…You know you want to
One of my earliest memories of my mum is a very beautiful one indeed. I remember her in her plaid and floral patterned pair of shorts, long hair and fair legs, dancing to Dolly Parton (the only musician she remembers from her youth) in the kitchen as she made sunday dinner. I would sit on a small stool somewhere in the kitchen, looking up at her, thnking how beautiful and tall she looked (we are thesame height now so she doesn’t look so tall anymore…jes saying.lol). To me, no one was cooler than my mum. Aunty, as I called her back then, could do no wrong. She was an angel, my angel.
Iya Arike struggled for me to start school, worked even harder for me to stay in school. She made it her duty to ensure that the lack of ‘Christmas dress’ would not cause endless tears in our household. It was through her daily toils that I learned that women too can work extra hard. My mother was not a ‘big fan’ house chores, infact, I dare to say she didn’t like washing and cleaning much but our house was argueably the neatest in the neighbourhood. She always found a way to do it. Let’s not even talk about her cooking….hmmmn… Iya Arike can cook up a storm…especially on saturday evenings. She would have two fresh pots of soup ready by 5pm, with hot succulent pounded yam (yes, ‘pounded’), ready to follow.
We sure have had our moments through the years. I remember whenever our primary school was on summer holiday, Iya Arike would also take her annual leave from work to stay at home with her children. She would buy lots of Ribena and delicious cookies for us to eat but after eating all that, you dare not refuse to eat your vegetables. I loved the holidays.
She always had a cane for those moments when we tend to forget that ‘she can beat’ but the teacher that dared to rough-handle Iya Arike’s child at school would drink her own sweat for breakfast the next day. I remember a teacher once said to me, “please put your hand well o! Before I’ll injure you again and your mother will come.” 🙂
The first time I came first in school, I was barely 6years old. She grabbed me in her arms and threw me up excitedly. I thought I had achieved the biggest feat of all time. I also remember when she dropped me off at boarding school. The way she wept, you would have thought I just got enlisted in the army…eish!
In my teenage years, we did struggle in our relationship, like most mothers and their teenage daughters. When Iya Arike found my first ‘love letter’… my oh my! That was ‘the day’. She woke me up in the middle of the night and told me the ‘story of my life’. I couldn’t understand what the fuss was about. At 13 years old, we were not even bold enough to make eye contact, or exchange as much as a handshake, let alone all the imaginations in Iya Arike’s mind. However, as I got older and wiser, her ‘over-reaction’ that day kept me in check.
Seven years later when I told her about a certain young man who I was ‘in love’ with, she almost had a heart attack. With eyes full of fear and concern, she said, “I don’t want you to have sex till you’re married”. I’m like, “Geez mum! Who said anything about sex?”. Love them or love them, we can’t deny that the seeming ‘over-protectiveness’ of our mums has paid off in a lot of ways… *whispering* but we will not admit it to their faces, lest they lord it over us 😉
Iya Arike would come to visit me at school bearing delicious meals. She prayed even morre than I did during my exams and she would roll on the floor in thanks to God whenever I came home with my results. This bears credence to the yoruba saying that ‘Iya ni alabaro omo’.
She has been my bestfriend, my confidant, my companion, my ‘gist mate’ through the good times and the bad times, ups, downs and the pretty much confusing times. Eventhough there are many times we do not agree, I do know that nobody can replace my Iya Arike.
It’s Mothers’ Day again and I thank God for sparing Iya Arike’s life for me. God bless you mum. I love you so much.
What’s your fondest memory of your mum? Do share.