires, the fact that a child’s parent has either left or demised should not be left long overdue by the guardian, foster parents or the parents who have adopted and brought up the child till the child discovers the truth himself or herself. Telling them the truth when you think they can be said to be mature enough to understand would give room for hurt and recover in quick time and all that’ll be left would be the question of who his or her real parents are in cases of abandonment, not demise and some children would not even care but self-discovery would give a lot of room for hate, depression, and could even go as far as psychological instability in some cases.
Every single child is a gift and must be treated as such. – Mary Slessor
If I had as much money and affluence, I’ll see to it that abandoning a child becomes a big crime carrying a heavy punishment and the only children in motherless babies home would be orphans. They would have one of the best care and treatment. Good food, good education and good social integration.
Although these can’t replace the love and affection of a parent, it will go a long way in reducing the number of embittered children who develop into social rejects and in turn constitute the larger percentage of criminals causing havoc and troubling the society. If there’s just one single reason why divorce should never happen, it should be because of the children in the family. That’s my take on broken marriages and disjointed homes.
Yes. I think I’ll be Dorothy’s dad for the ‘main time’ since I know her father who to her is coming with a unicorn from Wales might never show up again. I’ve fallen in love with these two ladies I first met at the bank some months back and they have grown to become one of the most important things to me now.
“Love?!… Jay!!… Jay!!!”
Lizzy’s shove jerked me out of the my world of thought to realize I was sitting behind the wheel, both hands on it, Lizzy looking confused at my troubled expression, Dorothy sitting quietly at the back with a juice box in her hand and straw in her mouth.
I looked at her.
“Are you alright love?… Your eyes are misty”
So I came to realize that the emotional fluid had engulfed my eyeballs. I pulled out my handkerchief and wiped my eyes. Lizzy turned her head back to look at Little Tammy,
“Dorothy are you alright?”
“No mum. I want my daddy” she replied as she and her mum broke down in tears.
Some things are beyond our control but we must be very wise with the things that are not.
Mature Minds Talk.